Time for Arvind Kejriwal to make a ‘Round Tuit’. (India Centric)

Arvind Kejriwal established a new political party;  gathered associates;  generated resources;  organised a pool of implementers;  contested state elections;  strategised course of actions;  performed remarkably;  and hit the Headlines.  He seemed to tread along the yellow brick road in a very short time. He has now been invited to form the Government. And with this he finds himself in a new role – the role of a LEADER guiding the destiny of the people of Delhi – a role for which he has no experience;  a role for which he was unprepared initially;  and a role for which he lacks the natural authority.  Is he the square peg in a round hole  OR  a talisman to be regarded with irrational reverence ?  Time shall deliver the verdict. ( Hillary Clinton during the primaries in the Presidential Election of 20o9 said of Obama, ” This man has no experience and would be a disaster.”  But she not only was proved wrong, but shouldered a key responsibility in Obama’s Government.).

Anything and everything may cross the minds of anyone and everyone and Kejriwal needs to have his head firmly on his shoulders – head screwed on the right way too –  and focus on Governance earnestly.  Reports mention that he declined the Government bungalow;  personal security;  red beacon car; and will travel only by metro rail  etc.  etc.  He should be well aware that only  ABUSE and not the USE of these associated privileges will paint anyone with a Kensington stamp.  Further,  the privileges are a mark of respect and dignity to the position enjoyed (nationally,  internationally, or even universally)  and shirking these privileges will alone not make any individual pure and sacrosanct in the eyes of the general public.  On the contrary it raises a debate as to whether such acts are chastely  OR  mere trumpery.  If it is just his wish,  well,  I wouldn’t  like to argue the toss.

Kejriwal and his team has to knuckle down to the tasks on hand from now.  ‘Dies festi’ time is over. Here, I cite a few points from my  experience  in the field of management for consideration :

1.  First find a role model for self. Do not try to reinvent the wheel. Also, find and pool people who will be willing to share useful practices.   2.  Clean your thinking spot thoroughly. Create a list on every Sunday night that will cover the upcoming week’s goals or tasks. This will keep you update on responsibilities and be aware of your mission. Move incomplete tasks of the week to the top of the next week’s list which will guarantee that the task will be finished. If this becomes regular you will need either to reduce your workload or engage more people.  3.  Always think as a LEADER..  Coach your team. Engage people and try to get results through them.  4.  Make decisions issue by issue/case by case without being tendentious or succumbing to pressure.  5.  In government appointments always look for and hire promising talents and invest in training.  Removal of discontent is a strong benefit.  6.  Give strong and meaningful role with specific responsibilities and accountability in all programs for people at different levels at each step.  7. It is very important not to work at breakneck pace. Give people necessary breaks. Make programs practical and challenging. Build trust.  Increase productivity and make the Government  SMART.  8.  Focus strongly on Logistics and Supply Chain in Food & Health Sectors improvements, specially, and empower front line foot soldiers.  9.  Create a Motivation Station for employees ( short films, movies motivate well).  Pool a collection of such movies.  If employees have even an hour to spare before a quick boost this will be the perfect solution.

The ideas are not meant to be exhaustive but have proven value.

This is how Kejriwal  can achieve the distinction of becoming the “Common Man’s CM”  as he himself desires his actions to depict.

Note that Abe Lincoln ( 16th President of U.S.A. )was called by Frederick Douglas  emphatically the “Black Man’s President” for abolishing slavery in the sense of detraction. Nevertheless it stands as a remarkable accomplishment of Lincoln and he is among one of the Five greatest Presidents that U.S.A. had in its history.

Remember people have not voted Kejriwal to power to fail.  To govern is to lead. Everything a leader says or does will be scrutinised and judged with double standards. No act of crime in any manner should shake the resolve of the people. That is the litmus test to pass.

Also Remember Ronald Reagan’s ( 40th President of U.S.A. )  words : ” I am from the Government.  I am here to help.”

“Dieu avec nous”

December  27,  2013     –     6.15 p.m.  (IST)

Tidbit  :   ” If your actions inspire others to dream more;  do more;  learn more;  and become more,  you are a LEADER.”  –  John  Quincy  Adams,  6th President of  U.S.A.

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Ambrosia to Arvind Kejriwal – ex dono the Lt Governor of Delhi (India centric )

Santa Claus, the only person who knows how to solve the world’s problems, has bestowed on  Arvind Kejriwal  the Chief Ministership of the National Capital of India ( a gift on this solemn day when this message is conveyed to him during his meeting with the Lt Governor this morning ),  but can he live up to its reputation is what is revolving in everybody’s mind.  Arvind’s swearing in will be on Saturday, 28, 2013  at 12 noon (IST)  and he has been asked to prove his majority by January 3, 2014.  The first session of the Delhi assembly is likely on January 1,  2014.

GDP (India) is plummeting; fiscal pressures are mounting; Cutbacks in public services are escalating; Wages are going down; and the unemployed are getting hammered in every way, everywhere. This will make fulfillment of his promises extremely challenging and formidable.

Arvind Kejriwal is now in the zone of a  meteoric rise from an impuissant to the puissant.  His election campaign,  bears a likeness to Andrew Jackson ( the 7th U.S. President for two terms from 1829 to 1836 ) in what can be termed the main plank of the campaign – “Popular Democracy” –  ‘establishing the principle that Ordinary People should exercise Political Power.’  The similarity, perhaps, will end there.  Or is it  “Chartism”,  the movement in Great Britain in 1838 called the ‘People’s Charter’ which sought to extend Political Power to the Working Class.  Arvind Kejriwal himself may not be aware of this.  ANNA  HAZARE’s  Core Platform helped Arvind Kejriwal to win the Election ‘a pas de geant’  and  he stretched this further through his recent consultations with the People (read Common Man )  as a means of paying heed to the views of the people for approval ( exhibiting some semblance of Popular Democracy ) to form the Government.  Andrew Jackson and Arvind Kejriwal are ages apart making even comparisons wanting in wisdom and judgement and also contrary to the rules of fair analysis. Andrew Jackson had a proud record before and after. But the Core plank has some resemblance with a different nomenclature even if it sounds exaggeratory.

Congress, which has confirmed its support to the Aam Aadmi Party, morganatically, is a Giant with an excellent Core,  Substance, rich experience, gifted true blues, and a long chequered history in Indian Politics. AAP  has a lot to gain from their experience.  I clearly see the following Triumvirs of the Congress impacting positively the minds of Indians.  First, the senior triumvir constituting  P Chidambaram, Veerappa Moily, and Janardhan Trivedi.  Second, the senior-to-be triumvir constituting  Mani Shankar Aiyar,  Shashi Tharoor, and Jairam Ramesh.  Third, the new triumvir  Jyothiraditya Scindia,  Sachin Pilot, and Jitendra Singh – the young faces of Congress. The first can nimbly execute Policies and actions for National Growth and Security. The second can organize and accomplish promotion, progress and prosperity in Global Relations & Economy. The third can accomplish effectual implementation of suitable programs, procedures and other actions.  Combined wisdom along with other stalwarts ( equally capable as those listed above ) can guide the Nation to great heights.

A triad of principles to be heeded are :  (a)  Robust Growth & Employment;  (b) A Nation at Peace;  and  (c)  Budget Surplus.  Three requirements need to be complied with to bring the principles to fruition.  They are :  (1) An imperative need to shed schadenfreudgesms politically, socially, and spiritually  without getting in to anybody’s trap;  (2)  Shed the negative atmosphere of mutual bickering which does more harm to conditions on the ground, but boosts the enemies to gain a leg up in their machinations;  and  (3)  Encourage and deliver what the Common Indian wants,  be it in the field of Health, Education, Schools, Reforms, Foreign affairs, Women at work & Home, Sustainable energy  and the like.

I am reminded of the U.S.  Presidential debate between  Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter in Cleveland, Ohio, (Oct 28, 1980) when Reagan said,  ”  Ask yourself,  Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago ? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was 4 years ago ?  Is there more or less unemployment in the Country than there was 4 years ago ? Is America respected throughout the world as before ?”  Result  :  Reagan won in 1980.  Another, this time between Ronald  Reagan  and  Walter  Mondale in Louisville, Kentucky, ( Oct 7, 1984 )  when he said  in the debate, ” I won’t make age an issue in this campaign.  I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”  Reagan then was 73 and he won again.

  In the present circumstances “doing the right things” will be the Success Mantra. It may satisfy some, but surely  ASTONISH  many and help garner and bring those sitting on edge to toe our line. Recite this everyday without fail to remain transcendent in Glory.

Success should also be the result of Government actions as much as it is about hard working people, business or entrepreneurs. The party needs angel wings and even a magic wand to return the economy back and, perhaps, it may still not be enough.

     P.S.   I am no Political Expert. Observations are intuitive and commonsense aided.

     ” Dieu avec nous “

      Wednesday,   December 25,  2013    –  9.30 p.m.  (IST)

  Tidbit  :   “I will study, prepare myself, and someday my chance will come.” –  Abe Lincoln

” Man can be as big as he wants. No problem of Human Destiny is beyond Human Beings.” – John F Kennedy.

”  Energy and Ingenuity of its people are a nation’s most important Resource.”  –  David  Rockefeller.

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A Fitting Time for one Concerned to Command – (Govt Formation in Delhi)

     Arvind Kejriwal’s  Aam Aadmi Party’s  (AAP) showing in the recent Assembly Elections in Delhi has put many party leaders wipe, clean and put on their thinking caps.  AAP’s  performance executed by well trained shock troops still reverberates in the political arena. Government formation is now riddled with potential choices that can move about with freedom in every direction. Lt Governor of Delhi, Naseeb Jung, has opened the Ivory Gate which passed good dreams to the AAP  this morning by inviting Arvind Kejriwal to initiate the process of forming the Government.  Kejriwal, nevertheless, seems reluctant though for obvious reasons, and has sought TEN  DAYS’  time for his final decision. Support  (unconditional  !!!)  poured  from  the Congress and the  BJP, the two major political parties – one in coma and the other just regaining consciousness.  Kejriwal played his cards on the table seeking fulfillment of 18 conditions – unlikely to meet with a positive response in the present circumstances.

     If the resulting scenario propels the Lt Governor to take charge with no party in a position to form the Government;  and a fresh election to ensue within a period of 3 to 6 months –  I see the situation presenting an excellent opportunity to the two major National Parties resurrect and recover by tweaking and fine tuning their strategies in the interim.

     First,  the two major parties – Congress and BJP –  should make themselves adept at taking (yes,  stealing  unabashedly) the IDEAS and POLICIES  brought forth by the smaller party (ies) like the ones emerging from Kejriwal  and incorporate them in to their own political ideas and ideologies – in effect DRAINING the support for such small and new parties. This will  have the positive effect of invigorating a limited party system that can move ahead with times.  A parallel from the American system here :

     One must not fail to note that this was what both  the  REPUBLICANS and the  DEMOCRATS in the  U.S.A.  practised to counter the THIRD  PARTIES  ( Reform Party, Libertarian Party, Green Party, Natural Law Party, Taxpayers’ Party  ..  )  whenever they emerged.  Everyone knows what happened to the Third Parties electorally in the U.S.A. 

     Can this be replicated in India,  and  now in Delhi ?  I  see  a good chance if Kejriwal forsakes the opportunity given on a platter by the Lt Governor of Delhi  ( offer to form the Government ).  This also raises three questions :

   1.  Is  AAP    a flower-du-luce  or  a  fremd in the pleasant spot of Indian Political landscape ?   2.  Will Kejriwal’s powerful attitude  and  dynamic  political skills be tested thoroughly ?  and  3.  Will Congress (considering itself the mobile giant APPLE) treading its own path;  and  BJP (considering itself the SAMSUNG) treading a path varying with multiple choices for issues at different times; isolate and eliminate any THIRD Option ( like what happened to NOKIA mobile) ?

     The best way any formation can show respect for competition is to do something meaningfully better.  This is how :  (a)  The focus now should be on empressement and tolerance to varying perspectives and dissenting views genuinely.  (b)  Focus should also be to thrust out those destroying the purity of the party and the system,  and  (c)  Focus should be to rebuild, reorient, redress, and restore the trust and faith of citizenry in an attempt at total reanimation and to take the competition head on.

     This is the mantra for the two parties to rise again.

     ” Dieu avec nous “

     December  14,   2013  –    10.15  p.m.  (IST)

Tidbit  :     ”  A   fortuitous  moment  for  anyone  willing  to  execute  with  spirit. “

    

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” The Three Phases (Faces !) of Education I Endured & Enjoyed “

     India  portrays a  honorable, exalted and worshipful belief in continuous development of education, learning, and training since the Vedhic times when people learned ‘Upanishads’ – Sanskrit theosophic treatises.   To me, the Educational Institutions are “Temples”  and  Knowledge,  the  “Capital”.  While  India’s ancient universities like  Nalanda, Taxila, Pataliputra, and Ujjain stand as evidence to the above christening,  scriptures point specially to some of the South Indian Temples as harbingers of education.

      Hailed as “patrons of scholars” are the  Pallava  Kings who ruled from  KANCHEEPURAM during the 4th to 9th Centuries.  Many  will be surprised to know that THREE temples in the present  Tamilnadu stand aloft as the foremost in breeding and multiplying Knowledge aside from their chief religious duties.

     1.  The temple of  ‘Lord  Narasimha’ in Sholinghar,  about 80 km north of the now Chennai famous for its “Ghatikashala”.   2.   The temple of “Narasimha” at  Ennayiram in South Arcot District of the present Tamilnadu State when Chola Kings ruled during 11-12 Centuries.  3.  The temple of “Vishnu” in Tirumukkoodal near  CHINGLEPUT occupies the third position.    ( That  my  parents first had ‘Darshsn’ of  Lord Vishnu before proceeding to educate their siblings in CHINGLEPUT for a little  more  than a decade is memory that I still cherish the most ).

     I am delighted to cite the felicitous present  I  earned in terms of the ‘triadic’ practices in learning.

     First phase of Education :   Temples of Education,  in those  times,  imparted knowledge of Vyakarma (Grammar);   Vedanta (Sanskrit theosophic and philosophical treatises);  Anger  Control;  Philanthropic practices; Construction of canals and ponds; 9 types of bhakthi /service  to  Lord/Leader  and the like.  In the vernacular language (Tamil) we term temple as  “A-layam”  :  where  “A”  signifies and represents  ‘every individual’  and  “layam” connotes  the  magnetic direction lent to reach the brain and be well-informed and skilled  (which everyone would crave to become).  This mode of education makes every individual “stand upright morally”.  To me ,  those individuals are the true  ‘gens de bien’.   [ I was fortunate to experience a different mode of such learning – rudimentary though –  in special after study hours in my school ].

     Second  phase of Education  :  This stage constitutes distinct disciplines like  History,  Geography, Maths,  Science,  Social studies, Engineering,  Medicine and the like dealing with the common and prevalent  principles and practices.  These are widespread and universal in nature.  The next higher rung in the ladder  is where  a person  succeeds in finding something novel of value, interest and application facilitating the direction of knowledge in a narrow field – that which is assessed for PhD.  I  am delighted, here, to refer to the general disciplines as  99%  and the novel finding as 1%.  This  makes  one  skilled to  perceive, discern,  & ascertain by attention  well;  grasp and comprehend with ease; and put to practice effectively.    [ God blessed  me  here  too. ]

     3.  Third  phase of Education :  This stage depicts the scenario witnessed today with modern infrastructure,  technological advancement, and tools of future – calling for individuals to be adept at improving attitude;  individualised learning;  learning for students with special needs;  learning for students at risk;  future technology enabled environment  and  the  like.   In effect  it  elevates  the  individuals’  ‘amour  propre’  and  makes them  highly  creative and spontaneous.  Yes, technology has catalysed the process  of  Education  bringing  about  a  Paradigm  Change  in  Pedagogy.  In  the  process  some  practices  get  obsolete  and ‘vieux jeu’.  Some new ones spring up.  It enables a person to look ahead of his/her times  and  “foresee,  forefeel, foreknow, forethink,  forejudge,  forechoose,  and  be  at  the  forefront  ultimately.   [  I  am  enjoying  this  phase  now. ]

     I vividly  remember  what  Thomas Edison  proclaimed  in  1910  that  Film  will transform  Education  making  Books  obsolete.  Today  we  witness   INTERNET  &  MOBILE  changing  the face of  Education  with  new  Tech.  I also recall, here,  one of the earliest attempts to test the use of TV  for education  proposed  by  Ford  Foundation in the 1950s  ( $170 m  funding)  to  the  new  millennium  initiative(s)  in  Computer  and  networking  infrastructure – yes, you guessed it  right –  at  the School  level  itself.

     This,  to  me,   is progress,  prosperity  and  source  of  REAL  ILLUMINATION.

     ”  Dieu  avec  nous “

     Wednesday,  December   11,  2013   –   11.15  p.m.   ( IST )

     Tidbit   :    ” College  is  like  a  Fountain  of  Knowledge;   and  Students  are  there  to  Drink.”

    

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“Leader & Follower a.k.a. Lord & Disciple”

As  human  beings  we  all  hold  our  inner  desire  and  pray  earnestly  to  see,  to speak & listen to,  and  to  learn  from  our  LEADERS  ( giantry / great powers in new fieldes of enterprise )  adoring their accomplishments.  This  prompts  many  to  keep  along  their  line  and  even  practice  what  they  attempted  in  an  emulative  spirit.  Such  individuals,  as  true  followers/disciples  ‘compos mentis’   ( akin to  what  our  Hindu  Dharma  professes  the  ‘Bhaktha’  of  the Lord )   striving  to  see,  understand and receive  the  blessings/divine  communications  of  the  Lord.   Bhaktha  now  displays  his  dedicated  and  faithful service  to  the  Lord  just  as individuals  display  their  idolatry  and  iconolatry of  LEADERS  with  uncritical  admiration.  It  is  the  culmination  of  the judicious  mix  of  ‘Knowledge  and   Affection’  ( ‘Arivu  and  Anbu  in  Tamil )  when  the  individual experiences  his  true  Devotion.  That  is  when  he  can  be  called  as  being  closer  to  the  LORD ( in the case of disciples ) or  the  LEADER ( in the case of  followers ). That  is   when  the  disciple/follower  takes  ‘liberties’  to  practice  the  art  of  devotion/admiration.  That  is  also  when  the  Lord  accepts  the  disciple  as  ‘Bhaktha’  –  the  Leader  accepts  his  follower  as  his  ‘Soldier’.

To  present  the  right  perspective of the above with an example here is a small piece  –  the story of Sage  Purandarkar –  from  “Krishnamudam”  in  Mahabharath,  the  Epic.  Eager  to  see  Lord  Vishnu  and  Aadiseshan  who, at  that  moment  were  resting  in  the  depths  of  the  sea,  sage  Purandarkar  tries  to  empty  the  sea  splashing  the  water  out  while  praying  sincerely.    He  didn’t  think  of  what  he  attempted  as  a  hopelessly  unsuitable  task.  His  burning  desire  to  see the  Lord  overwhelmed  the  labor  and  pains  he  faced.  It  is  not  unmanageable,  he  felt.  He  continued  to  persevere.  Quite  a  while  later,  moved  by  His  Bhaktha’s  honest  desire  Lord  Vishnu  came  out  of  the  sea  and  on  to  the  ground  and  conferred  His  Blessings.  That  is  when  the  bhaktha  reached  closer  to  the  Lord.

A  highly  gifted,  pre  eminent  and  outstanding  LEADER  will  in  a similar  fashion  put  his  follower  to  a  vigorous  and  robust  test;  while  the  true  follower  subjects  himself  to  any  of  such  forceful  tasks  that  the  ‘Leader’  envisions  for  the  REAL  progress and  promotion  of  the  society in  an  inspirative  spirit  to  get  closer  to  his  Leader.

Just  as  a  disciple  recites  the  names  of  the  Lord;  just  as  a  disciple  listens  to  the  supernatural  powers  and  acts  of  the  Lord;  just  as  a  disciple   extends  his/her  solemn  services  untiringly  to  the  Lord  –  a  ‘follower’  needs  to  have  a  complete  and  true  understanding  of  the  leader’s  actions/accomplishments  and  extend  his/her  faithful,  honest,  true  and  rightful  service  to  the  society.  One  should  tread  the  path  of  devotion,  service  and  salvation  devoid  of  ‘ignis  fatuus’.  This  is  the  ultimate  in  the relationship  between  Lord  and  Disciple   –   Leader  and  Follower.

( Raja  Srinivasan )

   ” Dieu  avec  nous “

Monday,  december  9,  2013   –    10.45 p.m.

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