JNU---Mockery of Education System

JNU, which was once famous for the role it played in providing the nation, the alumni,  who have occupied  important political and bureaucratic positions, has become a center of discussion in every news media and that too for all the wrong reasons. Be it the agitation by Kanhaiya Kumar, former President of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union, or the missing case of Najeeb Ahmed , JNU is losing its reputation of being an institute, which every student aspire to become a part of and expand the academic horizon.

JNU is known for  independent thinking and freedom of expressions it provides to the academicians and students. But when this freedom starts becoming a nuisance for the safety and  integrity of a country at the cost of tax payers hard earned money and the cost of the lives of our soldiers , then it becomes imperative to think about who is causing more damage to our country. Is that always the infiltration of terrorists which we would point out as threat to our nation or such incidences in our own country inside the very premier institute?

Recently the registrar of Jai Narain Vyas University in Jodhpur filed a police complaint against professor Nivedita  Menon, a professor at the School of International Studies at JNU,  over her alleged remarks about Kashmir and the Indian Army during a speech on campus . Menon was  invited by the JNVU’s English department to deliver a lecture on the topic, ‘History reinterpreted: nation, individual and culture’. Although she has brushed aside the allegation saying her views were not  anti-national but anti-RSS and Hindutva. Her remarks left me thinking as to why  she thought her view as anti-RSS . 

Is that RSS doing something which is against or disturbing the harmony of our country? Next time when you hear some more liberal thoughts and slogans on how badly  the majority community of this country behaving and how shameful one should feel about their deity as how a goddess turned into a sex worker who tricked Mahishasura into marriage and killed him, you can realize as from where you can expect such noble thoughts!!

Do we require only majority community of india to be more tolerant?? Can not we expect some mindful thoughts from our educationsits to help in shaping a better future for  india , instead of poisioning their young minds and keeping politics out from the educational system??

                              ---Deepa bisht

Will you Ever Eat Gol-gappe ??

There was this news item on April 14 on TV that a pani-puri wala was adding his 'water' from his tumbler (lota) to gol-gappa pani (maybe shortage of mineral water !....nearest substitute!!) This is the ultimate example of throwing even the basic sense of hygiene out of the window. The  man was caught by a spy camera and MNS activists in Bombay and Thane vandalised the properties of the poor migrants from UP and Bihar. But this was a stray case caught on camera and TV channels flashed it . The harsh truth is: We've no sense of hygiene and cleanliness. Readers may recollect that there used to be a government ad on Doordarshan until a few years back: Kya aapne shauch ke pashchat  haath dhoye? (Have you washed your hands after visiting the toilet / restroom ?). That government has to educate people on the fundamentals of cleanliness is a sad commentary on the overall state of hygiene among the Indians. There're certain things that cannot be taught or inculcated.

An individual has to learn those basics as he grows up. Peep into the kitchen of any hotel or restaurant anywhere in India and your reaction will be, yuck!! Even star hotels in India don't maintain the highest standards of hygiene and the bottled water is often stale. I've seen cockroach in the food served by a private airlines and a year back, Rajdhani Express (Delhi-Calcutta) served maggot-infested food to its passengers. It was the general perception of international fliers that the meals served on Air India flights were often below-par and at times, even putrid (cooked in rancid oil) !!

 The instances of finding strands of hair in food are so common that people no longer make an issue of it. They nonchalantly take out the hair and eat. Why do we never care for cleanliness? Go to any European country and eat at any random eatery, rest assured, you'll get scrupulously clean food. I remember, I ate at a small outlet on the outskirts of Budapest (Hungary) pretty late at night. But the food that was served was not just fresh but clean on all counts. Even in Iran, Iraq and West Asian countries, I witnessed cleanliness religiously followed by all and sundry. When British travel writer Trevor Fishlock visited India a couple of years back, he was appalled to see children defecate and near those defecating children hawkers were selling eatables! And people were eating. "Nowhere have I seen the juxtaposition of this sort, what I saw in Indian cities!" he wrote in his diary. This is indeed pathetic, nay shameful.

There should be a collective sense of hygiene and cleanliness and this must be a national attitude and character. Alas, this seems to be alien to our consciousness. We talk big but tend to ignore the very basics that make life not just easy but acceptable to others.

---Sumit Paul

Is ' Gitanjali ' Plagiarised?

French scholar and the exponent of de-construction, the late Jacques Derrida wrote in a French daily that almost all the poems, 103 precisely, of Rabindranath Tagore's Gitanjali are plagiarised!! This may sound a sheer sacrilege to the Bengalis, who worship Tagore. But when you dispassionately analyse Tagore's poetry, not just in Gitanjali, you've a feeling that there's a very palpable influence of Persian mysticism on Tagore's poetry. It's worthwhile to note that Tagore's father Mahrishi Debendranath Tagore was an ardent admirer of Persian poet and mystic Hafiz Shirazi, who he read in original Persian.

 Tagorean mysticism therefore often seems like a shadow of Persian mysticism.
Mysticism or'rahsyavaad'  was alien to Indian poetic milieu before Tagore. Toru Dutt, a Bengali poet and the earliest Indian poet to write in English, wrote some mystic poems in the mid 19th century, having been influenced by the Persian speaking British professors like Gilbert, Mackenzie, Tolchard, Hendricks and Grearson at Fort William College, Calcutta. But Dutt's mysticism was very juvenile because he couldn't fully grasp the ethos of Persian mysticism. Tagore refined it as he was surely a far better poet than Toru Dutt. Moreover, Tagore belonged to Brahmo Samaj, a non-religious spiritual community comprising intellectuals who rejected the excessive rituals of Hinduism.

Brahmo Samaj's core philosophy had some resemblence to Islam, especially the mystic Islam, propounded by the Sufis. So Tagore was all the more interested in it because he could relate to Persian mysticism. When Tagore says, " I'm able to love my god because he gives me freedom to deny him," one spontaneously thinks of Hafiz's same thought, " In my denial lies the divine love," or Tagore's striking gem," In a heart's perspective, a moment's absence seems like centuries." Now pit it against Shirazi's thought, " Moments turn into centuries when heart's unable to meet its beloved." William Butler Yeats, the man who promoted Tagore in the West and got him the Nobel for literature in 1913, counted 271 similarities in Hafiz and Tagore's poetry, especially in Gitanjali.  He got disillusioned with Tagore because of the latter's ingratitude and wrote a scathing piece in 1935, condemning Tagore and all other 'fake Indian poets writing in English' like him.

The repetitively common vein in Hafiz Shirazi and Tagore's poems cannot be a coincidence as Hafiz preceded Tagore by 600 years! One must remember that Tagore never acknowledged the fact that his stale English was corrected and bettered by Yeats, Morris Wilson (of MaCmilan), Andrew Clines, Ezra Pound and T S Eliot. It was the then influential British lobby of literary giants who tried tooth and nail to get Tagore the Nobel. Allama Iqbal was also in the fray but was overlooked because of his religion.

 I don't understand, why this fact being known to the scholars all over the world, Tagore's still considered an original poet. But then the West, never considered him to be an exceptional poet either. 

                ----Sumit Paul



The new millennium has witnessed a sea-change in social perceptions. The advent of mall culture and the proliferation of IT, BPOs, mobile and internet revolutionised our collective thought process, especially the thinking of upper(middle) class Indians. Today, there's an indiscriminate spread of malls at every nook and cranny of a metro, semi metro or even a relatively big city. I remembe, visitingr the Spencer Plaza of Madras (now stupid Chennai!) in the 90s. It was one of the earliest malls in India that came into being in the fag end of the last century. When Gurgaon, Delhi and Noida began to have malls sprouting like mushrooms, many people would visit to have an experience of how it felt to be at a mall. They'd buy nothing and indulge in window-shopping. Now, people, especially obscenely rich bored housewives needing a retail therapy to get rid of their boredom, throng malls and squander away their hubbies' hard-earned money.

These mall-rats are permanent fixtures at any mall. The basic concept of hi-end integrated shopping under one roof was not a bad one, but the problem is that any symbol of elitism and upward mobility creates a huge discrimination. David Fisk's 'Study of North American Mall Culture' in the mid seventies underlines the social chasms and criminal waste of money. He wrote, " A departmental store is as good as a mall. Yet people would like to visit the latter because this is the way to show that they're resourceful and have a standing in the society." He was right more than thirty years back because when you see the growing mall culture, rather 'mall-menace' in India, you feel that if you don't go to a multiplex or a mall, you're indeed a backward person having no status in the society. There was a time, when going abroad was not so common. People would flaunt perfumes, chocolates and other 'foreign goods' brought by a relative's rare visit to a foreign country. Those products were not available in India. Now thanks to malls, all the products are available in India at malls where every item's prohibitively costly. Unlike big bazars, malls don't have a centralised governing body regulating the merchandise available there.

 That's the reason, a bottle of Moet costs around Rs. 11,000 and Champagne in even a higher bracket. Moreover, you never know whether the products available at malls are really genuine and not duplicate. One of the malls in Delhi has an expertise in showcasing only the duplicate watches of international makes. Perfumes are the most dicey things that you can have at a mall. Bottles of perfume are often filled in Honkong and other South East Asian countries that prosper in concocting duplicate goods. Like an ingenuine custom notified shop anywhere in this country, products at malls are often unreal with surrealistic price-tags. According to a market survey by Financial Express in 2009, one hardly finds original Swiss chocolates at malls in India. 

A year back, Calcutta's famous South City Mall  was in news for stocking fake products of GUCCI. In fact, the owners were not exactly at fault because the middleman supplied spurious products to them!! Yet, people love to make a fetish of their 'brand-loyalty' and prefer to go to malls as their ultimate shopping destinations. So long we believe in ostentation and naked display of filthy lucre, the mall culture will continue to thrive to snowball into a menace and eventually into a pariah.            
                                            ----Sumit Paul

Is Digital Marketing a Good Career Option?

Sometimes in the wake of choosing the profession, it seems to be hard to get an appropriate position or to arrive up at a remarkable spot. As digital marketing industry is emerging giving amazing chances to employment seekers to get down to shape up their career, there is a need to work upon the method that more often than not people take after to get a decent digital marketing work.

Here are few simple tips & trick that one can take after to get a marvelous digital marketing job:

Be Clear in Your Vision: As the stream is truly boundless and has numerous circles, you have to get clear with the region that you prefer to choose. Whether you need to continue towards SEO specification, content marketing, PPC and Adwords, AdSense or Blogging or other subjects, you should have the clarity.

You must have the expert certification: Moving further to experience accomplishment in digital marketing career, you should have an expert confirmation.

Treat networking sites as your friend: You should be active on different networking sites

Keep an eye on the industry patterns and trends: To wind up as progressive personnel, you should be educated about the widespread digital marketing patterns.

Get an idea of blogging: You can write on your own blog, or if nothing else can add to a website identified with your industry or leisure activity.

Join industry groups, communities on LinkedIn and Facebook: Being a vital and active member on LinkedIn and Facebook helps you voice your opinion at the same time to expand your knowledge.

Get an idea of digital industry future: With the information, you will be able to showcase your visionary and your futuristic approach.

You must know your strengths in Digital Marketing: Knowing your qualities would help you to venture yourself enormously and the assessment made would be of worth.

Be informative about different digital marketing aspects: The stream has several angles and to end up as a capable expert, you should know with the distinctive aspects of digital marketing.

Join a good digital marketing Institute: there are various establishments offering Digital Marketing Training yet the best among these are not great in numbers. One organization that offers quality digital marketing training is Delhi School of Digital Marketing, prominently called as DSIM.

DSIM, situated in Delhi is an extraordinary institute to learn online marketing. The course offered is called as ‘Advanced Digital Marketing Training Program’ and covers the 17 imperative modules of the subject.
                                          ---Manju Raj

Sachin Tendulkar vs Virat Kohli

Lots of other answers have mentioned about Virat's anger and aggression etc. Do I need to remind you that even Sachin was very much aggressive during his early years (~1990s)? Although, during that time, sledging wasn't the general norm and most of the conversation happened eye-to-eye or the more well known language of bat-to-ball. Just look at any (non-australlian) player during the 80s or 90s. If anyone was called aggressive, it wasn't because of sledging or using words. It was because of the way they treated the other team while working the 22-yards.

I am not that big a fan of Virat and even though an atheist, I understand that the only god in cricket can be Sachin, no matter what. That being said, Virat can always meet or break the records that Sachin made. Just as Sehwag and later on Rohit Sharma went on to make 200+ scores in ODIs. There will be a lot many enthusiasts who would be seeing Virat scoring 100+ centuries as well. But no matter what he does, he will be just breaking a record. While Sachin on the other hand, made the record. He made fans look for something where there wasn't anything at all.

I remember a quote by him that there is no such statistics or record such as 100 centuries in ODI and tests combined. Both are different plays of game and you can't combine the numbers, just like lemons and strawberries. Even after that, that little man, with a number 10 printed on his back, made 120 crore population from India and at least half the population from the our green neighbour pray for that 100th century. I doubt Virat could unite India and Pakistan in similar fashion.

Looking from a match-winner point of view, I see that Sachin and Virat have similar characteristics. There have been numerous instances of Virat scoring 50+ or a century while the wickets at other end are dropping like administrative regime in Pakistan. As Sachin was considered for captainship during late 90s while the seniors (aka Srinath, Kumble, Azhar etc.) were ignored is very similar to Virat's instance. Today, Sehwag, Gambhir, Zaheer have been officially or unofficially retired from ODIs and Virat is the assumed heir to the captaincy. Maybe because of his flamboyant play. May be not. But don't tell me you don't see a similarity.

Remember the good old days, when we used to come after school and ask our dad has Sachin got out or is he still playing? If he was, there was a hope, no matter the target. If he wasn't, we started working on our homework. Now tell me, this Sunday, India Vs SA. How many of you thought that India has lost it when you saw Virat returning to the pavillion? Didn't Raina's short inning remind you of the terrible collapse? Those jokes based on India's short innings?

Shivam Mishra

What is the Big Difference between Sachin and Kohli as Batsman?

The big BIG difference between Sach and Kohli as batsmen arise in their batting technique. Sachin's got probably the best technique and his technique is more than just a blueprint in modern day cricket. Ganguly once said( yes, I've altered this slightly but dada will forgive me, I'm pretty sure on that ;) )," An in-form Tendulkar can score off a ball bowled at perfect length or pace, enough to swing/spin either ways, in any conditions, towards five different areas/ field locations namely mid on/mid off( Never seen anyone play straight drive better than Sachin), a flick of the wrist towards square on the legside, third man region by cutting it late or his textbook picture perfect off drive with perfect precision". One may argue over his recent LBWs or being bowled by average seamers but then, poor reflexes is sign of ageing.

Sachin proved his class against Akram, Younis, McGrath, Warne, Walsh, Ambrose, Brett Lee, Donald, Pollock etc. and the Indian team was over dependent on him ( in batting and on Kumble in bowling) until the arrival of Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman and Viru who reduced much of the burden rested upon his shoulders which eventually made us win crucial tournaments played outside the subcontinent though bowling still lacked in quality.

Kohli's time is different. Pitches at the WACA, Bridgtown Barbados, Durban and Headingly have become more batsman friendly for "entertainment" purposes.

I'm not saying Kohli's technique is poor but Sachin's technique is something which often imitated but never duplicated. Also, Malinga has troubled Sachin many times. Kohli has thumped Malinga in almost every occasion they have played against each other. :)

Attitude: Well, I've never seen Sachin "flip the bird" towards anyone on the field or off the field. ( Though, I do remember Sachin uttering the f-off words at Mushtaq in Sharjah 1996 :D ). Kohli's more expressive.

Rahul Dravid recentlysaid," Kohli's got the best cricketing brain. The kind of questions he asks are very very unique, yet very much relevant and equally applicable in modern day cricket, he's the best find or rather, has emerged, evolved very well".
The whole team barely stood for half day's play in the test against the Aussie bowling attack at the WACA but on the same day Kohli scored a magnificent ton at Adelaide and sealed that no.5 position previously owned by dada ( aided by Laxman's retierment).   

Captaincy: I'm pretty sure Kohli will be a better captain than Sachin. He's already proved his worth at the under-19 level and also in the IPL by leading RCB in Vettori's absence.

Personsally, well, I was alive when Sachin played for India and to watch him score a ton in front of me at the Chinnaswamy stadium is even more gratifying. :') However, I don't really mind if Kohli overtakes Sachin in terms of records, fame and talent. :) After all, Indian Cricket and its fans must the ultimate beneficiaries.
                                      ----Abhay Chandra

The Ever Relevance of Classic

" Why is a classic creation read, viewed and heard again and again ?" Jack Limmer's classic question is forever relevant. A classic piece of art and creativity never ceases to offer new insights and interpretations. A great book opens up a plethora of meanings and new perceptions, every time you read it anew. Years back, when I read Jalaluddin Rumi's masnavis, they were on my Persian syllabus at university. My main objective at that time was to score high marks in Persian. I succeeded in my primary objective, but realised that I learnt and comprehended very little as a student. When I read them again at leisure with no burden of exams, I got new meanings and a much broader canvas.

And just a month back, when I read the masnavis  afresh, I realised that what I understood long back was pretty humdrum. The masnavis  now appear more enlightening. They'll appear even more illuminating when I'll read them again after some time. Any great piece of art is ageless and ever pertinent. One draws new meanings as one grows old and becomes more mature. V S Naipaul, himself a Nobel laureate in literature, admitted that whenever he read professor Bulwar Lytton's immortal classic "The last days of Pompeii", he realised that his previous readings were wanting on many counts. David Lean saw Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali  seventeen times and found seventeen new layers of cinematic as well as social realities in his viewings.
A classic is never understood in its totality when read, viewed or heard for the first time. The 'interpretational gulf' and 'comprehensive empathy' always elude even the most brilliant readers, viewers and listeners, let alone the average ones. To comprehend a truly great piece of art and literature, one has to be on a par with the creator, which is highly improbable. That's the reason, repeated readings and viewings are so essential. Moreover, a great book, a sublime symphony and a masterly painting never reveal themselves at first blush. Leonardo Da Vinci's La Gioconda (better known as Monalisa) lends itself to new interpretaions and findings every time it's analysed as a fresh piece of great art.

 An individual's moods, circumstances and state of mind also play a vital role in the comprehension of a work of art as time glides by. George Orwell's 'Animal Farm' becomes an allegory and a political satire only when you read it again and again with advancing age and Jonathan Swift's 'Gulliver's Travels' real import is understood  when you read it at an age when you begin to understand the latent meanings of life's myriad vicissitudes and the yawning social differences.

The great Urdu poet Ahmad Faraz of Pakistan found Muhammad Rafi's very soulful  'Kahin se maut ko lao ke gham ki raat kate' (Mera kusoor kya hai) as the morbidly depressing song, until he heard it again in 2009 to call it the finest song of sub-continental cinema music. He died in 2010!! A classic never loses its charm and relevance. It encompasses the wisdom and truth of all eras and even carries in its womb, the tangible possibilities of times hither-to unheard and undreamt-of.  

                               ----Sumit Paul  

Why Union Budget 2017 is Important?

This seems to be a game-changing budget 2017 fortunately not populist as had been expected just before some major state elections due shortly. Neither is this a pro-rich budget as the opposition had predicted in the event of it not being pro-poor. For the first time, the railway budget has been clubbed with the general budget.

Some of the Key Takeaways:
·         MNREGA scheme gets 48K crore, participation of women 55%
·         SC/ST schemes get over 50K crore in allotments - populist no doubt!
·         Tax cut for MSMEs with turnover up to 50cr.
·         Incomes in the range 2.5L-5L get IT relief
·         Digital transactions get a big thumbs up
·         Railway to focus on safety, improvement of basic amenities, 7000 stations go solar, 500 stations to get lifts and escalators, bio-toilets, 3500 km of new tracks laid by 2020
·         Most welcome move of all is that there is a push for more transparency in political funding with a cap of 2K as the maximum allowed per donation and a nudge towards cashless transactions even here - finally, the government has decided to walk the talk

This is being referred to as clean-up budget:
·         Clean-up of the way politics shall be played in the country henceforth - cleaner funding, cleaner campaigning
·         Each political party will have a bank account and donors would draw bonds of amount to donate which the party would deposit and encash. Just not too sure about the “anonymity” of donations. Hopefully, legitimate cash enters this system and is traceable back to the donor
·         Clean-up of taxes
·         Cashless push - digitization
·         High on investment push
·         Creation of jobs by easing taxation in micro, small and medium enterprises
·         Mollifying rural poor
·         Tax benefits for the agricultural sector
Allocations in major sections:
Defence: 2.74L crore
Transport: 2.4L crore
Agriculture/Rural: 1.87L crore
Women welfare: 1.84L crore
Railways: 1.3L crore (with a promise to improve safety by 2020)

MNREGA: 48K crore

Truth be told, the statistics in Budget 2017 quoted by the FM about people not being as poor as the tax collections show, seriously throws light in the fact that more people have been evading paying taxes than the other way around. Businesses need to shape up and this clean-up shall be good for all of us in the long run.

                               ----Bhuvi Jain

10 big announcement in the budget: tax-free income of up to Rs 3 lakh, ban on cash transactions over 3 lakh

New Delhi: Arun Jaitley on Wednesday presented first budget after Notbandi. The farmers, rural development, youths, and the digital economy such as housing for the poor are divided into 10 regions in the General Budget. Government announced a ban on cash transactions of more than 3 lakhs. Up to 3 lakh yearly income has now become tax free. More than 3 lak and less than 5 lakh income group also has given something to cheer about. They will now, have to pay only 5% of their taxable amount. However, the political parties will not be allowed to take more than 2,000 donations in cash as per the Government’s decision in budget. Government income tax relief to the common man and the tax-free income of 3 million made.
Mr. Jaitley said that if any defaulte flee his or her country, automatically their entire assets will be confiscated. The Government is quite serious and is taking every measure to come up with strong laws in near future. He said: "the Government has taken concrete steps to make the dream of every person realized’.

The 10 Big Things related with Budge is as follows:

1. 1 million houses by 2019 is targeted.
2. Now Passport can be made in the post offices
3. There will be formation of National Testing Agency for conducting entrance examinations of Higher Education. It will pave the way for the institutions like CBSE to focus entirely  on academics.
4. There will be two new AIIMS in Jkjarkhand and Gujarat.
5. There will be exemption of service charge in the E-tickets booked through IRCTC

6. Market-based training will be given to 3.5 million youths. The Government has announced the resolution schemes. For this work, the government has allotted Rs 4,000 crore.
7. Provision of Rs 1.84 lakh for Women and Child Welfare.
8. Farmers’ 60-days’ interest will be waived. 40 per cent farmers will get credit from co-operative societies. Crop insurance coverage has been increased to 40%.
9. One lakh 50 thousand gram Panchayats will be provided Provide high speed broadband service. 10 thousand crore has been allotted for the Bharat Net project.
10 For senior citizens, there will be Adhar-based smart card that will keep the record of their health

10 Important Considerations of budget:

1. Farmers' income to double in five years.
2. Infrastructure in Rural Development.
3. Jobs to youths.
4. Housing for the poor.
5. Social Security increase.
6. Infrastructure for Quality of Life.
7. To promote the digital economy.
8. Improve people's participation in public service.
9. The management that will ensure mobilization of the resources
10. Respect to the honest

Salient Features of the Budget 2017

Ø 10 lakh crore loan to farmers. 2 months’ interest waived.
Ø Soil health card to the farmers. This card will enable the farmers to get their soil checked
Ø There is provision to make 2 lakhs pond in the rural areas in 2017-18. The budget allocation for MNREGA for the 2017-18 has been earmarked to 48 thousand crores. It is highest budget allocation till now.
Ø Formation of top quality institutes for the youth of today. There will also be 350 online facilities.
Ø There will be 5 tourism sectors. Second campaign of Incredible India will also be launched.
Ø Two more AIIMS will be established—one in Gujarat and one in Jharkhand
Ø Every effort will be spared to root out the diseases like tuberculosis
Ø 6,49,000 crore rupees earmarked for the highway projects.
Ø 2,41,387 crore is allotted for transport. 3,96,135 crore will be spent on infrastructure
Ø 1 lakh crore is allotted for the safety of railways

                                             -----Ashish Jha