Presstitutes-Lynchmobs of Frenzier Kind

Sharing a thought provoking piece by friend B Kalyan (Unedited Version, except for Typesetting for Emphasis and hyperlinking)

Media today Picture Courtesy-

A spiritual master through guidance, wisdom and love reveals the Knowledge of the self, making their life as a message of humanity, service and unconditional love. The master exemplifies the impossible, inspiring even an ordinary student/disciple to grow to their full potential.

At one end of the spectrum, we have masters who are either born enlightened or have become enlightened after years of dedicated practice. India has been blessed with Spiritual masters like Adi ShankarachrayaBabaji, Swami Vivekananda, Paramhansa Yogananda and more recently, Neem Karoli baba, Maharishi Maheish Yogi, Anandamayi Ma, Karunamayi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to name a few.  Leading by example they have spread the message of peace, unconditional love and service, imparting the timeless wisdom not only in India but also all over the world. 

At the other end we have so-called religious masters like Nityananda Swami, Narayan Sai and more recently Gurmeet Ram Rahim who either have come to the seat of knowledge due to inheritance or pure greed. The Dera Sacha Sauda incident and the fall from grace of its leader who committed a heinous crime was borne out of such a situation. However, this unfortunate incident is an aberration.

In country with thousands of Gurus with several of them doing yeomen service, it would be gross to paint them all with the same brush. In an age of intense media coverage and scrutiny, this opportunity was seized upon to drive their biased, prejudiced and self-serving agendas. Based on specious logic, contorted and misrepresented facts, many of these have been cloaked in apparently ‘respectable’ and ‘intellectual’ explanations and interpretations of happenings.

One spiritual master who has had to face unfounded accusations is founder of the Art of Living; Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. He has been at the receiving end of accusations. The sheer stature that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has a worldwide following ensures attention. He is one of the most respected peace ambassador honored by different countries including USA, Canada, Russia, Columbia, Argentina, for his service to bring peace and harmony in the world. 

It is unfortunate author  Sanjay Shrivastava has used the Dera Sacha Sauda incident to attack Hindu gurus, playing with the minds of vulnerable disciples. In his article he writes, there is a “differentiated market” for Gurus driven by different strata of society. He goes on to add, and I quote “What is important to remember is that each following expresses mob frenzy – and its destructive force – in different ways”.  That avers that each guru has created a mob that can unleash frenzied mayhem at will. As an illustration he picks on the Art of Living and says “mobilization of collective opinion by Art of Living followers against the findings of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) regarding the damage caused by Art of Living’s “World Culture Festival” to the Yamuna floodplain in Delhi in March 2016 is, really, another form of mob action”.

I am completely dumbfounded and non-pulsed. Let us try to decipher the line of thought for a moment along with related facts.

First, there apparently was mobilization of collective opinion!! Pray, whose “collective opinion” is being referred to? The author has glibly begun his article with the conclusion “The charisma of the guru (usually a male) lies in the fact that he is able to convince his followers that his own acts are not anti-social but a-social”. Their opinion obviously need not be mobilized. Then it can only refer to the general public. People are therefore ill informed, gullible, and bereft of reasoning and logic. That does not paint a very complimentary picture of the so-called ‘hoi polloi’, does it?

Next, Sanjay has gone on to suggest that the NGT was weighed down by pressure of public opinion. In other words, NGT, a court of law, headed by a judge from Supreme Court decides matters based on public opinion rather than facts presented before it!! This seems to betray an utter contempt of the institution, should it not act in a manner aligned to thoughts and ideas of the author.  He seems to have left out a fact that Art of Living has adhered strictly the judicial court route. Complete scientific evidence of no damage was submitted to the court whereas the NGT committee members had no proof to sustain their claims of damage to the grounds where the world cultural festival was held. 

And then comes the final burst. Since public memory is assumed to be notoriously short and frail. So “streets occupied by the Art of Living followers – and the damage caused to public property” are different from recent incidents yet similar!!! Which street Art of Living followers occupied and which public property was damagedNeedless to say Sanjay does not seem too keen to mention any of those details. 

Isn’t this intellectuals mob frenzy of worse kind? Creating  things that do not exist and damaging reputation beyond repair!  


Leadership – Antique Value or Utility Value

Management lessons from the Paranjoy Guha Thakurta episode in EPW! This is not a post taking any sides, but possible learning and commentary from the Leadership style perspective. I draw extensively from the Facebook posts (click on respective images below for original posts) of  Sri Rammanohar Reddy,  Ex-Editor of EPW

(Currently, the links to Facebook posts are functional – However, in case it doesn’t we have screen shots of the same as on 1st August 2017 @1200 Hrs)

Self selecting boards are the bane. I know organizations whose influential member is sitting on the board for last 50 years and invariably surrounded by “Yes-Sir”s . When you sit on a board as the Executive Chief for 50 years the organization tends to be treated as his/her Proprietary firm. (Not to discount the possible excellence of some Proprietary concerns) For an organization not a Proprietary concern, this management style is counter-productive.

What was good 50 years back cannot work today (Why go back 50 years! these days, what was good last year is out of place today) Control freaks vs Participative Leadership argument. We cannot manage Knowledge worker using methods used on unskilled labor (please note – it wouldn’t work even with them in modern times) it is a recipe for disaster. Processes & systems that worked in the past is out of place today not because of geographical spread, but also due to rights assertion. Multi-locational, multi-product delivery calls for different leadership style and fresh thinking – Not an uninspiring leadership – A 50 year old antiquated furniture is valuable more for its antiquity than utility.

Uninspiring leadership – A 50 year old antiquated furniture is valuable more for its antiquity than utility.

I would like to give an example on how antiquated some thought processes are – I am sure it would be the same with many of the reader’s organizations, especially if they have a “baggage” called history.  A particular person who headed this location was specifically advised that maintaining an open office, with free access to your subordinates is not the right leadership style. Little realizing that a rotting place was converted into a happening and successful unit , people gave up their right hand to work for. Everyone of the stake holder expectations were met (of course, not the antiquated Leaders who advised the person, who still thought no amount of success justifies the legitimate means – it is their way or highway)

Celebrating Her – Happy Birthday Aparna

As much as I resisted not to make myself predictable by writing a blog, I simply could not help but do it yet again this year to celebrate not just Aparna’s birthday but celebrate her  in our lives.

It has been a tough year for the family having lost our eldest brother unexpectedly (and untimely too) , but the way she stood up with us despite her own pain – this brother was the one who was the karta of our marriage – she bore it all within herself and it was thanks to her strong shoulders that helped me go through those difficult times.

This has been the feature of this amazing human being – when going gets tough, she steps back, ready to lend her unconditional support. Not just for the family but to anyone, as many who have experienced this can vouch.

She is a “100% in the moment and with the person” kind of a human being. When she is with you, she is so present – Her priority are very clear and never allows anything in the world to disrupt this, whatever the costs. Always the background person – especially with loud and flamboyant folks like me and children around her, she detest drawing attention to herself for anything. However, she has something to tell the kids, wherever she is

Over the years, we have realized here is an amazing human being – always ensures that even in the worst of situation, the glass is never seen empty, even when it is stone-dry; that is the kind of strength she lends us. And she has slowly opened up to having some fun moments like these

On this special day I thank the Divine for this precious gift to us. Thanks ,my late Brother – Sri Mohan, who brought her formally in to my life. I am sure wherever he is, must be proud to shower his blessings on Aparna on her birthday.

Have a super duper day, dearest Aparna. We adore you – just the way you are!

Loads of Love

And this gratitude is not complete without dedicating one of the songs in my collection of favorites.  This time a 1973 number ” Thanks for Being you”