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News & Trends - Indian Society Lifestyle Standards
<b>Youth survey shows high joblessness, low awareness</b>

Wednesday January 2, 02:17 AM

A first-ever survey to study the behavioural pattern of the youth in the country - conducted across six states - has revealed a high rate of unemployment among the educated section, especially among women, lack of comprehensive knowledge about HIV/AIDS, high rate of tobacco consumption among men and low participation in community programmes. Also, it has found that more women than men were married before the prescribed legal age and in Jharkhand the percentage was as high as 81.

The survey was conducted by the Mumbai-based International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS), in collaboration with the Population Council, New Delhi, at a time when the Centre has begun work to formulate the next National Youth Policy.

IIPS undertook the household-based survey in six states from January 2006 to take forward the 10 thematic issues raised in a UN worldwide study of the youth.

The institute is now collating the baseline data. However, it is ready with fact-sheets for Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu. The fact-sheets for Bihar and Rajasthan will soon be ready, and that of Andhra Pradesh by April 2008.

"We chose these six states as they are representative of their regions," said Dr Usha Ram, one of the coordinators for the IIPS survey. Over 1.5 lakh households were interviewed in these six states.There were 300 primary sampling units from each of the states, with 150 units from urban and 150 from rural areas. And each of the units surveyed had 75 men and an equal number of women. In Maharashtra, 25,641 households were interviewed, 37,893 in Tamil Nadu, 28,258 in Jharkhand and 28,585 in Bihar.

"The idea was that the Centre is planning the next youth policy, but a comprehensive data on the youth is not available. The data available through family health surveys and National Sample surveys are fragmented. Therefore, this large-scale study - to record different aspects of the life of the youth in a representative manner - was undertaken. It should provide for baseline data for the youth and can be used for the policy," said Dr Usha Ram.

"The study attempts to collate information regarding the youth in terms of employment, education, premarital and extramarital sexual behaviour, access to economic resources, autonomy, gender issues, community participation," said Professor F Ram, another coordinator for the survey.

According to the Government, the number of youths in the age group of 13-35 years, as per the 1991 Census, was estimated at around 34 crore, and this is anticipated to increase to 51 crore by 2016.

For the IIPS survey, youths - both male and female - in the 15-24 years age group were divided into four categories of married males (MM), married females (MF), unmarried males (UM) and unmarried females (UF). About the findings, S K Mohanty, another IIPS survey coordinator, said, "Unemployment is higher among women than among men. Also, the unemployment rate by educational level is substantially higher among women with 12 years of schooling in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand." Dr Usha Ram added, "Because of educational levels and social status, women do not want to do lower or inferior jobs."

As far as education goes, higher percentage of married women than married men, and unmarried men than unmarried women are out of school by the age of 12 in all three states, the survey revealed. "Awareness and knowledge of HIV and condoms is high, but correct knowledge is not there," said Dr Usha Ram. The survey found that participation of young men in community programmes is very low and even poorer among young women.

A trend I would like to see grow..alond with videos promoting reality about jesus
It was very tough to see Thaipusam first time in Singapore.
<!--QuoteBegin-Shambhu+Jan 4 2008, 07:51 AM-->QUOTE(Shambhu @ Jan 4 2008, 07:51 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->http://www.youtube.com/hinduismtodayvideos

A trend I would like to see grow..alond with videos promoting reality about jesus

Interesting thing I observed in the video is that the changes in India are affecting the Tamils in Malaysia too. Traditional dress of Tamil women is saree and churidar is recent change. I could see almost all the female devotees wearing churidar during pilgrimage.

The side effect we saw was, when India grows strong, these people also become confident to assert their rights. Fortunately they are not affected by dravidianism.
From another forum

Which way are Hindus headed?

Hindu society, about 1000 years ago when the first Islamic invasions took place was splintered up into group (community) identity and loyalty. There was some general agreement on what was holy and where the Holy Hindu places lay, but no "unity". Surprisingly even the sort of "national unity" called for by a nation state such as Britain in WW2 would appear like fascism from the viewpoint of a splintered Hindu society of the sort that existed then. When Islam came in, it was not opposed as a religion, and when it settled into India, Muslims just became "one more community" with "yet another God" in India like Madhwa brahmins or Vokkaligas or Counders. In fact this was how the British found India.

But the education fostered by the British, followed by India's Hindu civil code has to a very large extent rendered caste and community splintering among Hindus irrelevant. For the first time in millennia, or perhaps for the first time in history, Hindus are beginning to look like a monolithic body who search for similarities rather than differences. The similarities are often pooh poohed as non existent, but the new found Hindu solidarity is built around undoubted commonality of history and worldview. If you look at it objectively, it hardly makes sense to deny that there is some unity. Hindus were seen from the outside as one group, but close study revealed fragmentation. With measures to reduce that fragmentation having been in place for decades if not centuries it is hardly surprising that fragmentation is being replaced by solidarity.

But whether anyone acknowledges this new solidarity or not will be immaterial if Hindu solidarity comes and bites all its detractors with a vengeance.

Hindus in India form a vast majority and form the bulk of the forces leading to economic and social change. There is an increasing sense in India that Hindus have been given a raw deal in history. Cynicism for a Western view of history that was expressed with a shake of the head and resignation when I was a boy is now being thought of as points that need to be corrected by ramming facts down ignorant throats by brute force - a brute force that Hindus are set to acquire. These feelings are not restricted merely to what is fashionably described as the "right wing" but is supported among many "moderate" educated Hindus that I meet across the board. The same people who used to shake their heads with resignation about the ignorance of an Indian view in the past now are eager to see a ramming down of information by brute force, and will not oppose that if it happens. And Indians are getting a chance to do just such ramming down of information day in and day out starting from the most unexpected areas.

In my mind, nowhere is that going to be more significant in the relationship of Hindus with "minority" religions in India.

India occupies a unique place in the world. In which other country would 140 odd million people be a "minority"? The world, thus far, has never had to deal with such numbers and does not have the jargon to cope with such concepts. The "world" may not have such concepts but people in India read and digested these things long before the world.

When the movement for independence started it became expedient for both the British, and the Ashraf (former ruling class) among Muslims to state that several hundred million people should not become a "minority", as they would if things were not changed. Hundreds of millions of Muslims, it was theorized, formed a separate nation, unified by Islam. This runaway thought process led to the formation of Pakistan which I believe was a good thing for India just as the amputation of a gangrenous limb is "good". Pakistan has been uncovering the unity, peace and egalitarianism of Islam for 60 years now, but that is a separate issue.

What is pertinent to my viewpoint is that Islam before the British came was "one more community" in India. Splintered Hindus hardly saw Islam as anything else. A new religion was never a problem from the viewpoint of Indians whose disputes lay elsewhere.

And despite the arguments posed by various groups, no country in the world other than India allows Muslims to live in their various hues as freely as it is possible in India. No country in the world has allowed, indeed forced Shias, Sunnis and Ahmedis to live side by side without letting one dominate or decimate the other. Not even Pakistan, where Sunni Islam with a Salafi and Wahhabi flavor are dominating Shias, having eliminated Ahmedis as non Muslims. Not even Iraq, where the removal of Saddam's iron fist has provoked Shia-Sunni conflict. No country in the world freely allows the mullah dominated Muslim girl to walk around unquestioned in a burqa side by side with another Muslim girl who is allowed to flash her skin on TV or in the media without being killed, while allowing fatwas to be made, but making them fall by harmlessly. We do have a unique thing going, and it must not be either misconstrued or misused.

The newly united and empowered Hindus recognise all this, and resent being misrepresented. One of the biggest problems that India is going to have to cope with is a huge dominant, wealthy and vociferous class of Hindus who do not look kindly on being fed half truths and lies, or being blamed for some excesses without a concomitant "honest and open" identification of factors that are seen as excesses against Hindus.

Hindus are not innocent of excesses and what bothers me is that they will not give a damn about even appearing to be innocent if the rage building up within is not brought out into the open and addressed frankly and freely. And the rage is building up on several counts, one factor feeding the other. The Indian constitution and the Hindu civil code were aimed at moderating the overwhelming force of the Hindu majority while reducing their fissiparous traits. The "minority" religions, particularly Islam, were left untouched, and protected by constitutional guarantees.

Internal Hindu fission having now been made relatively quiescent, it is increasingly becoming apparent that the burden of "secularism" is placed on Hindu shoulders far more that that required from "minority religions" Islam and Christianity. I will not go into the detailed arguments to show why this is so from a constitutional viewpoint, but for now trust me that this is true and seen to be true by an increasing number of Hindus.

I would rather not see this spill over into violence, as has happened more than once before. Things can be contained and settled. But what is required is a recognition of the direction in which society has moved and an acknowledgement that the feelings and emotions expressed from all sides must be given equal airing in debate, without dismissing one side as "extremism" and highlighting the other side as "victim". That is a game that two can play and it will lead only to violence. And in a massively Hindu majority India, there are no prizes for guessing who will bear the brunt of the violence.

While there is an ongoing thread discussing the dangers of Islamic extremism in India, there are some wider issues which can also be discussed.

India, and its mainly Hindu citizens are facing economic cultural competition from four major sources. And discussion is certainly warranted. Note that I am distinguishing between West secular pop culture(which has Greco-Roman and Enlightenment, and some Christian influences) and purely Christian culture.

1. Economic & Socio-cultural Competition from Western secular popular culture:

While the West has some good ideas about civil liberties, social justice, let us not forget that absolute and utter liberty is not good for all citizens who then can not be cared for by the State. Liberty and Welfare should go together. We should be more like Scandinavia then say some right wing states in the US, without state mandated health insurance, etc.

2. Economic & socio-cultural Competition from Christianity:

Christianity has some good aspects to it, no doubt, like emphasis on charity and caring for one's fellow human being, but Christianity in competition with Indian ideologies in India is a pre-Enlightenment(European development of ideas of liberty, social justice) ideology which is anti-secular and anti-liberal. They oppose separation of Church and State, Women's rights to Abortion, and have a dated social and cultural view.

3. Economic & social-cultural competition from Political Islam:

Political Islam seeks to replace the existing Hindu dominated political and cultural landscape with a purely Islamist one. There may be more tolerant streams of political Islam, but they are not as strong in numbers as the more maintstream orthodox Wahabbi inspired thought-groups.

4. Economic & socio-cultural competition from Sino-Marxism:

Marxists and their Chinese compatriots want to weaken the dominant Hindu mindset of India to make room for a mindset which acknowledges Chinese pre-imminense in Asia, and makes room for the cultural desert of Marxism.


The above four are acknowledged sources of competition and have been spoken about by thinkers such as B. Raman, etc.
Hindus are also experiencing new thought and new views. Nathuram Godse and his views were expressed milliseconds ago compared to the centuries of history of evolution of society.

Godse's views, IMO have not been consigned to history, but (and mark my words) have actually become stronger. I can see it and feel it in the way people talk, and in the way violence is being used. Both Babri Masjid and the post Godhra riots were examples of that, and in my view it would be gross negligence to dismiss them as a flash in the pan.

Part of the reason for such anger is the active suppression of debate at a national level (as opposed to this board). For example, a minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi has asked Taslima Nasreen to apologise "with folded hands" for what she said in her book.

Any educated person would like to know what she said, so we can judge for ourselves. He will not say. But we can depend on the fact that a High Court judgement ruled that her words did not intend to hurt religion and the book was unbanned. I would classify Shri Munshi's statement as "less than fair" to an individual in his anxiety to be fair to the Islamic rioters of Kolkata. This is not "equidistance from religion". This is deliberate support for a religious view with a motive - perhaps electoral.

The concept that a government can remain "equidistant" from religion does not stand up to scrutiny in a society that is bound by a mixture of adversarial and non adversarial religions. Amartya Sen may have spoken of an ideal, but even the implementation of such an ideal requires open and honest debate and deep understanding of issues that the highest office bearers of India do not seem to have.

For example, the Indian constitution allows the freedom to practice and propagate all religions. This means that those who want to propagate their faith have the right to do so.

But what of those who do not want to propagate their faith? What about faiths that do not call for active propagation? Two answers can come for this question.

a) They can start propagating their faith. But this means that they have to change the tenets of their faith. Why should one faith be asked to change its tenets and not another? This is a bad solution, therefore the second answer seems more appropriate:

b) If a faith does not want to propagate itself, its members are welcome to be as they are and not propagate their faith.

Fine. This seems like a fair judgement.

Now let us look at faiths that seek to propagate themselves. A faith gets propagated only by getting new converts. That means people who do not belong to the propagating faith have to be made to join the faith as new converts.

In India the two religions that actively seek propagation are Islam and Christianity. The largest mass of people who can form new converts are Hindus. So Islam and Christianity MUST get converts primarily from Hindus. That seems fair and reasonable.

Now look at this a little deeper. The act of conversion requires the rejection of all other Gods as false, and the rejection of all old rites and rituals as false, and the acceptance of an Islamic or Christian God as the only true God.

In other words the India constitution legally allows any Christian evangelist or Muslim to demand that Hindu Gods be declared as false as part of conversion.

Luckily for India, Hinduism does not ask for the conversion of Muslims and Christians.

But guess how many "secular" Indian people, minorities and government react to any Hindu calling Allah a false God, Mohammad a false prophet and being similarly "disrespectful" of the Christian God? Speaking like this is "Blasphemy" or "Persecution of minorities".

In other words, in India, as per the Indian constitution it is legal for Christians and Muslims to demand from Hindus the declaration that their Gods are false as part of conversion. A similar declaration by some Hindus about Christianity or Islam is "communalism" or lack of secularism.

This is how Hindus become "communalists". Indian secularism is far from being equidistant from all religions. The Hindu in India is required to bear a heavier burden of secularism than the Christian or Muslim. It is a misconception to imagine that our brand of secularism is equidistant from all religions when secularism is not required at all from islam or Christianity in this matter. Only Hindus are required to be secular. This is not secularism.

I think most educated people in India do not understand this, and even debate about this is disallowed as the right wing's "Hindutva" brand of communalism. I personally believe that such wearing of blinkers is the result of widespread and real dhimmitude.
January 20, 2008

Think it Over

The battles for the future
By M.S.N. Menon

“Character is Destiny,” so says Dr S. Radhakrishnan. What did he really mean? That it is the character of a nation which determines its destiny? Not its beliefs? No. Belief without commitment is hypocrisy. For example, a man may declare his faith in telling the truth, but he may be a consummate liar. Which is why Gandhiji used to insist that a conviction must lead to the transformation of a man through a process of internalisation.

Nature provides a good example. Each living thing is armed by nature with the instinct for survival. It does not leave it to chance. Again, breathing and blood flow are in the keep of involuntary mechanisms. They are not voluntary. Character is an involuntary mechanism. It ensures proper responses.

The character of a person is formed by the transformation of convictions into instinctual behaviour through a process of internalisation. For instance, years of belief in Buddhism and Jainism had made many people non-violent.

But it was not the design of nature to make man slaves of instincts. The reasoning power of the brain and the mind releases man from the bondage to instincts. He becomes free to think.
It is said that Hindus have no character. Perhaps there is some truth in it. As a nation of a billion people, we must have character in order to ensure our survival, to ensure our success in the future. In fact, this must be the prime objective of our educational system. Men without character cannot make India great. Nor can we reach great heights unless we are tall.</b>

We do not know what is in store for us. There is no way to know it either. In the meantime, time marches on. History marches on. And men are brought closer to each other as never before. Perhaps too rapidly for our comfort.

We are baffled by the problems thrown up by our age. There is no real leadership in India. Opportunism and sycophancy—these are the dominant elements in the psyche of many.

History is not fate. There is no fixed destiny. Freedom and necessity are inter-twined. Freedom leads to choice, necessity compels us to conform. Man is master of his destiny. So says Krishna in the Bhagavata. So says Buddhism. True, karma is fatalistic. But man can manipulate his karma. God does not interfere. We may make the right choice. Or the wrong one. It is in our hands.

Of course, it is within the providence of God to destroy the human race (with nuclear bombs?). But when our passions are armed with nuclear weapons, we are more likely to revert to our tribal gods. And tribal gods are unlikely to lead us to peace.

There is a glaring contrast between the promises of technology and what it actually delivers. Life could be graceful. It could be joyful. But look at the vulgarity and sorrows of our lives! Carl Gustav Jung says: “Misguided development of the soul must lead to psychic mass destruction.” What prevents the realisation of our dreams are our outmoded methods and loyalties, says Einstein.

Religions are supposed to make us see the divine purpose of creation. But it has blinded us and forced us to stray. Some like to believe that they are “chosen” to lead others or rule over them. These are dangerous beliefs. Nationalism is good, but it should be subordinated to the principle of loyalty to humanity. “My country, right or wrong!” can never prevail in the world.

Today the enemy is not outside, but within. There is, therefore, need to bring about a moral revolution to match the technological revolution. A government without a conscience is a dangerous thing to have. Which is why there ought to be limitations in the separation of politics from religion. A society without ethics is like a pack of wild animals.

Scientists say that biological evolution of man has come to an end and that the future belongs to the evolution of the mind and consciousness. But, do we realise that the minds of most people are tied to fixed ideas? To organised religion? An illuminated consciousness is possible only when the mind is set free.
We Hindus are fortunate that our minds have been free from the times we know. It is time to free all minds. And it is time to give character to our people. Absolute reliance on science is dangerous. Progress is precarious and conditional.</b> Aristotle says that man when perfected is the best of all animals, but when separated from law and justice, is the worst of animals. Alas, for the last thousand years or so, man had been separated from law and justice, and were in their worst form.
We Hindus have never believed in the conquest of other people or in seizing what belongs to others. We believe in self-conquest. This is why the world wants us to guide the humanity. No other people can be trusted to take on this role.
INDIA on a fast track mode of robust growth ......The world looks on upon the Indian market as the primary business destination. The news papers daily communicate the high positive investment environment. The electronic media flash the various growth factors in the market. While the current generation now speaks of I Pods and savvy MTV culture sporting credit cards and flashy mobiles and cars .......being HEP is the order of the day.

The changing values of society that is at crossroads of urbanization and Consumerism we have grossly neglected the realities of our country. The country side still remain drowned in darkness for want of electricity and basic amenities.

Our rural youth are grappling to match the growth in the cities where abundant job opportunities are available but feel left out on the cultural impact and ability to match the fast life applications. Driving most of them into a vortex of social stigma and frustration

Poverty still rules the day where farmers are committing suicide unable to take in the pressure of failed crops and mounting debts. We still are not able to find enough homes for the homeless ...let it be the surrounding slums of the Mumbai Airport or the railway tracks , people are living in the most unhygienic conditions with hardly one meal a day.

The rural schools still cannot handle the high dropout ratios of children forced into perpetual child labour.Its a shame that the urban world thrive on employing children at their homes and hotels , factories for cheap labour.

Can there be more painful avenues where mothers hire out their new born babies to vendors for begging alms and earn a revenue on a daily basis. Can we sleep peacefully in our cozy luxury apartments while people are sleeping clothe less in the cold winter nights in the cold.

Why is this all not looked into .Why have we shut our eyes to these facts .Where is the compassion gone. Are we moving towards the prep ice with this self centered lifestyle.

Even the basic system of our of giving alms to the needy ones seems to have disappeared let alone the policy of "atitithi devo bhava " that we so zealously followed for centuries. We eye upon each other in suspicion..............One doesn’t trust the other fellow human.

Cant we all stand up together and every individual in a small way contribute towards balancing this lacuna. What use is the economic growth if we cannot bridge the gap and create a harmonious social development?

kishor Jagirdar

<!--QuoteBegin-Kishore+Jan 22 2008, 11:19 PM-->QUOTE(Kishore @ Jan 22 2008, 11:19 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->

Cant we all stand up together and every individual in a small way contribute towards balancing this lacuna. What use is the economic growth if we cannot bridge the gap and create a harmonious social development?

kishor Jagirdar

What exactly are you proposing?

I belong to an interesting and active mailing list in which the following comment was made:

it is an absolute miracle that India is still, for most part, a single country. When the Brits left, they had absolutely no hope for India. The differences of language, caste, clan, region etc, they believed, would eventually break India into a thousand pieces.

The statement had some support, with one person quoting Mark Tully as saying that "Butter chicken and cricket" hold India together.

But let me rebut that with some thoughts.

The idea that India would not hold together was a "British take" that discounts the role of the majority Hindu community in India in actually giving a sense of oneness despite the often quoted divisive issues (that are a leaf taken out from what the British

Hindus, it was said, are divided by caste and other issues. And that story has been swallowed whole without digging deeper to see where there were fissures and where there are bonds. This is part of the failed sociology of India. There was a case of GIGO (Garbage In-Garbage Out - in terms of how a computer responds to any input) here that is likely to be set straight in coming decades.

The fissures of Hindu India were exposed and defined by the Brits and the educated elite, and everyone now marvels that there is a bond at all, and one more Brit (Mark Tully) is quoted to explain why there is a bond.

One factor that people continuously ignore and discount is that when Hindus were accused of being divisive on caste and communal lines, they (Hindus), for large part relented and accepted that these were true and initiated measures within Indian society to close the fissures. This was the effect of enlightened
Hindu leadership who insisted on a Hindu need to reconcile, and got a large proportion of Hindus to agree because they had no major ideological issues to stop them from agreeing withthe idea.

Nobody seems to mention that the empowerment of middle and lower caste Hindus and the acceptance of that by the vast proportion of higher caste Hindus including the so called "right wing" is leading to a form of Hindu unity that did not exist before. Nobody really wants to see what is openly apparent.

Most often, modern Indian accusations of divisiveness and extremism are an internal Hindu debate with Hindus accusing other Hindus of being that way. (secular vs rightwing) Divisive as that may appear, it remains an area of active debate and "work in progress" of healing and uniting India as a society. How come nobody notices and clings on to outdated British views?

Let us not imagine that there is nothing holding India together and the unity is just a mystery. That is a myth that is popularly propagated by Indian educated elite based on a British view of India. There is a lot binding India together. It seems a mystery only if you discount that Hindus exist in India. The problem may
really lie in both what the so called "Hindu right wing" say and what Ramchandra Guha says.

The "right wing" say that the history of India was distorted.

Ram Guha says that Indians stopped writing history after 1947. Indian history ends in 1947.

It was pointed out by someone as a curious fact that Europe has fewer languages and a single religion (Christianity), but yet consists of 30 odd countries.

I see this statement as a summary of some really deep and complex historic, social and cultural dynamics.

Most of Europe being Christian is the result of both Christianity (and Islam) being practised as "Only me and nobody else" religions.

On a another note I am not at all sure that the Christianity I learned in school in India is the same adversarial Roman Christianity that overran Europe. But it did overrun and and occupy Europe - effectively removing all pagan religions that predated Christianity.

When Islam plundered through vast areas of Europe, Christianity bounced back and virtually eliminated Islam from Europe, just as Islam had eliminated all other faiths in most of the lands that it overran.

But Christianity in Europe split into various factions that fought and fought and fought and fought until Europe became tired and eventually came up with
the treaty of Westphalia. That helped create "secularism" which means absence of religion, but in practice it means separation of Church from state, with the government (state) being secular.

But even a "common religion" (of many factions) did not stop internecine European conflict. Europe battered itself out of world domination and handed
the baton to the US.

India, with less commonality of religion and more linguistic variety is seen as fissionable and "ready to break" based on a Euro-centric view of what lack of common religion or common language should normally do to a land area based on the European

Valid as this argument may sound, this makes no effort whatsoever to check if there could possibly be other shared traits that have not been picked up by
an essentially Euro-centric view of society, religion and nations.

The fact is that such a commonality was repeatedly recognised and picked up and utilized by Shankaracharya, Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi and Aurobindo among others. But these names mean little or nothing from the viewpoint of the Macaulay inspired school education that Indian children get. Horror of horrors! Mentioning names like Shankaracharya and Vivekananda in school books might cause great discomfort (it is probably felt) to our Muslim and Christian brothers. It may break the secular fabric of the country to suggest that Hindus may have something to do with Indian unity.

Hence Indians go through life imagining that there is nothing unifying in India. The blinkered forces of needless and misguided "secularism" blunder on, being unable to pinpoint what holds India together.
<!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo--> trend..

RSS upgrades itself, eyes city IT

24 Jan 2008, 0346 hrs IST,Radheshyam Jadhav,TNN

PUNE: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) effort to give a saffron tinge to the booming information technology (IT) sector in the city is gaining momentum. Sangh's experiment of 'IT Milan', in which IT professionals are brought together to discuss RSS ideals once in a week, is attracting youths in large numbers and it's now mulling over organising special IT 'shakhas' in Pune.

"Number of youths joining IT companies is on rise. We have introduced the IT Milan concept to groom professionals towards RSS way of thinking," Katcheshwar Sahane, Western Maharashtra Prant Sanghachalak of RSS, said on Wednesday.

IT Milan is not a typical shakha involving exercise and games. "It is like a get-together. Various issues and problems faced by the nation, culture and religion are discussed in these get-togethers. The response in Pune is good and we could plan special shakhas for the IT people. The RSS is hunting for good professional brains and Pune IT sector has potential to provide it," said Sahane. Sangh was planning to start similar IT Milan in cities like Kolhapur and Solapur, he added.
<!--QuoteBegin-k.ram+Jan 23 2008, 11:55 PM-->QUOTE(k.ram @ Jan 23 2008, 11:55 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-Kishore+Jan 22 2008, 11:19 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Kishore @ Jan 22 2008, 11:19 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->

Cant we all stand up together and every individual in a small way contribute towards balancing this lacuna. What use is the economic growth if we cannot bridge the gap and create a harmonious social development?

kishor Jagirdar

What exactly are you proposing?

Concious effort to make a small contribution with the power of youth and directed by experienced leadership to work on
a)Micro finance credit facilities
b)Alternate employment to the rural folks along with their traditional occupation for additional sustainable income
c)Rural BPO creating quality employments for skilled workers which will check migration of the rural population into urban
d)Using IT enabled technology in taking high quality education to the rural mases to make them confident and empowered.Via Webex ,Skype and video classrooms

This will fight poverty and illiteracy and reduce the rural divide greatly . Like minded people can get together and take the assistance of the nodal agencies like NGOs and spread the work in an organised way all over the country and spade work can be executed by inspiring the youth in hiher schools and colleges to work at the grass root level with the attitude of " look around your community to serve"

Kishor Jagirdar
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><span style='color:red'>Bundelkhand villagers fast to counter starvation </span>

Abhishek Bajpai | Lucknow

Away from the political hob-nobbing and limelight, the people of Bundelkhand region have evolved a unique method to counter starvation deaths -- they fast.

Being a voluntary exercise the fasting is not due to shortage of foodgrains or poverty, but it is for a bigger cause. People fast to help those who after five long years of drought have nothing left to feed on.

The concept is simple, <b>every day five families in each village of 10 districts of Bundelkhand region observe fast. The foodgrain thus saved is distributed among needy families.</b>

And while the governments and political parties are engaged in war of words over the plight of farmers in this region, the people are toiling hard to spread the message of self-relief and rescue further.

Nicknamed as <b>Chulha Bandi Satyagrah Andolan</b> the movement had gained ground in the tough terrains of Bundelkhand, in less than two years. The important fact which makes the movement unique is that it is not dependent on the aid -- government or otherwise or to press for a particular demand.

"<b>At present 30,000 plus families in hundreds of villages across 10 districts of Bundelkhand are part of the movement</b>," pointed out Pushpendra, spearheading the campaign. The main objective of the campaign is to make the people aware of the plight of their fellow beings in the region due to drought and to motivate them to shoulder the social responsibility and contribute towards the society they live in.

Like any other movement, Chulha Bandi Satyagrah had a small begining from Pandvi village in Banda district. According to Pushpendra in July 5, failing to bear poverty and debts a farmer Kishorilal committed suicide in Pandvi village.
"Moved with the incident a fellow villager Rajendra Singh proposed to observe satyagrah which got support from local panchayat," recalls Pushpendra. It was decided that five families each would observe fast on rotation basis and the "savings" would be shared with the needy. On January 2008, Andauli village was the <b>157th village to join the movement</b>.

Though Rajendra Singh passed away last year, the campaign he started continues to provide major relief to thousands of needy families of Bundelkhand. In fact, the campaign started by a person had gradually become a movement of the people. "Today villages are coming forward voluntarily to be a part of the movement," he added.

"Major emphasis is to ensure that the help so arranged reach the real beneficiaries, specially those living in far flung areas, where relief was not reaching," explained DP Singh, working in the troubled areas of Bundelkhand from last two decades. "The biggest achievement is that it made people aware of the tough living conditions faced by people in remote areas," he added.

I have been thinking about starting a thread on the social and cultural changes we are going through as India develops. For example look at this article from The Week:


I have been reading about this type of stuff more frequently these days. How is this going to affect our society and in turn the development of the country?

If the mods approve I will start a new discussion. Thanks.
similar topic:
<b>3-month-old dies in parents’ booze brawl</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A Gurgaon doctor, accused by his wife of causing the death of their three-month-old baby under the influence of liquor, has been arrested, police said on Tuesday.

His wife told the police that their son fell off her arms and suffered fatal head injuries as she was trying to save herself from her husband who had turned violent. She said her husband was heavily drunk and had even forced her to drink.

<b>Dr Atul Raturi, 34, denied the charges and alleged that it was his wife who was actually responsible for the death. He said she was drunk when their baby fell off her arms. He agreed they had a fight but said that it was because he was trying to stop his wife from drinking.</b>

The incident took place in V Block of DLF Phase III on Sunday evening. Dr Raturi’s wife alleged that he beat her up badly during the fight.

The couple had been married for more than three years.
Don't have words. <!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Indians who had migrated to other countries are coming back to India and using their knowledge gained through the years in Indian projects. <!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>New York: Pioneering subway chief Nagaraja resigns</b>
February 25, 2008

Mysore L Nagaraja, who managed mass transit projects costing $20 billion for New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has resigned.

<b>The 65-year-old engineer, who served as president of MTA Capital Construction, told rediff India Abroad that he will be working as a consultant to New York City and several metro transit projects in India, including the ones in Mumbai and New Delhi.</b>

<b>"There are a lot of exciting things happening in India</b>," Nagaraja, who is better known as Mysore at the MTA, said.

<b>"In a way, I feel I am reconnecting myself with India. My expertise is already being used there. I have already been consulting with Reliance Industries in the construction of metro systems in India. Now, I will have more time to give fuller attention to those ambitious projects</b>," Nagaraja added.

He said he will also be a consultant on a programme aimed at providing sustained, cleaner water system to the city.

Nagaraja's resignation came amidst reports that soaring construction costs could force the MTA to scrap plans for an architecturally ambitious glass-domed subway station in Lower Manhattan.

The New York Times in its report had also predicted an over $1 billion cost overrun for the authority's major expansion projects.

When he became the president of the newly created Capital Construction over five years ago, he had said: 'These expansions projects are essential not just to New York City but to the region. It is something we want to leave our children and grandchildren."

Nagaraja said he was leaving the MTA a "happy man who has seen the challenging projects he had begun working on ready to take off. At my age, I know I cannot stay here forever."

"Besides, I want to do something other than being a management person. As a consultant, I can offer my services to projects not only in America but also in India," he added.

He will however remain with the MTA for another month, reviewing ways to cut back on several projects including the extension of the No 7 line and construction of a new subway line in the city.

Even as he was readying to assume the role of consultant, reports arrived that a bid to build a glass-and-steel station on Fulton Street and complete the work underground came in at $870 million, more than double the expected $408 million.

Nagaraja blamed the cost overrun on higher material costs and greater demand in the construction industry.

"I am leaving MTA with deep appreciation of the work I have been doing here," he said, adding a farewell party in his honor had drawn 700 people.

<b>Five years ago, when the MTA created Capital Construction Company, several publications had written stories on how he faced the daunting task of overseeing a multibillion dollar capital improvement programme that was viewed as the key to the city's long term economic growth.

Most of the programmes are going to materialise on schedule, barring a few months' delay, MTA officials have said.</b>

Nagaraja, who has an engineering degree from the University of Mysore, joined the New York transit system in 1985 and was rapidly promoted. He has an MS degree from Brigham Young University.

<b>Helping to run and maintain 722 miles of track and 468 stations and transports over 7.5 million people each day was a job that had routinely gone to people who had grown up in America and had started their career in this country.

Nagaraja began his ascendancy within the transit system when he was appointed its chief engineer. His achievements have led to his being widely cited as an immigrant success story.

He has overseen the reconstruction of the 1/9 subway line, after the September 11 attacks.

Despite the extensive damage, the job was completed within a year and four days after the destruction of the World Trade Center, MTA officials said.</b>

At any given time, Nagaraja says, he managed more than 400 construction and design projects, and during his tenure as senior vice president, more than 75 per cent of all projects were completed on time and within budget.

Before he joined the transit network as a project manager in 1985, Nagaraja managed a large capital construction projects for M W Kellogg Co for several years.

He is known to be passionate about his work. When a reporter asked him, recently, whether he takes his job with him wherever he goes, Nagaraja was quick to demur.

"No, not at all," he said. "I go home every day and don't think about work. My wife doesn't even believe that I have a job."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
In the course of several discussions and reading a bit on the internet, I encounter a school of thought which says how we - humans in general - are so better off than our ancestors. We have better medical facilities, we have matured economic/business cycles that we can take advantage of to make money, we have better schooling, education, transport etc.
There is a lots of truth in that school of thought. With better living standards, we live longer, with free time given by gadgets and machines we are able to spend more time doing things that enthrall and engage us, more time with the family, more time with sports, lots of way to monitor and tune our health. For that matter internet is a new medium for communication and we have access to material that was not easily accessible before.

But, is there a balance in life? This probably is a quintessential question man has been posing right from the day he started to civilize. Are we better off than our ancestors? Are we paying any price for the development?
Books on Hinduism

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