Tuesday, 28 January 2014

India and Environmental Performance Index

In a  recent study by Yale University , India has been ranked at 155,out of a total of  178 countries .It is a really sorry state of affairs and we must change this situation .We owe it to our children born , and yet unborn .While  Japan is at  rank 26 , Pakistan at 148,China at 118 , India  continues to be one of the most polluted countries of the world .The details can be seen on this link .

Let wake up  and do something before it is too late.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Republic of India

Today(January 26,2013,Sunday) is Republic Day of India, the day to remember , and reaffirm our resolve to uphold the values  enshrined in the Preamble to the constitution of India:
    Preamble:     " We , the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a
 Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens :
Justice , social , economic and political;
Liberty of thought , expression, belief, faith and worship;
Equality of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all,
Fraternity assuring the dignity of individual and the unity and integrity  of the Nation In our constituent Assembly this twenty-sixth day of November ,1949, do hereby adopt , enact and give to ourseves this Constitution."
We have miles and miles to go . .. .

Saturday, 11 January 2014

The curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon

The curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon is an acclaimed book of fiction(2003).It leaves a lingering impact .
                                       This book by Mark Haddon is exceptional , brilliant and very original .I have yet to read another fiction book , with a protagonist having autistic disorder .Christopher is a fifteen year old boy with autistic disorder .His  capacity to understand mathematics and logic is high .But he cannot  understand why other human beings behave in  the ways  they do.He cannot understand , nor can forgive when he discovers that his father tells him a lie .It is a world seen through the eyes of a boy with autistic disorder.But by reading about the world as he sees it , we see the world and ourselves more clearly and with greater understanding .
                            When I was working with the department of Welfare for the persons with Disabilities in UP,India,I had the opportunity to meet  a large number of persons with different  degrees of special needs , and found that the persons with  autism spectrum disorders  lived in a totally  different world and faced exceptional challenges to live day to day life .And awareness in Indian society  about autism ,Asperger syndrome and other mental disorders is extremely low .Our educational system is also way behind to educate  persons with autistic disorders. This is sad , to say the least.
                   These 271 pages , describing  story of fifteen year  old  Christopher  in his own words , made me think more clearly about the world , about people around me and about myself .Go ahead and spend ten hours and read this book .I assure you , you will not regret the time that you will  invest .

Friday, 3 January 2014

The Truth by Michael Palen

This 2012  fiction book by Michael Palen  succeeded  in uplifting my spirits. Repeated failures, exasperations  , absurdities  and frustrations  of life bring us disappointments , breed and  strengthen our cynicism,  sometimes  make us feel that all those grand plans  full of good  ideals  and pious intentions are just grand pretences , and  finally may  turn out to be delusions .Despite all this , as this story tells us , we can act in ways that are uplifting .This book  left me on a real high.
                  In real life , we meet  some good people , and a larger number who are not good.But to search  for  perfect , flawless persons  is likely to result in a delusion .That is The Truth , which Michael Palin  tells us in this very interesting and thrilling book .It is just a coincidence that at present stage , I am working in the field of  environment and forests in India , and I recently visited London/UK in connection with  study of wildlife.This book is set in London and in India and deals with environmental issues, along  with  power plays , manipulations ,  cost of development ,exploitation  of  natural resources,uprooting of local tribal population , militant extremism and other related issues.Keith  Mabbut , the protagonist , finds  the truth at the end of this work .
                          The book also raises the  complex issues of our need for heroes and role models ,the issue of personal compromises and the costs to be paid , if you don't compromise.The book takes a biting swipe at publishing industry, and how  publishers can become a tool in the hands of the  powerful and the mighty.
                          Martin Buber in his book has said that fiction is the closest to truth while  journalism is farthest from truth , bordering on lies.This book proved to me that truth can be revealed  by a fictional story .
                                  Palen has  the ability to create , build and narrate a beautiful and enjoyable  story , which is also full of truth and meaning .It thrills about Environment , a subject which really matters for each one of us.This book is not a thriller but it thrills  more than a conventional thriller.It  is delightful , thrilling and uplifting .I recommend you to read it .