Serial Bus

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Archive for the ‘Development’ Category

Why I Know English Better Than I Know Sanskrit

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The following is a faux excerpt of the famous ‘Minute on Indian Education’ by Lord Macaulay doing rounds on the internet. It struck as a bit incredulous to me. Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay was a highly learned man and 1835 was hardly the Golden Age of the Indian subcontinent. Unrest must have been rife – beggars and thieves might have commonplace. But, someone has taken the pain of creating an authentic-looking excerpt from his famous minute to the British Parliament on 02Feb1835.

Macaulay

Macaulay

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Written by serialbus

November 1, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Posted in Development, History, India

Tagged with ,

Let Them Eat Grass (Or Cake)!

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The inauguration of Obama sparked huge celebrations in the US last Tuesday. For the first time, the sound of the TV on our office floor was turned on so that we may listen to the live broadcast on CNN, rather than just see the captions. Every American is justifiably proud of Obama’s election – amongst other reasons, it increases their self-esteem when they realize that collectively, they were able to exorcise their racist past. However, I don’t think Americans fully realize the significance of what Rick Warren alluded to briefly as the ’44th peaceful transfer of power’. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by serialbus

January 25, 2009 at 4:40 pm

The Unbearable Lightness of Diversity

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I remember, as a child, one of the favorite lessons in the classroom was about how India is a great country because we represent unity in diversity. Take our national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ that elegantly evokes different regions of India, combine that with Iqbal’s assertion ‘Sare Jahan Se Achcha’ and we have a very powerful cause-and-effect relationship. In India, we have come to idolize our diversity, holding it dear to our hearts and yet inexplicably, we claim to have a common destiny.

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Written by serialbus

December 6, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Jagriti Yatra: Five point something!

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If asked to recount 5 top events of my life, I will perhaps always include my participation in the Azad Bharat Rail Yatra (Free India Train Journey) in 1997-98. A chartered train with over 200 students cris-crossed India in an exciting journey that celebrated India’s 50 years of independence. The second edition of this journey, called Jagriti Yatra (Renaissance Journey), takes place this winter, 24Dec08-11Jan09.

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Written by serialbus

November 16, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Doordarshan Years

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I sometimes think my generation is perhaps the last one in India to remember what I should call the Doordarshan years (pre-1991).┬áPeople born after us would not appreciate the pre-eminence of Doordarshan in our childhoods and people born before us were too old to enjoy sending SMS’s to their friends at the turn of this century. In that sense, we are unique as we straddle both the eras and carry life experiences from opposite ends of the spectrum. Our youth was spent on the cusp of an old India embracing a new one: the late nineties and early years of this century (roughly, 1995-2005).

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Written by serialbus

October 12, 2008 at 9:19 pm

Small Change for India’s Piggy-bank!!

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(I must admit upfront that this post is inspired by the Tipping Point theory popularized by Malcolm Gladwell, who in turn was inspired by several serious researchers.)

Very often, policy makers and newspaper editors recommend heavyweight reforms for India’s development. The trouble with such ideas is that they get mired in interest-group politics and snail-pace legislation, making implementation nigh impossible. I think we need small triggers that will unleash bigger change in the long term however, their immediate purpose would be much more obvious and un-disagreeable. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by serialbus

September 21, 2008 at 8:44 pm