Can a house be a home?

Can a house be a home?

Clea-Home-Happy-Home-800x360

Source : Google photo

Synopsis : We all dream of having our own house someday somewhere but do we know how to make the house a home? Many fail to do so. I look at the reasons and suggest ways to make a house a home where people can live happily and raise good children.

We all dream of our own house someday somewhere and work very hard to make it come true. For some it may mean years of effort to save until it allows them to buy a piece of land somewhere and then start building their house. Some do not finish their house at first but move in and slowly finish the rest as the finances permit that may take a long period of time to do it but eventually they do it and proudly say that they did it.

Others save just enough for the down payment, sign the papers and assume the mortgage for 25 or 30 years to pay a fixed amount to the bank including the interest every month . In fact most people do it this way if they want to live in a house and can’t wait to accumulate the whole amount to buy it with cash outright.

If something happens to them like terminal illness or death then the next of kin take up the mortgage and continue to pay it because it is a debt that has to be paid. If the debt is passed on to the children then it puts heavy burden on them which they may not like to carry and seek an alternative.

If you default in paying your mortgage because you lost your job then the house may be foreclosed and all the money you paid so far is forfeited. This happens during the downturn in the economy when recession sets in; factories close or become bankrupt so lay off workers who then lose their homes in large numbers.

At such times the housing industry takes a direct hit with large numbers of unsold or forfeited houses that they have built with bank loans. The banks suffer because they cannot collect their large loans. At such times many people become homeless because they are jobless so try to cope with their difficulties by moving in with their parents or friends or others who may be able to help.

So people make a great effort to meet the three basic needs of every person that is food, clothing and shelter in that order in organized societies but in primitive societies , people do not worry about their shelters as much as their counterparts elsewhere because they are not dependent on their earnings to provide for their shelter. Their shelters may be a grass hut that they put up by themselves or with the help of their neighbors so it becomes a community affair and everybody pitches in to help others at such times.

When we were in Mali, we asked the help of the villagers to build our house that consisted of five round houses interconnected with passageways in a semicircular fashion that I designed myself and they built to perfection in less than three months. They made clay bricks that when sun dried became hard. They used the bricks to make the perfectly round rooms and joined all the rooms with one meter wide passageways to make the whole house as one which was a novel concept for them.

Then they plastered the walls with mud to give it a smooth surface inside and out and coated the outer walls with butter made from shea nuts they gathered from the forest. Then they made the conical roof with golden yellow grass they gathered from the fields so we had a beautiful house that people came to see from far places. I had to pay for their labor and some things like doors and windows but I could afford such a house and paid with cash.

People living in cities are not so lucky. The city rules will not allow you to build grass huts in a subdivision.

After you build your own house with your own resources somewhere or borrow the money from the bank to do it or buy a ready-made house by signing the mortgage papers, you start worrying about filling the house with all the things you need like furniture, appliances, curtains etc. that can set you back quite a bit financially so a new house is a costly proposition no matter how you look at it. So living in a civilized society has its costs that can put you in deep debt for years.

I was watching a movie the other day in the U tube that showed a massive house the rich parents built in a small rural village in India but they died in a car accident leaving two sons to be raised by their elder brother. Later these two kids were sent to England where the elder one died and the younger one became heavily indebted to someone so one day he decided to go back to India to sell his father’s massive villa.

But no one had money to buy such a massive property that included many fish ponds, land and garden so he settled for a very low price someone was willing to pay and returned to England to settle his debt there. People who took care of the house all these years were in tears when the house was sold because to them it was more than a house. It was full of happy and sad memories.

So a house you buy and decorate and live in gathers all these memories over the years where your children grow up, where you built the tree house for your kids in the backyard, where you held birthday parties for them, where people came over for the bar- b- ques and beer and where you passed good times with your wife and children.

But like all houses where people live and raise their families, the changes take place over a period of time. Your children grow up and leave, your parents die and one day you too follow them so your beautiful house that you made home becomes a house again because it is locked up and collects dust.

If you live in a derelict town as many poor people do in many parts of the world, the vandals notice the locked up houses and break in to steal what they can or move in to make it their drug den or for other criminal activities. Or they smash the windows for fun and trash the house because the next of kin have moved away and not coming back. You can see vast tracts of such derelict houses in some countries where people are afraid to live. It is very different from the neatly mowed lawns and nicely painted houses in rich neighborhoods.

There is a song that says The house is not a home if no one lives there so it is the people who make a home out of a house for a while and when they die or move away, the home becomes just a house again collecting dust.

In happy homes , the memories of good times linger in the minds of children who grew up there but they grow up and make their own life somewhere else so the parents’ home just gets locked up and often put up for sale. If the children decide to live in another country then their childhood home may fall into disrepair with overgrown garden and uncut lawns. So one day they decide to sell it even at a loss.

Now let me go back to primitive villages where millions of people live and see how they cope with the changes brought about by births and deaths.

In the agrarian societies where only the farming sustains them, you will find many generations of families living together all engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry. The patriarch of the family builds a few rooms at first but keeps adding rooms as the family grows to accommodate them. These are simple dwellings they build themselves anyway they want because there are no rules or building permits to obtain or applying for electricity and water connections.

Millions of people live this way and are comfortable in their primitive dwellings. They eat what they grow and live simply generation after generation and hardly anyone moves away. If they marry, they choose a mate nearby from similar farming backgrounds forming an interconnected rural society that endures good times and bad because they help each other out to meet the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter.

In the United States I know the Amish and the Huterites live this way and have become quite self-sustained communities. The Amish people do not believe in modern living that needs TV, phones, electricity or such things that others take for granted and live without them happily. They have their horse buggies for transportation and simple and sparsely furnished houses they build with their own hands or with the help of their neighbors. They too eat what they grow and live simply and live in robust health. They are deeply religious and crime rate is very low in their well regulated communities. In their own way they are similar to people living in agrarian communities mentioned above.

The curse of the modern living:

Now let us study the modern communities where the middle class people live or aspire to live in comfort and take on the burden of high cost of living starting with massive debt to acquire a house that is built for them by a housing company that specializes in the mass production of houses that may look good but are made of flimsy materials like plywood, wood and fake marble floors. The roofs are made of tar papers in eye catching colors but peel off during tornadoes or such calamities that may leave you destitute and in need for immediate temporary shelters somewhere.

The super typhoon Katrina leveled large tracts of land and thousands of homes that people until now have not fully recovered from and do not know if another Katrina will hit them again someday piling up more misery on them. This is the curse of modern living where people become totally dependent on the government for emergency relief and help to rebuild their shattered homes. By contrast the so called primitive societies are self-reliant and help each other if needed.

So I come back to the topic of this blog which is to discuss what makes a house a home.

I know many dysfunctional homes that never get the homely feeling because the couples may have marital problems due to reasons of their own, where children are not properly cared for due to poverty, negligence of the parents etc., where they quarrel over petty matters  and where drinking or substance abuse is common, where children do poorly in school or drop out.

I have also known happy homes where you can feel that people live happy and contented lives if not in prosperity, where the homeowner makes the effort to make it a happy home.

So a house may not be a home if the people living there have their problems like poverty, infidelity of spouses, bad habits like drinking, gambling or domestic violence all of which may be interlinked someway resulting in a very toxic atmosphere that has its consequences. Such a house never becomes a home where the children can feel safe and happy.

Such houses never get to be homes because they start to disintegrate due to its inhabitants who are very unhappy people and have serious domestic issues that they cannot cope with. Often you see such families end up splitting up due to divorce where the children suffer the most.

I have known families that have suffered horrendously because of spousal infidelity. But I have also known happy homes where the parents were so loving and decent people who raised good children who later became successful in their lives.

The physical condition of a house has a lot to do with the health and happiness of the people who live there. Have you ever been to a house where you sense a feeling of unease as soon as you enter? It may be the smell of sickness and medicines or it could be the damp walls that breed germs and cause illness to those who live there.

I have been to such houses where someone was sick with tuberculosis and spread the germs to others. I have been to houses where the stink of cats and dogs was so  nauseating that made you leave in a hurry. In such houses, people suffer from asthma due to all the hairs the animals shed all the time but fail to see the connection.

I have been to very dirty houses where people live like pigs and pile up garbage in and around the house. Such living conditions do not make a good home that is conducive to raise a happy and healthy family. But I have also been to very clean and antiseptic houses where there is no happy life because the happiness does not depend on a clean and antiseptic house. It depends on the love, care and concern people living there show each other.

That is the key to turn a house into a home. Sometimes having too much money can seem to be a curse that blights some homes. To have a happy home, there has to be a balance between what a family needs and what it wants as a status symbol like very fancy house in a posh suburb. One fellow in South Africa was so paranoid of burglars that he shot dead his own girlfriend who was in the shower. A simple question like who are you could have saved the life of the poor girl.

You see this sort of paranoia among rich people who equip their houses with very fancy alarm system and keep dangerous dogs to keep people out but live in constant fear of being robbed and burglarized. This kind of paranoia is very unhealthy and breeds unhappiness.

I think we all have a duty to raise our family in a happy and healthy home where everyone enjoys good health and is properly cared for but some people just cannot change their unhappy homes into happy ones because they are very unhappy people. Often too much money or not having enough to meet their basic needs is the cause.

Often the happiest people are the poor people who live in a community where they know each other, attend their social events and are always ready to help someone who needs help with food or house repair.

You may live in a grass hut but if it is beautifully built and is kept clean then it turns into a happy home where the parents care for their children and each other. If money and cars divide people in any community then people become selfish and aloof.

Where would you rather live and raise your children?

 

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A positive change has come

A positive change has come

women-child-reu

Source : Google photo of a working woman

Synopsis : A great change has come to India that is empowering women by making education and job opportunities available for them so that they can be independent. They are being encouraged to be self employed with loan assistance and vocational training and are being encouraged to take the leadership roles in their communities.

I was watching the Independence Day celebration in Delhi yesterday and was very happy to see that for the first time an all-female SWAT team was deployed to protect the crowd and the dignitaries who had assembled in front of the Red Fort. The Prime Minister Mr. Modi praised the deployment of all- female swat team and said that the women in India are more than equal to men in all fields and have gained equal rights in an unprecedented manner in the male dominated society. An all-female crew recently circumnavigated the globe giving all women in India a hope that they too can shine.

This is very welcome news in a patriarchal society where the boys are favored over girls so it is very hard for the men to change their mentality. They at first denigrate any effort by women to be self-reliant and discourage their daughters or sisters to take steps that make them independent. The mentality is still in place that says that women are good for housekeeping, breeding and a life of domesticity even if they are educated and find good jobs. The men are supposed to take care of women and protect them and be their guardians so they oppose women to be independent.

working women

Source : Google photo of women in the armed forces in India

The government of India promotes women’s welfare and gives them opportunities to shine so now we see the all-female SWAT team for the first time but they are making very good progress in the army, in the air force and in the navy as well where the female officers are now given permanent commission that was denied them previously.

You see many women who are fighter pilots in the armed forces and are taking part in dangerous missions in the front fighting along with men shoulder to shoulder and giving a very good account of themselves earning praises from their commanders. You see this sort of integration lately in the Israeli army and air force but it is still rare in other male dominated societies where women are required to play a subservient role.

Just now a woman who had opened a beauty parlor in India was talking about the opposition she had in the beginning from her folks who tried to discourage her to do it because it was not the proper thing to do for a woman but she opened a parlor just the same and now is the owner of a thriving business that has helped put her daughters through college and made her a successful business woman.

She also trains poor girls in the beauty parlor and employs them so she is a social worker who helps poor women by giving them an opportunity to earn and be independent so that someday they may open their own parlors somewhere.

The Indian government actively encourages women to be self-employed and gives them the necessary training and the financial assistance to open a business like a beauty parlor or a tailoring shop or in fact any other enterprise where women can make a living and train other women.

India is changing fast in many ways which can be seen in the  smartly dressed female officers giving orders to the men in uniform , lead the all-female SWAT teams, join the police force and the air force but they are also becoming very successful entrepreneurs in their own right overcoming the barriers the male dominated society puts in their way.

This is a far cry from the previous generation when women were relegated to the hearth and domesticity, when education for women was not considered essential and women were so dependent on their brothers, fathers and uncles. The men decided when the women should get married and to whom through the arranged marriage system and it is by and large still the norm but now we are beginning to see the women come out of the shadows and take their rightful place in the society.

We are starting to see a greater role women are playing in the workforce assimilation and are going to school and college in record numbers. The girls from the poorer section of the society as well as the boys are given free lunch up to high school in many states by the government so it has become the largest school feeding program in the world feeding nearly 170 million children every day.

In some states the government provides free bicycle to every child to go to school and free text books and other necessities that is a very big improvement from the time when I was a child. What is so interesting in India is the way the government has empowered women to get education, get jobs and training but also helping those who want to set up their own business to feed their families.

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Source : Google photo of women working in the garment industry in India

I had written about the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh where women can borrow a small amount of money to set up their own business and become self-reliant. The program has become so successful that many countries are trying to emulate them. Similarly in India, the banks are now encouraged to loan small amounts to women who want to open up a business because as the record shows, women are honest and always repay the loan with interest as their business prospers and even expands. The loan without collateral was a revolutionary concept based on the assumption that woman are honest and will repay the loan. They have not let the banks down in India or in Bangladesh.

When I was in college, a female student was admitted to study agriculture for the first time so she was the lone girl in the class of boys. The poor girl did not last long and left the campus because the boys were uneasy due to the male mentality. Now the girls are taking up studies in all fields of science and humanities and often outnumber boys in their class.

The women’s education in India has brought a sea change in the mentality of people who now grudgingly accept that women have to be treated equally at home or outside. The days of domesticity and hearth and breeding is over for many although this is happening mostly in cities and not so much in the rural areas where the male traditions are still strong.

The only proven way to ensure equality for women is to empower them through education and job opportunities. They in turn prove that they are second to none and can do almost any job men are trained to do. They enrich their family through their earnings and push for the education of girls .They do not tolerate domestic abuse and will file for divorce if their husbands mistreat them because now they have education that empowers them and provides them with jobs to make them independent.

It is hard for a male dominated society like India to accept the changes that have been brought about but the educated males are starting to accept the changes because they see that women are an asset and not a liability. They bring in income by working in full time jobs so the standard of living is increasing for the educated couples but women are also supporting their families through self employment as mentioned above.

They are still far from attaining total equality in business so they open beauty salons for women only or cut the hair of women only. There are now women’s restaurants in Mumbai where all female staff serve only women so they feel safe in their company and enjoy decent meals free from male gawking. So this is definitely a step in the right direction.

In Bangladesh, thousands of poor women now are self-employed and make clothes and uniforms for school children. They earn enough to support their family and send their children to school for a better future. This was made possible through bank loans from the Grameen Bank that gave the loans without any collateral.

A saintly person in Kolkata opened up a workshop where young women and widows who were very poor could learn how to make clothes or baskets or joss sticks etc. that the center then sold for them. But these are the efforts of some NGOs that is limited in scope. What the women need is the national support from the government  that can enact laws to protect their rights and open up education and job opportunities for them.

The Prime Minister also mentioned the cause of Muslim women who still suffer from the Triple Talaq laws that make them destitute. This is a sharia law that gives all the power to the males who can divorce a woman just by saying I divorce you three times so the government is now enacting laws to ban this practice forever.

It has been a long uphill battle for women in India and elsewhere but women in some countries have gained a measure of equality as compared to a generation or two ago but they continue to suffer in many traditional societies where their tribal laws prevent women to get full equality and recognition.

In Afghan capital of Kabul, women were prevented from working even if they were highly qualified as doctors, dentists or teachers thus reducing them to begging in the streets during the rule of Taliban. They are still fighting for their rights but the danger of Taliban resurgence has not totally vanished so women live in fear. Many schools in rural areas for girls have been bombed by the terrorists who continue in their mistaken belief that girls should not be educated.

In other countries where a democracy has taken root, we can see great  improvement in women’s lives as in India but this improvement has been gradual, slow and patchy because the rural uneducated people still resist any move to empower women. This will change when more rural boys go to school and grow up with a healthy respect for girls who are also going to school now.

It is always easier to make laws but hard to implement them because it is much harder to change the mentality of men everywhere. As long as the tribal culture of male dominance exists, women will have to struggle to get education and employment so the government must work harder at the village level to educate people to make sure that people do not discriminate against women in any way and support the female empowerment through education and jobs.

Women in India still suffer from the stigma of menstruation in many parts because they are considered unclean and are prevented to enter a temple or other holy places so a beauty queen has made it her effort to make women more aware of female hygiene and provides free sanitary napkins to them. She also talks to men to educate them that menstruation is a natural process that does not make a woman impure so they should provide them with sanitary napkins that are now available in many stores.

Still there are other battles to fight. The fact that the government now supports them in their effort to gain equality goes a long way to make lives better for the women everywhere but the awareness also has to come from the men who still control their tribal society and are reluctant to let go their control. That is the curse of the patriarchal society that I wrote about in my previous blog.

The rape of women, mistreatment by verbal abuse called eve teasing and domestic violence , trafficking of women to sell them to brothels, the women as bonded laborers who are forced to work in the brick kilns , garment factories or in road construction happen but the culprits are being punished by long jail sentences and in rape cases with the death penalty as mentioned by the Prime Minister in his speech from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in Delhi a few days ago  so there is hope that women of tomorrow will have greater freedom and opportunities than the previous generation. India is moving in the right direction and taking definite steps to answer the issues all women face.

I wish them all the success.

 

Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

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Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

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My blogs at Wix site

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Medium.com

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русски

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Why do we procrastinate?

Why do we procrastinate?

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Source : Google photo

Synopsis : Some people cannot make up their mind on anything quickly so they procrastinate because they always seek the easy way out of their conundrums. This blog analyses the reasons and a way to break this habit that bedevils so many people.

Procrastination is very common among people who can never decide what to do and put it off for another day because to them it is a whole lot easier to procrastinate than to make a decision to do what needs to be done.

The classic case was when a fellow said to me that his water pump does not pump water to the second floor so they have to get water from the ground floor bucket by bucket and climb up the stair spilling some of it and making it a dangerous chore every day. They said that they had been doing it for the past several years.

I was very surprised and thought that there was something wrong with the pump itself but upon checking, I found it to be a new pump so I went to the dealer of the pump and explained the problem. The dealer then asked me if the pump had a one way valve attached to its hose called a foot valve  because it is the one way valve that keeps the hose always full of water that the pump then pumps up to any floor of the house.

I bought the valve for less than a dollar, fixed it up at the end of the hose and turned on the switch. The pump then pumped up all the water they needed that surprised them but they were also very happy that their water problem was solved so easily and cheaply.

It took a very simple solution to fix the problem they had for several years because they were the classic procrastinators who did not bother to check with the dealers of the pump who could have told them the solution just like the way they did to me.

There is another case that is interesting so I will mention it here as well. There was a gentleman who rented the second floor of my mother’s house and one day complained to me that his water cooler did not work so they suffered the terrible summer heat without any respite. I looked at the cooler and found nothing wrong with it except that they did not know how to install it on their window so I asked for a dollar to buy 4 J hooks.

Now the gentleman did not know what a J hook was so I explained that a steel hook that looks like a J is called a J hook and is available in any hardware store in various sizes. I then attached the fan to the window grill with the J hooks that I had to cut to size, put the cooler box behind it and filled the tank with water. I then turned on the cooler and it worked perfectly cooling the room like an air conditioner. The gentleman was very pleased but also very surprised that the solution was so simple that made their life easier.

These two cases are the examples of classic procrastinators who never could take the steps to solve their problems because they just did not know what to do. To me it is not a difficult thing to ask questions. If you do not know how to solve a problem then just ask someone who knows. No one knows all the answers but there are people who know and will gladly tell you if you explain to them your problem.

The third case is also classic but tragic. When I worked in Mali, we used to work in several remote villages where we had to stay for days and weeks so the farmers very graciously accommodated us by giving us their rooms which was ok at first but I realized that we should have our own proper accommodation in the villages.

So I called a meeting of the villagers and asked them if they could help us build a few round huts for us. They agreed and mobilized the village folks to build several beautiful round mud houses with grass roof and worked hard to do it. But the huts were never occupied. Do you know why?

It is because the project chief who was a Malian said that we must organize a feast for the villagers to show our appreciation before we can occupy the huts which was a great idea but he never gave the money to buy the food or designate someone to do it because he was a classic procrastinator who always put it off for another time. He later died in a car crash so I suppose the huts are still empty after all these years.

This habit is also called the mañana  habit that is common in people in many countries. It is very difficult for such people to make any decision that they can put off for another day or week or even months because it seems to them easier to just procrastinate.

It made me think of this topic and wonder why people procrastinate so I will now try to analyze this habit in people and understand what makes people procrastinate and why some people take actions right away to solve their problems.

In life we all face real issues that confront us daily. It could be a simple thing like changing a busted light or fixing a leaking faucet or a foot valve for a hose but some people find excuses even to do that because they put it off for another time. More than anything else, it defines their character and resolve in getting things done like getting a good education with good grades, taking some chances to get  an adventurous job in a country far from theirs or making changes in their lifestyle that make it better for them.

I know that the villagers in India still go to the fields to relieve themselves but to build a dry hole toilet near their homes and surround it with a wall for privacy is not such a big deal. It can make life a whole lot easier for them and the women folks but they still go to the fields because they cannot make that decision and procrastinate. May be they are waiting for the government to build toilets for them for free but it shows how lazy most people are to take care of their own problems and suffer needlessly.

I saw the video of an 18 year old Cambodian girl who built all by herself a very beautiful hut for herself by cutting the bamboo from the forest and gathering leaves and vines to put it all together. She also made a beautiful bamboo bed and a kitchen using stone axe and rocks. She could easily put all the procrastinators to shame and  teach them valuable lessons in self reliance.

This habit is also strongly tied to the culture people have where they tend to live from day to day and just continue the way they always have because they are too lazy to make the effort to make their own life better.

There is a story that goes like this:

There was once a king who ordered to find the laziest person in his kingdom and bring him to his court so  people started looking for the laziest person and one day found two people sleeping on the ground where a bushfire was raging near them. When one of them said that he could feel the heat on his back, the other said that he should just turn over. The king’s men were surprised how lazy these two were and hauled them to the court but the king was not convinced although he ordered them to be thoroughly whipped.

So the men started again to look for the laziest man and one day found a man sleeping on the ground with his mouth open when a dog came by, sniffed around a bit and then peed into the mouth of the fellow but the fellow still did not close his mouth so they hauled this fellow to the court to be punished anew. I don’t know how the story ended but believe me when I say that there are people who are worse than these lazy people.

Some get into bad habits early in their life like drinking, drugs and gambling and totally destroy themselves and the ones who depend on them while others take to smoking or snorting powdered tobacco called snuff that are very bad habits and cause cancer. Some take up very dangerous sports like rock climbing with bare hands or walking on a wire across the Grand Canyon or very tall buildings while others take up deep sea diving without oxygen and go 300 feet deep by holding their breath.

I have seen people walk on fire, put live charcoal on their tongue or  swallow a sword while others chew razor blades so there are all kinds of weird people who do all kinds of foolish things just to get a kick but ask them if it is worth it. They may say yes because it gives them a temporary sense of exhilaration which pumps up their adrenaline so they take enormous risks and some die doing it.

The drug addicts and people hooked on alcohol say the same thing but they end up dying of overdose one day or hang themselves just like some Hollywood people because they lose all hope in their wasted lives. The allure of temporary euphoria drives such people to destroy themselves while others succeed in their life because they are wise and have learned the value of hard work and diligence most likely from their parents.

So I come back to the issue of procrastination again and find that those who procrastinate have one thing in common. They have very weak resolve so they cannot make up their mind on anything quickly. It shows in their character so people start thinking of them as very unreliable and undependable so avoid them. In the workplace they never get promotion and often get fired by the impatient supervisors who want quick resolve.

Do you wonder why cadets graduating together from a Military College all end up differently? Some become 4 star generals and others just remain in low ranks because they cannot make up their mind and do not have the resolve to become a general.

This irresolute character of a person shows up early in a classroom where the teachers notice it and favor those students who are perhaps not very smart but do their homework and are eager to learn. The irresolute students graduate but with poorer grades and go on to live a mundane and mediocre life while their classmates one day become CEOs of big companies.

I think the environment in which a child grows up determines his resolution and character  as he learns from others around him the value of hard work and honesty but it is also true that siblings growing up together under the same environment grow up differently. Some succeed in life and others fail.

It is common to find here in the Philippines that the girls go to school and push on to college to graduate with honors that gets them good jobs often abroad while their brothers drink and hang around with the street boys due to the allure of alcohol and bad company.

In India where the girls were sheltered by the parents until they got married are now getting good education and very good jobs outshining boys in many families that makes me happy. If you look at the very smartly dressed female officers giving orders to men in uniform during the Republic Day parade in India, you will know that women are capable of rising to high ranks in the armed forces and do a very good job because they develop resolve and strong character and not just because they are women. Probably the fighter pilots who streak above in formation of their MiGs are also female daredevil pilots.

You cannot get ahead in your life if you are wishy washy and always procrastinate because it is perceived as a weakness in a person. The question to ask is why some people are that way while others do better? Does it have anything to do with the genes or does the society they live in makes them so?

I have written about the curse of sheltering in one of my blogs that is perhaps worth a look but people who succeed in spite of sheltering are my heroes because they develop a strong independent character that propels them to make quick and wise decisions that change their life.

They are also quick to identify and grab an opportunity that may come their way. I know a boy who grew up in a troubled home where his father was an alcoholic and a wife beater. One day he applied to be admitted to the prestigious air academy to train as a pilot in the Indian Air Force and was accepted. After several years of rigorous training he not only graduated at the top of his class but was given the award as the best pilot. He was later promoted to be the commander of his wings, retired from the Air Force and is now a commercial pilot of some airline.

So good things can happen to anyone in spite of the odds who has the resolve and does not blame others for his failures.

If you are a procrastinator then it is perhaps not too late to make a resolution that you will from now on do what needs to be done pronto and not put it off for another time. Good luck.

 

Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

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Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

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My blogs at Wix site

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Biographie d’Anil en français

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Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

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Why we make our own demons?

Why we make our own demons?   Source : Google photo Synopsis: The mankind suffers from the demons it creates on its own and passes the blame on a religious book or edict that creates numerous problems like intolerance, blind beliefs and hatred that cause violence against those who are different. If the mankind wants… Continue reading Why we make our own demons?

Why we make our own demons?

 fantasy-2530602_1280

Source : Google photo

Synopsis: The mankind suffers from the demons it creates on its own and passes the blame on a religious book or edict that creates numerous problems like intolerance, blind beliefs and hatred that cause violence against those who are different. If the mankind wants to live in peace everywhere then it must get rid of the demons first. It means they have to admit that they have a problem .

I have often thought about this subject but never got around to writing because it may open a Pandora’s box that may contain opposing views on the subject. Still I want to provoke your mind to look at yourself critically and ask yourself this eternal question- Why we make our own demons and blame it on a book or an ideology that is alien or has little to do with the 21st century?

I was watching a movie last night on TV which was a re run like most movies are but this one was interesting so I watched it again called The others. In this movie Nicole Kidman played the role of a horrible woman who occupies a very old mansion in rural England where she lives with her two very small kids and has two maids and a gardener to help her maintain the massive mansion and its garden.

She constantly scolds her daughter who says that a ghost called Oscar lives in the closet and comes out to cry for help often because she does not believe in ghosts and punishes her for telling a lie and locks her up in a room for three days with the task of reading the Bible and to memorize certain pages. She threatens her kids with more punishment and warns that they will suffer in the purgatory for eternity if they do not stop telling lies about ghosts because that is what she believes. Her Bible thumping role is scary in the movie as it distresses the children beyond belief and causes great grief and anguish in them.

It is a very hard movie to watch although Nicole Kidman is one of my favorites but I suppose she had to play the role she was assigned to and did it well. The kids and all other characters played their roles exquisitely making the movie interesting to watch and learn how the demons created by the woman herself tormented her and she in return punished her children and the maids for her mistaken belief in the purgatory and the rest.  She had clearly created her own purgatory where she was roasting her own children just because she did not believe in the supernatural.

The house was haunted where many bad things had happened in the past so the owners of the mansion did not bother to live there any longer and rented it out to unsuspecting renter so the kids who were innocent did see the ghosts specially the boy called Oscar who was crying for help and showed himself to the kids who were frightened but also sympathetic to the child ghost.

One day the mother ( Kidman) heard noises and voice upstairs so went to investigate , found nothing but an old album full of photos that she then showed her maids and asked them about it . They said that it was called the Book of the dead because long ago there was this practice of keeping the photos of dead people to keep their memory alive so they took photos of corpses to preserve their memories.

The woman was horrified and asked them to burn the album but she saw a photo of her maids and the gardener also in the album. They were the ghosts who were trying to protect the two kids who were being punished all the time very unjustly by the woman. Her husband showed up one day but looked very sad and did not speak more than a few words to say that he had come to say goodbye to his wife and the kids as he was going back to the front to fight the war.

It was clear that he wanted to get away from his horrible wife who was quoting the Bible at every turn and yet doing a poor job of raising his kids whom he loved. At this point I had to turn off the TV because I felt sorry for all the characters except the woman who acted as if she was possessed due to her beliefs that brought only misery to all she professed to love. It was the demon of her own making that prompted me to write this blog.

I then started to think about all those unhappy people in this world who create their own demons because of their belief in a book or an ideology that prompts them to cause unhappiness to others or worse.  Just ask any Taliban why they shoot children who are going to school and they will quote from their book  they have never read that schooling for the girls is prohibited so they shot Malala and will do it again. They show no remorse because their mistaken belief is very strong. It is so strong that they commit crimes and justify them with a book they never read. Who then tells them to commit crimes if not the Mullahs who have their own agenda to fulfill?

Who tells the Brahmins that they are superior to others and should not touch a person designated as untouchable? They will also quote a book that they have never read but it helps them perpetuate a myth that is based on false assumption.

I come across people frequently who have created their own demons that torment them and others through their behavior all because of a belief in a book that was written centuries ago by people who wrote about the world as they saw it which was very different from what it is today yet people take it as the gospel truth and get into fisticuffs with anyone who dares to disagree.

One politician now claims that the world is flat because he has been flying around a lot but has not seen its shape except the flat surface because it resonates with his supporters of uneducated people with bad teeth and foul smell. May be they should put him in a rocket so that he can reach the space station where he can live forever and look at the earth from there.

People with demons sitting on their shoulders have been tormenting the world ever since they created their own demons and threatened Galileo for saying that the world was a sphere and it was going around the sun just like all the other planets in our solar system. The great scientists and thinkers like Galileo and Da Vinci were mortally afraid of these demonic people who wielded enormous power at that time and killed anyone who disagreed with them.

The history of mankind is filled with horrendous stories of torture and burning at stake of poor and innocent people just because Inquisition called them heretics who did not adhere to the beliefs of the church.

I have seen a chalice in the Vatican museum that the ancient Popes used to fill with wine to give to their enemies. The handle of the chalice was hollow and filled with poison that could be released with the push of a secret button. This was because the Popes also created their own demons that were strongly influenced due to their beliefs that they were always right and the rest were wrong therefore subject to punishment. The inquisition was a product of jealous padres who saw the world as black and white with zero tolerance for those who did not agree with them.

I see still see such demons everywhere in people who are intolerant of other faiths, other people of different ethnicity, race and color who quote some holy book all the time to justify what they believe and how they treat other human beings so despicably and still pretend that they are normal human beings.

I had a classmate who was raised by his super strict father to become a strict and fanatic Hindu who is missing all the fun of being a normal human being going to movies and having fun because he was told that the movies are made by immoral men and women. He can quote verses from the Geeta in Sanskrit at the drop of a hat to justify everything he does but does not know how the rest of the humanity lives and what challenges they are facing daily. It is not his problem but pity if you disagree with him on anything.

I have seen this intolerance in Haiti where I used to work. There the American Missionaries who are Protestants and take the word protestant very seriously indeed gather up the poor Haitians in the football stadiums to castigate about their Catholic faith and voodoo  worship. They do not mince their words and shout and yell until they are hoarse and frothing in their mouth to drive home their beliefs. There I saw the demon sitting on their shoulders and grinning at the mischief they were making to tear the Haitian society apart and creating tensions.

This demon of blind faith caused a million innocent Hindus and Muslims deaths during the partition of India in 1947 and the same demon drives the ISIS terrorists who chop off the heads of journalists on live TV and rape and enslave Kurdish and Yezidi women . They have blown up the ancient UNESCO site of Bamiyan in Afghanistan because of this demon they carry on their shoulders and have reduced Palmyra in Syria to rubbles.

The question to ponder here is why in the 21st century we behave the way we do and do not see that the blind and erroneous beliefs are not going to help anyone who needs help. Why we have become so intolerant that we push the boat full of refugees away from our shores just because they are black and are seeking asylum? Why we openly denigrate other religions and beliefs daily on TV and insist that we are always right and others wrong just because of a belief?

This sort of thing has been going on for centuries that has blotted the history of mankind with human blood and is still going on in this modern age.

I think we all are capable of creating our own unhappiness that I call the demon because of the feeling of superiority over others. This feeling is more widespread than one is led to believe. It is apparent in cold disapproving stares in some countries that do not welcome visitors who are alien to them. It is apparent in the hostile actions some take against the immigrants who are fleeing from persecution and war from their homeland to seek a better life elsewhere.

It is apparent in the culture shock some people get when they visit other countries because this shock comes from their own sense of superiority of their culture and belief system.

It is apparent when you see them flocking to their own fast food joints abroad  because they are afraid of local food and consider their unhealthy fast food better than gourmet street food of the country they are visiting with condescending attitude.

It is apparent when people say Oh my gosh because of the belief that one must not take God’s name in vain. It took me a while to figure this out but I learned that the Brits say Egad for the same reason. Just change the spelling and you can circumvent the Biblical injunctions any time.

A child who was harshly raised by his parents and frequently punished physically for the slightest infraction grows up with his own demons and does the same or worse to his child. A lot of serial killers, child rapists and parricidal people are a product of such homes where the parents failed to raise them with love, kindness and compassion because they had issues of their own.

All children are born innocent but as they grow, they may turn into the devil because of their upbringing  or rather the lack of decent upbringing so it becomes a psychological problem the parents cannot handle and admit so they suffer and make others suffer just like in the movie I was writing about earlier.

We all know that in order to find a solution to such problems, people have to first admit that they have a problem. Only then they can begin to heal themselves and get rid of their demons but it takes courage.

Do you have that courage?

 

Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

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India is the rising super power

Source : Google photo of Indian air force Synopsis : Indian defense industry is second to none in the continent and continues to grow to supply the need of the country to defend itself from land, sea or air . At the forefront is the DRDO ( Defense Research and Development Organization) that continues to […]

IAF-Sukhoi-Su-30MKI-N1

Source : Google photo of Indian air force

Synopsis : Indian defense industry is second to none in the continent and continues to grow to supply the need of the country to defend itself from land, sea or air . At the forefront is the DRDO ( Defense Research and Development Organization) that continues to develop new weapons to safeguard the country in any eventuality. The videos here will show a glimpse of what India is capable of in the event of a war.

  1.  Indian military power

This video shows some impressive numbers that make the Indian army a formidable force to reckon with by its adventurous neighbors.

2-India weapons that are scary

This video shows some scary weaponry that the DRDO has developed to discourage the enemies of India .

When I was young, we raised our flag and sang patriotic songs when our school opened in the morning. This was in the 50s when India had recently gained its independence so patriotism was high because our parents had the experience of living under the British rule. Then came the year 1947 when India was partitioned into three parts that caused a lot of bloodshed and a massive movement of refugees into India that had to be somehow accommodated.

At that time India was just starting out just like a toddler on its feeble legs but as it started to grow, we saw a tremendous effort by the government to invest  heavily in the industries, in agriculture and the development of the infrastructure all at the same time.

The scale and the speed of development picked up as India grew in its economy in the 70s and 80s but it was still a growing country in all its sectors . Indians had no idea that India will one day be what it is today demographically, politically, economically and industrially. Its agriculture can now not only feed the nation, it exports the excess .

But what the world has little knowledge of is how India has grown militarily over the years and now is among the top three military powers in the world. The video posted above shows some numbers that are very impressive but what it does not show is how the DRDO ( Defense Research and Development Organization ) of India has shaped its military and continues to develop weapons to protect India from its neighbors who have bad intentions and how it has empowered its defense forces to meet any challenge the country faces.

Indian defense and offense capabilities are impressive which is an understatement to say the least but it provides India the ability to face the dangers of insecurity in the land , sea or air for which India spends a great deal of money. This money could be spent on other pressing needs of India if she did not have serious security concerns but the reality is that India is compelled to do so to ensure that bad neighbors do not miscalculate India’s ability to defend herself.

In that respect India and Israel have similar concerns since both are surrounded by hostile countries so they have to develop their ability to defend themselves . This had led to joint ventures between the two countries in many fields of defense , border security and it is growing.

What I want to tell you today is what I saw one day at the railway station in Satna while waiting with my wife for the train. We had just visited  the beautiful temples of Khajuraho and waited for our train when we saw a freight train passing by. It was at least a kilometer long and every wagon was loaded with brand new military hardware like tanks, artillery pieces, armored vehicles etc. going somewhere showing that Indian defense industry was working full time to make such hardware  24/7 . It was perhaps some 30 years ago.

Now the country makes most of what it needs for its army, air force and Navy and many joint ventures to make the rest are working full time employing hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of people to do so.

At the forefront of this massive push to modernize the Indian defense and offense capabilities is the DRDO that is the research and development branch of the army solely dedicated to invent and improve the weapons to discourage any country to make the mistake of attacking India.

India has never attacked other countries or invaded them so it suffered the consequence of being a peaceful country invaded and looted by the aggressive countries for centuries. It was because India was a peaceful country that never meant any harm to others so the invaders took it as a sign of weakness and exploited it.

The independent and democratic India is now altogether a very different country that is growing stronger militarily everyday because the national security and the ability to defend herself makes the economic growth possible. If you look at Vietnam now, you will be impressed by what you see there in terms of development since the war ended so peace is necessary for any country to develop.

The specter of constant threat that India faces from its neighbors that have ambitions to occupy a part of India or degrade its military and economic growth makes India take her defense very seriously indeed . You just have the watch the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26 every year to see the military hardware India displays to the world  with great pride. It also sends a clear message to those who might be thinking of making mischief that no one should mess with India and let India be.

For any country to grow , war is not an option but peace is. Look at all the countries that are being destroyed systematically due to war and setting them back to stone age when they could also grow and develop to make life easier for its citizens but there is evil in the world that casts its malevolent shadow due to geopolitics so these unfortunate countries suffer.

The proxy wars the big arm exporting countries wage, their own selfish national interest, the cold war between big powers that continues unabated, the greed for the natural resources of  the countries  where they fight wars, the animosity of one tribe against the other to gain supremacy  are all the reasons why people suffer and continue to do so.

India has suffered historically because it was not united as a democracy with a strong central government and military so the outsiders took advantage of it and invaded. Later the British and others came to colonize it  but  could any strong country be invaded and colonized easily?

To be a nuclear power caused India to suffer sanctions from other countries that  did not like to see India emerge as a nuclear power and join their elite club but India did not believe that any country had the right to tell others what to do to defend themselves so refused to sign the Nuclear non proliferation treaty that USA pressured India to sign.

Indian nuclear options are scary because it has the ability to mount the nuclear offensive against its enemies from land , sea and air making the country  among the elite few in the world to be able to do so. Increasingly its land, air and naval forces are being equipped with ultra modern weaponry that are digitally guided and aided by its own satellite navigation system that is totally home grown and needs no help from the GPS.

But like all nuclear weapons, it is not meant to be deployed but only act as a deterrent because the enemies of India are warned of its consequences should they attack India.

The Make in India scheme of the government wants most if not all weaponry and hardware to be Made in India to defend the country and has made significant progress in this regard with joint collaboration with many countries.

But in the hour of need, India has learned from its past experience that she has a  few reliable friends to help so she decides to go on its own and be a strong nation. As its economy grows, so does its ability to reach the top rank as the military power.

India has learned its bitter lessons and vows not to be treated the same way as before.

 

Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

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India-the next economic superpower

Source : Google photo of modern India Synopsis : There are strong indications based on the economic growth rate of India that it is well on its way to be the next economic superpower on this planet. The astonishing growth in the industrial output, power generation using renewable sources like solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and […]

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Source : Google photo of modern India

Synopsis : There are strong indications based on the economic growth rate of India that it is well on its way to be the next economic superpower on this planet. The astonishing growth in the industrial output, power generation using renewable sources like solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and nuclear that is fueling this growth makes India very attractive to foreign investment. India’s mega effort to improve its infrastructure at a rapid rate makes the country move forward in leaps and bounds. Karolina explains all this in her two videos here.

  1. India- the future superpower is reclaiming

link :India -the next super economic power

The next video of Karolina Goswami gives this assessment on India that it will become the next super economic power backed up by solid data on growth rate, foreign investment and fast growing middle class so watch these two videos to learn more about the next economic super power called India.

2. Will India become an economic superpower?

Link: Will India become an economic superpower?

When I was growing up in India in the 1950s and 1960s , I remember very well the state of the economy of India at that time. India had just become independent in 1947 and was literally rising from the ashes the British left behind of once proud and the richest country in the world that India once was before the invaders took it all away.

India was still reeling from the loss of more than a million people slaughtered during the process of partition of India into three parts , two of which became Pakistan to cause trouble even today. The country had long been drained of its rich resources by the British and others before the British came so the first elected government of India after independence was left the task of rebuilding the shattered economy with very limited resources.

They set up what was then called the Planning commission ( defunct now) that set up a five year plan to develop the country just like in the Old Soviet style and laid the foundation for the development of heavy industries like steel mills  and the hydroelectric power etc. There was a shortage of everything essential like steel, power and cement among other things so the government put them on a priority list.

Massive dams like Bhakra, Hirakund, Nagarjunsagar etc. were built to generate power and make irrigation water available for agriculture. The emphasis on science and technology was the reason of the growth  of Bengaluru as the future IT capital of India.

The Bhilai , Rourkela , Jamshedpur and Durgapur steel mills were set up to meet the steel demand that skyrocketed because the government took most of the steel and cement to develop infrastructure and left little in the private sector so one had to a get a permit to get a few bags of cement to build a house.

I remember that in 1950, the Indian Rupee was made of silver and one US dollar brought you only 4 Rupees ( as compared to over 65 Rupees now) so a salary of 150 Rupees a month was considered decent starting salary for anyone with some education because it was enough to raise a family and pay the rent but not much else. Jobs were scarce but more and more people were going to school.

My tuition for the grade school up to high school was about 4 Rupees a month that increased later to 30 Rupees a month in college so it became more and more difficult to pay for all expenses by the parents who were earning a fixed salary but somehow they managed and we all got college education.

Things started to change in the 60s when we saw the railway electrification coming to our city and a huge gas pipeline that the Italians were building passing through as well. This was long before Indian economy grew to where it is today but we could see and feel that the country was gathering the speed to develop the infrastructure. Huge power transmission lines sprouted all over the country like magic and our city was hooked up to hydroelectric power now that the new dams generated making the smoke belching power plant obsolete that was shut down.

By the 70s India was well on its way to grow even faster as the computers were introduced in all offices, banks and the railways that made many people afraid that they may lose their jobs but they were retrained in computers so they learned fast that ushered in the age of fast railway , bus and flight reservations nationwide, made banking more transparent and fast and tax collection increased dramatically.

India has long moved on from those days and has now emerged as the fastest growing economy in the world but it has also brought its own problems like inflation that hurts poor people. Gone are the days when we could buy one kg. of mutton for only one Rupee or a liter of fresh milk for 50 cents. Now the kilo of mutton costs more than 250 Rupees and milk may be  20 Rupees a liter. The rents have gone up astronomically and the cost of a two room flat in a big city costs hundreds of thousands of Rupees.

Karolina speaks about all these things in her two videos above but I just wanted to write about my own experience as well. The foreign exchange dollars were very tightly controlled by the government so I was given only USD 7.50 to carry when I first left India in 1967 which was not enough to pay for anything so one had to be received at a foreign airport . Now I understand that there are no such limits as India has grown huge in its economy and its foreign dollar reserve is high so you can buy as much dollar as you need but not as much as you want. Still it is better now and people are enjoying a much higher quality of life than before.

There are brand new malls in most cities and towns and more are coming up fast everywhere. There are metros in all major cities now and roads and new super highways are being built at fantastic speed using modern machines and technology. New airports, new hospitals, schools, colleges and university have sprouted all over the country like mushrooms. There is a huge proliferation of technical colleges and medical colleges that educate millions.

But all these development come at a price. The government now has billions to spend on the infrastructure because the country is richer but now I see  every one rushing to make more money and have no time to say hello. The social interaction has taken a backseat but long ago it was not so when people stopped by and asked how are you.

I suppose all countries that go through the pangs of birth and growth face somewhat similar situation so people have become more unsocial and more self centered in big cities. The small towns still manage to keep their old character to some extent but they too will lose it as they develop . It is just a matter of time when old people will die alone in their homes and the neighbors will ignore the stench like in some developed countries where they do not know their neighbors or do not care to know.

In the mad rush to develop India , it may lose its soul and just become glittering glass and concrete cities with modern everything but no humanity.

I still remember the old India where we made friends and played with, could watch Laurel Hardy and Chaplin movies together , go fishing in the river and enjoyed communal festivals like Holi and Durga Pooja together, visited each other and their parents gave us sweets as a treat. I remember the clutter free roads when there were few cars and trucks so we felt safe riding our bicycles. I remember riding in trains where the passengers offered us food and chatted but now it is all glitter and fast trains where people peer at their cell phones all the time or listen to Internet music through their headphones. People definitely have become more unfriendly and aloof not to mention arrogant because they are richer.

I like modern India as it is making life easier for many but I also miss old India but that is the price we all have to pay in the 21st century to become the economic superpower.

 

Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

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Indian space program

Source : Google photo of ISRO launching rockets from Sri Harikota Space center. Synopsis: Indian Space Research organization which is called ISRO in short continues to make history in space science and research that surprises the world that underestimates India’s capability in space and often derides its focus on space when the money could be […]

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Source : Google photo of ISRO launching rockets from Sri Harikota Space center.

Synopsis: Indian Space Research organization which is called ISRO in short continues to make history in space science and research that surprises the world that underestimates India’s capability in space and often derides its focus on space when the money could be spent on other pressing needs. This video of Karolina shows the truth and why India is so advanced in space.

Recently India launched 104 satellites into space in a single rocket that broke all records of such effort putting India far ahead of any country that has a space exploration capability including NASA. (most of those satellites belong to the US and the rest from many countries including the biggest and the heaviest one from India itself)

The complex technology, science and advance mathematics to achieve this success is beyond the understanding and the ability of most countries that puts India in the elite club of space exploration but it is not India’s first success. India sent a satellite to Mars that takes high definition photos and videos of the Martian surface and does many scientific observations and did so in its very first attempt that no country has succeeded in doing so far in their first attempt.

What is remarkable here is the fact that India sends satellites and orbiters into space at 1/10th the cost of NASA and other countries that have such capabilities making Indian space effort an economic success story because it attracts clients worldwide who want to benefit from it . This is the reason why so many countries sent their satellites including USA to India to be sent to space from there and more countries are lining up to do the same.

India now plans to send mission to Jupiter and Saturn in the future and has already sent a rover to Moon that takes photos and videos and relays them back to India in real time. But the reason why India took to space to develop its own capabilities was because when asked for help from the USA to get satellite coverage during the Pakistan conflicts, USA refused so India decided to make its own satellites.

It is the only country in the world that has its own satellite coverage like that of the GPS and monitors, scans and sends live data back of photos, videos and collects such information continuously. These Indian satellites predict weather, see the glacier melt downs in the Himalayas, monitor wild fires, the forest cover, the pollution level in the atmosphere, land and water from space and numerous other data including that of the defense and offense capabilities of its  neighbors in real time.

Indian ISRO is a big organization that employs thousands of the best scientists in India who work tirelessly to achieve success after success surprising the world.

Karolina Goswami explains in the video here why it is not surprising that India is a leader in the space research and exploration at low cost and doing it most efficiently. It does so on its own and does not borrow any such technology from other countries . It has developed its own designed and built powerful rockets that take enormous payloads into space flawlessly time and again. It has developed and sent into space a reusable shuttle that can deliver satellites etc. into space and then return to earth to be used again.

Those in the western news media who deride India’s expenses in space do so out of sheer ignorance of the Indian economy that is now a multi trillion dollar economy and continues to grow at the fastest rate in the world. India spends money in ISRO to develop its own capabilities and also to make money as a business that attracts worldwide clients to make ISRO self sufficient fiscally. Mostly India does it to be self reliant in such technology using its own scientists and resources because NASA refused to help when India needed it. It is quite ironical that now the same NASA is eager to participate in the ISRO programs and sends its satellites to be launched by ISRO at a much lower cost.

So watch this video of Karolina Goswami and learn more about the wonderful story of ISRO and what it plans to do in the future.

ISRO launches 104 satellites in one shot

India is a technologically advanced nation that builds its own aircrafts, ships and submarines for defense purposes and spends enormous sums in its Defense and Research Development Organization called DRDO  to develop its ability to defend the country at any time from any threat from land, sea or air but that may be another blog in the future.

 

Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

Mes blogs en français.

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Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

Blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

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Blogger.com

Medium.com

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русски

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Why I love India as told by Karolina

 

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Source : Google photo of Karolina Goswami

Synopsis : India is a world unto itself .There is always something new and exciting about a vast country like India that the world knows little about . Karolina Goswami , a native of Poland will take you on a tour of India like only she can and explain in the four videos presented here various interesting topics.

  1. In this video watch what is what is beautiful about India.

Link : Why I love India

2 .In this video she explains the role the non residents Indians play in other countries.

Link : Indian diaspora helping other countries

 

3. In this video Karolina talks about the health and medical coverage in India and how India takes care of sick and the poor in the most wonderful way.

Link : How India cares for its sick and poor

 

4. In this video she talks about the future of Indian economy

Link  : Future of Indian economy

 

Karolina Goswami is a phenomenon by herself who has taken the task of educating the world about India in a most beautiful, cogent and impressive way with her detailed facts based and insightful videos in her charming and beautiful way in her lilting accent. It does not hurt that she is so pretty but she is very direct and does not mince her words.

She has won the hearts of millions around the world who are eager for her presentations on numerous subjects in India. She encourages all of you readers to share her videos to educate others about an Incredible country called India.

I have written numerous blogs on India and its personalities , its heroes and its history but no one can come near Karolina when it comes to presenting the truth about a greatly misunderstood country called India thanks to the negative international press that spreads disinformation and passes it on as the truth.

I present a few of her numerous videos here so that you readers will get to know India that is modernizing fast and is on her way to be the dominant economy in the near future. India is not just a beautiful country with endless possibilities but it is much more than that you will learn from her videos. Share her videos with people who want to know about India and see for the first time what an incredible country India really is.

 

Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

Mes blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

Blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

tumblr posts    

Blogger.com

Medium.com

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русски

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The legacy of the British Raaj in India

The legacy of the British Raaj in India

History-of-Amritsar-massacre (1)

Source : Google photo of Jalianwala bagh massacre

Synopsis : The legacy of the British Raaj in India is a reminder of what price the Indians paid in lives and riches to make England prosper that made India poor and in need of help. Today India has risen again to be a powerful country where its economy is the fastest growing in the world. This story is better told by Karolina and Shashi Tharoor so I include their videos in this blog.

I know it is hard to write this blog because it evokes a very painful past that left a dark stain in the annals of history books and put a great country like India in a state of destitution just because of the greed of a country called England. It is a subject that brings to light a very stressful period in the history of India that most of us would rather not talk about or write about since the country called India has moved on to become the fastest growing economy in the world.

I was just a child when the British left in 1947 but the older generation knew all about the British Raaj because they lived during the colonial era and my father worked as an accountant for the Raaj for which he received a silver medal minted in London for him with his name engraved on the rim for his great service to the Raaj.

But if you ask anyone in India who is less than 70 years old as most Indians are, they will tell you that they only heard what their parents and grandparents told them which was not much. If you ask anyone in England today, they will probably say the same thing because the colonial era ended long before they were born.

Besides who reads history books to learn about the past these days? All they know about India is what the news channels and the papers tell them which is mostly negative like India is very poor, very dirty, where people sleep on the sidewalks and defecate out in the open. They are told that India is full of untouchables, slums, caste prejudices and high population. This is the narrative that sells their newspapers and gets viewers to watch their TV news so people are very surprised to learn that India is on the road to become the second most important economy in the world in the near future surpassing the US.

There is an infrastructure revolution in progress there because its speed and scale boggles the mind. I will paste a link to a video here where Karolina Goswami talks about it that is worth watching.

Watch “Why is the international media unfair to India? – by Karolina Goswami” on YouTube

Karolina Goswami on India

 

I never met any British in India but I heard plenty from my mother and a little from my father. She told me that millions of people starved to death in Bengal when she was young but my parents survived because my father being a British employee received rations. People begged for only the rice water that women threw away after cooking the rice so it was very painful for my mother to watch our countrymen and women dying of starvation.

But the world does not know that this artificial shortage was created by the British. They turned away the ships from Australia loaded with food grains from the docks of Kolkata and sent the shipment to England to make huge buffer stocks there. The world does not know how India suffered during the colonial period but one can see a glimpse of it in the movie “ A passage to India” that is worth watching.

India has been subjugated by outsiders since Mehmud Ghory invaded Delhi and defeated the last Hindu King Prithviraj Chauhan in 1193 but that is a story I already wrote in a previous blog. Taimur the lame, Alauddin Khilji, the Lodis, the Delhi Sultans one after the other were all invaders who shed Indian blood with abandon until the Mughals came to set up their dynasty starting with Babur that lasted over three hundred and fifty years until the British came to set up their colony.

Then there were Portuguese and French as well to get a toe hold in some parts but it was the British who ruled most of India for several hundred years until Netaji Bose became the cause of their downfall but that story too has been told in my previous blogs so I will not repeat it here.

I believe that no country can just move on forgetting their past or ignoring it because the past history had a decisive influence on what made the Indian people so resilient. Just ask any old Chinese if he remembers the horrors of Nanjing massacre by the Japanese or any Filipino the horrors of Bataan and the sufferings during the last war and they will be very reluctant to talk about it because it brings back painful memories that they prefer not to talk about.

It is the same in India for the very old people who remember the massacre in Jalianwala bagh, the public hangings of Indians who defied the British, the torture and beatings in Andaman jails of freedom fighters and the repression by the colonial masters who put signboards outside their clubs saying “Dogs and Indians not allowed here”.

India today is not the same country of yesteryear because so much time has passed and a whole new generation has grown up knowing nothing first hand of the era known as the British Raaj.

The government provides cheap food grains to all Indians using massive subsidy and has built a nationwide grain storage facility in every district of the country that is connected by rail so the specter of famine is an unknown idea now. From being a net importer of food after the independence, it has become a net exporter of food.

Dr.Tharoor speaks eloquently about the repression and the greed of the British during their Raaj in great detail so I will not write about it just to repeat it. The two videos posted here are self-explanatory so I will encourage you to watch it in order to learn something about India that the outside world knows so little of.

Here I just want to present my own thoughts on the subject because I care about our past history and have posted numerous blogs on various subjects in India. The last two blogs called A legend called Padmini and a Story of great valor and courage are an eye opener on the subject of India and our great heroes.

In the annals of history of mankind, there has always been invasion, wars, mass slaughter of people, subjugation and forced conversion to the religions of the invaders . India suffered horrendous brutality in their hands for almost a thousand years that left its imprint on its psyche in a way that those who were never invaded and occupied with the cruelty will find hard to understand.

If you visit India today, you will see the graves, monuments and massive forts everywhere reminding you of the past. There are names, road signs and victory towers like Qutub Minar in Delhi and the massive Red Fort that was the seat of the Mughal power for centuries. The British names of streets and roads have all been systematically removed like the marble statues of British Kings and queens or the viceroys but I saw them as a child and remember the huge statue of Queen Victoria in our city park.

As India has moved on, it wants to look forward to great progress nationwide so I can understand why people don’t talk so much about the past because to them the past colonial period has lost its relevance. There are cemeteries where thousands of British are buried but people pass by without so much as a glance because it does not matter to them.

The British designed and built numerous public buildings like churches and libraries , the university, the high court, the parks and other great buildings and monuments that are scattered all over the country but people don’t stop to look at them. The great steel bridge that I used to cross everyday going to college has the Liverpool emblem on its spans that no one stops to read because now there are more modern and great bridges built by the Indian engineers.

People snicker at the antiquated railways the British built so long ago which still exists in some parts because now people are used to modern and lavish trains and are soon going to travel in Bullet trains and hyper loop that are under construction.

The telegraph poles I used to see by the railway lines are now obsolete in the age of instant messaging service, free skype and e mails so no one bothers to even look at those pathetic poles. India is undergoing a massive transformation through its mega infrastructure development at a speed that has made it a technology development leader in IT.

The new highways, airports, electrified railway lines unifying the whole country from Kashmir to KanyaKumari , high speed trains, metro lines in every major city,the new hospitals, schools and colleges , the massive power generation using nuclear, solar, wind ,hydro and geothermal sources, the development of dedicated rail corridors for moving freight, the self-sufficiency in food and storage all over the country, the magical improvement in education , ease of connectivity etc. are too numerous to list here but all are leading India to develop fast .

Karolina Goswamy talks about it in some detail in her video that is very educative to those outside India who are unaware.

But the past history cannot be erased even if the colonizers like the British choose to ignore it or pay scant attention to it to keep the new generation ignorant willfully.

The deprecating comments on India when it sent its spacecraft to Mars on its very first attempt shows how ignorant most people are about India and the progress it has made in almost every sphere of science and technology, in agriculture, in industries and economy but this blog is about what the British Raaj did to India to enrich itself that left it poor, downtrodden and desperate in 1947. The video of Shashi Tharoor here explains in detail the legacy of the British Raaj .

Shashi Tharoor on legacy of the British Raj

Source : U tube video

The cost of lost lives in millions, the systematic loot of the treasures of India, the suppression of its industries and agriculture etc. cannot be estimated in dollar terms today but it brought a once proud and very civilized country like India to its knees due to the rapacity and greed of the British for its riches.

It was called the jewel in the crown of the British empire for good reasons. It was the same reason why so many invaders came to India .They had all heard of its riches. The Muslim invasion is perhaps the most notorious because it lasted so long and forced its religion and culture on peace loving Indians that still results in hatred in the hearts of most if not all Indians so communal religion based clashes still occur.

But the British who introduced contemporary technologies like railways, telegraph and such overlook the fact that they did so to harvest India’s resources more efficiently to enrich and develop England and not to help India grow as a nation with prosperity.

The British paid a price to do so as I have written in my blog called The price they paid that may be worth a look but it made England richer and left India destitute. This sad and pitiful loot of India cannot be ignored or forgotten by anyone.

Someone said that if you do not know where you came from then you will not know where you are going. I know one thing for sure. It made India more determined to regain her eminent position in the world as the technologically advanced nation with superb  development in science , technology and agriculture but also as the spiritual leader that gave the world Geeta and the wisdom of Vedas.

All the invaders including the British could not break the indomitable spirit of India that guides it today because the Indians are resilient. They have stood up to face all challenges in the past and present to bring what is good in India to enrich the humanity.

The legacy of the British Raj is perhaps fading in the collective memory of the Indians, the British and the rest of the world but it made Indians work harder to remake their country just like the Japanese after the Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the Chinese after Nanjing. People should never forget the past.

 

Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

Mes blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

Blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

tumblr posts    

Blogger.com

Medium.com

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русски

Subscribe