More Doctors Don’t Mean Better Health

A few days ago, the government of AP declared their goal of starting 40 medical colleges in the state. Certainly society does need more and better health personnel. But mere increase in doctors’ strength does not help.

A Mirror of Tomorrow’s Society

We celebrated Teachers’ Day this week. We suddenly wake up to the importance of education and teachers. The ritual is repeated every year. After a few perfunctory ceremonies and many meaningless shibboleths, it’s business as usual.

Religion – Ennobling or Disabling?

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Religion has a powerful hold over most Indians. A survey conducted in the 80's in non-communist countries revealed some surprising facts about modern world. Japan, had the lowest proportion of believers, and Britain ranked only next! India, with about 99% believers, was the most god-fearing, and the US was ranked second!.

Narcissism of Small Differences

Over the past few years, in the course of my travels across the country, I had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with innumerable dedicated, brilliant and competent individuals who care deeply for the country. I am at once elated and depressed when I talk to them. I am delighted to see them willing to do something about our problems, but am depressed at their inability to overcome minor differences and work together for the cause of the nation.

Fiction and Facts

Gandhiji’s birthday celebrations this year led to some serious efforts to examine our economy and society today. I had occasion to participate in two such discussions. A couple of things struck me in these discussions. In one, a politician said that part of the reason for our underdevelopment vis a vis Southeast Asian countries and China is that we are constrained by Democracy! In the other, some participants talked of the evil impact of globalization on our economy and culture! Let us examine the facts and fiction on both these hypotheses.

Poverty and Healthcare

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Recently a friend’s son was hit by a bout of fever. When my friend called me and explained the symptoms, I have immediately advised to start him on a course of anti malarial medicine and the kid recovered in no time. The whole episode costed my friend very little – no hospitalization, no trauma associated with long illness or anything of such sort.

Alienated Elites

October 11th marked the birth centenary of Lok Nayak JP, one of the truly great heroes of modern India. Every Indian has to be thankful to him for his spirited and courageous fight against the 1975 emergency, and but for him we could not have escaped from the clutches of a dictatorial rule. His name and memory as a conscience keeper of our nation are imprinted in the minds of many grateful people.

The Art of Conversation

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A friend once advised my wife: ‘never choose an end seat at a party. If the lady next to you doesn’t talk, you are finished. At least if you are between two people, your chances for a successful conversation are improved’. She wasn’t assuring an interesting conversation, just some conversation.

People and the Police

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The recent episode of a high ranking official personally intervening in a case in Hyderabad once again brought to the fore the problems of policing in our society. As a result of colonial legacy, there is a perception that the police think and function as an oppressive force instead of fulfilling their role as guardians of law and order. In reality police perform their duties honestly and every year hundreds lay down their lives in the line of duty.

Subsidiarity

“Nowhere has democracy functioned well without a large measure of local self-governance” – Friedrich Von Hayek in “The Road to Serfdom”