Five reasons to not vote.

28 04 2009

My concept of democracy is an environment wherein each and every individual gets to exercise his/her free will.

Birth and Death are the two accidents of life; but what defines life is the choices we make during the time period in between this two accidents. And in order to make satisfaction generating decisions we need to be ‘aware’. I mean awareness of self. Most of the time we just follow some rules, ideals and constitution just because we are programmed to do so in our formative years. We start believing those ‘thoughts’ of ours and ‘us’. But that is not true. Else there wouldn’t be so much of frustration, so much of homicides, so much of fear lurking all around. ‘Free Will’ doesn’t mean behaving haphazardly, being careless and clue less. ‘Free will’ means an ability to choose the belief system which would help you lead a satisfying life (in your own understanding); the choice making ability for you to achieve your goal of your life. ( one may choose to not have any goals; given this is a satisfaction generating decision and not mere escapism)

The whole of earth is one and so is the whole of humanity. I believe in a boundary less world. Boundaries can be there; but for the sole purpose of governing concern.   A millenium back some control freak with the support of muscle power would have been able to control a particular population residing in a particular geographical area. To sustain the control on the population the ruler would have to come up with rules, constitution, laws etc. Infact to me it seems that the invention of army as a force would have been to restrict this population within this geographical area; rather than the current known function of it providing security. Soon many such groups would have formed leading to a complex world structure as we see today. The need to control took over the minds of  ‘rulers’ rather than the object to provide an environment where ‘free will’ can pervade. These groups of people is what evolved into NATIONS. With nations came the new moralities and values like PATRIOTISM, MOTHERLAND, dying for my nation etc.  For intellectually inclined came the concepts like Anarchy, Communism, Republican, Theoism, Socialism and DEMOCRACY. What I am saying here is that all of these morals or concepts or systems are at root restrictive; and hence can never encourage ‘Free will’.

Having said that, we are today living in a world order where each NATION is competing, fearing, depending on other NATION for its survival. From all the available and evolved concepts let us accept for now that DEMOCRACY if practiced by all NATIONS, can lead to a progressive world order of peace and satisfaction for all. So the objective of the Democratic system is to create an environment which encourages ‘free will’.

Now let me try and explain  the manner in which democracy is practiced in today’s time.

  1. Partisan politics or PARTY  based democratic system at its root is divisive. It can never bring people together and hence it would never make people ‘aware’. Infact it is marred by propoganda and divisive strategies which only corrupts the environment. Moresover it is driven by lust of POWER and not for anything that we discussed above.
  2. “VOTING as the ultimate expression of democracy” is nothing but a myth.  Voting only allows me to choose one from a lot; who are fundamentally all same. It is like  whom shall i choose to exploit me this time? This in my understanding is not an exercise in Democracy.
  3. Lets for one minute believe that voting is great and it bring revolutions and all. In post modern history, since the dawn of democracy, no revolution has occured due to an election. That’s just one. Now sample this : A, B and C are the three contesting party’s in a particular area. A plays the majority caste game, B plays the minority religion card and C is someone who is using the Socio-economic segment as its propoganda. Now B trades with C to create an atmosphere so that their propoganda breaks the votes of A. This inturn would help reduce the marging between A and B. So C exists only as a tool to manufacture votes. This is a very common strategy, much more complex tools are deployed in the real world. The whole campaign of ‘PLEASE VOTE’ is/can be a strategy to shift the numbers equation.
  4. The so called accomplishments of any elected government are not leading us to a safe, secure or equitable society. The most dreading fact is all of the educated and literate and well read you dont want to make yourself aware of the real statistics. And for believers in vote ; antiincumbancy(existing candidate losing out) has been a major phenomenon in most constituences in most elections over past 6 decades.
  5. Most importantly Voting, by no means leads to the exercise of my ‘free will’. I deny to subscribe to this hollow morals bombarded on me which tells me that “IF YOU DO NOT VOTE YOU ARE NOT AN INDIAN” and on the other end it allows me to litter on road  remain an Indian.

These are the Five reasons for me to NOT VOTE.

All the intelligent ones would already have their comments ready;  the remaining ones in any case wouldn’t have reached till here. However let me make it clear that I am not being a cynic nor I am being regressive. I believe in change, I believe in chaos and a I also believe in accepting new order.

But all of those who wish to give me a dose on pop-morals like “dont just speak,  do something”, “get into the system to clean the system” etc etc…..I would just say that even I have watched and enjoyed “Rang De basanti’ and ‘Yuva’.  That’s just about it.

But yes, a democracy can be encouraging, it can make the individuals of society ‘aware’ and that would happen when Votes are not begged for, but are offered. I would quote OSHO here : My concept of democracy is people deciding on their own, without any political propaganda from anybody. Choose the candidates you like. In fact, the candidate approaching the people and asking,“Please choose me,” is ugly. If he is of any worth, people should reach him and ask him, “Please take this responsibility for us. We want you to be in Parliament.” “

I take this opportunity to persuade Dr. Kalam, Mr. Narayanmurthy, Mr. Sam Pitroda, Mr. N Vittal, Mr. VG Patel to get into governments, to get into active public administration. (there are many more capable individuals, but i would name only whom I have read or known) It is not this mythical ‘vote’ but the choice to persuade those whom I consider appropriate a greater exercise in BEHAVING DEMOCRATICALLY. All of us know some such capable individuals around us. They need not be known and popular figures. Find them and persuade them to get into the assembly. Some of you who think themselves to be capable of governing a society, persuade yourselves. I truly believe that this ACT OF PERSUADING the candidates we collectively see capable of is a greater democratic expression than a mere black dot on the index finger.

I like to call such a world order as ‘COLLABORATIVE DEMOCRACY’. Where the individuals of the society find their MP’s & PM’s and Presidents rather than the Prime Ministers and Presidents searching for votes.

Thats all. Period.

PS : I may still go to vote. The voter this time around has the choice to ‘not choose anyone; and this choice will still be counted.





Communication vs Expression : An explanation

27 04 2009

“A disclaimer : I do not write to communicate. Communication is an act one performs for a particular cause or reason. For me the desire is to express my emotions at a particular moment. Thats it.”

Received some interesting comments on the  above mentioned disclaimer that i made in the first blog “HELLO WORLD”.

A friend had a counter view and we had an intersting chat; at the end of which I was able to make the point clear. This might be of interest to others. So i am pasting that chat that i had with her. Here it is :

SHE : y do u want to popularise ur blog? – u not communicating for a cause or reason ?

mihir : look u not gettin it.

SHE : …?

mihir: me writing a mail to u and me writing a blog on u
aint the two things diff?
y or n?

SHE: yes both diff

mihir: rite

SHE: mail is directed to particular person /.blog to all

mihir: so the former is communication and latter is my expression to say somethin about u
it doesnt mean dat latter has to be isolated
dats d difference i was refering to
i write coz i want to express certain emotions or certain incidents….but wen sm one reads it n comments…it motivates me to do it again…….
all arts have this simple psychology behind it
yash chopra makes a movie … ppl like it..so he tries n make another movie…n so on….for him movie is his way to express

SHE: yes got it. agreed too. but then your disclaimer doesnt

mihir: haha

SHE: u in your disclaimer saying tht u r not communicating.. authors, movie directors all are communicating adn so are u:) and thts nice.

mihir: u can have ur opinion….coz every word has diff meaning for diff people

SHE: true..

mihir: dont get stuck to the word ‘communication’……

SHE: ya i think i m doing tht also coz i hv my own defi of communication and feel communication is very imp in life

mihir: even if i remain silent….m communicating….dats not wat d disclaimer says

SHE:  🙂 hahha.. i like tht.. “even if i remain silent….m communicating”
never thought of tht b4

mihir: wat m sayin is….m not writing coz i want to say x thing to say Mr Y……..m jus writing….now Mr. Y mite n mite not read it……d primary motive is not to tell smthin to Mr. Y……d motive is just to paint a landscape…a sketch … a painting…..wid the available skill i have

SHE: actually now i m getting it: wht u meant to say in your disclaimer is tht : u r communicating, but not communicating for a purpose or reason.. u r just expressing and leaving it to the reader to extract wht he/she wants to.. like the author leaves it to the imagination of the reader.. whereas first when i read
i read it as u saying u not communicating for reason / cause .. u r just expressing and i was like if just expressing why not in person diary
but i get it now.

mihir: phew!

SHE: or i think so, i do:)

mihir: haha
now u talkin like me
n i like dat

SHE: hahaha:))





love ? obsession ? madness ?

25 04 2009

My Definition of LOVE : limitless flow of emotions between two  individuals.

Hriday : my 3 year ol’ nephew. Neha : my bhabhi (sister-in-law)

Hriday would do anything and everything to attract Neha’s attention. He  wants absolute attention of his mom, at any given point. Since last two evenings neha, hriday, ansh(the elder nephew), my brother and myself , we sit together to watch the ongoing T20 cricket tournament. What  happened is as follows :

Hriday was jumpin around Neha….every now and then he would hold her, or would want to be held by her. For a few moments he would play with his car, play with the ball, may be fight with his elder bro…..than again he would reach out to his mom – hugging her, sitting in the lap, kissing her, smiling at her, talking with her and so on. For a few moments he went back to his toys. But even while playing with his car he  shouted to his mom wanting her to see hows he driving it.  He then jumped, ran across the room just moving here and there; while he was having his fun…he kept shouting to his mom. Whatever he did, whatever he spoke (or shouted) – Neha had to respond.

It just doesnt end here. Attention is not the only thing he wants from his mom. He also wants absolute right over his mothers lap. So any attempt of Ansh to take that place attracted immediate reaction. He is such a cute devil that while he was seated on the throne he actually told to Ansh that – Mom is mine, You may have Dad.

Eventually he got tired, and fell asleep in his mom’s lap. It still doesnt end here.

As he was asleep Neha thought that now the ‘game’ is over. My brother helped by lifting Hriday and making him comfortable on the couch. In less than 5 seconds I hear a little cry. It was Hriday. While  almost in sleep and in a semi conscious state he starts to crawl and gets back into his mothers lap.

Attention, Possesiveness, Access – So very common in a mother – child relation.

We smile and say thats LOVE.

Now, cut to a different scenario. Imagine this very same dynamics, in the very same intensity between two ‘adults’. To continue with the ongoing example and characters- imagine if its me and Neha. A brother-in-law craving for absolute attention, feeling possesive and wanting accessibility to/for his sis-in-law. How does it sound? Picture any two young adults, having this intensity and intimacy – like a child has for his mother…how would you respond?

It amazes me how the same very dynamics that we saw earlier between a mother and child, if seen between two adults evokes different emotions to the third party. The ‘oddness’ of it magnifies if the two involved adults belong to opposite genders. I am not being judgemental here. Its a fact that we all know. More amusing is the fact that even the involved adults tend to deny this innateness. I have seen saint-like noble adults becoming uncomfortable and denying this proximity.

Probable reasons could be : 1 – societal values (which sees a mother – child innocently, but denies seeing any other relation in the same light)

2 – (if opposite genders) a moral conflict is followed.  The sexuality would turn the perceptions even more extra ordinary.

But I am not discussing reasons here… its just that I am amused as i have witnessed these starkly different reactions, to two occurances , which in my perception are so similar.

Attention, Possesiveness, Access – in a non- mother child relation;

We frown and say thats OBSESSION.

Now, try and stretch this imagination still more further. Imagine the same dynamics occuring between an elderly person and a young adult. (No we are not talking Nishabd or Lolita here). Take for example a father-in-law and a daugter-in-law or say a young adult and a middle aged neighbour. Its not that affection does not exist in any such relations. We see such relations around us. But we tend to keep them within certain ‘acceptable’ limits. What if its limitless, natural and innate and proximal like a mother-child equation.

No that should not be done. “Every relation has to have limits” – is how we react.

Attention, Possesiveness, Access – in such a relation;

We pucker our eyebrow and say thats MADNESS.

Still in my mind is the image of sleepy Hriday crawling into his mothers lap. Cant this happen elsewhere? Is it compulsory that this can happen only within individuals of existing societal entity called family?

I really dont think so.

If a child is obsessed with his mother its called LOVE; if the mother loves her/his friend like his/her child its called OBSESSION; and if the mother is loved by some middle – aged neighbour its called MADNESS!

We say that we humans thrive on love; but it seems most of the times we resist love.

All i wanted to say is LOVE or OBSESSION or MADNESS its all one and the same. They are just words invented to brand the inexplicable. And what amuses me most is the behaviour whereby WE DENY SEEING THE OBVIOUS WHERE WE OUGHT TO, WHEREAS WE WANT TO SEE BEYOND THE OBVIOUS WHERE WE SHOULDNT BE.

So if you want love, be prepared for some obsession and madness; and if you are giving love, dont miss out on obsession and madness in your concoction.





RESPONSIBLE ENTREPRENEURSHIP

24 04 2009

~ When you come to the edge of a cliff, the solution is not to run faster, We have to step back ~

These are tough times. To make it gullible to you guys let me put it differently. These are different times.

The PM is asking for austerity. All that the analysts are able to predict is uncertainty. Economists all across are at their conservative best. Inflation has already over taken growth in the last quarter; and the gap only seems to be widening. Our consumption is growing but we aren’t. Many environmentalists have started the countdown towards dooms day.

These are not the bytes that we are used to in recent times. Doesn’t this seem a bit dodgy; a bit contradictory to you. If we say we are CAPITALIST than uncertainty should excite us and austerity should put us off…but as I told you these are different times. Just a quarter before we believed in consumption fuelled growth. And now we are advised to restrain.

Something’s going wrong. Sample this….

India is self-sufficient in its agricultural production; which means we produce food grains that should suffice 120 crore population. However, 35 crore odd sleep without a meal and other 35 crore odd have only one meal a day!

We consumed the most mobile phones (after china) globaly. Whereas we still do not have a decent school in every taluka!

Its said the developing Organised Retail scenario and booming Mall culture is boosting consumption and thereby fuelling growth. It’s a different story that a single mall consumes energy that can electrify an entire village!

Reports say that Insurance is a booming industry and is doing very well. Though the fact remains 75% of the people who get affected by a calamity (natural or man-made) remain uninsured.

It’s not so difficult to accept the fact that all our collective entrepreneurial energies are not taking us where it should. All that we are doing is either leading us to inflation, disparity, consumerism or environment degradation. As entrepreneurs it should matter to us – because a disturbed environment would never provide sustainable growth. If our progress is not endearing enough, than our efforts are not worth it.

So where are we? So what are we talking about in here. The answer is as simple as it is complex. The effects suggest we have missed an important factor in our viability equation. What is that factor??

And let me make it clear, we are not talking about socialism out here!

The point that is being made is IF WE WISH TO GROW ENTREPRENEURALY and IF WE WISH TO MAKE A MARK GLOBALLY we need to completely change the way we think about business and the way we understand ‘marketing’. Let us understand that profit and return are not the only variables to consider; impact on society at large is the factor that would lead us to economic and environmental stability.

Some have talked about ‘COMPASSIONATE CAPITALISM’ and some have deliberated upon ‘SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP’.

We may like to put it as RESPONSIBLE ENTREPREPRENEURHIP.

WE need to respond. More so as entrepreneurs of an emerging economy we have to respond; We need to create businesses to inspire and realize sustainable enterprise growth and social development. We need to learn to connect our aspirations for global citizenship to opportunities on the ground.

And we are not talking about austerity here. There are tremendous entrepreneurial opportunities that we are completely blinded to.

Fast food chains are exciting but community kitchens aren’t. Cities are lighting up but no ones investing in solar technologies. Instead of bigger-hollow-costlier schools a smaller-better-cheaper version might make more economic sense. Tremendous PPP (public private partnership) opportunities in the field of rural health care, children and adult education, agriculture technology development etc.

All this is not totally alien to us. In bits and parts, in small pockets somewhere some such initiatives are taken. Our task is to add scale to it and design a unique growth for ourselves. It’s about putting the social concerns out there in the market and turning them into entrepreneurial opportunities.

In the ring we have value creation vs consumption and accumulation. MAKE YOUR BETS NOW!

IMPACT MAKING ENTREPRENEURS is not at all a new term for the alumni of this institute. Initiative, Alertness, Adventure and Adaptive-ness is what EDI has taught us. Entrepreneurs as change-agents are what EDI believes in.

To move forward, lets take the first step, back!

– MIHIR GAJRAWALA





Hello world!

18 04 2009

Blogging since long was on my to-do list; but then complacence has been doin a bit well against me.

finally….here i come; or should i say here i go!!

As i stretch my memory, and try n think of my earliest expeditions in learning ‘expression arts’ ( jus coined this term); the image of me tryin to learn painting comes to my mind. I tried a lot. A bit later came Music. I tried learning some rhythm instrument called ‘Bongo’, this was followed by congo, followed by guitar, still followed by keyboard. Off late also tried my hand at poetry. A dozen summers, or more, would have passed by while all these expeditions went on.

The fact remains that I learned nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Having said that, at some point in time I realised that – within me is this tremendous urge to express. Which also means that my mind is always brimming with ideas/thoughts (useful or useless , dat i dont care) and there is this compelling desire to express those thoughts and ideas.

What i am trying to say is – Painting, playing music etc. were all various attempts that i made (mostly sub consciously) to express what is within. Now i can’t paint, nor can i make music…but what i can do is WRITE.

Writing is an ‘expression art’ for me; and that is the sole reason for me to write. What a Blog offers to me is  a space to express and share. A painter becomes noteworthy when he is viewed, a music piece is termed popular if its heard by many. In short it is not just about expressing , but the ability to share my expressions is what brings me to Blogging.

A disclaimer : I do not write to communicate. Communication is an act one performs for a particular cause or reason. For me the desire is to express my emotions at a particular moment. Thats it. Hence the chances are that the blog turns out to be esoteric, inconsistent, interesting and may be boring! But the fact would remain that there is no agenda.  It will be highly instinctive and zanny. Wander at your will.

My bLog. mY spAce.My exPressions.