Let Our Work Drive Our Energy

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Let Our Work Drive Our Energy

There is so much we can learn from the views, experiences and beliefs of others; especially if our own values have strong roots in light of the learning of others.

Our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, gave an inspiring speech at the town hall meeting at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi. The event was the second anniversary of the government’s citizen engagement platform, MyGov.

I have been a huge fan of Mr. Modi’s speeches, perhaps for his clarity of thought, national pride, and his collective and all-inclusive vision for growth.

However, events, trends and incidents across the country, over the decades, have consistently sent us conflicting signals. Be it the differences between powerful and hopeful speeches and increasing communal tensions, or the interference in our education system. Don’t forget the continued indifference in Kashmir, or the apathetic attitude towards our armed forces. Then there is our weak indecisiveness in retaliation to shameless Chinese and Pakistani infiltration at our country’s borders.

Not to blame it all on Mr. Modi, or even blame him at all. But when the pulse of the country feels different from the words we hear from our leaders, it does leave you with questions about the intentions of the entire political framework in our country.

A recent Bollywood movie, Madaari, brilliantly portrayed what many already believed to be true. That all political parties are essentially one, taking turns to collaborate and plunder.

On a related topic, till last year, Nestle’s Maggi could as well have been given the honour of being India’s national food. It commanded strong brand connect across generations, with faithful consumers across decades and the length and breadth of India.

Yet, not enough people found it surprising that it was caught in an ugly controversy almost overnight. Between highly suspect test labs and questionable findings, to the company’s willingly destroying of crores worth of product, smelt conspiracy. The parallel, meteoric rise of Patanjali noodles, part of a business empire founded by a yoga teacher who also happens to be a faithful supporter of the ruling political party, all seemed too coincidental.

And the fact that the global giant that ranks #72 on the Fortune 500 list didn’t consider a big defamation suit in the light of contradicting lab findings makes things even more suspect. I don’t have a problem with a young, home-grown company rising to compete with global veteran giants. In fact, nothing would make me more proud. But the fact that it all happened so suddenly and ‘coincidentally’, it begs a re-look.

Have you watched the 1991 Hollywood movie, JFK? It might give you a horrific glimpse into what people in power, and with an ulterior motive are capable of, even in the most developed of nations.

Time will tell how this great nation and its citizens shape out to be in the decades to come. One thing however, that Mr. Modi said during the town hall speech really stood out, and which could help India achieve her true potential.

An NRI asked Mr. Modi how he managed hectic, trans-continental travel and then show up for work the next day. After all, many know well enough how sapping jet lag can be. Mr. Modi plainly stated that contrary to popular belief, doesn’t have more strength than the average human.

Modi retorted that it isn’t extra strength that allows one to do more work. On the contrary, he said, it is the realization of the quantum of work there is before us to be done, that gives us the strength to do more.

If we Indians can acknowledge and understand that simple belief, and set and pursue worthy goals, we can truly lead the world into a new and far better tomorrow.

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Originally posted here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/shrutinshetty/let-our-work-drive-our-energy-2ivq1

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The Farmer Murders

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The Farmer Murders

A farmer committed suicide at an AAP rally, and the hypocritical Mr. ‘Aam Aadmi’ Kejriwal didn’t let that stop his rally.

Policemen on scene laughed, as an AAP volunteer tried to save the farmer.

In the last year, the PM has been building foreign relations like there’s no tomorrow, while thousands of farmers back home stare blankly into what seems like a ‘no tomorrow’.

Remember that joke about a signboard at a hotel that went, ‘In case of a fire, leave the building before tweeting about it.’
That goes for Narendra Modi too. Save the farmers instead of simply tweeting your condolences and sadness.

This murder too shall pass, as the parties get busy pointing fingers at each other; while farmers will reconcile to the fact that it isn’t mother earth that failed them, but their very own countrymen.

http://www.ndtv.com/people/farmer-who-committed-suicide-at-aap-rally-had-once-contested-an-election-757355

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The Future Indian PM

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Future Indian PM

Technology played a crucial role in winning Barack Obama his first, and securing his second term as US President. With that, I think it was evident that a capable leader and change maker must have the power of new age technology and media on his or her side, to connect with the constantly changing and eternally curious new-age citizen.

Back home, while most political parties and politicians have funds enough to bail out small European countries, few have new age tech on their side. Most, if not all parties, have been channeling their energies and efforts towards luring the masses with quick fix incentives, little carrots, so to speak. This makes it easier for them to secure the adequate numbers. Rather than needing to showcase their capabilities before well-educated and probing audiences.

But with the internet and smart phones finding their way through the obscure terrain quicker than electricity, clean water and government schemes ever could, it is just a matter of time before focus shifts from using public or personal funds to bribe voters with television sets or cars to win votes. The need for politicians then, would be to prove their track record and showcase their abilities. And not just to naive but trusting pockets of the population, but to a well-informed voter base. And via a medium of technology that the voter prefers.

Currently, Narendra Modi of the BJP seems to be the only strong contender for the PM seat who has the ability to pull off a campaign that is riding on technology. Be it his awareness of trending topics globally, the presence of a tech team backing his election campaign, or his Guinness World Record creating 3D interaction across 53 locations, he definitely is doing it right on the tech front. His plan to analyze an estimated 140 mn Indian mobile internet users by 2014, or his strategy to target a very small but distinct base of key influencers instead of going after the herd, shows a well-thought out tactical approach to election management,

Modi has managed to impress a lot of us with his awareness, future-looking and progressive India-oriented thinking. As with his ability to walk the talk, and the innumerable developments across several fronts in the state of Gujarat. All these seem to make him a compelling contender for the big post. But the occasional allegations against him show that he too has his share of skeletons in the closet. In the United States, two of the best candidates distill to the top of its two political parties. Quite unlike that, the Indian scenario is much more complex. Now I am fairly clueless about the political scene in the country. With all the in-fighting within numerous political parties, multiple potential candidates, and each with their own agenda. All in all, the mess is all too evident to miss, even by the uninterested.

What the 2014 elections will bring to our battered economy and scam-riddled reputation, only 2014 will tell. But the way I see it, it is clear that technology brings with it, forward-looking supporters and change-makers. It might be easy for primitive-minded parties to hire tech teams at any cost to bring them up to speed. However, only a good leader who doesn’t look at technology with hostility, will be able to take the country forward.

And sooner or later, such an ideal and capable leader will emerge, wisely using technology as an enabler. To shine through the herd. And gain the trust of disillusioned citizens by constantly staying connected with them. And as long as India produces such leaders, we still have hope.

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