Musings

The True Message of Christ
I am not a great fan of films. Either the films have a total crappy story line or if they are based on a famous novel, they fail to do full justice to the novel. But there are a select few movies that I must admit have moved me profoundly. One such movies was ' The Passion of Christ'. Most people believe many of the gory scenes were needless and I remember some Christian grandmas crying during the movie. But I feel that the violent scenes were those that truly brought out the message. Reading about it does not fully describe what Christ chose to undergo. When you see those gory scenes, you visualize the intensity of the suffering. . (Click here to read on)

Understanding Gandhi's real contribution
For long time I have been cynical about the greatness of Mahatma Gandhi. I am sure many of my fellow educated Indians would have similar views. No one can summarize the reason for this feeling better than his nemesis Naduram Godse at whose hands he faced death on January 30, 1948, raising him to the status of martyr. However over the years I have begun to develop a better understanding of this man and his message. The experience has been like the peeling of an onion. The layer of Gandhi - the one who got us independence was removed to reveal a stubborn man, with strange ideas who hijacked India's freedom struggle to obtain personal glory. But this layer also gave way to reveal the true Satyagrahi, what he stood for and the greatness of his philosophy..(Click here to read on)


Demystifying Indian Middle Class Politics
 have always felt the behavior of the educated working middle class in Indian democracy is a paradox of sorts. We are the ones who contribute most to the running of the government. We pay income tax with least default. We spend the most on consumer goods and hence contribute considerably to the sales tax revenue as well. We work for the companies that shell out corporate taxes. So directly or indirectly we seem to be the Atlas on whose shoulders the entire weight of the government rests. Yet we are the ones the government pays least heed to. Despite this blatant unfairness, we seem to be the staunchest defenders of the system. While we do demand lot of reforms, we are the most wary about rocking the boat in any way.  (Click here to read on)

Why India can never be friends with Pakistan, China, US
One of the first things I learnt when I started my career in consulting was something called issue based problem solving – a method of finding answers to certain key business questions. It has two variants – a data driven approach and a hypothesis driven approach. The first consists of collecting all kinds of data and then trying to see some pattern from it. The second consists of arriving at a solution from first principles conceptually and then trying to see if one can find data to support the hypothesis. A classic example of hypothesis driven approach is Sherlock Holmes uncovering a cigarette stub from a specific spot on the ground and telling the surprised Watson that he found it because he was looking for it.  (Click here to read on)

The Battle of Symbols
Few years back, a cartoonist was arrested for insulting India’s national emblem. There was lot of outrage regarding curtailing of freedom of expression and people being over sensitive about trivial issues. It got me thinking whether things were as simple as that. Or were there deeper forces at work?

That got me thinking about the meaning of these symbols and why people are so sensitive about them. Symbols seemed to me a simplistic representation of what binds together a group of people be it a nation, a religion or an ideology. Also it occurred to me that anthems, songs, myths, legends and larger than life heroes were symbols of sorts.(Click here to read on)

Education for the Twenty First Century
As I am prone to do often, one day I was sitting and musing how I could have made it much bigger in life if but I had put that bit of extra effort during my student days. As I sat day dreaming, a part of my mind  took the shape of the  Ghost of the Christmas past from Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol and appeared in front to me to take me on a journey to my past.

The first scene was me sitting in the Chemistry class at school. I magically enter my own mind. It is struggling to soar high into the clouds. It wants to leap and to bound and go on a flight of fantasy. But the body keeps it shackled which in turn is shackled by the demands of the educational system. The mind tries hard to pull away. But the body stays rooted to the desk holding the mind a prisoner along with it. (Click here to read on)

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