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Research v/s Inner-search

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why-are-we-here.jpgHumans have always wondered what if the reality we are living in is not real. What if it is just a façade? Movies like Matrix have taken it up in popular culture. Although I must state, living in a simulated reality was nothing but funny. But the larger question that underlies it all is the same, “Why are we here”? If you watch the movie closely, it tries to answer the same question. We are here, doing what we are doing, because machines make us do so.

In India, generations after generations of saints have done tapasya to look for the answer. Only their approach was not based on any research but inner-search. Research entails looking around the world. Knowing what others know and analyzing. Research wants us to know more than we already know. It’s flow of data from outside into our brain. Inner-search entails tapasya, believing that we already have the answers to all the questions. It’s only a matter of concentrating and delving into that part of the brain which stores these answers. Inner search does not involve flow of information into our brain; it just involves analyzing what we already know.

Both approaches have tried to find the same thing. Yet, both approaches couldn’t have been more different. One requires data, other abhors data. One requires talks and discussions, other is held in complete silence. More than the quest for answer itself, the choice of approaches has always amazed me. Not surprisingly, both approaches have yielded nothing. We are no closer to the answer than we we already were.

My view is sometimes in search for fantastic, we ignore the obvious. In a bid to find quantifiable answer to satiate our quest, we have ignored the possibility of chaos. What if there is no answer at all. What if all is by chance? How many centuries have we wasted then? Or consider the cyclical loop, “What if we are here to find the answer of why we are here”. Mind bender right?

Similar is the life that we lead. We look for breakthroughs, defining moments and we waste a lot of time doing that. Any moment that you can make worthwhile, becomes a defining moment. Our success is made up of small efforts, which in cumulation becomes huge.

I suggest, instead of searching for an answer worth our time, we should answer, how much time it is worth?

Written by arpitgarg

May 17, 2017 at 5:48 pm

Posted in General/Society

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CNN’s of India gave rise to the Fox News of India

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barka-rajdeep-arnab.jpgArnab’s Republic is on air and is already being called Fox News of India. For someone like me, who regularly tune in to CNN and Fox, I find some merit in this argument. Let me state at the onset that I don’t prescribe to the divisions of left, right and center and believe these lines have been created and preached by smart political parties to remain in power (both sides of the spectrum).

Having said that, just because I don’t prescribe to these, it doesn’t mean people don’t follow it. Voters across the world have been transformed into hard right and hard left by politicians, to create their so called voter base. In India Congress party ruled the country for the first 50 years and hence was able to imbibe its center-left ideology into all walks of life. Only center-left people (who believed and who aped) got backing at each and every step and rose to the top. Similarly, back channel funding, quick approvals were given to media channels that backed the prevalent ideology.

The radicalization of media on the center-left grew to an extent when it became all too obvious. Center-Left got called intellectuals and everyone else stupid or radicals. I have called this decade as the ‘decade of the right wing’ across the world. In line with political resurgence of the right in India, Republic TV has taken shape. Had the doors not shut on people with a particular ideology and they were not mocked and shamed in existing media, Republic might not have been born.

I find youth of India leaning more and more towards right and that’s not a good thing. People should be able to subscribe to ideology on case by case basis. Not everything in any ideology can be correct, not everything in any ideology can we wrong. I blame the obscene stranglehold of one particular side for far too long for this. They have oppressed and mocked the other side, which has fought back and how. People witnessed logic going for a toss even when corruption after corruption was unearthed and still the dynastic politics of national and regional parties was celebrated by existing media. People found existing media in bed with existing dispensation and people felt wronged. Hence they turned to the other side in anger. And angry decisions are rarely right.

Other side is not completely rosy too. They too will try and proscribe that they alone are prefect and existing center-left cabal is the devil. The fact is that devil lies in people and not ideologies. Slowly you will find politicians, media and intellectuals jumping the ship towards right, because that’s where the fat is. This will go on until the time people will be fed up with their propaganda. And then the Left wave will strike back. Such cyclical phenomena have been a fact throughout the history.

Present moment is one of the best times for channels like Republic to take shape. I just wonder if it would have been possible without the CNN’s of India.

Written by arpitgarg

May 12, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Posted in General/Society, Media

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Eman’s Doctors: Paying the price of their own greed

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eman-5.jpgWe have been seeing a story unfold last few days about Eman Ahmed and her sister Shaimaa Selim. For those who might not know, Eman is the patient who was flown in from Egypt for treatment of obesity. Dr. Muffazal Lakadwala and his Centre for Obesity and Digestive Surgery made it known to the media and the whole world that they would be treating the patient free of cost and spending crores in the process. And headlines they got. The heaviest person on Earth and an Indian surgeon to the rescue.

Things have degenerated all too quickly with the Eman’s accusing the doctors of negligence. All hell has broken loose. In major news papers, all I am seeing is character assassination of ‘ungrateful Egyptian sisters’. How the God’s own avatar, Dr. Lakadwala and his team did all the free service and now they are being blamed. And I am amazed how Indian media is not even ready to show Shaimaa’s side.

First of all it was all done not for philanthropy but as a PR stunt. For philanthropy we have enough problems in India to spend money and resources on. But the headlines ‘world’s heaviest woman’ can give to a hospital and a doctor, nothing else can. As about ‘free service’, I consider it advertisement budget, nothing else. It was an investment to get paying patients from all across the world at Dr. Lakadwala’s footsteps.

Coming to the character assassination of Eman’s sister. She is being touted as an ungrateful snob. Why ungrateful? Why now say that it was all free service? Why not treat her as another paying patient? Were the similar reservations made by a paying patient, would we have seen similar character assassination? Such PR stunts have their own downsides and one such downside we are seeing now. Seems the medical team was all too ready to shower in the glory of success and reap millions that follow, but are coming out as sore losers. Like rug has been snapped from under them.

I am not saying that its all Doctors fault, family could be at fault too. But the way character assassination is being done; it’s pathetic and portrays a dull picture of our hospitality. What happened to all ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’? These are two sisters in a foreign land. Shaimaa is worried about her sister Eman. Given the condition Eman is in, I know a lot many of my fellow citizens who would have abandoned their own sisters long back. Don’t we know what a lot many of us do to their parents in old age? But Shaimaa has stood alongside her sister, fighting for her.

She was promised a miracle by the publicity hungry doctors and now she is worried about deteriorating health of her poor sister. If she is blaming negligence, instead of investigating the claim just like it would have been done for any paying patient, whole medical team is busy character assassinating the sisters. Rich, isn’t it. Sad part is media is playing the ball too.

All I can say is Govt. should frame some rules to regulate such publicity stunts which put whole nation’s image at stake.

Written by arpitgarg

April 30, 2017 at 1:01 pm

Triple Talaq: BJP’s Mandal Move?

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triple_talaq.jpgLate 80’s and Early 90’s saw the Kamandal vs Mandal politics. With BJP able to consolidate Hindu votes with Mandir politics, other parties hit back with Aarakshan, driving a wedge in the consolidated Hindu vote. Last 25 years have seen voting along those lines, with Lalu, Mulayam and Mayawati being the biggest regional gainers with their respective caste bases.

Outcome of UP 2017 elections has shocked everyone. How to make sense of the results? The result goes beyond polarization. Unless Muslims have voted for BJP in decent numbers, the results don’t make any sense. And that is why I call Triple Talaq as BJP’s Mandal move. Muslims have always been distant to BJP and have good reasons for that. Like others, I too have been of the opinion that BJP will never be able to woo Muslims.

But the master stroke of Triple Talaq and Muslim women’s rights, has driven a similar wedge among the Muslim voters. Muslim women voting for BJP can explain the mystery results of UP election. There will be a lot of dissection in the months to follow; such is the enormity of the outcome.

Politics aside, women rights needs to be protected. I believe that support for eradicating inhuman practices like dowry or triple talaq has to come from within the community. If Muslim women have voted for BJP in good numbers, it should be considered their silent revolt against the practice and an open discussion must follow.

Written by arpitgarg

March 13, 2017 at 1:54 am

What happened was unfortunate, But Why demonize US?

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india_us.jpgIt’s a matter of sadness that an Indian techie was shot dead in Kansas US, but what I have been seeing of late is a lesson in morality being taught to America by the whole world. Frankly I don’t understand why? First of all the countries which are teaching it, should look at their own minority rights history before pointing fingers.

What is not being highlighted in media is the outpouring of support across US for the techie and his family. Americans have donated whole heartedly for the families’ welfare fund. As I see, American people has been more than welcoming to the immigrants from this side of the world, more than any other country. And what we are doing after a few unfortunate incidents is to demonize them.

For our country where even today, dowry killing and honor killings are rampant, it’s quite rich to preach. Preach to a country which has always welcomed immigrants from all parts of the world.

I would suggest Indian immigrants in US, instead of sending money back to India and buying properties left right and center here, invest in the future of country of your work. Come together and create employments there. Don’t alienate the people there by secluding yourself. Embrace the culture and the society.

Most important of all, consider yourself one of them.

Written by arpitgarg

March 4, 2017 at 10:19 pm

Posted in General/Society

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Bengaluru to Delhi: Real reason behind the beastness

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black.jpgAnother New Year celebration showcased another round of incidents by rotten eggs of the society bringing shame to the nation. Then there were remarks by his highnesses and how so easily media changed the narrative. No one cared other than for TRP’s and hence no one dared to speak the real truth behind the dare of such beasts.

The real reason is the failure of law enforcement and the judiciary of India. If over the years such culprits had been caught and jailed in time and an example made out them, even the high and mighty would have thought twice. Local police stations do not register majority of such cases as they sully their record. Women are left with no option when the law enforcers say, “Madam yeh sab toh hota rehta hai, Jaane do”. Whatever cases do get registered, they take ages to come to conclusion. Women get no support from police, judiciary or the society, while the hooligans are out on bail, breaking the spirit and squeezing the fight out.

But no, who is concerned about the real issue, when the politicians and their apathetic remarks give the ready mix for high TRP’s. The high drama in the late night news shows and the society sleeps sound. Had the police and judiciary done its duty over the years, we would have seen a much better society.

Such selective outrages are good for getting adrenaline going, but what purpose do they serve? It’s been years, still Nirbhaya has not been avenged. The case has been moving through the damping by lanes of courts at snails pace. Want to bet on how long before the men arrested for Bengaluru are out on bail and how long before they are put in jail. I suggest, don’t bet me on it!

Written by arpitgarg

January 6, 2017 at 6:53 pm

Ideological death in Democracy?

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illusion-free-choice.pngI was talking to one of my seniors at office about current state of politics. It got me thinking about the ideology in a democracy. We have been brought up in a society where we came to know how much our forefathers had to struggle to achieve the democracy that we live in.

We have learned that political ideology can be broadly divided into left and right with a center. Left leans towards communism, right leans towards capitalism. Let me take an example of India. Historically we have seen Congress and BJP as left and right parties. Over the years they have grown center-left and center-right.

Today, I don’t see any stark difference their ideologies. Whatever keeps them in power. Congress introduced MNREGA and BJP has continued with it. BJP might very well give loan waivers to farmers before 2019 elections. Both the parties have benefited selected business houses in their own capacity. Both are against electoral reforms and hate scrutiny of donations to political parties.

Makes us wonder is there any classical ideology left in politics? In the sense that does society at large support such ideologies of left/right/center? Coz political parties can only adhere to such ideologies as long as people vote for them. In US, right and left has sustained for decent amount of time, given two party system and high percentage of registered members. In India it has moved to a scramble all too soon. Number of regional parties, based on anti-Congress plank, have mushroomed in last 30-40 years. Their ideology is not left/right but is to uplift certain sections of society.

Advent of Trump, an amalgamation of left right and center, signifies a landmark event in democracy. Democracy anyways is a recent experiment on how to run the society. About last 200 years or so. I believe it’s still in a development phase and will take another 200 years or so, to judge the pros and cons. Maybe we will see a new societal system altogether, who knows.

One thing is for certain, the era of discrete left and right might already be over in major democracies of the world.

Written by arpitgarg

December 17, 2016 at 8:29 pm

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