Why only 90%?

Katju says 90% Indians are idiots

NEW DELHI, DEC 8:

Ninety per cent of Indians are “idiots” who can easily be misled by mischievous elements in the name of religion, Press Council of India (PCI) chairperson Justice Markandey Katju claimed today.

“I say ninety per cent of Indians are idiots. You people don’t have brains in your heads….It is so easy to take you for a ride,” he said at a seminar here.

He said that a communal riot could be incited in Delhi for as meagre an amount as Rs 2,000. He said that all somebody has to do is make a mischievous gesture of disrespect to a place of worship and people start fighting each other.

“You mad people will start fighting amongst yourself not realising that some agent provocateur is behind this,” he said.

Katju said that before 1857 there was no communalism in the country but the situation was different now. “Today 80 per cent Hindus are communal and 80 per cent Muslims are communal. This is the harsh truth, bitter truth that I am telling you. How is it that in 150 years you have gone backwards instead of moving forward because the English kept injecting poison,” Katju said.

“The policy that emanated from London after the mutiny in 1857 that there is only one way to control this country that is to make Hindus and Muslims fight each other,” he said.

He said that then there was a propaganda that Hindi was the language of Hindus and Urdu of Muslims.

“Our ancestors also studied Urdu, but it is so easy to fool you. You are idiots so how difficult is it to make an idiot of you,” Katju said.

Katju said that he was saying these harsh things to make Indians, whom he loved to understand the whole game and not remain fools.

It was a belief that an educated person will behave with common sense but I am not able to agree. The so called software professionals driving on Bangalore roads while talking on mobile phones is an example. People just follow without even trying to know why it is so.

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Our behaviour towards ecological crisis

Ever since the term global warming was framed, we have talked a lot about reducing the use of all kinds of resources but people are still using more and more resources. Newer cars are bigger in size, those who used public transportation continue to use without new users, people find ways to use single-use items in the name of hygiene and the list goes endless. Satya Prakash Varanashi summed in his 15oth Green Sense post that unless we change, there can’t be any change. How can I not agree to him.

WALKING THE ECO-TALK

As we are reading this 150th essay in the Green Sense weekly column, let us look into ourselves as typical middle class urban residents: what is our first response to an ecological problem? Studying the problem looking for a solution or individually jump into an action trying to eliminate the problem itself?

The answer is obvious. Majority of us observe the issues, study the concerned matters, write notes, prepare reports, read them out, discuss in seminars and do many more such things. There would be dozens of policies and programmes towards solving the problem.

So, we become subject experts much before the problem actually gets blown into larger proportion. It all sounds very good, with no dearth of ideas.

So, are we on the path to save ourselves and the Earth? Unfortunately, no way!

We need to realise that however much we may talk about sustainability, our habits and actions just refuse to budge and change for the better. Contradictions abound us everywhere. When energy efficiency gets discussed in centrally air conditioned star hotels which consume humongous energy, we need to introspect how often we could have lived with natural air. When petrol consumption gets discussed in high-powered committees, we need to check how many of us have come by buses. While urban drinking water is in crisis, it will be interesting to see if we have switched over from water wash to dry mopping of our private vehicles to save water.

Contradictions continue. There is urban solid waste everywhere, but we do not carry water bottles to stop using packaged mineral water.

When the tea time comes, the cup does not matter – be it steel or plastic. If we carry the traditional hand kerchief, we can save on paper napkins, but we do not.

Month after month, can we switch on less light, use less bathing water, buy less of manufactured materials and naturally get used to the idea of less? Can we live happily without carrying home all the unwanted free things we get in shops, meetings, events, business dealings and festivals? Theoretically it is possible, but most of us do not bother to live with less but want more of everything. How many of us take a stand, refuse packaged water or tea from a plastic cup, hoping that when more people similarly refuse, the trend may change? Between the shining car and wasted drinking water, if we prefer shining car and do not feel guilty about it, do we deserve to talk about water conservation? If we are aware of climate change and carbon footprints, what are we doing to reduce our own carbon consumption?

Ecological crisis is a global problem, but rooted in individual consumption. It is time we all walk the talk of green sense and those who are already living green, talk the walk to inspire the rest of us.

Observations from Wake Up, Clean Up Bengaluru

Dumping garbages and protests from villagers next to landfills gathered media attention in Bangalore last month. The High Court and the BBMP had their own arguments of how garbage is being handled. BBMP gave several statistics on how much garbage is generated vs. how much contract has been awarded to clear them but it was revealed that they don’t how much garbage the city generates every day. Newspapers published photos of garbage mountains though they are a usual sight in the area I live.

Because of this issue, BBMP organised the Wake up, Clean up Bengaluru exhibition at Freedom Park. I and my friend in our apartment went on 10th to see what actually is going on.

The stalls at the entrance described about how long it would take for paper, plastic, rubber, etc. would take to decay. One lady was kind enough to explain how to setup a vermicompost at home. She also encouraged to use metal plates and bottles as opposed to use-and-throw plates and bottles at parties or gatherings.

The next exhibit is by commerical organisations that set up plants to process garbage and convert it into furnace oil. Such large scale plants are meant for communities with 500+ homes. Government bodies can maintain this as each plant requires a minimum amount of garbage per day. Few of them have already submitted proposals to BBMP.

There was another exhibit to sell cloth bags, bags made out of old jeans pants, bags from paper and boxes (like cereal boxes), paintings, ear rings, etc. A Hundered Hands is good.

After being overwhelmed with the concern people show towards the concept of reduce and recycle, we sat for a cup of tea which gave the biggest disappointment for the day – the stall served dishes in paper plates and sold Manikchand water bottles. This is India and “preach and breach” is very common, yet the organisers could have avoided this.

This post is to spread information about these organisations doing a fantastic job.

  • ASA Recyling takes electronic wastes and recycles. We are planning to give used CFLs and fluorescent bulbs for safe disposal. You can also go to them to buy used electronic components for hobby projects. They had few heat sinks on their table.
  • Akruthi Concepts is into water management. They distribute Neoperl products in South India. We have already called Mr. Rajesh for a brief demonstration to sprinklers and flow regulators. They also have solutions to run sewage treatment plant without much electricity.
  • Trees for free plants trees if you request them. They don’t offer advice for bushes or plants as their aim is to grow trees that will live long. They offer sapling and maintenance tips. I am planning to run the Bangalore TCS World 10K 2013 to support them.
  • Daily Dump has several new products for apartments.

Akruthi Concepts and ASA Recyling are my favourites from that day.