Do Wars & Battles have an element of Bravery now ???

As the sounds and dust of the over publicized Osama killing dies down, I wonder if wars and battles are less to do with bravery now ? 

 Recently while watching a movie which is based on a traditional indian war weapon , I was wondering if anyone would be brave enough to use a weapon like that in the present day. To use that weapon the person needs to be in physical contact with the enemy or at an arms distance.The image of a sword swashing soldier on foot or a horse riding straight on to the enemy or returning back to his home in all its glory can be seen only on some soaps on legendary war heros in Television. Gone are the days of a soldier armed with dozens of artillery and backed with fiery camoflagued tanks also.. From a direct battleground warfare, it soon became tanks and air warfare where the soldiers are atleast masked in some comfort and now it has become closed room wars with live satellite telecast into the operation room.

Where are the wars and battles being fought these days ? Is it only in Iraq and Afghanistan ? In the old days, wars were fought on geography, or for imperialistic plundering or to spread an idology or religion.. how about it now ? Are battles being fought on the premises of the Rightful and the Rogue ? or like in Osama 's case , targetting one person ? Gadaffi, Sadam are all examples of a country or allied nations against one person..

In this time and era, wars and battles are fought on other levels, on the internet, on social media, closed room meetings, silent drone attacks, the Oil war, financial war and so on and so forth. Soon after the second world war, warfare through sanctions and bans began. Essential commodities like food, oil , medicine etc also came under sanctions by the powerful few on the so called rogue nations. Then came the era of diplomatic , closed room warfare where a few representatives agree to disagree , pose for a few photo op's  and decide on what needs to be told to the outside world.  Years later, these discussions are telecasted on secret wikicables.
The financial war is another of the kind.The developed markets are on huge budged deficits and being financed by the third world countries, currencies are either propped up or maintained low and the whole aspect of global investment portfolio ensures that the whole financial market is a huge tangle. Any day if China decides to stop funding the US deficit, the next recession would be in row, bringing in unprecedented effect on the millions of american lives.

Another interesting aspect is to look at those who are fighting the present battles - there are nation conglomerates like US led " cleansing war " in Afghanistan, then there are People or public movements like the Arabic uprising in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Baharin, then the diplomatic tussles without much intended progress like the Indian Govt. vs the Pak Govt vs the ISI, ofcourse the highly effective select group wars like Mossad, Hamas, Taliban and so on and not to leave out the Chinese Govt and its stranglehold ( which it can tighten at any point) on the global market.Wow..that's quite a variety..

Are there enough anti war agencies to regulate these battles. After WW I , the League of Nations was set up and considered a failure, then came the United Nations after WW II.. does the UN have any serious role in the present day battles.. I have my doubts on that.. For that matter, can any agency actually regulate these battles ? again not a very feasible possibility.. So what can be the alternate, how to form a code of conduct steeped in the principles of live & let live or transparency.. some questions which are far beyond my overtaxed brain to answer...

"Missing Girls" Phenomenon in India

The " Missing Women " phenomenon is a widely discussed topic especially in Nobel laureate Amartya Sen's paper. The 2011 Indian census has further alleivated this highly prejudiced aspect of the Indian Society. " Missing Girls" in the population is an issue not only in India, but also in other countries like China, West Asian ( Arab nations). This was a problem in Korea earlier , but with the economic development of the region the problem has been sorted.

Both India & China are much touted as the economies of the future with growth rates double of the World GDP growth rate. The question is how much more developed should we be to give respect and protection to the girl babies? Does increase in GDP Growth rate really affect female infanticide ? Here are some facts.

  • Haryana & Punjab are relatively the richer states in India, but scrores worse in protecting its girl babies..
  • Kerala, a foreign remittances based state has the best sex ratio
  • Indian NRI's in USA score low in sex ration and has dipped further as compared to earlier census
Its hard to believe that economic growth would be the single factor. What is more important is education and a shift in a deep psychological attitude towards woman.We see woman work in all fields of life these days. Actually the poorer they are the more they work, whether it is as house help, low level civil work , activities like agriculture, fishing etc and save more money for their family than their male counterparts.

The deep rooted " Dowry " system is another main reason for such vices. Girls are considered as taking away the family heirloom whereas Boys bring money from other families.This is more prevalent in the north. What is worst is that this practice is so much publicized and well known and there is hardly any action against that . The groom's parents consider it their right to demand dowry and the bride's parents consider it their obligation.Guests for the wedding revel in the party and love to hear about the rich presents given.

Hope that soon there would be some young men who can stand upright on their own and support their family without the bride's father 's hard earned money. I cant understand how men with all their giant sized ego actually admit that he needs that money.

Speaking about psychological shift, it is education , freedom of speech and media which can bring about this shift. Look at the myriad serials that are aired post 7.00 PM in all those chanels. It all revolves around sari clad , home bound, oppressed & depressed women. Why cant it show a progressive woman who handles issues related to work place & her home with grace and poise ? Does only teary eyed girls rake in the TRP ratings and moolah ?  Is it a psychological vaccum that we have which needs to be filled seeing depressed woman fighting amongst themselves on whimisical issues ?

With the trend of 2 or 1 child per family, the pressure to choose boy babies is even more. There is an increase in girl children left at orphanages. A good measure would be to have orphanages interact with IVF centres, it may atleast increase the adoption rate.

If the sex ration continues in this manner, another social issue which could come up in the next 20 years is frustrted & depressed Men in the 20 to 45 years age group. Some parts of China already report about 20% excess males in their population and there have been reports of men in parts of Haryana not finding brides to marry in their community. Some socialists term this as " Testosterone Glut ". This may affect in more crimes against woman and other habits like wives sharing.

The laws of nature are impartial and give equal probability for both sex offsprings with a simple XY chromosone and XX chromosone combination. As always human tinkering with nature causes adverse results which are too difficult and beyond our capability to fathom. Hope we realize before it is too late as making demographic corrections needs decades of change.

Few Numbers

Female literacy ratio as per 2011 census is 65.46% as against 82% in males, working on increasing female literacy and girls enrollment in government schools is a key area for improvment. The sex ratio for India is 940:1000, Paksitan : 952 : 1000, world ratio : 1000: 1001

Cheers to the Gandhian - Anna Hazare

After Dhoni, the world cup & his leadership supremacy, here is another leader of a different genre - a 72 years old veteran Gandhian & social activist who single handedly is raising eyebrows and headlines across the world on India's fight against corruption.

Reading the news & watching this elderly person with a strong resolute on matters he believes in makes my eyes well up with patriotic spirit mixed with shamefulness and joy. Shamefulness because inspite of having 60% population below the age of 35 which includes me , a 72 year old man had to lead the cause.Joy to see my fellow countrymen support the cause, the spread of the message across various cities, unison and ofcourse pride that India does offer freedom of speech & expression to people who know how to use it.

Recently in a discussion forum at work, a very senior executive mentioned about the definition & meaning of integrity. As per him, integrity is not only about not stealing or being on the right side of the law - its about standing up for what you believe in, be clear on your conscious for voicing your thoughts and bringing the benefits of your opinion for a good debate and hence decision.

By this definition & meaning, Anna Hazare is a person with high integrity. How many of us, so called youth would fall in this category is beyond me.How come none of us noticed the Lokpal bill being rejected by 8 consecutive governments languishing in the beauracracy awaiting corrupt politcians approval ? And Sharad Pawar - " member of Govt. Anti corruption cell " what was that about.. how dare ??

Already political parties in the opposition are scouting around like vultures to latch on to the theme and gain self momentum. What a mockery that politcians in BJP & others like Uma Bharati tried to share stage.

Sir, though I lack the courage to take up such a task single handedly like you have, I extend my support and wishes to hope that your mission continues to win support of millions of people around the world and forces action from the Government..

Quoting from the famous poem ' Abou Ben Adham " - May your tribe increase...

A different take on Cricket

Considering that the mantra is cricket these days with the concluding World Cup Matches & the 51 day IPL at the anvil, It seems inappropriate if there is no post on Cricket…

Does Cricket have more value than all the glossover by the media, the brand ambasssodors, BCCI and its clout and of course the billions of people for whom cricket is religion ? Looking at it more closely, I think it does.

Cricket was earlier known as a gentleman’s game. Though it still is referred to like that sometimes, it has lost its angelic qualities in many ways. One custom that I particularly like is that the highest run taker leads the team back to the dressing room at the end of the match & all the others follow him in line.Well, since my quest is to what else cricket offers, let me get straight to the point.


In many ways there are many learnings that a game of cricket offers to a business scenario.

Cricket is one of the longest competing sports especially the test matches. This tests the endurance of the players to withstand the grueling conditions and strive to win. Matches are all about strategizing & execution. The selection of players for the match, role of each player, early gains strategy is scripted before the match and the on the spot changes to rival the competition’s onslaught is done during the match & quickly implemented. This indicates the adaptability of the strategy and the agility that the team needs to change to suit the market.

Teamwork without mention is the top quality that the game has to offer.No matter what singular performances lead to, the cohesiveness of the team and working together is what gives them victory. The infamous team huddles and the constant encouragement that the team members give each other during the match are some examples of how this works.

Cricket is also an example of trusting your instincts & experience. The batsman tries to read the mind of the bowler & makes his decision of the shot between the split second the ball leaves the bowler & approached the crease whereas the bowler places his fielders and tries to judge the temperament of the batsman.

Speaking about temperament, most cricket matches especially the recent world cup matches have been games of capabilities & temperament. The team that is able to keep focus & cool headed at the most tense & precarious situations wins the game. Some examples are the South African team, a highly capable team but known to be chokers.

The Capatin’s Knock is a fine parallel of the management theory Lead by Example.

More importantly the game is about passion & aggression. Let me quote some examples, Brett Lee returning to the India vs Australia QF after a deep injury, Anil Kumble playing with a broken jaw in a match against WI. Sachin’s century in 1999 right after his father’s funeral is another classic example of the passion & love for the game that the players need.

The environment present at the match venue is also akin to a business situation where the match is the market, the crowds & fans are the customers who have paid for the entertainment & win, the teams represent the oligopoly players at the time, umpires are like stock analysts with final verdicts.

No wonder they say that Cricket captains would make world’s finest CEO.. that is if they have time between playing & endorsements…

Centenary Celebrations of the Indian postal service

Sending letters is a thing of the past now..its been so long since I penned a letter or bought stamps to send it.Though many times I have tried to start a stamp collection, its never progressed, so was gladly surprised when I came to know that my husband has a stamp & coin collection. True to his hobby, he does not believe in buying old stamps, he thinks it needs to be collected through exchanges or friends..buying ready made collection is no fun for him. There are vintage shops in places like Ooty which sells old stamps/ coins etc.

Recently while browsing, I came to know that Indian Postal service would be completing 100 years this year and then I digged a little further to find some facts on Indian postage.. India Post will release a set of four commemorative stamps to mark the centenary, coinciding with a re-enactment of Pequet’s Allahabad flight and the launch of the Indipex World Philatelic Exhibition, at Pragati Maidan in Delhi.