Sunday, December 16, 2018

Nehru was right. And Manmohan Singh and Modi too

Rich-poor divide

Have you thought why rich remain rich and poor remain poor? What drives this phenomenon? Let us see through few simple facts.

a. Access to education: If a child is born in a poor family, it’s parents do not have the affordability to send him/her to good school. Despite the talent and interests, higher education may not be possible for economic reasons.

b. Job and Income level: Without higher education, it is not easy to get a high paying job. Accepting a menial job would mean the income is not sufficient to get out of poverty zone.

c. Marriage and inheritance: A rich room is likely to get a match from the well to do family. That marriage will result in a union of two rich families. And they are likely to inherit the wealth of their parents. So, the cycle of rich becoming richer continues while for the poor gets trapped in vicious cycle of poverty.

So how do you create a level playing ground? Not at individual level but at the country level.

Creating a level playing ground for India

Nehru’s socialist approach: When India became independent, majority of the residents were poor and if left on own, things would not have changed. Nehru was a socialist. His Govt. was not a liberal one but that was what India needed. He taxed the rich as poor were not able to pay any, but he built Govt. machinery to help the poor. Not only primary education, IIT, IIM’s got built where the education fee structure was subsidized. Both poor and rich could have the same opportunity as the talent was the selection criteria and not the economical background. It needed to be so for few decades. At least until two generations got access to better education.

ManMohan Singh’s economic reforms: When you have a good number of people with good education, you should let them start businesses, support them by minimizing Govt. intervention. That’s what ManMohan Singh did. He ended the license raj. Gave liberty to businessmen who created the new wave of service industry which provided employment to the new generation of workforce.

Modi’s protectionist policies: With so much protection given to backward castes and the likes for a longer period since independence, at the disadvantage of General Merit class, someone had to revive the Hindu religion. Also, its farmers with efforts to double their incomes to catch up the with the rest. And carry out tough reforms like GST.

You might think I am pointing out only the good things each of these PM did. But think of Modi as first PM of India, it would not have worked well. Similarly, Nehru’s socialist policies in today’s world would have done more harm than help to India. But these happened in the ways beneficial to India. All these PM’s did good to India and did what was the need of the hour.

When I hear criticism of these PM's, it appears to me like we are forgetting the context these PM's operated in.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

ಸಾರ್ಥಕತೆ ಎಂಬ ನಿರರ್ಥಕತೆ

ಮಾಗಿದಂತೆಲ್ಲ ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯಗಳು ಬದಲಾಗುತ್ತ ಹೋಗುತ್ತವೆ. ದುಡ್ಡು, ಜನಪ್ರಿಯತೆ, ಸ್ಥಾನ-ಮಾನಗಳ ಸೆಳೆತ ಕಡಿಮೆಯಾದಂತೆ ಮೂಲ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆ ಹುಟ್ಟುತ್ತದೆ. ಜೀವನದ ಸಾರ್ಥಕತೆ ಏನು? ಅದು ನಿಮ್ಮ ಕುಟುಂಬದ ಅಥವಾ ಸಮಾಜದ ಒಳಿತಿಗಾಗಿ ದುಡಿಯುವದೋ? ಎಲ್ಲ ಆಸೆಗಳನ್ನು ಮೀರಿ ಸನ್ಯಾಸ ಸ್ವೀಕರಿಸುವದೋ? ಸ್ವಾರ್ಥಕ್ಕೆ ಒಳಗಾಗದ ಯಾವುದೇ ಕೆಲಸವಾದರೂ ಆದಿತೋ? ಯಾವುದು ಜೀವನದ ಸಾರ್ಥಕತೆ?

ಪ್ರಾಣಿ-ಪಕ್ಷಿಗಳನ್ನು ಗಮನಿಸಿ ನೋಡಿ. ಅವು ಯಾವುದೇ ಧರ್ಮ, ನ್ಯಾಯ, ನೀತಿಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಚಿಂತಿಸುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ಅವುಗಳಿಗೆ ದುಡ್ಡಿನ ಉಪಯೋಗ ಗೊತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ. ದೇವರ ಗೊಡವೆ ಬೇಕಿಲ್ಲ. ನ್ಯಾಯ-ಅನ್ಯಾಯಗಳ ಪರಾಮರ್ಶೆಯ ಅಗತ್ಯವಿಲ್ಲ. ಹಾಗಾದರೆ ಯಾರ ಜೀವನ ಆನಂದಮಯ? ತತ್ವಶಾಸ್ತ್ರದ ಜ್ಞಾನಮಯಿ ಮನುಷ್ಯನದೋ ಅಥವಾ ಆ ಕ್ಷಣ-ಕ್ಷಣದ ಬದುಕು ಸವಿಯುವ ಪ್ರಾಣಿ ಪಕ್ಷಿಗಳದೋ? ಯಾರ ಜೀವನ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಸಾರ್ಥಕ?

ಮನುಷ್ಯರನ್ನು ಮನುಷ್ಯರಿಗೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಹೋಲಿಕೆ ಮಾಡಬೇಕು ಎಂದಾದರೆ, ಮತ್ತೆ ಅದೇ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆ ನನ್ನದು. ಯಾರ ಜೀವನ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಸಾರ್ಥಕ? ಹಿಂದೆ ಬೆಟ್ಟ ಗುಡ್ಡಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ವಾಸಿಸುತ್ತ, ಬೇಟೆಯಾಡಿ ಬದುಕುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಆದಿ ವಾಸಿ ಜನಾಂಗದವರೋ, ಅಥವಾ ನಂತರ ವಿಕಾಸಗೊಂಡು ಕೃಷಿ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಾ, ಸಾಕು ಪ್ರಾಣಿಗಳನ್ನು ತನ್ನ ಹಿತಕ್ಕೆ ಬಳಸುತ್ತ ಬೆಳೆದ ಸಮಾಜವೊ ಅಥವಾ ಇಂದಿನ ಆಧುನಿಕ ಜಗತ್ತಿನಲ್ಲಿ ವಿದ್ಯುತ್ ಅನ್ನು ತನ್ನ ಆಳಾಗಿ, ವಿಧ ವಿಧದ ಉಪಕರಣಗಳನ್ನು ತನ್ನ ಶ್ರಮಕ್ಕೆ ಪೂರಕವಾಗಿ ಬಳಸಿಕೊಂಡು, ಆರಾಮದಾಯಕ ಎನ್ನುವಂಥ ಜೀವನ ನಡೆಸುವ ಈಗಿನ ಪೀಳಿಗೆಯ ಮನುಷ್ಯನದ್ದೋ? ಯಾರು ಹೆಚ್ಚು ನೆಮ್ಮದಿಯಾಗಿದ್ದರು?

ಆಯಾ ಕಾಲಕ್ಕೆ ತಕ್ಕಂತೆ ಸಮಸ್ಯೆಗಳ ರೂಪ  ಬೇರೆ ಇದ್ದಿತಿನೋ? ಗುಹೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಗೆರೆಗಳಿಂದ ಗೀಚಿದ ಆದಿ ಮಾನವನಿಗೂ, ಇಂದಿಗೆ ವಾಸ್ತವಿಕತೆಗೆ ಹತ್ತಿರವಾಗಿರುವ ಬಹು ವರ್ಣದ ಚಿತ್ರ ಬಿಡಿಸುವ ಕಲಾವಿದನಿಗೂ ಎಲ್ಲಿಯ ಹೋಲಿಕೆ  ಎನ್ನುವಿರಾ? ಆದರೆ ನನ್ನ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆ ಕುಶಲತೆ, ಜಾಣ್ಮೆ, ನೈಪಣ್ಯತೆಯದಲ್ಲ. ಸಾರ್ಥಕತೆಯದು.

ಆಲ್ಬರ್ಟ್ ಐನ್ಸ್ಟೀನ್ ವಿಜ್ಞಾನದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಾಧಿಸುದ್ದು ಬಹಳಷ್ಟು ಆದರೆ ಅವರು ಅವರ ಹೆಂಡತಿಯನ್ನು ಜೀವನ ಪೂರ್ತಿ ಕಾಡಿದ್ದು ಅವರ ಜೀವನವನ್ನು ಸಾರ್ಥಕಗೊಳಿಸುತ್ತದೆಯೇ? ಅಂಬಾನಿಗಳ ಶ್ರೀಮಂತಿಕೆ ಅಪರಿಮಿತ ಆದರೆ ಅದರಿಂದ ಸಮಾಜಕ್ಕೆ ಆದ ಉಪಯೋಗ ಅಷ್ಟರಲ್ಲೇ ಇದೆ ಎಂದರೆ ಅವರ ಜೀವನದ ಸಾರ್ಥಕತೆ ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯ ಮನುಷ್ಯನ ಜೀವನಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನದೋ? ಒಬ್ಬ ಮನುಷ್ಯ ಒಂದು ರಂಗದಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರವೀಣನಾಗಿದ್ದು, ಇನ್ನೊಂದರಲ್ಲಿ ತೀರಾ ಕಳಪೆ (ಇವರ ಜೀವನಕ್ಕೆ ಬೆಂಕಿ ಬೀಳಲಿ) ಎನ್ನುವಂತಿದ್ದರೆ, ಅವರು ಜೀವನದ ಸಾರ್ಥಕತೆ ಕಂಡುಕೊಳ್ಳುವುದು ಎಲ್ಲಿ?

ಈ ಸಾರ್ಥಕತೆಯ ಹುಡುಕಾಟ ಮರೀಚಿಕೆಯ ಬೆನ್ನತ್ತಿದಂತೆ ಅನಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಕಾಣಿಸಿದಂತಾದರೂ, ಕೈಗೆ ದೊರಕದು. ಅದೇ ಮನುಷ್ಯ ವಿಕಾಸದ ಗುಟ್ಟು ಇದ್ದರು ಇರಬಹುದು. ಆದರೆ ನನಗೆ ಈ ಸಾರ್ಥಕತೆಯ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಯೇ ನಿರರ್ಥಕ ಅನಿಸುತ್ತದೆ.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Getting under the skin with help of Robert Greene

I have been reading and re-reading Robert Greene’s book ‘Power’ for couple of years. It has become a good reference book for me to understand the strategies adopted by those who wielded power – all kinds of dominating figures in the history ranging from dictators, military generals, political leaders to achieve what they wanted and keep a control on their subjects which we also can learn and put to use in our own circumstances.

Author’s grip on historical facts, the ways to interpret them, ability to see through the masks people wear to conceal emotions and explaining to the readers lucidly how it can be internalized is really fascinating. I was drawn into this author. In the quest to understand this author better, I watched his interviews on Youtube, learnt about his past and how he puts things together. He only impressed me further. I bought another book of his - ‘Mastery’, which is about those people, not the rulers, but who mastered a particular subject or a skill and how they could clear past through other attractions in their lives and keep distractions away as well.

Recently came out his new piece of work – ‘The Laws of Human Nature’, it is an outstanding work on the subject of human psychology. I found it much more effective than my past experiences of reading the similar works by other authors. As it got under my skin, I was completely immersed into this book and read it feverishly, wasting no available time or opportunity I got to read this. As soon as I was done, I started reading this again for the second time. Most likely, I am likely to go back to it again as the concepts are so useful and the subject itself is so vast.

Though I attempted reading books by other authors and move on to a different subject, the urge to read this author again made me buy his book ‘War’. Though it is based on war strategies, they can be largely used in multiple situations in our daily lives too.

This author will wake up a different person lying deep inside you. As you understand yourself better, your ability to get under the skin of others will also deepen. You will begin to read their faces, body language, tones to get clues of what they are up to and you will begin to ignore the words – plain language they use to conceal their true intentions and there will be nothing hidden from you as you get better with your understanding of human psychology and the strategies people adopt to get what they want. You want to become a better person at human psychology or you want to outsmart those who are already good at this, Robert Green can be of great help in either cases.

If you are ambitious to build a kingdom (or a company or a small team or a name for yourself) and want to learn the tricks from people who built vast empires in the past and controlled them well, these are the books you should be putting your hands on. You are not ambitious but want to save yourself from those who want to manipulate you by getting to know their true intentions at the very early stage, again Robert Green is a must read for you.