OpenThread: Your turn to speak

It’s been a while since we had an open thread for readers to give feedback. So here’s an opportunity for you if you have something to say. I have never deleted any comment merely because I don’t agree with an opinion. The only time I delete comments is when it is clearly spam, totally irrelevant or is abusive.

Say what you will. And stop lurking.

Author: Atanu Dey


6 thoughts on “OpenThread: Your turn to speak”

  1. Watch TED2009 talk by Bill Gates. In it, he mentions:

    There are some very important problems that don’t get worked on naturally i.e. the Market does not drive the scientists, the communicators, the thinkers, the governments to do the right things.

    The second part of his talk focuses on education, somewhat related to India’s concern of providing primary education.

    I would like to hear your comments on this apparently valid comment by Bill Gates – will privatizing education sector make education reach poorest of the poors who have no money to spare, in India? Does it come under a profit maximizing or welfare maximizing objective for the private sector?



  2. In response to Swami Ramdev’s Peculiar Beliefs

    Dear Atanu, I extremenly admire your blog, and the tremendously insightful posts of yours. I wish I could think and write like you. By the word industrialization what Swami Ramdev is trying to stress probably is that politics has been made business, and politicians are just in it to make money out of it. I remember he used the same word when commenting on Bihar floods, that flood relief has become ‘udyog’. Meaning of word udyog is actually industry. So word ‘industrialization’ is kind of justified. He was probably translating from Hindi (or rather Sanskrit).

    Dear Atanu I certainly agree that democracy – is about informed choice. Let me share some of my information and some of my thoughts. First of, this reporting by Rediff may not be complete reporting, secondly they probably did not ask the question you have raised here – had they asked Ramdev would have probably replied. Another possiblity is that Swami Ramdev did not intend to reveal his plans then, or was not that vocal about these plans – he was probably revealing a part, or a step of it.
    It been months now since this post, and if you have noticed Swami Ramdev’s plan are now in public – mostly, but not entirely. I have been following him for more than a year now. I am no way associated to him or any of his organization, or any of his organization worker. Its just so that I was doing pranayam with him every morning to loose weight and to calm mind, and in the process started noticing his plans. So at this point of time I want to share with you that ‘compulsory voting’ was one small part of a major plan. I would like to state from his requirements of being member of Bharat Swabhiman (Trust):
    100% voting, 100% national & patriotic thinking, 100% boycott of multinational companies & use of indigenously built articles, 100% endeavors in the direction to unite persons of patriotic nature, 100% efforts to make India healthy, prosperous and sacrament through Yog

    He repeatedly says that ‘utho jago, is soye huye desh ko jagao, swayam yogi bano, auron ko yogi banao, idam rashtraya idam namamam, yeh jeevan sewa key liye hai, yeh jeevan desh ke liye hai’

    As can be seen, 100% voting is but one small part. Besides he realizes about informed choice too – that is why he calling upon people to wake up and to wake others from the slumber of ignorance and carelessness.

    To futher share the information I have, he is not just teaching Yoga in his Yog Camps – for past more than one year he is continously increasing his voice on the serious issues in the country – the prime one being corruption in the system.

    To give a very brief list of what little I know:
    – He sponsored and mentored TV programs on Veda, Upanishad, Sanskriti & Sanskara, Manu Smriti, Mimansa, and Nyaya Darshan, Rashtra Chetna from 2007 to 2008 (1 year)
    – These days he regaularly organizes Kavi Sammelan on Rashtra Chetna, programmes on life of freedom fighters of India
    – Has made a huge contribution to revive Ayurveda, and Yog. There are 800 Patanjali Yog Chikitsalaya throughout the country, where Ayurvedic doctors give free consultation. The quality of there medicine is good and its effective (my mother is taking treatement for Arthritis from there)
    – His organization is working relentlessly and at massive scale to take Yog to every village of the country
    – Recently he launched Bharat Swabhiman Trust. As per site: goal of Bharat Swabhiman (Trust) is to build a national character by purifying self character of people of India, through realisation of Swa-dharam via Yog Dharam and making their bodies, minds and thinking robust

    His point basically is that Yog will intially make them physically and mentally fit, only then they will be able to think about there surroundings and other social issues (this is somewhat what Maslow’s theory of needs states)

    However, this is only miniscule of what I know about him and his work – because almost all his programs are mostly telecast live on Aastha channel.

    What I am trying to state is that 100% voting is but one step or part of the overall plan. More important than that is that people first have good self-charachter, that they first realize what is dharma and swa-dharma, and their body mind and thinking be robust.

    So I am sure he is already well aware, or was much well aware of this issue and concern, and probably already had in his plans. It is however now that he is fully revealing his plans.

    Recently in Seedhi Baat, Prabhu Chawla asked him ‘aap to yog sikha rahey, ab aap politics ki baat kartey hein’, Swami Ramdev responded that teaching Yog was basically sowing seed, now that plant has started germinating (vo humney beej boya tha, ab ankur phoot raha hai). For first hand information, this programs videos are on India Today site.


  3. Atanu,

    Firstly, a simple question: Have you thought of contesting elections in India? If you thought about it and then decided it is not for you, can you please share your thoughts?

    Will post some of my thoughts later.


  4. Hello Atanu,

    I have always enjoyed reading your material. More importantly, I come here to learn, and be inspired. It takes real courage to do your work. Please continue to write for a long time. Most of your work has been about the big picture, and bringing reform in the areas of industry, governance, and education. I also understand that you are trying to hit large problems with big vision, and also that you are firm believer in the markets.

    I am sure there are lot of people here after spending several years in the professional work force want to have a more meaningful impact in the areas of education, and governance. To that extent, it might help for you to form a foundation or a advisory board to further such ventures. The idea is to create outlines of projects that can be taken up by entrepreneurs with the guidance of the advisory board inspired by you setting the right vision so that the effort is applied in the right areas. You may already be doing that kind of work.

    The world has a lot of good critical thinkers. There is a great need to guide the inspired, and the willing to be inspired people in to building the right type of institutions with the correct type of curriculum, particularly in the field of education.

    Your thoughts are appreciated. Best wishes to you.

    Warm regards.


  5. Hi Atanu,

    I would like to understand your thoughts on the Indian mindset. As you have noted most of us lack good judgment and rely on media to know who to worship. Worse yet, that most of us are cynics and arm chair economists. The story about crabs in a jar is not far from reality. Here are some questions, I would to know your thoughts about:

    1) How did we get here to start with? Were we always like this? Is the current Indian culture some weird mutation of amartya sen’s argumentative Indian or is this just an effect of state controlled media and a bad educational system?
    2) Can education and change in polity really fix this? I think they can have an impact if people are willing to change. But, how can we boot strap?



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