Friday, July 24, 2009

population Myth?

Today I came across Amit Verma's column in Mint written in 2007. He contended that Population Explosion's predicted harmful effect on our future is myth. He based his contention on Eberstadt study,which postulates that Monaco's population density is more than that of Bangladesh but Monaco is rich country. Sure but what is the size of Monaco ? .What is it's total population? It is 1.95 country with population of 32,000. its population is mainly migratory rich french and other International rich.
Well, problem here is that of timeline. Harmful effect of too many people will not be evident in year or two. It may take one or Two Centuries to get there and eventually wont happen because people understand the problem and limit their family size.With spread of education and better living condition only Religious beliefs prevent people from having fewer children. In less than 100 yrs. this change is seen in India. From average 4-6 children two generation ago, now average number of children most couple have is 2-3. Just look around in any major city in India.
The problem is easy to understand as we feel the effect of increase in population of our Metros-Mumbai,Delhi. All the services are deficient. Yes not efficient but even efficient administration will find providing Water,Electricity,Roads,Hospitals,School ad Higher education to its rapidly increasing population a difficult,almost impossible task. In the process of providing the basic necessity we pollute our environment,wipe out species after species,Rain forests,Savannas and cause global warming which in turn exacerbates the problem.
What is true for a Metro City is true for State,Nation and World. Only it will take much longer to affect Nation and World. Fortunately we have already taken corrective steps. If you want to give an example than I would suggest that China would not be Economic powerhouse had She not implemented one Child norm. But then this is hypothetical.
I would venture to say that large population as a Great Human resource is bigger myth. there is nothing to support this hypothesis. it was postulated during this economic bubble period. China officially agrees but quietly implements One Child norm by force.
BTW, Whats wrong with having less(1 or 2) Children? They don't ask you not to have Sex.!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Since 2006, i come to US in summer for 4-6 months. In 06 it was LA but from 07 to date i have been visiting Bay Area. i have stayed in Mountain View, Sunnyvale, N Mathilda and now in River Oaks. All these places have large desi population. in summer parents come for visit.

I go for walk everyday and like to take different routes so that i can visit different areas. I come across many daily walkers,Desi,SE Asians, Latinos and Whites. What has surprised me is the different behavior of these walkers when we cross each other.

SE Asians never ever make Eye contact or attempt to greet or talk. Now this is easy to understand. May be elderly SEA wont know English well and would hesitate to initiate anything. Younger ones may greet or mumble something.

Latinos and Whites would almost always make eye contact and would Greet,smile and ask 'How you doing?' or some variation of it. If he is walking his/her dog then they may even enter into small talk.

Its desi who surprises me. They would not make eye contact in the first place. Eyes staring straight ahead or down like Lakshman facing Sita. No greeting, No conversation. If you cant make eye contact then its difficult to greet them as well. Its difficult to understand this.Same people if we meet in Mumbai Nana Nani Park will take out their entire family history and would rattle out names of mutual friends, relatives, neighbours relatives,children's friends,Schoolmates etc etc. May find out in few days enough to bring marriage proposal. But in US. nothing. Even Gujus and Punjabis-normally very outgoing,gregarious people. Only exception is when they are with their Grandchildren.Then it's easy to greet,smile, talk, the works.

More surprising is the behaviour of Desi younger generation. I have crossed them on N Mathilda on Bus stop where they are waiting for Bus to take them to Lockheed Martin. Or they are walking to their parked car or to Sunnyvale station. They would avoid making any eye contact or any greeting. Are we so ill mannered that we wont smile and greet another human being? Why we cant do something which comes naturally to White Americans? In india we are taught to greet ,Say Namaste. Ram Ram,Jai mata di, jai shree Krishna, Hare Krishna, Sat Shri Akal,jai Jinendra, and Salam Alaekum are normal greeting when we meet even stranger in India. Is it poor upbringing or Inferiority Complex ? Are we so scared in this foreign land that we would like to avoid all contact with strangers even if he is Desi.? May be we will say something which will harm us in future?. These Mexicans-many have no papers - are so friendly.

May be this is the cause for targeting Indians in almost all parts of world. Others may perceive us as snobs or weak. If you are not friendly with people how are you going to assimilate? Assimilation doesnt mean we have to give up our culture or food habits.No minority in US has done that. But by assimilating others could introduce their culture,cuisine to Americans. we are after 40 yrs, and lots of progress,are still outsiders. Its time to change this. Otherwise we will be known by few individuals personal achievement but not for work done by Desi community.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nature's gem-Trio Farm

Every monsoon we go to hills on one weekend of July.western ghat hills are most beautiful 2-3 weeks after first rains,especially when there is drizzling. This year on a friends suggestion we went to Trio Farm. it's private property near Panshet,some 30kms from Pune Belgaum Road. One has to take road to mandvi,pass NDA and after travelling some 25 kms on road which can test your suspensions,one reaches this farm.

It is situated at confluence of Mutha and Panshet Rivers which are dammed by Panshet Dam. At present both the rivers have little water but continuous rains for last few days will feed them. The farm has 5 cottages and a dorm.There is kitchen where excellent Maharashtrian food is served. Their puran Poli,Kothimbir Wadi,sabudana wada are very popular.Best part is that there is no TV and no connectivity -unless you have BSNL cellphone. so you have all the time to relax and chill,enjoy mist and rain,watch clouds passing over the surrounding hills.( on clear day one can see majestic Sinhgadh). take a walk and enjoy nature. There one gets feeling of vastness and nature as it should be. It's a great relaxing getaway.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

It was amusing to watch Akshay Kumar's rant against Film Critics. He accused them-especially young just out of college critics who have not directed a film- of sabotaging success of his film 'Kambakth Isq'. As if Critic had given his film 4* then film would have been major super duper hit!!. I can understand his feelings and Business acumen.In this era of 50 Multiplexes having 10 shows a day, first weekend is not spoiled by adverse review then at least film would recover the cost. So he would wish that critics would give good review. But what about the audience? It costs about Rs. 1000 to watch movie in Multiplex. Why should our money wasted on stupid,vulgar film?.

He did not have same opinion when his 'Sing is King' and 'Namaste London' were reviewed by same critics.Many read reviews in Papers,Blogs and on TV channel and decide. All cant afford to waste 1000 Rs. every week. They have to pick and choose. Akshay should pay more attention to script and direction. His buffoonery is now grating on nerves. There is difference between Action film and comedy. Action films can work with stupid storyline but good action sequence. All these Hongkong chinese action movies have similar storyline but one can watch them.Comedies require good comic story,script and most important, timing. Akshay's films fall short on all the counts. he should pull up his act and stop blaming critics for flop films.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Thumbs Down for 90:10

Yesterday Mumbai High Court ruled against Maharashtra Govt. 90:10 quota for admission in FYJC. The ruling was hailed as victory for merit against reservation by state. I feel sorry for SSC students. For long time they are denied admission in top colleges because the Examination system, subjective form of quation paper and more subjects-which includes 3 languages- resulted in their percentage being less than percentage of students from ICSC/CBSC /IB boards. State Govt. wants to play politics,hence does nothing for 10 months. Come May,State wakes up and pulls out different schemes to favour SSC students, who form majority. State wants to show that it is really concerned about injustice done to SSC students and wants to correct it. Of course the schemes like Percentile system last year and 90:10 quota this year were doomed right from inception and everyone knew that it would not stand legal scrutiny by High Court. But Congress politician can claim that they tried but this rich,urban kid's parents managed to get Court's order to stop it.

How can one insist on Merit when examinations are different. One can compare Apple to Apple. Many argue that SSC board should improve and modernise SSC curriculum. They forget that large majority of 3-4 Lacs student are from underprivileged,rural,dalit and BPL families. To keep them in school is major task.For them passing SSC is ticket to better paying jobs. Many find difficult to clear this exam. If it is modernised and made same as ICSC/CBSC then there will be more failures. As such we have huge number of SSC fail students in state. They have very few job opportunities. They can't join Technical Courses as well. Their plight is really miserable.

High Court has asked State to have Entrance Exam. to level Field for students from different Boards.This means one more CET!!. But there is a way out of this mess. Mr.Kapil Sibal has proposed that SSC exams should be done away with. All the students should get SSC/ICSC/CBSC Cert. if they have certain grade. The curriculum should be one which can prepare them for job at lower level. Those who desire to join FYJC should give CET and take admission. majority will opt out-esp.from SSC stream- and will enter job market or join tech.course. In US situation is same. Majority opt out after High School and take jobs.few join College. This is something worth trying. There are so many jobs that doesn't require College degree and this will be real employment generating scheme.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

judgement on Sec.377

Delhi high Court's judgement has sent joy wave in Gay community. There is a feeling of 'War being Won". Though the judgement is good as it decriminalises consensual gay Sex, it can do nothing as far as Society's attitude towards Gay. Maybe after few decades it will be more acceptable. But basically Indian society(especially Hindu) is more tolerant than western societies. As a matter of fact Trans-sexual( Hijras) are believed to bring Good Luck and are must at Wedding and Birth of a Child. People fear them ( Why?). Hijra gangs are organised gangs and their leaders are wealthy and powerful.Some of them have got elected to Public Posts. But like everything Indian,we are OK if someone is Gay but if your child is gay or trans-sexual then all hell break loose. So the problem is with ones own family,friends,neighbors and relatives.
Gays are mocked,sometimes harassed but they are accepted. There are many Gays who are prominent and leaders in their fields and they are accepted by public. They may have problem with the people with whom they come in contact on daily basis. Can a known Homosexual person will be able to be become Minister? That will be the Litmus test for public acceptability.