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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Who am I…?

I am your constant companion...

I am completely at your command...

I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden...

I am easily managed - you must be firm with me...

I will push you onward or drag you down to failure...

Half of the things you do you might as well turnover to me and I will do them - 
quickly and correctly...

Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically...

You may run me for profit or run me for ruin - it makes no difference to me...

Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet...

I work with the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a person...

I am the servant of great people, and alas, of all failures as well...

Those who are failures, I have made failures...

Those who are great, I have made great...

Be easy with me and I will destroy you...

I am not a machine though...

Who am I? 


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I AM HABIT!


To bid Goodbye to the passing year 2015 and Welcome New Year 2016, here is a list of 15 Habits and one Guiding Principle that is the Six[teen]th Element of the message for 2016...

DON’Ts
  1. Stop lying… to anybody, at any time for any reason… with any justification!
  2. Stop procrastinating… you can never start anything if you keep on postponing!
  3. Unlearn unnecessary tenses… Past is gone and nobody knows the Future… live in present!
  4. Stop dreaming about anything… Visualize to realize it!
  5. Say ‘NO’ to any distraction… Remember all distractions are extremely tempting!

Keep up…
  1. Exercise
  2. Meditation
  3. Healthy Diet
  4. Dialogue 
  5. Self-evaluation

DOs 

  1. Get One Page Plan: A one page plan keeps things simple.
  2. One idea executed flawlessly could change the game for you.
  3. Your magnificent obsession: What your best year would look like?
  4. Focus on your vision: In today’s world Focus is more valuable than intelligence.
  5. Go to the EDGE of your LIMITS and your previous LIMITS will become NEW NORMAL.
And to live a peaceful and balanced life, for everything you do, ask two questions to yourself...

'Is it really worth it?' and if 'YES', 'At the cost of what...?'

Take Care, Be Ware and Happy New Year... Way to go…!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Intention...!

A wealthy lawyer was riding in his limousine when he saw two men along the roadside eating grass. Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate. He asked one man, 

"Why are you eating grass?" 

"We don't have any money for food," the poor man replied. "We have to eat grass." 

"Well then, you can come with me to my house and I'll feed you," the lawyer said. 

"But sir, I have a wife and two children with me. They are over there, under that tree." 

"Bring them along," the lawyer replied. Turning to the other poor man he stated, "You come with us too." 

The second man, in a pitiful voice then said, "But sir, I also have a wife and SIX children with me!" 

"Bring them all, as well," the lawyer answered. 

They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine. Once underway, one of the poor fellows turned to the lawyer and said, "Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you." 

The lawyer replied, "Glad to do it. You'll really love my place... the grass is almost a foot high!"


I found this on the web and it was under the 'Jokes' category! What a cruel joke...

Anyway, it doesn't make you generous if your intentions are selfish. Similarly, it doesn’t make you needy if you try to be greedy. And collaboration of two self-seeking elements is hardly sustainable…! So, I will say it one more time, all what matters is intention...!

Way to go...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Filmy...!


There was a Second Bollywood movie ‘Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin’ (first being Rishi Kapoor starrer, a typical Nasir Hussain film of 1977) with a start cast of Big B, Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgn, Aishwarya Rai supported by Satish Kaushik, Annu Kapoor, Anupam Kher and Paresh Rawal. The reason to list the entire cast is to establish the fact that the movie had to be taken notice of and although it was a David Dhawan movie and had all the privilege to be a no-brainer entertainment, it had some catchy (I will not say ‘brainy’!) things about it apart from the credit of the casting director who selected such a ‘towering' cast!

The film was an ‘enjoyable’ (pun intended!) version of a Robert De Nero starrer fantastic Hollywood comedy ‘Analyze This’ but that was not the only good thing about it. It had some great eye pleasing locations and some good Interiors, like Dr. Rastogi’s clinic, showing a great aesthetic sense. So the credit goes to the Art Director and Production Designer as well. However there is another element who could claim the credit for the success of this movie for doing their bit; the screenplay and dialogue – Robin Bhatt and Rumi Jaffery – the duo who, in the context of the settings and characters in the story, did their job right up to the mark.

In a Scene where Dr. Rastogi, completely frustrated by the constant bullying by Munna Bhai for persuading him to marry his sister to Munna Bhai, enters Munna Bhai’s Haveli and scolds him while losing his cool and says many nasty things to the Don. When the Doctor has finished, the Munna Bhai, in his usual cool tone responds…

"Apun ke ghar mein aake, apun ko gaali deke, apun ko dhamkakar, apun ko badmash bolkar agar tum zinda khada hai na ... toh isse badke aur koi sharafat nahi ho sakti!" 

[After coming into my house, after cursing me, after threatening me, after calling me a rowdy person if you're standing alive ... then there is no decency bigger than that!]

I don’t know what reminded me of this scene, but must be something 'filmy'! Let’s not waste our time on it anymore and let’s focus on another AK (Arvind Kejriwal), the hero who supposedly was the Maseeha (or should I say ‘Godot’) to bring the 'Rule of Justice' by following the path of ‘Satyamev Jayate’ and make this country ‘Incredible India’ and was recently ‘forced’ to hug Laloo Prasad Yadav (the picture shows otherwise, though!) as Laloo wholeheartedly believes in ‘Atithi Devo Bhav’! After all he is the man who can do it for you after Anna Hazare and not someone who is already PK and has a problem of Short-term Memory Loss!

Nevertheless, I am pleased that PK is living up to his reputation of perfectionist by sharing even the bedroom discussion between his wife and him and one must recognize the fact that it was his wife who is worried and not this secular, nationalist and most patriotic person who always fights for his nation… remember Rang De Basanti, Sarfarosh, Lagaan, Mangal Pandey… and to top it, Satyamev Jayate, in which he literally cried so many times? Now don’t you dare to say that he did all of this, or the TV commercials of Coca Cola and Snapdeal for money and fame. Because if you say that, you can even go to the extent to argue that whenever Mr. Perfectionist encounters any National or Social issue, it falls in the month of November while he has his most ambitious (he doesn’t settle for anything ordinary and mundane, you know!) and only movie of the year to be released in December… what a coincidence! ‘There is no chance of improvement in Perfection!’ as Aakash puts it in Dil Chahata Hai!

Now, if you have had enough of this, let’s get back to the work as we must work to earn the money to buy the overpriced tickets for the iconic value of ‘Dangal’…! Got it…? Sab Kushal Mangal Hai!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Honorarium ...!

Image source: http://openbuildings.com/buildings/tata-consultancy-services-profile-3331/media#!buildings-media/4

I was traveling from Pune to Mumbai by train to attend a GRI-TCS one-day workshop ‘Moving beyond Disclosure to Drive Change’ at Thane campus of TCS on Friday, 20th November 2015. The Indian Railway is an independent ecosystem in itself of distinct and influential character and dynamics. Being the largest corporation with highest no. of employees in the world, it has to be. However, apart from the Rail Management and travelers, there are different types of elements in this ecosystem that bring it to life, sustain and maintain it. Hawkers are one of them who board the train to sell anything from snacks, beverages to accessories, toys and what not. There are help seekers of various types, right from singing blind beggars to transgender community members capitalizing their guise. I never pay any heed or money to any of these for my own philosophical reasoning. However there is a new emerging community I am witnessing lately that acts as a ‘silent worker’ whom I always pay!

Without making a fuss of their vulnerable category, pitiable situation or deprived status, they have discovered a ‘decent’ tool for a ‘clean’ purpose to earn their means, without even asking for it, most of the time. They sweep the floors of the rail compartment with whatever piece of cloth they can find and most of them do it almost professionally and with a commitment more than majority of the government employees. I always pay the member of this community that I find on the train I am boarding and also make it sure that I will not use coins but paper currency; coins make noise and declare the philanthropy to the world in an amplified tone! Now, why I pay these people has a multi-layered explanation on personal, social and global levels –

1. I am committed to cleanliness to the extent of developing an OCD for it, almost. I love everything spick-and-span, a major reason I love the conferences at star hotels. Everything there seems to be as clean as a mirror except for the thoughts and intentions of the humans I meet.
2. It’s a matter of national shame that its citizens make filth around them all the time, live happily amidst it and expect somebody to clean it silently for them without any demand or expectation.

3. The members of this community could have formed a group, union or a party to rebel against their ‘exploiters’ OR could have joined a Militia OR simply surrendered to their condition and have chosen to beg like their fellows without moving even a finger. But they chose otherwise.

That’s why, on behalf of all my countrymen who should be ashamed of filth they keep on creating, I pay them this ‘Honorarium’ that they deserve and not the ‘philanthropy’ they have intrinsically disclaimed.

Well, the workshop did not provide me greater impetus to write about it than this small mundane incidence happening round the clock and could have been smartly ignored, just like any other responsible and tax-paying citizen of the nation but somehow I found a thread between the take-away (Can anybody explain me the meaning and intent of this phrase in context of a seminar…?) of the workshop and this activity. Reporting merely cannot change the situation as it will always lack the complete transparency in first place and secondly it is like expecting the road vehicles to abide by all the traffic signals as we have installed the Signals, Speed-barkers and signs all over. We must not forget the very fundamental right and hard-earned mastery of any human being, particularly in this part of the world, to ‘Ignore’, ‘Bypass’ or ‘Manage’ anything that might discomfort it. Discipline happens only when each individual is ‘conditioned’ enough to follow the signs and lights just like its basic instincts, a very common thing for a self-centered human, mostly concerned with I, me and myself.

With the rise of personalized products, gadgets and equipments, the already dying ‘communication’ is entering the phase of monologue day by day. Loads of information and knowledge from all types of ‘sources’ is drowning the human brain in an info-pool (formerly known as info highway!) empowering it to have an opinion over virtually any matter (not just under the sky, but even beyond it!) that concerns it or not. The ‘smart’ gadgets competing with the jets in the speed and connectivity service providers trying to win over each other with light-speed guarantee have made it sure that the dozed brain full of trivial garbage would be over-armed to voice their opinions which would be immediately upheld by the Media and Social Media developed to be at their disposal 24x7. This has created a chaos that has a noise of its own and no voice of any specific value; exactly the situation for any government when it wants to govern the least! And this is the picture of all developed, developing and underdeveloped nations invariably, a pathetic picture for the humanity for sure!

And there is a bigger noise inside that needs a vent. The paradoxical state-of-affairs happening incessantly in every part of the nation in purportedly each field provides the opportunity to vent out this noise in the thought-crowded head at such a speed that there is no time to listen, understand, reflect or reciprocate… just express, emphasize and forget! If Sanjay Leela Bhansali decides to film a beautiful dance number by 2 gorgeous women of the nation by taking the cinematic liberty and fantasizing the ‘history’ a little for glamorizing his effort, suddenly it becomes talk of the town but nobody seems to be concerned of the historic monuments that are deteriorating fast to reduce to ashes. While, if a Yogi decides to diversify his ‘business’ with products of neighboring country with [supposedly] local and healthy ingredients and to achieve ‘revered’ purposes, we accommodate it in his ‘interests’ and chew it religiously but won’t pressurize the government to find the offenders who have blood bathed the war of thoughts by brutally murdering the rationalists and activists. 

Well, the question remains the same as it was for decades – could any such new Legislation like CSR Act, or GRI Guidelines G4 or OECD principles make any difference in the situation? What could make the CSR more proactive than reactive? How the Corporate sector could be made aware, encouraged and facilitated to accept and imbibe the CSR, CSV or Corporate Citizenship in the business process? And, as for me, the answer also remains the same – by developing a culture of CSR / CSV and not appointing a ‘panel’ to take care of it!

It should be done as voluntarily and inherently by the entire organization as sweeping the floors without expecting any direct, instant or material returns from it. The moment Corporate will understand this, no more Act or Reporting Standard would be required as there is no effective evaluation of works and deeds than self-appraisal! [Read the story here] Way to go…

Friday, November 13, 2015

CSR India Inc - A Review

Recently I came across an infographic in a report by CSRidentity.com for Company Annual Reports that showed the distribution of CSR spent by India Inc on various sections of ‘Schedule VII’ under CSR that concerned me, as with great effort, I have put behind the fact that the overall performance of Indian Corporate Sector in its first year of CSR implementation is far from satisfactory, let alone significant, the reports of whatever is claimed to be done under CSR made me more worried. However, the same report has a very insightful illustration of CSR tree, I must say!


Most of the tycoons are taking the safest route of empowering ‘Education’ with infrastructure level developments without much probing into the quality, intent and content of the education that is being offered. Health is another soft target as it is easier to send some Ambulances in remote places and conduct vaccination drives than actually investigating the root causes of diseases, removing those and supporting health and hygiene by awareness and preventive healthcare. And the Third major sector of Community Development is doing a good job for Self-help groups and local employment so to say; however it’s a long way to go for achieving a nation of clusters of self-contained villages that are Independent in function yet Integrated in identity.

Unless and until we take CSR to the boardroom for the Strategic Planning, nothing can make much difference in the situation globally and in India particularly. We should start thinking of core business strategies from the CSR point of view and apply all available technology like Big Data to get the realistic figures of everything concerned, to begin with. As far as this infographic suggests, we are spending hardly 1% each on Agriculture, Art, Children, Culture, Elderly, Infrastructure and Vocational Skills. And almost 15% on Education and Health separated from Children and Culture or Elderly for that matter. While ideally we should have an initial breakdown of every single CSR Rupee as follows, I believe - Agriculture – 25%, Vocational Skills – 20%, Infrastructure – 15%, Children – 10%, Community Development – 10%, Environment – 10%, Art and Culture – 5% and Elderly – 5%.


My infographic has some presumptions as well as hypothesis based on the collective wisdom and conventional intelligence humans have inherited from their ancestors. Farming is the first ‘Invention’ by humans that separated the species from others in the physical reality of being. That makes ‘Agriculture’ the primeval ‘industry’ on the rise of which every other industry built its foundation. The imminent downfall of this fundamental industry has the potential to reverse the giant wheel of development as; however developed human brain could be, it is capable of cloning only living beings but not crops and vegetables. Experiment of genetically modified vegetables has already proved to be a disaster and human liver is yet to mature enough to actually digest the currency even it could do so in the figurative manner! So till the point we enter the age of ‘Demolition Man’, we will have to depend on food, alas!

It won’t take a Management Guru to establish the fact that in whatever circumstances, ‘Agriculture’ cannot be the ‘only’ industry and all other industries would need skilled manpower, hence the skill development. Infrastructure undoubtedly forms the backbone of any development and its importance is unprecedented. If we take care of our children (not ‘raise’, ‘develop’ or ‘condition’ them, mind you!), they will take care of themselves and ours as well as the future and environment; sustainability is no different! Health goes in with 'Children' only as it is common sense that a child with an immaculate body, responsive mind and generous soul will not only have a healthy life but will ensure a healthy environment around that would facilitate the Community Development. Art and Culture is the Second legacy of humans that make them standout from other animals. It needs to be inherited religiously, reinvented profusely and respected dutifully. Taking care of Elderly with respect and dignity is just an expression of culture!

This distribution of CSR resources should be monitored, checked, reviewed and revised vis-à-vis the progress report of the projects undertaken on annual basis. All this might sound very idealistic and romantic to an instantaneous and capitalist mentality, but justice and love both are blind and hold a sword and a rose in hand respectively! Way to go…

Thursday, October 29, 2015

CSR 2.0!


In 2003 we had a complete mad Hindi movie in bold strokes of action, comedy, underworld, satire and what not Hindi Masala calledWaisa Bhi Hota Hai – Part II’, which means ‘It Happens THAT Way Too – Part 2’ (For the enthusiasts, it had the popular song ‘Allah ke Bande’ by Kailash Kher). A very common (and obvious, if not witty!) first reaction about the movie’s name was, ‘Are, the director has forgotten to make the first part, it seems!’, the reason being, it would have been logical for the First movie to have the name ‘Aaisa Bhi Hota Hai – Part I’ 'English - 'It Happens THIS Way Too – Part I’. When the enthusiasts in the first bracket above (although not many of them!) watched the movie and got the hang of it, they discovered the 'creativity' behind the name as it was intended.

Both Arshad Warsi and the Creative debuting Director Shashank Ghosh could not save this ‘a little out of the box’ and ‘a lot out of the way movie’ and none of them bothered the outcome even then. So what is it with me to bring a 12 year old outdated Hindi Masala movie into the discussion? Neither Arshad nor Shashank got anything out of this bizarre effort 12 years ago, so it is needless to mention that I am definitely NOT looking forward to some ‘Long-term Capital Gain’ here…! I was reminded of the movie by a weird term I heard recently… CSR 2.0! “2.0?” I mean what…?
   
The technology-freak society obsessed by the Microsoft way of life just loves to have numbered versions of anything without reforming (or even understanding fully), forget rectifying, the previous versions. And that was okay as long as Bill Gates, who turned 60 yesterday, had his way with that version game. Being the most incredible business brain around, there is no denying of the fact that Bill certainly has nailed it to create wealth in a most legitimate, economically viable and environment friendly (‘Windows’ is an environment, remember?) way and adding the Social element with the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation to complete the package. However, upgrading to a newer (latest) version is the biggest concern of the global Window-ers against which Global Warming and Acute Disparity looks distant and manageable; sorry Bill, no offense!

Anyway, that is not the point of the discussion and I do not intend to hurt the world’s richest living person on his birthday, it was just the analogy of versions (‘2.0’) that brought it up. I do understand the need of sequel or evolution of any theory or practice but the conventional wisdom and common sense says that before starting Second Round of anything, you must finish the First Round appropriately. (Ask any ‘Self-proclaimed-expert-of-everything-after-8-PM’) I mean how can you start emptying the bucket while it is being filled? Or even replace the original bucket with a new bigger, stronger one, for that matter, without examining and fixing what’s wrong with the older one? Even the ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ principle of sustainability doesn’t allow it!

...Farmer Joe was in his car when he was hit by a truck. He decided his injuries from the accident were serious enough to take the trucking company (responsible for the accident) to court. In court the trucking company's fancy lawyer was questioning farmer Joe. "Didn't you say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine'?" said the lawyer.

Farmer Joe responded, "Well I'll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favorite mule Bessie into the...." "I didn't ask for any details," the lawyer interrupted, "just answer the question. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine'!"

Farmer Joe said, "Well I had just got Bessie into the trailer and I was driving down the road...." The lawyer interrupted again and said, "Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question."

By this time the Judge was fairly interested in Farmer Joe's answer and said to the lawyer, "I'd like to hear what he has to say about his favorite mule Bessie."

Joe thanked the Judge and proceeded, "Well as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my favorite mule, into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side. I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other.

I was hurting real bad and didn't want to move. However, I could hear ole Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans.

Shortly after the accident a Highway Patrolman came on the scene. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he went over to her. After he looked at her, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes.

Then the Patrolman came across the road with his gun in his hand and looked at me. He said, "Your mule was in such bad shape I had to shoot her. How are you feeling?”...

Many times Context is more important than the content. To understand other’s point of view, you must listen to the whole story and show some empathy. There cannot be versions or percentages in human cognition of the situation and considerate reaction to it. I haven’t seen or met a person who is 99% honest or ethical to the 'acceptable' level. Anybody can be honest or dishonest, ethical or unethical 100%, in pure Black and White, not in shades of grey! Similarly there cannot be Versions of fundamentally essential principles of any faculty. If we say that inquisitiveness is a basic principle to acquire knowledge, could the curiosity be divided into grades? Only school classes could have standards and grades, not ‘curiosity’, which is the root of all knowledge-base.     

The CSR is an essential way of doing business and Culture that needs to be cultivated in the DNA of any organization. It is neither just another Management funda nor a buzzword to throw around at conference tables or in corporate dinners. Moreover, it is neither an afterthought that is reactive but must be a vision that is proactive. It’s already being suffocated with the ‘New form of PR’, ‘Strategic Branding’, and ‘Image Building’, and alike camouflages which would never work. Unless and until the CSR is not understood in its spirit and intent, no reinvention or reform in any form will ever work except for those proposing it. An old maxim says ‘there is no point in reinventing the wheel…!’ and, between the lines, it reads ‘…if you have not understood the concept of a wheel!’

The bottom-line is, no matter how you clad any object with whatever material you have or can borrow for a while, it will never make a permanent impact on the original form of the object unless you are trying to reshape it while it is in the process of formation… just like a clay pot. While the clay is wet and the wheel is spinning, you can mould it the way you like it. Once it is dried and baked it would crack and fall in pieces with any effort of reforming.

So for now, I would appreciate if the Leading Management Gurus preaching CSR 2.0 could forget about the '2.0' and facilitate the transformation of CSR from concept to culture for the organizations all around the globe. They might just find some interesting insights in due course for themselves, who knows? Way to go…

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Invincible at 73!


45 Years of Magic on Silver Screen from Babu Moshaya to Wazir, this Living Legend Star of the Millennium turns 73 today. Always larger than life, Big B has more commitment, influence, power, versatility and fan-following than all the heroes of today put together including his own son. This is neither because of sheer luck, background or network nor only persistence and tenacity, but 10% the combination of all of these and 90% disciplined hard work he never ceased to put in, no matter what the assignment is! The most (and probably the only) punctual celebrity (in its truest sense), Big B puts himself in the character to live it’s life which makes Babu Moshaya, Amit, Ravi, Vijay, Azad, Arjunsingh, Shahenshah, Sarkar, Bhutnath, Buddhadev, Bhashkor and even Harish Mishra in The Last Lear, equally convincing. 

No silver screen in the world will ever witness such a range from a single Actor (that’s what he prefers to call himself, by the way!) and that’s why we look forward to watch him for many more years to come as HE is the only Superhero who does practically impossible things on the screen and we like to believe it that they are doable! Besides that, he is the icon of aging heroes as he has graced the AGE with both his off-screen and on-screen presence (Chini Kum), remember Paresh Raval’s face when he learns that Ghaspoos is in love with Tangdi Kabab and so does she?

Big B has carved himself such a niche, not only in the film industry but in millions of hearts all round the globe as well, that is interestingly reflected in one of his most popular dialogue – ‘Hum janha khade ho jate hai line wahise shuru hoti hai…!’ It will be like that for years to come, we believe! 

Wishing all the Health, Grace and Wholesomeness to Big B on his Birthday, we thank our most beloved ‘Bachchan’ and look forward to celebrate his 100th Birthday with same zeal, enthusiasm and optimism! Way to go…

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sustainable India...!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Purpose...!

“I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, 'Where's the self-help section?' She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.”

With the Volkswagen scam revealed, the fundamental question and concern has brought the discussion of CSR and its application on the table, particularly because of Volkswagen’s CSR Ranking! If the Corporate(s) are using the CSR as either ‘Strategic’ branding tool ONLY or to escalate the profits by hook or crook to meet the En-Forced CSR burden, will it not defeat the purpose?

3BL or TBL or 3Ps is a popular concept relevant to CSR that is more like a ‘classic’ that everybody discusses about but no one, except critics, actually reads/watches. In my Theory of Triangle, I have already tried to explain the characteristics and significance of a triangle and the nodes mentioned in it could be replaced by the 3Ps comfortably, without compromising any rationale or principle of the theory. My hypothesis using the analogy of geometry of the triangle states that no matter how you stretch the lines of the triangle, the sum of all its internal angle will always be the same, i.e. 180 degrees. There is a mutual understanding between the angles of the triangle to contract or expand in response to the change in their counterparts.



ToT stands true because Geometry [or any other pure science for that matter] never deviates from its principles. However when human intervention is assumed it becomes inevitable to anticipate and accept deviation (from ‘a little’ to ‘mammoth’, mind you!) from the all the principles, values and beliefs. And no superhero can even stabilize; forget stopping or reversing, this journey of the Economic Growth pointed by an ‘Upward’ Arrow. ‘Thinking out of the box’ is the method of finding an escape when all four sides of the box are closed tight. It takes creativity to discover that a box, in fact, has 6 sides not 4 and any one of the six is always ‘Open’ if you look at it from a different perspective!

So let’s get creative, think out of the box [‘Doughnut’ actually as put by Kate Raworth] and look at the TBL or 3Ps as Triangle Balance between People, Profit and Planet toward Sustainability by adding ‘Purpose’ at the center. If we can train our minds to focus on the ‘Purpose’ of whatever we do and cross-check it with the basic philosophies of Human Life – ‘Is it worth it?’ and ‘At the cost of what?’; most of the Principles, Mandates, Directives and Goals would start bearing fruits immediately without any enforcement, I believe…!


Remembering the Mahatma on his 146th Birth Anniversary today, I would like to share the list of Seven Social Sins, sometimes called the Seven Blunders of the World that he published in his weekly newspaper Young India on October 22, 1925; exactly 90 years ago and I don’t think any CSR is beyond it if we could add our new-found insight of the central ‘P’ regarding the TBL as the Eighth entry to the list… 'Activity without Purpose!'

1. Wealth without work.

2. Pleasure without conscience.

3. Knowledge without character.

4. Commerce without morality.

5. Science without humanity.

6. Worship without sacrifice.

7. Politics without principle.

Hoping to follow Mahatma’s footsteps, at least for his principles of Trusteeship with reference to the CSR, I would prefer to pay him Homage today by his own quotes that are extraordinarily dear to me…

‘To believe in something and not to live it is dishonest…!’

‘The world has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed…!’

Way to go…!

Friday, September 4, 2015

CSR is not about Profit but Justice!

There are two vigorously debated and widely accepted approaches to look at anything – Spiritual Philosophical and Scientific Rational. Both have their own theories of Human evolution, not necessarily contradicting in every element but on some different levels altogether, for sure. However diverse their schools might seem, both allegedly seem to agree on the fact that when it all started, all humans were equal as far as their physical set of conditions are concerned. We cannot say societal as it was long ago before a Society is formed by the humans; there were only groups and troops to begin with, in the hunters and gatherers stage. Nor can we deliberate on intellectual or economical aspect as then Human Intellect was restricted to basic instincts just like other animals and humans were yet to discover a magic called currency which in the long run changed the entire game and left humans with insatiable desires.


The insecurity of the unpredictable natural phenomenon in wild gave birth to the concept of Superpower or Deity to find a solace in hard times with extremely adverse circumstances while the need of fair exchange of commodities explains the dawn of currency. However, in its evolution phase, the currency that entered the scenario as a convenient mode of exchange soon started to become the commodity itself that could be bought and stored for future utilization. This interesting reversal of the famous English saying, ‘The ends justify the means transformed the ‘fair’ exchange into a ‘Smart’ trade wherein smart sellers started selling what they wanted to sell and not what was the sheer need of the society at large. Being a ‘Smart’ trade, it even made the people believe that this would bring ‘development’, a magic key that has all the solution to world problems right from poverty to disparity!

‘Land’ being the most powerful weapon of mass control (if not destruction!), the smarter ones made it a point to grab as much as land possible by any means they can employ to achieve their objectives. To make it a socially workable and legally acceptable model, they developed Markets, Corporations, and formed Organizations and Governments so that no weak and deprived section of society would have any opportunity to think against it, let alone oppose or revolt. ‘Green is the color of development and Green is the Power on this planet’ was the motto behind all this development, of course with a presumption that nobody would ever question ‘Which Green…?’ Playing the real diplomats that they were, they told the masses to go to hell in such a way that the society actually looked forward to the trip!

However as Abraham Lincoln put it rightly, ‘You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time…’, eventually around the millennium years, thought leaders and ecology researchers realized that it was already high time this conspiracy in the name of development should be countered, questioned and probed into for a common good and sustainable development in its truest sense. Initially some Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were resolved by the world leaders that were recently transformed into Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a major focus on eradicating hunger and extreme poverty, promoting education and gender equality, reducing child mortality and improve maternal health.

The area of Environmental Sustainability also found the place in the list of SDGs and if looked at it in a holistic and a little philosophical perspective, the situations that are addressed are the result of injustice from one element to other(s) in the society in one form or other. What the awaken world now demanding is the justice and neither the favor nor the philanthropy. The bottom-line of this new-age realization is ‘If you are doing well, it’s great, our compliments. But you must not forget that many elements have paid (and are paying) the price for your elite status and you must return the favor by shifting the focus from profit maximization to social business.’ Period…!

Monday, August 24, 2015

'ऐरावत'...!

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind...

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen...!

काल, रविवार दि. २३ ऑगस्ट २०१५ रोजी पुरातत्व व वस्तुसंग्रहालये संचलनालय आणि गड संवर्धन समिती, महाराष्ट्र राज्य यांच्या संयुक्त विद्यमाने आयोजित 'गड संवर्धन एकदिवसीय कार्यशाळेस' पुणे आणि परिसरातील दुर्गप्रेमींनी भरभरून प्रतिसाद दिला. सुमारे ३०० गडप्रेमी या कार्यशाळेचा लाभ घेण्यास जवळपास पूर्णवेळ (सकाळी ९:३० ते सायंकाळी ६:३०) उपस्थित होते. 


गड संवर्धन समितीच्या वतीने श्री. पांडुरंग बलकवडे यांनी प्रास्ताविकात दुर्गप्रेमींची भूमिका, अपेक्षा आणि अडचणी यांचे विस्तृत विवेचन केले. प्रमुख पाहुणे, डेक्कन कॉलेजचे अध्यक्ष, श्री. देगलूरकर सर यांनी आपल्या छोटेखानी, खुमासदार आणि व्यक्रोक्तीपूर्ण भाषणात इतिहासाचे महत्व, शिवाजी महाराजांचे इतिहासातील अलौकिक स्थान, दुर्ग संवर्धन समितीच्या कल्पनेचा आढावा घेत कंबोडिया, इंडोनेशिया अशा देशांमध्ये अत्यंत निगुतीने सांस्कृतिक वारसा जपण्याचा जो स्तुत्य आणि अनुकरणीय प्रयत्न दिसतो त्याची, अगस्ती ऋषीच्या मूर्तीच्या प्रमाणासह, प्रशंसा केली आणि जगाच्या पाठीवर इतरत्र कुठेही आढळून न येणाऱ्या महाराष्ट्रातील निसर्गसंपन्न दुर्गवैभवाची नोंद व जपणूक होण्यास सर्वतोपरी प्रयत्न व्हावे अशी अपेक्षा व्यक्त करतांनाच शासनाने अशा प्रयत्नांना प्रोत्साहन द्यावे असे पोपटाच्या मार्मिक गोष्टीतून सुचवले. तसेच, असे सर्व प्रयत्न हे यथायोग्य माहितीच्या आधारे केले जावे हे सांगतांना 'ज्ञान निर्दोष असावे आणि कर्म ज्ञानाधीष्ठीत असावे' अशी टिपण्णीही केली.

महाराष्ट्र शासनाच्या वतीने पुण्याचे खासदार श्री. अनिल शिरोळे, पुरातत्व विभागाच्या वतीने डॉ. सचिन जोशी, डॉ अभिजीत दांडेकर, डॉ. तेजस गर्गे, डॉ. सिंग, श्री. विलास वाहणे तसेच वन विभागाच्या वतीने मुख्य वन संरक्षक डॉ. सुनील लिमये आणि एम टी डी सी च्या प्रादेशिक व्यवस्थापक श्रीमती वैशाली चव्हाण यांनी या विषयावर आपापले विचार मांडले आणि या सर्वांच्या वक्तव्याचा सारांश असा -

१. पर्यटन विकासाच्या दृष्टीने गडकिल्ल्यांचा विकास व्हावा. त्यासाठी आधुनिक तंत्रज्ञानाची मदत घ्यावी. 
२. दुर्गांचे पावित्र्य व स्वच्छता राखण्यासाठी स्थानिक ग्रामस्थांची मदत घेऊन त्यांना रोजगार मिळवून द्यावा. 
३. संयुक्त वनव्यवस्थापना अंतर्गत वन विभाग, स्थानिक ग्रामस्थ आणि सेवाभावी संस्था यांच्या समन्वयाने स्थानिक वनसंवर्धन समिती स्थापून त्या समितीस त्यांच्या परिसरातील गड किल्ल्यांचे अधिकार आणि जबाबदारी, दोन्ही सोपवावे.
४. संवर्धन कार्य हे पुरातत्व विभागाच्या अधिकाऱ्यांच्या मार्गदर्शनाखाली शास्त्रोक्त पद्धतीने करण्यात यावे. 
५. गड किल्ल्यांची सद्य परिस्थितील द्विमित तथा त्रिमितीय रेखाटने आवश्यक त्या सर्व तपशिलांसह लवकरात लवकर करून घ्यावी आणि या कामासाठी शक्य त्या सर्व अत्याधुनिक सर्वेक्षण साधनांचा यथोचित वापर करावा.

प्रत्येक घटकाने मांडलेली आपापली बाजू स्वतंत्र विचार करता योग्य असली तरी गडकोटांच्या सम्यक, सर्वंकष आणि सार्वभौम विचार करता परस्पर समन्वय आणि विषयाचे समग्र, सर्वसमावेशक आकलन यांच्या अभावात, गड किल्ले सर्वेक्षण, संरक्षण तथा संवर्धन या सर्वच आघाड्यांवर अपेक्षित प्रगती होण्याबद्दल शंका वाटते. त्यातून गड संवर्धनाचा दावा करणाऱ्या काही संघटना राजकीय हेतूने प्रेरित, काही संस्था सर्वाधिकार आपल्या छत्राखाली एकवटण्याच्या उद्देशाने कार्यमग्न तर काही केवळ हौशेने, यातून कुठल्याही प्रकारचा लाभ पदरात पडून घेता येईल का या विवंचनेत; अशा तथाकथित दुर्गप्रेमींच्या गोतावळ्यातून खरोखरीच गडकोट संरक्षण संवर्धन उद्दिष्टांशी प्रामाणिकपणे कटिबद्ध असलेले कार्य-कर्ते हेरून, त्यांच्या कामाचा आढावा घेऊन त्यांचे सबलीकरण करण्यासाठी राज्यव्यापी संघटन, संलग्नता आणि सुसूत्रता हा पहिला सर्वात महत्वाचा टप्पा आहे. याच कारणांसाठी पूर्वी केलेल्या प्रयत्नांचे फलित कार्यसिद्धीस फारसे अनुकूल नसल्याचे आढळते.


सदर कार्यशाळा आणि एकूणातच दुर्ग संरक्षण संवर्धन यांच्या दीर्घकालीन उद्दिष्टपूर्तीसाठी सर्व संबंधितांच्या विचारविर्मषासाठी खालील कार्यक्रम सुचवावासा वाटतो.

१. सर्व गड किल्यांच्या सद्य स्थितीचे सर्वेक्षण करून त्यांचे ऐतिहासिक, भौगोलिक, भूजैविक, पर्यावरणीय, रचनात्मक, मूल्याधिष्ठित तसेच याहून वेगळे शक्य ते सर्व तपशील विनाविलंब नोंद करून संग्रही ठेवणे. 
२. माहितीजालाच्या सुविधांचा सुयोग्य वापर करून काही संकेत स्थळांमार्फत, काही विशिष्ट पूर्वअटींची पूर्तता केल्यास, सदर माहिती उपलब्ध होईल अशी सोय करणे तसेच ही माहिती सतत अद्ययावत राहील हे पाहणे.     
३. पुरातत्व विभाग, वन विभाग तथा इतर संबंधित शासकीय / प्रशासकीय विभाग यांच्या मार्गदर्शनात एका गड संरक्षण संवर्धन प्रमाणपत्र अभ्यासक्रम तयार करणे व दुर्गप्रेमींना सदर प्रमाणपत्र मिळविण्याचे आवाहन करणे. या अभ्यासक्रमातील विषय व इतर तपशील लोक सहभागाने निश्चित करता येऊ शकतील.
४. सर्व गडपायथ्याच्या गावांचा गडाच्या सहाय्याने आणि अन्यथा सुद्धा सर्वतोपरी विकास होऊ शकेल अशी परिस्थिती तयार करणे जेणेकरून सर्व गावकरी हे वेळप्रसंगी गडकरी होऊन गडाचे मूल्यवर्धन, पावित्र्य व स्वायत्तता सदैव अबाधित राखतील. 
५. महाराष्ट्राचे दुर्ग वैभव अशा प्रकारचे एक संकेत स्थळ माहितीजालावर प्रसारित करून त्यावर सर्व गडकिल्ल्यांची साद्यंत, सचित्र व पर्यटन-पूरक माहिती वापरकर्त्यांच्या उपयोगासाठी ठेवल्यास जगभरातून कुणीही या माहितीच्या आधारे गड किल्ल्यांबद्दल जाणून घेऊ शकेल आणि पर्यटनाला चालना मिळू शकेल.

अशा किंवा तत्सम तत्वांवर या उपक्रमाची वाटचाल न झाल्यास पुन्हा 'ये रे माझ्या मागल्या' अशी परिस्थिती दिसते आणि परस्पर सामंजस्य आणि समन्वयाच्या अभावात हत्ती आणि आंधळ्यांच्या गोष्टीप्रमाणे, संबंधित सर्व घटक आंधळेपणाने (किंवा अंधारात) आपल्या उमगला तोच हत्ती समजून सूप, दोरी, भिंत, खांब अशा तुकड्यात विभागून संपूर्ण 'ऐरावत' कधीही बघू शकणार नाही अशी साधार शंका वाटते…!

Friday, August 21, 2015

I am because We are...!

A journalist and philosopher Lia Diskin shared a touching story of a tribe in Africa at the Festival of Peace, in Florianopolis, South Brazil. An anthropologist had been studying the habits and customs of the African tribe and always been surrounded by the children of the tribe. He proposed a game for the children to play.


He'd bought lots of candy and sweets in the city that he put in a basket with a beautiful ribbon attached and placed it under a solitary tree and called all the kids together. He drew a start line on the ground and asked them to wait behind the line for his signal and they should rush over to the basket on his "Go...!"

The first to arrive there could win all the candies. However, when he said "Go...!", they all unexpectedly held each other's hands and ran off towards the tree as a group. Once there, they simply shared the candy with each other and ate it happily.

The anthropologist was very surprised. He asked them ‘why they had all gone together, especially if the first one to arrive at the tree could have won everything in the basket, all the sweets…?’

A young girl simply replied...

"How can one of us be happy if all the others are sad?"

The anthropologist was dumbfounded! For months and months he'd been studying the tribe, yet it was only now that he really understood their true essence...


“Africans have a thing called UBUNTU. It is about the essence of being human; it is part of the gift that Africa will give the world. It embraces hospitality, caring about others, being willing to go the extra mile for the sake of another. We believe that a person is a person through other persons, that my humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with yours. When I dehumanize you, I inexorably dehumanize myself. The solitary human being is a contradiction in terms. Therefore you seek to work for the common good because your humanity comes into its own in community, in belonging.” 
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Ubuntu (oo-boon-too, n.) means, "I am because we are." UBUNTU is a Zulu or Xhosa word, and a traditional African concept. It's a term for humaneness, for caring, sharing and being in harmony with all of creation...!

CSR can get a hint from Ubantu, isn’t it…?

Stay tuned and Be Aware! Way to go…

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Justice...!


It’s been 2 years the enquiry of Dr. Narendra Dabholkar’s ruthless, coward murder hasn’t progressed a bit towards finding the hands that pulled the trigger or the minds that conceived the hideous idea. Same is the case with Comrade Pansare’s murder. Every voice that doesn’t favor the particular beliefs established by the system or won’t surrender to it would be silenced like this, is the message from this incidences. The blogger fraternity gets a warning of ‘No to cross the limits…!’

Really…? What limits? Who decides it? And if the citizens of the largest ‘Independent’ democracy are forced to, not ‘supposed to’, follow the Code-of-conduct mandated by few dirty, insecure minds instead of the Indian Penal Code regularized by the Constitution accepted by the sovereignty, what type of freedom is this? When a thought cannot be silenced by a superior and sensible argument, a gun is raised? This is absolute, pure and sheer exploitation of politics or political powers and intentions, for that matter! And what is the impression; imposers of these imprudent acts are under… they can stop this (un)favorable activities just like that? How many lives can they take? How many voices could they silence? 1 – 10 – 100 – 1,000 – 10,000 – 1, 00,000 – 10, 00,000…?


A very clear, open and powerful message must be conveyed to the filthy stupid brains (it cannot be called even ‘minds’, so mindless is the act and thought behind it) that it couldn’t be stopped by the bullet because it is not a person in flesh and blood but a 'Rational Thought' that has always transcended the human existence and will continue to do so forever…! When a flame of the torch is forced down, more and more it blazes upwards. A candle of wax could be extinguished but not a candle of thought. It will reborn 100 times if one beholder of it is silenced… loud and clear!

It’s the same rational thought of Dr. Dabholkar’s followers – the responsible citizen of ‘Independent India’ – that kept them patient and refrained from taking any steps that could have proved irresponsible. However, now it’s the Government’s responsibility not to test their sanity and to rise to their expectations. The opportunity to prove that ‘Democracy rules here’ and ‘Everybody is equal when it comes to justice’ should not be missed by the protagonists of equality and patriotism and show the world what India stands for and not on…!


May the Justice and Rational Thinking Prevail… Jai Hind!