Archive for: March 2013

The Megalomaniac

The other day there was a headline on TV. A brave attempt of speaking up through a Facebook post culminated into a couple of females being beaten up, a clinic turned into a junkyard and a politician watching the entertainment over a cup of tea. Well perhaps that post had struck a deep chord with the violent instincts of our so-called secular Netas, but it just shows that ‘freedom’ and ‘India’ are not synonymous. Young ministers are elected to cabinet but the neck of the youth itself is throttled.

A middle class man comes home from work and watches these headlines as his wife serves him food. “Yeah well, at least its not me” he thinks with a smirk. That’s the root cause of all this turmoil. We just ACCEPT everything blandly. We never question anything. From childhood we’re taught to live with what we see. Few who have the guts to rise up are beaten back into the crowd. Well, to see how they do it, let’s take a ride through the day of a typical Indian Neta.
For the sake of humor of a 16 year old, let’s call our Neta ‘The Megalomaniac’.
So, The Megalomaniac’s day begins with a cup of tea in the garden of his ‘never-had-before-the-elections’ bungalow. As he takes a sip, a group of his ardent followers read out the day’s headlines to him. A couple of them throw a few abuses at the opposition. One of them tells him about his colleague being arrested and being let off on bail and The Megalomaniac grins. After the morning’s bite of entertainment, he gets into his ‘never-had-before-the-elections’ luxury car.
The party headquarters is as usual adorned with five year old posters and banners still wishing leaders “Happy Birthday”.

As there is a constant ‘K’ across the field of mathematics, there is also a ‘K’ across all government institutions: The portrait of a smiling Gandhi. This man is forever calm and smiling, seemingly unaware of the dealings going on in the room before him. The serenity on his face seems as if nothing at all has happened, as if there have been no scams and wrongdoings in the country.
The Megalomaniac walks in with a swagger which is symbolic of him being one of the few who had been given the ticket. Jealous looks follow his back as he walks down the corridor and his human brigade along with him. Entering the party president’s office with a smile, he sits down on the half a century old furniture and therein begins a long discussion about future activities.
Shouts and screams fill the council hall as the congregation debates on a bill for the scheduled and backward classes. The Megalomaniac along with other members of his kind is loudly expressing his party’s stand on the bill. Completely unprecedented of a public leader, few of the members in the house stage a walkout and the house is adjourned in chaos.

After a brief snack with his followers, The Megalomaniac proceeds to his constituency in style. As his car nears his office, a few people, touted as ‘The Common Man’ come running over expressing their grievances and needs. Smiling kindly at them and bringing his hands together to display assurance, he steps into his air conditioned cabin.

The evening passes by and he returns home as his son leaves the house on his sports bike. Over dinner, his wife appears out of nowhere and tells him about the day’s shopping trips. Treating her like a part of the wall, he watches talk show host Arnab Goswami scare the living daylight out prominent members of society with his questions and curses the time he has to appear on the show.
His pillow bears the heavy weight of a great mind at work as he goes to bed.
May god bless The Megalomaniac for his services to society, and may India be a country where facts are accepted more than promises.


The author is the Executive Editor, Intellectual Post

Ziauddin Sherkar
An article by:
Ziauddin Sherkar

“I’m 83 and Tired”—By Bill Cosby

“I’m 83 and Tired” Worth reading…..

This should be required reading for every man, woman and child in all the world…

“I’m 83 and I’m Tired”

I’m 83. Except for brief period in the 50′s when I was doing my National
Service, I’ve worked hard
 since I was 17. Except for some serious
health challenges, I put in 50-hour weeks, and didn’t call in sick in nearly
40 years. I made a reasonable salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my
income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, it looks as
though retirement was a bad idea, and
I’m tired. Very tired.

I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth” to people who
don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take
the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy
to earn it.

I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day I
can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and
daughters for their family “honor”; of Muslims rioting over some slight
offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren’t
“believers”; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning
teenage rape victims to death for “adultery”; of Muslims mutilating the
genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and
Shari’a law tells them to.

I’m tired of being told that out of “tolerance for other cultures” we must let
Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries use our oil money to fund mosques
and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in Australia , New Zealand ,
UK , America and Canada , while no one from these countries are allowed to
fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia or any other
Arab country to teach love and tolerance..

I’m tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global
warming, which no one is allowed to debate.

I’m tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help
support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ
rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses
or stick a needle in their arm while they tried to fight it off?

I’m tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of all
parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful
mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting
caught. I’m tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

I’m really tired of people who don’t take responsibility for their lives and
actions. I’m tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination
or big-whatever for their problems.

I’m also tired and fed up with seeing young men and women in their teens and
early 20′s be-deck them selves in tattoos and face studs, thereby making
themselves un-employable and claiming money from the Government.

Yes, I’m damn tired. But I’m also glad to be 83.. Because, mostly, I’m not
going to have to see the world these people are making. I’m just sorry for
my granddaughter and their children. Thank God I’m on the way out and not
on the way in.

This is your chance to make a difference.

An article by:
Bill Cosby

Collective Social Responsibility – An Art Of Giving

Dear readers we are living in a world where there is extensive amount of coverage been given to events related to crime in both the print & electronic media. Everyday we hear of murders, raps, thefts, cases of sexual harassment, etc. And I often wonder where are we heading to? Is this the planet on which our next generation will cherish life. Where do we all draw inspirations from when we all know that the most powerful medium of information which is the media is most of the times full of negative reports? In this open letter my endeavor would be to highlight a few personal experiences which have inspired me to give back to the society a proportion of what I have taken from it.

My effort here is to site examples of humble human beings who have made a big difference to the society with their enormous contributions in terms of setting up social organizations, giving financial and material aid to NGO’s and contributing in terms of their time and labor.

Let me begin by taking an incite into the life of Col. NS Nyayapathi , a retired army officer who started the Care India medical society on 10th of February 1992. This voluntary organization works for prevention & early detection of cancer and also focuses on providing pain relief and terminal care to the victims of cancer who are in the last stages of the disease. What motivated this man to prematurely retire from the cozy comforts of the army life to a difficult and an absolutely new territory of starting & running an NGO was the death of his mother in the year 1989 due to the same illness. Ever since the year 1992 Col. Nyayapathi has been seaizelessly working to promote this cause. From a small five hundred square feet rented office & a staff of three Care India has grown to two centers and a staff of around 15 members in the last 12 years. In the history of Care India’s 12 years existence Col. Nyayapathi’s tireless efforts have been able to provide pain relief and palliative care to 1349 patient’s at his project Satseva since its inception on 1st Dec 1994. Care India has benefited 74246 individuals through its cancer education programs and has conducted 126 early detection camps there by benefiting 8499 people. On an average 40 women patients are being daily provided with free prenatal & antenatal care with medicines at project matruseva (A Care India initiative).

The second individual who is the source of strength and inspiration to me is a modest women with an absolute low profile but a high capacity to give. She is Mrs.Jhumkoobai Surajmal Shanghvi. With love & gratitude we all call her Matajee and so do the patient’s of satseva & matruseva. It was only because of her generous donation of a prime property at Bhavani Peth, Pune that the Care India Medical Society has been able to set up these two centers. The motivation for her donation was similar to that of Col. Nyayapathi, her personal tragedy, the death of her husband due to cancer.

25th April 1999 was the day on which I meet Mr. Ramesh Gulani who I call guru for the admiration I have of his mission to provide quality education to the rural blind girls. To me Mr.Gulani sightless, by birth is a great visionary. Having worked for 27 years as a flutiest on the All India Radio Pune, Gulani has the distinction of setting up the Jagriti school for blind girls located at Alandi Pune, the only school in Maharashtra which focuses on educating the rural blind girls with flexibility of the minimum age for admissions. He started this school under the banner of the National Federation of the blind Maharashtra (NFBM) in the year 1989 in a small village called Sonapur near Pansheth. His effort began with 12 students and a small two room apartment in a village which was almost cut off from the urban main stream. In the year 1990, this school was shifted to Alandi and today has grown into an institution which provides free lodging, boarding & educational facilities to a 118 blind girl children. It is the only school in Maharashtra which is making a small beginning in trying to provide computer literacy to the students of standard 5th to 10th with the help of a state of the art Computer lab donated by the Rotary Club of Pune Airport.

Academically speaking The NFBM Jagriti school for blind girls has a track record of producing 2 to 3 distinction holders from the year 2000 in the standard 10th S.S.C examinations. Ever since its inception the school has managed a 100 per cent success rate in the S.S.C. board examinations. A feet all of us can be proud of. All these achievements have been possible due to the single minded dedication of the Musician with a Mission Ramesh Gulani & his vision to transform the visually challenged into self dependent & dignified human beings.

The people we have spoken about so far have had an affinity to the causes they promote due to their personal experiences. What inspires me even more is the contribution of today’s youngsters. 29th Nov. 2003 was one of the most joys days of my life as that was the day on which 15 young voluntaries from a well known I.T. firm, EDS PLM solutions visited the Jagriti school for Blind girls Alandi and celebrated the volunteers day. It was a day of excitement & enjoyment for the hundred beneficiaries of the Jagriti school where they could exhibit their talents of singing, dancing, acting, quizzing & mimicry to 15 of their friends who came to spend their time with the girls. I will never forget the joy of those children who felt that they also belong to people who were ready to pore their love & affection on to them. Such deeds leave a positive mark on my memory & re affirm my conviction that its only by caring & sharing that we can change our living Universe.

One fine example of citizen social responsibility that is the capacity of individuals to make a mighty contribution with the ultimate aim of improving the quality of life of the deserving is personified by the Pune based low profile social performer Mrs. Chaya Landge. A science graduate & an MBA, Mrs. Landge is a house wife with a difference. She has invested the last 15 years of her life to the cause of helping visually challenged students. She is probably Pune’s most popular reader in the visually challenged community. She has also devoted herself to the goal of improving the carrier prospects for the students who benefit from her cause oriented commitment. Madam Landge has change the course of life of about 75 students in her 15 years of heart headed devotion.

When we think of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) the names of companies such as Laser Soft a Chennai based software development company, Associated capsules, NTPC & BPCL come to mind. All these companies have made a conscious effort to employee differently able persons. Finally I wish to begin the summation with the following illustration: The sales manger of U.S. based National Cash Register Company (NCR) opened one of his talks to his men in this fashion. Only three sentences in this introduction: and they are all easy to listen to, they all have vigor and drive:

You men who get the orders are the chaps who are supposed to keep the smoke coming out of the factory chimney. The volume of smoke emitted from our chimney during the past two summer months hasn’t been large enough to darken the landscape to any great extent. Now that the dog days are over and the business revival season has began, we are addressing to you a short, sharp request on this subject: We want more smoke.

I firmly believe that we too need more smoke and fire, passion & desire, hope & the capacity to dream mighty big & higher. In our collective quest to improve the quality of life on planet earth we must try to answer the question what I can do to bring about change? How can I make a difference ? and what is it that I need to do in my individual capacity to make things better?

Organizations also must respond to their responsibilities by formulating philanthropy policies and implementable action plans. Corporate can serve society better by assigning an executive to discharge social responsibility. How about creating a brand new designation that of the Chief responsibility officer (CRO)? I am confident of the fact that if 1.25 billion Indians decide to make a difference through positive contribution our country will emerge as a socially enlightened & enriched super power. So let us all join forces to start a movement with a goal of realizing development through caring & sharing. In all modesty may I suggest that we call this movement the Art of Giving.

Sakina Bedi,

The author is project director NFBM Jagriti school for blind girls Alandi Pune & cofounder Intellectual Asset Management.

An article by:
Sakina Bedi