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Centre for Public Policy Research

DECEMBER‘06
MIND
TEXT
MINDTEXT DECEMBER ‘06
Volume-1
Issue-8

CPPR is not responsible for the


views expressed in this journal.
Authors own responsibility for their articles

Editor : Hariprasad R.C.


Layout & Design : T.V.Vinu

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CENTRE F

Centre for Public Policy Research


Vaikom Road, Cochin
Kerala, India - 682 301
www.cpprindia.org
E-mail : program@cpprindia.org
CONTENTS

EDITORIAL 4

INSIGHT 5
-Forgotten, yet immortal

JAM 6

WAKE UP 7

PUBLIC EYE 7
-What a state is it?

REALITY CHECK 8
-The Gone days of Reminiscence

REFLECTIONS 9

PHOTO GALLERY 11

UPCOMING EVENTS 13
Seminars, Discussions & more..

REVERBERATIONS 14

MINDTEXT
DECEMBER ‘06
EDITORIAL

GOOD BYE 2006


Or…just Good Night?!!
December is often a month of reminiscences and nostalgia. For, yet
another year is fading away into our memory.New Year arouses different
feelings in different people. For some year ending is a time to delve into
the sweet memoirs of the bygone months, reliving every moment of it
frame by frame in their minds. For others it is an occasion to bid goodbye
to their troubles and hope for a better time ahead. Yet there are some
others for whom New Year is but just another day in the calendar. Well, if
taking up resolutions and being optimistic makes New Year special for the
majority these people make sure each day is special in their life.

Now come to think of it. For many New Year is a time for:
-making new resolutions
-partying
-meeting/sending greetings to loved ones
-to evaluate the year that was
-an occasion to feel optimistic
Does this make New Year special?

So what if a person realizes the importance of something and takes up a


resolution on 31st March? What if I decide to go for a party on 2nd August?
Do I need a year ending to review my life and hope for something better?
Not necessarily. In fact the kind of people that I mentioned in the last part
is a minority. But does that make them wrong? In fact they could be more
intelligent than the majority simply because they are well aware of their
state of life through constant reviewing of their actions. For them
partying, greeting and resolutions are just a matter of choice and can be
done on any day of the year? And the best part is that they do not need a
reason to become optimistic. For them life is not to be just lived instead
life is a life long celebration.

Hey I am not saying that New Year is not worthy of celebration. But let us
not narrow down our joys and celebrations in life to a single date on that
calendar. Let us decide to celebrate life….every moment!!! Believe me,
it is our privilege to do so. And once we decide to celebrate life to its
fullest little difference does it make when a digit change on the calendar.

So what is it for you this time around? Good Bye 2006 or just Good Night to
31st December?

Love,
Editor

MINDTEXT
DECEMBER ‘06
INSIGHT

FORGOTTEN,
YET IMMORTAL
December 22,1887 witnessed the birth of arguably India's greatest
mathematician of all time, in Erode, Tamil Nadu. Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar -
one of the greatest names in 20th century mathematics, if not of all time. Born in
poverty he had but one passion in life - an all consuming obsession with the
properties of numbers, one of the most esoteric branches of mathematics. Since
paper was expensive, Ramanujan would do most of his work on slate, and then
transfer the results to paper.

Although his talent was recognized early, he had very little opportunities in
India. So, in 1913, he wrote a letter to Mr. G H Hardy, who was at Cambridge, begging
the pre-eminent English mathematician's opinion on several results he had obtained
about numbers. Hardy, initially sceptical, realized that the letter was the work of a
genius, and that the results ”had to be true, for if they were not, no one would have
the imagination to invent them”. He arranged for Ramanujan to come to England,
after some persuasion and there followed a five year long productive collaboration
between the two. Ramanujan confounded the European mathematicians, often
coming up with results based on nothing more than pure intuition.

Recognitions followed. He was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society and


also a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He suffered from ill-health in England
and after he returned to India, died at the age of 33, due to tuberculosis. He worked
on infinite series and continued fractions. His notebooks are still being plumbed for
their secrets today, and have been the inspiration for opening up many new areas of
research.

In an article”The proximity of being an Indian”, in the November issue of


Mindtext, Abhay lamented “a lack of role models”. Now how can anyone fail to get
inspired if for once they are made aware of the towering achievements of
Ramanujan in such a short and tragic life, with all the odds stacked against him.

It is one of the most tragic, romantic and haunting stories in all of


mathematics. It is the story of how a genius, by his sheer brilliance and supreme
faith in his own ability, became a true scientific immortal. What might he have
achieved had he lived longer? Further, as Hardy notes,” the real tragedy of
Ramanujan was not his early death at the age of 32, but that in his most formative
years, he did not receive proper training, and so a significant part of his work was
rediscovery...". Ramanujan was stifled in India by an inefficient and inelastic
education system. Nearly a century later, the situation still remains much the same.

MINDTEXT
DECEMBER ‘06
If it happened to be the birth anniversary of a
politician, for instance, our newspapers would
be filled with full page-sized adverts. If it was
some film star, the TV channels would make
sure none of us missed it. But what if they are
scientists and mathematicians? They get
JAM
systematically ignored by the media. Is it
because they are "unglamorous"?

Consider this. The entire sphere of e-commerce


today, is dependent on the properties of
numbers. To secure information exchange over QM4.
the internet, it is encrypted using
mathematical algorithms, using the properties
of prime numbers (which are numbers Where was earliest reservoir and
indivisible except by themselves and by 1.). You dam for irrigation built?
are witnessing an application of number theory
every time you withdraw money from an ATM.

Happily, in Ramanujan's case, the record is


being set straight. A couple of months ago, an
Indo-British group led by Dev Benegal and
Stephen Fry, made the announcement that they
were making a film on Ramanujan. His is a tale
that should be deeply moving to anyone who
hears it. Answer to QM3

In any case Ramanujan will never be forgotten. India developed the decimal
Let me tell you this. In say, a millennia from numeration and the place value
now, all our politicians and pop culture icons- system in mathematics. It is
people unworthy of even uttering aloud the recorded in the Vyasa Bhashya to Yoga
name of Ramanujan - shall be nothing more Sutra as follows:
than mere footnotes in history, while as long as
humanity survives Ramanujan and others like “Yatha eka rekha shatha sthane
him will never fade from humanity's collective shatham dasha sthane dashaivam ca
memory. The best I can do is quote from the eka sthane yatha ca eka tvepi sthri
ever eloquent Hardy again: mata ca ucyate duhitaa svasaa ca iti.”

"Archimedes will be remembered when In the unit's place the digit has the
Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die same value, in the tenth place ten
and mathematical ideas do not. 'Immortality' times the value, in the hundreds
may be a silly word, but probably a place hundred times the value as a
mathematician has the best chance of woman is called mother, daughter
whatever it may mean.” MINDTEXT and sister.

- Vyasa Bhashya to Yoga Sutra 650 A D


Nityanand N Rao
II DC BSc Physics, S H College, Thevara, Cochin
Nityanand is an LSS Grad Send in your answers to
edit@cpprindia.org

MINDTEXT
DECEMBER ‘06
WAKE UP
As we bid good bye to 2006 and welcome the New Year in all its beauty let us reflect for a
moment the greatness of our nation and culture. Let us strive to become the proud and able cultural
ambassadors of this great nation. Here are some inspiring quotes on India by some great personalities
around the world.

“We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile discovery could
have been made.”
-Albert Einstein
(Scientist)

“If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from
the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.”
-Roman Rolland
( French Scholar)

“It is true that even across the Himalayan barrier India has sent to the west, such gifts as grammar and
logic, philosophy and fables, hypnotism and chess, and above all numerals and the decimal system.”
-Will Durant
(American Historian, 1885-1981)

“Whenever I have read any part of the Vedas, I have felt some unearthly and unknown light illuminated
me. In the great teaching of the Vedas, there is no touch of sectarianism. It is of all ages, climbs,
nationalities and is the royal road for the attainment of the Great Knowledge. When I read it, I feel
that I am under the spangled heavens of a summer night.”
-Thoreau
(American Thinker)

PUBLIC EYE
Kerala, the land with ravishing beauty and
unparallel resources boasts of hundred percentage
literacy. For the last two decades, the annual inflow
WHAT
income money is more than 700 crores which equaled the
one of the highest net inflow in the pre globalization time.
We have an enrolment of 85% of students in the primary A STATE
IS IT?
level and our health indices are comparable to the
developed countries. Distribution of health is very much in
this state in terms of mansions, bungalows and multi
storied buildings puffed with Italian marbles and granites. - D.Dhanuraj -
This is the first state where the first communist government came into the power through ballot.
We have seen Naxalism and emergency at various degress compared to other parts of the country. We
sent our sisters and brothers to toil in the deserts because we were reluctant to submit the failure of our
policies. The communal organizations caught the imagination of the majority of the people even while
they preached Marx's famous quotes. We were forefront of the abolition of the communal frenzy and
land lords but feudalism still runs through our veins. This state is unparallel in terms of number of
suicides, divorce rates, crimes, road accidents etc…what a paradox is this? Is it God's own country? MINDTEXT

MINDTEXT
DECEMBER ‘06
REALITY CHECK
THE GONE DAYS
OF REMINISCENCE…
What has been the past year, 2006 for you? An embarrassment, a
splendor or just a droopy frozen one? Feeling bedazzled! Yes dude it was a
salad; of emotions. Time magazine which chose none other than YOU as the
personality of the year hence has got an affirmative say there!

What all we saw in the flow of last 12 months? A recollection may be a


humble and justified action from our part. It would be better to begin from
the most recent and then to trace back. A war torn nation, a harassed ruler,
mob without any idea of their livings…yes all these clues points well to the
Mesopotamian soil's story, the old cradle of human civilization. Oops, are we
missing out something in between. No more Meso sort of things, only Iraq, the
imperial's infamous testing ground of new age democratic potency.

It was rare to see the President of the nation (as he didn't resign or the
assembly didn't impeach) getting trialed by a kangaroo court, put up in a
hurry, that also delivered its verdict in a hasty manner making a mockery of
international norms of court procedures. Saddam Hussein, who was
convicted in many other cases of mass homicides other than the Dujail, ends
up as an infinite puzzle for the US sponsored Iraqi judiciary.

Human right activists along with International leaders had sounded


their stiff opposition to the way in which the entire case was handled. Now
the US has given the hostile third world countries an idol that will forever
remain as their tower of hope. Yes, Saddam of West Asia meets Che guera of
Latin America. Socialists join their hands with Islamic ideologists and the
West Asian masses in vehemently opposing the US doctrine of “Conquer and
Rule”, which promise sleepless nights to the White House people.

Enough of Iraq stuff? Surely a peace-seeking mind will check out


something other than Iran/Iraq/Palestine issues. The year had delivered
some rare moments (collector's item?) for them too. We saw a magnanimous
persona in shoes of supreme Catholic Pontiff pass away. After black smoke
series, bounded within the white smoke there came a German cardinal's
name as the Pope. Cardinal Joseph Ratsinger rechristened as Pope Benedict
XVI, took over from the late John Paul II. But even he could not be free from
controversies. The destiny, which made the predecessor to gracefully admit
and apologize for the holy seer's errors of past to the World played tantrums
over the new man too. A Pope, a mob, a comment, and finally a “sorry” to
wind up…the story got kick started.

MINDTEXT
DECEMBER ‘06
The remembrance of 2K6 won't be complete without mentioning the most
revered visual sporting extravaganza on the Earth, FIFA World Cup. Germany got
its national spirits back which abandoned the Deuchland since era of Nazism,
bounced back with a skyrocketing self belief. Thus making sure events are for
mankind as a whole and it is always enjoyed, admired and eagerly awaited beyond
all the lands, seas and horizons forever. Usual turn out; the most expected ones
failed to deliver, while the true chosen ones reclaimed their glory. The event
makes sure in spite of disparities, hatred ness, hocky-pocky diplomatic
acrobatics, we; YOU and ME, stand united and tall. From those heights, the world
can be seen pretty closer, closer to the heart. MINDTEXT

By Anil Rohit
B Tech Mechanical Engineering Student, SCMS College

REFLECTIONS
The Messengers Clouds that darken
Before the storm.
of Death Hover above
Guess what they
Here they come, inform.
Drape in black
Praising their master Here they come
Praising the Dark With whispers of end
Disciples of Death
Chanting the Silence Silently transcend.
Sounding death knell.
Sound of a distant chime, They leave message
Coming from hell. To whom it is sent
Never they look back
Here they come, Never they repent.
The faces of dark.
Wherever they go, Here they come….
They leave their mark. … hear they come!

T.V.Vinu
Final Year student of Govt. Law College, Ernakulam

MINDTEXT
DECEMBER ‘06
RTI CORNER

MINDTEXT
DECEMBER ‘06
PHOTO GALLERY

RTI Campaign: Jithin engaging a curious RTI crowd

A snap shot from the Research Methodology Workshop


conducted at Assumption College, Changanassery

MINDTEXT
DECEMBER ‘06
A discussion on ‘Islam and Literature’ conducted by Centre for Public Policy Research
in association with Dee Cee Books, cochin

MINDTEXT
DECEMBER ‘06
UPCOMING EVENTS
Centre for Public Policy Research
organizes

Discussion on
Police Reforms in Kerala
Date : Januray 22, 2007
Time : 5.30 pm
Venue : Ernakulam Public Library Hall

Mr Justice K T Thomas (Retired Justice to Supreme Court of India and former chairman of
Police Reforms Committee of Kerala), Mr P.Vijayan IPS (Cochin City Police
Commissioner), Members of Parliament, Police Association Representatives etc
will participate

All Are Welcome!

Centre for Public Policy Research


participates in
Ernakulam Carnival
On January 6, 7
Theme: Right To Information Act

One day seminar


in January

Topics include
India’s resurgence in international relations
Indian economy and entrepreneurial revisit
Kerala society – where are we heading?

Book your seats…

MINDTEXT
DECEMBER ‘06
REVERBERATIONS

Mind Text is a very different kind of e-journal and it is happy to


note that it is improving with each issue. The new lay out is also
attractive. Keep up the good work.

- Anoop,
Ernakulam

-End of Document-

MINDTEXT
DECEMBER ‘06