Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Narendra Modi - will he win?

This question will be asked in the next few months. The Elections in Gujarat are due. All the secular forces are sick of Narendra Modi. He is icon of Hindu supremacy. And that is not a correct political thought in India.

But Modi won for the second time 5 years ago. If he wins this time - and it is not impossible - it will be a feat of some sort.
"In my state you can't remove any chief minister by blaming him for riots! " - a Gujarat BJP leader opposing Modi speaking on off the record.
His winning will not be because the Hindus like the idea of Hindu supremacy. That is not innate nature of Hindu psyche. But his winning will be dependent upon the intensity of retaliation on the blatant policy of Muslim appeasement followed by other parties.

The more the Muslim appeasement, the greater the Hindu bashing, the better are the chances of Modi winning.

Modi as an administrator is probably no better or worse than other leaders in Gujarat/India. The prosperity in Gujarat is not an issue - as it is in BIMARU states. So issues of Hindu bashing and/or Muslim appeasement will get thrown up. At least Modi would like them to be thrown up. And if they are not (unlikely), Mody would induce such issues. He is master manipulator of such sentiments and would not rest in peace.

I wish him the best for that will make interesting reading in the months ahead!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Election arrangements are simply Impressive

I have come back after voting. And I am all praise for the arrangements.
We had moved here in Allahabad only 5 months back. The people deputed by the Commission had come to our house to get us photographed. We were still not sure that we will get voter card...
(Election Commission people photographing at our home)
But about 20 days back, my wife and I were walking to the market. A shaggy looking man, sitting in front of Dhobi's shop was asking every one - "क्या ज्ञानदत्त पाण्डेय को जानते हो?" (" Do you know someone named Gyandutt Pandey?") When I replied that I am that person, he handed over our voter cards! We had no option but to vote.
(The man in front of Dhobi shop who gave us the Voter Cards)
And today I saw massive reinforcement of para-military forces. Poor booth-capturers must be without job. Since we were not the regular voters, my wife and me were video graphed again to keep our identity.
No fuss, no mess, clean voting.
It is only a post election problem which I as Passenger Train Operator will be facing. The para-military staff would be moving out and I will have to arrange 150-200 coaches to move out these men. I am sure that I shall not be succeeding in a big way. Any failure will only make these uniformed men eating up the General coaches!
And my mother gave me this good one:
She commented to the electoral employees: "With this para-military arrangements, you people must be very satisfied about your safety."
Pat came the reply from the woman checking the identity card: "अरे क्या माताजी, ये लोग न होते तो अब तक कितनी बार चाय समोसे आ गए होते। अब तो कोई पानी पूछने वाला भी नहीं है।" ("What mother, if these people were not there we would have got tea-snacks several times. Now the condition is that no one is giving even a glass of water.")

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Shri M V Srinivasan

A letter from Shri M V Srinivasan to my Chief Operations Manager has driven me down the memory lane. Shri Srinivasan was the Chief Freight Transportation Superintendent, Chief Operations Manager and thereafter General Manager of Western Railway 15-20 years ago. I remember his heart ailment when he was the CFTS and the real sense of personal relief which I had felt on his recovery. On his becoming General Manager of Western Railway, we the people of 'Sinu's gang' (I hope he considered me one of his) were very delighted.

I do not have many memories of his tenure as Member Traffic, because we did not come to know what was going on in the Railway Board sitting in a small place as Ratlam. But I always used to get his post card on my official Birthday - 6th September. I did not reply those cards; though Shri M V Srinivasan tracked me on my various postings and did not miss sending card. Meanwhile, it seems I got lost in his address book due to frequent changes in my places and zones of working.

Shri M V Srinivasan, or kaptan (Captain) as we used to refer to him, always remains in my memory as a reminder to me that a man of simple nature can also rise to the top. Shri M V Shri M V Srinivasan is my ideal in many respects.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee Meeting

The Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee Meeting (ZRUCC) is a big exercise in public relations for a Zonal Railway in India. The meeting is chaired by the General Manager of the Zone and is attended by the members of various Railway User Forums, nominees of the Minister and the concerned Members of Parliament. From the Railways side the various Departmental Heads are supposed to put forth the Railways viewpoint.We had the first meeting of the recently constituted body today at Allahabad.
It is always better to listen to the members. Many of the complaints are well known. But on certain matters we really get enlightenment. I had one such enlightenment by way of demands put forth for Railway services on the recently converted Broad Gauge sections. We may not be able to fulfill all or even the most; but a genuine exercise can be attempted.
Members hold the mike for as long time as they can. They are good speakers and like their own voice.
Today we had the election of The ZRUCC representative for the National body - NRUCC. And what a keen election! Out of 16 members present 5 stood for the lone post and the gentleman who won secured 6 votes. The person was visibly very happy. In the society, membership of such a body is a big status symbol.
One member - an MP from Rajasthan came in extremely attractive dress. Have a look at him.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

The articulate Union Leader

We were having PREM meeting chaired by the North Central Railway General Manager. The meeting is for participation of employees in the management. The Union President proved to be excellent speaker. When cornered on the matter that his one division unit was at logger-head with the other division units; he took little time to get composed. And he wriggled out so well:
  • साहेब, हम लोग तो समाजवादी हैं. लड़ना हमारे खून में है. पहले बाहर वालों से लड़ते हैं. न मिलें तो आपस में लड़ते हैं. यहां तक कि कमी पडे़ तो घर आकर पत्नी से लड़ते हैं. इसलिये इसे तवज्जो न दीजिये. (Sir we are socialists. Fighting is in our blood. First we fight with outsiders. If they are not there we fight among ourselves. If some stamina is left, then we come to home and fight with wife also. So do not give it much thought.)
The Union has made him the President, not without reasons. Diplomacy is the art practiced by all leaders - may be Union leaders.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Death refused to give me a small win for Golu.

Golu was my pet for the last 7 years. He was instrumental in saving us from deep despair in those dark days when we were fighting the battle against the imminent death of our son. He was the symbol of love and hope for us. His energy and affection was a source of inspiration. A pet can be so valuable for our emotional life...
He went away to eternity yesterday. With his damaged liver, body getting all the toxins and Golu refusing to take the food or the medicines orally, we had slender chance of saving him. Injections prolonged his life only for a few days.
still, I did not want to give in easily. In the early morning hours we took him in a rickshaw to
Vet-Hospital. We talked to the doctor and persuaded to come to the hospital immediately. Golu was not moving even his eyelids. His temperature was dropping. He was barely breathing. The medical attention made some minor difference. We brought him home and in 1 1/2 hours he was gone beyond the body limits. Death did not give me a chance to win the battle for his life even for a few days.
Golu or Golu Pandey (he was son to me) will live in my memories forever.
(In picture: last attempts to save Golu)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

क्षेत्रीय प्रशिक्षण केन्द्र, उदयपुर का कैनवास

क्षेत्रीय प्रशिक्षण केन्द्र, उदयपुर मेरे लिये कुछ वैसी याद है कि मैं वृहद कैनवास पर कोई चित्र बना रहा होऊं. अथवा कोई बडी़ कविता लिख रहा होऊं. लिखने या चित्र बनाने की प्रक्रिया तो रोचक होती है, पर अगर एक दशक बाद उस याद में कुछ लिखने को कहा जाये, तो मेमोरी ट्रिगर होने में समय लगता है.
मैं ZTC (उस समय इसे यही कहते थे) में तब आया जब परिचालन की नौकरी में "बर्न आउट" महसूस कर रहा था. मैडल और शील्ड पाने का जोश; उच्च रक्तचाप, थकान और वजन में बढोतरी (जो उदयपुर में हाइप- थायराइडिज्म पाई गई) के कारण दब चुका था. यहां पोस्टिंग पाने के लिये मैने COM महोदय से बडी़ चिरौरी की थी.
उदयपुर में जगह और लोग दोनो अच्छे लगे. एक संस्थान का प्रबंधन, जिसकी अपनी पहचान रही हो, बडा़ प्रिय अनुभव था. उसका नोस्टाल्जिया मुझे अब भी है. अब भी अगर कोई अवसर दे तो मैं पुन: उसी पद पर फिर आने को आतुर होऊंगा.
उदयपुर का केम्पस, अमलतास और गुलमोहर के वृक्षों की कतारें; भवन, कक्षायें और मॉडल रूम की सफाई व सज्जा किसी अंश मे मेरे व्यक्तित्व में स्थाई हो गये हैं.
मेरे बाद भी प्राचार्यों ने संस्थान में बहुत कुछ किया होगा. मेरे साथ के लोगों के अनुभव होंगे. वह सब देखने व सुनने का मन करता है. शायद कभी फिर जाने का अवसर मिले...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

और फरवरी भी समाप्त

एक महीना और चला गया. काम कुछ हुआ, ज्यादा बाकी रहा. जो बाकी रहा वह समय के साथ irrelevant हो जायेगा. जो कुछ हुआ वह इतिहास का हिस्सा हो जायेगा.
इस महीने बहुत से ब्लॉग देखे. कुछ प्रयोग स्वयं भी किये. हिन्दी में यूनीकोड से IME द्वारा लेखन प्रारम्भ किया. हिन्दी का प्रयोग इससे बढ़ेगा. शायद जो कुछ अंगरेजी में सोच कर लिखा जा रहा था, वह फिर से हिन्दी में सोचना प्रारम्भ हो सकेगा.
जरूरी वही है. लिखने से ज्यादा जरूरी है भाषा सोच का माध्यम बने. भले ही F11 कुन्जी के माध्यम से सोच द्विभाषी हो, पर उसमें हिन्दी का अंश बढे तो. (फोटो में २८ फरवरी को सवेरे शिवकुटी मंदिर के पास गंगा नदी का सवेरा.)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

हिन्दी मे ब्लॉग का प्रयोग

बडा झंझटिया काम है हिन्दी मे ब्लॉग लिखने को कमर कसना. एक तो नालेज नही. ब्लॉगरों का बढिया लेखन देख कर मन ललचता है अपना भी कुछ ‘मस्त’ लेखन इंटर्नेट पर चस्पां करने का. दूसरे जिन्दगी भर रेल गाडी हांकी. अब अपने स्टेनो को परे कर हिन्दी को रोमनागरी में पहली दरजे के बच्चे जैसे लिखना – वह भी रात के 11 बजे – जब पत्नी खर्राटे ले रही हो; आप समझ सकते हैं इस जुनून को?
बस जैसे तैसे ये लाइनें काट-चिपका कर ब्लॉग पर पोस्ट करता हूं. पता नहीं दूसरों को नजर भी आयेगा या कीडे-मकौडे दीखेंगे ब्लॉग पर...
कल मुन्ना से पता करूंगा कैसा दिखता है.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Islamic Fundamentalism at its best (or worst)!

I gave URL of a video depicting BJP top leaders not able to speak Vande Mataram correctly the other day. Here I invite you to view this YouTube video in which a Muslim scholar of (some) repute states some weird theory to justify non building of temples and churches in an Islamic state.
Sir, we have many incarnations of Bin Laden. And in most of the incarnations he may pass by us as an innocent intellectual like Dr.Zakir Naik! Beware.
Please click at the photo to view the video.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Shiv Kuti or Shiv Koti

This is the place I live. It has my parental house. I might live here for a long time.
Shiv Kuti or Shiv Koti has mythological significance. Here Lord Rama on his way to exile from Ayodhya, worshiped Lord Shiva after crossing Ganges. There is an old Shiva temple on the banks of Ganges adjacent to Rambag - a riverside resort set up in 1898 by Ramcharandas Tandon. This place had large Mela space which has been fast encroached by people for residential purpose. Most of the population has moved in last 10-20 years. The civic amenities are not keeping pace with increase in population. Place is loosing its historical value.
The place can be viewed with some photographs at the WikiMapia.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Francois Gautier : The controvercial writer.

It was in May-June last year when I read two articles by Francois Gautier on the on pathetic condition of Brahmins of India. I found them to be very bold - to put it mildly. I first thought that the views in these articles are a bit exaggeration but on further thought-churning I found that the articles are near truth. I gave these articles to some people to read. It is not clear that they read the articles through and through; but they agreed with Francois Gautier because they were Brahmins.
Later I purchased a book on Sri Sri Ravishankar titled "The Guru of Joy" written by Francois Gautier and read it. Not a great book. Not a very good book.
Today again there was an article by Gautier on the with the title "The truth about Aurangzeb". This article was posted today and there are already more than 214 messages on the message board. In fact by the time I write these lines ten more are added!
What an intense heat Gautier has generated. You may agree or disagree with him but you can not remain indifferent.

Thinking and visual ragpicking.

We are at our best when we think the issues through and through. But there are distractions - external as well internal. A phone call, noise, television or even a running tap - these are external factors. Untrained mind (untrained to think), depression or man in the grip of vasanaas are internal. External factors can be overcome or eliminated by mind-control but the real problem occurs when we are faced with internal factors.
We are turning less and less as thinkers and more and more as visual rag pickers. A bit from here and a bit from there. Jack of all and master of none.
Easy to say that. But what can be done?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

It is not musing, definitely.

Well, here is something funny on the net and I want to share it. It is mischievous, not musing; but not bad also. Please do try clicking on the picture to watch video. You may find hypocrisy at its very best!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sleep, a well earned sleep.

I found a dog sleeping in a worn out basket on Platform No. 6 of Allahabad station. Train had been standing on the platform and the noise level was high. The sleep was undisturbed by the noise. Dog was well fed. Platform provides enough food. But to get that food the dog must have made sufficient efforts. He also does not have worry for the future - his memory limitations help him in this aspect of life. The dog had searched sufficiently safe surroundings - a corner and a basket. So, his sound sleep was justified; and well earned too.
I am coming to my own sleep. Why is it not as sound as that of the dog?

  • A lot of mental garbage - of the past and the uncertainties of the future do distort the sleep pattern.
  • I have to depend upon medicine.
  • I do not get sufficient physical exercise. eating habits are poor.
  • The bliss or Anand factor in the life is missing to a large extent.
  • Mind concentration is disturbed.
So it is not that I do not know the problem or the solution. It is the execution which is faulty. Execution is the problem.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Educated do not like sophistication, they like simplicity.

Eliyahu M Goldratt, the author of classic "The Goal" has written the following words in the preface to the Indian edition of the book:
  • Educated people do not admire sophistication, they admire simplicity...
How true! We waste so much of time in beautification of our drawing rooms. Books on norms and etiquettes are hot sellers. We polish our way of speech even if our thoughts are complicated (if not malicious!). With more and more of technology, things of material comfort, information and media intrusion in our lives, sophistication has won over our simplicity.
That is why we despair that solutions are eluding us. If we look at 'Yaksha Prashna' in Aranya Parva of the epic Mahabharata, we find the solutions (or answers) given by Yudhisthir to the most complicated questions (or Prashnas) posed by Yaksha are simple. And these simple yet profound answers could get back the lives of the 4 pandavas; who changed the destiny of the Mahabharata.
We ought to find answers of the Yaksha Prashnas which the life poses to us. All answers of the Prashnas are simple. And there are answers to all the Prashnas. Only that they are to be discovered.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Thakur Legacy

I met Dr. Premendra Bahadur the other day. He must be about 15 years elder to me. His father, Mr. Rajendra Singh used to be spoken about by my father with respect. Mr. Rajendra and Dr. Premendra had come to us in Delhi in 1963 and had stayed with my father for a day or two. I have some memory of the occasion. Mr. Rajendra Singh had taken his thaali (plate) after the meal to the washing place by his own hand because he did not want us (brahmins) to touch the thalli used by him for eating.
Old values! I do not subscribe to them. Times have changed. Brahmins are not the same as in yesteryears and so are the thakurs. But I do remember Mr. Rajendra Singh for this incident - which occurred 44 years ago.
Dr. Premendra B Singh is also an old timer. He did not approve of my son touching his feet. He also spoke of new generation not devoted to hard work.
But his Business Card has an email address. He talked of SMS when most younger people use the mobile only for talking. His long list of degrees suggest that he is not a doctor by profession, but is a PhD in Civil Engineering.
Dr. Singh did most of the talking when I met him. But still I would like to meet him again.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Old Ripe Age Talking

Yesterday I had been to a marriage of a relative. You meet long time forgotten people at such occasions.
I was face to face with Old Ripe Age at that place.
Mahamritunjay mantra speaks of a ripe old fruit falling off a tree after attaining full age. Meeting him, I was reminded of that mantra.
My eldest Uncle, Mr Anantram Pandey is 84-85. His wife; eldest sister of my father, expired last year. The old dignified man was satisfied that she died without any prolonged illness. He said that his age is also ripe. He was visibly happy to see me.
Mr Anantram is waiting for the journey beyond. Once very agile, always moving on bicycle, learned brahmin was in reflective mood when he talked to me. He was weak, sitting in a corner (earlier he used to be the head pundit performing the sacrament) and speaking of his ailments. But looked like that he had no regrets, no complaints.
I was indeed touched by the simplicity and the greatness of this old dignified man.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Social functions, crowds and isolation.

I am most alone when in a crowd. Social functions do not induce me to participate. This behavior has not changed over the years.
I may not be able to change in this respect, but I can modify the response. What may be appropriate that I may be able to 'morph'.
Society loves conformists. It is at ease if the behavior is as per norms. it will extract the maximum price if you are running after it.
If you behave as 'individual', the society may test your sustenance. if you sustain, the society may respect you.
You may be considerate and caring to the society. You may love people. But you must not and need not run after the society.
Galib said - 'Dunia mein hoon, dunia kaa talabgaar nahin hoon. Bazar se gujaraa hoon, kharidaar nahin hoon'. (I am in the world but not dependent on it. I have passed through the market, but I am not a buyer.) Be what Galib was.

The stock market and "fear and greed" factor.

Fear and Greed are the words used mostly in cases of stock market investments.
Fearlessness is essential to grow. It can only come by correct knowledge.
Greed is attachment to hoarding. Most crude example of greed is the general increase in BMI (body mass index) of people. Body has a tendency to hoard energy giving substances in the form of fat. If we (our unconscious self included) believe in law of abundance, the greed will go away.
More (1) information/knowledge coupled with reflection on appropriateness of our response and(2) belief in law of abundance coupled with genuine efforts will tackle the "fear and greed" syndrome.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Learning@51years age!

Learning is not the event, not the process, not even the habit.
Learning is an inner urge to live.
I am learning therefore I am living. The learning may be inward (or internalised). It may be the learning of techniques, equipments...
Learning may be unlearning of the rotten.
I am happy that my yearning to learn is not diminishing. It is probably going up.

Indian Railway innovates to generate coaches for new services

This year the Indian Railway Time Table Committee (IRTTC) meeting was held at Secunderabad on 29-31 January.
Indian Railways has decided that trains hereafter need to get examined for a maximum distance of travel up to 3500kms as against the present upper limit of 2500kms. Besides the coaches can be in service for 18 months between two periodic overhauls. The second step at one stroke releases 11% more availability of coaching stock. The first step is a tool to fire the imagination of the coaching service planners and time table controllers to come up with new solutions. That may release coaches; give longer distance and better trains.
Old, sluggish systems also change for the better so fast in one stroke!
(Photo: IRTTC Meeting in progress)