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News – Stay Positive

Stay Positive

Positive living just got simpler !


Ravi is a common man, intelligent and educated. He is proud to be an Indian and has great respect for Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our Nation, and his philosophy. He has genuine concern for aam admi.

Ravi was keen to meet fellow Indians living in other parts of his beloved country, experience the delight in mingling with other cultures and enjoy the varied beauty of Nature. So he decided to travel to other states.

He started with a bus journey. He was to reach his destination by next morning. So, he woke up at dawn and was looking out of the bus window to find out where he was. But all the signboards he passed were in a script that he could not understand. He reminded the conductor about his destination and had a shock when he was told that he had passed it. The conductor told him by which bus he could get back to his destination. Ravi got down and waited. He stopped each bus that came by because he could not read the signboards on these buses, which were written in a script unknown to him. The bus conductors shouted at him for not looking at the signboard and wasting their time. The passengers in these buses and those waiting with him mistook him for an illiterate villager and laughed with contempt. He felt ashamed and lost in his own country. Ultimately, he got into the proper bus and got down at his destination with help from a co-passenger. He looked around for a place to eat. A kind gentleman gave the name of a hotel and the road in which it is located. But all road names and signboards were in an unknown script and he again felt lost in his own country, besides feeling very hungry. He could not do anything without help from others! Even this posed problems because only few could understand him. He continued to have such problems and frustrations wherever he went, in his own country.

During his travels through many states, Ravi felt unhappy when he saw vast expanses of wasteland after wasteland. Being idealistic, he decided to buy some wasteland and develop it as a model farm to demonstrate use of waste lands. The sale deed was in an unknown script and he had to seek help to check whether his name, area of land bought, survey number and other important details were correctly mentioned in the sale deed. He went to a bank to take a loan for developing his land and was asked to sign some forms in a language that he could not read. When he went to the post office to authorize his local manager to receive mails in his name, he was asked to sign a form that he could not read. He had similar difficulties in many other offices also. When he sent his man to buy things, he returned with a cash bill that he could not read. He had to face many such problems of different types. Then he decided to learn the local language. Being intelligent and observant, he realized that learning the script was the most difficult and uninteresting part of learning another language. After learning the script, it was not difficult to attain a working knowledge of any language.

After he learnt the script of the local language, most of his difficulties were over. He could read and understand names of places, things, cash bills etc. of common use, even without mastering the language. But, there are so many Indian languages! How many language scripts could he (or any Indian) learn? It dawned on him that these problems could be solved if we have a common script for all Indian languages. How helpful it will be for all Indians! Any Indian can then travel around his country and manage day-to-day requirements, without much difficulty and need not feel ashamed and lost in his own country. A national script will also make it easier for any Indian to learn other Indian languages. After all, a script is only a means to convey ideas and the richness of literature of any language can be enjoyed even when it is written (rewritten) in a national script.

Not being selfish, he wanted to find out whether having a national script will cause problems for others. He contacted a learned professor, who was known to be progressive minded. The latter was full of admiration for Ravi who came to him with a pragmatic solution to the difficulties faced by many Indians and who was deeply concerned to know whether his solution will create problems for others. He told Ravi that out of the total population of 1,027 millions in 2001, only about 562 millions, who were literate, have to learn the new national script also. But, this will not be a vain sacrifice even for them because they will benefit a lot by learning a script used by all languages, as explained earlier. On the other hand, there were 465 million persons who were yet to learn any script. Further, about 220 millions would have been added by now and every year about 20 millions more will be added. Thus, an enormous number of present and future Indians would have to start learning a script for the first time, in any case. For them, learning a national script (used by all languages) will not pose additional problems and will be a great help. The professor told him that having a national script will lead to much more inter-mingling of persons from different states and to mutual appreciation of the literature in various languages of India. This will, no doubt, accelerate national integration much more than any of the steps taken so far. He told Ravi that our efforts over more than 60 years at national integration by having Hindi as the national language had failed partly because the vast majority had to undergo the trouble of learning an additional script – the Hindi script. They also felt that this had given users of Hindi an advantage that they did not have to learn an additional script, unlike all others. Hindi would have been more widely used all over our country if all languages had a common script. Having a national script for all languages avoids these and many other irksome problems and will remove the blocks in national integration to a large extent. This will also help to counteract the disintegrating tendencies that are, unfortunately, spreading their tentacles. Moreover, a national script makes it easy to use computer in any Indian language, without special efforts. He congratulated Ravi for his excellent pragmatic idea.

Thus assured, Ravi is keen to develop a national script to be used by all Indian languages. Being a common man, he alone cannot achieve this worthy goal. He needs support and help from all of us to develop a national script, even if it means little sacrifices on our part, for the good of all our Indian brotherhood. It is important for all of us to realize that by supporting and helping Ravi we are in fact helping ourselves and our future generations to become true Indian citizens.

“Dream, dream, dream. Dreams transform into thoughts, and thoughts into action.” A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (Ex-President of India)

“Boldness has genius, power and magic in it” – Goethe



Replace WAR with PEACE

How to solve the Cauvery Problem; Prevention is better than Cure

The water war between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu with extreme emotional involvements is shameful to say the least. Are we living in a civilized country?

It is a pity that no serious attempts have been made to find a solution for this century old problem. We have succeeded in putting into orbit not one but large number of satellites together and sending a mission to Mars, with a higher success rate than even some advanced countries. But, sadly, we have failed to solve many of our pressing problems including this century old Cauvery problem because of lack of vision, human approach, innovative thinking and sense of commitment.

To solve the Cauvery problem preventive approaches with vision are essential.

Many areas of Karnataka in Western Ghats generally get plenty of rain and large part of it is not utilized properly. Number of huge storage reservoirs can be constructed in high level areas of Western Ghats for storing rain water, after surveys to identify suitable areas. In a few years, water level will reach the maximum storage capacity of a reservoir. Meanwhile, irrigation canals can be constructed to divert this water to Cauvery river at suitable places so that water can be sent through these without any delay. In this manner, all reservoirs along Cauvery river can have maximum storage most of the time. Whenever there is excess water it can be released to Tamil Nadu in addition to normal releases, with a neighbourly spirit.

To use this excess water, reservoirs can also be constructed by Tamil Nadu at high levels near Karnataka border for storing excess water and released by gravity flow to wastelands in Tamil Nadu for cultivating fruit trees which require less water. This will not only lead to utilization of waste lands but also increase in fruit production and reduce the current exorbitant prices of fruits. Moreover, this will also compensate to a large extent the cutting down of trees, if needed, for construction of the reservoirs in both states.

If these reservoirs in Western Ghats are constructed in valleys surrounded by hills, they can store plenty of water during rains. Selection of grass lands or areas with fewer trees will reduce cutting down of trees. To increase capacity of reservoir, dig earth in the selected area and use it to create bunds all around. This will also reduce its spread and thereby reduce tree loss. Rows of trees can be planted on both sides of the irrigation canals.

All these will ensure a net increase in number of trees.
Proper choice of trees can also ensure that biological diversity is not upset.

Planning these reservoirs with vision and innovation can lead to many more benefits for Karnataka and Tamil Nadu:
If these reservoirs are constructed in areas with scenic beauty, these can be made into tourist attractions with hotels and house boats. The hilly terrain will attract adventure tourism. Possibility of seeing wild animals will be another attraction. Academies for swimming and other water sports can train athletes who can compete in major tournaments and avoid miserable performance in future Olympics.
Edible fish (including special varieties) can be grown in these reservoirs. This can be another attraction for tourists. This will also reduce the prohibitive cost of fish and make fish affordable to people in surrounding areas.

An added attraction may be using this water for generation of electricity.
Another advantage of such constructions and facilities and their maintenance is creation of jobs, particularly for working class people.

Karnataka government ought to form a team of engineers to take up these projects with broad vision and make needed improvements to this composite multipurpose plan. Then the government ought to implement this preventive and multipurpose plan immediately to permanently solve the century old Cauvery problem and derive the multiple economic and other benefits pointed out earlier.

If monsoon failure occurs before this project becomes completely functional the following steps can be taken:

Political leaders in both states, particularly the CMs, can meet with a human (non-political) approach and discuss about arriving at a compromise solution with a spirit of give and take. Because mistrust regarding exaggeration of claims of water shortage on both sides had existed for many years, they can approach an independent professional organization to prepare a report about the ground level realities on both sides to provide an acceptable basis for friendly discussion.

Both states can make arrangements for groups of farmers from affected areas of either state to visit the other side to personally observe problems faced by both states. This will convince both groups of farmers about the need for compromise with a human approach.

After their visits, the farmers on both sides can agree on compromises required. For example, they can mutually decide to reduce the area under cultivation to what is possible with the available water. Both governments can support this move by paying compensation to the farmers for the loss likely to be incurred by reduction in cultivation. The amount required for this will only be a fraction of the huge loss which will be incurred by violent fights and bandhs.

To reduce the need for water, both governments can carry out experiments to find out crops which need less water and encourage their cultivation in suitable areas in both states.

These strictly bilateral human approaches with spirit of compromise discussed above will lead to multiple benefits: (1) prevent emergence of hate among neighbours and ensure peace in both states (2) prevent huge economic loss, violence and large scale destruction of properties and (3) avoid the need to have tribunals to order release of water.


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