Friday, September 24, 2010

Mockery of justice once again.

A public interest litigation filed by one Mr. Ramesh Chand Tripathi in the Supreme Court has been decided in his favour. Apparently, Mr. Tripathi wants the Lucknow court to defer its verdict on Ayodhya because he feels that this might lead to communal riots. Where's the logic in this, Mr. Tripathi? All you have achieved is a delay in the final verdict on this festering matter.
It is a contempt of court according to me. I am no legal expert, even by the remotest stretch of imagination. But I still feel this way. Appealing to one court to stall another court is just a cheap trick, I am afraid to say. Why do I say it is contempt of court? Because stalling one judgement out of the fear of communal riots means not believing in the fact that law and justice are above everything else. EVERYTHING ELSE, mind you. I wish the Supreme Court had asked Tripathi to mind his own business than give him a patient hearing.
This has all gone into another endless loop, I am afraid. A loop that has extended over five decades already. Why can't we end this meaningless loop and get on with more important issues that face the country?
Just yesterday lakhs of Ganesh idols were immersed into rivers all across the country. As I understand, this is done to signal to the devotee that s/he should not get irrevocably attached to God in the form of an idol and rather look inwards for the existence of God. Exactly for this purpose, the idols are supposed to be made of clay. Earth, that is. That which is indestructible. And then we allow the whole country of over a billion people to be held ransom over one STRUCTURE?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Too much information - is it dangerous?

There is so much information on the net. Too much, I sometimes feel.
Its not just the sheer amount of information that bothers me. Its the accessibility and more, its usability that is causing me stress.
We have heard this before now - children can complete their school projects by clicking a few sites here and there and downloading the information that they want. Its a different matter that all projects from a class must be looking alike.
What you want to know? Whatever it is - just Google it. That's the way to go about gathering information now.
My stress has gone up a few notches since I came back from Shivpuri (near Rishikesh) having conducted a staff training program for the outdoor safety instructors from Snow Leopard Adventures, Delhi. Two instances stand out in my mind.
We were talking about safety aspects when dealing with adventure activities that involve ropes and mainly- HEIGHT. The topic veered around to the use of ascenders (commonly called Jumar) and then went on to using a prusik knot. I spent better part of one full day explaining the intricacies of a prusik knot and its do's and dont's to the group.
On another day, we had a session about snakes. I mean - safety aspects regarding snakes and snakebite on an outdoor site. I wished I could have shown them live examples and given them an opportunity to actually handle a snake but that was not possible. So I had to make do with a whiteboard (and the participants had to make do with my horrendous sketching skills!) Obviously, the key topic was identifying whether a snake is poisonous or not.
After I was back in Pune, I did some searching around on the net on these two topics and was swamped by some thousands of websites, blogs, e-forums etc. that provided every bit of useful and useless information on these critical topics.
What would happen if someone who has half-cooked knowledge reads all the information and makes a decision whether a snake is poisonous or not? I shudder to imagine the consequences. for example - here is the description of a Russel's Viper from the internet - (sourced from Wikipedia)