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An e-journal from Centre for Public Policy Research
MINDTEXT is published by CENTRE FOR PUBLIC POLICY RESEARCH Nadakavu Post, Vaikom Road, Cochin Kerala, India-682307 MINDTEXT is published each month and distributed free of cost. For subscription, log on to or send a written request to Articles or extracts from the CPPR material may be freely used elsewhere provided acknowledgment of their source is made. For other articles appearing in the journal, permission to re-publish other than for the use of review must be sought from the author. Views expressed in any signed article appearing in the MINDTEXT do not necessarily represent those of the Centre for Public Policy Research and CPPR accept no responsibility for them. Authors own responsibility for their articles. MINDTEXT TEAM Kalpana Sudheer, Lekha Pillai (Editorial Board) T.V.Vinu (Layout/Design) Aneish Rajan (Editorial Consultant)


Centre for Public Policy Research endeavours in areas like research promotion, knowledge dissemination, capacity building, grass roots initiatives etc. This, the Centre believes, would be a humble beginning towards its larger efforts aimed at the creation of an equitable, socially just and environmentally sound state enriched by democratic and secular principles. It is our firm belief that each citizen has a vital role to play towards the accomplishment of these tasks. The Centre has a pool of talents from various parts of the country. They are assisted by the experts and luminaries in the respective fields. The Centre acknowledges and appreciates the value of an individual in his own area of activity and commitment to the society at large. The Centre looks forward to the guidance and support from each individual to accomplish its mission.

Hues of April…

Reality Check
Education- A Missed Call

From the Board
The Debate on 'Categories': Social Science in India Part III

We got the time Wassup Man The Mighty Dwarf

I cherish the lonely road… Tata and me: Memories of yesteryears

Random Thoughts The Nigerian Diary ADR Corner
More on ADR

Dead End



he meaning of April derives from the etymology of the Latin word aperire, "to open," in allusion to it being the season when trees and flowers begin to "open." The April month is an opening to new ideas which is portrayed through this month's edition. This puts forth a gamut of interesting pieces written by youth from different backgrounds, who are open to change yet express how this change brings an alteration in the life of the modern yet thoughtful man. Shakha in 'Education- A Missed Call' gives a glimpse of an opening to new zones of education which no longer encompass the spirit of the guru- shishya concept but rather focuses upon a competition-oriented pathway to glory and fame. The article tries to articulate the present day concept of vocational studies and how the present generation fails to express the need for a reform in the system. The desire for improvement plays no role among the student community; all they desire for is a degree which fetches them a job that is demanded the most. “We Got the Time” by Abhinaw Surekha indulges into the usage of the common excuse given by the majority of us, that of a lack of time. The article reflects how at times we appear to be busy while we are not. “Wassup Man” by Mary Gayen describes the SMS mania of the gizmo era. The article dwells upon man's addiction to the cellular phone with no age bar and which has in fact led to a replacement of relationships by a relatively cheap piece of technology. Vipin interestingly writes about the common man's dream come true in the “Mighty Dwarf,” the wheels of Nano. He foresees the ill effects of launching the ecofriendly piece of machine. Being the cheapest car in the world, Nano upholds the pride of the TATAs. In the near future, the essential human needs could be clothes, food, housing and why not the NANO. Subhadra Kutty and Kalpana share the most cherished moments of their lives. Subhadra shares childhood memories of her brother and ponders over how sibling rivalry could ever exist. In her article, Kalpana shares a solitary moment of her life as she walks on the lonely road. She instills a sort of nostalgia as she leaves an everlasting memory behind. Third part of the article, The Debate on ‘Categories’, by Aneish P. Rajan, puts forth the varied views on Anti-colonialism and the critique of modernity. The article also speaks of the importance of indigenous social sciences which helps to have a critical understanding of the Indian society from a wider perspective. This month's Mindtext has two special features; a regular column by the Chairman of CPPR and The Nigerian Diary by Manali Shah, Program and Resource Development Manager, CPPR. The article “Random thoughts,” straight from the Chairman's table is a visionary spectrum which consists of the very ideology of investing on individuals. The April edition welcomes a culture of sensitizing all our readers to contribute more thought provoking responses. We invite all our readers to radically think and send their feedbacks on this month's text. The Mindtext team also thanks all its fellow readers for sending their timely feedbacks and helping us to reflect and improve. We wish you all a happy reading!! Lekha, Editor




By Shakha




hat education should create a better world is a bourgeois idea that mankind has rendered as common sense in the present. This means that the educated mass will be the epitome of high culture and economic viability. Having made these assumptions, it is equally significant to check whether the Indian education system meets these criteria. The tradition of gurukul education sprung from the Indian soil. Into the modern era it delivered the Gandhian ideal of Nai Talim, the Santi- Niketan model of practical-moral learning. It is worth musing then, what the system of education in India has come to when taking the case of the Patan student rape that happened inside school premises and at the hands of teachers themselves (“guru devo bhava”). At the level of a student, I think it best speaks of the de-emphasis on experiential moral learning that the new trend of ‘vocational,’ ‘placement-hyped’ education clearly manifests. We are today bemoaning about the lack of faculty for raising competitive management students precisely because 'placement' is valued only if it is in a swanky MNC not at some college as a lecturer. The latter is not seen as valuable as it will not result in ‘quick bucks.’ I think the rationale of education is in the need to communicate one's desire or opinion. This elementary idea has somehow got lost in the air-conditioned façade of business 'edunomics' (Education + Economics). Therein lies the heart of the disease. The present generation fails to be vocal about what hurts it most. It hates and is suspicious of politics. So the political cry 'study and fight' (padho aur lado) fails to hit the mark with the young. It has resulted in the formation of youth, that fight a war of editorials in Group Discussions (a must for admission to professional courses) rather than being a 'teevravadi' (zealous proponent) of his own beliefs.


The author is a MSW 1st year student of Rajagiri College of Social Sciences


By Abhinaw Sureka

“A busy person has time for everything while a lazy person has time for nothing.” mnipresent stands the excuse of lack of time. Life throws up challenge after challenge, which we duck by taking shelter in our favourite excuse- lack of time. But are we really running out of time? The perceived dearth of time originates from the Indian belief that a busy person is important. Hence we all engross ourselves in projecting semblance of busyness, but this façade penetrates our own skin and we start to believe that we indeed don`t have time for anything. This becomes the basic restraining factor in our endeavour to attain ‘success.’ Hence, arose the perpetual debate on maintaining a work-life balance, as if work and life are juxtaposed in a zero sum game. Guys we do have time to do everything and achieve everything, as soon as we pull down the farce of appearing busy and get down to being busy.
The author is a student at FMS, New Delhi


Anti-colonialism and the critique of Modernity t is observed that contemporary critiques of modernity elucidate significant continuities with the concerns of earlier national liberation movements. They share some features with the critiques of colonial culture put forward by national liberation movements although there are significant differences as well. One of the most important differences is the changed attitude towards nationalism today. As Sarah Joseph observes, prime importance is now given to the goal of cultural autonomy as compared to goals like social equality.1 Also, cultural autonomy is not now sought as a necessary precondition for development but as an objective with independent significance for the citizen.


By Aneish P. Rajan

Sensitivity regarding the political significance of culture developed in colonial societies along with the struggle for national independence. These struggles both reflected as well as generated consciousness about the alien values and the 'otherness' of the colonial cultures which were being selectively propagated in the colonies. From Fanon to Cesaire and Gandhi, nationalist leaders denounced the cultural invasion of societies. The continuing debates on tradition and modernity and anti-universality produced a politics of 'discourse analysis' of the colonial and post colonial state. Out of this also emerged the possibilities of multiple readings of a text, which followed the postmodern methods of understanding. Postmodern critiques of modernity in the West have undoubtedly raised some important questions about modernity which have some relevance for postcolonial societies like India. This has led to the demand for reading history other vantage points, which evidently put forth particular politics of history, such as subaltern history. Subaltern historians have criticised not only the kind of alternative histories written by nationalist historians but also the very notion of history they adopted that was a reflection of a modernist worldview which sharply distinguished 'contemporary' from 'past'. Hence, nationalist historians functioned within the same universe of discourse as colonial historians. Neither left a place for the subaltern classes who had a different perception of reality and different goals. In nationalist historiography, the life of the people gets subsumed in the biography of the nation state. Subaltern historiography has the central assumption that the subaltern classes or groups had other notions of community than that of the nation. It also seeks to show that subaltern classes have rebelled time and again against the statist project and politics of the nationalist elites and they had other means of communication than those used by the middle class.2 In this context, subaltern historians have found that the postmodern critiques of grand narratives of 'nation' and 'progress' can converse fruitfully with the Third World experiences of modernity. What is the relationship between the political reading of this kind of discourse of the critique of modernity and nationalism and a demand for the indigenous conceptualisation of social science? The indigenous science debate of the 1970s and 1980s constitutes and example of colonial discourse analysis applied to issues of culture, power and knowledge. It is the need to revive and develop indigenous, alternative forms of knowledge that emerged due to the pertinent critiques of modernity in the postcolonial states. The political questions raised by the concept of indigenous, culturally grounded sciences include issues concerning the character of the community whose history and experience may generate indigenous knowledge and the possibility of different and even opposed modes of knowledge developing within a broad cultural group.

The author is a Board Member of Centre for Public Policy Research
1. Joseph, Sarah, 'Interrogating Culture: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Social Theory', Sage Publications, New Delhi, 1998, p.59. 2. Chakrabarti, Dipesh. 'History as Critique and Critiques of History'. EPW, September 14, 1991, p.2162-2163.

Indigenous Social Science? Subaltern sciences and ethno-sciences constitute two types of alternative social science knowledge. Subaltern critics have challenged the dichotomies of mainstream social science- between subjective and objective, theory and reality. They have argued for social sciences which stress political engagement and commitment to social change rather than the pursuit of a notion of objectivity that is grounded in a static conception of the world. Truth then would have to be understood as evolving, historically located and universal only in relation to a particular perspective of modernity.3 The other strand of alternative sciences stresses on the primacy of cultural community authority over other modes of association producing perspectives of knowledge. But supporters of community based ethno-sciences might not be sympathetic to the notion of a plurality of subaltern groups where membership may extend across community boundaries. In Sarah Joseph's view, the move against nationalism has often only meant replacing of the nation by cultural community as the primary identity in discussions regarding indigenous social sciences and this raises the possibility of developing alternative theories which might suffer from the same kind of problems as nation based theories.4 However, studies on political ideals such as Swaraj, Sarvodaya and Satyagraha stress on the need for grounding in a cultural community as the test of authenticity of a possible indigenous social science.5 But there is heightened apprehension that the very notion of Indian social science rooted in the worldview and concepts of culture is problematic because it relies on certain assumptions about Indian society that can be questioned. The culturally based ethno social sciences would also be expressed in indigenous languages. This would raise further problems of intercommunication. The alternative social science debate has been conducted, as seen by scholars, not in opposition to western social sciences, but as a dialogue with some of its dominant tradition, particularly post modern critiques of modernity. The matter that has to be explored is, whether the entire matrix of debate on tradition-modernity has contributed to a critical understanding of the Indian society and development of any 'own categories'. However as Panthem observes there are significant lacunae in the trajectory of development of the political science discourse in India. This is very much related to the inability of political scholarship and practice to develop and an all encompassing political philosophy. This vacuum begins from our constitution where we have a common criminal law but not a civil law. The whole discourse on Indian polity and social philosophy also fail to develop a moral theory of good life and failed to adhere to a comprehensive understanding of the good. Thus the scenario of creating adaptation from the western morals would continue to find ground in India.


BIBLIOGRAPHY Almond, Gabriel and Sydney Verba, The Civic Culture, Princeton University Press, 1963. Atala, Sayed Farid, 'The Study of Social Science in Developing Societies: Towards an adequate conceptualization of Relevance', Current Sociology, March 2001. Beteille, Andre. 'Sociology and Commonsense', EPW, 1996, No.31, p.23-62. Bhambri, C.P, 'Political science' in Social sciences and social realities: Role of social science in Contemporary India', IIAS, Shimla, 1976. ‘Functionalism in Politics', Indian Journal of Political Science, 34(4),1973. 'Functionalism in Politics: A Rejoinder' in IJPS, April June 1974 Chakrabarti, Dipesh. 'History as Critique and Critiques of History', EPW, September 14, 1991, p.2162-2163. Chatterjee, Partha, 'Nation and its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial histories', OUP, New Delhi, 1994. Gupta, S.D, Rajni Kothari and the centre- periphery model: A Critique, Sociological Perspective, Special No. III, May 1976. Joseph, Sarah, 'Interrogating Culture: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Social Theory', Sage Publications, New Delhi, 1998. Kothari, Rajni, Politics in India, Orient Longman, New Delhi, 1970 Democratic Politics and Social Change, 1976. Mukherjee, P.N., and C.Sengupta (eds) Indigenity and Universality in Social sciences: A South Asian perspective, Sage publications, New Delhi, 2004. Nandy, Ashis, 'Science, Hegemony and Violence' OUP, New Delhi, 1998. Pantham, Thomas, Political theories and social reconstruction: A critical survey of the literature on India, Sage Publications, 1995. Rudolph, Lloyd I. and Susanne H. Rudolph, Modernity of Tradition: Political development in India, N Orient Longman, New Delhi. Wallerstein, Immanuel, Open the Social Sciences, Vistas publications New Delhi, 1996 Eurocentrism and its Avatars in Sociological Bulletin, 46(1), March 1997

3. Joseph, Sarah, op.cited, p.100 4. Ibid, p.105 5. Pantham, Thomas 'On Modernity, Rationality and Modernity: Habermas and Gandhi', Indian Journal of Social Science 1(2) April-June.

t was after a gap of two years that I was visiting a remote village in Tamilnadu. This time, I was exploring the possibilities of launching an innovative internship plan in the village by selecting and training its local youth to deal with contemporary issues that they face each day. Over the last two years, Tamil Nadu has witnessed sweeping changes in the urban areas that has an investment-based real estate economy. Radius of Chennai has increased to 70 square miles from its earlier 40 Square Miles, thanks to the foreign direct investment in Chennai suburbs especially in sectors like Telecom, Automobile, IT and the sea changes which were witnessed in the peripheral towns as well. I was expecting a similar scenario when I started from the pugnaciously built CMBT Bus stand in the wee hours of the morning. Government records show that it had an estimate of Rs 104 crores. I was not surprised when I saw people using the bus stand as a night shelter. At least they are safe from being run over on the foot paths. It seemed that the Government of Tamil Nadu was satisfied with providing the poor with such unimaginable structures. This can be a good example for the premium cost of such infrastructures. In 2006, when I visited a coastal village, I had assiduously remarked on the arrival of the Tsunami Economy. Along the Tamil Nadu coast, one can observe that the dominance of the Church is under threat and their subjects are more loyal to Corporate NGOs that arrived there post-Tsunami scene. This time, I was visiting not a coastal village, but a Dalit Village in fact. As I got deeper into the village I noticed that gorgeous buildings and flats were being replaced by acres of (waste) land all around with thin lines of agricultural lands in between. Roads are laid down in recent times, I can observe. I kept wondering what possible use could these lands be put to. Roads connecting the rural villages need to get support as it can prove wonders in the whole developmental paradigm of the concerned area. For a moment, my interest in real estate business began showing its teeth but then I suddenly realised that an investment of that nature could lead to social unrest. I strongly oppose SEZ plans in this country and thus do not fancy seeing the Government generate profit for me in the long run at the cost of the poor people. My believes are proved right when I met villagers in Chetpet Taluk of Thirvuannamalai district. The villagers face strong caste discrimination. Separate hotels are assigned for them in restricted areas of the village. These poor and landless people toil and work in fields owned by the upper caste. It is hard to believe that such deplorable practices are taking place at a distance of just 140 kilometres from the most prolifically grown Chennai!! One positive aspect that I perceive about the sizable IT industry is that it would in the long run eliminate the caste divisions from the society intrinsically by supporting intercaste marriages. But unfortunately the poor people struggling in the villages don't have the required skills to get employment in these sectors. Why?? One prominent reason could be attributed to the lack of good quality schools to meet the needed requirements in the IT sector. One thing that comes to my notice is the preference parents have for private education over the government one. I tried to apply many theoretical concepts to understand the preferential selection done. When I enquired, the picture I got was an altogether different one. 'We don't want any free stuff from the Government,' was the common reply. On further probing I was told that corruption in its various forms, inefficiency in government processes, delays, apathy on the part of the officials were a few reasons for the preference for the private over the government. One of the villagers asked me a very thought provoking, profound question: “How can Government decide on what kind of house I need to construct for my family by merely allotting a grant of 40 K? How can they think that the small one-room allotted would suffice for a big family of eight members? Isn't there anything else the government can do?” Interestingly, these village folk do not resort to complaining even if they do not get housing for a few more years to come. Instead, ten families will collectively save this allowance to get their first engineering student from the locality to work in the city of Chennai!! This, they hope would bring laurels to their village.
The author of this article is the Chairman of Centre for Public Policy Research




wassup man
By Mary Shananda Gayen
Wassup man how u doin lon time man wen u gonna cal meh”? I am sure we all identify this language, don't we? Yes, yes, it's our very own SMS language. We are so used to pressing buttons and cutting down those big words to maybe just 4-letter words or even less (not that I don't). But think about it, one day without the cell phone, we'll feel like hell, don't we? We feel handicapped. It feels like a part of us is left somewhere. Admit it or not, we are addicted or stuck to our “cell phones.” Nowadays, the cell phone is a kind of replacement for family and friends. It has become our best pal, hasn't it? We live with our phone thinking life will come to a standstill and forget those days when the cell phone didn't exist and we survived. We survived well, very well in fact. At least our parents didn't have to pay those heavy bills or prepaid walla's huge recharges. Ok, that's secondary. Huge business firms have grown without this technology. Oh! Another scary thing is you might die of brain cancer. I am not saying it; it's the scientists, so believe it. I think this age must be termed as the “mob-age”. It has completely taken over our life; we don't own the phone, it owns us. Hey guys don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to go for a procession that says “say no to cell phones.” All I'm trying to say is, let's not become slaves to the phone, because we own it. Let us not make it the most essential thing, but a part of our useful life. Believe me, I had a hard time typing this; after all, u don't need to know spellings to type an SMS…
The authour is a B.Sc. Statistics Final Year student of Fergusson College, Pune



By Kalpana Sudheer
I walk the lonely road not knowing where I go Enjoying the bliss and cherishing the calm.. How far I will keep going I really do not know… This walk began some long two weeks ago When I felt the need to be alone Alone with myself Alone with my thoughts Alone…all alone… This is one of the times when you feel so crowded by Sounds and people and all around The urging need to leave it all And go away for a while alone… And so im here on the lonely road.. A lonely road that gives me bliss… A lonely road with all its joy And most of all the calm I need This road gives me time to be myself… Alone with myself… Alone with God… I know a while later I will have to go back Where roads are full and life is on.. I know this walk will keep me on Leave me nourished and with life to go on… To go on life with all its vigour; with all its strength… To be myself once again..
The writer is a member of Centre for Public Policy Research


By Vipin Vishnu


he word "NANO" comes from the Greek word "Nanos" which means - a dwarf. The Tata Nano is a dwarf, both by way of its size as well as its price. It has created history by being the least priced, metal bodied, petrol-fuelled car, in the history of mankind.

It is a boon to the common man ("Common Man", depicted in a precise manner in R.K Laxman's cartoons - The man who is present everywhere, yet doesn't participate in anything that is happening and is just a mere onlooker), who got a chance to add some extra wheels to his life. Till now, he had been using public transport or maybe just a motorcycle, but now that he can afford this car, he can travel with his entire family in his own private vehicle (though, in India, we often do witness a whole family of 4 or even 5 on a motorcycle).This would boost the profits of driving schools, which would witness a throng of these new car owners, for driving lessons. Although it has such positive effects, Nano can be considered a bane in several respects. The highly congested roads of India would worsen. These Nanos would fill up whatever little space is left between the buses and cars on our already crowded roads. A man who once used to walk a 100 metres to buy vegetables from the market, would probably drive in his first car, which would have become his status symbol, that of a common man. The pavements will have to be either shortened or tarred, allowing no room for a man to walk. Well, I doubt whether there would be any person left walking, once the Nano hits the roads. The condition of our roads is well known; often it hardly withstands even the first set of showers. This situation might be accelerated with the advent of the Nano. The more number of vehicles on the roads, the quicker the damage. Further, the parking space would be inadequate to house the rush of these Nanos. In a city like Mumbai, where a vehicle has to be parked kilometers away from where a person desires, people would be taking their cars along with them to park in their office cabins, perhaps! A major concern would be when the upper class parents start gifting their children Tata Nanos before they even enter their teens. These kids might exploit this freedom by driving without undergoing proper traffic lessons and a valid license, which would result in an increase in accidents. At an age when the children should be enjoying the company of their friends, they would instead be behind the steering of this 'mighty dwarf' enthralled by just the mere fact that they have gone from being bicycle riders to car drivers. Other than gifting the Nano to their children or for weddings and birthdays, the launch of this car won't affect the people in the upper class cadre. They would still be topping up their shopping carts with the Hondas, Toyotas and Benzes. Even though the Nano is claimed to be an environment friendly vehicle whose emission levels would be even lesser than those of motorcycles, a large number of these vehicles would definitely contribute in some way to the pollution levels in the country. This line of thought cannot be ruled out. The couple of positives because of this car's launch cannot oppose the large number of negatives that come as added features along with it. In short, when the NANO hits the road, we'll have to bid 'tata' to whatever little traffic serenity is left in this country.


The author is Marine Surveyor at J. B. Boda Surveyors Private Limited, Mumbai


tata and me
By Subhadra Kutty
have heard about sibling rivalry many a time. I don't understand why it happens. It could be due to the way parents bring up their kids. Some parents tend to give more attention to the younger ones while others consider boys superior to girls and begin comparing between the two. Now, a proud mother of a 29-year old boy, I wonder what my attitude would be towards the kids if I had one more child. Whenever my son is away from home I regret for not having another one. It also brings back to mind the sweet memories of my own childhood. My father was a contractor. He made it big in life at a very early age. But unfortunately due to a heavy loss in his work, things began changing at home. At that time I was in my 7th standard. I have three brothers and two sisters. I am the second child. My elder brother whom I fondly call 'tata' was in the 8th. Due to financial problems, I had to use his old books to study. Only when the syllabus would change would I get a new one of that subject. As a child I would pray that the syllabus would change because I liked the smell of new books. Tata passed 10th with good marks and joined in a polytechnic institute but had to drop his studies due to certain reasons. The next year I joined college for a predegree course. I had to travel by bus to reach the college. Though the bus fare was a meager amount, my parents had difficulty in arranging it. Being from a lower income group, I was entitled to get a fee concession for college. For the same, I had to submit a form duly signed by the village officer of the village we belonged to. The village was far off from the new place we had migrated to. And thus getting the certificate signed was always a tedious and an expensive task. One day I submitted the form in the office but it returned back as there were some errors in it. Going back to the village office was a herculean task for me and it was then that I remembered that a cousin of mine lived close to the village office. I asked him to submit the form for me. He promptly agreed and I forgot all about it. Days passed. One day during the recess time the principal called me to his office and gave me the startling news that my form for the fee concession had not been submitted. I was shocked! How could my cousin do this to me? And that was the last day for submission. I could see my studies coming to an end. I was devastated. I went back to class with a heavy heart and began sobbing. As I put my head on the desk, I suddenly heard someone calling out my name. The voice seemed familiar to me. I looked out. There on the veranda stood tata! He called me to his side and told me that he had come to submit my form in the office. I couldn't believe my ears! Here when I was enjoying my college life forgetting everything else, tata was taking pains to get my certificate from the village office. I was so happy that I couldn't utter a word. It was an eye-opening experience for me. Years passed. Tata took his degrees and is well settled in life. Now I am also a degree holder. This experience with my elder brother helped me in later years to give adequate support to my son in his studies and he has come up in his life. Presently he holds the post of editor of an international magazine. Now whenever my siblings need any help I am always with them. Life has taught me many lessons. No wonder I don't understand why sibling rivalry takes place…




the nigerian diary
By Manali Shah
agos in a snapshot is a big in that it is no better or worse than a city like Delhi or Mumbai....sure it has all the problems: constant traffic [called "go slow" or "hold up”, can take upto 2-3 hours to get from one place to another] especially at peak times, bad sanitation, pollution, people rushing to sell you things all the time, low pedestrian safety....but looking at the sunny side, it has those good things too: diverse and easily accessible means of transport [the bikes called "okadas" after a defunct airline, the taxis if you want to go solo, the "use till they die" minibuses called "danfos" which can carry upto 30 people, the well maintained high speed bus with a special lane (what Delhi is attempting to d)...]; a booming market: you really marvel the entrepreneurial spirit of the people. As you wait in the 'go slow', atleast 10 people will come up to your bus and you can buy pretty much anything [fried plantains, recharge cards for mobile, handkerchiefs, cakes, ice cream, cold drinks called "minerals" here, mouth fresheners, coconut chips, music etc]....; variety of food: you have a wide range of food to choose from, the local Nigerian street food to fast food joints, there is even a China Town here! [I feel very lucky being in Lagos that I can have any of these foods anytime compared to my fellow volunteers who don't have such luxury living in smaller towns to villagers]…


And of course the bubbly, loud, Nigerian spirit! You know atleast once a day on my to-and-fro in the bus, something or the other happens which causes a "wahalla" [problem]...usually it is the conductor who talks back to an irritating passenger or doesn't give back change or a fight about why five people are forced to cramp on a seat meant for four...its so interesting to see strangers coming to the rescue and join in your fight!

My target now is to visit the happening "Victoria Island" and of course the beaches nearby Lagos...I have been on the Marina and like Bombay, its quite beautiful...oh the sight of all that water!! Due to traffic, it takes almost 2-3 hours to get to the closest beach...well my goal for next weekend is to use my charm with some serving volunteers and get them to take me to the beach...can't wait:)
The author is Program and Resource Development Manager, Centre for Public Policy Research (Manali Shah is currently serving as an international volunteer, assigned to work as an Organisational Development Advisor with an organisation called GIVE (Greater Involvement in Volunteering Efforts) in Lagos, Nigeria)



1. 2. 3. he Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Team of CPPR, as a part of its ADR campaign, held a meeting on 25th March 2008. The following points were discussed in the meeting : ADR laws doesn't demand for specific qualifications or conditions to appoint arbitrators, mediators etc which makes it, worth exploring. Hence, it can be also concluded that this area is not restricted for lawyers alone. The discussion also involved the acceptability of the concept of ADR in the present society. Any new concept takes its own time to gradually merge into the society. The merits of the concept are the main Factors determining the level of acceptability. The long-term result is the main criteria for any concept. Based on this reason our thoughts on the position of the Indian judiciary 20 to 25 years down the line reflect as to what we want for the success of this project. Especially for arbitration to take place, the agreement between the parties should contain a clause that if any dispute arose, parties will adhere to arbitration. But for this to happen, the ordinary man should be aware that a concept like ADR exists. The mindset and attitude of the people has to be changed and campaigning is one of the methods to do it (in a proper way). Idea for establishing ADR centres in the regions where there exits a huge demand for them was also mooted. As the demand increases, supply automatically increases. Moreover, when new ADR centres are established, the village panch members of the village Panchayat or other prominent local citizens can be appointed as mediators, etc since these people are aware of the local conditions and are also trusted by





The Chairman, CPPR introduced his long term plan of establishing ADR centres across the country and his vision of managing them. The idea of registering a company, primarily for this purpose was also discussed among the members. Agenda for the next two months: Publishing articles by the members regarding ADR, as we could identify that IGNORANCE is the major reason why people don't resort to ADR methods. This is also intended to identify other potential stakeholder's in this field. On a more personal level, ADR team members will be updating themselves by further study on the topic, meeting with experts to gain more knowledge and visiting the various existing ADR centres to get a feel of the current position of ADR in India and to understand what can be done to popularize it
By the ADR Team, CPPR


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