Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bicycles Inc.

I keep getting a lot of crazy ideas. Here's one! Why doesn't everybody start using bicycles for short distances? Here are a few obvious things to gain from using them:
1. Obviously no pollution. Gain in carbon credits for the country.
2. Less pressure on the country's fuel requirements.
3. Good health of the people - cycling is a good exercise.
4. Fewer accidents - how many times have you seen hoards of cyclists hurting each other.

And then some of the more obscure things:
5. Better roads - lesser abrasion of road materials.
6. Lesser power requirements in companies - people would have to start early in the morning and leave early in the evening - for which sunlight could directly be used to lighten the buildings.
7. Lifestyle of rickshaw pullers gets a boost.
8. Bicycles mean not only healthier people but more alertness for them, more athleticism, and less of the oh so prevalent cut-throat mindset.
9. Lesser spending on fuel, cars and accidental repairs means better lifestyle for the people.
10. World peace - people would have lesser time for fighting with each other - since they'd be too busy cycling to their workplace.

Of course, there could be some people who'd be unhappy with this development:
1. Car dealers - what would they do? How about selling cycles?
2. Car manufacturers - Oh don't they have enough money? They could start manufacturing bicycles. After all where they'd be selling a single car - they would sell 3/4 bicycles in a family. The profits would admittedly be low - but what the hell! That's a small price for the country's overall happiness. We will get back to this issue in some other post and analyze what can be done for car manufacturers!
3. India Inc. - this thing does not really exist! It is only a virtual image of things that the developed world has created for our country. It does not really capture the aspirations and nature of problems of the Indian masses.
4. The developed world. Well they've had their time.

So! What say?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Economic Growth of India

The intellectuals are all worried about the dipping economic growth of India. The newspaper is buzzing with news of the poor quarterly growth of our nation and the weakening GDP numbers. What I began to wonder was this - how should the growth of a nation be really measured? Does the GDP really reflect the gross happiness of the people of the country?

Well I personally think that the economists of our age are a bunch of loony mathematicians who think that human life can be judged and measured in numbers! No computation in this universe can ever capture the number of dimensions to the ground reality of the economics of this country. Here are a few points worth pondering about:

1. Industrial growth leads to progress of the country in some sense. At the same time, it kills opportunities for some farmers. At the same time it gives jobs to millions of people. And so should we assign weights w1 and w2 the happiness of the newly employed ones and the unhappy farmers and determine their gross happiness together as h1w1 - h2w2. Does it really work that way? Should a 100 lives be thrown into oblivion so that 10000 get a good life?

2. Jobs in IT companies have given a lot of Indian people a lot of money. This has raised their "standard" of living, and the cash flow in the market, and the consequent boost to the economy. Let me ask one question - before the IT boom happened, weren't people living well enough? Were the sudden NEEDs of having a super market (and the resultant overspending), or buying an iPod, or eating at Pizza Hut (which thanks to the stuffed pockets of people can put exorbitant price tags on their products) always a part of this country. I think not! It all looks like a conspiracy. Don't think so - check out this website and you'll know what the third world meant to the US and what India is fast transforming into. The point to be pondered upon is whether having all that more money went into "really" helping India, or did it turn the naturally satisfied average Indian, into ever hungry, ever mkore materialistic creatures.

3. Can there be no economy without contributing significantly to the "consumption" face of things? Can economic growth not be tied up to making people understand that they need less, and on the core value of self-sustenance? I thought, the great Indian culture had all the answers. That's what I was made to believe in my younger years. Who then carries the knowledge of how to make people happy without them wanting more and more pieces of cake made from the very flesh of their fellow planet-mates? Can there be no respite?

Sunday, August 24, 2008


The oft quoted quote for this beautiful land says "If there's heaven on earth, it is here, it's here, it's here...". What happened to this land of Sufis and Rishis? The news around the world have reported of the "freedom struggle" of the Kashmiris. The cities and towns are burning. The Hindus are unrelenting, the Muslims ready to break off another piece of land. The Indian government is pushing the people with way too much pressure. Pakistan with its own democracy in shambles is encouraging the fire. And the diaspora of the nation all talking about a possible separation.

Sometimes, I wonder if the partition was really inevitable. Was the India-Pakistan and the India-Bangladesh partition an unavoidable thing? Had the people of Lahore, Peshawar and Rawalpindi, who had risen together to fight the British out of this country, suddenly decided that India was too pro-Hindu to be together with? Wasn't the greatest Indian martyr (Bhagat Singh) born and executed in what is now Pakistan? Then why all this blood? Why the need for separation?

If there is a need for anything, it's change of rulers. So far the pro-Gandhian people ruled this nation with as much as dexterity as the Roman Caesars did! They all knew what the vastly uneducated (not necessarily illiterate), and the middle-class majority of this country wanted. And that's true for both India and Pakistan. One nation calls itself Secular, the other, Free! And governments of neither conform to any of their idealism. A really secular government would have done anything and everything to have saved Kashmir from falling into the separatists' traps, who by all measures know how to spark a rebellion only too well.

And what I am absolutely shocked about is the fact that media is completely underplaying this whole issue of Kashmir. There're hardly and news reports, any fora for the people of Kashmir, and no features voicing the Indian youth about this issue, in the media. All they care for right now is a bloody bronze medal in the olympics. Oh heart! heart! heart! Oh the bleeding drops of red! Since when has the cricket match, the newly released movies, the olympics medals, and other so many trivia become more important than the whole idea of the nation breaking up again! Are we still sleeping? Why isn't there a mass movement in the country to save this situation? Is the Government the only body in the universe which can do anything about it? Can we do nothing? Except, writing such blogs... (I wish I were a still born!)

Our most beloved ex-President, Dr. Kalam asked us all to dream. I dream of a Kashmir that is the next Silicon Valley - it is the only place that can be it. I dream of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh as one nation again - at least in spirit. I dream of the world where people stop fighting for a piece of land - because the land is there to stay - but the people aren't.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Non-performing Cricketers

There have been lots of controversies about players being Gods, and the same players being inconsistent, and the critics favoring or bashing them.

Are the cricketers really to blame if, without being consistent players, they lay claim to being part of the national teams on grounds like seniority. What active option do they have if they are to leave the national team? None, I guess. The only thing they can resort to is Advertising...

Maybe, having the team structures revamped to a level where other than the national leagues, players who are or have been part of the national squad form a separate league of their own, can help. Let there be two national teams, an A and a B. The A team handles all the tough international teams, while the B gets to play the easier ones (spelt Bangladesh, Kenya, etc.)

What that means is that if a player like Sachin Tendulkar, or Virender Sehwag does not perform consistently, they can be removed from the national team without too much heartburn or creating a public issue. These players can continue to play in the new "league" of players which play the slightly easier international teams (Bangladesh et al) and get sufficient money. This way, if and when they regain form, they can be brought back into the mainstream play. If they don't perform there either, they can be rested (spelt thrown out).

Just a thought...


Blog Archive

About me

A soul possessed forever...