Happy Diwali 2020

Wish you all a Very Happy (Choti) Diwali!! 🙂 Today is also “World Kindness Day”!! The pandemic has affected all of us, so let’s remember to be kind to each other! Wishing you Joy, Happiness, and Prosperity this Diwali!!

A week ago, I was feeling terribly depressed after enduring months of Covid19 restrictions and bad news. So, I finally ventured out for a short break. Made sure that everyone around me and I wore masks, sanitized often, and kept a strict social distance. We booked a room in the most isolated corner of the hotel, never used the restaurant, and only ordered room service. Despite all that, it turned out to be an amazing experience! Ours was the only occupied room on the first floor and we had the entire corridor to ourselves. 🙂 Even this restricted holiday was so effective that I felt like I’d been hit by a ton of antidepressants! So glad that I ventured out. 

Here are some pics from Balaram Palace – a heritage resort in Palanpur, Gujarat. It was the erstwhile hunting lodge of the Nawab of Palanpur, has beautiful architecture, and is surrounded by forests. The terraced garden and views are lovely. Many films and TV serials have been shot here… overall an awesome experience in a romantic and historical place. We’re so lucky that India offers such exclusive travel experiences. Have a Wonderful Diwali!!

World Mental Health Day

Tomorrow is “World Mental Health Day” and the theme for 2020 is “Mental Health for All”. According to the WHO, this day is observed on 10 October to raise awareness around the world.

Thanks to the Covid19 pandemic, preserving mental health has become more important than ever. So many people are cut off from their loved ones, their regular activities are curtailed, and the economy has worsened. Despite all this negativity, we need to remain resilient. Anxiety disorders, depression, drug abuse, suicides, etc. are on the rise and we need to know when to reach out for help. 

If you’re feeling stressed out and depressed due to Covid19 or any other reason, don’t hesitate to seek help. Here are some suggestions:

– Talk to people you trust about your feelings.
– Consult your doctor.
– Keep in touch with family and friends.
– Exercise regularly.
– Stick to regular eating and sleeping habits.
– Avoid or restrict alcohol intake and refrain from using illicit drugs.
– Be aware of persistent negative thoughts and self-criticism and try to replace them with positive thoughts.
– Congratulate yourself on your achievements.

Research has shown that regular physical exercise, meditation practice, a good and supportive network of friends and family, and positive thinking can ensure good mental health. Depression and other mental health disorders are common and treatable. However, many people end up suffering unnecessarily for long periods either because they are not aware, or because they hesitate to reach out for help. Understanding these issues, removing the stigma associated with them, and being supportive can help us manage them.

Reference: https://www.who.int/teams/mental-health-and-substance-use

Mandu Valley

We set out for Mandu from Dhar on a rainy day, and something interesting happened en route. 🙂 The ancient city of Mandu is situated on the Vindhya range overlooking the Malwa plateau on one side and the Narmada River valley on the other. There’s a popular viewpoint called Mandu Valley on the way – it wasn’t particularly spectacular, but the cab driver insisted that we take a look.

As soon as we got out of the cab, we were immediately accosted by a gang of kids with bows and arrows. We were a bit shocked, but realized soon that they wanted us to buy the weapons for Rs. 2 each (25 cents only)! However, was very sure that I didn’t want to buy any, so I asked them to instead pose for photos for the same price, which they very happily agreed to.

It was a fun experience. The raw material for these bows and arrows must have cost next to nothing because they were so cheap!! 🙂

Queen Ahilyabai’s Room

Here are some more photos that I clicked inside Ahilya Fort at Maheshwar, last July. 🙂

You can actually stay in the room in which Ahilyabai Holkar (1725 – 1795) lived and reigned for 30 years! Its called “Haldi”, (the bed is unmade in the pic because it was unoccupied). This fort is small and simple compared to many other forts and palaces because she was very down to earth, devout, and austere. It was nevertheless very charming and it’s very difficult to choose only a few pictures!

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The Queen’s room, now called “Haldi”. It was vacant that day, hence the bed was unmade.

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View of the main courtyard from the queen’s room.

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The fort on top, the Narmada Mata temple on the ghats. Apparently, Ahilyabai loved listening to the temple bells from her room above.

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 A floral in the fort.

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Old photographs.

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Beautiful garden.

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The dining room.

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Every morning you can taste organic fruit jams made by the Prince himself!! 😉 

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Chef Solanki who is a great cook.

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Homemade soap balls in the main kitchen.

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With Kuntabai, the housekeeper.

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The view of the fort from my room.

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Hawa Bangla – the room with the best view of the Narmada river.

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Baneshwar Temple seen from the fort.

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The royal pugs who love “Khichdi”!!

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A recently erected statue of Ahilyabai inside the fort premises.

 

A Love Story from Maheshwar

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The Chattri of Bulley Sarkar.

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Suraj Bibi’s Tomb.

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The organic garden.

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50 mango saplings!! 🙂

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Old monuments and palaces are full of stories and we got to hear this tragic tale of Bulley Sarkar and Suraj Bibi, and it was very similar to that of Romeo and Juliet.

On the Narmada Ghat in Maheshwar, there’s a beautiful Chhatri (tomb) – of Prince Bulley Sarkar, next to that of a dancing girl Suraj Bibi. Apparently, they were in love and wanted to marry but faced a lot of opposition. One day, the distraught prince threatened to consume poison and kill himself and someone wrongly conveyed to the lady that the prince had actually killed himself. Unfortunately, Suraj Bibi thought he was dead and stabbed herself to death.

When the prince got to know of her death, he was heartbroken and died within a month. Both of them have been buried in the same complex.

Unable to manage the property anymore, the descendants of Bulley Sarkar handed it over recently to Prince Richard Holkar who owns Ahilya Fort. He has converted the land into an organic garden, and vegetables from here are used at Ahilya fort. The gardener we met there told us that he had planted 50 mango saplings that day!

The Bhojshala (Dhar)

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The Bhojshala.

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Black stone pulpit for Namaz.

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The temple roof.

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Beautiful pillars.

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Clear prayer instructions for each day of the week by the ASI.

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The Dhar Fort.

The Bhojshala in Dhar is a historical site that used to be a Saraswati temple as well as a  Sanskrit school during the reign of the eminent Raja Bhoj, around 1010 – 1055 CE. Raja Bhoj is one of the most legendary kings of India, and he ruled from Dhar (1 hour drive from Mandu). He was a great warrior and a renowned patron of the arts and education. He is supposed to have been a great poet himself and wrote several literary works both in Sanskrit and Pali-Prakrit. The historian Sheldon Pollock described him as “the most celebrated poet-king and philosopher-king of his time, and perhaps of any Indian time”. 🙂

The Bhojshala was subsequently vandalized by Muslim rulers and converted into a mosque. The Saraswati idol that was worshipped in this temple is now in a British museum. The Garba Griha of the temple was replaced with a black stone enclosure and a pulpit for offering Namaz. There is a Dargah housing the tombs of Sufi saints next to this monument, and it’s frequented by both Hindus and Muslims.

The Bhojshala is also frequented by devotees of both religions. On Tuesdays, Hindus offer prayers to Goddess Saraswati, and on Fridays, Muslims offer Namaz. However, at times, problems arise when the Vasant Panchami festival occurs on a Friday and both sides want to pray inside on the same day. There are strict timings allotted to both sides on such Fridays. Unfortunately, there have been riots sometimes due to extremists on both sides. 🙁

Luckily, it was mostly deserted and peaceful when we visited on a Monday. Even in Mandu, you can find many temples that have been converted into mosques. Our guide Parvez told us that the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb was the most fanatical of the lot, he not only demolished several temples but also demolished many Dargahs. According to legend, when he tried to destroy the Dargah at Ajmer, God spoke to him and instructed him to rebuild all the Dargahs that he had earlier destroyed.

Reference:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhoja

Shab e Malwa (Malwa Nights)

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Jhira Bagh Palace near Indore, where we stayed.

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The heritage city of Mandu.

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Jahaz Mahal.

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Baz Bahadur Palace.

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Baz Bahadur Palace.

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View of Rupmati Pavillion from the palace.

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Jami Masjid.

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Jami Masjid.

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Hindola Mahal.

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Dilawar Khan’s mosque, the pillars, and the ceilings of this mosque are the remnants of former temples.

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These are photos of my trip to Mandu last July, during the monsoons. I had heard that the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh in which Mandu is situated, is very picturesque and enchanting during the monsoons. Therefore, decided to visit during that time. It was indeed beautiful and we enjoyed every bit of the trip. However, we had to remain indoors on some days due to heavy rain and missed out on some sightseeing. Was planning to visit again this year, but had to postpone the trip due to the pandemic.

One of the best things about visiting heritage sites in India is the opportunity to hear all the delightful stories about them. I always make it a point to hire an experienced guide who knows the history. According to our guide Pervez, there’s a popular phrase in the region – “Subah e Benaras, Shaam e Awadh, and Shab e Malwa”. The Mughals considered the mornings in Benaras, the evenings in Awadh, and the nights in Malwa to be the most magical!!

Compared to the days of the Mughals, there are fewer forests now due to deforestation, and the rains are not so abundant. Nevertheless, we were lucky to visit on a day when it was drizzling and not pouring – the perfect weather to stroll around the monuments. 🙂 It was charming and one felt like lingering on and enjoying the romance in the air….. especially around the Baz Bahadur Palace and Roopmati Pavillion.

Ahilya Fort

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The entrance to the Fort.

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Narmada.

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First glimpse of the river from the fort.

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The queen’s photograph in a palanquin.

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Lovely lamps.

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A candlelight thali!

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Sunset over the Narmada.

Last July, I had just reached the Ahilya Fort in Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh, and was enjoying the views of the Narmada river in Mahishmati (the ancient name of Maheshwar)! 🙂

Every Monday evening, a photograph of the erstwhile queen – Ahilyabai is carried in a palanquin to the nearby ghats and worshipped there. When she was alive, she herself went down in a palanquin to the ghats and was worshipped by her people because they revered her. She was one of the most remarkable women rulers in India and ruled over a large kingdom efficiently, enacting several reforms.

In addition, she also rebuilt many decaying temples including the Kashi Vishwanath temple, Somnath, Dwaraka, Gaya, etc. She is credited with constructing a road from Gaya in Eastern India to Rameswaram in South India, as well as many wells and lakes.

I was lucky to visit this fort and stay there because it’s one of the most expensive heritage hotels in India. However, they have great discounts during the monsoons. Apart from being able to stay in a heritage palace replete with history, it was wonderful to sample the wonderful cuisine prepared by the royal chef every day!! Unlimited complimentary champagne or wine with each meal was an added bonus! 😉 Finally ended the day with a unique dinner – a candlelight thali. 😀😀

Rani Rupmati

Visited the heritage city of Mandu in Madhya Pradesh, India, at this time, last year. The most interesting story there is the love story of Rani Rupmati and Baz Bahadur.

Their attachment was based on their common love for music even though they were never married nor was their love consummated. Roopmati was not a queen but was given the title because she was an excellent singer, and very beautiful.

Roopmati Mahal was built on a height by Baz Bahadur so that she could view the Narmada river every morning. She was a devotee of the river and would start her day only after praying to Narmada Maiyya (mother) in the morning.

During the monsoons, when it was foggy, she couldn’t view the river, so Rewa Kund – a pond near her mansion was constructed for her to pray. Baz Bahadur built his palace right in front of Rewa Kund so that he could meet her often. His palace and other monuments are very beautiful and have excellent acoustics…. our guide Parvez was a great singer and entertained us with some lovely old songs there, after telling us this story! 😀

The Cultural Revolution

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.  – George Santayana

The recent Indo-China clashes in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh got me interested in China and Chinese history. Have been reading up on it and am sharing some interesting stories from it. We have all heard about the terrible Holocaust (genocide of Jews) that took place during the Second World War (1941 – 1945), in the course of which an estimated 6 million Jews were killed. 🙁

Something similar or even worse took place in China during the period of the “Cultural Revolution” (1966 – 1976), and I had no idea about it! An estimated 20 million people died due to massacres, killings, or suicides during this period! This movement was launched by the communist dictator Mao Zedong (the founding father of China) to purge all elements of tradition or capitalism that existed in the country. It was a horrendous ten years marked by fear, destruction, chaos, and killings. Many ancient religious and cultural sites were totally destroyed and millions of people were unjustly persecuted and killed.

Scholars, scientists, and intellectuals were specifically targetted. It was horrifying to read about how many notable personalities were humiliated in public, and either killed or forced to commit suicide. For example, Yao Tongbin – a Chinese scientist and one of China’s foremost engineers, was beaten to death by a mob! Another story of Lao She – a Chinese novelist and one of the most significant figures of Chinese literature, is very distressing. He was condemned by the revolutionaries, paraded through the streets, and beaten publicly at the doorsteps of a temple in Beijing. Unable to bear this humiliation, he committed suicide by drowning himself in Beijing’s Taiping Lake. 🙁

Luckily, his relatives managed to save his manuscripts by hiding them and moving them from house to house. After hearing these surreal horror stories, one can only imagine how hideous the atmosphere might have been. Countless other innocent intellectuals, teachers, and senior officials were killed in this manner – mostly by brainwashed teenagers. The same kind of destruction was wreaked even in Tibet.

Though the revolution ended in 1976 after the death of Mao, the Chinese are still living in an autocratic state without the same democratic freedoms that we enjoy. Found this short video outlining the events during the Cultural Revolution.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Revolution

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yao_Tongbin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lao_She

The Bryce Canyon National Park

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Lovely road to Bryce Canyon…

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Cedar Breaks.

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Cedar Breaks.

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The National Park.

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The orange landscape.

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Hoodoos.

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Sunset orange…

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Photographs from my breathtaking trip to the Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, USA. It turned out to be a great place to visit during the summer (July 2016) because it has a high elevation and perfect, mild weather – neither too cold nor too hot.

This park is a large natural amphitheater (from certain viewpoints, it resembles Roman or Greek ruins), and has the largest collection of “Hoodoos” in the world. I had no idea what hoodoos are, so I did some research. 🙂  They are rock spires formed by the erosion caused by frost and acid rain.

The colors in this park are simply out of the world! The landscape consists of various shades and combinations of pink, orange, and red, depending on the season and time of the day. Therefore, it’s amazing to hike along the rim of the canyons, and among the Hoodoos. However, I could spend just a few hours there on this trip. Plan to be back for a longer holiday, next time. 🙂

Passed through the “Cedar Breaks” as well while driving to this park., they are also gorgeous geological formations created by erosion.

World Environment Day

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The eminent scientist Stephen Hawking once stated that the earth will become inhospitable to humanity within the next 100 years, thanks to climate change and other factors! According to him, the only way to survive this catastrophe is to shift en masse to another planet (!!) – easier said than done 🙁

Maybe we could at least try to delay that eventuality by doing our bit to slow down environmental damage. Doing my bit today with this rhyme 🙂

The earth is an eternal muse
with all it’s magnificent views
Every year it changes and renews
with sights that always amuse

Climate change is alarming news
Let’s stop this shameful abuse
We all need to wisely choose
to reduce, recycle and reuse

Turning Crisis into Opportunity

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The crisis is an opportunity to free humanity from the model that creates and sustains poverty. ― Muhammad Yunus

The unprecedented COVID19 pandemic has changed our world entirely and in every respect. It has shattered our perceptions of reality that we took for granted, and has caused terrible misery all around the world, not sparing any country, or any segment. It has left very few of us totally untouched, or unchanged.

Understanding and recovering from this immense “force majeure” requires creative thinking coupled with courage. Recently Muhammad Yunus – the Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate (whom I admire very much), wrote a very inspiring and thought-provoking essay on how we should consider this as an opportunity to create a totally different kind of new world, without the drawbacks and negativities that existed prior to COVID19.

The most heartrending and memorable scenes of the pandemic in India are those from the hospitals and of the migrant workers. We saw that they were suddenly abandoned by employers and landlords, and also not provided for properly by the respective governments either due to bad planning and oversight, or corruption by intermediaries. Apart from being merely moved and paying lip service to them, can we think of concrete ways to reorder and reimagine the post-COVID world, to make India a better country for the poor, and for all of us?

Amidst the current gloom and doom due to job losses, sinking economies, deaths, rising mental health crises, etc. it might seem incredulous to believe that we can look at this as an opportunity to reform!! However, I concur with Dr. Muhammad Yunus and believe that we can do it, and should definitely try! Let’s trust the eminent economist who brought millions out of poverty (by founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concept of microfinance) with his innovative thinking! 🙂

The best way to start is by first examining whether the pre-COVID19 world was a perfect one and whether its direction was promising and healthy. After some reflection, I do not believe that it was an optimal world: there was growing poverty, increasing inequality between the rich and poor, wars, terrorism, destructive climate change, rising pollution etc. Therefore, it’s time for new ideas and new ways of thinking. We do not want to return to the same old vicious world with all its problems.

I have been brainstorming and came up with some ideas and would like to share them with you all. I would love to hear your opinions/counter-arguments.  I have mainly 6 points:

1.   Sustainability: The first point that I would like to address is one that I’m very passionate about – the environment. There is a dire need to immediately address climate change and global warming. Every day, we hear from scientists and environmentalists about how we are irreversibly destroying the environment via unsustainable practices. We are foolishly destroying the very planet that we are living on!! The current pandemic, and the recent cyclones Amphan and Nisarga in India, are grim reminders of the destruction that we are heaping on ourselves. Global warming is predicted to give rise to more frequent and harsh calamities like severe cyclones, famines, and droughts in the future.

One of the positive by-products of the worldwide lockdown was reduced pollution that resulted in clearer skies and lower temperatures! So, we should think of this as an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and make the environment a top priority by going green. 😊 Let’s adopt new policies that give utmost importance to sustainability, and penalize actions that destroy the environment. We have no time to waste…

Repeatedly, environmentalists have stressed that buying local produce and local goods is much healthier both for the environment and for us, because we do not need to transport them over long distances by burning vast amounts of fossil fuels. Relying on local products will reduce pollution, as well as mitigate the threats posed by global warming. It will also transfer some power from multinational corporations to smaller local enterprises and farms, thus reducing inequality.

We observe many politicians and industrialists paying only lip service to climate change and going green, while they do nothing to support the cause. So, as citizens and consumers, by being vocal for local, we can force them to take environmental issues more seriously.

2.   Combat growing inequality: The consistent argument for globalization has been the economies of scale and lower prices, but at what cost? In the last two decades, the world over, we have seen the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, and inequality rising exponentially! Is this what we really want – wealth and power concentrated in a few hands and countries? Shouldn’t we give preference to labor-intensive local industries that generate large scale employment? And be willing to pay a little more for products, for the sake of the poor, and the environment? It’s time to convert our recently generated empathy for the migrant poor into concrete action, by preferring local goods that generate mass employment. Think beyond the prices….

3.   Combat consumerism: Globalisation and economies of scale have given rise to mindless consumerism. Is it really necessary to upgrade our mobile phones and electronic goods every year, at the expense of the environment? Imagine the amount of e-waste that we are generating! The pandemic has once again reminded us of the things that really matter: health and well being, sustainability, clean air and water, kindness and empathy. We can instead spend more on non-polluting local handicrafts, and handlooms etc. that are environmentally friendly, and provide mass local employment.

4.   Internal Security: India has been especially unlucky when it comes to neighbors and defense matters. Unlike European nations, or the US, or Canada, which do not have to worry about being attacked or terrorized at their borders, we have to constantly expend our energy and resources to address this issue. We have to keep increasing our defense expenditure to buy arms and weapons to protect ourselves. While doing this, we are simultaneously, and foolishly, making our enemies more powerful by importing most of our products from them!!

How is this justified? We should support our soldiers by importing only from friendly democratic countries that do not threaten us militarily, apart from going local. Why are we allowing ourselves to be colonized all over again, in a different manner?

I believe that there are no universal truths in economics or geopolitics. We need to evolve with the times and innovate our approaches to problems accordingly. A few decades ago, it was favorable for us to open-up, while right now, it might be favorable to turn partially protectionist. In any case, the process of globalization has not been entirely fair to all. Some countries still set up trade barriers and tariffs for certain goods, and other countries manipulate their currencies. The pandemic has also revealed the great risk of over-dependence on other countries. We need to think specifically from an Indian perspective, focus on cost-benefits, and our internal security.

We have a very successful example from our history. Gandhiji’s Swadeshi movement was immensely successful as an economic strategy, and it helped us gain independence from the British. It also gave rise to a healthy nationalism that united the country against an oppressive and exploitative power. Time to learn some lessons from the Father of our Nation, by adapting some of his solutions to modern times.

Maybe we could trade only with countries that are democracies and avoid those which threaten us. Recently, I came across a very informative and inspiring video by the Ladakhi educator and engineer -Sonam Wangchuk, who advocated that we should boycott Chinese products since China threatens us and supports terrorism against India. Awesome and innovative thinking!! Let’s avoid wars and use our power as consumers instead.  We, especially the middle class and the wealthy, need to have some values and not look only for lower prices, or profits.

5.   Develop Independent Thinking: When you reflect long enough, it’s quite obvious that what is good for European countries, is not necessarily good for India. Each country has its own unique requirements, problems, and challenges. Many democracies in Europe like Germany and Italy, are okay with doing business with China because it does not threaten their internal security! They are doing what is good for their own interests and their own people. But, we cannot blindly follow suit when our realities are different.

We have a huge internal market, an exploding and now unemployed labor force, and worrisome border tensions. Given that China and Pakistan are in collusion and work together against us, we need to think independently and should not be bullied into conformity.

6.   Digitalization Challenges: Growing digitalization combined with globalization has given enormous power to technology companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube etc. in an unprecedented manner. They have access to massive amounts of data on each citizen and possess an unhealthy information advantage over their consumers. Many of their policies are not transparent and are based on proprietary algorithms. We should be worried about this for several reasons because it threatens independent thinking, encourages biases, and might lead to a form of neo-colonialism. Recently, Youtube was found to be autodeleting all comments that were critical of a particular country, and Twitter selectively fact-checked certain tweets. While I have no problem with the particular correction which was well-informed, it brings up the subject of “distributive justice versus procedural justice” (perceived fairness of outcomes versus perceived fairness of decision processes). Shouldn’t there be more uniformity and transparency expected from social media platforms that wield enormous influence over consumers and citizens, and their thinking and decisions?

To sum up, I think we could do the following:

1.   Encourage local production and be prepared to pay a little more for local goods if it helps our environment and internal security.

2.   Mindless consumerism should be discouraged because it pollutes our air, water, and land. Do we really need to upgrade our phones and computers every year? This results in so much e-waste. We could cut down unnecessary mining and deforestation, long-distance transportation and ground and water pollution. Instead, spend more on ethnic handicrafts and handlooms that don’t pollute and provide sustenance to the poor. Preserve our arts and heritage. 🙂

3.   Buying local reduces the need for more oil. We have seen so many destructive wars being fought over oil – eg. Iraq war.

4.   Trade only with friendly democratic nations that share our values, and encourage democratic values.

5.   Go beyond paying mere lip service to our migrant workers, lets support policies that ensure more jobs and prosperity for them.

6.   Learn to think from an India-centric point of view, instead of following only Western viewpoints. We are the largest democracy in the world, with 1300 million citizens, it’s time we showed some “thought leadership”.

7.   Coming to nationalism and patriotism, we have been led to believe that they are bad for us, but, is that true? It was certainly bad for Germany and some European countries – for different reasons. But, in contrast, nationalism has been good for India because a rise in nationalism led to the fight for Independence, and resulted in an independent India!! So, we need to think independently for ourselves – not merely adopt views that emanate from the West.

8.   Let us reduce our dependence on countries that give us bad headaches. 😉

Let’s stop being a nation that merely outrages at problems, and let’s look for solutions. Hope you agree, would love to hear your thoughts and counter-arguments……….

 

 

 

 

What is Gender Equality?

Happy International Women’s Day 2020!! The theme this year is “An equal world is an enabled world.” Of course, we all agree with that, don’t we? 😉 But, what exactly is “gender equality”?

I came across this very lucid and informative article shared by “UN Women” today,  and decided to summarize it. The writer names and defines the perfect gender-equal country – Equiterra! Right now, there’s no country in the world that is totally emancipated, some form of discrimination or the other exists in all countries, and the degree of discrimination varies across them. So “Equiterra” is that aspirational or “dream” condition that we all want to achieve. 🙂

Here are the main points that define it:

1) There are no “stereotypes” for women (or men) in Equiterra. They are free to choose their careers, hobbies, and lifestyles – whatever they might be. Women can choose to be astronauts, and men can choose to be cooks or nurses…..no stereotypes for either sex!

2) Domestic violence is a rare occurrence, and sexual harassment and abuse no longer exist.

3) There is no “men’s work” and “women’s work”; and there is equal pay for equal work.

4) Patriarchal ideas of gender roles and what it means to be a boy or a girl, a woman or a man, are replaced by more progressive and liberal ideas. In Equiterra, “toxic masculinity” is transformed into healthier attitudes that benefit both men and women. Men also face immense stress when they have to conform to traditional roles and stereotypes, and therefore, the suicide rates among men are in fact much higher than among women!!

5) There is gender-balanced leadership in parliaments, government institutions, companies etc. 50% of women in all the important places that matter.

6) Education is a top priority for all, and there is total freedom in the choice of fields for both sexes.

7) Freedom of expression and movement, freedom to choose your identity, and freedom to choose how many children you have, and to have control over your own body, and access to contraception, and birth control to all.

Now, we have a clear idea of what women’s equality is! So, let’s try to accomplish it! 🙂

Reference:

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