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Dussehra: A Day for Introspection

Dussehra is a great day to repose your faith in all that is just and ethical. It also makes you rethink your prevarication for aggressive retribution to those who may have truly deserved it. It makes you realise as to how a man of incredible knowledge and immense physical strength can sink into horrendously immoral acts.Ravan had read all Shastra(s) around and developed immense concentration to invoke celestial forces to come to his help. None on Earth was wiser than him.     But then, what to do with a man like that if he displays that he doesn’t know right from wrong? I mean what does Ram Bhagwan do if the ruffian—or, super-pundit, if you so like to describe him—chooses to kidnap his wife? Should he go into a conference with his brother, Laxman, bring the kidnapper’s well-known knowledge, wisdom and certifications from Adiyogi Shiva—no less—into consideration, and thereupon feel sympathetic towards him? Is a wife lost in the deal to be treated as just some collateral damage, and get…
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Virtuous Management: Ordering Pagan Ethos in Business Management

Humans are driven by fear, self-interest and honor, said Thucydides, the Greek historian who had a phenomenal understanding of relationships between cause and effect. All thinking men have considered that constraint when designing their plans, policy and movements. One of the founding fathers of American Constitution, Alexander Hamilton has said that masses can be ambitious, vindictive and rapacious. This view is, as a result, inherent in many policy documents including our constitution, American Constitution, and perhaps in a whole lot of such written texts. It is obvious that founding fathers of their country’s provided for impeachment because of this insight into human behavior.Though Christianity falls somewhat short here and advises idealism and moral correctness of action, in Bhagvad Gita, Lord Krishna approves deceit when done for a greater good. Morality of action and idealism are smaller virtues in the sense that they are for self development. Morality of outcome is a virtue …

Targets are for arrows

Arrows don't have a mind of their own. Men think. Whether expressed or not, they question the sanctity of targets handed down to them. When a government sets its development targets over a 5-year time line and misses those, it has a number of factors that it can call upon to justify its underperformance: too much rain, too little rain, nipah virus, resource reallocation necessitated by a terrorist attack, etc. Here the performance evaluator is the common man who can only complain but has to thereafter get on with his life. Repercussions are minimal. Catching a balloon under a bedsheet is easier than holding the minister responsible for the fuzzy target he announced. Now compare that to what a sales executive faces in a business environment? If his business volume falls short of the target, he is called a non-achiever. The 8.5 richter earthquake that may have hit his territory is often not a sufficient explanation. Or, perhaps he would get away because the bosses have appreciated th…

More the Merrier

It is as plain as the lady next door without makeup that man has to make himself unavailable to all others of his species, curse this invisible Chinese virus.But then, how debilitating it is that we haven’t had a dinner at our favourite restaurant in nearly three quarters of this year? Imagine the travesty; the good lady hasn’t had the pani-puri at that corner kiosk either. And blast these grocery and vegetables suppliers who deliver the stuff at our doors; we could have at the very least gone out on that excuse. Movies? Forget it. We are watching some hazy antiquated fare on the idiot box where Amitabh Bachchan looked an awkward fellow who hadn’t a clue what to do with his hands.Darn it, we decided to hell with the advisories on Covid19 which anyway are being dished out by those who themselves have been groping to catch the slippery invisible pest. Folks, it has been (and is) like they are trying to catch a balloon under a bedcover in a dark room. Or, trying to catch a greased pig in…

Dhoni’s Batting Order Conundrum

The poor greatest Indian cricketer of all time has tied himself in knots. A man with immense cricketing knowledge and a sixth sense that often defies logic has to now hide himself in the batting order. Since the recent World Cup and some years prior, Dhoni has shown that he isn’t much of a batsman anymore.Everything is ephemeral. Anything can be considered true only as long as it does not begin to contradict empirical evidence. However, contradictions happen as events unfold. Call it pragmatists' truth if you want, it does really evolve and change with time and understanding of the matter on hand. On evidence, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s batting skills have waned in a precipitous manner. That’s the new truth.But all through the years in situations when Team India was staring at the gun barrel, was Dhoni’s batting any better? For a cricketer who is considered the best finisher ever, Dhoni’s record in ICC events must-win games is not much to write home about. Those were games where India…

Life Experiences

Like all my friends, I too was once a 17-year old awkward looking human in that shaded area when you are considered a naïve boy in certain estimations and a grown up man in the other situations. It leaves you so confused that you behave as neither of those. And I have also used the adjective ‘awkward’. It is because, at that age, facial hair appear to the extent that you are unsure whether to shave or not.   In those good old days nobody asked you, “Son, what do you want to be when you grow up?” You generally were preached to from the pulpit. Unsure about what future held, I had to sit through sessions where three, mostly idle, older cousins and uncles ruled the roost. The agenda invariably was what I should be doing with my life. My Dad, an engineer himself and rather a busy man, didn’t have time for idle chatter. He gave all of two minutes to the first of those meetings and announced that I should go for an engineering career at Roorkee. He walked away and chose not to participate i…

Is selective affluence sustainable?

You may think that extreme poverty has long been a thing of the past in the United States of America. You would be wrong though. Before we go further, we need to understand how this extreme poverty—or say, deep poverty—is defined and how various countries can be meaningfully compared. On the latter criterion, the World Bank’s 2013 number of 769 million people living on less than $1.90 a day, and only 3.2 million of those living in extreme poverty in the United States was found misleading. 
On what is needed to live and is not available, there is a difference in what people need in countries with colder climate that those in the tropical regions. In ignoring the all-pervading differences in needs, the World Bank estimates put out erroneous figures. A Bangladeshi villager spends little or nothing on housing, heat or child care. A poor agricultural labourer in the African tropics needs very little clothing and doesn’t need heating to go through the winters. In the United States, the anoma…