Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My experience during the India v Australia match of World Cup 2011

There were more than 5000 people in and around the stadium 5 hours before the match started. All roads led to the stadium. Everyone that knew anyone was asking for tickets. The security people were all over the place. Everyone was running around to see to it that everything is in place or maybe because they wanted to complete their work before the players came out to practice. I had a stadium pass. 

I was at the entrance gate a lot before the match started. The enthusiam of the spectators coming in and shouting "India India" was infectious. I sometimes got overwhelmed. It looked as if the entire country was coming in. People of all shapes, sizes and costumes. Everyone was happy. Everyone was excited. They were not spectators. They were followers of a religion. Cricket. 

Personalized T-shirts, funny caps, fundo hairdo, posters and variotions in their chants. All this and more 2 hours before the match. A cricket match is possibily the only place where people come in before time. They come in and stare at even the roller rolling the feild. All eyes go towards the pavilion, Just to see if they can catch a glimpse of a Dhoni or a Harbhajan. Sachin waving or even smiling at a section of a crowd would send the entire block into a frenzy. I don't think Sachin is God because there are a few people who don't believe in God but with Sachin, no one is an exception. He is worshipped. He is....beyond words.
The match. Australia to bat. All dots balls were cheered. All near chances Ah-ed. Pointing was the center of hatred. Maybe because of his previous comments or maybe because he is someone everyone loves to hate. 260 was a competitive score. The match hung in the balance at the break. The 40 minute break flew by. 

Sachin who was welcomed to crease with the cheer that only he can recieve, crashed his first ball to be boundary and the crowd went high. Chanting, dancing, swearing (a lot) and at the edge of their seat. People started standing up as soon as the bolwer began his run up. It was as if the spectators were facing the devilery and not the batsmen. Every boundary was greeted with thunderous noise. Everytime the DJ on the field played Chak De , everyone stood up and sung as if it was the National Anthem.

Good bolwing, fielding was appreciated. Sledging was boo-ed. It actually gave the crowd extra strength. Some of the words spoken would put a roadside mawali to shame. 

The 2nd innigings had more twists and turns then an Monaco racing track. Dhoni caught by a high flying Clarke and then the DJ playing Thunderstruck was just plain ironic. 

The ending was the most emphatic moment of them all. Yuvraj's expression after hitting the boundary was priceless, to say the least. The swing of the bat and the roar will be etched in the minds of cricket fans for years to come. He showed how much this win meant for him and the rest of the country. The crowd went out of control. There was a very loud combined cheer of a YEAAAH!! from the entire stadium. People were jumping. Couples were hugging. Music was playing. Crowd was swaying. It took about 5 minutes for the feeling to sink in and for people to stop shouting and jumping over one another. Spectators bowed dow to Yuvraj. It was hesteric. The feeling cannot be described. It is something that only people in the stadium can feel can understand. 

It seemed as if, for a moment in time, we were all connected. Just for that instance, nothing mattered. There were no worries, no problems. The legs which were tired could not stop jumping. The soar throat got new life. The guy in the neighbouring seat who gave his own commentary all throughout the match was the one you gave high-fives to. Congratulatory messages were sent to everyone and anyone we knew. It showed that it was not just a team victory. It was India who had won and we being Indias deserved to be congratulated. Spectators don't just watch cricket. They feel it. They are a part of the action. They are emotional about it. Spectotors held the flag close as if it was their dearest and the most precious posession. INDIA INDIA chants were all that could be heard. The roads were filled with people who could not make it to the stadium. Everyone would have slept with a smile on their face. Arguably, the best day of my life. :) 

Cricket is not a religion. It is something that makes people forget that there are different religions. It is not just a sport. It is a movement that has a billion followers in the country. 

Now, 30th March. National Holiday anyone? 

Pakistan, here we come.

P.S. - As we all know, India later on went on to beat Pakistan and later on won the World Cup. India, champions of cricket 2011. Indian and proud. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gujarat National Law University Logo

This is my University's logo. No, I am not obsessed with the University. Its just that sometimes, a good clear logo is too hard to find. Just storing it online so that I know where to come when I want a logo. 

Glass Ceiling: Is it breaking?

What is glass ceiling?
It is the term used to describe barriers that prevent women and minorities from advancing to management positions in corporations and organizations.

The failure of more women and minorities to enter the upper levels of corporate management is due to the glass ceiling. In economics, the term ‘glass ceiling’ refers to the situations where the advancement of a qualified person within the hierarchy of an organization is stopped at a lower level because of some form of discrimination, most commonly sexism or racism.

It is called a ‘ceiling’ because there is kind of a block which prevents the employee or person to move upwards in the organization. The word ‘glass’ is used because the ceiling is transparent. It is not apparent and is normally an unwritten and unofficial policy. There are no explicit barriers that stop the minorities from acquiring advanced job positions. There will be no company which will specifically state ‘No minorities hired’. This is because it is illegal to do so. The equal opportunity laws forbid the companies from stating such things. It is not only illegal but also immoral. Although it is not apparent, there are certain companies which follow such policies secretly.

The "glass ceiling" is distinguished from formal barriers to advancement, such as education or experience requirements. This barrier is seem more in the developing countries. It affects women, gays, lesbians, schedule castes and schedule tribes and all other minorities in the country. However, this glass ceiling tends to affect working women the most. 

It's the barrier that prevents large number of women from obtaining and securing the most powerful, prestigious, and highest-grossing jobs in the workforce. This barrier makes many women feel as they are not worthy enough to have these high-ranking positions, but also they feel as if their bosses do not take them seriously or actually see them as potential candidates.

Is the time changing?

India has a woman as president, as speaker, as a leader of the ruling party and as a leader of the opposition party. We have female IPS officers now. Indra Nooyi is an example in the business field.

What is the ethical responsibility of the human resource department in this regard?

First of all the Human resource department should see to it that there is no discrimination. The best person is chosen for the job. It can be a male or a female, a heterosexual or a homosexual, a brahmin or a shudra. All such things should not come in between when decisions to appoint or promote are being taken. It should be completely unbiased.

If the human resource department does its work properly then it will benefit everyone. The organisation will benefit because the most efficient employees will be kept happy and satisfied. The employees will be happy because they will know that if they work hard then they will be rewarded irrespective of their background. Work will be the only thing that will be judged. Employees will be satisfied with the human resource department and will thus be more cooperative with other initiatives of the department.

It is also beneficial for the organisation when it has a good mix of people as its employees. It increases the number of ideas as there is a lot more diversity in the organisation.

Thus the organisation will follow its ethical as well as legal duty and also benefit in the process. It is a win-win situation for everyone.

Senator Hillary Clinton used the term glass ceiling in her concession speech as she withdrew from the 2008 Democratic primary: "And although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it."

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Against Corruption and Against Anna Hazare!

Let me make it clear at the beginning, I oppose the Jan Lok Pal bill and the politics of hunger strike as much as I oppose corruption and misgovernance. 

Anna Hazare may have become a hero in the eyes of people overnight but what he is doing is unconstitutional. As Mr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta said “The morality of fasting unto death for a political cause in a constitutional democracy has always been a tricky issue. There is something deeply coercive about fasting unto death. When it is tied to an unparalleled moral eminence, as it is in the case of Anna Hazare, it amounts to blackmail”.

He is derailing and hijacking the democratic process. This is a mockery of the constitutional procedure. It is extortion. He is definitely not Mahatma Gandhi and even if he was considered as one, the government in India is an elected government and not a foreign rule. 

Civil society? What is that? Aren’t we all in it? And we all vote (or so we proclaim). So if they people whom we elect are making the laws, isn’t it already the civil society that is drafting it? Plus, random individuals drafting legislations can be a dangerous. We cannot make an exception to the constitution because once we start doing that, we open the flood gates. No one knows how this can be used as a precedent for any other moral/immoral propaganda. Whoever it is, however mighty, he or she cannot be allowed to bypass or subvert the democratic institutions in which law making authority is vested by the Constitution. The ‘civil society’ wants to draft the legislation. Well, the ‘civil society’ is drafting it. our elected representatives are drafting it. In a way, all legislations can have a ‘jan’ added before it.

Also, if you are interested in drafting laws then become a politian. Get elected. Anna Hazare and his inner circle are portrayed as populist leaders, so it should be too hard for them to win elections, right?

The Jan Lok Pal bill is not a solution to the problem of corruption. It risks making matters worse. Hunger strikes are not the right means to promote a policy agenda in a constitutional democracy like ours. The promoters and supporters of Jan Lok Pal and the public agitation to achieve it are profoundly misguided. Their popularity stems from having struck a vein of middle class outrage against the UPA government’s misdeeds. That doesn’t mean that the solutions they offer are right.

If the Jan Lok Pal presides over the same system that has corrupted civil servants, politicians, anti-corruption watchdogs, judges, media, civil society groups and ordinary citizens, why should we expect that the ombudsman will be incorruptible?

I personally think that the Jan Lok Pal bill gives the Lok Pal a lot of powers. It’s very dangerous to give so much power to a single institution that too one which is not exactly a representative of the ‘civil society’.

Also, what if the Lok Pal goes corrupt? Who will guard the guards? By giving preference to Nobel prize winners in the committee are we putting more trust in the Nobel committee than our elected representatives. Btw, did you know that Yasir Arafat has received a Nobel Peace prize? Think about it.

I am not just pointing fingers. I think that there are better ways to reduce corruption. The most simple way to do it is, vote for the right person. It all begins there. If you vote properly then people who you think are honest will come to power and draft your legislations and try to clean your corrupt administration.

Second, propagate for reforms. Political, economics, police and educational. If reforms are implemented successfully then there is no need for a revolution.

There is no need for a revolution in India. We still have out democratic and constitutional setup. We have all the laws. We need better implementation and awareness. This can be done in a systematic way and without any hunger strikes.

To all the supporters of Anna Hazare, I have some questions.

Where were the holders of candles, wearers of Gandhi topis and hunger strikers when the offices of the Chief Election Commissioner, the Central Vigilance Commissioner and even the President of the Republic were handed out to persons with dubious credentials? If you didn’t come out to protest the perversion of these institutions why are you somehow more likely to turn up to protest when a dubious person is sought to be made the Jan Lok Pal?

Inspite of my obvious stand against the way Anna Hazare is going about it. I do like a few things that have happened because of him.

People are finally thinking about how to solve the problem of corruption. It has been a very successful awareness propaganda. The discussions which were being done behind closed doors are now being discussed on public forums. The ability of Anna Hazare to mobilize so many people in different parts of the country is amazing.

I would like to end by quoting Dr. B.R. Ambedkar from his Constituent Assembly speech.
“…we must abandon the bloody methods of revolution. It means that we must abandon the method of civil disobedience, non-cooperation and satyagraha. When there was no way left for constitutional methods for achieving economic and social objectives, there was a great deal of justification for unconstitutional methods. But where constitutional methods are open, there can be no justification for these unconstitutional methods. These methods are nothing but the Grammar of Anarchy and the sooner they are abandoned, the better for us.”

Jai Hind!

Related Links:

P.S. : I have freely quoted/used material from the above mentioned articles.

Comparison between The Lok Pal Bill and the Jan Lok Pal Bill

This is a comparison that is posted by a think -tank called Research Foundation for Governance in India

The Lokpal will be a three-member body with a chairperson who is or was a chief justice or Supreme Court judge, and two members who are or have been high courts judges or chief justices. For 42 years, governments have tried to put in place the law. An institution called LOKPAL at the centre and LOKAYUKTA in each state will be set up.  Anyone, except for a public servant , can file a complaint and the Lokpal has to complete the inquiry within six months.
But there are stark differences between the government's version of the Lokpal Bill and the civil society's.

Government’s Version
The Appointment Committee will have the Vice President, Prime Minister, Leaders of Both the houses from ruling and opposition party

To initiate actions against the ministers, necessary to take a permission of the speakers of both the houses as well as the Prime Minister

CVC or CBI will be independent of Lokpal

Lokpal will not have any police powers and it will not be able to register an FIR

Lokpal won't have powers to investigate any case against PM, which deals with foreign affairs, security and defence

Lokpal will not have jurisdiction over bureaucrats and government officers

Hazare’s Version
The Appointment Committee will have the CAG, prominent legal experts, Chief Election Commission and individuals who have received Nobel and Magsaysay awards

To initiate actions against the ministers, including the Prime Minister necessary to take a permission of the Lokpal or Lokayukta. Lokpal can also take its own action

CVC or CBI under the authority of Lokpal at Centre and Lokayukta in State

Lokpal will have police powers and would be able to register FIR, proceed with criminal investigations and launch prosecution

Lokpal will have powers to investigate any case against PM, which deals with foreign affairs, security and defence

Lokpal will have jurisdiction over politicians, officials and even judges. It will have the entire vigilance machinery into Lokpal

This is just an outline. There are many more intricate differences but all the major ones have been covered.

Thank you

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