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Archive for the ‘Flat world’ Category

As a society and as individual citizens we must decide on how we define “development”, nuance the kind of development models we subscribe to and want to pursue and how do we fund any such development. Do we define ‘development’ as merely an economic concept measured by macro economic metrics like GDP / Inflation or do we want to attribute a holistic socio-economic connotation to it that includes social indicators of development (e.g. related to health, education and environment)? Do we have a short Vs. long term perspective and appropriate policies for both?

It is critical we form an informed, critically analysed and thought through opinion and participate directly in the legislative process. Let not “development” become the next political cuss-word (like ‘secular’).

I see several specific areas / issues we can start with immediately. I plan to do my part by (1) Doing my own research, going through the legislative collateral etc. to form a personal opinion (2) Publish my views here and on other social media for constructive debate / criticism (ignoring rhetoric and unsubstantiated opinions) (3) Write / Communicate to the lawmakers and hopefully have a dialogue in some form.

Here are the issues in my radar currently that I plan to spend cycles on.

  • Land and land acquisition reforms and policy
  • Politics and Economics of Subsidies (aka Freebies)
  • Development and Environment / Natural resources

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381078_268358646544561_267808496599576_724181_78238512_nAdvent is here. Jemina is building her Gingerbread House and it’s awesome! Her mission is to “bake world a better place – one gingerbread house at a time!” – A deliciously noble cause, I say 🙂

The sketch is just out, check it out –>

I must admit though – I didn’t know what “Advent” was until a few days back! So, for those of you who are in the same boat as I was and were / are too lazy to click on the link – Advent is the “season of expectant waiting & preparation” starting on the 4th Sunday before Christmas and leading up to it. The progress of the preparation (such as building gingerbread houses) is tracked using Advent Calendars.

By the way, I didn’t know what a gingerbread house was, either 😛 I knew about the gingerbread man though!

800px-GingerbreadPeople

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It’s been over a month already since I landed in Finland and I think it’s high time, lest the spark of enthusiasm be extinguished, that I started working to keep the promise I made to myself about capturing a log /diary / journal of my time and experiences here.

For the readers of the blog (if there are any left – that is) who don’t have the context on what I have been up to of late – I recently quit Microsoft, after five awesome years, to pursue my Master’s at the Aalto University in Finland. The program, called IDBM (International Design Business Management), is an interdisciplinary platform bringing together students, faculty & researchers from the schools of technology, economics & business and art & design.

In this (yet another) attempt to revive the blog, I hope to muse on my life and experiences in Finland – the university, the program, education but also places, people and culture.

Coming up soon: A couple of quick posts on the first impressions Smile

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Would the world be a better place if we, for once, stopped emphasizing how we were different from ‘other people’ and instead, started celebrating our similarities? What if our opinions of others were not based on a single, cliched’, story we had heard about them? What if we realized how our ignorance slowly gives way to disrespect, suspicion, fear and hatred and made a conscious effort to give love and peace a chance? Adichie proposes a beautiful means – by hearing others’ stories and sharing our own!

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Dear Kitty,

You might find it silly but I couldn’t think of any other way of reaching Anne. I imagine she is somwhere in heaven, among angels and fairies (I like to think she was always one of them 🙂 ) and I’m sure she still talks her heart out to you (In fact, I kind of envy you! I wish I was in your place!). I’m writing to you in the hope that you’ll convey my message to her. You will, right?

Here I go:

“Dearest Anne,

I have some confessions to make to you today. Some personal and some otherwise!

Perhaps you already know by now – Germany was defeated in the war and some innocent people were liberated from the camps (hope it brings/brought you some relief). Your father survived and from what I know, led a good happy life. He might have never said so, but, Anne, believe me, he loved you a lot. He made sure that your wish was fulfilled and that you, his daughter, received the affection of millions, that she so deserved!

Anne, I know it’d pain you but I must tell you that we the people of this world have still not learned our lessons. The Hindus, the Muslims, the Jews and the Christians of the world continue to hate and kill each other and no one trusts no one. We all take turns at playing the ‘Nazi’. It seems the holocaust did not end with Germany’s defeat in World War II. Perhaps some of it leaked from one of those gas chambers and it seethes and simmers to this day in different parts of the world. An invisible mushroom cloud hangs above the entire planet, threatning to choke all of us to death but we continue to fuel it with hate, corruption and fascism of religion, race, culture and thought.

Going to school and getting promoted to the next grade; Enjoying delicious dinners with family; Watching the kids grow up; Reading and writing books; Listening to and creating music; discovering and inventing new things…

Why do people forgo these simple joys of life and instead turn into fanatic murderers? Why is there hate?

I have only so much an answer as perhaps you did, but I do have something precious that you have given me  (and perhaps the millions, who now know you) – your innocent courage and vivacity in the face of adversity has given us hope! For two years in that annexe, with your courage and spirit, you fought an entire hysterical, war-obsessed, brute humanity. They killed and wounded millions but they couldn’t touch the child in you. That child continues to inspire and spread cheer in the world despite everything. I wanted to tell you this beacuse I knew it’d make you happy and proud and I’m glad I could make you smile.

Anne, you are a beautiful person and the more I come to know you everyday (I’m still reading your diary and I don’t really want to finish reading it! I don’t want it to end!), the more I wonder how things would have been had I been in the secret annexe with you! Perhaps we would have played and studied together (of course, you would beat me too at short hand 🙂 ). Perhaps I would have hugged you close to my heart whenever you felt sad or afraid. (Not that I wouldn’t have been afraid myself, but together we could have been each other’s strength!).

Perhaps I am falling in love with you! With your childlike innocence, with your honest emotions, with your undying hope and faith in goodness. Yes, I am falling in Love with you!

Yours,

T.”

P.S.

Thanks Kitty 🙂

Miep and Bep and everyone else who risked their lives to help their friends and strangers – people like you are the ones who keep faith in a saner humanity alive amidst all this madness. Thanks.

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Here’s a very good read on “behind the scenes” making of the global financial crisis we are in today and how it all started with the U.S. home loans market and spiralled into a worldwide phenomena.

On a different note, I believe this whole crisis and the recent happenings have removed all doubts, confusion and hesitation, if there were any, about the rules of the game in the “Flat” world we live in today.

I can no longer ignore or be oblivious to what happens in a remote part of the world, 12 hours away from me, because whether or not I can earn my daily bread depends on that!

So, now that our fates and lives are so closely entwined, can’t we, as citizens of the world, use this as an opportunity to come together and resolve not only the current financial problems but also the problems that mar humanity once and for all – poverty, hunger, illiteracy, global warming, terrorism…

Perhaps this is our chance?

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Benazir Bhutto has been shot dead in pakistan just 2 hours ago.

While all the stakeholders including US and India seem to be shocked at the moment, shock is more of a first reaction to an event of such significance. For, if one thinks about it, its not at all difficult to judge how predictable this eventuality was.

Those who have watched Beowulf recently, or are aware of the legend, will, I am sure, definetly be able to relate to the moral, both – immediately in the present context as well as in a broader perspective – The monsters you create today will come back to haunt you!

If the historians and the laureates of tommorow chose to narrate ‘Beowulf’ in context of our era, they would find ample illustrations to create their legend around!

Pakistan and Taliban, America and Osama, India and LTTE.

So today, when a wailing Aasma Jehangir pleads, “Will the world wake up now?”, however heart-wrenching her cry be, when sentiments subside and sense gets some space, there will arise questions which she, Musharaf, US, India, you and I will need to answer!

Is this is not the destiny that we, the citizens of this world, chose for ourselves? Even today, before trusting our ‘Heroes’ who claim they’ll slay the monster, are we making sure that they will not give in to the temptation?

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