The miles to go before I sleep...

  • Start teaching science at school and incorporate demo
  • Research, design, implement comprehensive teaching module on science, civic sense
  • Interview social change agents working @ ground level
  • Pilot peer-to-peer teaching programme

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Quota: Centre gets it right in the ass!

New report:

"Inclusion of a caste in the list would mean that it was previously socially advanced and did not figure among the backward class communities. But with time, their social status deteriorated and they had to be included in the list. This means more and more castes are getting backward as there are only inclusions and none being excluded from the list," it said.

Vahanvati said as per the procedure before NCBC, a caste could be excluded from the list only if someone filed a complaint alleging that a caste had become socially advanced. "No petitions have been filed seeking exclusion of any caste," he said.

The Bench replied, "Merely because there is no complaint, NCBC cannot abdicate its duty to conducta periodic review of the social status of castes included in the backward list."

Referring to the swelling number of castes in the backward list, the Bench said, "This means for 60 years, people who were disadvantaged continue to be backward. If this is so, then what is the meaning of the arrangements for social advancement of backward community for all these years?"
Times of India, 26 Sep 2007,

This reminds me of Kevin Verbal Kent's (Kevin Spacey) narration in the movie "The Usual Suspects" about how he felt when he along with his "usual suspects" busted The New York police's involvement drug racket.

"They got it right in the ass. It was beautiful"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

So is the message "Sunita achievied despite a being of Gujarati origin"?, the news tells me that Sunita Williams is a celebrity in India! She has won the Prestigious Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Vishwa Pratibha Award. Great! But before we talk about it any further, a brief life history of this successful astronaut.

Born: Euclid, Ohio
Father: Dr. Deepak Pandya, Indian
Mother:Bonnie Pandya, Slovenian
  • Needham High School, Needham, Massachusetts, 1983.
  • B.S., Physical Science, U.S. Naval Academy"U.S. Naval Academy, 1987.
  • M.S., Engineering Management, Florida Institute of Technology, 1995
Marital Status: Married to Michael J. Williams, a Federal Police Officer
Occupation: Commander, US, Navy
Recent Achievements:

- Unprecedented 3 spacewalks in 9 days
- Cumulative total of 29 hours, 17 minutes in four spacewalks, highest spacewalk time for a woman.

Now these sure seem to be commendable achievements. But to put things into perspective, as the Vishwa Gujarati Samaj (VGS) claims this award is conferred "to well-known Gujaratis recognizing their lifelong services/contribution to the cause of Gujarat".

If the point is to recognize people who have served Gujarat, where does Sunita William's marathon fit in? Or if it is to recognizes her achievements, why was it not given to the person who has achieved the same feet earlier? Because she is not a Gujarati? From what I see, the only thing that connects Sunita to Gujarat is her father who was a practicing doctor there before moving to the US and she owes the plaudits and accolade not to her perseverence, but to her father.

For our own sake, why don't we refrain from quoting one's origin (place or community) as a reason for conferring an accolade to someone? It appears to send a specious message to the world, "Sunita could break the space walking record despite being a Gujarati." Would you like that tag on you Sunita?

Sources: Wikipedia

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tribute to a soul that entered and departed 100 years ahead of its time

மஹாகவி சுப்ரமணிய பாரதியார்
டிசம்பர் 11, 1882 - செப்டம்பர் 11, 1921

"Mahakavi" Subramania Bharathiyar
December 11, 1882 - september 11, 1921

'மாதர் தம்மை இழிவு செய்யும்
மடமையை கொளுத்துவோம்'
We will destroy the idiocy
Of denigrating womanhood

நெஞ்சு பொறுக்குதில்லையே - இந்த
நிலைகெட்ட மனிதரை நினைந்துவிட்டால்

"கொஞ்சமோ பிரிவினைகள் - ஒரு
கோடியென் றாலது பெரிதாமோ ?

'My blood boils to think of these idiotic men!
How many divisions within us, they are more than a crore!…'