Search This Blog

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Fear

The ‘Fear’ has been the only factor in human life which makes this mankind tolerant to others and sensible. The fear could be related to anything and that somehow makes you alert and obliged. Though the death fear is the ultimate in that category, other fears also have their own importance depending upon the individuals and the contexts. However, I would like to share with you of my fear for a person as a ‘Lower Primary School’ student. The names of the characters are changed and any similarity is mere coincidence.

I studied in ALP School near 'Pazhayakavu' temple from 1st to 4th Std and my home was around 2 – 2.5 Kms far from the school and I used to walk to school from home and back. There used to be one individual, who used to work in our fields, who takes me to the School and back. I had another friend called “Natarajan’ who happened to stay near by my house along with me everyday.

After the long bell rings at 4 PM, we kids used to flow in the metal road with no place left for anybody else, till we reach the main road and then the crowd gets diverted to various places. For me the walk was always eventful…..!! Most of the households on the roadside I used to pass by everyday, know my family very well and many of them used to wait for me to reach in front of their house to share some special dish with me, which they have made on that day and the individual who used to carry my school box ( An aluminium school box, which I used to boast of as a prestige symbol ), used to get irritated at each of my stops… However, I enjoyed irritating him by delaying at every stop…!!

While we walk as a big bunch of sheep on that narrow metal road, Chellappa Iyer used to suddenly appear in front of us and we will be running for our lives…..!! Chellappa Iyer was a grand old man retired from Government services and had lots of energy to frighten us and make us run by creating sounds of various animals……!!!! We believed the stories told by many boys that he is really a beast in the looks of a human…!!! His dark lean hands were interpreted as the skeleton and we even believed that in nights he had become ghost and wandered all over our village. Some one told that he's a good ghost who used to protect our village from ill fate.

Years passed by and when I was studying in Govt. Victoria college, I had an opportunity to visit one of my friend’s house in an ‘Agraharam’* near my college, where I was stunned to see Chellappa Iyer lying paralytic in a coat. Later I came to know that my friend was his nephew and as he was unmarried, they had brought him home to look after when he fell ill. I could easily recognize his face as that was permanently recorded in my brain as the synonym of terror….!! But when I looked deep into that face, I realized that it had gone much fragile and his wry smile is still in my memory. My friend told that he loved children and he had donated his entire wealth to an orphanage run by some missionaries….!!! He liked to tease children and play with them as he never had an opportunity to love his own children….My friend said that he used to give lots of gifts to my friend whenever he visited them in Mumbai….”mama’ was always a welcome guest for them and above all, he was a friend to them….!!! However, still when I remember about him I start with the fear I had and end with the wry smile on his face…..!!! May his soul rest in peace….!
*‘Agraharam’ is a brahmin habitat of South India where adjacent households are located

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Grain drain may touch our lives any time…

India is really shining….with a robust and consistent GDP showing with a record FII investments and exports…..and what not…?

I know it is not fair to see negative aspects when we are going in high gears of prosperity. But forgive me readers..I just can’t keep quiet when I see this headlessness…!! ( I’m not a Ronen Sen to use a similar word, but it’s a mere coincidence..).

In the whole world, every economist knows that India is an Agriculture Economy where the majority of the population still depends on the Agriculture and associated jobs to meet both the ends of life. This fact, even our great economists who govern this country know very well.

Now, the irony of life is that the most endangered species of life in India is not the tigers of Gir forest, but the farmers of our country. East or West, North or South they are getting self killed in numbers, some getting noticed by the so called powerful media ( of and for powerful people )and some are deliberately ignored by the same media.

For politicians, the farmers were always a cause and roadmap to power. They climbed up the ladder, even up to the superior power of the country and then did everything to keep up the same condition as to retain the power and then used it whenever they want to climb the power ladders…. So their intention was to not to resolve, but to take some populistic measures like rice for poor programme etc., and to make the governments bankrupt and thus making urban population think that the entire bankruptcy is because of the villages…. A well carved political rift between the city and villages…..

Indian Agronomists, Scientists, Farmers’ groups and all other concerned Governmental and Non Governmental Organizations should come together and devise an emergency mechanism to provide valuable inputs in increasing yield per cultivated land and a proper mechanism for better prices for farm produces and technological innovation for more viable farming. Above all, there should be a very root level awareness and training programme on “Post harvest Handling’ of produces among the farmers. I’m sure once the farming becomes a profitable profession, then there will be young and techno savvy entrepreneurs venturing into farming without hesitation.

You have alarming reports of shortage of grains and the country which was grain sufficient till recent past is importing wheat from Australia this year and the quantity of import is predicted to go up next year, if the Government does not take drastic measures with immediate effect to curb this. Another horrifying fact is the conversion of fertile cultivable land into residential plots by the real estate mafia and headless governments adds their part in the name of SEzs. There are large chunk of non-cultivable land still available, but no one really thinks about converting those lands into industrial and residential zones as your setting up cost will increase due to the non-availability of natural resources.

We will & we do borrow technology for making soaps and tooth pastes by allowing MNCs to have a free ride on our large chunk of consumer society, but reluctant to get the best agri-tech from Israel in the name of safe diplomacy and much teeth less Non Allignment Movement and so on…

You ask the Ministry of Agriculture about the action plan to deal the crisis situation in future, they may come up with lots of book worm theories and never ending projects which will see crores of tax payers money flowing into private pockets of a few! The Governments change and years pass, but we the people never respond to a Rs.35 per 1Kg of rice and Rs. 55 per 1 Kg of wheat….. We’ll not mind sending our children to work as bonded labourers in ITES companies and reduce their life span, thanks to the rotating shifts of work and keep yelling and killing each other over petty issues of community, caste and religion and ultimately regions. The people who instigate us at various occasions know very well that they can distract our focus like this forever and have a gala time for themselves. And in the end of the day we pray God and blame our destiny for all these bad days and live happily thereafter…..!!!

Asking yourself everyday is essential...

It is essential to ask yourself daily before going to sleep about your actions of the day is very effective method of being self critical. It will definitely lead to self correction, provided you are performing it truthfully to your conscience.