Nokia really is going through a rough patch. They have just not been able to cut it in the high-end smartphone market, and at the lower end the Chinese have pulled out all stops and left them struggling to resolve what is nothing less than a brand identity crisis. To compound matters, they ran a full page newspaper ad in India the other day announcing the launch of their new OS, unfortunately named Symbian Anna. I guess it’s a Finnish name — I’m told it’s pronounced ayn-naa — but in a country where Everyone Is Anna this week, it was almost as if the universe had conspired against them.
It’s not just the folks at Nokia who are perplexed this week — I am sure it’s most of us who have been trying to make a semblance of logical sense out of the wildly disparate viewpoints and stances that have been on display over the Great Anna Imbroglio — aided and abetted by a flailing media machine, somehow resulting in bringing large chunks of urban India out onto the streets.
I’m sure that each and every person or group involved in this has their cogent and valid reasons for their respective stands, but to a concerned citizen some of it is hard to fathom.
An old Gandhian social reformer steadfastly lies dying in Delhi — should we not be trying to save him first? Or is a “fast unto death” only successful if the person dies?
How can a government be utterly deaf, dumb and blind to the needs of its people, and yet sit comfortably in power?
Of those out clamouring to bring down the aforementioned government, how many will actually vote in the next elections?
Will a Bill actually end corruption in a country where people are willing to stampede in a temple, litter everywhere, drive without concern for anyone and not extend even basic human courtesy to others?
How come so many Communists are against a Bill that is by nature “Of the people, by the people and for the people”?
How come Arvind Kejriwal wants to have nothing to do with any political party, and yet wants the Bill passed in parliament?
Hey, these aren’t complaints — I’m totally for the Anti-corruption campaign; I don’t pay bribes, I pay my taxes and I am furiously passionate about my country. But there are so many factors at play here which nobody seems to even want to consider. For instance, with a population as large as ours, implementation of even the most basic of laws becomes a well-nigh impossible task. I have met several really committed civil servants who, despite their best intentions, have absolutely no way of completely covering the area under their jurisdiction during their tenure.
There are so many parts of our country where women and children are denied their basic rights, not by law, but by hidebound mores and chauvinistic, retrograde practices. It’s easy to say that corruption is at the root of the lack of infrastructure in this country, but thats a rather trite and incomplete definition employed, I feel, to suit the current flavour of the moment. These issues have been there forever — many of us have been working to amend them for years — Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s YLTP programs have empowered hundreds of so-called “educated unemployed” rural youth to become change agents and create self-sustaining economies in some of the poorest regions of India. And yet it seems like but a drop in the ocean — there are over 700,000 villages in our country, and most of them lack basic literacy, leave alone a proper education. Conspiracy theories abound, naming everyone from Macaulay to Manmohan Singh as the sole reason for this backwardness and poverty, but at the end of the day it’s high time we square up and acknowledge that we must start imparting a wholesome, value-based education to each and every citizen, an aptitude-based system which would enable and empower them to choose academia, trade, entrepreneurship, artisanship or employment as the need or choice may be. Then alone can we hope to truly nurture “the world’s greatest democracy” into a people that not only know how to groom and choose their leaders, but also hold the power to force them to step down if they do not deliver.
On a lighter note, for all we know, the Anna issue is but a launchpad for the Congress’ premeditated retirement plan, a scenario where they make an apparently shamefaced exit and go into hibernation, ostensibly to lick their wounds, but in reality to finally take time off to enjoy some of the thousands of crores that they have set aside for just such a time!
Sent from my iPad2
As you were writing this bhaiya, Annaji will be breaking his fast tomorrow morning 10 a.m. A great relief to millions.
Yeah the population of this country makes it too much difficult to produce a better living for all of them.
But, it is undeniable fact, that this country of ours is too much in the hands of corrupted people. Most of the people i have seen has/had accepted the corruption as a part of Indian living.
It is great to see an awakening throughout the country against the corruption. A hope getting stronger, that yes our country can move towards less eliminating the corruption.
And what is needed more is the spiritual awakening throughout India. More and more people actually getting interested in spiritual awakening. That can ensure total corruption elimination.
How? Because the person with spiritual interest. Who takes time for meditation and satsangs, and prayers. He becomes incapable of corruption. Such people if takes upon responsibility, they will feel for the poor people and poor condition of the country. While taking decision they will think about making the life of the people better on the whole, rather than thinking of making their bank balance bigger.
On the other so many people like you, with the guidance of Sri Sri Ravishankar, have already been doing so much for spiritual awakening plus helping out the people who need it most. Traveling to remote villages, educating them, bringing some meaning in their lives. Day and nights you people work for the service of the people really in need. This is what sincere spiritual interest and practices brings about.
Hi bhaiyya , Jai gurudev , enjoyed reading this article , Yeah i particularly agree nokia are losing their brand value in the indian market , specially with blackberry coming in , its facing cut-throat competition , also in the high end category phones its losing its stance .
Education is another area you have mentioned of, the current education system in our country is too bad, they only encourage rote learning , no scope of aptitude being tested of students, a better way of testing the ability of an individual is required !!
Coming to corruption in india , some ministers think its their birth right , and the recent anti corruption movement sets high hopes of eradicating corruption, it was indeed a superb movement and a much required one , spirituality here has to be introduced in the system, its a must and the bright future of our country lies in spirituality , it has the power of completely changing the system for the better .
Jai Gurudev 🙂
Kasturi Shinde says
Hey Vikram, I had taken a vow to not read any Anna related articles coz the newspapers and the internet rained Anna everywhere !
You have successfully managed to fool me by starting off with Nokia 😉
But hey loved the article.I completely completely agree with you on the election/ the time taken for a laws to pass / the attitude of Indians / the denied basic rights to women and children/ the reason fr lack of infra and most importantly the absence of value based education.
The whole Anna movement had inspired and infused a new josh in a lot of us. Sadly, there was no-one to capitalize on the show of strength in Delhi during his fast.
The second “movement” in Mumbai was a let down and slowly I fell in line with the demands of daily life.
I’m sharing this as it broke my heart. I campaigned and went out for the rallies with a 4 month old child, shouted hoarse and spoke to whoever would listen. Jaded and cynical questions were replied with an enthusiastic “You’re wrong, this time it’s different!”
Maybe the heartbreak has made me “grow up”, maybe I’m sad because the change did not happen the way I’d envisioned it or maybe the time was not right.
I read a great quote, “No one can stop an idea whose time has come”. So I will nurse my broken heart and fight off disillusionment and wait patiently for the right time to come.
Meanwhile, I am “being the change I want to see” and helping people discover the Art of Living, one lovely conversation at a time.