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Centre for Public Policy Research


CPPR is not responsible for the

views expressed in this journal.
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Editor : Hariprasad R.C.

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Centre for Public Policy Research

Vaikom Road, Cochin
Kerala, India - 682 301
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Editorial 4

Public Eye 5
-Education - Need for Pluralism

Wake up! 7
-Yagna (Teamwork)

Reality Check 8
-November- Nostalgia & Numbness plays...
-The Proximity of Being an Indian

Reflections 11
-Call of the Angel
-Abode of Death

JAM 13

Insight 14
Thirukkural-An Epic eternal

RTI Corner 16
-Reaching Out

Upcoming Events 19
Seminars, Discussions & more..

Reverberations 20


Dear readers,

Is there anyone among us who has never felt an innate urge to

reform the system social, political, economical - in which we are
in? Have not we at some point or other wished to take a 'U' turn
from the monotonous life that we are leading at present and soar
to the heights of our true passion?

Well, the fact is that most people on earth have this urge to follow
their passion but few ever dare to do it and fewer people succeed
in their attempt. Why is this so?

The fundamental reason for this longing for taking a 'U' turn in life
is because at present we are not doing what we really want to do
in our life. You do not expect Sachin Tendulkar or Yesudas to take
a 'U' turn from what they are doing at present. This is because
they are pursuing their innate interests and excelling in life. But
that is not the case with majority of people. Hence the need for a
'U' Turn in life.

Now, what should be done in order to bring about this

revolutionizing change in our lives? Surely, one cannot simply sit
back and wait for things to happen hoping that there awaits an
incident or a person who can change us. The change has to begin
as a conscious and deliberate action and the metamorphosis a
natural outcome of it. 'U' (you) have to turn for the change to
happen. And for this we have to sit back and realize, “what is the
best thing that I can do with my life?”

When the answer to this question dawns on us we are at the

starting point of our journey to excellence. And for the journey
to take place it is inevitable that we take a 'U' Turn in our life.

Remember, the solution lies within ourselves.

Wishing all the readers a successful 'U' Turn in their lives,


Public Eye

- D.Dhanuraj -

Education is the key concern for any nation state. Be it at the

local, national or international level; the contributory
functionalities of the educational system to the whole societal work
is the reason for this concern. An educated youth is the wherewithal
to the triggering changes in twenty first century. With the concept
of digital sovereignty gaining an upper hand in recent decades, the
nature and scope of the educational systems are redefined and
exposed. The recent developments in the socio-economic and
political spheres in the universal domain and the astronomic
progress in science and technology resolve the outcome of the
education sector in either ways; constructive or disparaging.
Schools and colleges are reflective of these changing times.

Violence in France and UK had ethnic reasons but started in

the campus as acrimony among students. It was followed by the
killing of an Indian Student in Russia. The fraternity and
inclusiveness are pushed behind at least by a minority. When the
world is becoming more and more open in nature, schools and
colleges are becoming the breeding grounds for terrorist activities.
The issues to be tackled earnestly are essentially on gender, age,
race and choices. Lack of avenues in the educational sector and
monopoly of sectarian groups accentuate the problem. Freedom
and facility to opt education is a basic human right. The target to
provide free and compulsory education is still in crossroads.

The syllabi and characteristics of education should
EDUCATION necessarily be adapted to the changing scenarios. The private
public partnership shall be encouraged. An educational system
CANNOT that takes into account the local culture and its needs and
demands shall be emphasized. Education cannot be an exclusive
BE domain of a group; rather it must take members of the society
into confidence. The feeling of getting alienated paves the way
AN for ill feelings even among friends and leads to animosity and
chaos in the institution. This may prove costly at the end of the
EXCLUSIVE day. So every effort should be taken to avoid such a
pandemonium. Educational institutions shall work under a
DOMAIN decentralized mechanism so that the system is flexible to accept
the required changes.
Various methods to enroll and retain maximum number of
A GROUP kids in schools shall be adopted. State may not be in a position to
cater the needs of the education sector however big the
budgetary allocation. Today's world looks for merit and quality.
Opportunities cannot be denied at the cost of these vital
ingredients. So every effort to support the private education
shall come from the state. The state can be a regulator or a
facilitator but shall not be a manager. More opportunities and
quality education will definitely reduce the tension among
different sects in the social hierarchy which is essential for the
smooth functioning of a state and most importantly, for a
reassuring and developing world. The inclusiveness cannot be a
forced one but can be achieved only through the assimilation and
verification of various cultural ethos and its impacts at the
ground level.

This can be fructified when the educational system understands

the essentialities of a level playing field where the beneficiaries
have equal say and claim in designing and running the system.
Issues and confiscatory attitudes arise out of the lack of
conviction on the necessity of such an action. MINDTEXT

Wake Up

Yagna means sacrifice. In a yagna conducted in the Vedic period,
the members of the community used to come together in a spirit of
dedication and sacrifice for the purpose of a cooperative spiritual
and divine endeavor to invoke the grace of the Presiding Deity for
the blessings of the community, for the peace and prosperity.

In modern context, a yagna means

·Any self-sacrificing work undertaken in a spirit of self

dedication, for the blessing of all.
·Any social, communal, national or personal activity
into which the individual is ready to pour himself
forth entirely in a spirit of service and dedication.

Features of a yagna:

·Inspiring goal for prosperity of everyone.

·Working together in team-spirit.
·Sharing the results.

The yagna spirit is seen everywhere in nature: The Sun

TOGETHER shines, the moon appears, the sea throbs, the earth bears all in a
spirit of sacrifice and self dedicated motherly love, yet there is
never even a trace of attachment or any kind of self arrogating

EVERYONE motives.

This law is followed by every sentient and insentient

ACHIEVES member of the cosmos instinctively. Man alone is given the

freedom to act as he likes, to which extent he disobeys this
Universal Law-of-sacrifice (yagna), is equal to the extent he

MORE suffers because of his arrogant and egoistic actions. This discords
the harmony of the existence around him.

Courtesy: Awakening Indians to India

Reality Check

-Anil Rohit -
The passed out month of November reminds us of multitudes of
things. For a coastal state resident, that too living at the tip of a 2000
km stretch of the subcontinent, this month was really something
unique. Precisely fifty years ago this state got carved out from the
Eastern hilly domains. The emergence, magnanimous and cinematic,
was followed by having its first ever governing body through the ballot

After that, enough of water has flown through Periyar, the life line of
Kerala, but with a color change. It symbolically reminds enough if we
perceive it from a wider angle with a focus on the future. A question that
readily pops up in the minds of average Keralites is,

'What have we achieved till now?'

We are the numero uno in the educational and socio-cultural panorama

of the subcontinent. But does that ever make any sense that we top in
the development index too?

Being the laureate, lexicon of social empowerment, index of cultural

progression, and having a solid backup of inflowing foreign money, an
average Keralite has got a tag set to his collar; “ Look guys, no time for
small talks, the World demands much more from me”. Isn't this cooked
up genius backlog or worn out brandings made ourselves a laughing
stock in front of our sibling masses across the Palakkad gap? For me, it
seems the over empowering (or burdening?) of ourselves with the so
called hypocritical attire has costed us heavily.

This is not the time to discuss all these cynical views, but how come we
can remain so neutral to all these! With just ludicrous workforce and
hectares of waste lands to offer, sibling states invite and get plotted in
the international industrial atlas, when we still have set our clocks
running backward to the old '57 era. It is not the old 'half-filled-glass-
feel' that plays through out here, but the sheer reluctance in making use
of even the possessed strengths. Constant blaming of the environment
creates an aversion in the minds of the onlookers. The point is, among
the onlookers there are many who have always kept a great feeling
about the native land in their hearts and veins. MIND TEXT

By Anil Rohit
B Tech Mechanical Engineering at SCMS Engineering College, Kerala.
Reality Check

- Abhay -
Passion perhaps. Maybe what we need is a bit more
than just passion... its a will, to be tough and the best, to
think that no matter what happens this is what I am going to
do and actually do it.
We often complain that things aren't done the way
they should be and that people lack that courage and passion
and that fire in them to do things, but do we have the fire in
us? Can we really fight for what we believe in?

Often people complain about not fighting to the end,

giving up when it matters most and not fighting for things that
aren't "worth it"... and yet in the end we all get consumed by
the product of an increasingly neo-political society that
simply lacks any sense of direction and go along with the
crowd. Of course there are people who do stray from among
these men and women and we call them Heroes... so are they
really heroes or just braver 5 mins longer than you and me?
Maybe they are, because they choose to be and live life in
their terms rather than being told how to live.

We Indians generally lack that will power to go the

distance ... we lack the killer instinct to get the job done NO
MATTER WHAT! We tend to analyze things and eliminate the
risk factor first and THEN think what's best for us and by the
time we decide and choose the best of our interest, it isn't
what we want and would be a lot less than what one can
accomplish if one had to strength to follow his/her heart. Not
saying that risk is the only think that can get you somewhere,
but most often than not the heart is more right than the mind
and that's why no matter what people say to rationalize things DON'T EXPECT
and what they say THEY think is the best, I decide what I want
to you. Sure I will give a thought to your opinion but 99.9% of THE LEFT CHEEK
the time I am going to think that I am the one who is right and
that is not giving an attitude, just giving you a piece of my WHEN YOU HIT
mind. The other thing is it might not get me anywhere, but
still its worth all the money in the world to do the one thing SOMEONE
that you wanted to do forever and its better to die trying that
to be hanging in the vast emptiness of what we call ON THEIR RIGHT...

There is a lot of negativity in us, maybe its been passed
...RATHER EXPECT on to us from our forefathers or maybe its just a mindset that
wont change because we are too subtle to understand and see
A BULLET the changing world in front of us and give it a thought rather
than living in minutes of insipid human thought condition. But
IN YOUR HEAD. then again maybe it's a trait born in all of us and a trait which
we, more than any others, have in us and that just wont die.
Or maybe its a product of the British colonialism that left
behind a trail of mind captivating negative ness more than
the trail of tears and very little of blood shed. Or maybe its
the non-violent bringing we had, the fight for independence,
the fight for survival, any fight is not fought on with the heart.
From the time you are born to about 20 - 25 years of your life
everything is spoon fed and by the time you realize you want
to break the shackles its too late because the rest of the world
had already moved on and you are left stranded. Or maybe its
the simple fact that in India we really DONT have any heroes
to emulate and set as an example. We think of Mahatma
Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and the such, definitely great
people in their own right but hardly people who the youth can
idolize and take to, hardly the people I want to turn to for
inspiration. They did great things, but none of the youth in
this generation is looking up to them for inspiration, thinking
of it in far extremes western heroes like Martin Luther King
are more influential amongst the youth. Maybe it's the ever-
growing romance of the youth with violence and doing the
right thing…fighting for the right thing or maybe it's just that
non-violence in today's world just doesn't sell.

What we need is a more strong set of rules and

principles to guide us…and in today's world don't expect the
left cheek when you hit someone on their right... rather
expect a bullet in your head.

Maybe its just that we Indians who are so proud of our country
and are willing to die for it (are we really??) but who still don't
know anything about the history or the evolution if this great
country, just accept it timidly and wont fight against what has
been handed down to us or whatever we have in us and that
keeps cultivating this virus. Maybe it's just that you are all too
blind to see all this and I am rambling!!! MIND TEXT


of the
Once the sky was sunny,
But my mind cloudy,
All was well,
With all but me,
And tough it seemed,
To be at ease.

Then there was,

The chirping of the phone.
I got up raising it,
And raised were my spirits,
For through it came,
A heavenly voice,
And the music of love,
And oh! It was thou speaking,
One of the three angels,
That I've met in my life.

Pursuing final year BA English Copy Editor course at Sacred Heart College, Cochin. He is an active member of
Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYK), the global youth wing of Chinmaya Mission. He is also closely associated with Centre
for Public Policy Research (CPPR).


Death (AD)

Dark night, darker road

Lonely place, you never strode.
Smell of blood rising in the air
Time is still, stillness everywhere.
In the distance you see some bright
You had enough, and you need the night.
Tired and torn, you reach the gates
This is the place you'll ever hate.
You step on, reaching for the doors
When you open, you find no floors.
When you look up, you see the ugly stare
You try to run, but you reach nowhere.
“There is no escape”, you feel within
They see you cry, you see them grin.
You look at those faces with bloody hue
Waiting to munch, munch on you.
“Death is true, Life is a big lie.
You can't live, you can't die”
They stab, you feel the peace
They tear, death is ease.
You close your eyes, and its silence
When you open, you can't make any sense
Someone pats on your shoulder and whisper…
“Welcome to the Abode of Death”
And there is a loud laughter…

Final Year student of Govt. Law College, Ernakulam

India developed the decimal numeration
and the place value system in
Name the scripture in which it is recorded.

Send in your answers to:

Answer to QM2.

Saayana (1315-1387 AD), a14th century scholar of the Vijayanagara

Empire in South India, calculated the speed of light accurately in his
commentary on Rig Veda, Saayanacharya. He calculated the speed of
light as 186,413.22 miles per second. The well accepted popular
scientific figure is 186,300 miles per second.

Courtesy: Awakening Indians to India


An Epic Eternal
- Asha Devi Varma -

‘Thirukkural' is the eternal creation of the great saint-poet Thiruvalluvar. He is

believed to have lived in 2nd century A D in Mylapore near Chennai. It is a miracle creation in
which the poet expresses his thoughts on varied subjects through 133 chapters covering 3
main sections Aram (Dharma), Porul (Artha), and Indam (Kamam). There are 109 Kurals
(verses) in each of the 133 chapters.

In the main section dealing with Dharma, instructions on Grihastha Dharmam and
Sanyasa Dharmam are dealt with. In the second section, Artha, the art of administration,
social customs and norms are dealt with. In the third section of Inpam (Kaneam) worldly
pleasure is the focus.

It is a matter of great pride that at such a time as old as 2nd century A D, a very
sophisticated and rich cultural heritage and mode of administration prevailed in South India.
The famous Sangha poets of Tamil, who were the court poets of the Pandya Kings, lived in
Madurai around this period. References to Thirukkural are seen in the Sangha epics of
'Chilapathikaram' and 'Manimekhala'.

The ideas expressed in Thirukkural do not pertain to any particular religion. They are
the philosophical reflections of the poet on the socio-political and administrative life of that
period. It is also surprising to note that even in this 21st century, what Thiruvalluvar noted
down such a long time back stands true.

“Thumpangal varikilum cheyka thunavode,

Nallicham phalikuna karmam.”

Meaning, whoever is born as a man, should live as a man.

Thirukkural rejects escapism and depression in life. It is a book of high social philosophy.

“Uzhuthundu vazhvore vazhvore mattelarum,

Thozhuthundu pinchelluvore.”

Meaning, only he lives who is living by ploughing his field. All others pay their respects to
him. Thus, Thirukkural urges each person to do his duty. Those who do not do their duty in
the different roles they have to perform will end up in misery. This is the best work
philosophy that I have read.

As a descendent of the Pandya royalty, it fills my mind with pride to
imagine what a beautiful social system had prevailed in South India at
such early times. A well fabricated social structure is visible in the verses.
“Farmer is the basis of society”, Thirukkural repeatedly reminds us. In an
age of agrarian crisis, it is nothing but a relief to read such verses from this
great work. The extent of respect that the farmers commanded in a
bygone era is clear from that verse.

Not only agriculture, trade, commerce and even naval trade with
foreign ountries were taking place through the various harbours of
Coromandal coast in the east and Kodungallore in the Western coast.
Tamilians had reached many foreign countries at that time.

The lofty subjects of moral values and greatness of God is dealt

with in the introduction (Payirum). In the chapter on Garhasthyam
(Illarum), the duties and responsibilities of family life are dealt with.
Thiruvalluvar dictates that only the person who has fulfilled his
responsibilities to his family are eligible to enter Sanyasam (Thuravaram)
in his old age.

In Raja Dharma (Arasiyal), all the intricacies of administration are

dealt with, including espionage, diplomacy and punishment. In the
chapter on Rajanga Dharma (Ankavial), need for military force,
fortresses, effective management of ministers and public, avoiding
gambling and liquors are dealt with. In the chapter on Praja Dharma
(Ozhipayal), duties and responsibilities of the civilians are discussed.
Thiruvalluvar rejects begging.

“Idamella kollathakaithe,
Idamillakkalum iravollachalpu.”

Meaning, even if there are no means of living and intense poverty is

there, do not start begging before others. Even if you have only kanji
water to drink, it is sweeter than the feast you get by begging.

It is a moral to be upheld even today's world where we see even

healthy people begging without doing any work. Thiruvalluvar considered
begging as a social evil. He urged each and every one to his duty and be
satisfied by following the social laws and norms of that time. In Kama
Prakaranam, he deals with romantic verses of separation, love and

The social fabric of that time was well-knit and strong. Life was
peaceful. There were a lot of food grains. Trade and commerce
prospered. No wonder it was the golden age of Tamil literature.
Thirukkural has been translated to all major world languages. At each and
every part of the world, people have appreciated the richness of the
content of this book. It has been a reference book of life for almost 20
centuries. And undoubtedly it will continue to retain its greatness
forever. MINDTEXT

By Asha Devi Varma

Deputy Director of Agriculture
RTI Corner


November 4, 2006 Malayala Manorama

November 4, 2006 Mathrubhumi

October 31, 2006 THE HINDU

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At the very outset, I heartily appreciate your initiative and

endeavors. It looks good at the designs and typesetting and it reflects
the energy of a group of young people. Any thing printed and
published for the public has an important duty to perform. The
mission should be a 'Yagna', the strategy should be 'Shradha' and the
words should be 'Agni'.

Your editorial is good and has a beautiful breed of language. The

editorial and the 'Choice is yours' represent the same issue (Sept
issue). That is avoidable. I consider the most valuable piece of
writing in the issue is the one on solid waste management (Sept
issue). It is crisp, has a lot of information and is relevant to the
current environmental scenario.

Photographs utter a lot more than 100 words, but they could be sub-
titled satirically.

Prashanth Vishnu

-End of Document-