Sunday, 21 February 2016

Role of Youth in giving a positive leadership to society

In India , people  are  facing  a number of challenges.The whole society , especially the youth needs leadership on an urgent basis.Some of the challenges are as below:
1.There is a crisis of Values.There is a passive acceptance of corruption, dishonesty and non-transparency.People lack courage to speak out.They lack skills to do critical thinking.The roots of this are in our education system , especially  in our basic education.
We need to  revamp our education system .
2.We are moving  fast into the process of imbibing wrong social and moral values of unbridled materialism , keeping money above service and ideals..There is poor parenting in most of homes .This results in moral confusion and ambiguity on moral issues.We need to improve  selection of our values.Impact of electronic media  through  entertainment channels is also negative.In short,we need to have self mastery.

3.We do not have values like dignity  in work.This has led to very inefficient  work culture.
4.There is a feeling of isolation and loneliness  among people.They prefer to watch TV , or engage in social media ,  to engaging  with people.As a result , they lack social skills and emotional intelligence.
5. We are a low trust society.There is a gap between what we say , and what we do.There should be no gap between stated and operating values..This gap  further contributes to  cynicism and hopelessness.The   endless search for identity continues 
6.There is a very poor governance in all walk of public life.There is scant respect for Rule of law.There is  a pervasive  corruption in all levels of government and even in private life .The politicians  are untrustworthy and do not have  strong values to serve.As a result , the crime control is poor.There is  serious and largescale  criminalisation of politics.We need to have ethical politics.Is it possible?
7.Unemployment , lack of jobs , cut –throat  competition, lack of skills leads to  wrong career decisions.This  also  leads youth to terrorism and naxalism. 
8.Poverty continues to  on a large scale . 
9.Public servants should also be public spirited in their personal life.This requires  counselling and spiritual guidance..But in addition to moral exhortation , we must also improve institutional arrangements for social transformation . 
10.Indian society suffers from discrimination and inequality on the basis of gender  and caste and income .Society is not trying for social inclusion .Despite high growth rates , a very large population lives below poverty line. 
11.Communalism is a big threat to  peace in our society.There are a million mutinies happening.We need to have better law and order.
12.Malnutrition and diseases among children are widely prevalent .There are sexual and emotional abuses of children.Health care systems need to be improved  on a large scale.Child labour needs to be eliminated.
13.There is a need to control population in India.
14.Pollution needs to be controlled and environment quality must be improved if development and growth are to be sustainable.There should be a balance between economics and ecology.                       
 15.Our decision making should be based on evidence and not on whims and prejudices.We should  use  data-base , information and technology more extensively. 
16.Our judicial system is slow and expensive .We need to make it fast track, cheap  and modern.
17.Our agricultural productivity needs to be increased.                                                       
18.Our  infrastructure  like transport and electricity needs improvement.
19.We need to provide safe drinking water to our people.
20.Poor live in slums.We need to provide low cost housing to them.
21.Media  also has become materialistic , at times playing in to the hands of vested interests for money or other favours. 
22.Our emphasis on training and capacity building is low.This has also contributed to poor performance in major areas.
23.There is a challenge of inspiring and motivating others.
24.We need to harmonise between politics , science /technology, business  and religion .
25.We need to learn to work together,we need to cooperate, coordinate and collaborate.For this ,we need to have shared values , shared vision and shared goals.
26.The most important quality in any leader is  a spirit of service and humility.We need to practise servant leadership.
27.We need to develop a critical mass of  young  leaders, of impeccable  quality and competence.They need to develop common vision to uplift India, and the world.They should have  consultation and arrive at a set of common values.Only then , they can impart those values to society. 
28.We need to be caring.
29.We need to have meaning in our lives.
30.We need to choose carefully between exit, voice and loyalty.We should lead by personal example.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Get a Life by Nadine Gordimer

"Get a Life" is the story of  a white South African family going through several crises.The protagonist is a   35 years old man  named Paul,  is  an ecologist in South  Africa , battling against installation of a planned nuclear  plant.He is    detected with  life-threatening  thyroid cancer and undergoes treatment for it. He is prescribed a treatment that makes his body  radioactive for a few days .He moves in with his parents to protect his wife and young son from radiation. His wife Benni is an executive  in an advertisement agency , promoting development.Paul suddenly , in his fragile state, realises the contradiction  in values between his work as a conservationist and  the work of his wife in the advertising agency for the firms that would degrade and pollute the very environment that he   fights to protect. After this life threatening experience, neither Paul , nor his relationship with Benni is the same as before.There is some gap in the intimacy.
        Paul's experience not only changes his own life , but also the lives of people around him.
   The novel  describes  the  realisation of a  changing  relationship between the parents of Paul , Adrian    and Lyndsay, perhaps due to the  traumatic experience of Paul , vicariously experienced .The mother( Lyndsay ) is a competent lawyer  and the father Adrian  who earlier chucked his own  career as an archaeologist to promote  Lindsay's as a lawyer, now drift apart .Ultimately , Lindsay becomes a judge but  their life and relationship undergoes a sea change.
                                   Paul survives  the cancer and thus gets a  new but different  life .The title" get a life" has a dual meaning.The first is encouraging to do some thing in your life.The second is to understand your life .The first is easier to accomplish, the second is  almost impossible.
          The novel  is quite dark and  can dampen the spirits  beneath the bluest skies.The author explores the darker regions of human nature , which most people experience in their worst moments.This book  , though  thought provoking  and  by a Nobel Prize winner  writer, should not be read by those who want to read something light and cheerful.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison

                      This  novel  by Toni Morrison  , published in 2015, is about the damage adults wreak on the children.It is the story of coming of age of a very dark coloured girl called Bride.Her mother Sweetness disdains her very existence.To claim her mother's love and to have some dignity of her own , Bride  gives false evidence against an innocent woman , who is convicted and goes to prison .She grows  up  to be a successful career woman but her past is with her.To make amends for her past action of giving false evidence,she tries to help the women whom she has wronged.But in the process, her boy friend Booker walks out on her on the ground that she wanted to help the woman (an alleged  child molester)  in question. In the end,Bride's mother Sweetness says:"What you do to the children matters.And they might never forget".The book describes in graphical details instances of  physical and sexual abuse, neglect and rejection of children by parents.The need for respect at times exceeds every thing else:"You don't have to love me but you damn well have to respect me".With 178 pages in hard cover edition ,the book can be read in a short time.Though not as good as Beloved or The bluest Eye, yet I recomment you to read this book for the powerful and inimitable style of Toni Morrison