|MORE SUBJECTS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
|An Opinion of Dr. Mohan Shenoy
|Adyar Gopal and Radha Bai
Circumventing the strict ban on advertisement of
liquor some newspapers publish articles on
consumption of spirit. They don’t say 'prohibition'. In
stead they say 'dry spell'. They glorify pubs as a
‘culture’ and call it 'famous'. Drinking alcohol is
'kick back with a cold one.'
Elections have been held again and again since
the first one in 1952 in India. Initially the ruling party
discouraged registering voters suspected to
support the opposition. Then secret manipulation of
voters' list to remove those likely to vote for
opposition was undertaken.
When a man survives this complicated society for
eighty years he has a right to be jubilant. He feels
triumphant. While most peers have died, he finds
himself on the top, looking around him with awe,
the youngsters enjoying or suffering, like he himself
did, all those long years.
Nature will not permit a mother to lose her way
once she gets pregnant and until she delivers the
baby. She is assisted by it in every possible way to
provide anoffspring to her clan. The mother is
forced to look after the offspring and the nature
provides the emotional support.
I have been a bad boy, but fortunately I was given a
chance (by who else but the nature and the society)
to reform every time. I was smart enough to choose
reform and as time passed I stayed away from bad
habits. I fortunately saved myself from being
punished publicly until now.
I know that somebody close to me dislikes me
intensely but I have learnt how to tolerate the foul
bad mouthing. I treat such scolding as barking of a
toothless dog. I ignore the person totally and take
no action of any revenge. I might be a respectable
man but often I get abused.
Is there a moment that is auspicious or
inauspicious? For convenience the families among
the Gowda Saraswatha Brahmans preferred the
afternoon hours for marriage since daylight was
considered preferable for the invitees to attend a
Today is my birthday. I was born on 15th May 1938.
I turned 80 today. Many of my friends and relatives
have specially wished me. I have received text
message from my banks. But I was overjoyed when
I received a happy birthday text message from our
beloved Hon'ble Prime Minister.
The pseudo secularists contend that Indians should
ponder important questions relating to democracy,
rule of law and public culture. I say that the pseudo
secularists should study the Indian Constitution
for answers to these questions. www.adyargopal.
I think the first step we take is a step of hope and
confidence. When an elected leader takes oath of
chief minister of a huge state such as Karnaataka,
we support whichever person takes up the
responsibility. He needs the support of the people;
An Opposition may wait and watch.
If we follow the tradition and convention as much as
possible then not many people will oppose us. But
if we do so we often lose out on what we intended
to do. Therefore we must not hesitate to break a
convention if that helps us to achieve our objective.
Tradition and conventions are not sacrosanct.
I don’t tweet anything that I wish to communicate to
a person because the tweets are for the public and
what I tweet will not remain private. I use other free
facilities such as email and SMS, WhatsApp, etc.
But by writing and publishing a book I would be in
touch with the world.
I don’t quote others such as the ancient prophets,
age-old authors, past scriptures, historical men and
women etc to substantiate my opinions, standings,
beliefs, thoughts, judgements, etc because I have
my own conviction that I have formed through out
my life. I value them most.
If I act according to the past norms and ongoing
traditions and ignore my beliefs, my intelligence
and my wisdom then I would be doing injustice to
my conscience. The present circumstances are
more important to me in carrying out my duties and
responsibilities, but I do no harm.
Most of my peers do not get to see my tweets. Any
other person might see my tweet only by chance.
Those whom I follow and those who follow me are
most likely to see my tweet. And not many people
follow me nor I follow many people. Yet I get to
honestly express myself by tweeting.
Modalities of federalism are stated in the
Constitution. Indian Union is made up of states and
union territories. The Panchayath is the smallest
local government. Every governmental body is
formed of elected citizens. The person getting
highest number of votes takes up the rein.
Coalition government is formed with a hope that it
will last for its given period. There is no harm if it
rules honestly and refrains from corruption and
misgovernance. Even if it fails to produce positive
results, it is acceptable if it doesn’t make the
people suffer hardships.
The state government is Kooan extension of the
central government and not totally sovereign in the
Indian Union. The people in a state elect the central
government also. The taxes paid are shared
between both. If the state government dares to
misbehave the Center will have to act.
Although the state legislature looks after the affairs
of the state including collection of taxes and
preparing the budget, the law of the country are
agreed upon by the parliament at the Center. If the
state fails to follow then the secretaries warn the
state cabinet to rectify.
The party with the larger number of legislators
would get disappointed if it is side-lined by the
smaller strength in a coalition government. The
power is on the basis of numbers. The smaller
partner getting Chief Ministership does not balance
in the face of a dominant number.
'Vande Matharam' is a song written in the
nineteenth Century and used by the Indian fighters
for Independence to kindle the patriotism of the
citizens. It is not a prayer. The meaning was
appropriate to reaffirm our love for the land we live
If someone dislikes what I do then there will be a
'manasthapa' (mental heat). If this dislike is
followed by personal confrontation then there is
need for an arbitration by a third party. The next
step is physical face-off, followed by police
complaint, file FIR or a court case.
There has always been 'man chases woman'
syndrome among the homosapiens (the species to
which the modern human beings belong). It is not
new to find a boy seeking a girl to fulfill the natural
desires, but his knowledge and wisdom restrains
It is true that we are 'each one to oneself,' no doubt.
But no one can lead life all by himself. Each one of
us should contribute to the people around us so
that they feel benefited by our participation. If I work
not to cheat but to enrich the society then I am very
Drinking alcohol is supported by doctors, lawyers,
engineers, Western educated officials, partying
people, etc. The beginners are encouraged, often
by parents. Open smoking is prohibited but
drinking is a fashion. If smoking were not banned
then drinking might be less. Who cares?
I think it is not right, to blame a tenant if he
dismantled the floor tiles, the door frames, the
electric fittings, the bathroom accessories, plants,
trees, etc., when she vacates the premises for any
reason. I did it when I vacated after I closed my
business. My owner liked it.
When I closed my business, which I had started in
rented premises and conducted for many years, I
dismantled every furniture when I vacated. This
helped the owner to restore the property to its
rentable state by minimal renovation and the new
tenant to renovate to suit her needs.
Over the last 250 years nations of the world have
one after another adopted democracy to form
governments. Monarchy if any is only ceremonial.
Even communism uses election to form
governments. Now there is no alternative to
democracy, with a 4 to 6-yr term for the winning
Anything I do must first conform to 'nature' right
from the beginning. Every participant who helps me
will do her best if I don’t force upon her anything
that is against her ‘nature'. But I got to flex myself to
resist temptations, by which 'nature’ tries to make
me lose focus.
Which is better, a homely mother looking after her
child at home or sending the child to a nursery
school? What if the parents choose the former and
admit the child in the 1st class directly? One child
families don’t take such a risk. A bold mother and a
willing father can do it.
Which is better, a mother looking after her child at
home or sending to a nursery school? For first five
years of its life, child looked after at home will learn
what mother trains. But anti-child labour activists
will forbid such a freedom. They love it if children
go to school.
What I learnt over the years is that I can not get
everything that I desire. Most of the time it is the
incompatibility between me and the desired thing.
That is why one person can not be like another. I
will not do many things with which I am not
comfortable. My persona matters.
“You have the right to remain silent” is a common
instruction delivered to suspects soon after arrest
in most of the civilized countries. This is to prevent
extraction, by torture, of confession in custody.
Criminal Procedure and practice reflects moral
standing of the Republic.
To experience the terrifying speed with which some
government buses are driven is akin to a ride in a
‘giant wheel' in entertainment park; only difference
is that the riders in the former do not expect an
accident and fall to a premature death and that the
latter is really safer.
Transport vehicles are not built for excessive
speed, which fact young minds don’t fathom.
Youngsters are thrilled by the speed but the
vehicles give way and roll over. If the mind is
affected by alcohol or drugs then driving is out of
control. Suicide. The survives are helpless.
Suppose my grown up children are settled abroad.
Normally they are supposed to be independent
financially; which means I am not obliged to help them
with my savings. It should be other way round. How do I
convince my partner who insists that I save and also
remit money to them?
I have discovered that the characters in the novels
published in the past year or two and especially the
college students drink alcohol liberally but none of them
smoke cigarettes. Smoking is out. Drinking is in. Novels
of yesteryears had many smokers. Now, they openly get
I have realized that I got to identify myself with a certain
group, may it be a religious, communal, professional,
ideological, political, etc. Membership in such a group
is automatic based on my place of birth, of residence,
my educational institute, my profession and my belief.
It is only seven decades since present India became a
reality and throughout this period there was a lingering
doubt in the minds of all people that India may not run.
But since the last four years there have been many
positive developments, which assure me that India is
I have dreamt to have peace of mind someday with
hardly any bad news as I open the newspaper or switch
on the TV in the morning, but it has remained only a
dream. As an observer, I have found that every story
has a villain even if the hero is all powerful and has
In my experience of life of so many years, I have come
to realize that there will always be 'evil' forces along
with various ‘good’ powers in the world, no matter how
much I try to set things right; there will always be strife
and push-and-pull between the 'evil’ and the 'good.’
Whether in the name of Islam or Hindu, or any other
religion, the practice of sacrificing animals to
appease gods is not acceptable to the modern mind.
There is a choice to either introduce our children to non-
vegetarian food or not. My opinion: www.adyargopal.
I can express my thoughts umpteen times but will
anyone heed them? Listen to them? Agree with them?
Except when I extol them to some of my contacts? Our
thoughts bring solace to only ourselves. Others have
their own ways and means to solve their problems and
often they are right.
I have no doubt that the smartphone is now a dire
necessity. Those people who learn its use can enjoy
life better. Investment in a smartphone is a priority like
landline phone was in the past. The smartphone
empowers women, children, the weaker sections, the
sick, disabled, etc.
I am very much convinced that the destiny that we talk
about our lives is only partly in our hands. About 50% of
what happens to us, depends on the environment, the
government policies, the attitude of our neighbours and
the society we live in. The rest depends on our initiative.
I don’t believe that our future is pre-destined. What
happens is not already determined as is believed by
many. Our government policies, behaviour of our
neighbours, the environment, economy etc., shape the
course of life. Our family background contributes to
brighten our future.
There are a number of diet specialists (dieticians) who
have been taught and teach others that breakfast is the
one meal no one should miss. Breakfast is the first
food that we take after a long stretch of rest and sleep.
Look at my article www.adyargopal.com/breakfast.html
I had a chance to become a politician like everyone
else. Those who take up political science as subject of
study in the college and get a degree are not better
qualified to become politicians. Even a matric pass
may become a politician and later on a minister in the
I believe that the authors need not use bad words, dirty
four-letter words, swear words, etc., even if the
characters are expected to use them, as in stories of
college students or of officegoers. Bad words are used
in real life; bad language in any book is certainly
There are Hindus who do not belong to RSS, Vishwa
Hindu Parishat, or the Bhajrang Dal. There are all
castes and creeds of Hindu people who are not
connected with any so-called Saffron Brigade or the
Sangh Parivar. But still they are Hindus. Read www.
Hindus are a very large group. Claiming it to be the
oldest religion is of no consequence. Because the
religion has reformed itself over the years and it is now
as modern as new. In a democracy groupism or
demographic number is counted. Take a look at www.
Me: “I think so.”
Voice: “Who cares what you think?”
Me: “May be one or two people who read this.”
Voice: “Is it not a waste of your labour?”
Me: “No. It helps me to unload my thoughts like in a
diary. I have opinions to give. My opinions are those of
a common man. Common demands.”
Everybody knows that pressing the button on a EVM
machine is done behind a screen and therefore it is
like the secret ballot. This enables the voters to choose
their preference without any fear or obligation. This
action of the voter decides which party forms the next
My anticipation has never been unrealistic. I plan things
in such a way that my anticipation gets fulfilled. This is
because I do not rest on the shoulders of other too
much. None will eventually work exactly like I anticipate.
I am willing to compromise. I accept the end result.
Caste Wars are coming! Watch out! Few people
realize that there can not be any reservations without
mentioning the castes. In other words, we can not
eliminate casteism from our country until reservations
are provided. When people - Read more here www.
It is impossible to give up instinctive behaviour. For
most people including me, vegetarianism is an
instinctive need. I keep myself away from a kitchen
where meat, fish, fowl, or any other non-veg food is
prepared. I find it hard to work and live abroad. I love to
live in India.
In the past the parties managed to include many
names that were bogus and fake and there were no
proper identification at the polling booths. A different
person prodded by the political party workers would
cast the vote. The real reason is… Read more here
It is a different kind of festival, the voting day. All of
those who have attained 18 years of age and got their
names in the Voters' list are invited to enjoy the unique
privilege of being a participant in the formation of the
next State government. I am one of the participants.
Elections are huge exercises involving a very large
number of people and EVMs. Apart from deployment
of a large number of security personnel an equally
large number of dedicated civilian staff drawn from
schools, colleges and government offices are
appointed for polling duty.
When I watch a bird sitting on the roof I notice that it
looks all around it as if to make sure that it doesn’t
miss anything such as a surprise attack by a predator.
Also it looks for food. We humans also need to look
around us for danger both within our home as well as
Indians have an efficient Election Commission that has
the experience of conducting all kinds of elections.
Free and fair elections are being held regularly in India.
Booth capturing and other similar offenses are being
progressively prevented. Voters are getting more
Praarabdha (praa-rab-dha) is fate. 'It is praarabdha
that determines our life'. This is the concept in Hindu
style of living. Who do we hold responsible for what we
go through in life, good or bad? Who is accountable for
our well-being and happiness? www.adyargopal.
If I can’t help others because of my own financial,
physical, mental, or any other adverse condition then
no one will blame me. In such a situation it is me who
needs help. I can’t remain silent or feel shy to ask for
help from people around me. Read www.adyargopal.
I have grown up by copying people whom I observed. I
learnt all kinds of 'how to do' by looking at others doing
it and practicing. I often failed to reproduce the product
exactly as others but what I did was most of the time
better than others. Always there is value to our work.
I am observing the intense anti-tobacco campaign
going on in the world. In India the TV channels are
loaded with adds & news items proposing removal of
smoking areas also. Passive smoking is being
condemned. Those who succumb to this will not know
what pleasure they are missing.
For my own safety and security I comply with the law,
rules, regulations and various guidelines laid down by
the government. I am bound to abide by the accepted
routine practices where I live and work. Where I am
free to choose, I follow my conscience and lead a
If fire does not stop burning, water does not stop
flowing, wind does not stop blowing, and many other
natural things continue to do what they are expected to
do then we can not stop living through the days and
nights. For example, rise with sun and milk cows on
Tobacco is bad. So are coffee and tea. Alcohol is
worse. Opium is worst. Consumption of any is a bad
habit. Alcohol causes addiction. Renders a man
severely ill. Tobacco is habit forming. Not addiction.
Any kind of smoke around us, not just cigarettes,
results in passive smoking.
The 10-day farmers' strike is a blessing in disguise.
People will learn how to change their food habits.
Restaurants will pickup alternate recipes. Markets will
clean up hidden dirty corners. New alternate business
start ups get a chance. Farmers see garbage on their
There are event managers, I know. There are now
people who assume to be ‘protest’ managers.
Educational qualification is not a criteria. Employees
are bound by a contract and do not receive regular
salary. Workers must be willing to get arrested. May
get promotion to membership.
Sanskrit channel of Doordarshan TV is an example of
the government's policy to give opportunities to as
many linguists as possible to develop their favourite
language. All languages are adorable. All Languages
help each of us to enjoy speaking with people who
speak the language.
I think for a long time man depended on rubbing stones
to produce fire until one day the match box was
invented. Keeping burning embers at public places for
daily distribution to homes was discontinued. Practice
of fire sacrifices producing dense smoke became
The newspapers do not say 'bar' but use a
sophisticated term 'watering hole' to make the place
inviting. They don’t say 'prohibition'. In stead they say
'dry spell'. Drinking alcohol is 'kick back with a cold
one.' This is how the ban on advertisement of liquor is
Exchange of goods by barter ended when gold coins
came for exchange with anything including land and
buildings. Banks, exchange agents, notes, and credit
cards have revolutionized the money scenario. My
book in Konkani “Amgeli Arthavyavastha” explains.
Our dreams and desires help us to plan our future. If
the plans are for my own benefit the outcomes will
satisfy me. If I am planning for my countrymen then I will
have to watch their reaction. They will support me and
let me finish if they are my friends regardless of
The moment I finish a project, I feel like looking out for
another; one that I wanted to do since a long time. I can
not wait to begin the new project but first I make sure all
the requisite materials and tools are available;
especially finance. I will fail if I start unprepared.
History is what is written in the books. The rock
inscriptions and other findings are liable to be
misinterpreted. Schools and colleges should keep
away from teaching history as a subject in languages
and science. Teach history to only those students who
opt to specialize in it.
If someone spreads lies against me I will ignore him.
But if the newspapers and TV channels, as well as
other media, publicize those lies again and again then I
can not ignore him. I have to employ all resources at
my disposal and refute him until the truth reaches all
When workers go on strike the production stops.
Stocks of goods are not thrown away. When farmers
go on strike not only production stops but also the
stocks are thrown out on the road. There are no
remedies. Problem is unwieldable. Everyone brace
yourselves for unknown calamity.
There are classifications of both crime and punishment
so that different kinds of criminal activity are awarded
less or more severe punishment. Yet punishments have
not ended crime. There have been both criminals and
law-abiding citizens right from the beginning of
I don’t come forward to advise anyone unless one asks
me to. I don’t consider myself to be wiser than an
ordinary person. One has to analyze the question and
look at the problem from all angles before suggest a
solution. Also I leave the final decision to the
HOW FAR CAN WE STICK TO OUR TRADITION?
Nowadays, our children are not brought up in closely
knit protective environments like before. But they are
raised as if they are our foster-children turning them
into unguided and drifting youth. Read my article at
Many times it happens that what I enjoy doing
becomes a very bitter pill for the person who lives with
me and who is sad that I don’t listen to her/his advice to
refrain from doing those things that drain my money
and give me nothing except that I enjoy doing those
Money is only a tool by which we get our work done.
One way to be happy is to have an adequate bank
balance. For many people even the most satisfactory
bank balance is inadequate. They vow to acquire a
bigger balance. They miss the opportunity to enjoy life
through wise spending.
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