Thursday, 30 April 2009

One day when you are truly alone

Today is day off in Ahmedabad for voting of the third of the four phases of Lok Sabha elections. The air is positive here, but not one candidate or party is fully convincing. Not one talks truly for understanding the culture, development needs or economics of the country, but the righteous media blare for everyone to go out and vote – either for change or for preserving values. They instigate to go and vote for political parties who are clearly speaking their own undertones. For a voter left alone in this democracy for a while, he doesn’t has a choice, except, ‘to vote’ or ‘not to vote’.
In my view, to vote means one hopes at least for either of the following –
  • To get some monkeys to represent and run the society
  • The new elected may be better than the last
  • To reduce the vote margin of a contestant one thinks truly sucks

Not to vote means the individual either –

  • Doesn’t cares, or
  • Doesn’t know who to vote for, or
  • Protests on the quality of contesting candidates and parties

If any of the bullets I listed above imply to you, so as to not to be alone I suggest you better communicate your stand clear when you either vote or you don’t vote. Its your choice, its your democracy. There is no silver bullet (pun).

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Through Sartre’s Nausea

One of the book I had found tough to read in grey surrounds of England is Sartre’s “Nausea”, which I finally completed in Ahmedabad recently; perhaps because it was still brighter in my close confined room here than the gardens of Surrey. The rounded rectangular orange-whitish ticket for London underground used as bookmark indicated the date as 25th Oct 07, and so I realise it had been some time since I started with this book. Through this book, many times I felt Nausea too, but in my head. The humanist constantly battered by the realist is an interesting thing to look here.

Sartre's maiden published work, looked very personal to me and led me closer to understand why he must have declined accepting 1964 Nobel prize in literature, with the argument that he has every moral reason to do so.

Make sure you have enough brightness around before you pick up this book.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Kaddu v/s Tomatoes

A two kilo kaddu costs fifty paisa in an Eastern Bihari village where it grows. Fifty kilometres off, not so much a well off place but a district town centre, the same thing costs 10 rupee. In the same town, tomatoes cost ten rupees a kilo and most people cannot easily afford either. Overnight distance across in Uttaranchal where the same tomatoes come from, the farmer will give you the tomatoes for free because they are going to rot anyways. So, people in both places eat most of what they grow, they keep their habits intact, and therefore build a cultural culture. However, inside them also builds up desires for mobile phones, cars, electricity and so on. In London, the very next day the same tomatoes and kaddus sell for 100 -200 rupees, but, from somewhere else. And, while all this happens, people queue up in government offices (note: 50 kms from the same villages) and wait for the relief of meagre 2000 rupees for the floods that happened last year.

So what the main cause of this problem ? Lack of access and infrastructure clearly one reason. But then whose job is it to build the simplest thing - the road?

People (waiting at the government office): Whose? The government’s! It’s their Road and building department (RnB) who is supposed to make roads.

Sir, you are an executive engineer from the RnB – why are the rural roads in such bad condition?

Answer: Hmm, but the rural roads specifically are taken care by another department called ‘rural roads depeartment’.

But sir, what about the conditions of your roads?

Answer: No! they are fine. We get instructions and we build them. I know from Patna, we are low on budgets.

Me thinking – If the peoples get better roads, although it will be much easier to visit back, the migration will become easier. They can come back home more frequently. Usually from Punjab, where they can work as farm labourers growing wheat and Makka we Indians are proud of.