So, less educated drivers cause more road accidents? Think again.

Let’s accept it. Most of the educated lot has this popular perception that maximum accidents are caused by drivers who are illiterate or received very less education. We think that, in general, educated people are likely to drive more cautiously, be more aware of traffic rules and would abide by them and would obviously exercise more civic sense. Sometimes this is attributed to factors dependent on education. Therefore, higher the educational qualification of a driver, lower the chance of him getting involved in a road accident. If you nodded in agreement, think again. The data on road accidents in India speaks otherwise.

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Dealing with Languages

Our friends and colleagues from other places often ask us, “How do you Indians manage back there amidst a myriad of languages?” I have always found this difficult to answer, for I was mostly able to manage my Hindi with some hints of English. You would agree perhaps that whether we have hundreds of languages around us or three, there is always one language that’s close to our heart. Most of the times this language happens to be our mother tongue, the language in which we think. Born in a Bengali family I spent my growing up years in a Hindi dominant state, Madhya Pradesh (the central state of India), so my Hindi is better than my Bengali, which would perhaps add to the bewilderment of our already puzzled colleagues.

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Overdoing the Anna Hazare thing?

Aren’t we really overdoing this Anna Hazare thing? I mean, OK there is a civic society, it made its recommendations on the Lokpal draft but the government differed and passed their own version. Tomorrow, the parliament may pass a similar or a different bill. But let’s face it, ultimately its the parliament that has the “rights” to do it, we cannot allow a herd of people to dictate how laws should be made in this country, though they are free to suggest.

Haven’t we ignored such herds before? (remember demands of referendum/freedom?). If Anna’s group is able to arm-twist a government, then tomorrow we should be ready for other such “civic societies” coming up with their own sets of demands, we are opening a pandora’s box really. Imagine the mining mafia coming in thousands and forcing a reinstatement of their favorite leader. IMHO, it should be OK in a democratic setup to debate, oppose, resist, pressurize against, differ or agree with other’s views but we cannot ignore that ultimately the laws should be made by the elected representatives of the nation and not by the members of society, who lead but won’t contest elections to join active politics. When they are sitting on the fence we don’t even know which political party/ideology they might be representing, or whose business interests might be behind them. Why is not a single MP or MLA part of Anna’s team? (we cannot just say that none o the politicians want this bill, that’s an easy way out. Anna’s team should have the capability to convince the parliamentarians, they cannot wage a war to get their things done.)