Veer Savarkar, Muslim League and Historians

Vinayak Savarkar, a Maharashtrian brahmin, was born in year 1883. He went to England to study law. There he got involved in patriotic activities, his admirer Mandanlal Dhingra shot dead a British official, he closely worked with Madam Bhikaji Cama. When he was arrested by British police, he made bold attempt to escape from ship SS Morea through one of its portholes but was rearrested.

He was then sent to Cellular Jail in Andamans. Treatment given to prisoners was terrible, many committed suicide. Savarkar tried to maintain his sanity by writing poems.

Savarkar did not wish to rot in prison, so he decided to send mercy petitions to government to release him. He was released from prison on condition that he will keep away from politics.

“Strange as it may seem, Mr. Savarkar and Mr. Jinnah instead of being opposed to each other on the two nations issue, are in complete agreement about it”

-B.R.Ambedkar

Savarkar got drawn towards Hinduism. He was soon recognised as Hindu leader (though he was an atheist) and became head of Hindu Mahasabha. He was also a master politician and social reformer. He did not hesitate to form governments with Muslim leaders in Bengal, Sindh and NWFP.

He helped Bengal leader AK Fazlul Haq also known as Sher e Bangla to form government in Bengal, when Congress refused to support him. Hindu Mahasabha leader Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was part of government. S P Mukherjee became minister for industry in independent India.

After fall of government of Allah Bux Soomro in Sindh (in which Congress actively participated), a government was formed with support of League and Hindu Mahasabha under Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah.

In NWFP during regimes of Khan brothers and Aurangzeb Khan, the Mahasabha member Mehr Chand Khanna was minister. Mehr Chand Khanna later became housing minister in independent India.

Politics of pre-independence India was mix of national level parties like Congress and Muslim League and powerful regional parties like Krishak Praja Party of Fazlul Haq, Unionist Party of Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan, Justice party of intermediate castes of South India etc. Hindu Mahasabha and Communists too had their pockets of influence.

“I am Punjabi first then a Muslim”

-Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan

It is difficult to define what is patriotism ex. Quit India was launched by Congress, but League, Mahasahbha and Communists opposed it as it was seen as Congress show with no benefit to them. Each leader from Gandhi to Nehru to Jinnah to Ambedkar had his point of view on Indian polity.

Labels like “nationalist”, “secular”, “communalist” are invention of Congress/left dominated historians to support continuation of Congress Party rule in India.

After independence, Congress party ruled India for many years. Gradually freedom fighters were classified into secular nationalist and communalist. Those who sided with Nehru were secular and leftists, those who opposed him were labelled as rightists and communalists ex. those against Quit India were labelled as anti-national (not anti-Congress)

Post-independence communists decided to support Nehru, so job of writing history of India was given to leftist historian Prof Saiyad Nurul Hassan. What leftists wrote became standard history of India. History of Congress was history of India. Subtle became blatant when it was declared that Indira was India. Congress become certifying body for patriotism. Diversity of Indian political views were curbed.  Regional dynamics were forgotten. Savarkar was reduced to Mahasabha leader who was involved in assassination of Gandhi (not proved in court)

There is a need to write history based on facts not on ideology of political party. It will help if a panel of historians from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh write history of India together.

 

 

 

Design Thinking, Job Search, Richard Bolles

“One of the saddest lines in the world is, ‘Oh come now – be realistic.’ The best parts of this world were not fashioned by those who were realistic. They were fashioned by those who dared to look hard at their wishes and gave them horses to ride.”

-Richard Bolles

Design Thinking is a methodology used by designers to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for clients. Designers here do not mean only those who work in R & D department and come up with designs for new cars or architects who design buildings.

Designers are all of us, we are capable of thinking of new ways to solve the problems that we face.

If you are searching for a job, most common way of searching job is to keep applying on job websites like Naukri, Monster or iimjobs.

Research has shown that this design of job search i.e. uploading your CV on websites and keep applying to online advertisements is most inefficient way of searching job.

Always define WHAT you want to do with your life and WHAT you have to offer to the world, in terms of your favorite talents/gifts/skills-not in terms of a job-title.”

-Richard Bolles

First person to attack this design is Richard Bolles, his book- “What Color Is Your Parachute” is critique of this kind of thinking, he has suggested alternative design for job search, which he claims has higher rate of success. Instead of blindly applying to all vacancies, first try to understand yourself, freeze on your area of interest and companies you would like to join, focus on small local companies etc.

“The problem with competition is that it takes away the requirement to set your own path, to invent your own method, to find a new way.”

 ― Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Second person to attack this model is marketing guru, Seth Godin. In his book “Linchpin” he argues that getting yourself selected is like labour contractor choosing few labourers from pool of hundreds of labourers. Here all the labourers are capable of doing the job, so all labour contractor has to do is to choose one who will demand lowest rate. Few will get work that day and rest will have to go back empty handed.

“Tom Peters, corporate gadfly and writer, is an artist, even though his readers are businesspeople. He’s an artist because he takes a stand, he takes the work personally, and he doesn’t care if someone disagrees. His art is part of him, and he feels compelled to share it with you because it’s important, not because he expects you to pay him for it.”

― Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

You need to stand out, infact Godin suggests that you should be known without your CV ex. the employer should hire based on innovative ideas that you share with world, blogs that you write, books that you publish.

One more theme is by Ayse Birsel, who is a Turkish designer of products. She has used the concept of design in designing one’s life…design life you would like to live.

“This project is very close to my heart, a carte blanche to do what I want, with little compromise. Design can also be fun, personal, and very close to your heart. Your life is your design. Make it resemble you, reflect you, and be close to your heart.”

 ― Ayse Birsel, Design the Life You Love: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Meaningful Future

 

Amy Cuddy, Presence & Imposter Syndrome

“Your body language shapes who you are.”

-Amy Cuddy

Two American psychologists, Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, during their studies found that there are some people who are great achievers but always feel that they are incapable and achievement is just due to luck, and sooner or later people will label them as frauds. They gave this phenomenon a name- imposter syndrome.

In their words imposter syndrome is “it as a feeling of “phoniness” in people who believe that they are not intelligent, capable or creative despite evidence of high achievement…While these people are highly motivated to achieve, they also live in fear of being found out or exposed as frauds.”

Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist from Harvard, who once suffered from imposter syndrome. Amy Cuddy had car accident, post-accident she suffered from neuroticism and imposter syndrome. Though she did well in academics, she always felt like imposter.

Later she wrote book called “Presence”, which gives tips on how to overcome this syndrome.

According to her body language reflects our emotions i.e. rubbing your hand while anxious.

Cuddy discovered that opposite can also happen i.e. our body language can affect our emotions, we actually feel confident if we take a power pose or if we smile by putting pencil in our mouth, we actually feel happier.

“To feel confident, you should act confident. Bring your boldest to your biggest challenges.”

-Amy Cuddy

Her advice is to overcome imposter syndrome is to fake it until you become it. Take power poses even you are not feeling confident, power pose will send signal to your mind and you will start feeling confident i.e.  behave with confidence till you truly feel it. Standing at desk (rather than sitting), walking meetings etc. are power poses.

Irom Sharmila, PRJA and Elections

On November 2, 2000, in Malom town in Manipur, 10 civilians were allegedly shot and killed by the Assam Rifles while waiting at a bus stop. The incident later came to be known to activists as the “Malom Massacre.”

To protest against massacre and repeal of AFSPA, an act that gives unlimited power to armed forces to control rebels in disturbed areas, Irom Sharmila went on hunger strike, she was later arrested and force fed using tube. The hunger strike which started in year 2000 ended on 9th August 2016.

During this 16 years of hunger strike, Irom Sharmila became quite popular in her home state Manipur, she was seen as symbol of resistance against AFSPA. Many celebrities met her, she became symbol for resistance against AFSPA even in other states.

But in 2016 she announced that she giving up her strike. She wanted to get married and fight elections.

Suddenly her popularity started declining people felt that she had betrayed the cause. AFSPA still exists.

 

Irom Sharmila went ahead and decided to contest elections. She formed a party called PRJA and with two other candidates decided to fight elections. Two others candidates were, Harvard-educated Erendro Leichombam and Najma Phundreimayum, a Muslim women rights activist.

Irom Sharmila decided to fight against Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh from Thoubal. It was a bold decision, as chief minister is a veteran politician.

Irom Sharmila gathered funds from well-wishers through crowd funding, she also got some funds from Aam Adami Party. She and Najma did campaign on bicycle.

 

But when results were declared yesterday, performance of PRJA was disappointing. Irom Sharmila got 90 votes as against 18649 polled by Okram Ibobi Singh, even “None of above” got more votes! Clearly Irom Sharmila has overestimated her popularity.

“I don’t feel ashamed of my defeat but am fed up of elections and won’t contest again in future… But I want my party, Peoples Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) to survive.”

-Irom Sharmila

 

Manipur – Thoubal
Result Declared
Candidate Party Votes
OKRAM IBOBI SINGH Indian National Congress 18649
LEITANTHEM BASANTA SINGH Bharatiya Janata Party 8179
LEISHANGTHEM SURESH SINGH All India Trinamool Congress 144
IROM SHARMILA CHANU Peoples Resurgence and Justice Alliance 90
DR. AKOIJAM MANGLEMJAO SINGH Independent 66
None of the Above None of the Above 143

 

“We really like her cause (for repealing AFSPA), but we’re compelled to support someone whom we think is capable of fighting back and winning the elections”

– Y Roben , a resident of Thoubal.

Others too did not fare any better. Erendro ended up getting 500 votes and Najma got 33 votes.

Why did they lose? People may like the cause, but when it comes to voting they want candidates who can win elections. They didn’t have any faith in administrative capability of PRJA candidates.

“It was not the result I expected. During electioneering, all the masses whom I met were sympathetic to my cause. But they ended up voting for others, due to their selfish motives.”

-Irom Sharmila

If Irom Sharmila wants to get into politics, she should have a solid agenda and execution plan. Blaming people and calling them selfish won’t help.

 

 

Rowan Gibson and Four Lenses of Innovation

“The question we need to be constantly asking is: “Are we changing as fast as the world is changing?” Today, it’s all about how fast you can drive strategic renewal at the level of the core business model. And the fuel for renewal is innovation. Remember, Kodak stuck to their vision of photographic film versus digital photography for way too long and paid a heavy price.”

– Rowan Gibson

rowan-gibson-four-lens

Rowen Gibson is an expert on radical innovation. He is President of Imagination Bridge – the global innovation consulting firm. He has written a book on innovation called The Four Lenses of Innovation.

4-lenses-book

In this book he talks about four key business perspectives or “lenses” which he has identified and which will enable a person to discover ground-breaking opportunities for innovation and growth.

001075_rowangibson_thefourlenses

four_lenses_of_innovation

The first lens is “Challenge Orthodoxy”. The question one should ask self is “What if the dominant conventions in your field, market, or industry are outdated, unnecessary, or just plain wrong?”

Good examples of those who challenged orthodoxy and used their insights to come up with interesting products are companies like Uber, a taxi company with any taxis or Elon Musk who came up with idea sleek looking electric car (people always have images of ugly looking electric car) and selling that car online.

ubertesla-car

The second lens is “Harnessing Trends” study trends and look for disruptions. The question one needs to ask here is “Where are the shifts and discontinuities that will, now and in the future, provide the energy you need for a major leap forward?”

One such innovator who benefited immensely by asking this question and then designing a product is Jeff Bezos, who rode e-commerce wave by starting Amazon.

amazon

The third lens is that of “Levering Resources”, how you challenge thinking of existing employees, provide them resources to come up with innovative product. The question one needs to ask here is “How can you arrange existing skills and assets into new combinations that add up to more than the sum of their parts?”

One good example is that of Larry Page and Sergy Brin using competencies of Google employees to move from search engine to a hardware, operations system, driverless car company etc.

google

The fourth lens is that of “Understanding Needs”. The question one needs to ask here is “What are the unmet needs and frustrations that everyone else is simply ignoring?”

Good example here is that of P & G employees staying at homes of customer to know how their products are used.

pg

“You still need a vision, of course. But the horizon has to be much closer now. We no longer have the luxury of thinking in terms of decades. These days, a business model may have a lifetime of five years, three years, two years. Think about how many industries now have a fundamentally broken or at least threatened business model: music publishing, movie distribution, cable TV, advertising, fast food, telecommunications, retail, traditional media publishing, and financial services, to name just a few.”

– Rowan Gibson

These perspectives can then be used to design an innovative product, Rowen talks about an 8 step process to convert insight into products.

  • Frame a challenge and focus on it
  • Research the subject
  • Immerse yourself in the problem
  • Feel the creative frustration of the roadblock
  • Detach and let the problem incubate in your unconscious mind
  • Arrive at an illuminating insight
  • Build the insight into a big idea
  • Validate and execute on the idea.