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The waves

As the Wind Blows

Location: Chennai, Tamilnadu, India

23 February 2004


Sulekha's Travelogue writing contest is here.

Checkout Sulekha at www.sulekha.com/holidaycontest

You can write about your travel memories and share it with them in not less than 800 words and you can win a free return-air ticket to India, 3 free holiday packages to resorts in India, (free accommodation, food etc…) besides you also get published on Sulekha and Epress!

fasten your seat belts, fast; 24th is the deadline :-)

22 February 2004

Hyphenated Hindu !! oh, well,

Here is an interesting link to an article in Outlook. ( btw, please register with outlook / freespeech to access the pages. It is free. )

The writer describes herself as hyphenated Hindu. read more to understand what she means.

A lot of young people feel this way today. I agree with almost all the view points therein. In fact I used to feel agitated too whenever I needed to fill the coulmn - religion / race in any form. Every country in the world has a column called " race" ( correct me if I am wrong) in its forms for Passport/ visa and any other significant documant. More so, if it is somehting that relates to identification of nationality. In India we have extra column called caste. I used to be very irritaed to find this column of "division" in any form.

However, when I read a particular passage in this article where the writer talks about filling "Indian" instead of "Hindu", a different dimension to the whole issue dawned on me.

OK. I can claim myself as Indian" instead of Hindu in the column which asks my identification as per my religion of birth. But that one simple entry of a name doesn't erase the Truth - that I am born to parents whose ancestors were Hindus / or Muslims / or Christians/ or whatever?

and then my doubt number 2. "Indian", again is an identity. I, in a larger perspective, feel global person, not belonging to any particular country. - more so when I live in several countries across the world ( no. not exactly me:-) but many individuals do live like that today - as global citizens) So, what identity should I use to describe myself? If I am a person of Tamil origin born in Sri Lanka, live in Australia with my wife from Japan and I have a business interests in Seattle - therefore have a home base in US, how do I describe myself? A Srilankan? A Tamil? or an Indian? ( though India has nothing to do with any aspect of my life today?) what race do I write in the Race column of the immigration forms? But I have to give an identity for logistic purposes. So, I give one - depending on my "nationality" documents.

Similarly perhaps, I can fill up this called "religion" as Hindu, Muslim, or Chiristian or whatever, according to my actual status of birth - just another logistic piece of info for the records office - like height, weight and address. My faith can be independent of what I claim in my records. Faith is more related to inner feelings and doesn't have the logistics problems :-) Nothing prevents me from having multiple faiths - but for records, I must cite one. Just as I have to mention one country as " Nationality".

P.S: Dual nationality is another story :-)

16 February 2004

"...The world used to be transformed by voyages of discovery, religious movements, epidemic globe-circling diseases, the whims of kings and the depredations of armies. But over the centuries, technology has emerged as the primary change agent, the thing that can shrink a planet, undermine dictators and turn 14-year-olds into publishers."

SAJA - South Asian Journalists Asso;- Sreenath's post in Indian online Media Forum yahoo group has a link to an interesting story on Google - obviously singing paeans for the search engine.

Long Live Google !! but the story also has quotes from significant number of critics too - particularly the dissenting voice of, - who else? - the librarians :-)

Checkout here

14 February 2004

As I said before in a post, the BJP is rubbing its hands in glee about the "Feel Good Factor". Advani says he coined the catch phrase for polls, in ET award function.

but the moot question remains, is India really shining and even if it does, could the govt, take credit for it? How far does the "feel good" factor really reflect the real economic scene of the country? now that elections are round the corner, BJP is trying to cash on this "bubbling economy". but is the economy bubbling really?

A recent cover story in Business World poses these posers and has done a good analysis. the story warns about the growing fiscal deficit and how the govt is trying to draw wool on our eyes completely ignoring this aspect.

the story also says that RBI is majorly responsible for the feel good factor. but gives half hearted credit to the government also - particularly to the individual minsters who were pushing the reform process.

some paragraphs are real amusing, particularly in its insinuations that Vajpayee and his team lack economic perspectives. sample this in another segment of the same story : " People who have interacted with him (Vajpayee) say he is not a man for details. "One of the phrases I often hear from Vajpayee whenever I meet him is: Sab kuch siddhant ke aadhar pe hona chahiye," says a senior economic administrator. Vajpayee is evidently more focussed on the core philosophy - siddhant - rather than the administrative details This characteristic is perhaps why others who have interacted with the prime minister have come back a bit puzzled. "I went to some of his advisory council meetings," says an economist. "We would make our speeches, he would silently sit through them, then thank us politely and leave. There was always a good dinner spread after that." So how does a man who is disinterested in economics and impatient with policy details manage to steer his government towards economic reforms?"

howz that? :-)