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newspapers are proofs of the social awareness drug abuse has attracted. Drug related crimes are equally conscience stirring and have made people much over it. We all have relied on the drugs. Our doctors have prescribed for the various diseases, so, how can its use be an abuse. The use of psychoactive substances for obtaining relief from mental tension or physical discomfort i.e. for therapeutic uses is legitimate use of drugs. Contrary to this, when used for attaining pleasure or new experiences and consequent physical or psychological harm is termed as drug abuse. Such drug abuse induces drug dependence and ultimately addiction and habituation. In drug addicts there is enslavement to drugs and compulsion to obtain and consume it by any means. They develop a psychological and physical dependence on the effects of the drugs and an effect detrimental to the individual and to the society. The abusable drugs are of various types; sedatives or depressants that relax the central nervous systems, induce sleep and provide a soothing effect. Stimulants activate the central nervous systems and relieve tensions, make them aggressive and counteract fatigue. Narcotics, like depressants affect — the central nervous system and produce feelings of pleasure strength and lesson inhibitions. Hallucinogens produce distortion of perceptions and dream images. Drug abuse has been explained by psychologists and sociologists. It is generally regarded that pleasurable sensations produced by drugs reinforce their use or it satisfies certain psychological needs, or is a response to fear and insecurity to the conditions of modern life, often association with users is also regarded as a reason for accepting drugs. Drug abuse can also be explained in terms of weakening of social bonds between individuals and society due to maladjustment alienation and noncommitments. A new dimension in drug abuse has been its use by sports persons to enhance their potential beyond humanly endurable limits. The incident of Ben Johnson was a jolt to the sports lovers all over the world and has caused much thinking on effort to curb the recurrence of such incidents. However, with unfailing regularity such controversies erupt, for example Katrin Krabe. It would be appropriate here to search for the causes of drug abuse. Among sports persons it can be safely attributed to the search and urge for glory. It can be an attempt to gain an unfair advantage over the others in the achievement orientation of modern society. The ends have become all powerful and means have been relegated as secondary. The use of drugs among children which is most shocking and astounding can be variously explained. Juvenile delinquents take to it in defiance and deviance to the social values. Some children accept it under peer group pressure and as an act of proving their 'masculinity. Others take to this due to weakening of emotional bonds between parents and siblings. The children who are in an impressionable age require much effectual and emotional bond to wean them away from such antisocial activities. In rural areas the use of psychoactive substance is for religious purposes and on ritual occasions. However, it is also used to relieve fatigue and also a source of entertainment. In industrial urban setting the use is for more or less the same reasons. Apart from the health and physical disadvantages drug abuse causes, it has also led to e acceleration in crime. An addict would stop, nothing to get his dose of the drug. There has been a spurt in thefts and murders by these addicts whose dependence physical and psychological upon the drugs is so great that the accepted values and norms of the society are shelved and their prime concern becomes acquiring their dosage. There has been an increase in smuggling and peddling of those drugs as the economic advantages are numerous. It has also made the gangs engaged in such activities more vicious and violent as the economic stakes are very high.
This delineation of drug abuse brings us to the point where reference must be made to efforts to curb their evil. Given that the use of drugs have historical and cultural context makes prevention more complicated. Efforts have been made to combat drug trafficking, treat addicts and prevent drug abuse. India being on the transit route faces a challenging and unenviable task. However, our Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act has not been very effective, Seizures have increased and so have indictment for offences but that is reflective only of the increase in those activities and not any positive development of control of drug abuse. Other legal sanctions are merely suggestions of intention and not actions. Government regards drugs as a source of revenue and therefore its cultivation cannot be stopped. The inefficiency of administrative machinery in policing and preventing abuse needs no highlighting. The only positive development is the establishment of de-addiction and detoxification centers which, have enabled us to salvage some people from destruction. However, these centers are expensive and the addicts have a tendency to relapse unless they have a strong will power and a desire to abdicate the malaise. Voluntary associations have also been doing a commendable task. In conclusion, we can say that drug abuse has been realized as a major evil. It is a social problem and has legal ramifications. It has been given a high profile now and mass media has been disseminating information to educate people with the intention of preventing drug abuse. The battle continues and war on drugs is on. Scientific Temper and Rational Planning "Realizing these limitations of reason and scientific method, we have siill to hold on to them with all our strength, for without that firm basis and background we can, have no grip on any kind of truth or reality". These are a large number of people in our society who have formally studied or are studying science, clearly driven by job expectations. This has caused the retreat of traditional values and a degree of modernization and homogenization of society, it Is now certainly far less segregated along lines of caste, language or religion. Those who are engaged in industry, business and' commerce have no time to determine what identity their counterparts belong to. This is certainly a major achievement in free India. However, if one looks at some of our fundamental problems, there is much cause for dismay and disappointment. Take the question of population. Even 50 years ago. At the time of Independence, the Indian subcontinent was already crowded. Today's India is adding in population in terms an Australia every year. But we are not adding to our resource base in the same proportion. Irrationality is the lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitary toilets for a large majority of our population, while a small segment is busy with star TV, CNN, MTV and so on. After independence a substantial and comprehensive base of science and technology has been created and several scientists and technologists trained. Among the laboratories of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, there have been some very good examples of integration with application. To mention only two : the Central Leather Research Institute has done well to help export leather goods; the National Chemical Laboratory too has a good record of working with industry. The other laboratories, in spite of high quality manpower and facilities, have not yet been able to upgrade industry or provide new designs and processes. A recent move to make them earn fifty percent of their operating cost outside of the government funds, may force them to integrate with industry. Agriculture has seen a really successful tieup between the laboratories and the farms. We
must continue their association as agriculture will now face another revolution based on biotechnological innovations, it is in atomic energy and space sciences, where the applications have been tightly knit with laboratory work, that progress has been really very impressive. Indian scientists and technologist expected that links between thelaboratories and application areas would be strengthened, and that we would soon see a strong, selfreliant industrial and agricultural development. But now we face irrationality. The opening up of the economy and liberalization, after four decades of regulation and control, has been widely welcomed. If the new open door policy succeeds, India Is expected to have large manufacturing bases for products of multinationals, hopefully supplying an overseas market with goods that will compete globally in price, quality and performance. This could happen at least in a range of products where our resource base would augment the advantage of lowcost skilled labor. On the other hand, we will only be manufacturing to designs evolved in one of the advanced countries. The design capability we have built up is in danger of wilting. The exceptions would be where the MWCs find it' profitable to integrate Indian design effort into their mainline work. This is likely to be limited. What are the prospects of product of Indian technology breaking into the export market? Software export has been growing well and there is considerable scope for expansion. As a general rule, the scale of manufacture has been small. Even our larger activities would be mini or micro in international comparison. Many of these industries have been too small to support independent design effort, let alone research and development. There is a real danger to the survival of many of these industries In the face of competition from overseas giants who can indulge in price cutting and dumping with takeovers, dismantling of any line of manufacture could easily happen in the guise of rationalization. Why is it important for India to continue its faith in selfreliance? Many people would point out that many economics such as those of South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and others have done well in growing as part of international division of labour. Let us recall that Indian with a population of 800 million and China with over one billion are the two potentially largest economies. They will grow for the next several decades. They will therefore, be large markets for both capital goods and consumer articles. India will continue to build power stations, extended electricity supplies, add to its fleet of trucks, modernize the railway system, build petroleum refineries, and so on. Equally, the consumer demands for automobiles, two wheelers, TV sets and so forth will also continue. It is important, therefore, that we not only manufacture these articles in the country but also improve them with newer designs based on research and development undertaken in the country. There is a need to integrate ourselves into the global economy at our own pace as equal partners but not be stamped into joining as second class citizen. Whenever one defends the policy of the opening up of our economy the case is on the basis of bringing in the latest technology required to rapidly build up the nation. Quite often we end up getting technology, for soft drinks or fast food. Verghese Kurien posed the question "Why do we need to import the technology for potato chips?" A news item talks about the entry to India of the American fast food chain, Mc Donalds. The entry is justified on the ground that it would attract overseas tourists. The list of irrationalities does not end here. At another level, there is the irrationality of the Indian Science Congress instituting an award for astrology. Another irrationality staring us in the face is the Dunkel Draft that is being negotiated by the GATT. Western Pharmaceutical companies have complained in the past about India's patent laws. Even if, these laws did not suit them, the country has been able to supply lifesaving drugs at affordable prices. Under the new dispensation, this may not be so. Even more ominous are the provisions relating to intellectual property rights as they apply to agriculture. According to noted agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan, free flow of knowledge across national frontiers helped the growth of agriculture and animal husbandry worldwide. The provisions, of the Dunkel Draft favour Europe and North America and
mitigate against the developing countries. Even in the field of computer software, the Dunkel provisions mitigate against the hours. In a number of cases, court orders were wrongly interpreted to the chagrin of the affected parties, forcing them to go the High Court or the Supreme Court for contempt proceedings. Not surprisingly, the system of ready justice dispensed by criminals and antisocial elements with the connivance of political parties is finding increasing acceptance in society. The Kini murder case is only the tip of the iceberg. Political parties are not prepared to take up the cudgels against the trend. Rather, they denigrate the judiciary. It is not therefore, surprising that the leaders of political parties at the national level are talking of reasserting the supremacy of Parliament visavis the judiciary and of amending the Prevention of Corruption Act to exclude the elected representatives from its purview and so on. There is also a move to amend the provisions of the Constitution to bring the judiciary under the undisputed hold of the executive in the matter of appointment and transfers of judges of the higher judiciary. The latest in this series of the proposed onslaughts is the move to curtail the scope of Public Interest Litigation by making it obligatory for the applicant to pay a deposit of Rs. 1 lakh and to confine the eligibility of the applicants to those who are below the poverty line and so on. The arrogance and insensitivity of the executive at the State and Central levels were decisively brought home recently once again by its actions of invoking the provisions of the Official Secrets Act. In a recent PIL case in the Bombay High Court pertaining to the reported death of over 1.000 children during the last four, years in the tribal area of Melghat in Amravati district, the Maharashtra Government took the unbelievable stand that the two reports of inquiry made by Secretaries to the Government could not be made available s they were secret. Fortunately, the court did not uphold this plea and directed that they be made available to the parties to the litigation immediately. The other PIL onan equally vital public issue—the safety standards in nuclear establishments—asked whether precautions were being taken conforming to international standards and whether the regulatory and overseeing institutional arrangements were adequate. Again, a plea of the matter being secret was taken in the court by the Government of India. Unfortunately, the court accepted the plea and dismissed the PIL. As it happens, the State Government concerned is being ruled by a coalition of the Shiv Sena and the BJP, and the Centre by a coalition of 13 political parties with Congress support. Therefore, in a sense, almost all political parties are partners in making a mockery of an open, transparent and responsible government which a democracy is expected to provide. It also shows their disregard for the judicial process and judicial review in such areas of critical public interest. This inevitably raises the question of the direction in which the Indian democracy is heading. Sooner than later, the question which Mr. Thackeray asked "Who rules this country, the executive or the judiciary," will have to be answered in no uncertain terms. It is the rule of law which governs the country. The executive or the judiciary or Parliament are mere instrumentalities. It is a travesty of truth to say that during the 50th anniversary of our Independence, answers to such basic questions are still unclear to the ruling political elite. Information Technology and Small Entrepreneurs A small scale enterprise is the dream of an ambitious individual who does not want to be employed by others but to stand on his own legs. Such a person wants to have guidance in the task of setting up the enterprise. If he succeeds he becomes wealthy and if he loses he has lost everything. Therefore all his decisions should be sound and there is the importance of information. Entrepreneurs require varieties of information when they get involved in the process of identifying and formulating the project, raise various resources, implement them
and keep the same growing. While in the process of identifying the project he needs to have a checklist of projects that may suit his background, within his capacity to invest, relevant to the location he prefers, and so on. Then, with the list of products or projects he has to undertake market research, and by process of elimination select that single project of his dream and .prepare a detailed project report, thereafter he has to raise resources, arrange for land building, plant and machinery, recruit personnel, eject and commission the equipment, develop products, establish marketing channels, sell his products, get customer feed back, keep competing in the market and grow. All these activities require a mass of accurate and uptodate information. For a given investment the employment potential of the small industry is the highest. Since a government has to give high priority to solving the unemployment problem so as to remain in power the State and Central governments have established a number of organizations to undertake development of large, medium, small, tiny, and cottage industries. Since the last three are very large in numbers running to millions spread far and wide there are hundreds of organizations functioning at the district level, state Capitals and throughout the country also. The Small Industry Development Organization of the Government of India with its vast network of institutions across the entire country, state level industry departments, district industry centers, small industry development corporations, state financial corporations, village and khadhi industries commissions and boards, and many more such organizations are spending enormous amount of resources. All these organizations are supposed to provide varieties of crucial information to the entrepreneur and help him take the right decision every time. Some organizations have the mandate to provide uptodate project profiles for entrepreneurs to make investment decisions. For about 8000 project profiles containing number of variables with respect to item, location and chosen technology there is no one to provide a reasonably uptodate project profile when demanded by the entrepreneurs. The same is the fate unreceptive of getting market research data, analysis and reports, industrial potential reports, area development study reports, requirements of product and services from small industry by large and medium industry, central and state governments, are also supposed to be within the reach of small entrepreneurs. Then there is the need for the small entrepreneurs to know about foreign trade information concerning importers, exporters, countries, their industry and business profiles, sources of technology, raw materials, equipment, patents, quality standards, pi ices, government rules and regulations, taxes and duties, and so on. But the entrepreneurs do not get the information. The export promotion councils, and government undertakings have severe limitations to fulfilling the needs of small entrepreneurs who themselves cannot afford to gather the same. Now information services are well organized in the developed world due to the developments in electronics, computers and telecommunication. The development in electronic data processing, personal computers, networking, linking pc. modems and telephones have now made it possible to collect large magnitude of data. Instant online retrieval of information and storage through what are called CDROM desks have become a reality, in the developed world data base companies such as Knight Ridder information inc., Compuserve, America Online and World Trade Centre network are revolutionizing business. Internet is proving to be a fantastic for not only information but also communication
through Email, fax possibilities. Business publicity through Internet is spreading like wild fire. There are something like ten thousand database companies collecting daily global information, updating and making the same available worldwide. Although many organizations in India, both government .and private are in the business of providing information they have severe limitations with regard to resources, expertise, technology and vision. A few organizations such as the centre for monitoring Indian economy, BISNET of rICCI, India on line by DART, INSDOC, National Informatic Centre, and others have appeared on he scene. Internet has been introduced. But these developments have hardly been of any help to the small industry sector. Electronic data processing is yet to be known to the small industry development organization. National Informatics centre is nowhere near developing database for small industry. Enormous information was gathered when the CENSUS of small industry was organized. This was supposed to be for understanding the sector and taking policy decisions for the development by the official machinery. While no one knows of any policy decisions haying revolutionized the sector, it is quite obvious that an excellent opportunity to develop a database of small industry was lost. About two decades ago the National small industry extension training institute had put in a lot of effort to build a documentation centre. But due to various reasons it has not emerged as a national institution for coordinating the information needs of small industry. It is time there is an apex organization network with all the promotional institutions in India as well as abroad to build a specialized database centre for small industry. The single most important database of crucial interest to millions of Indian entrepreneurs is the project profile database. It should cost around hundred million rupees. There is need to database concerning government policy, procedures, taxes, finance, technology, markets and company profiles. Specialized database industry wise, area wise, and so on will also be needed. Since small entrepreneurs individually cannot afford to spend on their own to establish information centers there is a need for the Governments or nongovernmental organizations to take up the initiative in the matter. Considerable investment may be required to bring in equipment and expertise. Hundreds of organizations across the country will have to network with each other and share the cost and work. But who will bell the cat? To meet the needs of millions of small entrepreneurs it may be required to establish hundreds of database. The Investment required will be substantial. The existing organizations work in water tight compartments and have no idea of the magnitude of the task. There is a widespread view that information should be provided to the entrepreneurs when asked for without any cost. There is no way for organizations to share the information and cost. Neither the official machinery nor the small industry associations understand the importance of information. While the official machinery plans for making stringent rules and regulatory laws to ration the concessions, reliefs and subsidies the entrepreneurs and their associations develop expertise to find shortcuts to get doles from government departments. The infrastructure needs such as information, power and roads, are easily forgotten. There is tremendous scope for service industries all over the world. Information services can also be profitable when millions of persons are seeking the service, it is true that the poor quality of service organized with lot of investment but offered almost free of cost at present is a discouraging factor. But it is the experience of almost everyone who has involvement in the extension services to the small industry that entrepreneurs do not mind paying as long
as the information is uptodate, available when asked for and reliable. The technology that is emerging is exciting and can be easily marketed. The country is moving towards an information revolution. Highly trained manpower is easily available. Science and technology parks are being established. Therefore it is a matter of time that this service sector gets noticed by the entrepreneurs themselves. Millions of unemployed persons need net get frustrated and keep hunting for jobs. Upto date information, available at affordable cost when asked for, will act as motivation for them. So many small industries need pot fail for having taken decisions based on wrong or insufficient information. Instead of looking for local markets the industry can hope to get overseas markets. Networking with global entrepreneurs means better quality products at cheaper prices for the consumers. It is not only empowering the entrepreneur but also enriching him or her. Major restructuring of promotional institutions is necessary to establish an apex organization to coordinate the development of database centers for small industry in India. It is also necessary to encourage private and non private institutions to join hands with government departments to promote information services. The entrepreneurs should understand the importance of information and be willing to pay for it. Such developments will benefit millions of persons. The Scourge of Unemployment One of the principal manifestations of and factors contributing to the low levels of living in developing nations is their relatively inadequate or inefficient utilization of labor in developed nations. Underutilization of labor is manifested in two forms. First, it occurs as underemployment—those people, both rural and urban workers working less than they could. Underemployment also includes those who are normally working full time but whose productivity so low that they would have a negligible impact on total output. The second form is open unemployment—those people who are able and often eager to work but for whom no suitable jobs are available. It is this form of underutilization of labor which is of our concern here. Open unemployment, often includes skilled workers highly trained in sophisticated technologies within its ambit. This involves a colossal waste of the nation's human resources. On a different plane, such unemployment causes unfathomable trauma and alienation on the person thus affected. The number of unemployed persons in a developing country depends primarily on the size and age composition of its population. In this context two observations, are of the prime significance. Developing countries like India succeeded in substantially reducing the death rates without bringing about a commensurate reduction in the birth rates but also created high present dependency ratios and rapidly expanding future labor ratios. The second observation relates to the impact of fertility decline. Even if fertility rates were to decline its impact on labor force size and age structure would be visible after a considerable period of time. Having made these observations we now turn towards the aim of development for developing countries with special reference to India. In developing countries most of the unemployment is structural, here the demand for labor falls short of employment account of agricultural backwardness, underdevelopment of industries and small size of the service sector. Like all other underdeveloped countries, India presently suffers from structural unemployment which exists both in the open and disguised forms. Apart from structural unemployment the phenomenon of industrial recession in the last couple of decades has also introduced, what is called cyclical unemployment. However, this
type of unemployment can be removed by antirecessionary policies and by raising effective demand. Hence, structural unemployment remains our principal aliment. For analytical purposes unemployment in the country may be thought to exist in two forms : urban and rural. Urban unemployment includes industrial unemployment and educated unemployment while rural unemployment can be either open or disguised. An important section of rural unemployment in India is seasonal in nature. Most of the unemployment in urban areas is open and undisguised. Industrial unemployment in urban areas is on the rise despite the phenomenal expansion of the industrial sector during the Plans. The circumstances which led to such an eventuality are many. First, there has been a rapid increase in the economically active population which has far outpaced the growth of economy. Secondly, population in urban areas has grown faster than otherwise warranted because of a large influx of rural migrants. The slow growth of industries has retarded the capacity of urban centers to absorb this surplus labor. The education system in India continues to churn out lakhs of matriculates and graduates every year. These people have little or no vocational training and they are unfit for any skilful employment. The consequence of this is that they all hanker for white collar jobs and other low paid unskilled jobs. It is not uncommon, therefore, to find graduates and others with still higher qualifications competing for unbecoming jobs. The imperfect education system with its theoretical bias, lack of aptitude, maladjustments between demand and supply of educated workers are some well documented causes of educated unemployment. Let us now look at some aspects of rural unemployment. Seasonal unemployment in the farm sector is a normal occurrence in India. Indian agriculture being a gamble with monsoons and the existence of a very small proportion of irrigated land ensures that the persons working on unirrigated tracts remain unemployed during the dry months unless they get some employment elsewhere —which is very difficult. A widely acknowledged fact about Indian agriculture is that it is characterized by the existence of considerable amount of surplus labor. In green revolution belt, demand for wage labor has increased and agricultural laborers have had to be brought in to meet this demand. As already mentioned most of the unemployment in India is structural. Its main causes need a deeper insight. Evidently, the demographic factor has played a major role in contributing to the rapid growth of labor force in the country since independence. However, in the Indian context social factors affecting the supply of labor are as important as demographic factors. The emergence of educated women has added a new dimension to the supply of labor force. These women have a changed perception of employment and they have come forward in a big way to compete with men for the few jobs available. The breakdown of the Jajmani system of tradition order, upcoming new occupations and the expansion communication and transport facilities have increased the mobility of labor. This has resulted in an exodus from rural dwellings to urban locales thereby expanding the labor supply in urban areas. Evidently, economic development in cities has failed to cope up in providing additional jobs to these new urban entrants. Thus, in a way, at least some unemployment in the cities can be definitely characterized as a spillover of unemployment in the countryside. The size of employment in any country depends considerably on the level of development. As the country develops a large proportion of workhorse gets absorbed in the secondary and tertiary sectors. This has happened in India too but not at the desired rate because barring a few exceptions the actual rate of growth of national income has fallen short of the targeted rate in all successive Plans. Moreover, the Indian planners seem to have overlooked the argument that in the early phase of development there exists a real conflict between the objectives of economic growth and employment. Another argument relates to the choice of technology mix. Though no longer very fashionable, the argument rests on the premise that for a labor abundant country like India labor intensive techniques of production should have been employed
which has not happened. The situation has been because of stewed administering of factor prices in favor of capital. The distorted factor price .structure encouraged greater capital absorption at the cost of labor. As already mentioned the education System in India is also responsible for our predicament. We have been following the Macaulay scheme which makes no attempt at development of human resources. It is structured to provide clerks and lower level executives to the government; .and government's needs are limited. Thus,' those who receive this kind of education are according to Gunnar Myrdal, not only, inadequately educated but also wrongly educated. Unemployment has a very high linkage with 1 poverty and income distribution. It not only leads to tremendous economic hardships but also a traumatized individual existence. It reduces the self esteem of the individual and inevitably leads to his alienation from the society. The roots of the current problems of youth unrest, juvenile delinquency and growing crime rates can to a large extent be traced back to the problem of unemployment. As already mentioned unemployment underemployment in the countryside leads to urban migration. This put and immense strain on civic amenities in these areas thereby reinforcing the spirit of despondency and alienation. The Government is awake toward this scourge on civilization and it has launched various schemes like Jawahar Rozgar Yojana, Nehru Rozgar Yojana, etc. But these Yojanas though necessary because they open direct assault on poverty need to be streamlined and supplanted. Streamlined because these plans have a tendency to overlap, they are manned by unmotivated, uncommitted and corrupt personnel and they do not have a clear line of action, as such they are incapable of rising to the challenge. In any case, they have to be supplemented by a vigorous attack at the root of the disproportionate rise in labor force problem viz. population explosions. However, , even the most effective population control drives will take a long time to overcome the 'population momentum'. Therefore in the short run the need of vocationalizing of education and expanding self-employment cannot be overemphasized. Chemical Warfare and India Media reports some time ago suggested that New Delhi was worried about India having signed and ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention, when the United States, Russia, China and Pakistan appeared to be dragging their feet. Some reports even went so far as to say that New Delhi was looking for loopholes that would let it renege on the commitment. Cur ratification is not only morally correct but also in our best security interests. If India indeed has second thoughts, an informed debate is must. Unfortunately, there is very little awareness of the implications of chemical warfare in South Asia for such a debate. Chemical agents could be nerve agents that are like insecticides and which kill very quickly. Blister agents are liquids that primarily burn and blister the skin, within hours of exposure. These were used widely in World War I, and mustard gas is an example. Choking agents are volatile liquids, the fumes of which when inhaled, cause death by injuring the lungs and causing choking. They are less powerful than the nerve agents. Blood agents like the choking agents are also breathed in and they kill by preventing body tissues from utilizing oxygen. These are also less potent than nerve agents. In a nonnuclear situation, the possession of chemical warfare capabilities would be seen in the strategic sphere as a formidable blackmail asset in the armory of the opposing side. It would also be seen in the operational or tactical spheres as an invaluable asset for restoring an adverse situation. In a nonnuclear weapon scenario, a one-sided Chemical Warfare (CW) capability would be destabilizing. China* openly possesses such capabilities, and India and Pakistan have the technological and industrial wherewithal to easily create CW capabilities. Under these circumstances, the pressures on both the countries to actually do so either openly or clandestinely would be great.
In a situation of nuclear asymmetry, a much touted belief exists that CW is a poor man's answer to an adversary unclear capability. If the nonnuclear power uses its CW capability, there has to be the presumption of an almost certain nuclear retaliation. It can be argued that this fear of escalation into nuclear response was what deterred Mr. Saddam Hussain from making first use of CW either against Israel's strategic targets or on tactic as targets in the combat zone during the Gulf War. At any rate, a nuclear retaliation to a nuclear first strike without provocation or when only conventional hostilities are underway. On the other hand, a CW retaliation to a nuclear first strike. Whether in the strategic or tactical spheres, is in terms of damage, going to be so puny by comparison, to say nothing of other uncertainties including wind and weather, that its deterrence value would be questionable. On balance, therefore, the view that a CW capability can deter an adversary's nuclear capability is too simplistic and ought no; to be accepted by any serious planner. Only nuclear weapons can deter nuclear weapons. Let us assume that a minimum nuclear deterrence is operating mutually in the South Asian context; this might be unweaponized. However, as long as it is tacitly accepted by all parties to be capable of being used within a matter of hours of being needed, the first use of CW by any country seems most unlikely, as the target of chemical attack is almost certain to retaliate by making a second strike with weapons of mass destruction, if it possesses both a CW and a nuclear capability, the second strike might use either, depending upon a number of variables; however, the initiator will have to assume the worst. Therefore, it is most unlikely that CW will be initiated. In case the target of the CW strike is either without or believed to be without a CW capability, it would be almost axiomatic that nuclear retaliation would ensue and deterrence would be stronger still. When a minimum nuclear deterrence is in place, therefore, creating or deploying a CW capability will be an exercise in futility. The threat of use of CW against city targets would have a high degree of effect on the morale of the target population. Once used, this effect on morale, which is caused primarily by the fear of the unknown, will decrease dramatically with every successive attack. The use or threat of use of CW against city targets will have some impact but not on the scale that the threat of use of even nominal yield fission weapons will have. The damage from nuclear weapon use is of magnitude more severe than the damage caused by CW. Neither India nor Pakistan can afford to equip every soldier, sailor and airman with complete protective clothing and equipment for CW, especially if nerve gases have also got to be taken into account. Even if one assumes that this would be possible, there are other difficulties in providing protection against a surprise attack, and in continuing to wear protective clothing for militarily significant periods. In the plains and the semi-desert and desert terrain on the Indo-Pak borders, especially in summer, it would be impossible to wear protective gear for long enough to perform worthwhile missions without unacceptable loss of efficiency. There would be a severe danger also of heavy casualties from heat exhaustion. In the summer, it is impossible to survive inside tanks and armored vehicles, closed down. These factors indicate that the protection of troops against a surprise CW attack would be virtually impossible. This will lead one to believe that only premeditated first use might permit one's troops who are in the zone to be warned and protected; However, such activity might lead to a loss of surprise, which is an essential prerequisite for a successful CW attack. First use in defense to restore an adverse tactical situation would be possible close to our own defenses only if the defending forces have been equipped with protective gear and warned about the intended use of CW, This may or may not be possible depending upon a number of factors, especially whether the adverse situation developed suddenly, or whether there was adequate lead time to deploy protective CW equipment. Making first use of CW in areas that may not have an adequate and reasonably quick impact on the immediate tactical situation would serve little purpose. Thus in this case, too, we do not see any great wisdom in risking chemical or nuclear retaliation by making a CW first strike. A retaliatory second strike is the only sensible and effective way of using CW if one's
adversary starts this form of horror. The target can be chosen in such manner that the troops in the target area are unprotected; a total surprise can more easily be ensured, because the choice of targets is wide in type and geographical location. The corollary is that when both adversaries have CW capabilities, it appears that CW would be more suited for deterring each other's chemical weapon capabilities than for first use in proactive situations. Countries that have a nuclear weapon capability have truly no necessity for developing, maintaining or deploying a CW capability. Doing so would definitely not be cost effective, apart from being foolish, and going against the encouraging international trend of proscribing CW. Those that do not or cannot have a nuclear weapon capabil' ity will find that the CW capability is only cost effective as a deterrent against CW and not against nuclear weapons. In a world that is moving decisively towards the abolition of chemical weapons. Creating such a capability at this juncture will not be cost effective. Those that have clandestinely created such a capability would now be wise to come clean and destroy stockpiles, synchronising with the destruction of stockpiles, where applicable by their potential adversaries. India should maintain an effective minimum nuclear deterrent vis-a-vis China and Pakistan. This has to be tacitly seen as being credibly present. As to whether it is weaponized arid deployed or otherwise is not material as iong as it is believed all round that this capability can be put to use within hours if there is a nuclear or chemical first strike against India by of its adversaries. Given this, India need not produce, maintain or deploy chemical weapons systems. If .any stockpiling has indeed taken place, India can even destroy its stocks unilaterally, and clearly state that any chemical attack, whether in the strategic or tactical sphere, will be met by activating in an adequately timely manner, a nuclear response. Where Does Capitalism Go from Here ? But where does capitalism go from here? Always a broad crunch, it seems all the broader now that the competing paradigm (the command economy) is dead. Will the various species of capitalism— American, European, East Asian, to name but three— come together or move further apart? Given the new demands that will be put on developed economies over the coming decades, will western capitalism of a recognizable sort even survive? The main varieties of capitalism have always differed in significant respects. In America, for instance, shareholders have a comparatively big say in the running of the enterprises they own; workers, who are for the most part only weakly unionized, have much less influence. In many European countries, shareholders have less say and workers more. In Germany, for example, the representatives of unions serve on supervisory boards; the companies' principle bankers also have plenty of clout in the strategic decisions of management. On this spectrum, Japanese capitalism lies even further away from the American variety no role except to provide capital, managers have been left alone to run their companies as they see fit— namely, for the benefit of employees and of allied companies, as much as for shareholders. Despite these differences, all species of capitalism have had certain essentials in common. These are the things that will need to be preserved if liberal economics is to go on to further success. First and foremost, capitalist countries have separated, to a high degree, the realms of politics and economics. As a result, in capitalist countries it makes sense to think of each of these realms in its own right. Decisions about what goods and services are provided, by whom, to whom and for how much, are made for the most part in markets, by willing buyers and sellers. Governments in capitalist countries participate in markets, often in big way, either as buyers or sellers, or as regulators. But they do not (except in certain narrow areas) usurp the price system altogether. When they hire civil servants, for instance, they pay a market wage according to the kind of worker they wish to attract. Put it this way: in capitalist countries, the extent of government intervention is a matter of politics; the manner of its intervention is, by and large, a matter of economics. Under communism (as under feudalism), by contrast, the political and economic realms
were essentially one and the same. Those in power exercised their claims over resources in fundamentally nonmarket ways. Illicit transactions aside, these systems left little scope for voluntary economic arrangements. Private ownership has usually been a feature of capitalist economies. Certainly, it is a natural counterpart, a reflection of the separation of politics and economics. But it is not in fact a necessary counterpart because, in achieving that separation, control matters more than the ownership does not guarantee control. That is why you could argue, for example, that for much of the 1980s southern China was a more capitalist place than India. In southern China state ownership of property was (and still is) the rule, but enterprise managers (like farmers throughout China) were given increasing freedom to run their business themselves. Even without private property, a separation o£ politics and economics was achieved, and the price system began to direct the allocation of resources. India, on the other hand, has much more private ownership, but until the reforms of the early 1990s it also had a system of state control that rivaled that of the Soviet Union. A factory making bicycles needed permission to increase its output, or to reduce it, or to start making a new kind of bicycle. This "license raj" was so pervasive and intrusive that, in effect, it unified the realms of politics and economics, despite the existence of private property. Capitalist economies, despite such institutional differences, also have much else in common. In the market system that flourishes when politics and economics are kept apart, decisions about the allocation of resources are highly decentralized. Instead of an explicit organizing intelligence, there is spontaneous and unwitting coordination— the invisible hand. Instead of planned cooperation, there is competition. This competition extends far beyond the static rivalry of elementary economic theory— that is, far beyond competition among existing producers and their products. It also encompasses competition among new, would be producers, ideas of the products yet to be invented, alternative means of production and different nodes of industrial organization. Because capitalism is decentralized and competitive, it is especially good at conducting experiments. This may be its greatest strength. Experiments can be conducted on a small scale and at correspondingly small expense in resources. Successful ones reap big rewards. That, of course, provides the incentive to undertake the experiment in the first place. But profits are also the signals for others to follow, so successful innovations (of product, service, method of production of mode of organization) are quickly taken up elsewhere. Equally important, experiments that fail— as the overwhelming majority do — can usually be abandoned with comparatively little pain, and at no cost to the politically powerful. These conditions offer the maximum encouragement for efficient innovation. It is unsurprising; therefore, that western capitalism has been relentlessly innovative. Rapid development in East Asia has already caused much tension over trade in America and European Community. As economic liberalization spreads, the pressure of competition on the west's low and medium tech manufacturers will increase. The US already runs large bilateral trade deficit with China, a fact the., weighed as heavily in last year's debate about what tariffs to set on China's exports as did protests over China's infringement of civil rights. Opponents of America's free trade agreement with Mexico emphasize the threat that cheap imports pose to America's manufacturers. In the same way, the European Community has been inexcusably slow to grant the reforming countries of Eastern Europe liberal access to the Community's markets. These are disturbing, if unsurprising, signs that the spread of capitalism in the poorest parts of the world may undermine support for the market economics in the countries where it has already worked well. Against the pressures threatening to undermine capitalism in the coming years, the strongest countervailing force is likely to be technology, and especially the revolution in communications. In many industries technological progress has reduced the fixed costs of production, making it easier for smaller firms to compete with larger ones; or else it has developed new products that broaden the possibilities of competition in another way. The communications industry itself is a striking example. Where there was once a natural
monopoly needing to be regulated, namely the telephone company, there will be competition in the future. The same phenomenon is likely to become more common in other sectors. To deal with it, governments will try to cooperate with each other in devising new systems of international regulation (for example, the BASLE capital standards for banks, or the harmonization of national rules in the European community). But this is difficult, as it is likely that technology will continue to move faster than governments. As these opposing forces work themselves out, governments of every political complexion ought to keep two broad choices in mind. One, in effect, is to give way to the pressures that will tend to impede the market system — that is, to favor more trade protection, help for declining industries, an eve: expanding welfare state, and measures to limit cross — border regulatory avoidance. This may well be the course that best responds to popular demands. But it is also the option that operates against change, and hence against growth. The alternative is to continue the work of the 1930s, in both rich and poor countries, to extend the scope of the market. It means, among other things, free trade; policies to protect workers unlucky enough to be in declining industries, rather than policies to save their jobs; and a welfare state that helps the poor, not the middle class. This may be politically impossible; capitalism is held in low esteem in the countries it made rich. It is, nonetheless, the pro-change pro-growth choice. Education As a Short of Commodity Today Over the past three decades, there has been a sea change in the attitudes of people connected with education Teachers, administrators and planners, students and parents are all looking at education as a sort of commodity that leads on to better earnings and status in society. It is not surprising that it is so. But what is unfortunate is another development leading to an attitudinal change in society. The intrinsic value of education is no longer recognized although pious platitudes are mouthed quite frequently. The main reason is that the flux of change has caught up with education much more dramatically than with other areas of activity. While the demand for education has been growing steadily in the developing countries including India, quality has not kept pace with it. Another factor, and an equally disturbing one, is the politicization of the campuses. Not only colleges and universities, even high schools seem to be getting infected by this virus. It is not uncommon to find on many campuses pedagogues espousing the cause of one political party or the other, no in any academic sense, but with a fervor that would do a party spokesman proud. About 30 years ago, student unions and debating societies discussed live political issues. The debates were of a high level with the participants thorough in their home work Communication skills too were good and even those who set their sights on politics as a career went through this exercise with earnestness and sincerity. Similarly, mock parliaments marked the academic calendar in many colleges; the professors in charge spent a lot of time and energy guiding students and training them in the art of debating. These debates attracted a large number of students who came to cheer their compatriots. There was on all sides a desire to learn, be informed and to enlarge the mental horizon. This aspect, which made college life in the fifties and sixties valuable, is sadly missing today on a vast majority of the campuses. Yet another aspect is that the pedagogues were by and large scholars who believed in furthering knowledge. They had an abundant love for their students and could spare time for those who cane to clarify their doubts. Thus, the mutual bond of affection and scholarship helped cement a lifelong relationship between the teacher and the taught. This is conspicuous by its absence today. These losses cannot be counterbalanced by an impressive infrastructure in the form of stately buildings and an array of instruments in laboratories. The human material of the
earlier years did in a large measure fulfill the task set out for it, namely becoming teachers in the true sense of the word and this was done in an environment of virtual poverty of hardware. It is here that the mentors of the olden days score over the pedagogues of today. Perhaps, the teachers of these days worked in a spirit of self-effacement. An inexhaustible love for learning characterized their daily schedule and this got transformed into an abiding love or teaching, in a way, this was the next best that one could wish for in the place of the ancient "gurukula" pattern. But the institutionalized classroom instruction has degenerated in the last three decades or several reasons. The unholy preoccupation with things that are material (which, of course, is the result of the present consumerist trend), the craving to get rich quickly, the closing of the avenues for certain fields of study to the youth who genuinely pine for these and the decadence that has set in society as a result of the erosion of ethical values are to blame. Caste considerations in the selection of candidates to courses and jobs are also contributing factors. Educationists, by and large, feel that this type of affirmative action by the Centre and the State Governments has been carried to the extreme and need? to be modified to meet the aspirations of the rising generation. It is a pity that parents are now intent on pushing their children into certain grooves of academic activity. This is evident from the obsession of parents with getting for their wards seats in the professional institutions. There are instances of middle class parents becoming almost paranoid about seats in engineering and medical colleges. The proliferation of these "self-financing" colleges has in a way satisfied this great demand. But the categorization of seats under the labels "free" or "payment-based" and "payment" has led to an anomalous situation. The students selected ur.der the "free" seat quotas are perforce to pay tuition fees as prescribed for the Government or aided colleges. Often, the hapless scholars have to pay something more on the sly, especially while opting for preferred courses such as computer science arid engineering. But those selected under the "payment" category have to shell out three or four times more. Not unexpectedly, this type of differentiation — two sets of students paying vastly different fees for the same course — produces in the minds of the youth a distorted sense of values. To be fair to the private managements, it must be said that the cost of establishing and running a professional college has gene up steeply in the last few years. Also, the pressure on the managements to improve the facilities has increased, thanks to the statutory bodies such as the All India Council for Technical Education and the Medical Council of India. The objective, no doubt, is to make the errant managements who are in the habit of commercializing education mend their ways. This has had a salutary effect in almost every State where the self-financing colleges came up. The conduct of examinations by different agencies including the school boards and universities is another prickly issue. In the last few decades, the number of candidates appearing for various public examinations right from the SSLC through the higher secondary to the degree and postgraduate levels has grown up by leaps and bounds. Indeed, it is becoming unmanageable (running into lakhs of candidates in certain categories) for any centralized agency such as the school boards. A strong case can be made out for decentralizing the system taking care at the same time that a modicum of uniformity in evaluation and assessment of answer scripts in maintained. What is to be guarded against is the leakage of question papers that has come to characterize the modern scene. The "necessary evil" of examinations cannot in the present context be replaced by any other system: the only remedy is to make the entire process, right from the setting up of question papers, invigilation, paper dispatch and valuation to the announcement of results foolproof. Whenever a reexamination is ordered, it is the hardworking, studious candidates who undergo greater hardship. The curbing of malpractices is only one aspect, refining the techniques of evaluation and selection of teachers of integrity to be in charge of the process is the crucial part. Campus watchers are struck by the distortion that has crept into the academic field in the
last three decades, namely the neglect of languages, the humanities and the social sciences. A study of subjects such as history, politics, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, languages and literature provides for a deeper understanding of human relationships, behavior and social currents. A majority of students go in for sciences and commerce. While this trend is in consonance with the science and technology age, the skewed preference for these subjects may not in the long run benefit society. There must be some way of making the humanities attractive to youth, both from the point of view of employment opportunities and from a higher plane. Also, the teachers who handle the subjects must be men and women of exceptional ability, capable of sparking student interest. Unfortunately, such teachers are dwindling in numbers all over the country. A vigorous effort must be made to attract talented youth to the humanities which are essential for the evolution of human development. Parties, Parliament and the Law — A Real Conflict For all its familiarity, a political party is a peculiar entity. Presiding officers recognize it by the number of elected members in a House. The Central Election Commission adjudicates when there is a dispute over the symbol by two groups. The courts have their own criteria for deciding the true claimant to the original nomenclature and assets in the event of a split. It may exist at one level, like the TMC, in the Lok Sabha, and not at all be officially recorded, in the Rajya Sabha. Where you stand in Indian politics does not depend on where you sit in Parliament. Had Mr G.K. Moopanar become Prime minister in the wake of Mr H.D. Deve Gowda's exit, the United front coalition would have been led by a Congress party member of the Rajya Sabha. Ms Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of state for civil aviation in the UF government, is also a member of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha records. The Tamil Maanila Congress, of which Mr Moopanar is the president and Ms Natarajan a member, has no official presence in the Rajya Sabha. Political parties are not an organic whole and this could be the cause when the Election Commissioners is seeking stricter compliance with provisions, such as holding organizational elections, maintenance of proper accounts and filing tax returns. The suggestion by one of the Election Commissioners that parties should desist from issuing a whip in presidential elections, is yet another provision which may catch up with the conscience of political parties before they are prepared for this break with tradition. The cumulative result of having to meet more external requirements will chip away at the "power of party bosses over members. The situation is further complicated where parliament and courts do not accept each other's jurisdiction and the EC zealously guards its own domain. With the result, by the same set of laws, a party that is split in Parliament may be an undivided organizational body, and a split parliament party may be a unified legislature bloc. Theoretically, there could be as many as six versions of a split party if it is affected at these three levels. Parties are the result of their status being subject to different rules of recognition by different constitutional offices and by the judiciary. When the organizational wing of a party splits, the rival claimants seek to settle the matter in a court of law, or before the Election Commission which adjudicates on the symbol. Under the anti-defection law, whether a party has split or hot is decided by the Speaker. But the ruling in the Lok Sabha could be at variance with that delivered in a state assembly. And these two wings of the party, split or otherwise, get legally disconnected from the general body and its organs which have to turn to the courts and the EC. Elections to the assembly and Parliament remain the ultimate test of vindicating the true claimant. And. ironically, therein lie the root of the problem. To remain in the election process requires the party to adhere to EC rules and guidelines.
This burden is greater on the party than on the candidate contesting the poll. It is the party that has to maintain accounts of income and expenditure and file tax returns. It is the party that has to exert itself to hold organizational elections and go through the forms to keep its members eligible for elections. And when a member joins the elected elite the falls under the jurisdiction of the Speaker, and often the party needs him more than he needs the party which is the bigger force. A group of MPs or MILAs can reduce their party to role and failing to achieve that, break away by inviting expulsion. Mr P.V. Narshima Rao; overcame the minority status of "his party in Parliament by winning over small groups of MPs from other parties. Mr V.P Singh's government was kept on tenterhooks even before it fell by a group of MPs who were controlled by Congress strings. The anti-defection law institutionalized the primacy of legislators over the party organization, except for the minor distinction it makes between a defection and a split. All that it did was legitimize wholesale defection and put retail traders out of business. Regardless of a party's share of votes, en masse defection could nullify its very mandate. It is a travesty of representative democracy when elected representatives can retain their parliamentary status even after being alienated from the party's popular base on which they were voted in. In this situation of declining party power, the whip remains one of the few means of restraining errant members. And parties resisting surrender of this slender rein on its elected members are understandable. The EC did well in not hastily adopting the suggestion for this presidential election. It is not the relative merits of a party whip, against conscience vote which prevented the matter from being pursued any further. It was recognition of the fact that no master what a constitutional scheme may be, its workability depends upon the consent and cooperation of political parties, and not the clout of regulatory bodies like the Election Commission. Political forces have always taken the view that constitutionalism taken to the extreme can mitigate against the spirit of the statutes. By the same logic parliamentarism carried to excess in the name of democracy can kill both conscience and content. In a party democracy there cannot be partyless parliamentarism to its worst sense, which is where politics would drift to if elected members were freed of primary commitment to their parent bodies. This cannot be checked by asking Speakers, courts and election commissioners to keep out of party terrain, because that is neither desirable nor possible. A practical way out is for political parties to take the initiative for evolving functional norms that meet the EC's terms for electoral purposes, do not clash with the jurisdiction of presiding officers, reduce areas of conflict between courts and legislatures and, strengthen their organizational hold on members regardless of their place in elected bodies. Unless parties reform themselves, external regulations will continue to be viewed as the only option with the bureaucracy gaining in primacy over political forces. Had political parties functioned as they should with regular elections, proper bookkeeping and filing of tax returns there would be little room for external intervention to enforce these. Compliance with procedures would strengthen their credibility and moral authority to resist interference in areas of political management. It would be in the interest of parties to begin addressing these issues now instead of waiting until they reach another flashpoint. On Article 356, parties have more or less arrived at a certain unanimity. In much the same manner, issues of party management need to be resolved so that recurrent conflicts involving the EC, courts, defections and splits are kept to the minimum. Parties which have to be disciplined by official fiats can hardly be effective in providing political leadership to the bureaucracy when in power. Human Rights Violations The prevention of child labor has become a crucial issue because it is not merely a question
of exploitation but also creates the problem of juvenile crime. The recent legislative curbs have brought about some changes in the pattern of employment of children in the organized industry. Child workers fall mostly in the age category between 10 and 15 and are engaged in gainful occupation which exposes them to hazardous work hampering any chance of their development. According to the Labor Force and Planning Commission, the number of child labor had gone up to 3,765 lakhs till 1995 and by the year 2000, there could be a threefold rise to 25 millions. At the root of the problem lies the question of poverty and the very low family income of child workers. In recent years, there has been a decline in the proportion of child labor in the organized sector but it has spread its tentacles in the unorganized sectors such as road construction, weaving industry and restaurants. According to the 1981 census, Jammu and Kashmir had 10.53 per cent, the highest number of child labor incidence out of which about 85 per cent was engaged in handicrafts and handlooms. Aristotle had compared the superiority of the educated over the unlettered and said that it was "as much as the living are to the dead." The importance of education for the physical, intellectual and moral will of an individual cannot be overemphasized and its success lies in releasing the individual from the clutches of ignorance in all possible permutation and combinations. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has concentrated on eliminating child labor, particularly child prostitution, which in a way has become an organized, clandestine profession. The Commission has made stupendous progress in eliminating child labor in the glass industry of Ferozabad district in Uttar Pradesh. The news of the deportation of 75 Indian children, including girls, from Saudi Arabia points the underground functioning of a powerful syndicate which sells poor, deformed children, particularly female children, from the Murshidabad district of West Bengal. The Commission can play an active role by involving nongovernment organizations and creating awareness among the general masses. It is paradoxical that while the percentage of literacy is increasing, the total number of unlettered has also been increasing. Besides, there is a tremendous difference between the male and female literacy ratio. In 1931, there were 560 male literates for every 100 literate females In 1991, the tally was 63.9 and 39.31. Though there has been a significant improvement in the literacy rate of the females and the difference has narrowed down to a certain extent, the overall position of women has not improved much. Women workers are exploited in the private and public sectors. In certain unorganized sectors, the womenfolk, especially those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, face sexual harassment and are denied equal wages. Concerted efforts by the NHRC and nongovernment organizations are needed to remedy the situation. Another major challenge is the alarming population growth (16 per cent of the world's population), rendering efforts towards tacking unemployment difficult. The International Labor Organization's report on World Employment, 199697 says that the economies of most countries have noticed a declining trend in employment opportunities but the overall scenario of employment in India, the Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar is particularly pessimistic. It is important that a major portion of the national resources should be used to generate more job opportunities. A Home Ministry report, Crime In India, says that 5,692 cases of juvenile crime such as a criminal breach of trust, burglary and counterfeiting were registered in 1994,. Tamil Nadu reported the highest number of juvenile offences (3.521) followed by Gujarat (703). Education can play a major role in removing these distortions and discrepancies in society. Hence, an organized attempt to impart education to even the poorest is essential. Checking the abuse of power is a crucial strategy for maintaining human rights. On many occasions, the Army and the paramilitary forces have gone berserk while tackling terrorists and protesters. There are many instances when they have not even spared the womenfolk
and children. Besides, the armed forces have also been accused of atrocities including torture, rape and killing in fake encounters. The powers given to police are enormous that incidents of custodial deaths, counter killings, missing persons and torture are increasingly being reported over the years. Besides, the prevalence of several repressive Acts is an indication of the interference of the State machinery in the lives of the people. The Terrorist and Descriptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1985, originally enacted to tackle terrorists in Chandigarh, Punjab and Delhi, was extended to other parts of country. The main criticism against TADA is that the accused is considered guilty unless he proves his innocence. Under this Act, a police officer can even act as a magistrate while the identity of the witness produced against the detenu is kept secret and confessions (apparently extracted under torture) are permissible as evidence. Amnesty International has criticized torture by policemen and fake encounters and the inhuman conditions in jails. Police must advise a multilayered approach based on a system checks and balances to gain credibility. The policy of transparency that the Government has adopted after NHRC urged it to allow the activists of Amnesty international to visit the Kashmir valley has been helpful in reestablishing the Government's credentials. A lot of awareness has taken place after the establishment of NHRC but there are still myriad challenges requiring a careful handling. The growing problem of refugees has added a new dimension to the problem. The Chief Executive of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC), in her address to the 65th convention of the Indian women's conference titled the "Empowerment of Uprooted Women" has highlighted the acute problem of refugees and the violation of rights across the globe. She said that 70 per cent of the 26 million displaced people were women. Afghanistan is having the maximum number of such refugees. About 1.2 million refugees have been stranded in the war zone of eastern Zaire leading a stalemate. New Delhi has 25,000 refugees of different origins. The problem of refugees generally makes the condition of women vulnerable. They are invariably subjected to injustice and foul play. In the past, several incidents took place in which women faced abuse and rape. Many Somali women refugees were sexually abused when they took shelter in Kenya’s camps. The Chinese authorities tortured and imprisoned many Tibetan nuns who were supporters of the cause of Tibetan independence. The fourth United Nation Conference Women has provided a platform for the promotion and protection of women's human rights by making them a core issue for international agenda. But this alone cannot yield results unless the decisions are properly implemented. Coordination between the United Nations and various women organizations will be useful. Extreme poverty, natural calamity, violence, environmental degradation, civil war and terrorism are the main causes of the refugee problem. A humane approach, with an attitude change towards the refugees and long term structural solutions such as the provision of job Opportunities, will be of help. Cooperation between UNHRC and NHRC can yield positive results. Policy of Compensatory Discrimination: A need for Review Compensatory discrimination is one of the most controversial issues. But out of the whole issue one of its most debatable program is the policy of reservation. It is often confused that compensatory discrimination or protective discrimination and reservation program are the same thing. In fact, reservation program is one of the programs of the policy of compensatory discriminations. lt includes, financial, housing and health facilities apart from reservation in jobs and educational institutions. It is true that reservation has generated much passion than any other issue. There are reasons behind it. Reservation for SCs and STs had been accepted in late 1940s by our 1st generation leadership who were much committed for the organic unity of the Indian society. The stigma of 'untouchability' in case of SCs and 'isolation' of STs could be broken only by
education aid mass emancipation. For this, the masses were also educated, which is evident especially after 1932, i.e., Poona Pact Gandhiji's special drive for the emancipation of the untouchables helped to generate an ideology which could counter the communal ideology of untouchabiiity. Thus, reservation for the depressed classes was an outcome of ideological campaign along with the fear to lose national unity. So the whole issue had been internalized in a different sociopolitical situation, forty years ago. Now the situation has changed alongwith a major shift in the issue. At present reservation is demanded not for "untouchables" of "Physically and culturally isolated tribal groups", who constituted minority; but for a large section of masses who constituted 52% of the total populations, which includes some big land owning castes like Yadavas & Kurmis (in Bihar). Secondly, there is no threat to the unity of India, after forty years of independence it is more secured. Now people want their share in the cake of national polity. And in this particular point the reservation policy takes political dimension. The trend to use reservation as a tool to mobilize certain sections of masses is also having a long history. In 1939, Chaudhary Charan Singh demanded 50% reservation for the farmers. Later in 1947 he wrote an article in Hindi in this regard. He achieved a little success to mobilize Kisans. As neither constitutes a class or a community. In fact the present structure in India is not homogeneous; they divided among big landlords, middle peasants and landless laborers. So to unite them as one class is something out of question. Later, Chaudhary Charan Singh too shifted to mobilize masses on the basis of caste. This is evident in his political career during the Janata Government. A similar move could be seen in the political mobilization of Shri Ram Manohar Lohia who tried to break the hegemony of Brahmins and Banias by mobilizing the shudders and other backward classes. The N.F. Government's move on August, 1990 is very conspicuous in this regard. The Prime Minister was blamed dividing national unity on caste lines and promoting casteism for personal political gains, the circumstantial evidences raised a needle of suspicion on the intention of V.P. Singh. But all these attempts at national level failed to mobilize a vote bank of more than 50% masses. The reasons are quite simple. Firstly, the 52% of OBCs (as calculated by the M.C.R.) is not a homogeneous category. There are economic, social, political, cultural and ritual differences within these groups. There are depressed castes, communities juxtaposed with politically dominant and economically well of castes. The dominant sections have vested interest in the policy of reservation. But the really depressed are so backward that they are not educated enough to reap the benefit of reservation. In fact, it is a political battle of two groups of elites; the elites who belong to "forward castes" and the elites who belong to the other" backward castes". The third group of elites, i.e. the elites of SCs and STs had already had their share. And they do not find any substantial gain by taking side of the OBCs as this would dilute their own interest. Whereas elites of SCs and STs have their own mass bases, the elites of forward castes and OBCs do not have distinct mass base. Now, this is clear that both the elites are trying to carve out their own mass base so as to ensure their political position. But, where the SCs and STs are homogeneous and distinct categories the OBCs are heterogeneous hence their calculation is bound to fail. Secondly, the nonacceptance of reservation policy by a vocal section of people of India could be understood in terms of regional variations. The policy of reservations for the OBCs is tremendously successful for South Indian states whereas it failed in the North Indian states (i.e. Hindi belt, except Bihar). It is because of the historical and ideological roots of the OBC movement in the state as it generated the socialist and secular political forms which has taken support from the masses of both SCs the STs as well OBCs. This is mainly due to the social composition. The masses of South Indian states are largely deducted and the OBCs are dominant there both numerically and politically. This is not the same for North Indian states where dominant sections belong to the upper castes. There are various other reasons. The policy of job reservation could excite small sections of
masses but not the whole people." The "Economic Liberalization" has challenged the public sector corporations and government jobs. Their absorption capacity is bound to decrease. In an open market, naturally merit will be given priority. Hence, there is a need to review the whole policy of compensatory discrimination, if we are really concerned about social justice. Mass Communication and Social Change "One of the objects of newspaper is to understand the popular feeling and give expression to it; another is to arouse among the people certain desirable sentiments; and the third is fearlessly to expose popular defects". — M.K. Gandhi Historically, social structure and tradition in India remained impervious to major elements of modernity until the contact with the west began through colonization. This contact had a special historicity which brought about many farreaching changes in culture and social structure of Indian society. There was, however, one important feature of Indian modernization during the British period. The growth of this process was selective and segmental. It was not integrated with the microstructure of Indian society, such as family, caste, village community. At these levels, the British by and large followed a policy of least interference, especially after the rebellion of 1857. Later, in the twentieth century, as the nationalist movement gathered momentum which felt strong need to mobilize masses in the active policies. The press became the chief instrument for carrying out the task that is for arousing, training, mobilizing and consolidating nationalist public opinion. The influence of the media on Indian masses was tremendous. It not only educated the masses politically, but also motivated them to discard irrational, old and evil social practices. The media of communication which have accelerated the rate of growth and cultural diffusion of modernization have also been introduced in India by the colonial masters. Printing was introduced by the Portuguese in the second half of the sixteenth century and incentive for this was provided by the Christian missionaries. In the British territory, the first press appeared in Bombay in 1674 on the initiative of an Indian named Bhimji Parekh. In early eighteenth century a printing press was established in South India by the Danish Lutheran Mission. Written newspapers called Akbar are known to have been in circulation during the time of the Mughal Empire, but the printed newspapers came into existence only after the contact with the west. A beginning in this direction was made about the first quarter of the 18th century. Similarly, the British also introduced telegraph, railways and modern postal system in India. The changes which have followed since the expansion in these communication media in India constitute an indirect but concrete index of modernization. During 194041, India had between 3000 to 4000 printed newspapers and periodicals published from a variety of centers in seventeen different languages, a few bilingual. The number of newspapers and periodicals increased by almost 42.7 percent in almost twenty years. At the end of 1966 their number was 10,977. Phenomenal increase has also been made in the means of communication such as postal service,, movies, radio and information media through" posters, hand bills, and mobile filmshow units. The increase in costal facilities alone may be evident from the fact that in 1836 there were only 276 postoffices in India which increased to 74,596 in 1962. Similar increase has also been made in the other media of communication and transport. The expansion in transport by the railways, roadways, airways and waterways has contributed to the intensification in the volume of interaction and contact between one region and another; travelling by railways and buses was an immediate blow to the principle of caste hierarchy based; on the theory of pollution and purity, since in the same railway coach or bus people of all castes, high or low, had to travel. In the beginning there was some resistance from the conservative section of the upper castes, but such movements soon petered out, devaluing by railways and buses was not only accepted but these were
increasingly used for pilgrimages and for other socioreligious purposes. These technological innovations have, therefore, to some extent brought changes in the traditional outlook. How far this impression is valid in India of today? How far do the press, radio and television mould public opinion and bring about a change in the attitude of the government and the people on important problems? The politicians and the bureaucrats acknowledge the importance of the press and its freedom, and about the proper use of the government controlled electronic media but when the need arises, have no hesitation in putting curbs on the press and in using the electronic media for one sided propaganda. On its part, the .press which claims to be free; conveniently forgets the constraints under which it functions because of the control and ownership by large business houses. These in turn are obliged to government for a number of things vital for publication of newspapers and the other business interests of the proprietor. The editor has lost the importance and freedom that he once enjoyed. In other words, the power of pen is no longer as powerful as it once was. The reasons are obvious. They lie in the changed political situation in the country as also the changes in the structure of the press during the year since independence. In his autobiography, Mahatma Gandhi defined the role of the press in these words; one of the objects of a newspaper is to understand the popular feeling and give expression to it; another is to arouse among the people certain desirable sentiments; and the third is fearlessly to expose popular defects." In the preindependent days publication of a newspaper was a mission, it was another front of the freedom struggle. Circulation was small and so was the revenue from the advertisements. Now publication of a newspaper meant for the proprietor the opportunity to convey his point of view, influence public opinion and the government. Multiple edition newspapers, chain newspapers and new newspapers owned by industrialists sprouted, professional journalism course has reduced the prestige of an editor o which he used to enjoy earlier. Now his pen is directed in the direction of the publisher. Now publication of a newspaper has become a commercial enterprise. . Apart from print media, electronic media has revolutionized the society. Television has altered lifestyles, living patterns and indeed life itself. Some sociologists see this as a portent of the second dark ages; to most it is the onset of an exciting new millennium where information is the ultimate power tool. Alvin Toffler, once said that" the power of the state has always vested on its control of force, wealth and knowledge. What is professionally different is the changed relationship among these three. The new supersymbolic System of wealth creation thrusts a wide range of information related issues into the political agenda. Is the Indian nationstate ready for this paradigm shift? Are Indian media professionals ready for this change? And will these farreaching changes actually affect a third world country like India? The sheer size and complexity of India makes it a difficult country for mass media. With over j (370 million people talking in 16 major languages and a variety of lifestyles to boot, it is obvious one cannot address all of them together all the time. The all pervasive influence of television cannot be denied. What is it that makes TV so very different from other media? Most obvious is that it is audiovisual, unlike newspapers or radio. It is a domestic medium where the images are received in the privacy of the home. It is low cost, reaches large numbers and gives watchers a sense of participation. And, in a country like India, with its high rate of illiteracy, it informs and educates, even as it entertains. Every use of media presupposes manipulation. Each newspaper has an editorial policy which gives its news a particular slant. Here in India, already the parameters laid down by Doordarshan are wrapped, confused and out dated. Similarly, the attitude of Zee TV, the Star TV has been disappointing. Despite the brouhaha over its launch, it is obvious that Zee is still grappling with an identity problem. And because the owners have other business besides broadcasting, they rekeeping away from hard news. All news is elitecentred; but TV news is usually more ethnocentric. Its accent is on people,
places and events. But TV news must go beyond mere reportage of facts, and capture the story between the lines. Television is also a great window to the global market place. Goods and services are continuously being sold through TV's dreamworld. Doordarshan has created many products successes; Rasna, Nirma, Maggi etc. But they are all pointers to the power of the medium as well as its drawback. TV sells a lifestyle, not just a product. This lifestyle must have an element of fantasy mixed with identifiable characters and concepts. As is often said, TV spawns desire, not demand. What is true for soap and noodles is also true for politician and leaders. The expansion in the technological means of travel and transport and increase in the number and circulation of the newspaper as forms of media exposure are directly associated with cultural modernization. In the Indian case, this media exposure results both in modernization and traditionalization. Postal and telegraph services not only bring with them more information about distant places and the relatives located distantly, thus increasing people’s mobility, but also the facility to organize caste associations and other traditional group activities more efficiently. Hence the modernization of the channels of communication results into a kind of cultural between the value systems of tradition and modernity. Resource Crunch In Education "Education has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading." Institutional education is the focal agency which 'socializes' the individual after his primary exposure within the family. Education does not mean attaining literacy, nor does it mean pursuing knowledge, nor does it mean pursuing knowledge merely for the sake of knowledge. It means much more than that. Ideally speaking education must instill and transmit the norms and values of a society; it should prepare the young people for adult roles and select young people in terms of their talents and abilities for appropriate roles in adult life. Moreover, education must realize its potential for creating a more equal and just society. The imperative of the structure of education in a country are derived from its historical education pattern and the present priorities. In India, historically our education system was conspicuous by its specificity. For a long time access to learning was considered to be the preserve of higher castes and that too only for males. Although there have been glaring exceptions to this but this has been the general trend. The content of education was nonsecular and was oriented towards making the individual accept and conform to the structure of society and completely subsume his individuality into the society. Seeds of modern education were sown by foreign Christian missionaries, the British Government and some progressive Indians. The introduction of modern education in India was basically motivated towards catering to the politicoadministrative and economic needs of the British colonizers. As such the system was geared towards providing clerks and lower level whitecollar workers to the Raj and requisite attention towards vocationalization of education was not paid. Somehow, this system was maintained in postIndependence period too, resulting in an immense proliferation of (substandard) institutions of higher learning, a drain on the exchequer and worse the creation of a vast population of educated unemployed youth thoroughly disenchanted with the system. The inadequacies in terms of quality and quantity of primary education, the inaccessibility of education to sections of women and other weaker sections of society are apocalyptical. Recently the education process has been further vitiated by the process of politicization of education. Politics has crept into education at the level of academic appointments, as well as student activism and last but not the least, even to the 'content' of education imparted to students. On top of it all, is the financial burden thrown on the education system by the
government by announcing reductions in educational allocations. In fact the drying out of financial support from the government to education is only the logical fallout of the resource stringency faced by the government grants. In this context the talk of privatizing higher education and even privatizing textbooks is gaining currency. In an era of prevailing financial exigency and the ongoing economic reforms, the need for devising strategies for ensuring costeffectiveness of educational schemes cannot be overstated. There are sufficient reasons to rationalize the funding of higher education on the grounds of equity and efficiency. In this context it would be worth mentioning that higher education enjoys government support to the extent of eighty five percent and the government decision to freeze grants has come as a blot from the blue to the university community. As it is, the education sector had been reeling under a less than adequate budgetary support (approximately 4 percent in the Eighth Plan as against a six percent upwards projection of the National Policy on Education Revised, 1992) and the double impact of rapid inflation and rupee, devaluation. The combined impact of all this is that the 'real' allocation to education has declined over the years. The university community can legitimately fell outraged because the level of funding has' been decelerated at a time when they are already plagued with underinvestment and fiscal deficits. Besides, the freeze has been slapped on, without providing alternative avenues of fundinglike liberal loan scheme or taking policy initiatives on the fiscal front for mobilizing additional resources by universities as are generally available to autonomous bodies. The most important issue therefore is to identify alternative sources of finance which could be exploited. At the same time effective and gainful utilization of available resources is essential. Thus, a two pronged strategy can be envisaged— one relates to measures for effecting economy in expenditure and other to the mobilization of additional resources. More than sixtyfive percent of university expenses go towards the salary bill of teaching and nonteaching staff. Economy measures therefore largely affect the staff in terms of either retrenching staff or postponement of recruitment of faculty members. This not only undermines the university plans to carry out ongoing schemes but also strikes at the root of the intellectual viability of the university system. However, since economy in budgeting is unavoidable one would be betteradvised to check nonacademic expenditure by scaling down dependence on nonteaching staff and cutting administrative expenses. Economy can also be effected by devising methods of interinstitutional sharing and lending of facilities like libraries and laboratories on which huge investments are made and yet they are not fully utilized. As far as the question of mobilization of additional resources is concerned, a case can be made out for raising tuition fees. Though, the requirements of universities are too high even for raised tuition fees to sufficiently provide for, yet a beginning in this direction is most welcome. More so, because most' of the beneficiary groups largely hail from the better off section of the society. In this context schemes need to be devised which would extract fees from beneficiaries according to their income ability or allow them to meet the educational expenses out of interestfree loans while the education of poor sections of society should be suitably subsidized by the Government. Besides an upward revision of fee structure (especially in professional courses) other resource augmenting measures include full recovery of costs of education from foreign students, mobilization of resources from industry by way of initiating relevant programs for managerial and technical staff of industries and other commercial organizations, undertaking consultancy projects from industry, revising users charges like hostel, laboratory fees, library etc, Thus, unless an equitable and efficient funding mechanism is devised the process of upgradation of human capital the sine qua non of enhancing resource use and productivity will be seriously handicapped. Moreover, productivity enhancing new innovations and technologies will also be difficult to come by from the conveyor belt of institutions of higher learning. Privatization of Textbooks
Privatization or denationalisation of textbooks is put forward as an extension of the process of privatization of education. Let us first see what 'denationalization" of textbooks means and what its implications are. Nationalization in its classical sense means the state or its agencies like the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and its affiliates in the states (SCERTs) are responsible for the editorial, printing and distribution of textbooks. In this light one can argue that the debate on denationalization of textbooks is irrelevant because firstly prescribed textbooks exists on!, for school level classes (I to XII) there are no 'textbooks' as such for higher classes and secondly because the state does intent the private sector to share the enormous load of printing of textbooks and is completely dependent on the private sector for their distribution. Despite, the at best 'partial nationalization' of textbooks that we presently have in India, to lobby of private publishers want this sector to be thrown open to them which means that they would be able to cater to the enormous demand of the growing school population. Normatively, there can be no objection to such a proposal if it will lead to better textbooks in terms of language, style, subject matter and production. The ability of private publishers to singularly meet the enormous demand and the cost to the consumer can be the only other considerations in this regard. The prospects of private sector cunning out better textbooks are very bleak if the past performances of this sector are any indication. Mostly, private publishing is.a one man show with a majority of publishing houses lacking in even the mandatory editorial departments not to speak of production staff, proofreaders etc. The ability of the private sector to handle the vast magnitude of demand is also suspect because no single publisher can possibly have the requisite infrastructure—in professional staff, warehousing spaces, sales outlets etc. besides the huge financial investment required. As far as the price to the consumer is concerned we can expect a steep rise in prices because the private sector does not work on the ecclesiastic principle of 'noprofitnoloss'. Private sector works only for profit. If what we have said above seems like an advocacy ofstatus quo ante then we would like to quickly state that what is required is a rational costbenefit analysis of the two extremes. The private sector should weigh its merits visavis the state endeavor and devise ways which maximize benefits to the society as well as the entrepreneur. Surely entrepreneurship cannot be given precedence over the subjective quality of education. Efficiency of resource utilization while at the same time ensuring quality in education so as to enable it to perform the sociological task expected of true .education should be the only guiding criteria. Proper Manpower Planning: A Must For Development The third world countries are exposed to the process of change operating at the national and local level simultaneously, extending and expending both geographically and socially, affecting both the form and functions of groups and organizations, and evolving new patterns of living and thinking. The ruling elites of these countries are influenced by the liberal or revolutionary philosophies of the West either of their earlier colonial masters or of their allies in their battle against Imperialism. They have been equally impressed by the industrial strength of the West supporting its production machine. Leadership of the third world countries is therefore endeavoring in every way to introduce change on this pattern and to strengthen its process- the process of development. For its leadership development therefore is a recurring theme and a common idiom in the vocabulary. Development, basically, is change with a predetermined direction affecting various segments of the society. Politically it expresses faith in individual development in the context of liberal or collectivist philosophy as adopted by the governing elites. It also encourages individuals' conscious participation in its decision-making and decision implementing process. Economically it aims at increasing goods and services and increasingly putting economic efficiency (cost-benefit relationship) and follows growth indicators of GNR Administratively it works for functional specialization amongst its
operating organizational structures and tries to support it by the concept of professionalism. Collectively it makes the whole process communitarian with increasing social mobility and with natural mobilization of community associations makes the whole process participative and pervading stable and enduring. On the eve of independence day as a third world country was stuck down in her efforts of development with low capital formation, low per capita income, low literacy rate including low functional literacy and low level of production organization; but with very high population growth, high unemployment and under employment mark. Planning has not been new to Indian leadership and in administration a department of planning was constituted even before independence. After independence, full fledged planning machinery was envisaged in the establishment of Planning Commission at the Centre with Prime Minister as its Chairman. It works on a comprehensive data, collected, compiled and classified on different indices of development and provides rationale for plan targets and justification for plan implementation The National Development Council provides political dimension to the process of planning and makes it more responsive and therefore more adoptive. Member States also have similar machinery and their plans are discussed and finalized within the broad frame work prepared by the planning Commission. The Prime objective of planned development is naturally economic growth-increasing the production of goods and services and increasing levels of individual consumption. To sustain this process, the economy equally needs increasing levels of capital formation. India adopted planning strategy with a positive role for public sector to realize the goal. Human resources are an important variable in the overall efforts of development. Human beings are ends and means at one and the same time and give meaning and justification to the whole gamut of activities. The objectives of five year plans therefore lay emphasis on policies of employment creating job, opportunities as well as modernizing production processes for higher per labor output. The plans also aim at increasing general literacy and functional literacy by providing facilities for acquiring technical skills. This is in addition to literacy drives. Basically committed to social justice, the plan programs take special care of backward classes and disadvantaged and unorganized groups of the population and draw them into the main stream of development. Various poverty eradication progress like the National Rural Employment program (NREP) Plan, the integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP) 6th Plan, Rural landless Employment Guarantee Program (BLEGP) 5th plan, The Jawahar Yojana (7th Plan), Development of women and children in Rural areas (DWCRA) 7th Plan, The National Scheme of Training of Rural Youth for Self Employment (TRYSEM, 6th Plan, Rural Training and Technology Centre (RTTC) 7th Plan, collectively strengthen functional skills of working population and aim to make production efficient. Population adequate qualified is an asset, a productive as set. Population of developing countries has always been growing and growing at a faster rate. This complicates the problem of development and the problem of balanced development. In these countries political revolution has preceded industrial revolution. Socialist revolution has increase anticipation from the people. But Government machinery in these countries is underdeveloped and ill-equipped to tackle the problem of development with social justice in India today support: nearly 15 p.c. of the world population, its population has been steadily increasing and the decadal growth rate has therefore been consistently rising. Population has functional and dysfunctions effects. Healthy and better equipped population can support industrial growth while poor population would make country poorer. Application of Malthusian law is ruled out and a positive strategy would be (a) the adoption of family welfare programs (b) implementation of manpower planning (c) the diversification of productive activities in the secondary and tertiary sectors. Family welfare programs envisage a ne production rate of 1 p.c. by 2000 A.D. In demographic transition; high growth in the second stage, but the third stage is characterized by lo birth rate, low death rate, small size families a leading to decline in the rate of population growth In rural areas primary health centers provide host of services
under one roof. A massive nutrition programs with awareness of community health is operated through governmental and nor governmental agencies. The special Nutrition Program caters children between 0-6 years an pregnant women and nursing mothers. In manpower planning emphasis on investment in human capital is aimed at. This is realized through health and educational Program operated in rural urban areas. This will improve adaptability, productivity and mobility of labor. The 8th plan aimed at universalization of elementary education and eradication of illiteracy in working age population. There was an extension of 'Open Learning System' Schemes like DWCRA, TRYSEM, RELEGP, CRTTC, NERP have a positive role to play in this field as rural unemployment, underemployment, disguised unemployment is its main target. The 8th Plan expected employment growth rate to reach 3 p.c. Diversification of secondary and tertiary activities has been aimed at from the Second Five Year Plan. Within the frame work of mixed Economy the plans give priority to public sector, activities which aim to create infrastructure for development. In 1951, there were only 5 non-departmental public enterprises with an investment of Rs. 29 crores. By 1983-84 the number of public enterprises (central) has gone to 228 with a total investment of Rs. 42.000 crores. Khadi and village industries also occupy a vital place in the process of industrialization and growth with balance. With a total investment of Rs. 2000 crores in the 7th plan it provided employment to nearly 50 lakh people. Development is a multifarious phenomenon and population policy .one of its variable. Proper manpower-planning would definitely make the available human capital more productive and would help to reduce its pressure on future growth. Properly linked with the strategy of industrialization and modernization, population policy would open this vast potential growth resource available to the third world countries extending the reach out of development benefits and making its face more human.
School, Society and Family Discipline is a scheme which is designed to facilitate school and society both working of some activity whether it is the acquisition of knowledge by students or any other field like craftsman. To each best possible end in each this, energy has to be harbored and canalized, time must be measured arid allotted and many of man's impulses temporarily curbed. Discipline is needed to subdue the natural ego-centric so that they can live in and with society. Rules represent order, and the foundation of an orderly, disciplined way of life is laid in schools from where the child begins. But many people today believe that maintaining order in the school is becoming difficult, though this should not come as a surprise. Society itself is changing and authority is under attract society has changed. Primitive people women, home or fuel. As civilization grew the need of laws to regulate the action of individuals and groups in community was recognized. Laws were made and given an aura of holiness because they were necessary to enable society to survive. But inevitably there were those who felt they are treated unjustly, they challenged the law often by force. The problem arises when some section of society sees law undermined and perceive profit for them in the challenge itself and act without regard to consequence. When violence is seen to bring advantage violence increases. That is what is happening today. Young people see the example of violence as the successful challenge to .authority and tend to emulate it. Communication media attempts" to present" the news, gives violence and disruption, acceptance arid do not condemn It. Youngsters seeing it uncondemned come to regard it as acceptance. Children today are treated with a tolerance which allow for the rejection of authority. Paradoxically parents are often critical of lax school discipline whilst tolerating such behavior
at home which would not have been widely accepted 20 or 30 year ago. Even more difficult to understand is any steps to make discipline in school more effective is questioned. Being brought up in a tolerant atmosphere children are often shocked when attempts are made to make them behave reasonably at school. They find themselves having to adapt to two quite different behavioral patterns. This has a traumatic effect up on some children, which is itself an incitement to indiscipline. Society as a whole appears to accept that the majority of children want to learn and that to enable them to do so discipline must be maintained in schools. Schools in this age - cannot operate in isolation, whatever happens and whatever is tolerated in the world has an effect on the school. The attitude of adult with whom children come into contact, either by direct experience or through media condition the attitude of the pupil to all influences on their lives. Until recently the few who disrupted school with extreme behavioral problem were from environments which thrived on violence and misbehavior. But the growth of mass media specially and the decline of censorship lies introduced a much wider group to extremes of behavior. Thus a society which expects and believes that its children must be educated in a reasonably ordered situation tolerates the daily visua1 exposition of activities which can undermine and destroy that reasonable order. The problem arising from this contradiction is: when schools attempt the reasonable order which society wants, the support of the society is conditional. And in the long run this situation becomes intolerable. There is an Increasing amount of violence and disruptive behavior. Liberal attitudes among adults have probably given encouragement to these youngsters who have such disruptive inclinations. Be it any country, one sees the difficulty into which undue tolerance can lead. Rules represent order, and however anarchic we may feel, we need order, no one knows completely the answer to the problem of maintaining order in schools. Schools cannot operate on their own. This is a social problem which cannot be disregarded by society and left to the schools. Neither must the schools assume that the teaching profession alone can deal with it. One reason .for the dissatisfaction of the young with the society and family pattern in which they grow is, there is no hard and fast line to give them security. They themselves grow in an atmosphere of adult uncertainty leaving them bewildered. Parental involvement and understanding is vital to the schools both in the avoidance of extreme indiscipline and to its solution when it occurs. The main duty of the parents is to equip the child for living and for making the best of life, and how to benefit from the advantages of being a social animal. One of the lessons should be that in order to get the advantage certain sacrifices have to be made. Society must face up to the problem society is creating. Tolerance, overindulgence, neglect of standards, abandonment of guidance, unwillingness to accept and reason are social attitudes which are affecting the school. At the same time social neglect in poor housing, unemployment, deprivation, lack of provision are also stimulating and fostering the development of bad attitude. To discipline a child means to teach him how to live with others, it does not mean breaking but teaching, not only through rules, but its own attitude towards others and our own towards it. It is essential to convince that it is possible and also if necessary to disagree but this does not involve loss of dignity. The thinking needs long term plan for social change. The fact is schools have their problems. They must be dealt with and society must supply the support to the schools. This is a demand which involves the protection and well being of the majority of children who want to get the best out of the very effective educational provision. If investment in children's education is investment in our society's future, then it is essential that society safeguard its investment by supporting those to whom it has entrusted the realization of its children's future.
Maladies Afflicting the Education System The Indian educational scene today presents a picture of bewildering contradictions butane feature sticking out like a sore thumb is that of utter confusion. The contradictions arise from a variety of factors which include: social inequalities, rising expectations of the emerging generation and erosion of the value system which prevailed during the midtwentieth century, in fact, these had led to the creation of educational institutions of different types ranging from the very good (alas, very few in number) to the average or mediocre type and way down to the poor (a very large number). The disparities in relation to the quality and commitment of the teachers, the type of laboratory and library facilities and the amenities like playgrounds are to say the least startling. The confusion arises on account of the pulls and pushes which the system is subjected to by a wide array of agencies, both government and private. There are a few bright spots in the picture but these are fast dwindling. Come June, the scramble for admission into the higher educational institutions becomes almost painful to the parents and their wards. While a large number of arts and science colleges have sprung up in the last two decades ail over the country, the number of seats also going up in proportion, the growing number of aspirants desiring to acquire degrees must also be reckoned with. There has been unfortunately a sort of distortion in the way students are gaining entry into the colleges—theoretically all those who are eager to gain knowledge must be accommodated but due to various reasons it has not been happening. Several social factors and inequalities have led to this situation. There is now a danger of the social fabric itself being torn asunder since the divisions into caste, sub-castes, communities apart from religion are playing havoc with the campus atmosphere. No part of subcontinent is Immune from this malaise. When it comes to professional education, the picture turns still more murky. The parents of the student completing the school leaving stage (10th class) get into an anxiety syndrome, worrying constantly about the subjects their wards should take up in the higher or senior secondary stage (11th and 12th class) which goes by different names in different States— intermediate or pre-degree or plain higher or senior secondary. It is at the end of the 12th class that the pupils must be prepared to get grilled—appearing for a number of entrance tests (Joint Entrance Examination or JEE for the Indian Institutes of Technology, State level engineering or medical colleges). April, May and June turn out to be a harrowing period for a large number of middle class families as a result. With several thousand students appearing for these examinations and the chances of only a few getting in, the outcome is quite grim. It is frustration all round. The amount of time, money and energy spent in preparing and appearing for these tests is staggering. In some cases, almost a permanent scar is left as a result of this traumatic phase. The Governments in several States have evolved different norms for selection of candidates to the engineering, medical and other professional courses. Since the competition is very stiff, a sort of adjustment in relation to reservation, quota for other States and special categories becomes necessary but nowhere in the country has a satisfactory system been evolved. The emergence of the self-financing professional colleges over the last two decades has in a way eased the situation but other complications arose, mainly relating to the huge amounts collected by way of capitation fees (euphemism for donation, not of a voluntary type) and the tuition fees levied. The Supreme Court's intervention has now resulted in a fee structure which goes to prove that the remedy is worse than the disease. Indeed, right from the kindergarten stage, the education of a citizen is being shaped in devious ways. In recent years, the demand for seats in the KG classes has gone up. Actually, people go to any extent in order to admit the toddlers even in the pre-KG section.
This is part of the early childhood education (ECE) scenario. Several arguments are given in favor of this trend. These include: (a) the children get a head-start in schooling and in these days of hectic competition, the little ones must get used early to the habit of turning "sociable"; (b) since both parents are almost invariably employed, it is difficult to keep the children at home or entrust them to the care of some domestic help; (c) after the break-up of the joint family system, housewives by themselves are not able to look after the little ones since no in-laws or mothers are there to help. What must make the people sit up and take note is the erosion of values in the social setup. Respect for the elders and a spirit of give and take have virtually disappeared among the youth of today. This can be traced to the influence o films and television which, unfortunately, portray in a stark fashion the seamier side of life. Just As Roads Need speed-breakers Developing Economies Needs Protection Multinational corporations are routinely complaining that they do not have a level playing field in India—and that justice and WTO alike demand that they get it. On the other hand, Indian businessmen also fee! that they are denied a level playing field vis-a-vis MNCs, Both sides, therefore, want a level playing field, it should, therefore, be possible to examine where, to what extent, for whom and how it may be leveled. Indian businesses certainly have certain advantages in India. They know the country and the people. They know their workers, their managers and their consumers. And they know their government. However, these are advantages enjoyed by every business on its respective home ground. We have the advantage of cheaper labor; but this labor is not as skilled as in the West. And, in any case, we have to employ much more labor than there. Also, when an MNC starts manufacturing in India, it also acquires the advantage of cheaper labor. In addition, Indian business did, for years, have the protection of import substitution and high tariff walls. However, today, these wails have been all but pulled down. So much so that, to give just one example, today many steel mills in India, big and small, have had to close down because of cheaper imports. But, on the other hand, the big foreign companies — the MNCs — have tremendous, even overwhelming advantages. To treat Indian and these foreign companies on par would be like throwing the lamb to the wolves — In the name of 'equality'. Because the West has dominated the world for the last two centuries. Its domination shows in every sphere. Since it has more wealth and more capital, interest rates are much lower in the West. While an American MIMC may have to pay only five percent interest, an Indian company has to pay 20 per cent. The same with technology The West is not only ahead of us in technology, it often refuses to sell state-of-the-art technology us. The US not only refused to sell cryogenic engines to us; it pressed Russia not to sell them to us. Although much of the oil comes from the Persian Gulf area, world oil prices are determined by adding what it would cost to transport this oil to Texas, in the Gulf of Mexico, and using it as the base price. No wonder oil is cheaper in the US than in India. All this is possible only because American and some other western oil companies control the world petroleum market. These companies even organized the oil crisis of the seventies, to raise oil prices high and earn oil superscripts. These oil profits were then used by the World Bank to tempt developing countries to borrow money by the billion — and so walk into debt-traps. As a western robber-baron engaged in telling even great 1,000-year old trees, put it candidly: There's a story about the golden rule. He who has old rules, Nor is this western
predominance confined to the material factors of production. It is, if anything, even more pervasive in the non-physical factors of economic life. Today we are living in a world of instant communications and informalities. And hero again the West is miles ahead of us.There are riot only more western satellites in orbit monitoring the world --- and its marine and underground resources — western electronic media is penetrating even/ nook and corner of the world. It is influencing not only economic choices but also tastes and values. The western advertising blitz is pushing western products. Today even Delhi police station name boards carry Pepsi advertisements. When developing countries refuse tobacco ads, these MNCs sponsor sports events to promote their smoking message. And so while smoking is going down in the US — because of its known carcinogenic properties — tobacco company profits are going up. Mr. Lawrence Summers, chief economist of the World Bank, openly advocated that polluting industries and garbage be exported to developing countries. In the name of a level playing field, American banks have set up shop in India. But they never fulfill the social responsibilities shouldered by Indian bank, which latter have to open branches in rural areas and give loans on concessional terms to agriculture, small stale industry and cooperatives. This inequality shows even in the realm of law. Foreign companies cc ling to India do not want to be judged by Indian law; they invoke the law in a third country. In simple words, the level playing field of MNCs amounts to 'heads we win and tails you lose." The West has not only more guns and more gold — and even more grain in a hungry world. Ail the powerful international organizations — with which to dominate the world, The UN, World Bank, International Monetary Fund. World Trade Organization and International Court of Justice — are based in the West and captive to the West. As Mr. Samuel P Huntington of Harvard candidly puts it in an artrcle in Foreign Affairs Quarterly: "Through the IMF and other international economic institutions, the West promotes its economic interests and imposes on other nations the economic policies it thinks appropriate. " This leads to resentment and the emergence of a conflict between "the West and the Rest". And so Mr. Huntington concedes: "In any poll of non-western people, the IMF undoubtedly would win the support of finance ministers and a few others, but get an overwhelmingly unfavorable routine from just about everyone else. But instead of redressing the grievances of ;he South, Mr. Huntington wants "the West to maintain the economic and military power necessary to protect its interests in relation to these civilizations " This is the reason why the US does not want India to go nuclear or develop a missile capability. If India developed military muscle, the West would not be able to extract more and more concessions from us for its MNCs. It will thus be seen that, in the name of 'globalization', the West is only trying to perpetuate its hegemony on the world. Coming back to the economic domain, we don't have to be taken in by the glib talk of "free trade". Just as roads need speed-breakers, developing economies need protection. A 100 years ago, when Britain asked the UStc abolish its tariff walls and engage in free trade, then US President Ulysses Grant reminded it that the UK had protected its industries for 100 years before launching out on free trade. The US, said Grant, would also do the same after 100 years.
Ignoring Innovation is Closing Windows of Opportunity There cannot be any progress without the whole world following in the wake and it is becoming everyday clearer that the solution of any problem can never be obtained on racial or national or narrow grounds. Every idea has to become broad till it covers the whole of this world, every aspiration must go on increasing till it has engulfed the whole of humanity, nay, the whole of life, with its scope This was Vivekanada's prophecy in 1897, a century ago. Advances in science and
technology, and the consequential complex cause and effect interactions with the agriculture, industry, economics, business, trade, politics or culture, have truly brought us to a stage where diabolism is really felt in many walks of life. Trans-border flows of ideas, images, knowledge, goods, services, capital or people are taking place on an unprecedented scale, despite the fact that most societies are still clinging to many age-old concepts of governance, domination, controls, tariffs or denials. Even while the grand vision is true, the nitty-gritty of actual living poses many problems and challenges, to individuals, groups and societies. The impact of global competition is felt by domestic industries brought up in a protected regime. Questions naturally arise whether the doors are opened too early and too fast. Many institutional mechanisms such as financing mechanisms, regulatory bodies, social welfare systems 'or indigenous technology development systems are being severely jolted. Aspirations for following the rapid growth models and consumption patterns taking place elsewhere are also having an impact on local infrastructure in the country. There are increasing problems of urban environmental pollution. Multiple lobbies and pulls and pressures from different groups in the country are also creating a confusing picture. How do we face these challenges before the country? No country can easily follow some other model, that too at a different period in history. So we have to learn, to innovate with our own systems. Innovation is somehow inhibited in our country in a number of ways. Most of those who control the levers or our economy — the administrators, business persons, financiers, diplomats, and those in charge of public accountability systems — are often allergic to or intolerant of failures and, therefore, are afraid of innovation. Even when their experience shows that they have reached the end of the road, many prefer to keep their engines on at idling speeds, rather than explore new paths. For any new idea that is thrown up, the standard questions are: Has anybody done it elsewhere in the world? What is their experience? Is there any experience of doing it in India? Others experience often dominates our thinking. We tend to forget that the persons, the business houses or administrations which had earlier experimented may not always share with us the details of their experience and they themselves may have innovated further steps based on their experience. With our penchant for caution, we of-ten emphasize experience over innovation. If we have to be successful in the rapidly changing world of today where, as Mr. A.RJ. Abdul Kalam, puts it, "Strength respects strength". He should learn to treat knowledge-based experience and innovation as two sides of the same coin. Such an approach is especially useful where we have considerable gaps in our knowledge base, which essentially means we have lagged behind in building up an experience base through innovations. This is particularly true of the technology scenario in the country, where we lag behind significantly in many areas. Around the world, most firms most firms who are world leaders now have built up their technological strengths through an assiduous process of continual and incremental innovations. In this process, they may occasionally be benefited by a few breakthroughs, giving ' them a considerable lead over their competitors. It is often difficult for the late-comers, who try to imitate the leaders, to bridge the gaps easily. Many researched studies indicate that imitation is often as difficult as innovation in such competitive environments. So most Indian firms, who have large gaps in their present technological strengths, have to learn to tap the' experience base of others rapidly as well as learn to innovate simultaneously. For example, having missed the opportunity of venturing into large scale microelectronics production about two decades ago, most Indian firms or laboratories may find it difficult to attempt it now when investment for a viable microelectronics production facility would cost $ 1.5 billion. But there is a reasonable experience base in the country to produce system level products using microprocessors. We even have experience in making parallel processors or supercomputers. We also have a fair bit of experience in application software.
But we need to learn to venture forth in a big way and not limit the innovation to a minor level. We have suffered pilot plant syndromes too long. Innovation in order to capture and capitalize on our strengths would mean instituting several measures, easier access to finance: many special zones to attract industries; promotion of competitive research; facilitation of potentially bright newcomers in their early days of start up arid so on. A few failures out of these should not deter us. They can form the experience base, for further correction. Significance of Forests India is extremely rich in its ecology which is varied with genetically diverse forest resources and is one of the world's top twelve nations having mega diversity in terms of biological resources. The plant wealth found in India's forest are made up of 45000 species of trees, shrubs, herbs and climbers which account for about 12 per cent of the global plant wealth. The flowering plants alone number 21000 species and almost a third of these are endemic, located mainly in 26 endemic centers of India. India's forests are the home of over 75,000 species of animals of which about 372 are mammals, 2,000 birds, 1, 693 fishes and as many as 60,000 insect species. Forests are removable resources and they contribute substantially to the social and economic development of the country. They have major role to play in enhancing the quality of our environment. The history of forest is linked with the history of civilization. The 4000 year old Agnipurana mentions that a man should protect trees to ensure material prosperity and religious merit. 2500 years ago, Gautam Buddha preached that a man must plant trees every five years. The great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata give attractive description of forests like Dandakaranya, Mandavana and Khandvan. The Supreme God of Indus Valley was supposed to live under Pipal trees. Pipal and Babul Plants were believed to have descended on earth from heaven. The people in ancient times lived in harmony with their ecosystem, which was formed by the forests. They did not cut the trees recklessly and the forests produced more than enough for everybody. The first indication of forestry administration is found in 300 B.C during Chandra Gupta Maurya's reign, when a Superintendent of forests was appointed to protect forests and wild life. Nund Rishi, the saint of Chare-shreef, preached that there would be enough food only when there were forests. From top of the hill, he could could see the fertile valley down below and realize that the miracle was due to fertile soil produced by the hill forests. Similarly Lamboji, the founder of the Vaishnio sect in the desert of Rajasthan, was preaching that to survive in the desert, green trees should not be felled and no animals and birds be killed. The Bishnois have kept alive this tradition of saving the Khejadi (Accacia) trees even at the cost of their lives. Modern science too recognizes that forests are mothers of the rivers and factories of soil manufacture. For the British, Indian forests were an inexhaustible source of durable and ornamental timber and other forest products. Teak forests along the coast of Malabar were over exploited to meet the requirements of the British Navy. The Sandalwood trees of South India were exploited for the European markets. The two world wars were also the periods of great devastation of Indian forests. Forests were cut recklessly to meet the increased demand. As a result, rich productive forests vanished, causing an irreparable damage to the ecosystem and to the Indian people, especially the tribes. Unfortunately, the forest destruction did not stop even after the British had left and it is estimated that India is losing about 1.5 million hectares of forests annually. Forests have a significant role not only in ensuring the environmental stability but also achieving economical benefits. Forest is not just a group of trees, but is an ecosystem in itself, comprising all the living and non-living components. The main living components of a terrestrial ecosystem are plants dominated by trees, forming the consumer element and
decompresses of the micro organisms. Soil, water, air and sunshine form the non-living components of a forest/terrestrial ecosystem. These components interact with each other and evolve the ecological energy cycle which consists of two other cyclic processes, namely water cycle and matter (organic and inorganic) cycle. These processes maintain the dynamic equilibrium between the living components and non-living components within an ecosystem. Any imbalance or deviation in this process will lead to a total collapse of the ecosystem. Droughts and floods are the two most important consequences of the imbalance in forest ecosystem caused by the indiscriminate felling of trees. The forest ecosystem fulfils extremely important protective, regulatory and productive functions both for the well-being and development of society. The importance of forests in the ecosystem can never be overemphasized. Forests have numerous roles to play both natural and manmade. Natural functions involve protective and regulative services, while man imposed functions relate to production and socio-ecological services. Plants are valuable for us in many ways, besides protecting and improving the environment in' which we live, they control run off, check floods and soil erosion, improve soil fertility and help in reducing temperature and pollution. Thus they work as environmental conditioners. According to one estimate the real value of a 50tonne medium sized tree, by adding the prices of all items of its produce and social benefits, rendered during the 50 years of its life time, economic benefits of around Rs. 15,70,000/-is generated to the community in the form of generation of (i) oxygen valued at Rs. 2.5 lakh, (ii) controlling of soil erosion and improving soil fertility by Rs. 2.5 lakh, (iii) recycling of wastes to the tune of Rs. 3 lakh, (iv) controlling of air pollution valued at Rs.. 5 lakh and other secondary benefits to the tune of Rs. 3.5 lakh. Thus one can visualize how much economic benefits trickle down silently to the community through a single tree over its life span of 50 years. Rapid destruction of forests results in natural calamities, soil erosion and also contributes to the greenhouse effect. Plantations cannot be the substitute for the natural forests as forests are ecosystems in itself) but it can reduce the pressure on natural forests for timber, fuel, fodder and other forest products. Therefore, opting for plantation will be beneficial to the man and as well as to environment in the long run spite global awareness, tropical forests are brindled at the rate of 72 acre a minute. Worlds five billion acres of tropical forests are threatened by agriculture and poor farmers in the developing world alone. Some 350 million people in the tropical countries live in forests and depend upon them in one way or another for subsistence. During the process the farmers slash and burn patches of forests to grow crops and once the soil gets depleted of nutrients then the poor farmers move on to clear another patch. This wanton destruction of forests is seriously affecting the environment and is straining the biosphere. India has a land area of 38.50 million hectares under good forest cover which works out at 19.46 per cent against a target of 33 per cent for the plains and 66 percent for the hilly regions. Although located in the tropics, the productivity of Indian forests is amongst the lowest in the world. At the present level of consumption of forest resources, the country needs a minimum 0.47 hectares of forest land for every individual against the actual availability of 0.09 hectare. Forests in most of the states in India are qualitatively and quantitatively very poor. The foremost reason is the drastic growth in population. Comparing India's per capita forest land of only 0.09 hectare, Canada has per capita forest land of 12.4 hectares and 6.8 hectares for Australia. The human demands on forests are complex and diverse. They are related not only to matter and energy but also to space and diversity. On the basis of available data, India needs to have 101.33 million hectares. (33.33 per cent of reported area) under forests whereas it has only about 67million hectares at present leaving a deficit of 34.33 million hectares. This deficiency can be made upto 83.75 per cent by afforesting the land under miscellaneous tree crops and groves. The rest can be covered by afforestation of 5.56 million hectares of barren land from the available 20 million hectares of barren and uncultivated land in the country. The solution to problems of
Indian forests are a lot more complicated than simply passing new laws or restricting losing companies, or echo-labeling or any other panaceas that are often on offer. Forest science needs to make a conceptual shift if it is to contribute its full potential to today's needs. It was poorly linked in the past to research on social, economic and biological issues relating to forests. During the post independence period, efforts have been made to conserve the forests, however, the performance does not seem to be encouraging. There is dire need for a comprehensive effort to plug root causes of deforestation, viz population, steeped in poverty, bad natural resource management and of course distorted forest policies, otherwise we are heading for a "Stressful biosphere" as we enter the next century (2001). Depletion of forests on the planet earth will be contributing to growing concentration of carbon-dioxide and by the middle of the next century civilization might oe on the threshold of Mesozoic heat (warming), spelling doom. A rise of 1 degree to 2 degree C around equator and 7 degree to 10 degree C at the north and South Pole, will result in melting of static glaciers on mountains and the sliding of huge icebergs from poles, rising of sea level and consequent inundation of coastal areas. The wanton destruction of forests is seriously affecting the forests and the environment. This is going to lead us to disaster. The demand for timber, pulp wood, fodder etc. is increasing at a very high rate. Measures to minimize the gap between demand and supply of these products do not indicate any positive response, since the demand is increasing with the increase in the population, accompanied by the increase in income levels of the people Taking the demand of greeting cards, each greeting card requires 10 gas of paper pulp and if we assume that 1 per cent of the total 850 million population of the country uses greeting cards to the extent of 150 cards per individual, then the paper pulp required will come to 1.25 million tonnes and such a huge quantity of paper pulp will entail the felling of one million trees to obtain 3.8 million tonnes of wood. This is just, one example of the demand of natural resource and the' severe strain this biosphere has to undergo. It could be said that forests have moved from diffused (ownership wise) unmanaged and unlimited resource-status to a fully owned (Govt., ownership), centrally managed (forest department) and very scarce resource status in the last century. All attempts of the Government to conserve this resource appear to have isolated the resource from the people as far as their responsibility towards maintenance and development of the resource is concerned, while their dependency and in-built pressures on the-resources have on the contrary increased due to population explosion and advancement in the use of technology. The alarming increase in human population will demand at least four times more energy than today by the year 2040 and the projected increase in the use of industrial wood 13 fold. Where will the huge volume of wood required for energy use— solid wood products and paper making come from?"To thinking people around the world, wood from natural forests is becoming an unacceptable answer. A recent report of the Food and Agricultural organization says, the demand and consumption of forest products has risen so steeply that large investment would have to be made for future use. It recommends private initiatives in the industry. A world think-tank, headed by Dr. Wiliiam Sultan, Director of Research and Strategy at Fletcher Challenge Forests, New Zealand; advocates a bold and novel concept. (1) A major portion of any increased wood supply, must come from newly created plantations (2) the initiative and capital to grow large scale plantations must come from business sector. To meet the instigated demand of the domestic market, it is essential to redefine the objective of forest management in the context of the national development. Thus there should be a change from the present conservation oriented forestry to a more dynamic program of production forestry. Considering the advantages of an aggressive orchard silviculture or creation of manmade forests by planting, the future program should
concentrate on clear felling the mixed forests on good soils, opening them by communication, and the planting of these areas with fast growing and valuable species, indigenous or even exotics, yielding higher returns per unit area, per year. Wood remains one of the most basic needs of man, with large scale uses in construction of homes, ships, furniture, sleepers for railway tracks as well as fuel. With industrialization and urbanization, forests have been indiscriminately felled all over the world. The earth loses almost forty million hectares of forest area with no replacement, adding to an ever increasing shortage of timber. India is having the best agro climatic conditions viz. tropical, sub-tropical and temperate climatic zones where diversified tree species can be planted thus increasing the production with elite management practices to have maximum biomass. This would go a long way in conserving the ecosystem of the country within a short span of time. The estimated cost of such national level plantation efforts comes to several thousand crores. Such an investment is surely beyond the government resources which are already under constant pressure to increase social spending. However, the magnitude of investments required to establish plantations is within the scope of the business sector. For this purpose production of forests should be increasingly privatized and involvement of people must be from the initial stages of plantation. This further envisages that the state forest departments should have a broader approach in forest management activities and involve people at various decision making levels. The present day forester no doubt talks of involving people in the protection and management of forests, but the people at the grassroots level feel alienated. Such a situation does not augur well in the forest management and immediate corrective measures need to be undertaken. Of late, there is a positive response from the corporate sector, in forestry development. Many a private companies with dedication have Undertaken mass area plantations in various parts of the country. Although this is mostly to cater the needs of the industries, it would also go a long way in adding to the quantum of forest products available to the people at large, that is why private sector companies are attempting to raise captive plantations to augment raw materials for industries. Thus their sphere of activities encompasses, providing soil cover and thus reducing the pressure on biosphere and side by side provide employment opportunities to the rural poor and above all involving the people at the grassroots level in restoration of tree environment. Efforts need to be made by the government both at the centre as well as at state levels to involve all possible agencies in a massive tree planting efforts based on sound management practices accompanied by latest technologies. Is so much Emphasis on Information Technology Justified? The economy of a country is no longer measured by the strength of traditional industries but by its technological advancement. Information Technology should be looked upon not as an end by itself but as a means for achieving overall development. The IT sector is perhaps the last opportunity in regaining competitive advantage for the country, to develop rapidly, to improve the standards of living of our people and to grow out of poverty. Unlike traditional industries, the IT sector is people intensive and creates vast employment opportunities. This implies a very low capital output ratio and an opportunity for all of us to grow quickly. Presently, it is estimated that over 300000 software professionals are working in the country. According to the NASSCOM report, India will be able to export software worth over $50 billion by the year 2008. The domestic market is likely to expand to $37 billion at the same time. This growth is expected to create an additional 22 lakh jobs in India. Some feel that this kind of growth in IT will benefit only the elite. But this is not true. IT will primarily be responsible for eradicating poverty as well as strengthening democracy. IT will be useful as a tool for every poor citizen to demand and secure his right to information. Take the example of Karnataka. The government of Karnataka has already taken several
initiatives primarily to take the administration to the doorsteps of the common man. They have plans to set up 7,500 Mahithi Centres (IT kiosks) all over Karnataka. Presently, the state has land records of 60 lakh farmers in the computers. They plan to make this information available on the Net. The same Mahithi Centres will be able to provide many other value-added services like email, Internet information, birth and death certification, panchayat taxes, information on government schemes, etc. These kiosks will also provide the details of different government schemes and the amount spent in each and every village, they can make land registration simple and easy. People go to sub-registrar offices for registering sale deeds, mortgage deeds, etc. as well as for an encumbrance certificate. This process is extremely cumbersome. To simplify the procedures for citizens, government can initiate computerization of the department. The government can use IT to protect the state's natural environment. The forest department can implement computerized system track poaching and other forest offences, improve wildlife management system as well as manage rare species. The new technology can be used to effectively eradicate poverty and empower women. The latest technology in eradicating poverty is via self-help group for women. These women groups can be organized save money. The government can step in with revolving fund as well as bank credit. This method can be the most effective in delivering rural credit as well as eradicating poverty. It can use e-governance as a tool and deliver a government that is more proactive and responsive to its citizens. It'll play a vital role in coordinating with the government departments as well as undertake a few critical projects that are likely to be used in more than one department. Since most decisions in our system of democracy are taken at the village and districts levels, IT can provide an exhaustive database at a single point made available to all decision-makers. We can~also analyze the data in an intelligent manner and provide a sophisticated decision support system for the use of all decision makers. These are but a few aspects where It can change our lives. The people like Mr. Laloo Yadav says that the use of IT is confined to the hi-fi log. The masses have! no access to it and get no benefit from it. To those who harp on IT question is: Can IT plough the fields and provide electricity to farmers? Besides, how do you expect people to take use of IT in places where there is no power most of the time? It might be a priority with the urban elite but for the common man the priority is still drinking water, health, education and power. Without these, Internet and email make no sense. Indeed, if IT is as important as it is made out to be why are they having to resort to manual counting of votes in the US? Where are all their super computers? What good are they? The American presidential election has exposed the tall claims of blind IT devotees. It is obvious that IT cannot provide solutions to our problems. Take Bihar, for instance. Farmers there have produced more than 80 metric tons of paddy this year. But they are not able to sell it in the market because they are getting less than Rs 200 a ton, which is more than the cost of cultivation. The Union government is not able to purchase their produce at the minimum support price. Why? Because it has made a commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to purchase a certain amount of agricultural produce from the world market. So our own stuff is rotting unsold. What will be the result? Farmers will stop cultivating their fields and our agriculture will suffer. Does IT have a solution to this problem? It needs common sense, not IT wizardry, to realize the implications of this ruinous policy. People should know that India is being treated as a huge market. Our shops are being flooded with multinational goods — butter, milk, tomato sauce, you name it. Imagine, even salt might be imported from foreign countries! And all this is being done with the help of the IT-backed electronic media. In the process our dairies and indigenous industry are being harmed. Do you need IT to tell you these simple things?
It can never be our sole thrust area. Too much reliance on IT is an alien approach. It does not cater to 90 per cent of our population. A more indigenous approach is needed to solve our problems. The Ambit of Information Technology India is today experiencing an IT revolution. There is hype about information technology and the common perception is that it is a solution for each and every problem of the country, state, city or even individuals. Hypes are essential tools for waking up the sleeping and lazy lots. But at the same time realistic visualization of the potential, constraints, limitation as well as common maladies are required. Coupled with this, is the confusion on the definition and scope of IT. For a large number of persons IT is nothing but internet, and its related applications. IT would be only limited to www or dot com or similar acronyms. Most certainly, internet is one of the strongest means for information exchange and due to this, physical distances have become meaningless and the world is reduced to a global village (a very often used phrase). Another common definition of IT is the integration of computers and communication. This will mean that any application on a single computer from desktop to super computers will be outside the purview of IT. In order to understand the ambit of IT in wider contexts, let us get down to the basics of information. Any action by individual or process may be categorized in one of the three: * Information * Interpretations * Instruction In fact the world is being ruled by the three 's. At the individual level, for example, a per-ion 'X' wakes up in the morning. He looks at the watch. It is 6.00 a.m. (he collects information) Oh! I am late (interpretation) and he takes II actions to" get ready fast (instruction). A suspicious wife receives her husband who is 1 hour late (information). She asks questions and may examine his manner-ms or clothes (information). Based on previous experience, the information is processed and a value judgment (interpretation) is obtained. What are the actions (instruction) taken if the judgment is orated? In fact, so much of knowledge based processing goes on in our brain that even supercomputers feel shy. Thus a human being is an information technology system par excellence. One can go on debating whether micro-computer is computer or not. However, let us pause and think. Internet would not grow grains, weave clothes or construct houses. Perhaps the latest information on pest management, grain prices, clothes design and architecture practices may be provided through Internet and shared. Thus Internet is one of the means of information exchange and sharing, but not a total solution. However, without going into the merit or demerit of the arguments, we shall like to analyze whether out of the 3 I's mentioned above, at least 2 I's are present in such systems and applications. These are simple information display applications. The computers and networks are used only for information entry and supply. The applications include display systems in banks, stock exchanges, railway stations and utilities. These may be completely detached from the main applications like railway reservations or may be interfaced to main applications for information collection. There are large numbers of applications in this group. These may be put in the following categories: — System software and utilities — Transaction processing systems — Communication systems and protocol — Specialized applications systems — Microcomputer based systems — Data acquisition and supervisory control systems
The system software and utilities include compilers, interpreters, DBMS, case tools, GIS, mathematical modeling systems and expert system shell. The system software and utilities are the backbones of any computer system and demonstrate the power of the computer. The transaction processing systems include all those on-line applications where interaction with customer is the main part. Railway reservations, banking, post offices, stock exchanges are some of the examples. These applications require large database as well as computer network (mostly intranet) for transaction processing. Some of the applications also have Internet connections for information dissemination eg. Railway reservation. The specialized application systems include large and complex systems having both hardware and Software combined, designed specifically to cater for any particular application domain. Example include weather forecasting system, aerodynamic modeling systems and nuclear reactor simulation The applications involve data collection through sensors, knowledge base and powerful inference engine, mathematical modeling and equations solving. In general, micro-computer based systems are basically used to collect, process and present information to the user on some specific parameters of interest. In case of instruments, micro computer interprets it, based on either previously stored look-up tables or equations and then the output is presented on LED-LCD display. These would include agriinstruments, medical instruments and instruments for other applications, including test and measuring instruments. Data acquisition systems applications are varied and thus various names are prevalent arid are used interchangeably. These are data loggers, data acquisition system and alarm an enunciator, where data loggers are used for remote applications, in which the system senses, processes and collects the information for defined parameters. These can be printed and even communicated to computers using standard protocol. The Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) perform the same tasks for telemetry operations i.e. the information is transmitted to computers using VHFUHF, wire line or even satellite communication mode. The distributed data acquisition systems are a higher end system and may have many RTUs and data loggers are their components. They perform the task of information and Interpretation over a large area. The information and interpretation may include even plant modeling, analysis large historical database or even knowledge based system, expert systems or fuzzy systems. These are most powerful and complex application in which the instruction mechanism controls the system to achieve desired pre-defined information environment. The applications include from simple temperature control to satellite tracking, missile control to power plant control and gas powerwater distribution control. Control and automation are generalized names for these applications, it is basically an extension of data acquisition systems with instructions part also. Thus all the three functions, information, interpretation and instructions are present in automation or control in general. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system is a generalized name of such systems. The technologies used for interpretation and instructions may be simple PID or one of the intelligent control techniques like expert systems, model based self tuning, or adaptive control. The systems used are DDC (Direct Digital Control),Distributed Digital Control, RTU based telemetry control or programmable controllers. It is important to look into IT with a holistic approach rather than in a limited and compartmental way. The real life situations are multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary. Solutions for real life problems thus, can be found by adopting a total definition of IT. . "If USA have Fifty States, India can also recast its federation" The disintegration of the Soviet Union has important implications for the Union of India. Re--gional aspirations can no longer be dismissed as chauvinistic, and federalism will
have'to be taken seriously. in his recent book Federal India: A Design for Change, Professor Rasheeduddin Khan makes a plea for a comprehensive review of the entire gamut of Centre-State relations by a National Assembly specially constituted for the purpose. His plea in substance is for a new Constitution. The most vital change necessary at this point of history, he feels, is the creation of a new federal balance in India. The following measures are vital for changing the present "centralized federation" into a "cooperative and constructive federal policy": (i) territorial reorganization of Stated on the criterion of providing the States "maximum homogeneity within and maximum identity without"; (ii) increasing the autonomy of the States, by incorporation greater administrative and fiscal powers to them; (iii) activization of the Panchayati Raj and Nagarpalika system with necessary devolution of authority to build and active grassroots democracy; and (iv) building of a new "federal national" consensus to fight communalism, casteism and separatism, and to defend the values of democracy, secularism, social justice and federal nation-building. Federalism in the polity and decentralization in administration are comprehended in the same mindset.-Large, unwieldy States with more powers than at present will not really federalize the polity. A reorganization based on the principles of techno-economic viability, socio-cultural homogeneity and administrative and political the necessity. The application of these principles leads to the creation of as many as 58 States. This would help mass mobilization and keener participation for development, and bring functional politics closer to the people by making it more responsive to local and specific sub-regional demands. If the United States of America, with one-third of India's population, can have 50 States, India can also recast its federation to have as many States as are required by the genuine needs of its diverse population. Incidentally, the complicated procedure for amending the Constitution is not required to be followed while creating new States or redrawing the boundaries of existing States: this can be done by an ordinary law of Parliament. What, however, is required is that the Bill for the purpose should be introduced on the recommendation of the President, and the legislature of the State whose area or boundaries are to be altered should be given an opportunity to express its views on the proposals. The Sarkaria Commission did apply itself assiduously to the task of examining and reviewing the working of the existing arrangements between the Union and the States. But it was not given a Carre Blanche. It was asked to have "due regard to the scheme and framework of the Constitution which the founding fathers have so sedulously designed to protect the independence and ensure the unity and integrity of the country which is of paramount importance for promoting the welfare of the people". That "scheme and framework" created a federation with strong unitary and centralizing features; the Sarkaria Commission could therefore not suggest an obliteration of those. The centralizing features of our Constitution will in all likelihood be held to be part of the basic structure and hence, indestructible. By the same test, a new Constituent Assembly to rewrite the Constitution cannot be called through the present Constitution. A limited amending power itself has been held to be one of the basic features of our Constitution. In Kesavananda Bharati Case, Justice Khanna said that if the people decided to have an entirely new Constitution, they would not need the authority of the existing Constitution for this purpose. Apropos this observation, a distinguished commentator says that it is not the business to suggest a revolution. We are inching towards modern polity—there is no need of God to come to power The ideas of bhakti, faith, belief and sensibilities are supposed to override all questions of reason and logic. They comprise that area of human interaction that allows for no debate. You either believe or you do not. You follow or are damned. There is a note of autocracy
and diktat in it which is so easy to use, particularly when dealing with a group that one wants to keep weak. There are many positive aspects of religious beliefs and teachings. After all, they form the basis for a central idea of morality that keeps society together. Life, death, good and evil, the limitlessness of the universe and the limitations of man, all emerge out of religious and philosophical concepts. When the outward manifestations or symbols of these assume more significance than the philosophical or moral ideas, they become ends in themselves and objects for exploitation. Since in themselves they were nothing but mere objects, they had to be imbued with special meaning to attract the attention of the simple mortal who, at all or some times in life, needs answers to unfathomable questions, solace during inexplicable tragedy, and a peg on which to hang his hopes and failings. A miracle, a divine manifestation, cosmic power and hallowed ground are all words and ideas pasted on to an object. A cloth with the imprint of a face, supposedly used by Christ to wipe his face during his crucifixion, has attracted -westruck and devout pilgrims for years, until a forensic study with the latest technology raised doubts about the authenticity of its age. Knock-knocks and accessories of the priests who enable others to conduct a roaring business in black and red threads, copper, brass, silver and gold amulets (taveez), conch shells, caps, scarves, shawls and so on. Religious institutions such as temples were traditionally places which supported the work of many different types of artisans and weavers. The religious bodies and boards grew into mammoth institutions with a massive amount of wealth. Wealth meant control, ownership, power. If one goes back to time immemorial, one sees the Christians crusading across Europe, the battles for power between different sects of Buddhists across central Asia, the battles right through history almost everywhere, between Church and Church, or the Church and the state. In Pakistan, the clerics and the army combined to obtain political power. The crossfire between different groups of Sikhs across Punjab, all show the Ayodhya- BJP battle as just another extension of the same story. The so-called modern democratic state and the advent of communism were all mechanisms to deal with either theocratic or feudal power. They both sought to provide an answer to people's daily needs, in the process acquiring land, collecting revenue through taxes and laying down laws of governance. The essence of the matter was the same, whether man ruled man in the name of God, the king or themselves. The battle today is between those who are using the name of God to come to power and those who are painfully inching towards a modern polity. Politically, the process has three choices. Do we allow the Vishwa Hindu Parsihad to swallow the Bhartiya Janata Party and bulldoze India in the name of Ram, do we continue with the feudal dynasty of the Gandhi-Nehru family with its hypocritical, democratic face, or are we ready for a modern secular state, where religion is a matter of personal and private action only, and the state's foremost duty is to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land? The income from the offerings proposed to be ejected at the temple of Ram, when it is built, can that be used, to finance the controls of power. In fact, the VHP can probably fund the entire BJP in the next election and there will be no need to account for the money. Since the BJP could not come to full power by riding on the back of the Janata Dai, its plans went totally awry when V.P. Singh announced in implementation of the Mandal Commission Report. The name of Ram was the only rabbit they could pull out of the hat to retrieve and revive their vote for a Hindu Rashtra. And into the trap will fall the weak, who will save their meager pennies to enrich the coffers of the priestly chiefs, and the trading communities for whom Lakshmi, wealth, is God. There is no real bhakti in this exercise. It is only whipping up of emotions to consolidate votes and notes and has nothing to do with Ram or patriotism. The BJPAHPRSS logic of forgive and forget for the sake of nationalism is specious and hollow. According to them, Hindus, must be recompensed for the hurt caused to their psyche by Babar. The Mughals
ruled India and as invading exploiters harmed us, they say for which they want be Muslims to pay the price today. They ask the Muslims to give up the three sites, Ram Janamsthanam in Varanasi in a spirit of 'good will' as mosques here are 'eyesores'. The Hindus cannot be asked to forgot, but according to them, the Muslims can. Why the double standards? And if today's Muslims must repair the harm done 400 years ago, why does the same BJP oppose reservations where by today's upper castes are being called upon to sacrifice a tiny mite to recompense the injustice done to others for 5000 years? The double standards reveal the political motivation of such arguments. The Hindu women of the 'forward' castes have always had both encouragement and leisure to spend part of their day in a puja room or a visit to a temple. The virtue of a good Hindu wife and mother is supposed to be demonstrated by her piety. For her, only God and her father husband brothers on should matter, with God and the husband being an interchangeable concept The Ram Janambhoomi is trying to further enslave those women who are part of this syndrome, into mindless devotion to a plot of land and the idea (only a mere idea) of a child Rama. What kind of a society are we that keeps a women behind the veil, producing children till an adequate number of boys are hand, eating the leftovers on the table, walking miles to fetch water and fuel, and remaining, all their life, a mere shadow hovering about the kitchen or puja room? Women are not encouraged to become literate or think as independent human beings who are aware of development policies, the problems of unemployment, social causes of violence, technological advances in space or medicine, and hundreds of other 'secular' matters. Bhakti above sanity, order or concern for one's fellow humans is the slogan they have been brainwashed over centuries into accepting. And what about all the other gods of the Hindu pantheon the thousand names of Vishnu the incarnations of Shiva, a Kali and other forms of mother goddesses? Aren't they supposed to be ultimately all one? Isn't that one also Christ, Allah and the Supreme Guru? tf so then why are we chopping all our gods into hundreds of pieces? And for a piece of real estate to house the idol of one of those pieces, we are chopping up each other and our country into a many pieces. India is too large and too diverse to become Ram Rajya ruled in the name of the sectarian God. Forests to Tribal’s as Water to Fishes India is a land of diverse Natural resources. It is also a country with the strongest traditions of nature conservation anywhere in the world. It is true that India has suffered an almost unabated devastation of its natural biological heritage and much of what remains has been preserved through the ages because of a wealth of conservation -oriented cultural and religious traditions. One such significant tradition of nature conservation is that of dedicating patches of forest to some deity by the tribal people. In fact, the tribal techniques are basically conservation-oriented, it is the contact with modern civilization that has been marring this ethics. The tribal ethics of forest conservation stems from the fundamental facts of their own existence. The dependence of tribals on forests is maximum and their long-term interest lies in protection and not in destroying forests. Someone has said Forests to ‘adivasis (tribals)’ as water to 'fishes’. The tribal cultural heritages are shaped and maintained through a symbiotic relationship with forests. Based on the age-old perception of the surrounding vegetation, they demarcate plants as useful and un-useful, medicinal c. 1 non-medicinal, ritualistic and non-ritualistic, edible and interact with them accordingly. In addition to providing the daily amenities of life, the forests also satisfy their deep-rooted sentiments. Their folklore revolves around the forests. Their sentiments, Their folklore revolves around the forests. Their way of life is intimately connected with forests right from birth to death. In the time of distress forests are their last succor. Shifting agriculture on the hill slopes is perhaps one of the major anti-ecological practices in
today's context that can be cites against the tribes. It is the most ancient form of subsistence pattern involving "slash and burn" of forest, followed by mixed cropping over the burnt area for a year or two and then leaving the nutrient depleted land fallow for natural regeneration to get it recuperated of soil fertility; moving to another field and eventually coming back to the earlier one. When the forest-dwelling tribal population was small; the effects of small clearing in large forest areas too were small and the slash and burn cycle was long enough over 20-30 years to ensure the system self-sustaining. In recent times, due to increasing population and steady decline in the area available, the shifting cultivators are forced to return to the same plots and the cycle has been shortened to 4-5 years. Although the economy is sustainable subject to vast availability of forest lands, an increasing practice of shifting cultivation has caused serious environmental damage resulting in rapid desensitization vast tracts of land. Forests which once covered a vast area are no left only in patches. Despite such colossal disturbances on forests, there are few pockets of undisturbed natural forests preserved on religious grounds by the local tribes as 'Sacred groves'. These groves represent near-virgin vegetation preserved in 'in situ' form without any outside interference and are indicative of what forest wealth the country once harbored. All forms of life in such a grove are under the protection of the reigning deity of that grove, and the removal of even dead wood is taboo. This preservation of the entire vegetation in association with a deity is quite a distinct phenomenon from the preservation of isolate trees like peepal. These sacred groves may range in size from a group of few trees to a forest of trees spaced over several hectares of land. Sacred groves occur in India and some other parts of Asia and Africa as well. In India they have been reported from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Meghalaya. Folklores play a significant role in confirming the beliefs associated with the sacred groves. Though most of the tribals are illiterate, they have scrupulously preserved their traditional customs, rituals, ceremonies and way of forest life through folk beliefs with great fervor. The tribals believe that all forms of life within the groves are afforded protection by the grace of reigning deities. These deities often called 'Mother Goddess' by the local people of the Western Ghats of Maharashtra are in fact in the form of stone lumps smeared with red lead mostly lying under tall trees. The red lead represents the blood of sacrificial victims which were no doubts humans in bygone times. Even today, the Goddess Shirkai from the neighboring grove in Pune district is symbolically offered a human victim every year. The tribal population inhabiting Meghalaya maintains large tracts of protected forests as sacred grover. In Khasi hills there three such groves at Shillong Peak, Mawphlang and Mawamai. The Khasis believe that the sylvan spirits reign in the groves often demand sacrifices. It is a taboo for them to cut any plant or to kill anim.ls inside the forests. The belief is that anybody deities. All forms of wildlife, especially snakes are protected there as the belief goes that a snake if killed, its dead body will breed many to kill the culprit. And the villagers seem to a respect such beliefs with great sincerity. Sacred groves are treasure troves of genetic resources supporting myriad of plants which are either rare in the area or are becoming rare with the deforestation menace. These habitats often serve as a last refuge for arboreal birds and mammals, and no doubt other forest-loving animals as well. But is unfortunate that in the recent past, the value system permitting the nature of such environments has been eroded. As a consequence, these habitats are highly disturbed. Apart from erosion and modifications in the values, sheer economic and other considerations like shortage of fuel wood have forced the" local people to encroach upon these forests. However, when forest destruction at a rapid rate-such religious practices still survive as the hope and a way of conserving the indigenous flora, and every step should be taken to protect them as a part of a system of nature reserves. International Co-operation through Science and Technology
In the history of human cooperation science and technology have played a crucial role, though its more sensational contributions have often been in the realm of conflict and warfare. From the invention of gun powder to nuclear weapons and the mind boggling program of Star Wars, it was in the military sphere that international impact of science and technology has been felt environment, ozone depletion and global warming. Notwithstanding such precedents of our officers dealing with almost any subject under the sun, it is essential for the success of the economic-cum-technological diplomacy of the present-day world that there is direct association of scientists in bilateral and international negotiations and also regular and structure inter-action between scientists and diplomats. Some general training in some of the major areas of science and technology should also be considered an indispensable qualifications for modern diplomats. It is only tension among nations, scramble for markets, territorial disputes, pursuit of power, accumulation of nuclear weapons and race for armaments, which today pose threats to peace and to the future of mankind, but unrestrained growth of population, menace of drugs and AIDS, destruction of the environment, the greenhouse effect, ozone depletion and global warming. All these require cooperative action at the international level Involving politics, economics, social engineering, and all the resources of science and technology. It is believed that science and technology can play a crucial role in finding solutions to these global problems. But it can provide only part of the answer, not the whole answer. Indeed one has to go a little beyond politics, economics and science to find answers to the overwhelming questions facing mankind today. When we talk of science and technology for resolving problems and bettering the condition of mankind, we often mean mainly producing and providing more and more of the good glittering things of life. We need more and more things, firstly, for satisfying the unfulfilled basic needs of millions of under-privileged and for meeting the needs of a rapidly growing population, and secondly, for catering to the craves of the well-to-do for endlessly multiplying wants and luxuries. For these purposes, perhaps more for the latter then for the former, we use technology for producing more and more, and -better and still better goods and gadgets. We explore and discover new resources, we split the atom and the genes, we score the depths of oceans and conquer space believing that the hunger of man for lucre and power could be satisfied in this manner. Intoxicated by the material possibilities held out by science, we do not ask whether some limitation upon the wants and cravings of man are not as much necessary, at least after a certain level of satisfaction, as producing an abundance of goods and services. We do not ask if the advancement of science should not be accompanied by the improvement of man including a civilized sense of self-restraint. It seems that even the fullest utilization of science and technology will not be able to satisfy the unlimited wants and desires of man and his greed for power and the symbols of power. To some of the social and environmental problems created by technology; part of the answer is further development of technology itself like devices for controlling pollution including CFC emissions, developing alternatives to these so called "gases of prosperity" and technologies for conservation of energy, alternative sources of energy, etc. In all this intensified international cooperation is essential, but on the basis of developmental equity for the countries of the South. Thus, without being altruistic and sacrificing their legitimate economic interests it should be possible for the developed countries of the world to be guided by this spirit of sharing in the sphere of international cooperation in science and technology. That would, besides, be an indication that the development of the awesome power of science and technology will be animated by the spirit of humanism for the good of mankind and not for purposes of exploitation or destruction. Education for All the Three—Body, Intellect and Soul
Today, in the age when education has become synonymous with students carrying bags heavier than themselves, perpetually in fear of home work and examinations and constantly being prodded by parents and teachers to get good marks, our outlook on education needs revision. Do we want our educational system to produce good and able citizen or do we want to produce an army of bookworms who may have knowledge but not education. Here comes the question what good education means and what should it achieve? Gandhiji said—"I do not value literary education, if it is not able to build sound character' Tagore considered freedom and joy to be the basic tenets of an education system. He therefore removed examinations, abolished punishment and all humiliating restrictions in Shanti Niketan. We can consider building up of human personality as the primary purpose of education—"to build better human beings". Man is not in this world to add to numbers but each individual has a spirit—an individual personality that is strictly his own and distinct from that of others. A good education system tries to retain his individuality, in fact to further it and tries to bring the best out of him. But man's individuality should not be considered as being egoistic or selfish; instead his individuality should develop in the social milieu he lives in. His individuality should add to the variety in the society like flowers in a garden. However, this individuality should not develop into individualism. So, a good education system should be able not only to retain individuality of a man but also to make him adjust according t6 the codes of human ethics and morality. What constitutes personality? Certainly not just knowledge. Personality should include physical, intellectual and aesthetic elements. More than knowledge, it is the wisdom of man that is more important. No doubt, knowledge is important but simply mugging books can't make a man wise. Also, as age old saying "Healthy body leads to Wealthy mind" tells us that without good health, proper knowledge can't be attained. So education should also make man physically strong. It should include Yoga, PT, aerobics, games and sports. The usual refrain that these are wasteful pastimes is to be opposed man should be able to labor hard and use body as efficiently as his mind. No civilization can progress without man's physical labor. It lies at the root of all so called higher labors of mind. After all it is agriculture that lie at the root of economics not computers. Another important element of personality is aesthetics. Education should be able to develop taste of man in fine arts. "Man's feelings and emotions can effect social and political changes", said Gandhiji, So good education should be after man's soul and should be able to appeal to his heart, Painting, music, dance, drama etc, are only a few avenues open to man to express his feelings, Painting helps him bring* forth the emotions deep within his heart. About music, Tagore said, "while speaking creates bond between men and men, music creates bond between man and nature". In a good educational system, fine arts should form an important part. This means that a good education system should be after man's soul. It should be able to satisfy man's emotional needs. This is possible only when element of fear is removed and substituted by freedom and joy. For this, we must change our material standards of success in life. A good musician or a good painter should be accorded same status and given same respect as a good doctor or a good engineer. However, one should not be tempted to teach art, instead |t should be cultivated in student's mind. 'Let thousand flowers bloom'. Let each man be able to give expression to his feelings, his ideas in his own way. In ancient India, education was imparted in Gurukuls. The responsibility of the Guru was to create a "man out of the boy who was raw, untrained and inexperienced. A person did not get any degree to prove his educational achievements; his personality and intellect was the sufficient proof. In the Gurukul he was taught everything from arms training and physical exercises to political science and religion to etiquette and mannerism and of course, fine arts and moral values. A whole man was molded. As we are passing to more advanced life, we are tending to forget basic human values and
so our education system has been converted Jo a machine that produces technically superior but physically and emotionally inferior individuals. In today's educational system the text book has become the source of all knowledge even though it fails to cater to enlarging mind and growing sense of enquiry of a child. Examinations make education a dry and fearful proposition. Sports and fine arts are frowned at. The result is that human personality is getting distorted. Student unrest and violence, frustration leading to increasing crime rate by young people, breaking of family bond, loss of respect for teachers and, in general, the loss of morality in society and crisis of character all owe their origin to our bad education, If we want human civilization to have all round, well balanced growth, we must have education system catering to all three—body, intellect and soul. Human Beings Share a Common Destiny One of the modern world's greatest educational revolutionaries, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore said—"I never accept that the object of education is simply accumulation of knowledge. Education should give all round personality in which the physical, intellectual, aesthetic and spiritual growth would be harmonized into one Man began his life as a homeless wanderer”. But his physical and emotional needs made him look for family and group ties. The knowledge of growing crops helped him settle at one place. As developed further, dwellings enlarged from small villages to large towns and cities. Very soon, men had divided themselves into different nations. Loyalty to the nation and obedience to its authority became a prerequisite for living in it. And today the situation is such that loyalty to nation has made man forget about the basic human values. It has transgressed the limits of love and borders on selfishness and exclusiveness. So much so that man will not think twice before causing harm to another nation or its citizens. The concept of his fellow nationals being the chosen few and the rest outside the pale is blindly accepted. Little does he realize that his existence as a man, as a part of human civilization is more valuable, more cherished a goal than being an American or French. In fact, not only, is it in conformity with basic ethics and human values but is also the need of the hour. The reason is that human beings share a common destiny—"We are one world". So many wars were (and are being) fought, so much blood was shed and so many lives were lost to prove one nation's superiority over the other, to gain wealth by looting others and to become more powerful. But who has gained from these gory wars? Who came out victorious and who was vanquished? No one was a victor and they were the human beings who were the vanquished. Wars have never brought peace. They only brought hatred and fear. Those who rejoiced at other's defeat and danced on other's graves knew little that they were digging their own grave. Each war has pushed human civilization back by years. Peace was destroyed, economy was ruined and rich culture was lost. Even 'those who won .faced shortage of food and labor. Wars did not bring them prosperity. How could it be? Nations are artificial banners created by man. What is natural is that we all are human beings united by belonging to same species and by being endowed with similar capabilities. If this were the case, how could victory of one group of human beings over the other be of any good. Our relations as human beings make us equal shares of everything good and bad. We cannot think of gaining at other's expense or trying to rise at other's ruins. It was this realization that made leaders of the world create United Nations Organization. It is the embodiment of the moral principle of equality and kinship and of the fact that we all share the same destiny. Nations have created huge arsenals of deadly weapons. Of what use are they? Do they realize that use of those deadly weapons against another country is not going to leave them unscathed? In fact, even they may not survive and even if they do, the world will not remain a place fit to live in. What they will do to protect or further their identity as a nation will destroy the identity of the human beings. UNO is based upon this premise only. It is impossible for any one nation to come out victorious in the nuclear war, so why not think of peaceful ways to solve disputes. After all, the same energy can be used
to improve human beings life. We have to come together and think together because we cannot but live together. Environmental degradation is another problem facing the world today. Rich nations think that it is the poor nations causing pollution and poor nations blame the rich ones for destroying environment. But is this not the problem that we should face as human beings? After all, our survival depends upon it. Rich nations think that by exploiting the environment of the poor nations, they can fill their coffers. But do they realize that degradation of environment anywhere in the world will affect human beings as a whole? It is not that Americans will be less affected by it than the Indians. Degradation of rain forests in S. America is affecting oxygen availability in not only S. America but in N. America and Europe too. Providing good and clean environment to our descendents, be they Africans, Asians or Europeans, is the responsibility of us ail as human beings. If earth becomes a place unfit to live in, then human beings will become extinct (of course, without distinction of nationalities). We all have to swim or sink together. Earth Summit was one good step towards a unified human effort to save the planet earth. But the bickering there mean that we still have a long way to go. The same is the case with poverty and hunger. What is it it not our innermost feelings for our fellow beings that tears come to our eyes seeing skeleton-like bodies in Somalia and Ethiopia. These emotions are to be converted to concrete action. Our political leaders who, more out of their own selfish motive than anything else, want to keen artificial barriers in relations should be made to realize that not only our duty to help our brethren as we e all humans but it is important for our development too. Who is going to buy goods made in the rich countries if poor countries remain deprived? Also, hunger breeds frustration and violence. And violence knows no boundaries. Unrest in one country will create problems of refugees, terrorism, drugs and crime even in other countries. So, it becomes our responsibility to work towards the goal of prosperity and welfare of all instead of wealth for a few at the cost of others. Because if tears remain in a few eyes they will drown other's joys too. Our fates are inexorably linked. We are in the age of computers and satellites. The world is shrinking. No group can afford to remain aloof and independent of others. In a few decades we may even be communicating with living beings from other planets. If they are friendly we will present our hands of friendship as inhabitants of earth and not as a British or an Australian. If they are hostile, we will have to work as one for our protection. We owe our identity to being humans and despite artificial barriers, we will have to work together to protect it. As Gurudev said, "From now on, any nation that takes an isolated view of state, shall know no peace, it shall run counter to the spirit of the new age. From now onward, the anxiety that each country has for its own safety must embrace the welfare of the world, of human race." Human Resource Development In the age of fast growing population and over mechanization, we find that more and more people are getting converted to a liability than a resource. Machines are rendering people unemployed, traditional craftsmen and artisans are being obliterated, and in this fast pace of life, we are losing taste for simple pleasure and joys. Creative talents are getting scant attention causing them to remain stagnant. In this age of machines, are we becoming too uniform, too similar lacking variety and vitality? "Man is known by the company he keeps and a country is known by the people it has". One can accept this fact without iota of doubt that people are any nation's greatest resource. It is the resourcefulness, creativity, courage and' initiative by which man is characterized. Is our development indeed helping us encourage these traits in man or are we all becoming a part of a big machine without individuality. In pursuit for money and power, are we becoming blind to our creative self our spirit. There can be no doubt that development of technology and industrialization has widened
horizons of man's knowledge. They have helped him become more skilled and in a way even more creative. They have helped to generate wealth, with more employment. But the benefits haven't reached all. So we find that while traditional skills are being wiped out, no new avenues are being opened. The result is that man is becoming unproductive, a burden or a liability. It is not our development that is making all of us follow same worn path with little scope of becoming different, but it is the way we are carrying it. Development and mechanization may have eaten up jobs but at the same time has created multitude of opportunities that only need to be seen to be exploited. Numerous avenues are being opened where man can use his creativity, he only needs to be trained and guided. But when everybody wants to follow same old path of becoming another doctor or an engineer, when no one wants to be different, That heaven would descend on earth if youth knew, if age could. In the age of rapid development, urbanization and industrialization, when tension is increasing in the society and relations are getting fractured, need both the revolutionary zeal of the youth and the moderating influence of the aged. And why only today, all through the ages human society has been harmed by lack of experience of youth and lack of energy in the old. So we have numerous examples of great acts bringing disasters because they were not backed by knowledge and experience, and of great ideas that remained on paper as the thinkers lacked the zeal and enthusiasm to carry it to a practical end. A young man has energy and is sparked by idealism. But excess energy of his has to be channeled properly. Only if a sobering second thought is given to his actions, he can do wonders. To cite an example, the young men are made to use their energy to break window panes, to burn buses, to loot shops and to cause death and destruction by some unscrupulous persons who use them as a tool to achieve their own selfish ends. They are too innocent and totally ignorant about what they do and how much harm it causes to the society. They lack understanding and experience. Only if they knew how to use their energy for constructing the society, for eliminating evil, for spreading light of education and for the defense of the country, the society would be transformed in no time. Only age can give them experience. But by the time they age, all their energy is drained and they are too weak on body to transform the great ideas they have in their mind into reality. We need both—the young man's energy and the old man's knowledge. What becomes important is that the young man is guided by the old to help him channel his energy into right direction. Could Alexanders energy and zeal alone have helped him to win the world without proper guidance and training of his great master, Aristotle? There are two ways of getting the best out of both. One is that old people should remain healthy and strong physically and alert mentally. But it is very difficult and much beyond man's control. Howsoever fit an old man may be, he can't match the energy and strength of a young man. He has to ripen with age. And the other more practical solution could be that the young men get the knowledge, understanding and experience. Yes, experience can be taught. It is not only by graying of hairs that man Seams. For example, management is an art, we have old time managers who started down In the hierarchy of the company and over the years learns the skill of managing. But today, management schools churn out young managers who prove much more efficient than their older counterparts. The reason is that they learn from the diverse experiences of a number of old managers and what they imbibe is the best of all. So, we have young, smart, all knowing managers who rise fast and may reach the top at the age of 40-45 years. They have the best of both worlds—energy of youth and experience of age. If we take example from our freedom struggle, we have a classic case of Nehruji and Gandhiji. Nehruji symbolized Indian youth—energetic, impatient and enthusiastic. Gandhiji was symbolic of Indian sage—old, thoughtful, moderate and patient. One doubts whether Nehruji, a fine man that he was, could have transformed into a great leader and statesmen if Gandhiji's guidance were not available to him. He himself acknowledged the influence of Gandhiji on him. In his youth, he was more attracted towards revolutionaries but it was
Gandhiji who showed him the path of evolution and helped him understand the righteousness and value of Satyagraha. These two great men together guided our country to the light of freedom. So what becomes a practical solution is that the young and the old work together. Today when we talk about the generation gap and related problems, we must realize that old people were young once and the young people of today will become old tomorrow. So both should try to understand each other and give due respect to each other's strengths—old man's experience and the young man's enthusiasm. It is only when both work together that we will have youth how can we expect anything better than what we have. So we have reached a situation when even doctors and engineers are remaining unemployed. Human beings are a resource but it needs to be developed and harnessed else it is like an unpolished diamond which is just a piece of coal. Development of human resource implies physical, mental, spiritual and aesthetic development together. He has to be trained to become useful for the society. The usefulness need not always imply economic productivity though it Is Important but It may even Imply artistic creativity that serves the spiritual and aesthetic needs of man. Even a musician or a painter is useful for the society. But the first and foremost requirement is economic productivity to make man economically productive, it become important that he is trained. Today, in the age of specialization, the need is of well trained skilled workers. It is quite true that machines displace man from his job but at the same time mechanization also causes a number of ancillary and support units to come up. it throws open new and more challenging jobs which however require proper skill. The important thing is not to oppose mechanization but to identify new avenues and develop suitable skills for them. Today in the age of computers, so many software and hardware related jobs are coming up that suitable people are difficult to find and on the other hand numerous people with B.A. and -B.Sc. are sitting idle. This mismatch of demand and supply in job market is to be corrected. Even in traditional fields like agriculture and animal husbandry, new techniques are getting developed, new fields of pisciculture, sericulture, aqua culture, mushroom cultivation etc. are coming up. Prawn cultivation is a highly lucrative business. Along with economic productivity, even creative talents need to be encouraged. It becomes important that we change our outlook on standards of success in life and give adequate respect to artists and craftsmen. The richness of human culture must not be buried under machines. Physical wellbeing of our children demands that they are given suitable facilities to play. A lot of things can be learnt on the play field—team spirit and leadership qualities that are important in life. To achieve true development of human resources, all types of inequalities and distinctions based on birth should be removed. We should forget our social prejudices and all forms of economic and social exploitation should be stopped. Everyone should get an opportunity to develop his/her personality and get what he/she deserves. Human beings who are in chains, who are exploited and abused, who do not have basic necessities of life cannot make Into a resource, And when a large section of population is like this, how can a country be prosperous? So, the prior requirement for wealth and progress of any nation is that its biggest resource, its population, is turned into an asset. If Youth Knew, If Age Could If old and experienced people are eyes and ears of a nation, the youth is their limbs. A young man's energy, enthusiasm, vigor and vitality make' him one of the most important cogs in the wheel of development. India is a large nation—its population (by 1991 census) is 833 million. Of this, 55% is the population of people between 18 years and 35 years who can be technically called the youth. The young men of India come from various strata and are engaged in a variety of occupations but all of them have one thing in common—their energy and their idealism. It is their uncorrupted mind and unspent strength which can be of immense use in the nation building activities.
Nation building is a vast task consisting of varied jobs. All these jobs lead to one goal—a more prosperous, clean and safe nation. One of the prerequisites for using youth in the nation building activities is that they are gainfully employed. For this, it becomes important not only to have sufficient and varied employment opportunities but also proper training for them. Another necessary pre-requisite is that the youth is well educated, well fed and healthy and has a personality and individuality of his own. A young man with healthy mind and healthy body is virtually indispensable for the nation. However, all his energy; his idealism is of no use if it is not directed properly. Therefore, it is also important to have enlightened and honest leaders who can channel the energy of the youth in the nation building activities. One of the biggest problems facing India today is illiteracy. Uneducated man is a liability and education is an asset to the nation. So it becomes important to spread the light of learning everywhere. And who is more suitable for this stupendous task than the youth? Young men and women can not only spend their time and energy in teaching others but can act as a catalyst to start literacy mission as a mass movement. The experiences of Kerala, Burdwan and Kolhapur have shown that the school going teenagers and the college going young men and women could do in one year what all the government's machinery' could not do in 40 years. Another great task that can be done by the youth is rural development. The spreading of the message of cleanliness, child care and healthy living can be done very well by the youth. Also, they can be used to spread the information about better agricultural techniques, better animal husbandry techniques etc. They can also be used to educate villagers about new avenues of employment open to them— like agro-based and forestbased Industries. A young man has the knowledge and technical skills to understand intricacies of new developments and also has the enthusiasm to transmit his knowledge in simple words to the villagers. Youth can also be used in providing safe and clean drinking water, better dwellings and in other works of rural construction. A young man has the energy, it only needs to be tapped. This can be done by having special "Shram-Daan" classes in schools and colleges and using their vacation time fruitfully. The youth can be very effective in checking crimes. Their idealism coupled with their courage can be used by the police to check petty crimes, eve-teasing and also drugtrafficking etc. Youth vigilance committees can keep a check on the doubtful characters of the locality, they can also be used to prevent a misguided youth from taking to crimes and drugs. At the time of disturbances and riots, these committees, can be very helpful. In fact, they can act as a very good source of information to the police in keeping rioters in check. The youth can also be helpful to prevent hoarding and black-marketing by the merchants. A number of irrational and obscurantist social customs and taboos can be broken by the youth power; Dowry, a big menace that it is, can be prevented only by the young men and women, if they refuse to give or take dowry themselves and form associations which help in bringing to book dowry seekers, the demise of this brutal custom cannot be far. Female infanticide, women's educational deprivation and widow remarriage restrictions are other social evils, that can be prevented by youth. A young man's mind always wants good reasons and rationale to accept any theory. Therefore, youth is most effective in fighting the evil of Casteism and communalism. They can even be used to prevent electoral malpractices. However, for all this work, it is a healthy and happy young man is what is required. So, his childhood should not be deprived of healthy upbringing and good education. Also, frustrated and unemployed youth are most easily exploited by selfish elements and they are most prone to incitement to violence and destruction. So, it is important that he is so trained that he is gainfully employed. The example of Germany is very clear. The same young men who fought against communism and won their freedom are becoming xenophobic and racist. The reason is their frustration with the system. Let us prevent our young men from going the same way. For this, our parents, teachers and leaders have a great responsibility.
As examples of Indonesia—where students overthrew Sukarno, Philippines—where they helped overthrew, Marcos and usher in democracy, or E. Europe—where they were in forefront of movement for democracy, or Burma-where they are relentlessly fighting for democracy and freedom show that youth power is great. Even in our own struggle for freedom, students and young lawyers played an important role. Who can forget the selfless sacrifices of Bhagat Singh,, Chandra Shekhar, Rajguru and many others. Nehru and Bose were the representatives of the Indian youth in freedom struggle. Today the nation which goes independent by youth's efforts needs them to become great once again. Youth should take up the challenge. A Newspaper Is Always A Weapon In Someone's Hands By a definition given in The Spectator, a British newspaper, the chief role of a newspaper is to spread intelligence. Intelligence may be defined as information, news, especially that related to important events. The importance of newspapers cannot be underestimated in a democracy. They act as watch for the people. They are responsible for enlightening the people about various events and their importance. The role that a newspaper plays as an educator for the people makes it one of the important pillars supporting the super-structure of democracy. That is why press is called the fourth estate along with legislature, the executive and the judiciary. Newspaper not only informs people about events by reporting them as news but also analyses news and presents it as editorials, comments and lead articles. These analyses are carried by editors and columnists. What they present is their own view point and the way they judge an event, a happening etc. In fact, a newspaper's articles thinking are nothing but the editor's line of thinking. However, this bias is not harmful as long as the objective of the editor or the columnist remains unmotivated by extraneous considerations. For interpreting a fact that is news, a number of viewpoints can be given and there is nothing wrong in a healthy discussion. However, the interpretation and analysis should be done objectively and rationally. The aims should be disseminating knowledge and not propaganda. However, due to various types of pressures and pulls, we find that objectivity and rationality is being compromised by the newspapers and instead they are appearing to become pawns in big games of money and power. The biggest pressure that newspapers face today is the pressure from the administration. In India the administration holds the life to press by supplying them with concessional newsprint. Also, government notices, circulars and advertisements are important sources of revenue for a newspaper. The administration uses this relation to pressurize newspapers not to print the misdeeds, abuse of power and authority by it. Use of various rules and regulations is made both in peace time and troubled times to harass the newspapers. Another source of pulls and pressures is the big advertisers and businessmen. They are . the biggest source of revenue to the newspapers without which they cannot even run. So, in this way, they are the most important guarantors of newspaper's independence. However, where they try to misuse their clout by pressurizing newspapers into publishing favorable reports and hiding their mis-endeavors and misdeeds, they become a challenge to the integrity of the newspapers. Especially when potential investors read now-a-days, annual reports and financial estimates and take their decisions on that basis, a report in the newspaper may make or mar a company's fortune. So, newspapers may be forced by big businessmen in distorting the facts by their interpretation and explanation. Today when he has become old, he wants the youngsters to follow the same life, the same values that he did when he was young. Little does he realize that by trying to do so he is trying to fit a man into .a coat and not coat onto a man. So many changes have taken place so fast that the generation of today follows entirely different set of rules from those followed by the generation of yesterday. Today, young men have no time to sit to share small joys and sorrows with others. They are to go to one or may be two jobs in the day. In the
evening, they are to go to health club. The night time is party time. In the jet age of today, a man may be taking his breakfast in Delhi and lunch in Cairo and Dinner in New York. When he sits down to rest, he is too tired to know what others are up to. The result is that he is unable to cultivate relationships. He becomes lonely in the vast concrete jungles of the cities. Loneliness and lack of love may drive a man towards drug and alcohol, in fact, in alcoholism has taken alarming proportions. The result of such a rapid pace of modernization is that while old people are finding it difficult to adjust to the changed life style, the young people are unable to accede to the old people's demand. Today, a young man doesn't go to the old for solving some problem, he has no value for their advice and wisdom. He thinks that money can solve everything. Money has become a deciding factor in his relationships. He thinks that if he has money, he will have all the pleasures. Sadly, he is not always true and when he realizes his mistake, it is usually too late. The children are the worst sufferers of the ills of modernization. The childhood may be spent in material fulfillment but emotional .deprivation. I hey thus develop a distorted personal they grow in an emotional vacuum. They learn about the hard facts of life outside world and do not even realize that there is much beyond the mad race' in the modern world. It is not that modernization has no positive aspects. In fact, the forces of change has broken the fetters of decay and chain of irrational, cruel and obscurantist customs. Today," a modern young man believes in reason, rationality, justice, fair play and equality. For him, religious fundamentalism, casteism have no value. Talent and merit are the only deciding factor for finding a man's worth. He refuses to accept anything out of blind faith. In fact, democracy and secularism is being sustained by the forces of modernization only. The process of modernization cannot be stopped or reversed. In fact, any attempt to do so would be suicidal for the human civilization. What is important is that we learn to reduce the negative impacts of modernization and instead try to reap maximum benefit out of it. Also, it is important that we learn to adjust to the changing realities. It becomes the duty of the young people to try to balance the needs of the time and the demands of the old. Also, it is for the old persons to see that they do not impose their own value system upon the young. Above all our faith in the higher human values and ethics must not weaken. Laugh and The World Laugh with You; Cry and You Cry Alone That man is a social animal is an oft-repeated phrase. We all know that man lives in groups, he can't live alone. Despite being physically weaker than many animals, he could survive and today rules the world just because of his superior brain power and because he lived not alone but a community. The basis of a community was sharing—everything belonged to everyone and he used it according to his needs. However, as needs increased man became more concerned about himself. And today such is the irony that man, social animal that he has become thoroughly selfish. He knows how to take but has forgotten the art of giving. Man lives to enjoy life. The first and fore- most necessity of his life is happiness. He wants to indulge in pleasure and joys. He tries to have it in his own ways—even by sharing joys of others. It is very easy to share a smile. After all, he gains something by laughing with others. He may forget his pains for the moment, his mood is freshened and his heart lightened. And why would man not take something that is being offered to him? In fact, it is desirable too that we make others part of our celebrations. What is a party without friends? However, the deplorable part is that while man loves to borrow a smile, he is most hesitant to borrow someone's pains and worries. No one likes to become a share of other's miseries. It is said that sharing lightens troubles. But few would like to help others out. People have no time and little sympathy tor others as long as they have nothing to gain from them. So much so that people even try to take pleasure out of other's problems. Have we not seen people laughing at a blind man who has slipped on a banana peel or making fun of man with
physical deformities? What does this all indicate-laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone. No doubt the real test of friendship and relationship is in adversity. Wise men have rightly remarked, "A friend in need is a friend indeed". Can we forget the story of Lord Krishna & Sudama? Indeed, sharing pains is a Godly act. All religions are based upon the ideas of compassion, charity and love. Our epics tell us the tales of great men and women who gave their everything to help someone in need. Scriptures tell us to be kind to the weak. Gandhiji shared the burdens and deprivations of the oppressed and exploited classes. And he shines like a bright star in the galaxy of leaders. In the olden days, the community feeling was stronger than it is today. People lived for a community, a village etc. In the times of troubles, the whole village used to sit together and decide. Marriage of a girl, which because of terrible social customs was considered a burden, used to be a community affair. But even then the people who tried to further their selfish ends at other's expense were not less. Today, such people appear to be in majority. In fact, as life has grown materialistic, man has become more money minded. Relationships have taken a back seat. Today, one can even trust one's relatives that they would help in adversity. "If" they come to mourn a crash the real purpose remains sharing deceased's property and wealth. However, if he has none, they would think twice before going. However, if there is a celebration, a marriage or a party, they will drop in even uninvited. In fact, today bridegroom’s party's size has become so large and unwieldy that it becomes a headache for the bride's family. If there is anyone one can safely rely on at the time of adversity, it KB the God one's own parents. Come what may, parents are always on the side of their children. They may not share their children joys if not called upon to do so but will be the first ones on their sides in trouble. God is of course the last resort. Man might not be trusted but faith in Almighty does give strength to one to face sorrows and smile even in the face of disappointments. It is a well tested diction that everything bends before success but an unsuccessful man is blamed for everything. He can do no right. No one will sympathize with him. However, if we want world to change for better, we should learn to give our joys to others and share sorrows of others. We should remember that joys multiply and sorrows divide if shared. Even a word or two of comfort can enlighten somebody's life. Sports Have Deeper Significance Than Mere Entertainment Right from the time man evolved his civilization, he has used a variety of means for entertainment. Sports were evolved for the same purpose. In fact, it will not be an overstatement if we assert that sports today are most popular and viable means of entertainment. No other form of entertainment is more wholesome and has a wider mass appeal than sports. While the primary purpose of sports remains entertainment, today they have come to have much deeper significance. They have developed a great educative value and can be used to bring a number of improvements in the society. First and foremost, sports can be used to (produce healthier and happier citizens. "Healthy mind resides in a healthy body." Sports can be used to produce such men who would be physically fit and therefore, mentally more efficient than work. At this same time, sports use the bubbling energy of the youth. The basic requirement to be a sportsman is to have sportsmanship. A number of qualities can be included in sportsmanship. Most of these qualities are also essential to be a good human being. So, sports which inculcate sportsmanship can also produce better members of the society. We can include team work, discipline, leadership qualities, positive attitude in sportsmanship. We shall survey these qualities briefly and discuss their role in the society. Ours is a society with diversities and in fact there is hardly any society that is homogeneous. For smooth functioning, it is important that each part of the society plays
harmoniously with others. Thus, in essence, is the Teamwork. Every person in a team is assigned a certain role. He has to play that role in conjunction with others roles. Only when everyone plays together like a well oiled machine, can the team play well. Similarly, only when everyone in society works not for his selfish ends but for the society, the society can progress. Discipline is another hallmark of a sportsman. Similarly, discipline is an utmost necessity for orderliness and peace in the society. In the field, everyone plays his role according to a set of rules. In the society, such people who respect rules are required and sportsmen fit the bill. In fact, any person playing sports can develop this quality. Leadership is another requirement for a sportsman. Such qualities develop in him automatically as he plays by applying his mind. Such people who can think are the flag bearers of democracy. Democracy cannot flourish in the society where people are led but where they lead Such leadership qualities as showing way, leading by example, concern for fellowmen are well cultivated in the sports field. A good sportsman is characterized by his courage, positive attitude and indomitable spirit. He doesn't lose heart when he is losing a game but tries his best to win till the very end. Adverse circumstances do not rattle him. Such people are invaluable to the society especially at the time of crisis. Pessimists do not bring revolution, they cannot even sustain evolution. Sportsmen can never be a pessimist. So they can be expected to keep spirits high even in the face of adversity. Respect for the opposition is profound in the heart of the sportsman. He doesn't go into the field to fight but to play well, play to win. But he has due respect for other person's strengths and good qualities. He remains honest till the very end whether he loses or wins. A lot can be learnt from such sportsmen. In today's society relations are marred by cheating, brow beating and one up manship. Everyone tries to dominate others. People show scant regard to other person's needs, his feelings. Intolerance and hatred rule the most. Under such conditions, do we not require men who still have the heart to give others their due share. To conclude, we can say that sports field is just an extension of our society. The same code of morals and ethics that govern our society, govern the sports arena too. To be a good sportsman, it requires to be a good human being first. In fact, sports field can be developed into a training ground to produce better citizens of the society. How welcome would be the day when the rivalry between two nations wouldn't drag them to war but they would match their minds in the sports arena. The quality of the sportsmen gives the real idea about the strength of a nation and its inhabitants, not the quality of its weaponry. Can we miss the one to one correspondence between the stage of development of a nation and the quality of its sportsmen as exemplified by USA, Germany and former USSR. So sports are not just another means of entertainment but much more than that. Forests—Need For Conservation Trees are mankind's lifeline. If they are destroyed, there is no way that human beings can survive. From the oxygen that we breathe in, the food that we eat, to the clothes we wear, we owe it all to the trees. Not only this, trees act as purifiers of air and receptacles of our waste products. Trees have great economic value too. We get fuel, fodder, timber, medicines and numerous other valuable products from the trees. It is, therefore, not surprising that trees were given great importance in our culture, our tradition, our mythology and legends. The entire Panchatantra revolves around forests and its inhabitants. Tulsi plant is always found and worshipped in a traditional home. Pipal tree is revered by all. Neem is valuable as an insecticide, germicide and medicine, in the times when there were no coolers or air conditioners people comforted themselves in the cool shades of mango, neem and other trees during summer heat. The survival of entire wild life depends upon the health and well being of our trees and specially our forests.
Today, however, the forests are in danger. Their survival is at stake as man, in his blind pursuit of wealth and power, is bent upon destroying them. The urgent need today is to save our forests from extinction. For sustaining ecological balance, for environmental and other reasons, it is important that at least one third of our land is covered with forests. However, today we have less than 20% area under forests and much of it is degraded forest. Over felling of trees, hindering natural process of pollination and germination and diverting land for other purposes have all taken their toll on forests. So, the need of the hour is to work to save existing forests and help in bringing larger area under forests. The need to conserve forests and upgrade them was recognized decades back by the Indian Government. Subsequently, to promote research in forestry and allied sciences, a Forest Research Institute, and for forest management, an Indian Institute of Forest Management were opened. While Indian Forest Service was organized on an efficient basis by Sir John Strachedy, a new orientation was given to it after independence. The need to involve public was felt and so social forestry scheme was launched. The purpose was to make forestry a mass movement. 'One tree for every child', Trees for Eco-development' and numerous other schemes were launched. To provide financial support, Forest Development Boards were set up. An innovative scheme to involve industries and private parties in afforestation drive was launched under Industrial Plantation. To make use of the waste lands, marginal lands and desert lands, 'energy plantations', fodder plantations' etc. were attempted. Under DDP, forests were sought to be promoted not only to restore fragile ecological balance but also to provide people with the means of livelihood. Similarly, DPAP was launched with afforestation as its cornerstone. Despite all such efforts, we find very little tangible result. Forests are still getting cut and degraded and wildlife still being destroyed. Somehow, the awareness that forests are in danger and that we should do something about it has still not reached many of us. And many of us, who know the fact, do not know what to be done about it. Forestry is highly labor intensive primary activity. Unless, people are involved neck deep in the afforestation drive, little progress can be made. Spread of information by mass media, through social workers, in schools and colleges, at work places, all these are required for the drive to become a movement. While most of us know the importance of forests, we take them for granted. Conservation of forests does not mean that they should not be used for economic purposes but should be used efficiently and in a way that does not endanger the ecological balance and does not destroy the home of wild animals. Presently, forests are being used for mainly two purpose— fuelwood and timber—both involve felling trees. This can be avoided by either developing alternative sources of energy (there are manysolar, biogas etc.), alternative means for construction (CPWD has banned the use of wood in houses) or by growing at least one (if not two) tree for each tree cut. Secondly, new, better means of using forests should be evolved. Sericulture, mushroom cultivation, bee keeping, horticulture, etc. are not only viable but also very profitable alternatives. At the same time, forests should be protected as a system. This means that monocultures are avoided and variety of trees suitable to the local environs be grown. The question today is not whether or not afforestation but how. Our very survival depends upon how successful we are in our mission. Let m think about future. In the greed for short term gains, 4et us not put our very survival at stake. We all have role to play in this movement. If each one of us grows just one healthy and suitable tree in his life time, the problem will be solved. To misquote Armstrong—It is a small 'ask for each one of us but a giant task for the mankind. "Secularism is simply verbal replacement of the word tolerance" What is Secularism? None can give you the right definition of the term. Even the most
ardent exponent of the term differs on its meanings. In fact, their zeal to institute secularism in the Indian polity has pushed the term so far away from reality that today it has come to be more of a mirage than an accepted norm. The vested interests are now using this phenomenon of mirage as a magic wand for political gains and popularity among minorities. It is ironic, not tragic, that minorities in India have come to be identified with religion and not with community or profession. This is the reason that secularism today has come to mean as preservation of religious minorities in their traditional modes. But this is not the only meaning that is attributed to 'secularism'. There are others who consider it to mean separation of religion from state. For some secularism relegates the religion to the backyard. If you are secular you cannot put your religion to the fore. It must always come afterward. But afterward of what? Nobody can tell you that. Before we go on with what secularism means we must first find out that why the necessity arose to adopt this covenant. We do not have to go far to find the answer. It was needed because we wanted to have a stable polity in a religious, lingual and cultural diversity. In other words it was needed to structure a united nation with common goals and ideals while preserving the diverse identities in religion, culture and language. But have we succeeded in it? No. Not even a little. In fact, secularism has not only grown gradually into an anathema but also has come to be a red rag to the religious leaders with political aspiration. The establishment of such organizations as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Muslim Majlis-e-Musha-warat, Majlis Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen, Muslim United Front, Shiv Sena, Adam Sena, United Akali Dal, Akali Dal and so on are testimony to the growing antagonism to secularism. Because secularism today is being taken as a threat to religious identities, to the existence of religious diversities, though secularism was never conceived as such. The very fact that secularism has not taken roots in the Indian polity requires that the term should be reviewed. What is secularism, after all? Before we decide what it is we must tick out what it is not? First of all secularism is not a rational term. It is not also a philosophical concept. And it is not altogether a modern concept, as it is generally believed Secularism simply is a covenant; a covenant among the religious identities for co-existence and national homogeneity. Secularism means, in layman's language, tolerance. The concept of tolerance was there even in Vedic time. So we cannot boast of having conceived it in the modem times. Besides, the concept of tolerance cannot be treated as a creed or a principle. It is absolutely, exclusively an individual affair. It should have been publicized as such. Just because we erred in introducing it at individual level, and instead introduced it as regimentation, we have failed in achieving the intended objective, that is, a stable polity in diversity, and also in checking the virus of communalism, The need for tolerance, or for secularism, is a compulsion that springs from within the folds of any diverse polity. But this compulsion must not be mistaken for a dictate. It is further a safe-guard for a homogeneous society. But it cannot be the ideological structure for a society. Similarly we cannot take it as a ground for a democratic setup. All it can be is a goal. A goal for a polity with diverse religious identities, cultural entities and lingual prolificacy. The concept of ground precludes the imperatives of game. Because then the teams have the option to play on a particular ground or not. But the concept of the goal preculdes this option. Because the concept comes into play only when the game is on. So we come to the earlier conclusion again, that is, secularism is simply verbal replacement of the word 'tolerances' that vas in vogue ever in Vedic times. One cannot Drench secularism as a legal or logical dictate. Such a dictate is patently contrary to the fundamental concept of secularism. Moreover, secularism is a matter of heart and not of mind. It flourishes in a soil comprising compassion and piety, it dies in administrative or political fields. Secularism is a free choice. If we want it interwoven in the socio-religious fabric then the pre-conditions is free choice. And free choice on individual level. Not on community, religious or political level. Because matters of heart react violently to constraints, bounds
and dictates. As such each religion, each individual has to chart its own way to the goal of secularism. There can be no guidelines or guide posts for such a choice. And that is where we have erred. We have tried to impose the choice, an act from which everyone shied. So we failed in converting the Indian polity with religious diversity into a secular polity. The question arises at which point we have gone astray from the right course of secularism. This question leads to another. Were we ever on the right course? The answer is no, we tried to induct secularism into the structure of our polity as a serum and not as a free choice for homogeneity and co-existence. Hence, it was either a waste or just induced reaction. In either case it failed to achieve the intended goal. The reaction took others interpreted it as a force separating religion from State yet others though it a direct threat to the very existence of religion. Because the way secularism has been preached over the years, it had come to mean that be secular first and religious later, or that relegates the religion to the backyard because we do not need it. We need only secularism. As such secularism came to be viewed upon as a new religion. And everyone knows that conversions to new religions are not an easy matter. Bui these are not the only reason for hamstringing the induction of secularism into the Indian polity, there are other and more potent reasons too. The most potent reason obstructing the induction of secularism into the Indian polity is the constant proliferation of communal sentiments all over India. A look back over the communal incidents over the past five, decades shows a steadily growing scheme among the fanatics who carried the religious standard but in fact, was having political ambition. Communalism became the bait for vote catch, Communalism came to be exclusively identified with religious identity. Suddenly the people came to believe, and the belief was kept alive by the religious crusaders, that their religion was in danger of either extinction or of assimilation by another and larger religion. The feeling was not confined to the minority religions. It even infected the Hindu religion. Otherwise how one can explain the fear and the qualms of Hindus who -are in brute majority in the country. Why should the Hindus be on the defensive? Why should the Muslims consider themselves as a minority and not a second large majority? Why should Sikhs feel that their religion is under threat without any reported instances of forcible conversions? The situation that prevails in India today, that is, extreme communalism, is the direct result of two factors. First, the opportunistic politics, which found that the political use of religion can get them captive votes; and second, the economically frustrated intellectuals who want to make their mark by bearing the standard of communalism. Both the elements are not only the enemy of the Indian polity with religious diversity which incidentally is still the most stable polity in the Third World Countries, but also destroyer of the hard won freedom by the Indians. We should n6t also forget that when we talk of fundamentalism or religious backlash, we are cutting the roots of secularism. The two terms belong to the medieval era and are hallmark of the fanatics and the crusaders. These do not fit with the ideology of an enlightened society. It will be fatal if we accept setting up of so many senas by various religious fanatics simply as a 'backlash'. Such senas are always anti-national the nation must come first. Because our identify, whatever it.may be, religious, political or social, directly depends upon our liberty, if we do not have liberty we do not have any identity but that of a slave. Certainly no Indian wants to be slave again. At the same time we must remove the fear that secularism means relegation of religion to the backyard, Let the people be religious first and then secular. Let not secularism take precedence over religion. Because only religion teaches tolerance, It is simply a vote catching device. But if this communalism grows into fascist populism or racist nationalism then we have had it. Therefore, let secularism be the individual choice, a choice by free will and not by imposition. Only then secularism will prevail. Should Strikes be Banned Strike is the refusal by workers to work, in order to pressurize the management to accept
their demands. Strike can also be 'sympathy' strike to express solidarity with their brethren elsewhere. Other forms that strike can take are work to rule, go slow, lightening strike, token strike etc. In another innovative form in Japan, workers may work more in order to express their resentment. In whatever form it is, strike is a weapon to be used only in the extreme circumstances when all other democratic means to negotiate have come to a end. Today, industrial relations in our country are very bad. There is very little understanding, leave alone solidarity between the management and the workers. Lack of effective communication between the two creates a lot of misunderstanding and heat. So, strike today has become almost the sole means for the workers to force the management accede to their legitimate demands. Who gains by strike? Whatever may be the end result, it is always found that strike harms the nation, the community, the workers as well as the management. During the period of strike, production comes to a standstill Inventories pile up. Stores are clogged. Transport sector slumps. The workers remain idle during the period. They face monetary and psychological problems. Their job is threatened. Millions of man-hours go waste. Man -power, money, material resources, machines everything remain idle and this constitutes a loss. Production level falls down, inventory losses mount, transportation industry suffers, shortages are created, prices of commodities sky-rocket. The entire planning and social welfare schemes go haywire. And can one forget the miseries of common man who suffers silently because he neither has money power of the industrialists, nor the muscle power of the workers. And if the employees of essential services go on strike the problems are compounded. Aren't the reasons cited above sufficient to convince one that strikes should be banned? Before jumping to any conclusion, however, we should realize that ours is a democratic country. If this right to strike is taken away from the workers, they will be left at the mercy of the management with no recourse to justice. And in our country, with a feudal tradition, it will not be a very happy situation. But strikes endanger the very functioning of our democracy. So what is the remedy? Perhaps the most important remedy is one based upon the maxim—Prevention is better than cure. It is important that the industrial relations are improved. We need profit making units but they should be owned and managed not by money minded people out by professionals. Management ought to look after the welfare" of the workers. It requires change in the attitude of both the management and the workers. Management should understand that happy workers are more efficient and work harder. Also, workers should cultivate a sense of belonging for the Company. Above all, it is our work culture, our attitude towards work that should change. All this will go a long way in reducing the need and frequency of strikes. 'Strike is a form of Satyagraha', claimed Gandhiji. If today it has acquired a bad name, it is because politicians and unscrupulous leaders have virtually hijacked trade union and they use worker's grievances to further their own career and sometimes, even to blackmail industrialists. It is not strike that should be banned but the misuse of this right for unrelated issues as well as for any petty grievance. It should be resorted to when negotiations yield nothing but not to keep the whole country at ransom. Teach a Man and You Teach An individual, Teach a women and you teach a generation Women can never see her children go uneducated. She will be most insistent upon sending her children to school be it even at the cost of her hobbies, interests or even stomach. This is because she appreciates the importance of education. So with an educated mother, we 'can safely assume that we have most effective motivator for the spread of education. The so-called 'Filtration theory' fits very well into it. If we teach a woman, she acts as a filter to spread education among many others.
Woman belongs to a weaker section of the society because she suffers from many handicaps due to rigid, outdated social customs and religious practices. But an educated woman cannot be exploited easily. She is aware of her rights and will go any length to defend them. Having experienced problems herself, she understands the difficulties faced by other women. She is therefore more sympathetic to their cause. Also, with the armor of education around her, she acts as a way a '"motivator and a leader of the movements to remove social malaise from the society. She can share very intimate relationship with other women and therefore, promote them to voice their grievances. She then acts as a carrier of their aspirations and lets the people in power know it. Having studied history and politics herself, she understands the power of unity. So she can act as the force to unify the unprivileged section of the society and' then force leaders to accede to its demands. Of course, she acts as a grand role model for other women to follow. Not only in India, but' even in the developed countries like US and UK, the right of vote was obtained by the women only when they themselves waged a struggle' under the leadership of those who were fortunate enough to get educated. Going back again to her role as a mother, she is solely responsible for the health and well being of the family. She knows the importance of cleanliness and well balanced nutritious diet. So she produces children who are healthy and also conscious of their civic duties. She acts as a very good civic teacher. All the campaigns for following traffic rules, fighting diseases, hygiene etc. will be a waste if the woman of the family is uneducated and they will be not only very effective but sometimes even unnecessary if the woman of the family is educated. All the discussion above goes on to prove that female education is very important. In fact, it should be the thrust area for our literacy drive. Man may get himself educated for purely economic reasons and being the sole bread earner in most of the cases, he doesn't pay so much attention or is inspired as much for his children's education as his educated wife would be. So by teaching women, we are in fact creating a torch bearer of change, a harbinger of literacy. Repression Brings Revolution "Power has to be made secure not only against power but also against weakness. And herein lie the greatest danger of losing balance. The weak are as dangerous to the strong as quicksand to an elephant. The people who grow accustomed to wild power forget that by doing so they give rise to unseen force that rends the power to pieces one day. The air that is so thin and unsubstantial can give rise to storm that no one can resist. The weak find awful support in the law of moral balance". These words were spoken by a great humanist democrat and a spiritual leader. The above lines were a warning to the British rulers who were blinded by absolute power that they enjoyed. They forgot that repression breeds revolution. And one day Tagore's prophecy that "wheels of fortune will turn one day and the British will have to leave came true. And it was mass upsurge of people, subdued and crushed under their exploitative rule that made it possible. If we look into history, who will find numerous examples which prove that exploitation and repression have always resulted in defiance and revolution. Government becomes dictatorial and instead of serving people, tries to suppress the then people lose faith in it. They make it their goal to over-throw such a government. They do not believe in its promises and defy its authority. They revolt. Such a revolution may be either violent or bloodless but the motive and the goal remains the same—sudden
and immediate overthrow of authority. The people of France in the eighteenth century were being ruled by the King and Queen who asked them to eat cake if they had no bread. Such rulers who were so aloof, so much away from their people commanded no confidence, leave alone any respect. People had no hope for any improvement under them. So they had no option but to overthrow them. They were repressed and they revolted. People may have appearance of weakness under normal circumstances. But when situation warrants they acquire awesome strength. They are not deterred by the lack of equipment or training because they have the strength of their convictions and the faith in their cause. They know that they are fighting for a noble cause and their firm belief in nature's law of morality carries them through. The Americans who defeated the powerful British Army had no training, no proper equipment and were lesser in number. Yet, they won because they were sparked by the slogan of equality, liberty and fraternity. They believed in their cause which was to end tyranny. We find history being repeated today. Be it in Philippines or in Nigeria or in E. Europe, everywhere it were once timid people who fought for their freedom and liberty and won it too. When the tide came, it felled once impregnable Berlin wall too. Today, more and more countries are moving towards democracy, equality, liberty and freedom. Rulers are gradually realizing that durable peace and economic progress cannot be assured if people are repressed. The weak do not assist progress because they do not question, they only drag the society down. To conclude, we can say that while people do not mind obeying laws, being disciplined and being loyal to their country, they do resent snatching of their rights and freedom on these grounds. They have a limit of tolerance. If this limit is crossed, then doom awaits the rulers. As Alwin said—"The voice of the people is the voice of God. So heed it." history has proved it over and over ages that "Repression brings revolution." Environmental Pollution One of the biggest problems the plaguing mother nature is the problem of pollution. Man is just one of millions of life forms existing on the earth, albeit a very intelligent one. But this does not entitle him to interfere in nature's law of ecological balance. He is as much dependent upon other living forms as they are on hire. When man (or anyone else) introduces something extraneous in the natural cycle which positively harms life and creates imbalance, it is known as pollution. Since man is the only life form who has been able to understand nature to some extent, he is the only one in position to cause pollution and unfortunately, he has been doing it at his own free will. Pollution can be of many types. One of them is the Air Pollution. The very air we breathe in and which sustains life is being poisoned by exhausts from automobiles, smoke from chimneys, dust flam mining and construction activities and numerous other sources of dangerous gases and vapors. Air should have a certain composition which is mostly Nitrogen, Oxygen and very little of other gases but these sources emit carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, hydro carbons and radioactive vapors. This disturbs the composition of air and harms all the biological processes dependent upon it. Another type of pollution is water pollution. 90% of our body is water. We need water for cooking, drinking, bathing, cleaning, industrial processes and cooling etc. Many types of life forms lie in it. All animals and plants need water for survival. In fact, presence of water is one main reason why life exists on earth. But man has not spared even this life giver. Sewage effluents, chemical discharges, dyes, agricultural wastes (fertilizers etc.), fuels of ships etc. have converted clean, sparkling water of rivers, lakes and seas into dull, rotting mass of sludge. The aquatic life is being destroyed; dirty water has become the sources of epidemics, diseases and foul smell. Fresh water bodies are being converted into chemical ponds.
Yet another type of pollution is the land pollution. Agricultural chemicals, sewage effluents, chemical discharges from industry, mining and construction activities have denuded the surface of earth. Once lush green land has been converted into a desert. Land subsidence, floods, ground water pollution, dust and fumes are all the results of land pollution. Wild life is being deprived of its habitat and the very trees man used to worship once, are today becoming victims of his greed and carelessness. While on one hand, atomic power is being used in innumerable ways for mankind's benefit, on the other hand, the same is becoming a major and highly hazardous source of pollution called Radiation Pollution. In this case it is not the atomic power plants but atomic explosions that are the real culprits. Harmful rays and particles, emitted can create abnormalities in body, deformities, mutations, skin cancer, blood cancer and a number of other diseases. A brief survey of pollution done above shows very clearly that it is man himself who is responsible for his doom. His insatiable greed and use of a poor model of development are responsible for bringing things to such a pass today. It is not that this is the only way that development can be pursued. There are better and more sustainable ways existing. Such a development which bases itself on man's harmony with nature is aptly called 'sustainable development'. It defines development as betterment of human life without jeopardizing the ability of the future generations to live a healthy life. It has many aspects and if implemented can help us live a better life, materially, aesthetically and spiritually. Implementation of such a model calls for mass participation. This in turns means that awareness and understanding needs to be generated among common people regarding environment and its protection. For example, the scheme of 'Paryavaran Vahini', which includes establishing a committed cadre of environmentally conscious and citizen who will help in protecting environment and bringing pollutants to book, is one step in this direction. Voluntary agencies, citizens, government and industry should join hands in such an endeavor. For example, use of organic fertilizers, environment friendly chemicals, biofertilizers, bio- pesticides, optimum use of water etc. by agriculturists can be done if they are informed, trained and helped by government, voluntary agencies etc. Use of ESPs in chimneys, treatment plants, use of eco-friendly products etc. can be done by the industry. Time is running out fast. We have only one earth to live in and if we do not do something to save it, we can only start the reverse count. Let it be a duty of each one of us to do our best to save and improve environment. We can plant trees, use eco-friendly products, biodegradable packings, ecomarked goods, spread the awareness and prevent others from polluting earth. Else the day is not far when clean water, safe air, undisturbed land may become a rarer commodity- than gold. May be then, even man will be found only in museums. "...All The World's A Stage And All The Men And Women Merely Players." These lines were spoken by a character in the Shakespeare's play 'As you like it'. What do these lines suggest? Are they symbolic of the author's (or the character's) abject surrender to fate and nature's laws or they represent his renunciation of the worldly pleasures and material gains as being momentary and unreal. Whatever it may be, it will be really interesting to try to understand it further. 'All the world's a stage’ symbolizes the world being like a stage on which plays are performed. Just as different scenes are enacted on the stage, different events and incidents happen in the world. As scenes change on the stage during a play, in a similar way, times change in the world. Plays are performed by players on the stage, events and incidents occur with men and women in the world. Men and Women are as much a part of an event or an incident as actors are of a play. They perform their role in their respective, domains—the world and the stage respectively. As role ends, the actor leaves the stage, similarly as
man's work in the world ends, he leaves it. So the correlation that Shakespeare has tried to highlight appears quite reasonable. However, the important part of the statement is the word 'merely'. Actors at that time were not like stars of today. They obeyed their director and performed as he directed. They could not change their roles, modify it or perform it differently from what the director (or the writer) desired. Hence, the word 'merely' Here, Shakespeare by calling 'men and women merely actors' has tried to emphasize their state of helplessness and submission. Here the authority is the God. He has complete control over the human beings and makes them do things as he wishes. Man is bound by his fate. His role is pre-assigned and he cannot change it. This to some, may sound like defeatism. But to some extent, we are indeed bound. To elaborate it further, let us take the example of birth and death. Birth is the biggest accident that happens in one's life. Accident may sound harsh but birth just happens. Else how can we explain two infants born at the same time, one of who has silver soon in mouth and other may have just rags to cover his body? What makes them different? Then how can two new born have such a different life when neither of them has performed any action. Some explain it in terms of our previous birth and some call it pure fate. Whatever it may be, certainly it is beyond our control. Similar is the case of death. Why so many very talented people like Ramanujam, Vivekananda etc. died so early when they had so much to do and why Hitler and Stalin lived so long? We cannot deny that for most of us, the course of our life is determined by the family we are born in, the place we are born in, the upbringing and many other beyond our control. Though, one's upbringing plays a major role in determining one's future, the situation is not so helpless. If a man is determined enough, has the guts and courage to face adversities, he can do wonders by his hard work. Even in a play, there are different actors. Not all of them perform equally. Even, the same role can be "done by two different actors very differently. Some actors stand out because of their performance and become famous all over. Same is the case in this world that a few people make their mark in different fields of activity. They become great leaders, academicians, doctors, artists etc. There are people who have shown in adversities and rises from the bottom because they faced circumstances head on. However, this is only one aspect of the statement. It also hides another very deep and very relevant thought. It is that world is too big a place for anybody to consider himself its master. All the great kings, generals, leaders had to leave one day. The world did not stop them. They played their role and moved away to let others play theirs. We are not immortal, the world is. Different actors play different roles in a play. Some are important ones and some are not-so-important ones, but no one can say that play is because of him. Everyone has to bow to the Almighty, a great and unknown power which is all encompassing and all knowing. We should keep away from attachment, lust, greed etc. because we are in this world only till our role demands it. This was the philosophy that ancient Indians propounded and that all religions have commanded. All this does not mean that one should leave everything to him. An actor has to give his best to the role he performs. Similarly all of us must do our duty with devotion and honesty. A play is successful only when each one of the actors performs well. World will progress when each one of us contributes his best to it. A director can promote an actor; God can change man's life. 'World being as stage' doesn't mean that we are puppets but that we are actors. We have to shun not hard work but our negative traits like attachment, greed and lust. A well performed role howsoever small is well appreciated by the audience. Similarly, a well lived life becomes a lesson for others to follow. One gets praise, love, respect and fame if he does what is assigned to him with devotion and honesty howsoever small or as it may appear.
Peace In the Mind is Peace Everywhere
"Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace." Peace is a state or condition in which there is absence of aggression, anger, violence and hostility. It is a state or condition in which our mind, body and soul is at rest. It is an experience of being calm and cool from within. Peace is a condition of harmony, establishing mutual and cordial relationship from within and with others too. If a person has peace in mind, his thinking power and imagination skill increases. There is rise in his resolution skills and he will opt for a superb judgement. As per Maslow theory of Motivation, Human needs are categorised in 5 levels: Basic or physiological needs , Safety needs , Love and belongingness needs , Self Esteem Needs and lastly Self Actualization Needs. An Individual is surrounded by all these needs in order to fulfill it and In doing so he loses and forgets his peace of mind. He forgets his real action. He forgets to take proper care of his own body, his health and above all meditate. Worst form against peace is frustration, stress and tension which provides for the evolution of disaster in the society. Now a days, Terrorism is a common term which is known to everybody. Terrorism is also a danger and disastrous form due to lack of peace of mind. Here goes a story which I heard from my father in Childhood: There was a king who announced a prize to that artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all the pictures. But there were only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them. One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful standing mountains all around it. Above it was a blue sky with white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace. The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning occurred. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest - in perfect peace. Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Do you know why?
"Because," explained the king, PEACE IN WITHIN ONESELF IS PEACE EVERYWHERE.
Youth and Terrorism
The first word that comes to mind when one hears the word youth is ebullience, enthusiasm and energy. The energetic youth, the so called future of country are like the juvenile stage of river which is full of flow and exuberance. and gradually slows down as it meets the ocean in its mature stage. Similarly, the youth grows up to face the world and look towards the challenges which emphasizes more on experience rather than amateur talented youths. Both river and youth can be tapped for advantages and thus can be used as excellent corporeal. But to tap the best potential of today’s youth is not an easy task, as they think that they are mature enough and best in the world. The main issue of concern today is that the talent and energy of the youth is getting vulnerable and easily plundered. Acts of terrorism underscore the urgent need to promote peace, particularly initiated by youth as they are talented, intelligent and lifeline of the nation. Unfortunately today some youths are diverted towards anti social activities by the destroyers of the future or the anti-social agents. There is an urgent need to chalk out the major reasons that attracts the intelligent and potential youth of the nation. Is it money? Is it a better living? Or is it just revenge? The major reasons are They want some excitement (As the case of Ajamal Kasab convict of 26\11 Mumbai terror attack) They are not equipped with most powerful tool which a human being can have i.e., knowledge and studies. Some people may argue that even talented engineer, doctors and many philanthropist even resorts to this anti human act. Answer to that questions are as follows, they equip themselves with all the technology so that they can carry forward their mission .which has been handed over to them after telling them the fake stories that if they would do these activities then so called jihad mission would be completed or God would become happy. Since when they are juvenile, they are flooded with feelings which are antagonist to humanity. But the darker side of the image is that they are taught that this is the best way to persuade God. Terrorism has taken several forms today it is not just by creating terror in between people by planting bombs, but also today cyber terrorism, bio terrorism and space terrorism are also present to steal away sleep of the common man. All these types of terrorism are blessed by constant support and major participation of youths. So how these practices can be ended or at least stopped. People would say that government should keep eye on these activities. But it is not possible for any country to keep eye on its own progeny. It is only active participation from common people that can reduce such activities and the day on which this thing would happen the famous maxim by respected late PM Shri Lal Bahaduri Sashtri would attain its global recognition. “JAI JAWAN , JAI KISAN”.
Also madarssa education system should also be checked, youth especially in their salad days should be given proper attention. And the when these thing would happen every slum dog would become millionaire and not terrorist. “JAI HIND”
Globalization and urbanization
Globalization and Urbanization are the terms which are interlinked with each other in spite of the very dissimilar definitions. Globalization is a process of economy which deals with trading across the borders for mutual growth and thus making world as one urban city. Where as urbanization is a growth process of economy through which the rural areas are developed into a high living standard area that is urban area. Both concludes to growth and prosperity, but are some what different in their perceptions. In the world where we live globalization is very essential for a country to grow. When trades are done at a higher pace with different foreign countries, foreign capital starts to flow in which thus increases foreign direct investments and this in turn increases our GDP by significant numbers. This is a basic economic policy which human beings are dealing from a very early stage of their civilization. These policies brought industrial revolution in many western countries. Which in turn let their financial condition to grow and prosper and now they have most advanced cities. The citizens of these countries have a better healthy life style. Today India is soaring high in economy, its GDP is increasing, economic condition is getting better, more number of people are getting employed, per capita income is increasing which means people are getting rich and their life style is getting better, the people under poverty line are decreasing. More and more villages are getting good infrastructure and loans are getting waived off due to substantial growth of our service sector and thus urbanization is taking place around the villages and the concept of r-urbanization( a recent term in use) can be visualized in the countryside areas as many barren and unused lands are been taken up by many companies for SEZ purpose. This in turn is increasing job prospect for many skilled workers who use to earn less through agriculture. Indeed globalization is one of the important factors that led to all this development. It’s just because whole world has united and has come so close that demand of quantity with quality has increased many folds. That is why India has come up with so many shopping malls, multiplexes, and many desi Indian handicraft shops has directly opened their outlets in foreign countries. This has been possible only because of globalization. This economic reform of the 1990’s has given India such an economic boost that it is at present second fastest growing economy after China. India has already flexed their economic muscle and if this pace of globalization and thus trading continues, it won’t take more than ten years to become a super power. But as we know everything has both positive and negative side, similarly globalization has both sides. Till a year back we saw a very prosperous side of globalization, but now as the recession hit American economy, the globalization factor made the business in various countries feel serious jolts. This happened because of over dependence on American economy which actually happened because of this globalization factor. Haven’t the other countries relied on each other for export and import to this extend the scenario would have been much different.
In India where GDP was sailing to near about 9.5%, due to this global meltdown it is expected to come down to around 6-7%. This meltdown ripped off many jobs and about 20 lakhs people in India are jobless to date. This in turn has affected the urbanization process severely, as government is going on poor funds for growth. Thus here the main villain is the globalization. Hence we saw that globalization was the messiah, who brought unbelievable economic growth in India, and thus helped in urbanizing the villages and also to raise the status of people. But again due to over dependence on this kind of policy we saw the global meltdown and thus causing unemployment, poverty and thus reduction in economic growth, which thus caused recession in urbanization. So we can say that over dependence is the main culprit. A balance is therefore required to grow and prosper efficiently.
Global Impacts Of Recession
The advancement of technology and globalization has led the individual national economies under one roof of the global economy. The economic gain or loss experienced by developed economy makes a deep impact globally. The era from 2002 to 2007, the developed economies were enjoying the growth period so as the world economy. The global managers and reputed funds estimated the growth to continue at a double pace from there too. In order to earn competitive edge over other and to gain supremacy, every economic participant doubled their operations capacity without taking sufficient risk measures, which ultimately resulted in 'Recession- A curse to the economy'. The prevailing recession in the world economy started with the famous US Sub-Prime Crisis. This crisis in their probation period was the hint to the economy reformist for the up coming problem they are likely to face. But they failed to crack the hint and in their accordance it was not so big to tackle. This crisis also resulted in recession which had very adverse impact on the world as a whole. Firstly, it led to closures of big financial institutes & banks which were operating from centuries. Lehman brothers propounded by two brothers in 1875 filled his bankruptcy because of this crunch. DSP Meril Lynch operating from last 50 decades had to shut its shutter because of the credit crunch. Citi group, Bear Sterner, AIG, JP Morgan are some other institutes which got deteroited in this recession storm. The problem doesn’t stop here. The failure of these institutions created the problem of credit for the industry and business which require a huge amount of credit to finance their operations. As a result the running companies found themselves in suffocating environment of viscous circle. Secondly, there was the loss of confidence. For the smooth running of trade & business a mutual trust and a keen confidence is a must in the market. Recession in the market led to the loss of confidence among members. As a result, it led to the suspension of the contracts & agreements between the parties. Realtors & the infrastructure companies were the major losers on this ground. Many land deals, acquisitions deteroited and consequently resulted in big losses to the companies.
Thirdly, unemployment came as a very devastating consequence of the recession. The shut down of the institutions and big concerns resulted in job loss of thousands of skilled and semi skilled personals. The problem doubles itself as the new entrants enter the market. The situation is very adverse and pitiful as the potential & substantial resource of the country remains idle. Because of the unemployment, the resource which is contributor to the growth becomes the consumer & hurdle of the growth. The Growth and the Recession, both are like two side of the coin, the which way it going to spins no one knows. But we should take enough measures to take care of both the situations. Future is unpredictable, so every economy should have suitable risk management scheme to deal with such devastating problem.
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