” Regaining Mahatma Gandhi’s Good Manners ” – January 30, 2021.

          Youth of this nation have as much their responsibilities as their privileges in today’s world where they are held as our “future”.  It is not a coincidence that youth also talk much about future. I see one of their greatest responsibilities as striving to work ( I mean dedicate some portion of time )  towards changing social evils. How will it be if only they waged a war against consumption of alcohol ?

          It was Mahatma ( great soul )  Gandhi who wrote :  ” In no part of the world is prohibition so easy to carry out as in India, for with us it is only a minority that drinks. Drinking is generally considered disrespectable. And there are millions who never know what drink is. ”  This was in 1937. Today is very, very different.

          Prohibition in India was lifted soon after independence. More money generated. Government became richer because liquor shops were primarily government authorized. People took to drinking in droves. There was even a call from a section of the public that those  who drink  should  be  given  proper facilities !  This was not Gandhi’s vision.

          Gandhi envisioned equal treatment to all. He preferred a state of pauperism than a state of drunkards in thousands. Drinks for him was disease. Do we provide special facilities for thieves ?  No. Drinking is worse than thieving, he said.

          What in a small way youth of this day can do is to raise the awakening amongst the people to the ill effects of alcohol consumption.  Many may have friends addicted to the habit of drinking. It is this corner of their universe that they should first try to change.

          Words of the youth carry tons in weight today. How will it be if they can persuade arrack traders not to earn their living by selling drinks in just one locality and make that a model to be emulated ?  How will it be if there is total prohibition but some contribution by each earning individual ( yes, a true sacrifice for a higher cause )  that can compensate for a large part of the loss of revenue due to implementation of prohibition ?  Many a little makes a mickle.

          Common, simple, and fundamental idea but practical, effective and non controversial.

          This is what Mahatma Gandhi stood for and hoped our citizens would pursue.

      

 

     ” Dieu avec nous “

     Wednesday, January  30, 2021 –  11.59 a.m.  (IST)

     Tidbit :. ”  A mixture of alcoholism, atheism, and materialism have been the cause of the decline and decay of nineteen out of twenty-one civilizations ”  –  Arnold  Toynbee.

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” Welcome to Priyanka Shakti ” – January 27, 2019.

Priyanka Gandhi, Congress General Secretary for U.P. East.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

          Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into Politics ( her appointment as Congress General Secretary for U.P. East on Wednesday, January 25) has been met with a host of pleasantly entertaining reactions as the following :  ” chocolaty face “,  ” beauty doesn’t get votes “,  ” Rahul cannot do Politics alone, so he asked sister Priyanka to help him “,  ” has no quality other than being beautiful “,  ” Dynasty politics “,  ..  ..   TV channels portrayed her entry as : ” Congress Party’s Brahmastra “.

          Congress party hopes that her resemblance to Indira Gandhi will help them even while boosting the energy of Congress soldiers ahead of LS elections. Opponents criticize her for lack of political experience.

          Here’s my take :  The longer one lives every human being’s mind rests attention on ‘beauty’  in any form in the world. There is no denying that beauty leads to admiration,  admiration leads to following,  and following in turn leads to acceptance. This cycle has not been broken from the time humans evolved till this day. It is only in terms of the period that permits the admiration to last that varies.

          Let me add the following :

          (1)   “Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. A magnificent desolation.” –  Edwin Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the moon.  He didn’t say anything about moon’s resources, water, air, life, finance, but first used the word ‘beautiful’  to describe his experience. The word ‘beautiful’ here is marked for getting struck dumb with astonishment. Priyanka’s entry into Politics may well be astonishing, amazing, and astounding.

          (2)   Take the case of a child telling mom :  ” You’re  ‘beautiful’  mom,  even when you yawn”,  we will praise the child as observant, isn’t it ?  That will be highly encouraging to the  child also.  Priyanka could well receive similar praise from her followers many more times in life. She would, however, be rather not ruined by these praises and be saved by all criticisms during her work is what most congressmen would love to see.

          (3)   After watching an excellent music performance live or on TV one usually commends, ” she’s a  ‘beautiful’  singer ”  and not  “she’s singing  ‘beautifully’ “.  Nobody points to the difference between the beautiful singer and singing beautifully. Most singers are beautiful anyway. But it is the first impression and reaction. The singer has made an impact already. This perhaps is what the words of Priyanka’s critics also imply.

          (4)   According to the celebrated bard, William Shakespeare, –  ‘ Tis beauty that doth oft make women most proud ;  ‘ tis virtue that doth make them most admired ;  ‘ tis modesty that makes them seem divine.   Priyanka, as many (her critics including)  will be too willing to attest to,  does exhibit all the three qualities above –  beauty, virtue, and modesty.  Perfect combination of basics to start any career,  not just in Politics.

          (5)   In business, while talking of character and skill as the required qualities,  I often advocate  “character”  first. Skill can be taught, acquired, and developed;  but character is something that one should possess himself/herself  from the beginning.  In the same vein, it will not be wrong to say that ‘beauty’  which easily helps make the first impression on people needs to be possessed  in any profession, not just politics, and any other qualities (even essential ones) can be developed as one continues the journey of progression.

 

          The year 2019 is in its great beauty now, in particular, with the grand celebrations of our 70th Republic Day when for the first time a lady officer, Lt Bhavana Kasturi, led a contingent of the Indian Army Service Corps , and Capt Bhavna Syal, a third generation officer in the Armed Forces led the transportable satellite terminal’s contingent. This is just the opportune moment for Priyanka’s entry into Politics as a charismatic lady. Charisma in Politics is an essential ingredient and at this juncture Priyanka adds that substantively to her party.

          Congress has several challenges to come clear. Time is a great healer;  but it can’t be a beauty specialist.  We’ll have to wait to see whether  Priyanka’s beauty heals and savours her party.

 

     ” Dieu avec nous”

     Sunday, January 27, 2019 –  12.19 p.m. (IST)

     Tidbit  :  ” Nari  Shakti  is  Oxford Dictionary’s  Hindi word for the year 2018 “

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” What I learnt as Dean ? ” – January 18, 2019.

 

Lighting your life.

 

 

 

 

 

               Dean :  Arising from the position of a dignitary in Cathedral and Collegiate churches who presided over the canons, it represents in an academic setting (educational institutions) to the Chief of Faculty in a College or the Faculty of  Advocates (as in Scotland).

               In today’s world, a simple definition of a Dean in an educational institution can be best described in terms of a person who gives expression to the activities of the institute as a whole ( policy, plans, programs, curriculum, evaluation, career, skills, discipline … )

               Today’s knowledge explosion and the concurrent explosion of the branches of learning/fields/instructions/training in Education have expanded and placed a humongous amount of stress on the tasks of monitoring, inspection, and control that a single Dean managing the whole gamut of activities in  yesterdecades have given way to more deans shaping specific duties in institutions ( Dean of Academics & Programs;  Dean of Research ;  Dean of Consultancy;  Dean of Executive Programs;  Dean of Student Activities;  Dean of Placement & Careers. …) each with assigned responsibilities/accountability with necessary support/infrastructure.

               In this brief prolusion, and with the very brief background of having been a Dean during the beginning of this millennium, I just touch upon what the letters  D E A N should mean in an educational setting here :

               1.   ‘D’  :   “Dedication”  stands for ‘giving one’s whole interest and work to a particular course of belief.’  He/She should hold single minded devotion to tasks on hand. Who is a dedicated faculty ?  I believe that a dedicated faculty is someone who encourages and inspires the students not just by teaching, but by what he/she does to the community within and outside. Making helpful suggestions at work ;  Sourcing relevant resources in terms of articles and other support to make work easier ;  inculcating the habits of perseverance, goalsetting, drawing up action plans;  a clear focus on work;  and  influencing the students by infusing ethics, passion, and care for work – are some that the faculty should excel in.

               2.  ‘E’  :   “Excellence”  refers to performing all tasks and activities eminently worthy of high quality, merit, virtues,  to be called outstanding. There are too many ways to show excellence in instructions and  I would like to cite three here :  (a) Promise to Deliver : Believe in making the promise to the goal relevant and implementable. Such as in sales and marketing, one should be able to deliver what is promised to the students, clients …  in the academic setting.  (b) Share Credit : Seek to adopt the Indian Cricketer, Virat Kohli’s or the NFL, USA’s doctrine which is : ‘For any successful completion of the program, give credit to the entire team, and for failure do not ever shift blame or make excuses’. By this you show humility and gain acceptance fast. (c) Adapt Swiftly :  Make yourself swiftly adapted to the changing paradigms of institutional instructions and help your clients and stakeholders to do the same.

               3.  ‘A’  :   “Avantgarde” refers to an excellent individual creating, supporting, and implementing new ideas and techniques in the chosen field. He/She should be in a position to lead the way and anticipate the programs in existence and provide progress/value to those in future. He/She finds it the foremost part of the pack with powers of foresight, forethought, and foreknowledge with innate ability to take time by the forelock. By this one makes any and everyone of the new programs a norm in educational institutions,  and also mark them as the institute’s   “brand”  and your own  “brand accomplishment”.

               4.  ‘N’  :   “Normalizer”  refers to the person engaging in normalising the new activities and relationships initiated and forged with peers/competitors and other institutions locally, regionally, and nationally. What is attempted here is to make one’s programs and activities to become normal and widely accepted without disagreement. As in ‘3’ above you also make your programs a norm in all institutions while creating excellent brand value.

               Practising what the letters  D E A N  mean as above will, I believe, make one an accomplished Dean.

 

     ” Deau avec nous “

     Friday,  January 18, 2019  –  2.29 p.m. (IST)

     Tidbit  :  “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other ”  –  John F Kennedy.

Lighting your life.

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” No Better Gift than New Year 2019 ” – January 1, 2019 .

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                         New Year Holiday has always been embellished with a matchless significance of global nature. A significance that is beyond the ken for many in this world.

                Two aspects stand out to make this great significance :

                1.  New Year Holiday is a Global Holiday unlike any other holiday.

                2.  New Year Holiday does not have its origin from any religious, ethnic, racial, national, or astronomical event or reason unlike any other holiday.

                The passage of time is continuous through the day, through the week, through the month, through the year, through the century, through the millennium with no divisions earmarked. Nor is the New Year marked by any lightening, thunder, bugles, or even disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes  …  … .  It is just we, the human beings marked the New Year according to our convenience.

                 Ancient Egyptians celebrated September 21 as New Year Day ;  Ancient Greeks celebrated December 21 as New Year Day ;  Christians in mediaeval days celebrated March 25 as New Year Day ;  Gregorian calendar, introduced in 1582, put January 1 as New Year Day. It was immediately accepted by Germany and Denmark ;  and later by Sweden in 1700.  England accepted it in 1752 and that tradition continues till this day.

                As is evident from the above everyone used his/her way tampering with the calendar. So also were the beliefs held and came to be associated with the New Year Day.

                Spanish individuals eat 12 grapes at the stroke of 12 in the strong belief that the year will be providential and profitable. Swiss believe that dropping drops of ice cream on the floor on New Year Day will be lucky and fruitful. For the French, eating pancakes on the New Year Day will shower fortune. In Puerto Rico, children throw buckets of water out the window in the belief that it drives away evil spirits. For Dutch, it is the doughnuts that bring luck.

                Practices are different but the central belief is that the first thing that one does as above on the New Year Day will prove to be good for the entire year. The central theme also holds it as the most auspicious time to begin the New Year.

                So what are we expected to do in 2019 ? This is what I will say finally :  

                ” Strongly hold and practice your values and hopes as you chalk out ;  Combining judiciously your past experiences and future aspirations ;  and  Create a path that can guide you through good and not so good times  –  for your benefit and for the benefit of mankind. “

                This will be truly fulfilling, and make New Year a gift to mankind.

 

P.S.   “Sad,  I often fail in practising what I preach/say. Don’t blame me, this is not for me.”

 

     ” Dieu avec nous “

     Tuesday,  December  31,  2018  –   6. 30  p.m. (IST).

     Tidbit :  ” Forget the past, plan for the future”.

 

 

 

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