Social Evolution, Revolutionary Change, Negotiated Settlement:What is best and when?

Social Evolution, Revolutionary Change, Negotiated Settlement……..

The three processes are very different from one another. Evolution is a natural process. It is slow and proceeds at its own pace. The pace may be constant or variable. It is also unstoppable. Sometimes it is visible only to the discerning eye. The physical growth of a human being is a typical example. The growth in the initial years is fairly fast and is easily visible. Thereafter only the ageing shows. It is mostly autonomous and difficult to manipulate and virtually impossible to reverse.  Evolution is generally peaceful, nondestructive and non-disruptive. No violence is involved.

Synonyms for social evolution

Revolutionary change is sudden and abrupt. It may or may not be accompanied by violence and is the result of two fundamentally opposite forces or ideas in confrontation. One of the them is generally in the driving seat and the other tries to unseat it. All drastic changes in a political order generally results from revolutionary movements. The revolution turns violent if there is resistance to it from the ruling establishment.
In democratic systems, where there is freedom of expression, revolutions are generally peaceful. There is a mechanism to measure the relative preference and the competing groups respect it. Unfortunately there is a snag. Sometimes the opposing parties market themselves as being “Being different”, while actually they subscribe to identical ideas. The aim is to capture power. It results in a mini pseudo revolution every 4 or 5 years. There is no real revolution here. The poor uninformed voter, who is disappointed with the  party in power is foxed into believing that the opposite party is offering a new idea and votes for change. These pseudo revolutions are thus easily reversible periodically unlike real revolutions that are not easily reversible.


Real revolutions happen in authoritarian countries in which the regime becomes more and more oppressive till the situation becomes unbearable. Without the safety valve called freedom of expression, there is no feedback. Then there is a sudden uprising that overpowers the current regime. If the current rulers abandon power and withdraw the change is peaceful. Otherwise there is bloodshed due to violence from both sides. The revolution remains till there is another overthrow. Occasionally there may be an impasse and the parties may resort to a peaceful settlement through negotiation.

When it is a revolutionary idea, a new one replaces the earlier one as a dominant influencer of the society at large. Such changes can be disruptive but are not violent. Computers, internet, mobile phone and AI are typical examples. They result in  a totally new way of living and learning and can have overwhelming consequences.

Cultivate Your Negotiation Skills For Entrepreneurial Success

The last premise, negotiated settlement, is attempted when 2 parties, which have differing objectives or positions and yet an overlapping interest. They try to discover a middle ground to pursue in enlightened self interest. They know that failure to reach a settlement will hurt both of them. They also know that  the final settlement will need some sacrifices to be made to arrive at a compromise. To gain some, you have to lose some. Both parties try to lose minimally. The interesting thing is that each party knows it’s own strengths and weaknesses, but can’t guess the cards held by the other party. Expert negotiators get under the skin of the other party to gain advantage. Each party secretly defines for itself a minimum position. If it can’t achieve the minimum gain it will withdraw from negotiation and it signals the breakdown of negotiations. Sometimes the negotiation is discontinued to resume after a while. This gives the parties breathing time to reassess their minimal positions in the light of the earlier discussions. For negotiations to succeed both parties must leave the table more or less satisfied. Otherwise the settlement will be temporary, giving way to another bout of discontent.

However this is easier said than done. For negotiation to succeed both the parties need to be equally strong. Otherwise it will be a one sided negotiation, with the weaker party yielding sooner or later. The process of negotiated settlement is best illustrated by wage settlement or settlement between countries on the common boundary.

Is it the end of the road if negotiation fails? The answer is No. Mediation, conciliation, arbitration and litigation, in that order, are the other processes still open.
Evolution, revolution or negotiations? In my view evolution is an independent phenomenon. Revolution is the result of aggressive human pursuit and negotiated settlement reflects search for a solution for a conflict in enlightened self interest to contain damage.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog topic that was suggested by Shackman. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Conrad, Ramana, Sanjanaah and Padmini.

Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they write about this topic.

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Being too absorbed in current devastating life threatening environment I find AI a welcome distraction to be engaged in. Barring Corona, AI is the flavour of the season. The pandemic which was aerially delivered by China to every nook and corner of the world overnight as a free introductory offer to coincide with the start of the year of the Rat, is beating AMAZON Prime hollow.

However AI has crept into our environment stealthily over the past 6 decades. Its current spurt is the result of China adopting it wholeheartedly in the last 7-8 years. AI stealthily crept into our midst on the back of of a giant deaf and dumb IBM Main Frame in the early 1950s that was named computer. It had a freeze period for nearly 3 decades after which it took off as a hot commodity. The now almost junked PCs that adorned all offices across the world was the signal for the defreezing and rapid growth of AI, which is now almost posing a threat to gainful employment of skilled and unskilled work force.  

The famous games between a special purpose IBM PC(Deep Blue) and the Chess Grand Master Kasparov which the machine won, was a watershed in the approval rating of the potential superiority of machine over man. In retrospect the machine was only lifting its little finger to beat the Grand Master.  

Perhaps the next electrifying moment was the drubbing of the South Korean acknowledged champ Ke Jie in a far more complex 2500 old Chinese board game of GO in 2017. GO was believed to imbue its players with Zen-like intellectual refinement and wisdom, unlike Chess where moves were seen as crudely tactical. This sensational match result fired the imagination of the Chinese. They have since taken their proverbial massive leap and mastered the technology advancing to its cutting edge, although UK, USA and Canada were the pioneers.  

China’s vast advantage flows from its ability to generate and process large data from its huge domestic sources. India has been a slow starter, but has the potential to catch up as it has a similar advantage. The four basic pillars of AI are generation of large data, safe data storage, processing capacity and interpretation, all in double quick time. 

Interestingly, the PC was introduced to young learners by drawing an analogy with the human head. Its Input device of Keyboard/Mouse was likened to human vision, audition, touch, and smell. The Output device of Screen display and Printer was like speech and gestures. The CPU was likened to the human brain. ROM and RAM were likened to human memory. Like our mother tongue, the computer had its own language. Unlike our 10 digit computational system the computer followed binary arithmetic using only 2 digits (0 and1). For a while humans could communicate with it only in its own language, that too in writing. Not any more. AI has given it speech recognition tool in many languages. AI draws its name from its analogy to human intelligence. PC soon gave way to portable laptop, tablet etc. Now smart phones with more sophisticated technological features and incredible speed, and yet easier to operate, are reigning supreme. AI enables it to guess the word in my mind even as I begin to type, thanks to AI. 

AI is making a revolutionary impact on our lives already. Yet it is said to be only in the nascent stage of development. The algorithmic trading is developing into a menace in the stock market. Personal Privacy is no more assured. For some AI scientists and users the future is scary, and for good reason. They fear it may eventually destroy humanity.  

AI is still far from that potential, but is spreading like wild fire. There is a belief that humans are themselves robots allowed to thrive in the world by a superior master. Each one of us is programmed to play for a specific role for a predetermined time and then vanish. The master regulates us and our environment. We have been given uninterrupted free supply of air, water, land, Sky, solar and wind energy, flora and fauna and other living and lifeless things around us to cater to our hunger and reproductive needs for sustainability. ‘Comfort’ and ‘Luxury’ are our innovation. Greed is our nemesis. Global warming, pollution and destruction of nature are self inflicted wounds for harakiri. AI may or may not be the last straw! 

Back to our blog topic now. Agriculture and health care are the two most important aspects of the quality of human life on this planet. Agriculture has been the oldest occupation of humanity. It has seen reforms every now and then, but they have been only incremental. Productivity has improved dramatically over the years. Soil science and management, soil upgradation, Drip irrigation, production and selection of seeds, chemical fertilisers, mechanical farming, meteorological forecasts, processing, quality management, packaging, preservation, storage, transportation, pricing, marketing, and distribution techniques have undergone sea change over the millenniums of human existence.

Lately Application of AI to practically all the aspects of the agriculture occupation has been transforming agriculture to newer peaks. Everyday AI start-ups are bringing in products and services to improve agriculture. AI powered processes and next-gen technology solutions are spreading fast. Bangalore based APIT renders solutions for fully automated AI powered parboiled paddy processing and driers, super-aged rice processing plants and recipe based rice parboiling. Ensuring zero-error processes, the company specialises in designing, engineering, erection, and commissioning of paddy processing plants for clients across the globe. Its energy efficient processes deliver the final product of uniform colour, and quality consistency in every batch.

Another AI driven startup company started by a 16 year old school dropout is making fully autonomous indigenous vehicle. Only the sensors are imported from the US. Its potential usage is tremendous.

AI is heavily into agriculture. Its revolutionary role has been compared to electricity. Perhaps we can live even without electricity. But without good health our life would not be worth it. Good health depends on good food, which in turn can be produced by good agriculture. AI is enabling this. Too much reliance on quick-fix chemical fertilisers with potential to damage soil, destroy the eco-system, and poison human organs needs to be countered. AI has the capability to enable this. It has the ability to offer real time solutions and course correction even something starts going awry.

However AI can displace the vast worker force employed in agriculture. This can be counter-productive and cause uprooting and destabilisation of population. The argument that they can be redeployed in other fields (pun intended) is not convincing, since AI is also occupying other spaces threatening skilled and unskilled jobs. The world is groping to find out where the bell is and who will bell the invisible cat of rising unemployment. This issue is yet to reach criticality we don’t have the luxury of time to find a sustainable solution. China seems to have one for itself, acquire the whole world. Those who are engaged in AI and its applications need to apply their abundant NI (natural intelligence) and minimise its negative potential. Will they?

This is my take on this week’s Friday 6 On 1 blog topic that was suggested by Sanjanaah. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Shackman, Conrad, Ramana, Sanjanaah and Padmini (when she does!).

Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they write about this topic.

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Am too lazy to google whether the origin of the word was from Confucius, the Chinese philosopher. Philosophers sound scholarly. Sometimes what they say is confusing to an ordinary mortal. That was what happened to me when I attended a lecture of J. Krishnamurthy.
Anyway, I am going to explore the meaning of confusion.
Confusion of mind results from the inability to comprehend the truth. It has a negative connotation in common parlance. An adversary is charitably and diplomatically labelled ‘confused’ if he refuses or is unable to see a certain matter in the same light as you. A stronger reprimand would accuse him of not willing to accept or concede the truth. An even stronger rebuke would attribute motive to his refusal to agree.
Doubt, especially self doubt is the root cause of confusion at an individual level. A weak person will be confused and unable to make up his mind when confronted with two diametrically opposite views. He would be even more confused if exposed to several shades of possibility. A simple example is the choice of the right sari. While selecting a saree, women often decide that they like the border of one saree and the colour of another. Unlike digital transposition, the poor salesman cannot transfer the border of one saree to another. He would accept defeat and offer a larger range only to confuse the customer even more. At the end of a successful sale the sales person will have the unenviable task of folding a heap of discarded sarees and to arrange them back in the showcase in proper order.
A single person’s confusion can be ignored or removed. But sometimes a large community of people are confused. It leads to a multiplier effect and is difficult to handle. It leads to chaos that can go out of control. When there is large scale confusion, attempts to remove it may compound the problem. The present Corona virus has thrown the entire world into a monumental confusion. Governments, WHO, experts and the general public are reeling under confusion. The latest suggestion by WHO that the Corona virus is also airborne is bound to increase the confusion exponentially with multiple prescriptions of do’s and  dont’s. My fear is that a patient may soon be required to pass an online test on the virus to qualify for admission into a COVID hospital.
When there are 4 options of answers suggested for a multiple choice question, and  all are incorrect, it is a sure recipe for confusion. Likewise the voter in India is confused when all the candidates are worthless. Hence the Election Commission has come to our rescue by giving us the option of NOTA (None Of The Above). We are still confused what will happen if NOTA polls the largest number of votes.
Is confusion always bad? Not necessarily. It may sharpen our thinking capacity and lead to a positive outcome.  Many scientific discoveries are the result of doubt and confusion in the minds of the research community.
Some strategists use infliction or leverage of confusion on their victims as a ruse to achieve an outcome. They plant and spread unverified stories to spread panic. Disinformation is a common technique in social media.
Clarity is the opposite of confusion. Is it superior to confusion? Not always. Clarity may be a temporary illusion. For instance when India And China hit it off, called themselves ‘Bhai Bhai’ (friends) and signed the historic Panchsheel (five principles) agreement in the 1950’s, it was quite clear that the two newly independent countries had come together. That clarity went up in smoke very soon when China invaded India. Nehru was a broken man after the backstabbing and never recovered. Fortunately for India it has a stronger and more competent PM now. He too displayed soft diplomacy until a while back, but on being confronted, has risen to the challenge like a lion. Fortunately there is no sign of confusion now.
The aim of this blog was to explore the topic of confusion. I must admit that it has left me confused. I can imagine your plight!  I am looking forward to other blogs that will bring some clarity to the topic.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog topic that was suggested by Ramana. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Shackman, Conrad, Ramana, Sanjanaah and Padmini (when she does!).

Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they write about this topic.

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People during Pandemic..Intelligent/Stupid..NN’s Take

This is like asking a married man if he has stopped beating his wife. He cannot say yes or no. Both the answers would get him into trouble. “Yes” would amount to a confession of previous demeanour. A “No” would be much worse.
As of today the best of experts have not been able to find out exact causes for the spread of the corona virus or the cure for it. They are like the proverbial six blind men trying to figure out an elephant. Existing vaccines and allopathic drugs have been found ineffective.
The common man is neither intelligent nor stupid. He is seen as stupid by experts who always try to educate him on the do’s and dont’s of any situation. If he understands and follows their instructions he is considered intelligent. If he fails, he is not just considered just stupid, but an incorrigible idiot.
However, in the current situation experts are themselves not knowledgeable. Their own credibility is at stake. Hence they are not in a position to pass any judgement. In this environment the common man has evolved as an expert. The result is total confusion. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has a solution for immunity and avoidance of the virus. The list of do’s and don’ts is lengthening everyday. Many new terms are gaining currency. Many  new practices are evolving, like social distancing ( why can’t we simply call it physical distancing?), wearing masks, PPEs, sanitising, wfh( work from home), lockdown (models 1, 2, 3 etc) unlockdown (models 1, 2, 3 etc) home quarantine, room isolation etc. Newer and faster testing techniques are emerging. Since no cure is available, existing drug formulations are being prescribed  and un-prescribed by turn.
Lancet came up with a fake report about the inefficacy of an Indian drug and withdrew it post haste. WHO bosses are working overtime on newer and newer recommendations. Yet there is no answer regarding the future course of the pandemic or its arrest. Second and third waves are being predicted. Statisticians are oscillating between optimism and pessimism. Governments are being trolled and taken to the cleaners.. Treating doctors and attendants are dropping dead. Grim pictures about the inadequacy of health care in rich as well as poor countries continue to be exposed. The business world is in a hurry to see green shoots. Never mind the deaths, concentrate on wealth creation, it says.
Suddenly concern for the unemployed has taken centre stage. Drug companies are making a killing. They are already negotiating fat prices for vaccines that do not exist. Insurance vultures are blackmailing the helpless common man to rush for insurance, knowing fully well that his premium will only benefit them and not take him too far. They are openly threatening him that he may be about to drop dead. 
In the above milieu I return to the basic question asked of me. Intelligent or stupid? Answer: IDNK. Please ask my yellow skinned neighbour who knows more.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog topic that was suggested by me. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Shackman, Conrad, Ramana, Sanjanaah and Prof.Natarajan.

Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they write about this topic.


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Names and Nicknames–NN’s take

Names may sound funny and nicknames funnier. In Tamil some are called Mottai (baldy). My class teacher fondly called me Nattai which in Tamil means tall boy (not to be confused with description of small cars with a large headroom). Unfortunately I did not live upto my promise and hit the ceiling at 5’ 7”.
In Mauritius Indian names had been mutilated by the French colonialists who took them as indentured labour due to the communication gap. My well to do neighbour’s ancestor was enrolled as  Pichaikaran (beggar) because he had misunderstood the immigration officer’s question. He though that the Officer was asking about his occupation! My neighbour inherited that legacy. Most Indian names were misspelt by the French because of their silent R.
In India many people faced a peculiar problem when they enrolled for the Civil Services exam. They had to mention their first name, middle name and the last name. Many had only one name and an initial or two representing the first letter of their fathers’ name and that of their village. So they generally expanded these to give themselves 3 names. Then the dilemma was to rank these. The village usually came last. But the Public Service Commission chose it as their surname.
One such guy became Mr. Srivenkatanarasimharajuvaripettah named after a village and its railway station is famous for being the longest name in Indian Railways. It was barely manageable in the non digital age of printed forms but today I know of no digital device that can do full justice to his name. The poor fellow himself suffered from fatigue writing his name and finally shortened it. Over a period of time some names became surnames and their inheritors have to live with the legacy.
One such name is Sodabottleopenerwala as one member of the clan had a bottling plant and passed on the legacy. Such professional surnames are common among Parsees. Daruwalla or liquor vendor is a typical example.
When I joined the Government, I had to ‘Sir’ everyone senior to me in rank. Every junior also called me Sir even if he were 30 years older and stood up automatically whenever I went to their desk. Awe, and not respect was the reason. Uttering the boss’ name was a strict no no. This was initially embarrassing but soon I got used to it. The subordinate team was called ‘my boys’ and I had many 50 year old boys. Then I was posted in Mauritius where everyone including Ministers and Permanent Secretaries were on first or nickname. This was a pleasant surprise. It took me a while to get used to it. I returned to India and reverted to the old ‘Sir’ system at RBI.
Then I made another job switch, this time to an MNC reporting to a Brit CEO. I  addressed him as Mr. X. The next day his secretary came to me and said the boss wanted to be addressed informally by his first name ‘George’. I agreed with a caveat that it could take a few days to get used to the practice. She seemed happy with her accomplishment of the task and turned her back. As I was admiring the thoughtfulness of my boss, she made a U turn as if on an afterthought and asked me how the boss was to call me.
I was taken aback and then I realised that this was the real purpose of her visit. I had no ready answer. My family calls me Raju and for my close friends I am Nattu. Others call me by my given name. It flashed in my mind that being a Brit, Mr. X would be more comfortable with ‘Raj’. From that day I took a new Avatar as Raj. Everyone in my organisation called me that. Soon they started writing my name as Raj Natarajan and R. Natarajan (instead of N.Natarajan) for short. This was too much of a threat. I couldn’t accept the Bard’s view in this matter. It had legal consequences. So I politely corrected the name changers so as to avoid a game change.
While on the subject one last point. Indians name their offspring’s by a deity’s name, hoping to have a sacred name in their lips in the final moments of their lives. My parents named me Natarajan, the dancing form of Lord Shiva, the presiding deity at the famous Chidambaram temple. Nata stands for dance and Rajan for king. The literal translation is ‘king of dances’. In the event the name name turned out to be a non-starter as I had no dancing feet. But being a diabetic I  need to walk two hours a day. Everyone teases me that this is true to my name loosely pronounced as  Nadarajan, Nada for walk in Tamil and Raja for king. I imagine a look of admiration for me in their eyes.

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Law and Order

Confession: I love watching the series Law and Order…I could watch only 3 seasons..out of 21 on Prime. I cannot get pre-taped episodes from the US because of some technical area compatibility. So I watch clippings from 3 to 12 minutes on You Tube which is not very satisfying!

l and o

In India Law and Order is something that is for a section of society. I am going to narrate an incident that occured to me and my husband in Chennai a few years ago.

We lived then in an area that is highly political in character. There are many schools and colleges and political bigwigs who occupy prime space. so, the roads usually bristle with traffic police.

We were driving back from somewhere and we have to take a right turn from the main arterial road called Anna Salai into another big Road Peters Road. Our street is off this main road. We patiently waited at the signal to take our right turn. U turns too are allowed at this signal called Thousand Lights Mosque signal.


The signal had just turned amber and a two wheeler just before us took a U turn and and an auto rickshaw and van behind us too turned right. As we entered the side road, a policeman waved us to the kerb and stopped us and let the other two behind us go!!


My husband pulled over and the cop sauntered to us and asked for all the relevant documents. Raju told him that he turned when the signal had just turned amber but the cop did not want to listen. he asked Raju to get down and walked away to his motorbike parked there. Raju went with his papers and after examination came back saying loudly, “Please give me a ticket. i will pay the fine”.

The cop said, “You pay Rs.500 and you can go”.

“Ticket please” Raju repeated.

“I have to call the Inspector. It will take time. You pay and can go”!

Raju was in the car by that time and with the window open I too piped in saying, “Please give us the ticket!”

When he repeated the Inspector story, I said, “You let others go who were behind us. You only asked us to pull up and now you want us to pay cash. We will wait for the Inspector to come even though Professor here is a diabetic and it is his his tiffin time”!

The cop got annoyed and raised his voice, “Pay and go”!

Then Raju told him, “This lady is a journalist. I cannot just pay a bribe and go. You please give me the ticket and i will arrange to pay through the AAI!”

The cop was irritated beyond words. He slipped on his sunglasses and walked away. We did not know what to do. Raju popped his head out of the window and asked the cop, “No ticket?”

The cop replied….”Saar! Don’t do all this with such a lady sitting next to you….Go….Go!!”

Since then Raju never fails to quote the presence of  “Such a lady” in his life!!

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic..suggested by Conrad. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Shackman, Conrad, Ramana, Sanjanaah and Prof.Natarajan.

Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they write about this topic.

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Benefits and Limits of Law and Order Approach..NN

‘Law and Order Approach’ is seen as useful and helpful in our daily life in all countries. It helps the common man to go about his routine without being troubled or attacked by any bully in the street. It provides a peaceful environment and enables a mechanism for dealing with violence, burglary, theft and other offences promptly. It brings offenders to justice.
Periodically a government is elected and one of its major jobs is to maintain public law and order through the police. Civil and criminal lawyers in the society and courts then work to dispense justice.
An alternative to the above approach is the Law of the jungle which is based on the principle ‘Might is right.’ Some believe this system is followed in authoritarian countries.
Unfortunately as societies evolved, the two approaches converged to a common denominator. In evolved societies, the common man has ceased to matter due to his own apathy and abdication of his rights. Thanks to this very generous uninformed surrender, persons and institutions with vested interests have captured the system to serve and save themselves and ignore the public interest.
Who are these persons and institutions? They are politicians, judges, lawyers, chartered accountants, bureaucrats and captains of industry who run powerful businesses in the finance, health insurance, armament, oil, pharmaceutical, chemical media and realty industry.
As a result of their collusion dictated by commonality of interest, civil society has become powerless. Its welfare and well being is purely incidental. Law and order machinery is expected to serve mainly the cabal. They manipulate the system to subvert law and make it subservient to their interests. Superficially they have divided themselves into two opposing camps to give the impression of taking two different stances such as ‘Left of the centre ’ and ‘Right of the centre’ to dupe voters into an illusion of ‘option’. Whichever party wins, the interests of the cabal will be preserved and expanded. Outwardly both the camps project themselves as upholders of public interest.
In all this what happens to law and order? Thankfully the cabal too can prosper only in an environment of law and order. But the finer point is that a section of the population loses its security, suffers discrimination and is even killed at will, by trigger happy policemen without justification and without the sanction of law. This has gone on every now and then for ages.
If either of the parties, who have been in power taking turns, had taken the problem seriously, such killings would have never happened or would have ceased long ago. If any political or business leader, or top bureaucrat, or the  judiciary or even the society had been alive (they certainly were in the know of it) to the problem, the cruelty would not have survived. The one exception was Martin Luther King. But then he was not part of the powerful system.
Conclusion. It is a wake up call to understand that law and order can survive only if it is freed from the stranglehold of vested interests. The limit has been reached.


This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic..suggested by Conrad. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Shackman, Conrad, Ramana, Sanjanaah and Padmini.

Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they write about this topic.

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LOCKDOWN…NN’s Viewpoint 

For the first time a phenomenon in our lifetime has put everyone in their place, physically and metaphorically. Hence in a way Coronaand the consequential lockdown have ceased to be a question at the individual level. It is a little sad that this realisation is sinking in our minds rather slowly given the ferocity of the happenings. In a way we are all slow learners. 
What has corona done to us? It has knocked us down from our comfort zones. It has ripped off our security blankets. It has thrown all of us in a huge pool of uncertainty no matter how mighty we are. That is the short answer to the question posed in the blog topic. 

Of course a lot of people are lamenting their loss of jobs and earnings. Business owners except those in the pharmaceutical industry are routinely complaining how the lockdown has ruined their businesses and how difficult it is to climb back to their previous levels. Governments are grappling with the question when it will be the right time to remove the lockdown. They are debating whether lockdown should be lifted partially or totally, and are unsure of themselves. Opposition parties are irresponsibly questioning governments without themselves being clear about any alternatives. First they questioned the lockdown, then criticised timing, whether it was hasty, or too late, and now are busy questioning the timing and extent of unlock. Their antics would have been so amusing had it not been in respect of a tragic situation. 

Another incredible lot are the business news channels. They are dreaming total economic revival, buoyant markets, unprecedented demand and prosperity for businesses once the lockdown ends. At the same time they are canvassing for mega financial support and subsidies for businesses from financially overstretched governments who are spending hugely to fight the real virus and help the poor. WHO the conscience keeper of the world is under blistering attack for its incompetence. It is losing credibility. The elusive vaccine is sowing seeds of great expectations of huge killings(I mean profits) in the minds of thugs running mega pharmaceutical companies. The gullible common man thinks he is going to get it for a song. What is predictable however is that a second wave of the virus will hit humanity when the first one ends. 

I am personally obeying the instructions of the government. We have all the conveniences in our senior living facility. Our bank delivers money at our doorstep, our e-papers land early morning in my phone, our grocer is only a whatsapp away, much of our food comes from our canteen, our in-house nurse brings our medicines, we get to see our friends wearing our masks and maintaining safe distance, we have 24 hour supply of water, power and internet. No need to stir out. Can’t ask for more. Can I?  

Please do go over to see the respective blogs to see what my fellow bloggers write on this topic.

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Colour of skin, hair and eyes

Colour of a passport and a flag

Colour of prejudice

Colour of perception

Colour of superiority and snobbery

Colour of money, of a credit card

Colour of gold, platinum, diamonds, gems

Colour that determines who you are

Colour that gets you privileges, importance

Colour that can kill you

Colour finally of blood that flows out

Colour that is RED, sapping, seeping into the earth

Colourless ashes that we turn into!


One of the top selling beauty products in India is


This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic..suggested by Sanjanah. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Shackman, Conrad, Ramana, Sanjanaah and Prof.Natarajan.

Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they write about this topic.





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Xenophobia…Prof. N Natarajan

Xenophobia means a native’s dislike of or hatred for people from another country or region. Normally if you encounter a stranger when you are alone, it arouses in you a feeling of curiosity or insecurity. You tend to be cautious, suspicious and defensive. Yet you wish to appear confident and reassured. If you are an introvert you would wait for the other guy to say hello first. If you are the outgoing type you seize the initiative and try to reach up to him. Confrontation is unlikely. Group dynamics are altogether another cup of tea. If a group runs into a stranger, they like to strike an aggressive or intimidating posture, expecting the other chap to be on the defensive. They try to be bossy. In colleges this is called ragging by seniors. Rowdy Ragging can be traumatic and even lead to commitment of suicide by the freshman. It is banned and yet clandestine ragging is quite common. One excuse is that it is meant to remove shyness and to unearth talent. Perhaps I am digressing from the prescribed topic.
I believe that the origin of Xenophobia is the attitude of a large group to one or a small number of strangers among them. The group tends to view a stranger with suspicion especially if he cannot speak the local language fluently or displays superior or inferior skills or wears another kind of attire or has other strange habits which the group is not familiar with. This generates hostility in the group. The differences are seen as an invasion on their tradition and norms of culture, that could eventually translate into prejudice and hatred. Describing their attitude as intolerance is the easy way of dismissing their behaviour. The US is seeing the ugly side of hatred by the privileged group who think that the country only belongs to them, although history shows they they cannot claim that legitimacy. They are an example of what is described below.

Very often in history, foreigners have entered countries in very small numbers (accidentally or intentionally) and then gone on to commit genocide, drive away the locals or enslave them, destroying their culture, imposition of a new language, resorting to religious conversion by deceit, bribe and denigration of the local customs and plundering their wealth to become their masters. The final aim was plunder of local resources. In the execution of these atrocities they struck alliances with a few locals to get under the skin of the general public.

The civilised name for this was colonisation. Thankfully that chapter of world history is over, but a new chapter called neo-colonisation has now begun. That would be a topic for another blog.

Xenophobia is not necessarily towards a person from another country. It could also be towards a person from another region of the same country. It is not necessarily open hatred. It has many nuances. In many Hindi and regional films a character is portrayed as a crude character hailing from another region and his language, and habits are made fun of, in the name of humour. His mannerism is exaggerated to poke fun. Nasty comments are made on the colour of his skin. The watching crowd giggles in appreciation. Could this be be dismissed as innocent antics to provoke laughter or is there a xenophobia here? The jury is out on that one.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic..suggested by Sanjanah. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Shackman, Conrad, Ramana, Sanjanaah and Padmini.

Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they write about this topic.

Posted in Current Events, Friday Three On One blog, Life skills, Prof Natarajan's Blogs, Society, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment