Saturday, 30 July 2016

Burhan Wani - A Death-Deserving Terrorist | Opinion at ILN

Opinion - if we go through this term in any dictionary, most of them will output 'a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge'. Another meaning would reflect - 'a statement of advice by an expert on a professional matter'. Both the meanings are contextual. What I am talking about here is the very popular topic we all are discussing in recent days. The media opinion, an opinion that can mend or break, an opinion that can result in riots, an opinion that can pacify the grave situations, an opinion that can make someone the PM of this great nation and opinion that can do 'almost anything'! With the recent developments in Indian media, I am aghast; and I am saying it honestly. Did you hear about the encounter of Burhan Wani? Yes, I am talking about the terrorist who was a threat to the future of the Kashmiri youths and, if I am prudent, national security. The way media has acted (only those who have actually done so, and you know better who they are) has come out as a real problem to fuel the 'forced diversity' in national opinion about issues which are in national interest. We need to understand their motive behind framing such insidious agendas.

An avowed terrorist who 'threatens to kill the men in uniform' is vouched as a 'social activist' by the senior journalists like Barkha Dutt and others of the 'same profession' as she is in. I am lucky to be writing this opinion when the clouds of duplicity have faded away - another most-wanted terrorist Hafeez Saeed has come in public and admitted that he was the mastermind behind orchestrating the protests in the Kashmir valley after the encounter of Burhan Wani. Yes, dear Barkha, we have lost many of our brothers and sisters in the retaliation by our army personnel. We have seen critical injuries and deaths of our brave jawans who have been stoned 'brutally' by those who were protesting to render the valley into a bowl of chaos. We have also seen people like you and other 'doves' signing the petitions and singing the 'mamas' of that killed person. You have framed it as an 'extra judicial killing' and I would like to ask you 'what would be the judicial killing of a terrorist who is ready to kill our jawans with his Pakistan imported AK-47?'

Someone proclaiming himself as a terrorist and has killed some of our army men and several civilians and recruits many Kashmiri youths into a terror organization and regularly poses threat notes to the integrity of this nation and someone for whom Pakistan laments and senior terrorist like 'Hafeez Saeed ji' weeps in public can get no better death than he has 'attained'.

National security and Kashmir as an integral part of India CAN NEVER BE COMPROMISED, mind it, you all journalists who demotivate our brave soldiers and sought public sympathy for those terrorists. You can keep settling your personal scores with a 'journalist' who has the guts to speak the truth and is not a coward and puppet in the hands of terror organizations and is not a part of the big scheme against the nation.

Dear readers, I was not writing, true, but it's not true that I was not keeping a watch on the events taking place in this great country. ILN will come with a new avatar and will become the voice of those who have much to say but no platform to speak. Let's keep things straight as they are; we don't need the misleading opinions of someone who is praised by Hafeez Saeed. Let's use the conscience and see the things with the most appropriate spectacles.

#AlokTalksToAuthor: An Interview With V S Sury

V S Sury is the author of two popular books - Jestus and Jestus on Rampage. His third book in the row is being written these says and will come to the market soon. V S Sury is a retired engineer who takes a deep interest in writing. Surprisingly enough, he is a bachelor and enjoys the life alone. (Should I say that Bacon was right?) This month and a month back, I got the chances to interact with V S and talk about his writings and books. Here is the interview with this author who will leave you laughing once you go through his book Jestus on Rampage! Very soon, I will also write a book review for his book.

Alok Mishra: How do you see fiction? To you, what does a novel mean?

V S Sury: One’s perception of fiction changes over time, keeping in tune with the way one goes on observing and learning from everything that happens in and around one’s life.

All of us indulge in fiction, in various degrees of course. It is inevitable. The reason is obvious, but hidden! Show me a person who does not sleep and dream – dream in its simple, literal meaning. Show me a kid who does not indulge in fantasy. It is a most natural phenomenon inbuilt into the human psyche.

The only difference for a writer is that he does not hesitate to put into words what everybody does involuntarily. Maybe, he has got just that wee bit of knack of shaping the language he employs, that he chooses.

A novel is, thus, a person’s reaction to life expressed through the medium of words – in case he chooses (and dares!) to do so.

Alok Mishra: How do you see the world of novel in contemporary period? Many new books come out daily and most of them are purely commercial books aimed to sell more copies rather than adding to the list of literature. What do you have to say about it?

V S Sury: I was an engineer by profession and became a writer by accident. I have not studied literature separately. So I can take the liberty of expressing a lenient view of the question raised by you.

First of all, we have to appreciate the fact that there are no clear-cut boundaries in literature—except the very few professionals/purists who prefer to do so – in this modern world of ours. The world has grown unimaginably complex and rich in activities. There is plenty of space for both the amateurs and the professionals in every field, including the dilettante, the irreverent and the adventurous. The adventurous, being so, may be tempted by the alluring come-hither signals of Dame Lucre. (The word, ‘filthy’ associated with her is irrelevant these days.)They may even boast that they are being ‘thoroughly professional’; who can question them?

As they say, ‘different folks, different strokes.’ The modern-day world is vast enough to accommodate them all. The crow caws and the cuckoo coos; both exist.

Alok Mishra: You have chosen to stay aside from the list of authors who aim at selling. You write to give your message to the world. Can I know what is the true purpose of writing?

V S Sury: That is a very perceptive remark you have made. I am a late bloomer, as the saying goes. That fact might have probably contributed to my staying off the majority-course. At this stage in life, I feel more satisfied in writing and completing a book than in pursuing its sales.

You have asked about the true purpose of writing. There is no standard answer to that. It also depends on who you are – a reader, a writer or a critic. I choose to answer from the standpoint of a writer.

Yet, honestly, there need not be a specific purpose too, in this mysterious activity of writing. The same mysterious force in the human collective consciousness which makes us utter words from the moment we are born also goads us equally mysteriously to write poems and stories.

With due apologies to the great Urdu poet I would like to quote his famous lines, importing them to the present context: “This is that Fire, O, Ghalib, that cannot be lighted if you intend to and that Fire which cannot be extinguished if you intend to!” Well, that about says it all.

Alok Mishra: Jestus on Rampage is a quite amazing book. You have created a comic hero that continues its journey where it left in the first book – Jestus. Do you have plans for a third in the row?

V S Sury: Yes, I intend to do a third book on Jestus. There is a reason too, for saying so. I believe that life is abundant with humour, and humour will always find an outlet to express itself. Remember that Jestus is full of zest for jest.

Alok Mishra: How much do you think the social media plays a role in the motives of a modern writer?

V S Sury: Quite a lot, I should say. In the present day, there is nobody who cannot help being ‘bombarded’ by the media – of any sort. I have observed that even the so-called illiterates persons are often quite astonishingly aware of the media, absorbing all its inputs. In such a world, the writer will not be human if he is not influenced by the media. Whether he tries to manipulate it or is being manipulated by it, a subtle kind of symbiotic relationship is built up between the two. It is a different but lively story. This is more so with the younger generation which possesses immense vibrating energy.

Alok Mishra: Jestus on Rampage is a kind of book that does not let you keep it aside. You have, in a way, kept the readers stuck to the book even if it’s a lengthy one. How did you do it? What was your motivation behind writing such an amusing book?

V S Sury: It was pure instinct at work, I must confess. Instinct told me that when a humorous narration, will tend to be dull if it is not held up at regular intervals by suitable action. Once I commenced weaving the scenes of action, I found to my surprise that one scene of action automatically gave birth to its next one; and so on. At one stage of its writing, it looked as if the story itself was dictating how long it should be. That, I suppose is the reason for the book being ‘lengthy’ as you say. But honestly, this is not a lengthy book; compare it to some of the books written by the inimitable, maestro, Tom Clancy. A few years back I read the book, ‘The Chessmaster and His Moves’ by Raja Rao. It ran to a thousand pages! (Yet each sentence of that artist read like a dainty ditty.)

Alok Mishra: What can we expect from Jestus in the next book? Any hints for the curious readers, dear Sury?

V S Sury: You said it! The temptation to complete a trilogy is too strong to resist. (As the famous poet said, even the cuckoo sings thrice.)

Our man with the thousand names will continue to play his indecipherable and yet loveable pranks. There will, of course, be enough action and twists to keep the reader hooked.

Hint: I went to write the third book of the series, but was sidetracked by science! The result is a humour-soaked ‘popular’ book on science, ‘Fentoscience’. Hopefully, the book will be released in the near future. Still, not to worry; our dear Professor is the hero of the book!

Alok Mishra: Many thanks for your time and quite witty answers to the questions, dear Sury! Wish you all the best for your coming book!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016


Sustainable development: an UN initiative

After the end of world war ІІ there was pain & destruction everywhere, then the UNO came into existence, which worked for the world peace & development of world. After world war ІІ, it was only possible by the efforts of UN that colonization became globalization.

Now when we think of a globalized world, global peace with different nations speaking different languages & having different cultures; is it because of trade, politics, great military power or great economic power? No, it is just because of UN. The continuous effort of UN has brought this day where we can talk, think of a global world.

In last 70 years UN has faced many challenges successfully. Humankind has achieved impressive progress over the past seven decades. It has reduced violence and has established global institutions, a code of agreed universal principles and a rich tapestry of international law. It has witnessed stunning technological progress, millions upon millions lifted from poverty, millions more empowered, diseases defeated, life expectancies on the rise, colonialism dismantled, new nations born, apartheid conquered, democratic practices taken deeper root and vibrant economies built in all regions.

After hard & honest efforts of the UN, conditions in today’s world are a far cry from the vision of the Charter. Amid great plenty for some, we witness pervasive poverty, gross inequalities, joblessness, disease and deprivation for billions. Displacement is at its highest level since the Second World War. Armed conflict, crime, terrorism, persecution, corruption, impunity and the erosion of the rule of law are daily realities. The impacts of the global economic, food and energy crises are still being felt. The consequences of climate change have only just begun. These failings and shortcomings have done as much to define the modern era as has our progress in science, technology and the mobilization of global social movements.

There is a theory of evolution, for successfully working of anything, it need an evolution of processes so does UN. We need to plan one universal, transformative & sustainable development, underpinned by rights, and with people and the planet at the centre. World is changing every day, it is because of science & technology, so sustainable development needs a hand of science & technology ornamented with INNOVATION.  Multi language can play a great role in the sustainable development of the world. I remember one of the most famous N. Mandela’s quotes, telling that "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head and if you talk to him in his language, then that goes to his heart". So Multilanguage tasking is important too, to understand culture of a nation & its people for a sustainable development of that particular region.

Sustainable development need, equitable, inclusive, and committed to work together to promote sustained and inclusive economic growth; social development, environmental protection and benefit for all ( in particular the children of the world, youth and future generations of the world without distinction of any kind such as age, sex, disability, culture, race, ethnicity, origin, migratory status, religion, economic or other status).

With the globalized & sophisticated technology, we can decide to end the age-old ills of extreme poverty & hunger. Our globalized world is marked by extraordinary progress alongside unacceptable —and unsustainable —levels of want, fear, discrimination, exploitation, injustice and environmental folly at all levels. We also know, however, that these problems are not accidents of nature or the results of phenomena beyond our control. They result from actions and omissions of people, public institutions, the private sector and others charged with protecting human rights and upholding human dignity. . Or we can continue to degrade our planet & all intolerable inequalities to sow bitterness & despair us to achieve sustainable development for all.

First we need to set goals for the sustainable development of world:

Sustainable Development  Goals  – End poverty in all its forms everywhere; End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture; Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages; Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all; Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all; Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all; Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all; Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation; Reduce inequality within and among countries; Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable;  Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns; Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts; Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development; Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss;  Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels; Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

The challenge with a truly transformative agenda is both universal and adaptable to the conditions of each country, and that places people and the planet at the centre. Their voices have underscored the need for democracy, the rule of law, civic space and more effective governance, transparency in the functioning and capable institutions, for new and innovative partnerships, including with responsible business and effective local authorities, and for a data revolution, rigorous accountability mechanisms and renewed global partnerships with based agenda for sustainable development, addressing economic growth, social justice and environmental stewardship and highlighting the link between peace, development and human rights.

We are at a historic crossroads and the direction we take will determine whether we will succeed or fail in fulfilling our promises.  To fulfil the promise of sustainable development we need some elements to help frame & reinforce the sustainable development- underpinned by the rights & with people & planet at the centre. These elements can be Dignity (to end poverty & fight inequality), People (to ensure healthy lives, knowledge and inclusion of women & children), Prosperity (to grow a strong inclusive & transformative economy), Planet (to protect our ecosystem for all societies & future generation), Justice (to promote safe & peaceful societies with strong institution and administration) & Partnership (to catalyse global solidarity for sustainable development).

Some problems like Water, Terrorism, Climate Change, Rising Population, Counter Disease, Finance and Resource Management and Transport need urgent attention to achieve a sustainable development.

Water is not only a resource, it is a life source. We all share the responsibility to ensure a healthy, secure and sustainable water supply for our communities, environment, and economy – our quality of life depends on it. With three objectives on universal access to water and sanitation, improved wastewater management and pollution control, and better integrated water resources management we can somewhat counter the problem of water.

Terrorism is a major threat to the peace of world. It needs a global support to counter & eradicate, from the world.

Human activities have led to a change in climate, ecosystem & nature’s cycle which has caused rise in the global temperature; rains without monsoon, heat waves & cold waves etc. which have affected world. Climate change & sustainable development are two sides of same coin. Every nation on the planet earth is responsible for this havoc & should take necessary steps for the conservations of nature.

The global population has risen up to 7 billion, which needs to feed & demand a rise in the consumption of resources, which can be a hurdle in the path of sustainable development. There is a need for home planning & support of education to counter this problem.

Diseases are threat for the sustainable of healthy human civilization. There is need to provide best & cost effective medicine, proper techniques for diagnosis of disease, better health care & good infrastructure.

To mend the road of development, there is a need of proper finance& resource management and transparency in the system.

There is a need to work with Governments, transport providers (aviation, marine, ferry, rail, road, and urban public transport), businesses, financial institutions, civil society and other stakeholders to promote sustainable transport systems and their integration into development strategies and policies, including in climate action. It will promote sustainable transport that is in line with inclusive and equitable growth, social development, protection of the global environment and ecosystems, and addressing climate change.

Other than these, there are other risk which can be called Global risks (uncertain events or condition that, if it occurs, can cause significant negative impact for several countries/industries within next 10 years) - Economic Risk, Environmental Risk, Geopolitical Risk, Societal Risk & Technological Risk which needs to be countered successfully.

 Economic risk can be stated as failure of financial mechanism or institution, unmanageable inflation, fiscal crisis, energy price shock, asset bubble, deflation, unemployment or underemployment, failure of critical infrastructure. Environmental risk can be stated as failure of climate change adaption, man-made environmental catastrophes, biodiversity loss & ecosystem collapse, natural catastrophes, extreme weather events. Geopolitical risk can be stated as terrorist attacks, weapons of mass destruction, failure of national governance, state collapse or crisis, interstate conflict. Societal risk can be stated as spread of infectious diseases, food crisis, and failure of urban planning, water crisis, profound social instability, and large scale involuntary migration. Technological risk can be stated as critical information infrastructure breakdown, cyber-attacks, data fraud or theft, misuse of technologies.

For the dream of sustainable development, we need support from national public sources, national private sources, international public sources, international private sources, volunteerism and support of every human. And the core of sustainable development should be Scientific, Balanced approach (economic, social and environmental aspects), Novelty, Effective, Accessible & understandable.

To accomplish the dream of sustainable development, not a single person, not single child from any part of the world should be left behind. With our globalized economy and sophisticated technology, we need science based action oriented agenda integrating four different interdependent dimensions- economic, social, environmental & governance. It also need rigorous review & monitoring, better & more disaggregated data, goals & targets that are measurable & adaptable, and transformative action that would apply to all countries.

Sustainable development is the path to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strength governance.



Monday, 25 July 2016


Education comes to rescue...

Education and Culture plays an important role in the development of any nation. It represents a set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices. A country as diverse as India is symbolized by the plurality of its culture. Culture and creativity manifest themselves in almost all economic, social and other activities. Education transforms a human being into a wholesome whole, a noble soul and an asset to the universe. Real education enhances the dignity of a human being and increases his/her self-respect & promotes universal brotherhood.

We all know the importance of sunlight for a plant but do we know the importance of education for a nation? Plants need sunlight for making its food and the food provides energy for various metabolic activities in plants, similarly education is necessary for a nation, it provide the skilled human resource, provide ethical understanding of society and power to transform it to better, provide leadership qualities, provide global understanding of world and universe and provide ability to make a responsible decision i.e. education provide a better raw material(human resource) for the development of nation.

Education is not just academic studies; it is the discovery of new things, being conscious, Social & emotional learning. It Increase self-awareness, social-awareness, Improve self-management, Improve relationship skills, and Nurture responsible decision making. A step forward towards a better education is quality education.

Quality education is Meaningful education i.e. education with purpose, with application and with ethical values. Education has no value without its application.

Education= knowledge + application

 The content which provides knowledge has meaning only when it is used to understand society and environment & used to change it for better. A student education is only successful when he applies his knowledge to change/enhance the quality of his life, his peer’s life and all other around him. The application of his knowledge truly justifies his quality of education he received. Application of knowledge highlights the innovations in an individual.

Idea of education is to bring out the creativity of the individual. It gives courage to think different, courage to invent, courage to travel on an unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible, courage to combat the problems & succeed. This needs the combination of knowledge with application.

Goal of education should be to create an enlightened society having components like education with value system, religion transforming into spiritual force & economic development. Education system must concentrate on developing five types of minds in an individual, namely disciplined mind, synthesizing mind, creative mind, respecting mind and ethical mind.

Disciplined Mind: The practice of training people to obey rules (rules of nature or rules of institution) and the controlled behaviour or situation that results from this training, It’s a method of training mind/body and controlling behaviour or the way of live, work, etc.

Synthesizing Mind: The ability to produce something valuable from somethings by following different process/methods

Creative Mind:     The ability to create new, to innovate, finds solutions of problem by innovative way, fill gaps in the system by creative ways

Respecting Mind: Respect for other humans, respect for other living species, respect for environment, respect for all religions, respect for judiciaries, respect for different races and sects

Ethical Mind:       Ability to justify between wrong and right with consideration to institution or society and take responsible decisions. It reflects moral consciousness and social ethics

First 3 deals with individual & last 2 deal with the relationship of the individual to a group or society.  In other words the education system must focus on creating all the five types of mind in students.

Education is the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world. Only education can teach the world that freedom is living together. Education teaches that all things in nature are interconnected; they all are dependent on each other, they may be different but they all are one. Education brings the idea of unity in us.

In democracy like India, patriotism for a common man is to identify his/her role in the democratic system and play their role in better functioning of the system. Education is the tool which can help individuals to understand their role in democracy and also helps them in playing their role more efficiently and more passionately. Education helps in making a strong and happy family; Family is the unit entity of society i.e. helps in making a strong society. Only a strong and happy family can lead to the birth of a noble nation.

A nation has to have ethics in all its tasks for sustained economic prosperity and peace.

If a nation is to have ethics, society has to promote ethics and value systems.

If a society is to have ethics and value systems, families should adhere to ethics and value systems.

If families have to evolve with ethics and value systems, parenthood should have inbuilt ethics.

Parental ethics come from great learning, value based education and creation of clean environment that leads to righteousness in the heart.

−The family and the nation: ACHARYA MAHAPRAGYA & A.P.J.ABDUL KALAM

Education is very important tool for social economic mobility and for building equitable society. Education helps in evolving a person into a better person, education helps in countering the superstitious things, education makes an individual self-sufficient, and education helps in providing Stable & balanced life.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world   - Nelson Mandela

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Democracy v/s Pluralism

In any democracy the pluralism plays an important role which, I think, is a must. The exact definition of democracy lies in a proverb contributed by one of the great thinker of his time- the government of people by people for people, which would be continue to be appropriate until democracy exists in this materialistic world.

Democracy is an infutile combination of societies. For existence of any society the pluralism is as important as its members either human-beings or animals who form a society. For forming a healthy democracy there is need of civilized societies. But question is how a civilized society can be formed? Answer is, by combining civilized people but again I beg to ask who this civilized people are. In this socieo-economic world there is dearth of civilized people who can actually realize societal value without any pros and cons. People who can really understand societal values and put them into practice, decreases day by day. The main reason of decreasing them is today’s competitive socieo-economic culture wherein everyone wants to be ahead without thinking of proper means of achieving success.

In fact we will not be socially developed until social equality comes. Equality in the sense, once I heard, in England there are similar houses for everyone either poor or rich. Once there are similar houses for everyone in a society, there won’t be any competition for luxury palace. If there is no such competition obviously there would not be any erroneous means to achieve it.

Having said that democracy is established for creating equality amongst people but in today’s scenario people use democracy for wrong proposes. It is prevalent all around. The leader who is elected through democratic process would be a goon of that locality. For his fear people used to get influenced which is the most critical drawback of any democracy. Once like this people got selected on account of gun they forget the democratic way to resolve any issue. They make or impose rule or policy which enriches only them and their co-workers or relatives empire let alone common or poor people. It seems protectors itself became predators.

For establishing democracy in India, what Gandhi, Nehru and Mualana Azad did became out of consideration today. Gandhi’s thoughts- secularism, non-violence, truth which seems enshrined in only curriculum of schools and colleges. Beneath his portrait with his thought lines, that hanged in almost all offices or organizations, so many doubtful things happens but who want to feel what he dreamt.

People are losing their interest in system where saying ‘if you want to change the system, system will change you’ is prevalent. Here everyone exploit others rather than empathize them. Whoever is stronger dominates the weaker. How can we say it is civilized society?

We are in a need of laws, policies or leaderships that could bring equality in the society. Until equality comes there will be dearth of people who can actually understand human values. Without understanding the human values there won’t be any pluralism. And without pluralism there won’t be a healthy society. Then how a sound democracy could exist!