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Boredom is bad!

I am staying in a 2BHK flat in Baljeet Nagar, Shadipur with my flatmate. I shifted to this place just before the CSE-2016 preliminary examination. I could have shifted anywhere. But i shifted to this very place because there were three of my friends staying here. And I joined them as fourth member.

It was very pleasant and happy environment till the CSM-2016. But after this exam got over. We had fun for few days. But eventually fun time got over. And two of my flatmates left the flat. One went to Bengaluru and other to Bihar(his native). So eventually we two were left at the flat.

However, out of two of us, it was only me who was left to spend time in the flat. My flatmate was busy working in some coaching from 10am to 8pm and if he feels he goes to either to his sister or some friends place. So i was left alone for whole night after spending alone whole day. Its not i did not like solitude. After after sometime one needs someone to talk to.

So, I started going for evening walks with my friends. I went to nearby Rock Garden for walks. Not that, I even went till Karol Bagh for have a chat with friends and spend some time with  them. Till now only companion had been my maid. But she also generally appears only when my roommate appears. She doesn’t like cooking for single person.

Eventually, I decided to move out of the place and shift to Karol Bagh. Place where i had many friends and at least I won’t be waiting for anyone to come home every night who eventually doesn’t come. Also Karol Bagh has very good environment for UPSC aspirants. So I took this risk even if at the higher cost of living. My Personal economy is hurting me. But I had to take some decision to make things happen.

Now, i will be shifting to Karol Bagh or Rajendra Place to be precise. Here I am hoping to have good company and better study environment. Lets hope for the best. Lets see, if I am here till June or October. I am hoping for the best but training my mind to be ready for the worst.

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Handrail: How Important it is!

Today, I was saved by following simple instructions which I learned from my PET (Physical Education Training) teacher in school and Warning boards put all across the stairways in INTEL.

While in school, my teacher will advice us to keep our both hand free. Hands are best friends of a man. They are first and best defence against any unseen and sudden objects. So if they are free they can protect us from falling badly, they can protect us from flies and insects or even balls.

However, Warnings on Intel’s stairways read number of accident and death due to not following the staircase etiquette. So what is that etiquette? Always, I repeat, always put your one hand on handrail. It will save you from any staircase mishap.

Now, coming to my incident. I am staying in a flat in Shadipur. There is very narrow stairway and there is always dark there. So, while using staircase one has to use mobile’s light to see clearly. So I was holding my mobile in one hand with its light on and I was holding handrail with my left hand. Suddenly, I slipped. I literally made a 360 round around that corner of staircase. Given I was holding mobile in right hand, only help came from my left hand which was holding handrail tightly.

I wonder, if I would have not holding that handrail, I might have been in some hospital now. Given the narrowness and darkness in the staircase, I might have had some serious injuries. But I was saved by simple rule of holding on to the handrail. So hold that handrail.

iT versus IT

While reading News, many times we get confused with the abbreviation used for Information Technology and Income Tax. For Information Technology abbreviation used is IT while for Income Tax it I-T, note the dash between I and T. So there is only difference of dash (-) and sometime Newspapers remove this dash in lack of space in the headline.

So, it becomes difficult to understand what it means when a headline reads “IT booms put India ahead”. Whether it is Information Technology or Income Tax. To know what IT means here one has to dive into the details to know what article is talking about.

So, to overcome this confusion. I suggest to use iT, small italic ‘i‘ and capital ‘T’ together for Information Technology. Whereas leaving IT abbreviation for Income Tax. Given ‘i‘, the small italic i, has been associated with Information Technology, it would be easy to understand and differentiate between iT and IT.

I hope media house and social media one day will take note of this and follow the convention to improve the readability a bit. Ruby on Rails follows strategy of preferring Convention over Configuration for better readability of code. Nothing is wrong in following a good convention here too.

My Idea of Indian Nationalism..

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.

A Complete Man….

“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.

Why Caste Based Reservation?

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

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.

What is Hinduism?

These days lots of things are going on in India which are mostly related to being Hindu or language Hindi. Most of people have wrong rather incorrect understanding of Hinduism. Here I am not going to explain what is Hinduism but what is not Hinduism.

Firstly, Hinduism is not Brahmanism. Brahmins constitute less than 6% of total Hindu population in India. While other castes make the rest. So statistically speaking Hinduism is not about Brahmanism. In fact if Hinduism needs to be associated with any caste it should be associate with caste “”A” which constitute x% of total Hindu Population, where A is not Brahmins and x is greater than 6%.

Secondly, Hinduism is not about being Vegetarian. Again I will put some fascinating data here. Out of total Hindu population x1% are non-vegetarian while x2% of Brahmins themselves are non-vegetarian, where both x1 and x2 are greater than 50. If you take the people eating eggs as non-vegetarians then this number will again tilt in favor of the non-vegetarian.

Thirdly, Hinduism is not about Sanskrit(the language). There are hardly any people who are speaking Sanskrit. In fact number of people speaking or having knowledge of Sanskrit are less than 1% of total Hindu population. Today only those Brahmins learn Sanskrit who want to earn by their profession(performing various rituals) otherwise they prefer to learn English over Sanskrit as it provides more opportunity. This surely is not wrong. This is how it should be, people should learn what they want to, not for the sake of false pride or tradition.

In fact Hinduism is neither about Hindi. There are huge number non-Hindi speaking Hindu. In fact, in Bihar most of people have dialectics of Hindi as mother tongue like Bhojpuri, Maithili etc. and its true for UP too. Similarly in Haryana there is Haryanvi language surely it’s derived from Hindi and very close to it. But still its not Hindi.

Except UP, Bihar, MP, and Delhi hardly there are any states where along with Hindi regional language is not prominent. For example Odiya in Odisha, Bengali in West Bengal, Marathi in Maharashtra etc.

So, what is Hinduism about? As we know today, Hinduism is about untouchability, its about hierarchical caste system, its about intra-caste marriage, its about opposing love jihad, its about Khap-panchayat, its about superstition, its about few organisms claiming to be defender of Hinduism, its about Dowry and expensive marriages, its about ‘ghar wapasi’.

Seriously, all these need to be changes. I, and many more like me, would like Hinduism again to be associated with tolerance, modernism, knowledge and vasudhaiv kutumbhkam. This what Hinduism is truly about.

Complex Bar Chart

So, what is Complex Bar Chart? Complex Bar Chart is name of the bar chart’s type which combines simplest vertical bar chart with composite bar chart. This mixing of the simple vertical bar with composite one is to tackle the complexity of the stacked bar chart.

Here is what a stacked bar chart looks like?

Stacked_Bar_Chart

Now what are issues with this stacked bar chart?

1. Its hard to know the values of stacks lying on the second, third and above levels.
2. Its hard to compare the stacks lying on the second, third and above level.
3. This method is suitable only for two entities that too when their percentages are taken into account. For example.

Here is how a composite bar chart looks like?

Composit_Bar_Chart

Here is how a simple Bar looks like?

Simple_Bar_Chart

Here is how a complex bar chart and a stacked bat chart look like?

Complex_Bar_Chart2 Stacked_Bar_Chart

 

 

So, finally what are advantages of the Complex Bar Chart over Stacked Bar chart?

1. Its easy to compare among the items of one bar. So its kind of intra-bar comparison.

2. Its easy to compare among the same kind of items in different bars. So its kind of inter-bar comparison.

3. It still has the overall trend showing characteristic of the stacked bar chart.

So, these are the main advantages and they are pretty important because charts are designed to find out the trends. This Complex Bar Chart shows the trends more effectively and among more items than Stacked Bar chart does.

 

Disclaimer: Except the Complex Bar Chart, all other images can be claimed by their owners.

Our perception of reality …

We wonder, what is reality? Is there any world beyond or parallel to ours? Do animals and birds have different perception of reality? Should be believe in God or Higher Dimensions? All these questions are so much human, in fact they make us what we are – a conscious being. So let me elaborate a little bit on human’s perception of reality.

For us reality consists of world around us which we can sense using our senses. Beyond that, for us humans, reality doesn’t exist. We sense sound, light, taste, touch and smell. Beyond these our perception of reality vanishes. We cannot see full spectrum of light but only the visible part of it. We cannot hear beyond a limit on both sides of sound space. We cannot differentiate all the tastes neither we are having knowledge of all tastes. How about touch? We cannot enjoy the touch the way other living beings enjoy. We may not feel the way a tree feels when it is touched. Surely there are things which we human cannot smell but dogs can. That’s why every security agency has dog squads. So there are limitations.

So, beyond these limits human beings are blind. They don’t see, feel,hear, taste or smell anything even though things do exist beyond these limits too. So, how about God and Higher Dimensions?

Anyone or anything which we cannot perceive using our senses and technology we possess today-which surely adds to our perception of reality – may call Him God or beings from Higher Dimension. But as we cannot prove their existence would it better to deny their existence? Or it would be good to accept our limitation and their existence? These questions are really hard and every Philosopher is trying to find the answers to them. So for time being let leave its to individual to decide what s/he wants to believe in.

In concluding remark, I would like to add that there are realities beyond ours. But first we have to make our reality better and beautiful then we should move further for the betterment of the reality which is beyond ours.

This article is inspired by this TED talk.

P.S.: “Follow what is within your experience and do not trouble yourself with what lies beyond the province of human experience”– Jalavi to Rama