Most commonly understood meaning of integrity in public service is being incorruptible. Integrity is often linked with taking bribes. However, integrity is a much broader concept. It is commonly defined as a harmony among thought, speech and action. So, a person of integrity has a command over not only his or behavior, but also his thought process and he or she always walks the talk.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
This one is drawn randomly and it is a very cliched theme. When I was drawing this one, a thought crossed my mind. Which part of our nature is the devil trying to influence? Our darker side is already on his side, so he shouldn't waste his energy in alluring that persona of ours. This is the core idea of this illustration which also distinguishes it from the other similar illustrations.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Ethics and Integrity are so important in public service that UPSC conducts a separate examination to test that in the candidates. When I first encountered with these terms, I looked them up in many dictionaries for the precise meaning and bizarrely, I didn't find a clear distinction between the two terms - ethics and morality. Invariably, they referred to each other circularly in most of the dictionaries. Digging a little deeper with the help of Google dev, I got some clarity which I am expressing here with the help of this cartoon. Ethics is generally a broader term and it is a set of principles which are more or less universally accepted. Morality on the other hand can be very personal thing concerning right and wrong.
Friday, June 16, 2017
Just a random thought on how a nihilist would behave in the current socio-political milieu. Nihilism as an ideology came in vogue in early 20th Century Russia with a group of revolutionaries who were highly fed by all contemporary forms of rulers and government structures. They started to believe that nothing good can happen in Russia of that time even if a new regime replaces the existing one. As a result, they rejected all the solutions that were contemplated during that time. Today the term is used more often to denote a person who is very pessimist about everything that exist in his or her surroundings. The cartoon, however, uses the idea in a slightly different sense of meaning of the term.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
How often do we contemplate over the appropriateness or inappropriateness of the action of others while looking at them? Why behaving in a particular manner considered superior to other manners? Or perhaps it is not so. This is the theory of relativity in social world. It says that we are all different and not necessarily superior or inferior to each others. This applies everywhere, from religion to language and so on. The cartoon is inspired from a similar cartoon that I came across some times ago.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
One area where colonial impact was the most profound was - cultural sphere. Our education system, our dressing, our architecture, our sports - all gave way for a new cultural system. Not only in India, it happened across the world. It is also termed as 'cultural universalization/homogenization' by some who see it as an inevitable cultural evolutionary process. Some countries like China and Japan preserved some aspects - like their languages which others couldn't -but they also gave away to a lifestyle which is primarily Western. English (and other European languages) became colloquial languages in their colonies to a large extent. This is also termed as 'cultural hegemony' by many socio-political analysts, while others don't have such an adverse view. Some form of cultural exchange is inevitable in a globalized world, but it is problematic if it is skewed. When some ideas dominate over others, there can be cultural backlashes as well. Recent instances of call to glorious pasts and rise of fundamentalists are cases in point.
Friday, August 5, 2016
Some years back, I watched a wonderful play 'Ambedkar vs Gandhi' at Shriram Center, Delhi presented by the Asmita Theater Group. It was based upon the ideological differences between Gandhiji and Ambedkar on the issue of caste. Gandhiji had a reformative view of the caste system, as he had similar views about all distorted social systems. He was of the view that caste as a system was not atrocious per se, but the way it was practiced was. He had a great respect for all forms of human labor and he viewed caste as more of a division of labor with no notions or values attached on the qualitative aspects of the labor. To prove his point, he did all the work that was considered lowly by the then prevailing society. On the other hand, Ambedkar had diametrical opposite views. He deemed caste as an evil which had oppressed the Shudras and vitiated the whole Indian society as well. According to him, thought of reformation of such a deeply entrenched system was Utopian and the only way to get rid of it was annihilation of the system itself. He suggested the decimation of cultural dogma related to caste via constitutional framework and the rule of law. However, contribution of both the leaders in creation of an egalitarian society was enormous and unmatched by any other leader in India. It was just that they chose different paths to reach the same goal.
Thursday, August 4, 2016
Early Britishers and Europeans stereotyped India as a country of snake-charmers. Many early Indologists banked upon the ancient Hindu literature to create an Indian imagery which was at best only a partial conceptualisation of the diverse Indian society. India is a unique canvas which is suitable for many hues. It is modern and traditional, conservative and outgoing, all at the same time. It is a place which appears the way you want it to appear. You change the glasses and it appears as a different place.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Darwinian hypothesis of biological evolution was one of the most path-breaking postulates of past couple of centuries. Its effect were felt across the disciplines. Even many theological arguments were turned on their head. It is even said that it heralded infusion of secular into the religious space. Many thinkers were so mesmerized by this hypothesis that they fancied new theories in their own respective disciplines. In fact, the circumstances that gave birth to the discipline of Sociology had a lot of bearing on Darwinian theory of Evolution. Early social thinkers were so infatuated with Darwinian thought that many linear evolutionary theories of society were put forth by as late as 1950s. Even today, we tend to believe that our ecosystems are evolving in some definite direction - some say it is progressive, while some others say it is regressive and downfall of human race will be the end result of the evolutionary process.
Friday, July 22, 2016
'Hind desh ke niwasi sabhi jan ek hain, rang roop, vesh bhaasha chahe anek hain' was a line from a beautiful 7 minutes animated film titled 'Ek, Anek aur Ekta' by NCERT in 1970s. Most of us remember these nostalgic lines from the video which won National Award as well as Best Children's Short Film in Japan. The message is so relevant even today in the chaotic order that prevails across the globe today. We tend to forget that all religions and philosophies point to some simple truths of life. We have tendency to deify pious humans into Gods, but we ourselves often fail to behave like humans.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Social Mobility is a measure of change in social status. When an individual shifts from one social setting to another, some social mobility always happens. Actions like migration, marriage, education, employment etc lead to social mobility. However, it is not same as other similar sounding concepts like socio-economic development, GDP growth etc. Social mobility is always a measure of individual (or a small group placed in a similar situation) upliftment. Others are generally collective indicators. A fast growing economy may still have millions of poor. In India also, a section of population had been less socially mobile than others. When benefits of development are reaped unequally, differential mobility is witnessed. The fact that we still have a quarter of population below poverty is a reflection of that.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Socialism is dead. Many tend to claim this in the backdrop of the rise of capitalism in most of the countries in various forms. Even the so called socialist countries adopted some form of ‘modified capitalism’. This picture is far from the Marxian conception and prophecy of annihilation of capitalism and advent of socialism and the end of dialectic process of social evolution. It has not happened so far, but at the same time ideology of socialism also refuses to die and it incarnates in newer avatars. The fact is that capitalism and socialism maybe two binary ideologies, but never in the history have they been practiced in their pure form. Socialism is not merely about state hegemony and all things red. US adopted some of its elements in form of the new economic policy after The Great Depression, Europe continues to follow it in form of social security schemes, deficit budget of all governments in the world to fund public welfare is another hard to ignore example. Socialism remains relevant so longer there is human misery and inequality in society as the greatest emphasis of socialism is on equality of human beings and not so much on an all powerful state.