Wednesday, May 24, 2006


The Caesarean racket

Happened to read news item on the perils of Caesarean during delivery. Although the study is not India-specific, the warning is very much relevant. In India it has become a big time racket forcing women to have caesarean for delivering the baby. As per this Hindu article, WHO estimates that not more than 15% of births should be due to caesarean. However, in cities like Bangalore, I guess most of the births are by caesarean. This guess is of course is from what I have seen among my cousin's, friends, etc. The belief that caesarean is more safer is also wrong.

Although a lot of doctor's say that they are forced to use caesarean by mother herself since she does not want to experience pain for a long time, itz just a hogwash to cover-up an unethical practice. Discouting some cases where women want to have caesarean so as to "fix the destiny" of the child, the previous Hindu article mentions a few reasons for the increasing prevalence of caesarean.

Finally, it all boils down to a lack of ethics among the medical fraternity. For their short term gains - monetary or otherwise, the doctors and nurses are inflicting long term harm on the mother. Not to talk of the atrociously high cost to the commom man.

While searching the web on this, I happened to see this heartening initiative in Delhi to bring into public awareness more safer and natural ways of delivery by involving mid-wives. Hope there are more such initiatives.

The more selfish a man, the more immoral he is.
-Swami Vivekananda

Saturday, May 20, 2006


It happens only in India

I had blogged earlier about my trip to Arunachal Pradesh. Now, this incident happened when I was on my way back from Arunachal Pradesh. I boarded the taxi (shared with 10 other people!) at Dirang on my way to Tezpur. All the passengers were probably feeling sleepy, or were anxious of spending the complete night in the cramped taxi, and there was complete silence in the vehicle. That was till this gentleman from the middle row started a conversation with the person next to him, as if taking the initiative to break the ice. He slowly graduated to chat with the guy next to me in the front row. As it turned out, the guy sitting next to me was a budding boxer who was on his way to Bomdila enroute to a training camp.

Next in line of his attack was me. We did a round of introduction and as it turned out, the gentleman was also travelling to Guwahati. That made it the two of us who would be travelling from Tezpur to Guwahati the next morning. Mr.Chiranjib Dhar works for SBI at some remote place about 30kms east of Tawang and was on his way to join his family at Guwahati for holidays. He was glad to know that I will also be travelling till Guwahati, probably because he got a bakra to talk to!

At Tezpur, we boarded the same bus that would take us to Guwahati around 1pm. Enroute I told him that my flight from Guwahati is at 6pm. Immediately, he insisted that I come over to his house, get fresh, have lunch and then depart to the airport. I insisted that that was not necessary. My plan was to go directly to the airport, use the bathroom there and have lunch at the airport itself. However, Mr.Dhar insisted that I be his guest. He graciously used my cell phone to call his house in Guwahati asking them to arrange food for me.

At his house, I was accorded a warm welcome, shown the bathroom to get fresh and was served very delicious Bengali meal. Mr.Dhar's elder sister, who stays with them, was a great host was prepared a multi-course meal with two Bengali sweets as desserts. Finally, Mr.Dhar dropped me at the road, booked an autorickshaw to take me to the airport and finalized the price with the rickshaw driver so that he does not charge me more.

This kind of love and affection towards an unknown co-passenger is quite rare in today's materialistic world. I was uplifted by the care and affection shown to me by that family. I guess the best way I can pay them back is by paying it forward.

Give to the weak, for there all the gift is needed.
-Swami Vivekananda


Munnabhai's of Patna

I was watching on TV the pro-reservation protests at Patna. The protestors looked outright hooligans! I wonder if they were actual students or local rowdies who just decided to do their communities a favor.

More surprising was the muted and probably fabricated version provided by the NDTV reporter who was attacked by the protestors. While all other channels and newspapers have mentioned that the reporter was invited by the protestors to the hospital for some exclusive byte and then attacked, the correspondent himself does not mention that when reported on NDTV. He in fact repeated umpteen times in his report that the attack on him was not a big deal and the police were primarily responsible for the whole fiasco. Is there something more than meets the eye?

Knowledge exists, man only discovers it.
-Swami Vivekananda


Caste reform in TN

Amidst all the heated debates and agitations on reservations, Karunanidhi has brought in a significant reform by permitting people from all castes to become priests in Hindu temples. It is unfortunate that it has taken us more than half a century after Independence to have such a reform. And amidst all the sound-bytes and pages allocated to discuss the merits or otherwise of reservations, this - that has the capacity to do more to the oppressed classes more than reservations - has almost been relegated to the inner pages of the media. I also hope that the TN Govt does more than lip-service to this reform encouraging more vedic schools to recruit students from all castes so that in another 5-6 years, we have truly secular temples.

It stuns me that mainstream media has not debated the highly condemnable caste discrimination in the temples in India. The recent Ramayana Mahasatra at Ramachandrapura Matha, that was attended by dignitaries like the CM, deputy CM and Governor of Karnataka, saw a glaring caste discrimination when people from the perceived higher castes were served food separately from people from other castes. The media, especially the Kannada media, gave extensive coverage to this 7-day program, but nowhere was any mention of this caste discrimination. Have we accepted that the perceived forward castes have a right to be treated differently? The media that goes ga-ga when a Laloo does not stand while national anthem was played and when a minister attends a mass marriage ceremony where there were some under-aged couples, seems not to care when there is a program like this that practices explicit caste discrimination.

In fact most of the famous temples in Karnataka like DharmasthaLa, kukke subramaNya, uDupi, etc - all have this practice of serving food separately depending on your caste. And the leftists who rabidly support reservations to "undo centuries of oppression" have no gumption to raise their voice against this. Neither does the right, who do not want movies to discredit Hindu religion, but do not mind the moral-bearers of the religion themselves discriminating their own people.

PS: The famous GokarnanaatEswara temple temple at Mangalore was built and run by people from Poojari caste, one of the oppressed classes, inspired by Narayana Guru. A refreshing initiative!

Give up all desire for enjoyment in earth or heaven.
-Swami Vivekananda

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Rajkumar's death and the aftermath

There has been lot of discussion around how Bangalore reacted after the death of the legendary Kannada actor Dr.Rajkumar last month. Considering that Bangalore has a large population of non-localites, any discussion of this issue will tend to be heated. I was in Mangalore the day Dr.Raj died and could not come to Bangalore the next day because all the buses were cancelled. As such, I do not have any first hand account of the incident's aftermath.

However, I want to put forth what I feel is the key disturbing factor of these disturbances. It is the fact that in Bangalore pro-Kannada activism is been increasingly used by anti-social elements to mask their extra-curricular activities. Itz a no-brainer: you can carry out all your illegal activities and if cornered, say that you are been targetted because of your Kannada roots! The increasing jingoism all over - from established rowdies like "Agni" Sridhar, to local rowdies, to politicians like Vatal Nagaraj, to writers like DeJaGow, to organizations like Rajkumar Abhimanigala Sangha, to boot-lickers like Sa.Ra.Govindu - is indication of why everybody loves Kannada activism today. Couple of months back, the Bapujinagar wing of Karnataka Rakhshana Vedike was started and a big poster was put up announcing the same. I could see easily recognize a few local rowdies from the poster, and I can bet my wealth that the rest of them would not be people of great morals. I guess Vatal Nagaraj was the one who showed people how lucrative pro-Kannada activism can be, Sa.Ra.Govindu made the most of it, "Agni" Sridhar used it to come over-ground, and now petty rowdism in Bangalore has been institutionalized under the garb of fighting for Kannada.

Considering the increasing cosmopolitan nature of Bangalore and the reluctance of the migratory populance to become gel with the local population, these organizations are going to get a lot of opportunites to ignite fire. It will be unfortunate for Bangalore if there is no media for saner elements to voice their opinions.

Be courageous. Do not try to lead your brethren, but serve them.
-SWami Vivekananda


Solving the reservation puzzle

A safe thumb rule is that if politicians of all parties say they agree on some thing, then that must be in their self-interest and in the interests of their vote banks. As a corollary, it would be against the interest of the society.

Itz very difficult to see how India can come out of the reservation imbroglio that the Congress has wrought on it. The vote bank politics has become so deep rooted in Indian politics today that no amount of protests will stir the politicians - whether itz by students against reservation, or by NBA against increasing the height of the SSP dam. Because the politicians know that the protesting masses will be in a minority and know the vote bank they need to woo. Saner voices - like that of Kapil Sibal and the Sam Pitroda - can be easily ignored or worse, criticized and stifled by the likes of Arjun Singh and Ram Vilas Paswan.

The only hope I see this time are the TV channels. The plethora of news channels - both in English and local language - have added a new avenue to the anti-reservation activists. The internet is also an active play-ground, but just like the IIPM issue - I dont think there will be much pressure because of the internet.

Itz nice to see Verghese Kurien come out against reservation. It would be interesting if some insider comes out with statistics on the percentage of first generation beneficiaries of reservation in the last 10 years. As my RVCE classmate Debashis Pal wrote in the Hindu Bussiness Line, most of the people today who are enjoying the benefit of reservation would be second generation beneficiaries - people who can very well do without reservation and people whose seats mean another really deserving person from the really unfortunate strata of the society is left out.

As the Mahatma had said, reservations act as crutches that would make people more crippled. I'm sure corporate India is strong enough to make sure that reservation in private sector will remain a non-starter. Not sure if academic India would be able to come out of the mess that Mr.Arjun Singh has put it in.

None can help you, help yourself; work out your own salvation.
-Swami Vivekananda

Monday, May 08, 2006


Banaglore's ACP Krishnamurthy in a soup?

Have a look at this new blog to have taken Bangalore by storm. This ACP Krishnamurthy looks like a habitual offender. I guess a search by the LokAyukta may discover goldmine that this scoundrel will be sitting on!

Be not afraid of anything. You will do marvellous work.
-Swami Vivekananda

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bravo Modi!

Narendra Modi deserves kudos for making sure the demolition drive goes on in Baroda irrespective of the protests from the Muslim community. From what I could see on TV, the dargah was right into the street and it was inevitable that it be demolished.

However, to make sure that this does not come across as a confrontationist attitude, Modi should now talk to the Muslim community (and not the so-called people who call themselves as leaders of the community) and try to see them make sense of the demolition. This is what the Mahatma would probably have done given such a scenario.

Even in B'lore, I see so many temples, mosques eating right into the road...itz time somebody takes the bull by the horns.

Try to love anybody and everybody.
-Swami Vivekananda

Whatz Aamir upto?

While Aamir Khan's support to the NBA took some people by surprise, I guess the reaction thereafter must have taken Aamir himself by surprise! Not only was his movie Rang De Basanti forcibly removed by protesters from some theatres in Gujarat, now he is also been scrutinized for his endorsement of Coke! I guess interesting times are ahead!

You have to go from the inside out. None can teach you, non can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.
-Swami Vivekananda

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