INDIA,CRAWLING TOWARDS A DIGITAL LIFESTYLE!

Kuttanlifeissues

TOWARDS A DIGITAL LIFESTYLE ON BLISTERED FEET!

INTRODUCTION:

WE INDIANS ARE, AT BOTTOM, ONLY A CLUMSY BUNCH!

ADMIT IT HONESTLY!

An observation, shell shocker as it may be to many of us, like “From this midnight onward, all currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 shall cease to be legal tender” can be understood and allowed to slowly sink in but “We are turning cashless from this month onward” can’t be stomached not only for the simple reason that the FM and PM suddenly changed their focus from black money hunting to this  but also for the presumption it makes of too many things remaining unjustified by ground realities across the whole nation!

Some of these things, which Mr. Modi never probably foresaw in his peremptory stance, are the following:

  • The whole of India is having plentiful power
  • All Indians are capable of buying and…

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INDIA,CRAWLING TOWARDS A DIGITAL LIFESTYLE!

TOWARDS A DIGITAL LIFESTYLE ON BLISTERED FEET!

INTRODUCTION:

WE INDIANS ARE, AT BOTTOM, ONLY A CLUMSY BUNCH!

ADMIT IT HONESTLY!

An observation, shell shocker as it may be to many of us, like “From this midnight onward, all currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 shall cease to be legal tender” can be understood and allowed to slowly sink in but “We are turning cashless from this month onward” can’t be stomached not only for the simple reason that the FM and PM suddenly changed their focus from black money hunting to this  but also for the presumption it makes of too many things remaining unjustified by ground realities across the whole nation!

Some of these things, which Mr. Modi never probably foresaw in his peremptory stance, are the following:

  • The whole of India is having plentiful power
  • All Indians are capable of buying and sensibly using smartphones
  • All Indians are able to get run their bank accounts with minimum balance of Rs 5000 or Rs 10000 at all times
  • All Indians are having bank accounts
  • All banks issue check books having at least 1200 leaves so that a month’[s expenses can be covered online through cashless payments and remittances.
  • All Indians have Internet access and PCs
  • All Indians are able to Use Credit or debit cards too at ATMs
  • No Indian really likes to deal in cash but only online!

And these are all both totally fictitious and mere figments of the Union Government’s imagination or they go diametrically against known facts till date.

Much of India IS having regular supply of power but the reliability of this supply is in question. India is still considerably energy-hungry!

Power can go out at any moment at least in my home State. Power outages can occur also owing to repair on holidays but certainly the supply regularity can’t be trusted at ANY time. And both a PC and POS machine operate only if we have power! ATMs it seems is having some battery backup.

No fish woman is going to accept your check; no roadside teashop can be expected to possess a POS machine to use your Credit or Debit Card!

And to use either the Smartphone or the ATM intelligently you DO need some skill too!

As far as bank account penetration goes it is still 30% to 70% with 70% of unorganized labor and commoners being OUTSIDE the financial system. All migrant laborers here in Kerala –over 20 lakh of them–manage their affairs without any bank account at all (They can’t open the same too without being familiar enough to rope in someone to introduce them to the bank in question and provide the bank with many more details than they can safely provide!) but through an in-house cash dispatch mechanism! One among 50 laborers travels all the way to the home State concerned (Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar or West Bengal) and makes the trips needed to individual homes in order to dispense with the amounts to the dear and near ones or dependents of the laborer in Kerala!)

No bank in India issues check books having 200 leaves to any customer month after month! ICICI issues only a book with 5 leaves.

Internet penetration is equally single digit, though social media get used by peculiarities of demographics by the 20-40 aged segment of the population to about 20% or slightly more.

We in India have always, thanks to our conventional ways of living, dealt only in cash and kind all these days and still at many shops cash payments are openly preferred as closing the deal.

A million kirana shops dot our nation and all of them find digital running of business really fraught with problems of many kinds. Moreover no Indian has the easy familiarity he feels at a kirana shop at ANY of the supermarkets!

It is stupid of us if we conclude, after visiting a few supermarkets or hyper malls, that India is having adequate infrastructure to go cashless from tomorrow onward just with as wave of the PM’s magic wand! Over 80% of Indians today depend in Rural India (or Bharat if you wish to call her so!) on small provision shops or grocers for managing their daily life!

And finally, the deplorable presumption that all Indians are empowered enough to have mastered a bit of computer technology, needed to do their transactions.

[I pity the Union ministry in this regard because it tells me that they coolly ignored the Factor X—Self Empowerment thru PC– that made the US of the early 1980’s so suddenly all round successful and unimaginably prosperous—the small form factor into which Steve Jobs reduced the computer!

>80% American citizens irrespective of gender, physical health and age became PC literate within weeks and months and started their own enterprises ,small shops expanded into huge chains and corporate firms found it easy to control and effectively run a thousand business firms globally with its help.

America became impossibly prosperous and also proud of its superiority over other nations—including India and most South Asian nations east of the Mediterranean— that were still way too behind it.[Recall, we had the License-and-Permit Raj during those infamous Congress-led and most messed-up days!]

Its industries could program timely deliveries of their finished goods, import and export processes became paper less and communications gained by being online. Email communications got fathered forth too!]

Yes, we Indians leapt into the void without any basic citizen level empowerment and preparation for a digital lifestyle because we are, according to our PM, determined to maximize our daily transactions online and not offline in hard cash.

Excellent.

That way at least we can be world class in conviction! Agreed for argument’s sake!

Yes, the many Union ministries that preceded 2014 stand at fault for not either giving enough priority to this one item in the budget and national initiatives but also for many others sins of omission or commission. Agreed.

Yes, Mr. Modi possesses, unlike his so-so predecessors including probably even Chacha Nehru,  a vision and a mission to take India forward if needed by holding her hand through many sequential major initiatives, this demonetization being one of them and the going cash less being another though not immediately linked to the former! Admitted.

TODAY’S DIGITIZATION MESS!

Digitization and electronic linking of Aadhaar with PAN card have run aground today simply because if one is chalk the other happens to be cheese! Those that stood in front for launching them at different times (PAN came much earlier than Aadhaar) had never thought in advance of eve having to link both of them using biometric parameters and precise postal addresses!

Digital banking is giving me the shivers; most confidential documents are sent in PDF (“Sir, it’s the standard mode!”)  without even asking me if I have PDF on my PC. It’s all glibly assumed! Many need a prerequisite Adobe 7 too! I still have glitches when I try to withdraw some money from any ATM—not to mention the innumerable risks associated with using it in this country! Bank officials have also been caught red handed for stealing the money of account holders by getting their PINs through sales talk!

Some banks, obsessed with security of customer data,  added an extra level of security with an ATP, which operates supposedly 24/7 but which often takes over 5 minutes to appear on your cell phone –thus landing you into a noisy argument with the person standing behind you in a queue at super markets on busy days.

For instance, there is no standardization done in the spelling of individual names. Machines can’t take names typed into them in a thousand and one ways at all. And in India individual names can take 1001 varied formats too!

One of my alienated BILs (A physician in his 70’s in the US) was, vide his Matriculation Certificate, known as “Sivasankaran” but later he changed it at will and not with any gazette notification as “Siva V. Sankaran”.

Another BIL (A fully retired civil servant) has both his parental family name and his Uncle’s name appended to his real name. No machine can digest this kind of variety!

Many of us Indians have the names of our home villages and native places appended to our names too. Often we have pet or nicknames attached to our names—e.g. Chiyaan Vikram (cine artiste), Bharat Mohanlal, Singam Surya (another cine artiste).

Often we have abbreviations also (e.g. MMS)

ALL these confuse machines.

Our names MUST first be got standardized!

It’s “Neelakantan “in my Aadhar card (It got typed into the PC by probably an unkempt school leaver at a local junction thanks to outsourcing by the local self-government agency) whereas it is “Neelakandan” in my PAN.

Initials are a particular cause for worry later on.

Passport applications expect you to have a First name, a Last name and a Middle name but unfortunately I don’t have such a name at all.

So, because I can write my name with parental initial in the beginning as “N. Sadasivan” or in the end as “Sadasivan N.” I am often addressed by someone at a distance and not knowing me in person as “Neelakantan” too!

Whose fault has this been?

The government most certainly, because the format was different and the nomenclature in the applications for both these documentary cards were totally different! To add insult to injury, those that used the keyboards were not similarly equipped with the skill needed

As TR Ramaswami of Mumbai has pout it recently in a Letter to the Editor of ET,

We are trying to digitize 21st century India with British Raj laws and 19th century formats. One would think Robert Clive, Lord Canning or Mountbatten are still ruling us. Instead of wasting time and money in changing road and building names, we should have spent more time in getting our own names and addresses right for digitization in a manly move.

Welcome to a second round of documentation!

Have a Good Day!

LET’S REACH OUT MORE AND MORE!

Kuttanlifeissues

COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE IS WHAT MAKES HUMANS DIFFERENT!

One mighty habit that social media in general taught me is the habit of reaching out to others across gender and caste and faith.

Many households,where the stiff-necked and probably stiffl-lipped parents are generally formal and quiet,  view chatty conversation among themselves or with kids as infra dig with the result that the kids born in them take over 30 months to start uttering vernacular sounds!

Lack of oral –repeat ORAL-AURAL- communication between the partners plays the villain in many marital alliances also.”I love you” ,if spoken over phone in a warm voice , does wonders –far more than an email communication ever can!

It’s an open fact that a successful class session in any language in general and foreign tongues in particular is NOT silent but slightly noisy with many learners participating in communication as asked. It also may resound with…

View original post 218 more words

LET’S REACH OUT MORE AND MORE!

COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE IS WHAT MAKES HUMANS DIFFERENT!

One mighty habit that social media in general taught me is the habit of reaching out to others across gender and caste and faith.

Many households,where the stiff-necked and probably stiffl-lipped parents are generally formal and quiet,  view chatty conversation among themselves or with kids as infra dig with the result that the kids born in them take over 30 months to start uttering vernacular sounds!

Lack of oral –repeat ORAL-AURAL- communication between the partners plays the villain in many marital alliances also.”I love you” ,if spoken over phone in a warm voice , does wonders –far more than an email communication ever can!

It’s an open fact that a successful class session in any language in general and foreign tongues in particular is NOT silent but slightly noisy with many learners participating in communication as asked. It also may resound with collective laughter at times.

We had a PM that delighted in keeping mum and at a distance from the people he was the PM of!

Naturally India rejected that man–along with his whole stupid political caboodle party!!

ALL children love listening to –and participating in–human conversation and chat sessions among adults.They may not understand it fully but that doesnt matter at all.Listening to sounds and responding to them appropriately is what you and I arrive here on this planet fully pre programmed for!

Our Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas–just above your left ear!– become active immediately after our birth.AND a kid , if exposed to 6 disconnected languages at home from adults from varied continents, CAN communicate in all the six tongues without any grammar error at the age of 6!

THAT formidable is our language centre!(And the 3-hour long death process in a natural death starts with your tongue curling back upon itself over the throat,unable to move about for all time to come too!)

A happy family is excited to communicate 24/7 about practically everything they are interested in– recipes, hobbies, careers, fast family friends, well-wishing kith and kin, lifestyles and so on.

A house where an incompatible couple drags on with their alienated lives is SILENT–like the interior burial chamber of a pyramid in Egypt!

.

NEVER LET YOUR MIND BE COLONIZED!

Kuttanlifeissues

DECOLONIZING OUR MINDS!

The PM has recently exhorted our people to encourage and promote cultural exchanges to better assimilate the spirit of national integration in India!

This poses a real challenge because 99% of us are mentally still colonized—and most of us carry silly notions about our own selves, our home communities or families and of course of our previous lifetimes!

The proxy and ersatz ID we give ourselves—Hindu Iyengar, Namboothiri, Protestant Christian, Sunni Muslim, Tribal person etc. — is closely linked to these! Consequently we lose out on having a national identity as “Indian”

Keeping our minds clean and open at all times–100% decolonized that is– is really strenuous once you start thinking of it.

But that is one way to be a better human being! Artificial mantles put upon you by others to keep you within the fold –and artificial inter faith barriers–have actually little meaning when it…

View original post 359 more words

NEVER LET YOUR MIND BE COLONIZED!

DECOLONIZING OUR MINDS!

The PM has recently exhorted our people to encourage and promote cultural exchanges to better assimilate the spirit of national integration in India!

This poses a real challenge because 99% of us are mentally still colonized—and most of us carry silly notions about our own selves, our home communities or families and of course of our previous lifetimes!

The proxy and ersatz ID we give ourselves—Hindu Iyengar, Namboothiri, Protestant Christian, Sunni Muslim, Tribal person etc. — is closely linked to these! Consequently we lose out on having a national identity as “Indian”

Keeping our minds clean and open at all times–100% decolonized that is– is really strenuous once you start thinking of it.

But that is one way to be a better human being! Artificial mantles put upon you by others to keep you within the fold –and artificial inter faith barriers–have actually little meaning when it comes to the basic necessity for humanity and kindness towards all your contemporaries!

Take this risk however and you stand a good chance of being misunderstood even by those that you hold dear and near to your heart! Make your stance clear when it comes to your attitude towards persons from other states.

Declare that you have zero community ID and you are seen as a lunatic!

Admit that you like human beings across faith barriers and you are labelled an Incorrigible Iconoclast!

Confess your affection to some one of opposite gender but who belongs to another faith—say for a Black, Muslim or Hispanic—or a person having a different mindset—like Gays, Trans genders or Lesbians– and you get fisticuffed or beaten black and blue by her or his kith and kin!

External forces try to standardize and homogenize you if necessary with threats, bribe or offer of opportunities!

Say you don’t give any credence to your past and you are misconstrued as “one without a sense of history”

Deviate from the ways of the mediocre and ordinary and you are distanced by many too! A survey of human history confirms this beyond all doubt!

Socrates, Jesus, Galileo, Copernicus, and many more! Pathfinders and trailblazers are routinely misunderstood and undervalued when they are alive but appreciated after they are gone!

This world loves ONLY mediocrity and just average capabilities!

It finds itself unable to interpret genius, >160 IQ, drastic innovativeness, out of the box thinking, and unconventional approaches!

Berlin’s Humboldt University contains an archive of Indian soldiers of WW1 who were forced to speak something in their own languages.

Some prayed aloud in their mother tongues, and some others protested the inhuman greatment meted out to them by the imperial German government .Some other young men spoke to their distant sweethearts in India hoping that the latter might get to listen to them.Still others speak movingly about the beauty of India as different from the mist and fog of German prisons!

All of these,compounded by the guilt complex of modern day Germans , colonize their minds.

This is why the University has proposed to return these archival data to India!