Aug 23, 2006

Reservation , Creamy Layer And Politicians..

Hmmm...finally the s*#king politicians are bringing up this stupid thing in Parliament even without the rider of Creamy Layer which will enable the wards of all politicians to get the benefits..This was not unexpected though...No party has the credibility or courage to put atleast the funda of creamy layer into this OBC reservation. I wonder what happened to the case that was filed in Supreme court challenging this legislation...To tell how sinister and undeserving this is, I can quote some incidents that I've come across..

Scene 1: NITC counselling Yr - 2000

Kerala is a state which has implemented OBC reservation. But,as it is, the benefits are always cornered by the affluent in the society. Being the premier college, the seats in our college used to fill up after the IITs.Fortunately or unfortunately I managed to hang on to the last csc seat in open category .On that day, I witnessed people coming in ultra-luxury cars and claiming seats under OBC quota showing income certificates that defied logic..Ofcourse,It is true that some deserving people also bagged seats under this . Neverthless, the day exposed how deserving people are subjugated and how income certificates are manipulated to obtain seats under the name of quota.

Scene 2: NITC counselling Yr-2001.

Had some of my friends attending the session.So just went there..Things were no different. Over the 2 - 3 batches that I know at NITC , there are people who regularly go abroad for vacations and run mobile bills in excess of thousands per month claiming OBC reservation and bagging seats with income certificates showing BPL incomes...Being born into a caste or community would automatically allot you a seat in one of the coveted colleges.

Scene 3: An attestation..

One of my neighbour's son came to my mother for getting the copies of marksheets attested as he was about to attend the engineering counselling. In the set of certificates , he had an income certificate from a village officer showing the occupation of his father as "Koolivela"( Manual labour ). In truth, his father is one of the richest in our locality with a very big house , multiple cars and herds of servants... I was really perplexed by all this.

Scene 4: GATE.

This actually happened in a party..I was talking to my classmate ( One of the very few dedicated souls to computer science ) .He had a good GATE rank which would have got him admission to one of the IITs..He said he was not applying this year as he had GRE plans..and because of another reason -- If OBC quota comes in , as GATE score has a validity of 2 years , he may very well get into IISc next year --
I don't really know if that argument was meant to be sarcastic or serious..But then, in all probability if he studies well for another year he may get into IISc in general merit..Why..oh why abuse quota in this case..?


The problem with reservation in India is the inability to effectively filter out the creamy layer..In a country as corrupt as us, an income certificate or an OBC certificate can be obtained for a few bucks. Even if the rider of creamy layer is incorporated into the present bill, public would have found ingenuous ways to circumvent that..But then, in such a form the bill would have had a bit of decency...Hearing the esoteric and unimaginative arguments of the OBC politicians, I can only say..."God Save This Nation" .


Aug 11, 2006

Copy-paste :: An NRI Engineer's story

Really, really touching one .. This is a cut and paste from a thread posted at

As the dream of most parents I had acquired a degree in software
Engineer and joined a company based in USA, the land of braves and
opportunity. When I arrived in the USA, it was as if a dream had come
true. Here at last I was in the place where I wanted to be. I decided I
would be staying in this country for about Five years in which time I
would have earned enough money to settle down in India. My father was a
government employee and after his retirement, the only asset he
could acquire was a decent one bedroom flat.. I wanted to do some thing
more than him. I started feeling homesick and lonely as the time passed.
I used to call home and speak to my parents every week using cheap
international phone cards.

Two years passed, two years of Burgers at McDonald's and pizzas and
discos and 2 years watching the foreign exchange rate getting happy
whenever the Rupee value went down. Finally I decided to get married.

Told my parents that I have only 10 days of holidays and everything must
be done within these 10 days. I got my ticket booked in the cheapest
flight. Was jubilant an was actually enjoying shopping for gifts for all
my relatives and friends back home. If I miss anyone then there will be
talks. After reaching home I spent home one week going through all the
photographs of girls and as the time was getting shorter I was forced to
select one candidate. In-laws told me, to my
surprise, that I would have to get married in 2-3 days, as I will not
get anymore holidays soon and they cannot wait for long.

After the marriage, it was time to return to USA, after giving some
money to my parents and telling the neighbors to look after them, we (I
was lucky and managed to get the visa of my wife early) returned to USA.
My wife enjoyed this country for about two months and then she
feeling lonely. The frequency of calling India increased to twice in a
week sometimes 3 times a week as she also has to call her parents. Our
savings started diminishing. After two more years we started to have
kids. Two lovely kids, a boy and a girl, were gifted to us by
almighty. Every time I spoke to my parents, they asked me to come to
India so that they can see their grand-children.

Every year I decide to go to India. But part work, part monetary
conditions prevented it. Years went by and visiting India was a distant
dream.Then suddenly one day I got a message that my parents were
seriously sick. I tried but I couldn't get any holidays and was stuck
in the procedures and thus could not go to India. The next message I got
was my parents were passed away
and as there was no one to do the last rites the society members had
done whatever they could. I was depressed. My parents passed away
without seeing their grand children.

After couple more years passed away, much to my children's dislike and
my wife's joy we returned to India to settle down. I started to look for
a suitable !
but to my dismay my savings were short and the
property prices had gone up during all these years. I had to return to
the USA. My wife refused to come back with me and my children refused to
stay in India. My 2 children and I returned to USA after promising my
wife I would be back for good after two years.

Time passed by, my daughter decided to get married to an American and my
son was happy living in USA. I decided that enough is enough and
wound-up every thing and returned to India. I had just enough money to
buy a decent Two-be droom flat in a well-developed locality.

Now I am 60 years old and the only time I go out of the flat is for the
routine visit to the nearby place of worship. My faithful wife has also
left me and gone to the holy abode. Sometimes I wondered was it worth
all this? My father, even after staying in India, had!
to his name and I too have the same, nothing more.

I lost my parents and children for just ONE EXTRA BEDROOM.

Looking out from the window I see a lot of children dancing. This damned
cable TV has spoiled our new generation and the!
children are losing
their values and culture because of it. I get occasional cards from my
children asking I am alright.
Well at least they remember me.
Now perhaps after I die it will be the neighbors again who will be
performing my last rites, God Bless them. But the question still remains
'was all this worth it? I am still searching for an

There's no need to become defensive when your opinions are challenged.
Instead, let the challenges help you to further refine and clarify
own thinking.

-- Somehow, very much touching..Dont really know if it is fact or fiction..But somehow, the way it has been described really touched me..


Aug 1, 2006

The Sabarimala Controversy.

Usually when I start writing an article,I usually think a bit about the issue, base my stand and then argue about the points..But then, I really couldn't arrive at a conclusion over this issue even after a considerable amount of thought..

Ok, lets get into the matter..A group of women lawyers have filed a PIL (public interest litigation ) against Sabarimala's ban on women . The women are taking on the Travancore Devaswom Board that has held that women between the age of 10 and 50 years are impure and hence cannot enter the temple .. Quoting Prerna Kumari , one of the advocates who gave the PIL -- "It's unfair that in this age women should be treated with such discrimination."

A little bit background about the case

A proper pilgrimage to Sabarimala means, 41 days of "Brahmacharya" , which means total abstinence from all kinds of pleasures. In its strictest sense, the men who are on the "Vratha" should lead a life of a sage desisting from non-veg food, games, comforts,sexual pleasures etc extending to various levels...Ofcourse, it is highly debatable as on who actually prescribed these.. Or are they mere human interpretations and re-interpretations of beliefs that has evolved over more than 2000 years.. It is also another matter as on how many of the men who take the pilgrimage actually go by the proper norms.. I've taken the trip twice. To be true to myself, I didnt take the 41 day course..I took it only for about 20 days properly.But whatever be it, the Sabarimala trip has been one of the most fulfilling experiences in my life so far...The divinity that engulfs you when you hear the song "Harivarasanam..." at Sannidhanam is so pristine that it calls me again and again to make another trip..

I talked to some people about why the ban on women was enforced..There were many explanations..Two versions are,

1) The history of Swami Ayyappa who remained a bachelor ...It is said that he's not to be disturbed by the sight of young women. Let me add here that as per the legend, Ayyappa in his life killed Mahishi ( a demon ) and freed her soul and kept here in a temple just outside the sreekovil as "Malikapurathamma". The story further goes on saying that he made a promise to her that he'll marry her at a time when "Kanni Ayyapas " ( first timers to Sabarimala ) doesnt come.. And, that obviously wouldnt happen .

2) As per the temple laws / scriptures, women having their periods are considered 'impure' to the sanctity of the temple. But then, why no other temple bans women ? Well, I got a explanation to that question too.. Women are supposed to abstain from all temples during their periods..and a vast majority of them do so .But as per the norms or scriptures at Sabarimala, anybody who wants to go there should take the 41 day 'vratha' ( penance ).. And , obviously , if a woman having periods is considered impure, then 41 days course will definitely be broken.... This rule seems to be the like the promise with the rider that Swami Ayyappa gave to Mahishi.

Aren't these unnescessary bans enforced for male hegemony ??

Arguments supporting the Ban..

"Our stand is clear. This is an age-old practice based on religious belief and it should be allowed to continue. This cannot be changed through a decision because it is based on belief."

"The temple exists on this belief. So it cannot be seen as denial of women's rights or attempt to curb their rights," said Punalur Madhu, Travancore Devaswom Board...

That too sounds convincing..

Consider what'll happen if women are allowed..

How many men can suppress an inkling of carnal desire when he interacts with a beautiful lady.. Tough.. Even if 80 % or more of the men who come at Sabarimala doesnt take the 'Vratha' in its true sense , the atmosphere there is divine..people actually turn pious there. Such is the atmosphere.. If women are allowed, then I feel, this divinity or divine atmosphere might get eroded, not because of the 'impurity', but because of natural attraction towards opposite sex from both sides.

A conclusion from my side

I dont think it is blasphemous to allow women's entry to Sabarimala..Neither do I think that periods make her impure. Tantri's who bring shame ( I dont really know if it is true or just an allegation ) to the shrine are committing sacrileges by that standard...But the point is that if entry is allowed to them, I feel the atmosphere on Sannidhaanam might get a bit troubled..Ayyappa is a God who is to be seen after taking Brahmacharya vratha..To help devotees to attain that , its nescessary that women are prevented. Just going there and seeing Ayyappa wouldnt allow you to enjoy that pristine moment..Take the Brahmacharya Vratha.The more rigorous it is, the more beneficial it is..And then go there, enjoy the divinity..