Saturday, September 18, 2010

Living in Coexistence with Nature

Women in PIPLANTRI Village of Rajasthan (India) celebrate Rakhi Festival in a unique way. 
Every year on the day of Rakhi festival they tie up Rakhi to the trees and plants. They say these tree give us life and protection so they are as important as our brothers. 
Last week, I visited this village and was trying to understand this relationship. It is amazing.                             
 This is living in coexistence' with Nature. 
No policy makers or  government can force even a single person to identify and follow this relationship. 
This is beyond any Law and Policy. And that is the answer to Global Warming.. the environmental crisis......

Friday, September 17, 2010

Principal of Words

The Principal of the college was describing to me that –
How honest and accountable she is in handling all day to day affairs at her work…
How daring she has been while saying NO to political pressure for admissions and appointments….
How she follows the rule of open resources etc
How creative, humane and caring she is..…….

Respecting her work and thoughts I asked her if she has been able to transfer these qualities or a part of it to her students…. even to few of the 1500 students, young girls and boys, the next generation of the society,  who is there everyday to learn and practice….

She was stuck but still trying to say ‘Yes’ … the mean time I added my supplement to the question …

….that if these students…after 3 to 5 years of learning at her college,  were able to live a similar life…honest, accountable, daring, creative, humane, caring….. if NOT, then is there any use of these words(qualities as she said) from a Principal of such a renowned college in Delhi.
Now, she was in between YES and NO…….

By the way, I was invited there to address students about our campaign. I reached 15 minutes before the scheduled time. The principal invited me to her room over a cup of tea. And that’s how this discussion took place.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Public hearing of Information Commissioner Mr Shailesh Gandhi

It was a first of it’s kind of public hearing in India. More than 250 transparency seekers i.e. practitioners of the Right to Information Act 2005 were there to question Mr Shailesh Gandhi, the Information Commissioner.  Mr. Shailesh Gandhi heard each and every question which were in fact grievance against his own decisions and practices at his office.  And he admitted that “Yes! There are some problems in handling the cases”. He agreed to correct the systems and also pay attention towards compliance of his orders.
Almost every speaker said that Mr Gandhi’s orders are more or less in favor of information seekers, but they becoming ineffective in forcing the government officers to release the information.  Hence the RTI Act is becoming useless. Taking a serious note on this, Mr Gandhi announced that he would dedicate at least one day for hearing of non-compliance cases. This was a great achievement of this Public Hearing.
But Mr Gandhi was as usual not comfortable in being hard to the officials who are violating the peoples Right to Information. Public questioned him that if Arunanchal Pradesh Information Commissioner can issue arrest warrants against 5 officers, why no him? He sidelined this argument by saying that if he gets into all such practices his rate of hearing the case would come down, which would result more and more pending cases at his office. Public didn’t at all buy this argument.

However this public hearing was a very good and long much needed beginning. Hope other Information Commissioners would also agree to face public like this.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It’s changing time for Peepli Live

It’s changing time for Peepli Live…… People are setting up stage for change…… least I witnessed this today in Basawer village of Maharajganj District…..

A great day for Swaraj Campaign… Panchayat election dates are announced, it’s high time in Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Deoria districts where 5 big meetings took place today and five similar are scheduled for tomorrow. Each meeting was attended by at approx 1500-3000 villagers from surrounding villages. Father Gibi Jose and his team from Poorvanchal Grameen Seva Samiti(PGSS) has worked hard in these villages. And the result is that these meetings are transforming into hunch for Swaraj…. Demand for Swaraj….

In 1993 government India (GOI) was spending Rs.7600 crore (Rs76 billion) per year on poverty elevation, today it’s spending Rs.1,30,000/- crore (Rs1300 billion rupees)per year on the same. The poverty has increased directly proportional to the budget for poverty elevation of GOI …..

So, now these people are demanding Swaraj… they are not demanding development, not even schemes….. they are demanding power to control every fund, function and functionary… control over day to day governance rather than power to elect their ruler once in a 5 years and then keep begging for next five years…..

And this Panchayat Election is an opportunity to set up ground for this change…. Best part of this effort is that all the costs to these meetings is being contributed by village women themselve. No donation, no project..only people and thier contribution...

Father Gibi Jose of PGSS spoke like a hardcore activist with such passion and anger against the system. This is first time I heard him speaking.

Skit performance on Swaraj by local artists
And when there was gathering of  more than 1500 people, it was a good business time also ..Yes media was not there because there was no Nattha to announce suicide..

And this was a joke of the day. The District Information Officer (a senior officer) spoke for 5 minutes holding a magazine with cover photo of UP Chief Minister like his god mother.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

...and we all are an 'A'

                    Translating ' .. और हम सब एक 'ए' हैं'

A and B ....when they meet they identify each other

A (about him self)                                        A (about B)
  • I am a human being                               B is also same
  • I also make mistakes                             B is also same
  • I don't want to make mistakes               B is not like that (B does it deliberately)
  • All my mistakes occur under confusion   B knowingly make mistakes (B is like that by nature )
  • I should be counseled on my mistakes    B should be punished for mistakes                                           (with Love and care, then only I can       In fact B shall not correct(learn a lesson) unless punished        do away with these mistakes)
And that how every 'A' observe and conclude about 'B'.... all our relationships are governed with this self made rule of it family members (mother, father, sister, brother, husband, wife.....) or office(colleague, junior, senior, boss, owner.... ) or on road(pedestrian, cyclist, motorist, truck driver or bus driver..... )..or any where else....We all have an 'A' in us and observe every 'B' like that.... This relationship is translating into family warming and global warming.....