Let's talk it out
Recent events have made me to contemplate about the Idea of Indian Nationalism. I was troubled to see how nationalism of a country which is known for its “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” have become exclusionary. Instead of saying proudly we are Nationalists, people felt proud to point out who are anti-Nationalists.
Violence was another face of the this chauvinist Nationalism. It is deplorable to imagine a country which won its freedom on principles of Truth and Non-violence has started associating itself with violence. In such a difficult time let me paint a picture of Indian Nationalism from my point of few.
“Hai Preet Jahan Ki Reet Sada” song from movie “Purab Aur Paschim” sums it up the idea of Indian Nationalism for me. For me Indian Nationalism has been about spreading LOVE, irrespective of who we are facing or what condition we are in. Love has depth to win the heart of any enemy.
Indian Nationalism is as much as about NON-VIOLENCE as about Love. If we can defeat the mighty Britishers using non-violence, why we are so afraid of few miscreants that too when we are born and brought up in the Land of Gandhi, Ambedkar, Nehru and Patel.
Further, Indian Nationalism is about its rich DIVERSITY. It is a country which is known for its Unity in Diversity philosophy. We should cherish our diversity and feel proud of its rich cultural and geographical richness. Indian Nationalism is about feelings of BROTHERHOOD towards the fellow human beings.
We should never forget, that India is a land where if Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were born it also raised children like Tagore, Kabir and Buddha. India is rainbow country, people who are trying to remove the prism should know that India will loose its all colours which we are proud of.
So, lets start associating Indian Nationalism with Love, Non-Violence, Diversity and Brotherhood. Lets start building the India of Gandhiji’s dream, lets start taking India towards the path of Vishvaguru.
“One dimensional man” is a theory propounded by Herbert Marcuse. According to this theory man has turned into nothing but a Consumer only. A man has no other attributes. I would like to expand this theory from sphere of Economics to Social sphere here. I propose that man is one dimensional because of various filters which he inherits from the social constructs.
A man belongs to a religion, to a caste, to a region, to a nation, to a sex, to a class and to many more such social constructs which narrow down his vision and limit his thinking ability. One may wonder that these are more than one dimensions, so how a man is a one dimensional. I would say, these are all constraints and conditionalities which make a man to walk on a straight line. These constraints and conditionalities make sure that a man doesn’t get to know that there are many more paths and dimensions, which sometimes have same aim but different journey experiences. This is how these constraints control the thinking process of a man, by not letting him know what to think about.
Half truth is still not a truth, logically speaking. Also there is no significance of a Truth if you are not aware of the False and their differences. So how a man would know that his religion is the Truth without knowing the False. Mind it, I am not saying any religion is false. Its about where a man stands, its all relative. False itself it Truth. And Truth is False. All religions restrict their followers to only one religion and make them believe that theirs is the best religion. Religion puts constraints on human mind to think or explore the other religion, to expand the dimension of human personality. Thus it deprives him from experience of other dimensions.
Similar is case with caste, region, nation, sex and class too. These all make a man one dimensional. These constraint don’t allow a man to add more dimensions to its personality. So, how a man can be a complete without exploring or adding many more dimensions to his personality.
If a man wants to know how it feels to be a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Christian he can not learn if he thinks, his religion is the best. If a man thinks Break the shackles, come out of prejudice, learn , experience, and then he will feel being a complete man. At this point of time, a man would not be thinking about Truth of False, but the experiences and learning which he would have missed had he not broken those social chains.
Universe is multidimensional so as the human personality. Let us break all these social constraints, which make us walk on one dimensional path, to enjoy the many criss-cross paths with many crest and troughs to make the journey- journey of life-a fun ride.
I am writing this post to answer many questions which I was asked for my support to Caste Based Reservation. People have also asked me, why not income based reservation? I will try to answer these two questions.
Let me start by saying that ultimate aim of reservation is to reduce inequality. In India there are two types of inequalities viz., Social and Economic. Both types of inequalities cannot be(should not be) solved using similar or same methodology.
So, lets take Social inequalities. People from lower castes have not be allowed to enter into the temples and they are still denied entry into many temples across the country. Similarly they are not allowed into the schools. There is famous mythology of Karna and Eklavya who were not taught by their teachers(Gurus) only because they were from lower castes. There were punishments for lower caste people if they somehow -even by mistake- listen a couplets of Sansakrit. Many of you will be surprised to know that still students from lower castes are discriminated in the schools. They are not allowed to sit with the upper caste students, they are asked to clean toilets, they are not allowed to sit with upper caste student for mid-day meal. Not only in the elementary education but also in higher education there are huge discrimination against lower caste students. These discrimination becomes visible in practical marks. Still in many colleges across the country your practical marks are decided by your caste.
In such a harsh, socially discouraging situation where even a Member of Parliament(MP) is not allowed in a temple because of his caste, it becomes necessary to reduce the effect of discrimination based on the caste. So it was decided to provide affirmative action policy or reservation for the socially and educationally backward section who have been left behind due to this discrimination.
Now let us come to Economic inequalities. This kind of inequalities are mainly due to monetary reasons. This inequalities can be easily handled through the cheaper loans and subsidies. Government is trying to handle this economic inequality also through BPL(Below Poverty Line) Cards rout where people having BPL cards get benefits from the government. Also there is creamy-layer concept in the OBCs bracket to allow poorer-OBCs people to get the benefits of the reservation.
So government is trying to solve both kind of inequalities through the different methods which are effective in their respective sphere. So, instead of abolishing reservation system we should focus to make it more targeted. We should try to make it so effective that only deserving ones get the benefit of reservation. Also we should not include the issues which can be solved by other means into the reservation, for example Economic backwardness. We should focus to reduce and ultimately abolish reservation not by law but by making everyone coming out of reservation eligibility criteria by effective implementation of the reservation policy. By not keeping the SCs/STs seats vacant for purpose of converting them into the general seats, but by giving the reservation to them who deserve it the most. Lesser is the leakages, faster we will be able to overcome the policy of reservation.
Historically and contemporarily all the discrimination are caste based. So its logical to have caste based reservation. Similar is the case for the sex-based discrimination and reservation too.
News on Phone or NOP is a programme run by News Services Division of All India Radio. Here a news reader gets recorded top headlines of every hour. This can be heard by calling to a number given on newsonair.nic.in. It was a very innovative programme to provide news on demand when it started in 1998 . But its relevance in 2016 can be questioned.
I was assigned to work on NOP as an editor. I prepared 11 am hourly news and got this recorded. Then I thought to listen to my first ever work of editorship. So, I took out my cellphone and tried to call to 011-23324343/1259, number for the Delhi callers. But to my surprise I was not able to reach to this number. Then I asked my Editor-in-Chief about this issue. To my greatest surprise I came to know that this given number can be reached only through a land line number. Meaning only those people who own a land line number can call to AIR to listen NOP.
This was just beginning of many surprises which I got know about this strange NOP programme. In the age of Radio, TVs, and increasing penetration of mobile and internet which mostly provide news free, calling a paid number to listen to news, that too which may not be of your interest, is kind of hilarious. Callers are not charged at normal rate but the premium charges are applied.
This all made me wonder: Who would call and pay to listen to NOP? Well this time I was not surprised, because it came to my notice that very few people call to this number which I expected. So, just like me you would be also wondering why this is still continuing where one editor and one news reader has to be assigned the task of this NOP 24 hours a day, news reader of course will read news every hour taking just one minute. But editor has to keep an eye for any breaking news of that hour.
So clearly it is utter wastage of time and resource. But why it is still continued, you would be wondering? I learned that it is continuing not because people have not tried to discontinue it but because of complexity of plan and non-plan expenditure. In anyway, I prepare a proposal to discontinue or at least merge this NOP with hourly bulletin which get aired every hour for five minutes.
This proposal was well taken by seniors and they appreciated me for that. They added my proposal which was more data driven (number of mobile connections and landline connections) and few step-wise solution to make NOP relevant or reduce the resources spend on NOP exclusively. For example I suggested to allow call from Mobiles too at same premium charges. Next step would be to discontinue premium charges. If possible merge it with news bulletin. And finally, if possible abolish it given there is a service like free SMS service.