Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 27, 2010

Language legacy and politics

Does medium of education matter whether a child will be successful in future or not? I certainly feel that success does not depend on it but being educated in English medium does help you attain success, maybe a little faster. This is not necessarily true, at least not outside India. Take a look at China. Traditionally, the country has been against adopting or propagating any language other than Chinese. But it is developing successfully nonetheless.


MNS, the political playground of Mr. Raj Thackeray, has been forcing the use of Marathi on the people of Maharashtra and the immigrants. They have been doing this for quite some time and has been instrumental in generating some political clout. Fierce proponents of protecting the Marathi culture and language, they are not so strict when it comes to educating their children. All grandchildren of the Shiv Sena Chief, Bal Thackeray, have been educated in English medium and one of them has even opted for a German language course. Party and political ethics do not apply when it comes to their family. And then, why should it? It is not the fault of the grandchildren to be born in a family which will embrace globalization as long as everyone speaks in the regional language. At least it feels good to know that they are not letting their ‘business’ get in the way of their children’s education.


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Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 26, 2010

Yet the traffic moves on

Manas Gupta has written an interesting piece on the road drivers of India. Worth a read to those who tackle the monster traffic everyday in their lives.


My other traffic related posts[1, 2, 3, 4].


Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 23, 2010

Treating the better halves as equals

Most interesting thoughts come to my mind when I am doing nothing. I firmly believe that when we allow our mind to do nothing, it does more by generating creative and not-thought-before thoughts. One such thought that has been returning to me time and again has been treating women as real equals. Not just symbolically but equals in thought as well as position. Men speak of women to be equal to themselves, but seldom do they act in the manner befitting the same.

In marriage, it is always the fairer sex that gives up her family to join the husband’s family. At least that is how it functions in India. Most of the times. Has it ever occurred to men how unfair the custom is? Has any husband been asked to leave his parent’s home? Has he ever adopted the surname of his wife? Why is that a mother, who gives birth to a child and plays the biggest role in the upbringing, does not have her name appear as the middle name of the child? Why is it that the income of a working wife is considered to be the income of the husband’s family? Why is that her monetary contributions to her ‘former’ family frowned upon?

Take for instance, the IT profession. Professionals at offshore are often required to travel onsite(foreign) for their project work. And that includes fair number of women too. When both the husband and the wife are working in the IT industry itself, this situation often creates unfair cases. If the wife is offered a long term position at onsite, she will not accept it because she cannot ask her husband to leave his job and travel as a dependent of hers. It is considered a ‘taboo’ that a man has to be dependent on the woman. But the other way around is a largely prevalent condition. A woman can happily leave her job, forget her career, move onsite with her husband and never look back. How can they easily give up their careers while all men think about is money and careers?

I admit I have been a culprit to some of these inequality ‘crimes’ too. But I have a lame excuse, as do all married men. It has been like this since eons. Why should it change now? Our forefathers did it for a reason and so shall we. Who are we to question the customs and traditions?

Is it not time now that we start treating the fairer sex fairly because that is certainly the right thing to do?

Are all you male chauvinists hearing me?

Update: I recommend reading the first chapter of SuperFreakonomics, Putting the Freak in Economics. Especially the part where the authors describe why being born as a woman in India is a bane.

Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 19, 2010

Traffic and me

Being stuck in a traffic jam is boring. And that’s when your mind takes over. Either it starts cursing your fortune or it starts planning a rebellion against the slow government actions on traffic regulation. With Pink Floyd advising, “We don’t need no education”, I actually I started thinking that education is not worth taking if you are not going to apply it. You may be a senior manager in a big conglomerate but if you cannot apply your education to help solve societal problems, then it’s not worth getting educated. Because then you would just be “Another brick in the wall”, with no purpose and wasted money on education.

Interestingly I was able to observe a lot during the traffic jam today on my way to office. The traffic policemen were there, trying to regulate traffic as efficiently as possible. But what they do not think or understand is that you should be trying to prevent traffic jams. I saw a certain number of policemen arrive on the scene after the jam became unmanageable. We are talking about the daily traffic jams near Hinjewadi IT park in Pune and on all roads leading to it. In an effort to regulate traffic, they started whistling and waving their hands to make the traffic move. What was not clear to them is that waving hands was not going to make the traffic move any faster. Everyone wants to reach office and are travelling in the right direction so waving hands to edge the traffic in the right direction is no help.

Crossroads and no-common-sense vehicle drivers are the major source of traffic jams. Rather I would say that we, as vehicle drivers, are the major cause of traffic jams. Let me give an example from today’s traffic jam. By the time I reached the tail of the traffic jam, the vehicle line was already around 200 mts long. During the start of office hours, the oncoming traffic is usually minimal. Though it was tempting to break lanes and go down the wrong lane and reach office fast, I decided not to. As an educated citizen who wished to use his education, I thought if I went down the wrong lane, I would be causing an even worse jam. I don’t think anyone was thinking on the same lines as mine. Because I could see all vehicles breaking lanes and causing even more jam further up on the road. The more time I spent waiting for the jam to clear, the more inclined I became to strangle the necks of those who did not understand the simple reason behind why you should not break lanes. If your normal two lanes of office traffic changes to three, then you leave less room for oncoming traffic to go. As a result, the oncoming traffic then starts breaking lanes to go from two to three. Thus, you see an example of a classic deadlock where nobody goes nowhere. And this leads to a even bigger jam. All those breaking lanes, were majorly and interestingly IT professionals who are amongst the highest paid professionals in India and supposed to be educated enough to be part of big conglomerates. A deadlock is a software concept that has been studied by IT professionals during their college education but they cannot seem apply the same to real life. It has been rightly said in the movie 3 Idiots, that “we are well-trained but not well-educated”. We are trained to become a professional but not educated enough to be a professional. It’s sad to know that parents spend so much money on their child’s education but they forget to teach them how to use it.

Though it’s sad to know that the Indian education system may not change overnight, but the need to apply your education should be an immediate change that any thinking citizen can practice.