Opening Up!

So when someone asked from someone else, why don’t you open up? Then that someone quoted an Urdu Verse 😀

पहले तो ये चुपके चुपके, यूँ ही हिलते डुलते हैं
दिल के दरवाज़े हैं आखिर, खुलते खुलते, खुलते हैं

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Media, unbiased?

Media is considered as fourth pillar of representative democracy. It is also known as bulwark of it. But in recent days, while surfing social Media (Twitter to be precise) I found that a connotation is interchangeably used for it and that is #Presstitute. I searched in dictionary yet even Oxford did not come to my rescue.

Then I researched a bit and found out the whole matter. It is a pejorative term used by netizens to denounce Media. According to them Media has forgotten its responsibility to be impartial and now is sold out to some ideologies or to corporates.  That is the reason, it derives it’s name.

I did not like this connotation given to them. I have a strong view that free, bold and impartial Media is for the benefit of the General Mass.

 I recollected the role of Media Played during the Indian National Movement. During those days every popular leader used Media as a tool to denounce government. Kesari, Nav Jivan, Anand Bazar Patrika etc. to name a few. In those days Media was not meant for profit, but public service was their goal. Hence, I never saw portrayal of Journalist as rich, but only one generalized image of journalist wearing Kurta Payjama and having a hanging bag on their shoulder comes to my mind whenever I think about journalists of those days.This was valid even early post independent India.

Time has changed. Social service has taken a back seat for media enterprises. Profit is the sole driver. Gaining advertisement is their sole motive. Building narrative and perception is their favourite task. By spending 10 minutes on any news channel or reading couple of articles in any tabloid, you will get to know the political side which that particular Media House is taking.

I don’t have any problem even in that case, because they are entitled to free speech and expression by our constitution. But I feel the pqin when I see the below tweet by one particular media house, when it compares my religious belief and practices to unemployment. Look at the below tweet by a reputed Media House?

I will not write anything on this subject. But, will request you all to have your say on this. Are you okay with this narrative?
Is this secularism?

विदाई

Photo Courtesy: pinimg.com

सुनो कि अब तुम हो नहीं कि
घर का हर कोना सूना है
सब उत्सव जीवन से गए कि
अब बस, मन ही मन रोना है

~अभय

Recently attended a marriage ceremony. I was from the bride side. Despite having tremendous work load, I saw the hollowness in the father’s heart and his feeling towards his only daughter. To portray that feeling in words is difficult especially if you haven’t gone through it. I wrote just four lines, hope you would like it!

Why loan waiver is a Bad Idea for India?

There is no doubt that despite achieving high growth rate since post liberalization phase, agriculture sector remained lack luster. The growth rate in agricultural sector not only saw a variable pattern, but during some years it displayed a negative growth. Our coutry is still heavily dependent on agriculture. Nearly 58% of the population is directly or indirectly dependent on it, yet the contribution of agri-sector is just around 15% of the GDP. This means more than 58% of the population generates 15% revenue year on year.

Credit: GettyImage

This is not good for economy.

Since their income is less, hence they are from the most vulnerable section of society. If 58% of the population will be vulnerable than nation will itself be vulnerable. Every year we listen the news of farmers’ suicide. When a person doesn’t find any ray of hope for survival, he takes such an extreme steps.

Reasons of farms distress in India.

Too many people involved in this activity which is less remunerative than service and manufacturing sector.

Dependence on monsoon which is simply unpredictable even for scientists.

Low productivity per hectare compared to other big agricultural producer countries. For example USA produces double quantity of Paddy from the same field size. We have 2.4% of the total land area of the world but more than 17% of the population.

Low level of technological awareness in agricultural field.

Poor irrigation system.

Poor and informal credit system. Since farming is a risky business in India and Farmers are predominantly poor in our nation, so they need credit before each sowing season for seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. But many of them are unbanked and away beyond the reach of formal credit system. Hence they take loan from Moneylenders at exorbitant rates and even in slightest of variations in their expenditure pattern such as any marriage ceremony, illness etc. they are web trapped.

The list goes on and on. Even though the problem persists for many decades, the government did not perform well in addressing their issues permanently. Only band aid solution was provided and that too at the time of election.

Waving of farmers’ loan is one such example. Farm loan waiver means government pays the loan taken by the farmer back to the Banks in case if the farmer is unable to repay it.

No doubt majority of  Indian farmers are cash strapped but waving of farmers loan only for the sake of winning the election is not good for the nation’s economy.

Some of the reasons could be:

It destroys the formal credit system of the nation.

Every time government wave off the loans, the burden falls on the government. Indian economy has always seen a high Debt to GDP ratio. This additional burden worsens the condition.

Fixed Capital Formation gets severely impacted because of the loan waivers. For example in Uttar Pradesh nearly Rs. 36,000 crore was waived off. This could have been utilized in building infrastructure such as rail, road educational institutions, hospitals etc.

It impacts farmers’ behavior and in anticipation of loan waiver before elections, they become willful defaulters and they shy away from paying it

India is already struggling with Non Performing Assets. These unpaid loans also have a role to play in it.

Loan waiver can’t help the all the famers as India still lacks financial inclusion in credit system. Many of the farmer takes loan from money lenders and loan waiver is only helpful for those who have taken loan from formal credit agencies.

So instead of giving loan waiver government should make effort for the permanent solution to the permanent problem. Some of the measures in right direction could be increase in investment in farm technology, increasing the formal credit system among farmers, interest subvention, increase in irrigation facility, better remunerative price and procurement policies.  

Contesting Election and EDUCATION

India boasts itself as one of the largest democracies of the world. We have achieved remarkable feet by remaining a democratic country even after more than 70 years post independence. The country which was separated from us never saw a prime minister for full term. Dictatorship remained a constant feature of our eastern neighbor.

We cherish our democracy. One of our main features of our democracy is that we remained a vibrant republic. There are various experiments done in our system of governance. Some are, giving universal adult franchise to every citizen above certain age, treating women equal to men since inception, at least, in political realm, three tier system of governance etc. These innovations have helped us to become mature in our form of governance.

Few years back Rajasthan government also made some innovation. It barred people from contesting election in Urban and Local Bodies Bodiesn  (ULB i.e. Gram Panchayat and Municipality) who didn’t had certain educational qualification. One more reason for their denial to contest elections was unavailability of toilets in their homes. This simply means that only those people who posses certain minimum educational qualification (10th or 12th in some cases) can contest an election and can become representative of the common mass.

At first it sounds awesome. Rationale behind electing an educated person can be many. Some of them would be:

**There is direct relationship between education and development. More educated person can introduce more reform and in turn, more development
**Educated leaders can handle the complex bureaucratic system much better.
** He would be aware of various initiatives which is benefitting people around the world and he can use it for development of its subject
**Running an institution involves following many rules, regulations and procedures. Educated people can perform this initiative much better
**India is still struggling with many prejudices, such as caste, creed, gender etc. Educated representative can bring reform in the society.
**Those who are educated at the helm would know the importance of education better and hence can make necessary condition for education of the society.

Benefits of educated person in leadership position can be long and unending. So it seems right to prevent the uneducated from ruling the society.

But recently a new Party has occupied the majority (with outside support from Independents and some small players) in Rajasthan assembly. They have issued Notification and scraped the law of this educational criteria. Now even an illiterate can Run and win election.

For many of the common citizens, this decision is baffling. Yet, those who scraped the previous law has some healthy arguments in favour for doing away with the previous law which disenfranchised uneducated members for contesting election. They gave the rationality that why uneducated people should not be debarred from contesting election

It’s against the spirit of democracy. Our constitution guarantees political equality. But, if we set criteria for contesting election based on educational qualification, then this will be a type of Discrimination.

It also takes away the right of people to elect representative according to their own will.

To run a government political and administrative acumen is more needed than educational qualification.

In many parts of rural areas more than 50% of the people are uneducated or not meeting the criteria set by the law. So they will be left out of the process.

It is discriminating against the marginalized section of society especially against women and backward section of society because the lack of education is much  prevalent among them.

The purpose of Panchayti Raj Institution (PRIs) was to involve the general public directly in administrative process, because they know the ground reality more than other forms of government, hence they can reach to solution more effectively. But this disenfranchisement will defeat the purpose.

Last, but very significant argument was that if the people remained uneducated for more than 70 years even after the independence, it is not the failure of people, it’s the failure of the state. Hence why people should be punished for the failure of the state.

So, I presented the both aspects of the disenfranchising uneducated people from contesting election. At times, it seems both arguments hold their fort according to Perspective from which we see. But it is equally true that at one time only one set of law can be applied on any state or region.
I would like to know your opinion on this subject matter. What do you feel about “Should uneducated person be our leader”?
Shoot your valuable comments below and give your perspective in this regard.

 

सज्जन कौन?

सज्जन जन वही है जो, ढाल सरीखा होए
दुःख में आगे रहे, सुख में पाछे होए ~कबीर

सज्जन व्यक्ति ढ़ाल के समान होते हैं. जिस प्रकार केवल मुसीबतों के क्षण में ढ़ाल सामने आकर व्यक्ति की रक्षा करता है और सुख के समय में हमेशा यह व्यक्ति के पीछे रहता है, सज्जन व्यक्ति भी ठीक उसी प्रकार व्यवहार करते हैं

Gentle person behaves like shield. Just as shield comes forward at the time of adversity and protects the person who posses it, similarly Nobel person comes to rescue when life is not smooth.