December 22, 2013

Govt formation in Delhi by AAP- the Aam Aadmi Party

As expected, AAP is going ahead with formation of Govt. There will be obvious "I-told-you-so-AAP-isBteam-Of-Congress" cries by BJP supporters. And Congress leaders too have already said that "nothing is unconditional" (about support). Undoubtedly AAP is playing a very risky game now. They have to come true to people's expectation and that too in quite limited time. Post March 2014, model code of conduct could be in place. So they have just 3 months of time to prove their worth. Otherwise they may not be able to fare well in the Loksabha elections. While 3 months is a very less time, a genuine indication of their intent could definitely be expressed. 
That said, the decision of forming Govt itself was quite fishy. Needless to say, the so called referendum was just a diversion exercise to avoid being questioned for taking support from Congress. Congress was a party they always fiercely fought against, and voters too gave their support considering AAP as a nice anti-BJP, anti-Congress option. So taking support from Congress was highly unethical. Still, if in the larger interest of people, and with people's support for their decision, they would have gone for Govt formation, there would have been nothing wrong. But did people really wanted AAP to form Govt with Congress support? I don't think so. There are several questions against the Opinion seeking process, which makes one conclude that the opinion could be highly flawed, unbalanced and even rigged. Here are some pointers-
  1. How could  they ensure that maximum of Delhi voters have given the opinion? Could they ensure 65-70% of voters opinion, which equals polling percentage?
  2. If they took only 30-40% voters' opinion, then can't it be accused to be of SELECTIVE opinion seeking?  What guarantee does it carry of being evenly distributed, being truly random?
  3. Was this process independent? How will others believe that it's honest, and not a manipulated one? Had they included some independent people in this entire opinion seeking process?
  4. Also, who will come outside to give opinions in public meetings? Obviously, AAP enthusiasts who will probably be equally enthusiastic about AAP forming Govt. Why will naysayers take pain to come out of home, just to say NO!! Will BJP supporters come out to their public meetings just to say no? Chances are that, they will mumble something like- "Do whatever you like, we always knew you are going to join hands with Congress!"
Since I posed these objections, I would also like to give solution to all this. The opinion should have been collected by a door-to-door campaign, collecting at least 50% of voters' opinion. The opinion should have been taken on a paper-form containing the voter's name, constituency and voter ID card no. Also, a few independent observers could have been invited to oversee the process. This process would certainly have taken longer time, but would have been far more reliable and foolproof.

I wonder if going for Govt formation was a wise decision of AAP. Being a non-ruling party was giving them advantage of questioning the wrong. But now, being in Govt, they will be put to a litmus test. Now they will be questioned for their policies. Even a single wrong move could spell disaster for them. Also, in case of reelection, there were high chances of them getting more no. of seats. Riding on a minority Govt doesn't seem to be such a nice idea!

All said and done, AAP has already decided in favour of formation of Govt, so no use now wasting time over all these things. More important is what lies ahead. Will AAP be able to deliver? Many of their promises seem to be highly unrealistic and quite idealistic too. What with drop in electricity charges by 50%, free water up to some amount and no VIP security. How will they manage all this promises? Where will they bring the money from? Not to talk of the legalization of illegal colonies, which raises another set of questions! 

Needless to say, this is a make-or-break moment for AAP. If they are able to deliver quickly, on most of their promises, people will forget their taking support from Congress. If they fail to deliver, they will become an extinct species in Indian Politics! Loksabha election is very near. They better start working seriously on their promises, or nobody will vote for them in next elections! Hope they really do, and silent the critics. J

December 01, 2013

The Language Impediment: Need of learning new languages

picture source: 
Language is the most basic way to communicate(apart from expressions of course), and it can feel like a great impairment if you get stuck due to not knowing a language. You feel like being in a world of strangers and not knowing how to interact. The inability to communicate can be very frustrating, but even more frustrating could be the inability to understand what is being talked around. To speak and to be able to communicate, the very first thing one would need, is being able to understand what others are speaking. And when you are just not able to understand the language of the region, how can you expect to be able to mix up in the conversations going around! At the very first stage you are bound to be at a disadvantageous position. All the time, only you will have to initiate the talk and that too in the standard, non-regional language. Needless to say, knowing the basics of the regional languages, is the need of the hour, to be able to effectively converse in the region you are living.

Now, there are numerous advantages too, of knowing multiple languages. 
First of all, conversing in regional language will enable you to be able to connect to people more effectively. People will feel a better sense of togetherness while talking. The talks will be more informal, more friendly in nature, hence helping you to engage in a better conversation. Even if you are only able to understand, and not speak, then too it will help a lot. At least you will be able to understand what people are speaking and would be able to respond back in your own common language.

Secondly, knowing multiple languages can be considered to be enriching your knowledge base too. After all, learning languages is an essential part of any learning curriculum. Also, learning a new language opens up a completely new vista of literature. You can read works of so many authors which you earlier would have been unable to go through. 

Not only that, knowing multiple languages makes you culturally diverse too, opening up multiple diverse cultures in front of you. Now, getting familiarised with multiple diverse cultures could be such an interesting experience in itself!

Also, studies show that, people knowing multiple languages have better task switching capabilities (source). Now, that is really interesting, isn't it? Basically it means that your brain becomes sharper by learning multiple languages! 

In the words of "Susanna Zaraysky"(source), who speaks seven languages and has lived in nine different countries:-

"Being multilingual is fundamental to who I am because I think in different languages. My mind starts a thought in one language, then finds a particular word in another language that fits exactly what I am thinking and then may switch to a third language by the end of the paragraph. 
Each language resonates with me in a distinct way, bringing out a different part of my character. Russian makes me more melancholic because of its minor tone. In French, I am super pensive. Brazilian Portuguese is a very flirtatious and sweet language. "

Imagine how exciting her life must be! Need I say more? Simply putting, learning new languages can never be a futile effort. It comes with it's own extra perks and benefits. You may not even be able to imagine what help a new language could render you at what time! It is never too late to learn, specially if it's about languages. Come, let's join this language learning bandwagon!