Musings of a Spectator

Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Frustration - Motivation

I've somehow resisted my temptation to write another post for the past so many days. Almost a fortnight, if I am not wrong. I am aware that I am yet to answer my friend Rastogi's questions. But if answers were so readily available and if things were so perfect, then the world would not be an exciting place to live in. It would more be a very dull place. So, I shall put that to a later post.

Sometime back I remember, I remarked - "Frustration plays a key-role in motivating people" and let me see why I felt so. This idea came to my mind on the spot as I was walking a talk (yeah, that was more like an interview then :p) with a very good friend of mine, and I said this is the way I felt it is.

There are a good deal of motivation theories available for reading, and they form a very key component to many in the corporate world who always wish to get the very best from their employees. And it becomes really important for them to motivate their employees to work on their job however routine/boring/mundane/ it is. At the same time, for every human on earth, it is necessary to get themselves motivated for doing some action - because unless there is some "driving" force, accomplishing things becomes a distant reality. For all practical purposes, I take this "driving force" as the motivating factor - or the motivation itself.

In all popular motivation theories, be it

- the Mc. Gregor Theory of X/Y - wherein there is a classification of employees widely into X and Y groups based on their interest and their work pattern. X is uninterested, does not like work whereas Y is interested and likes work - The theory says that for X you must show him some incentives in terms of money or in terms of some reward to get him motivated - whereas Y needs a good work culture which challenges him to do better work
- the popular Maslow's Theory of Motivation and Human Needs - wherein there are 5 levels of a pyramidal structure defined each defining a particular human need(s) and the corresponding behaviour or the kind of mannerisms that would make them motivated to fulfil their need. This is a motivation theory for self development and self-motivation.
- the Equity Theory - social comparison with their peers is a very important motivator here - e.g A person feels motivated more if he is working with Google as compared to let's say Satyam because the social comparison factor here tells you that Google is more respected than Satyam
- the Expectancy Theory - People work with some expectations - some reward or bonus or a promotion etc.

All these theories stated above have one thing in common - if you have noticed. All of them talk of the behavioural patterns of people. They try to categorize people and try to deal with how to motivate them or suggest what is expected to be done to motivate them. It is precisely here that I wish to start my point with. That is about "Frustration".

Frustration - is one of the few emotions that put one off from work or rather one would look it as one of the biggest unmotivating factors when one finds some work failing or apparently unsurmountable in front of them - but is it?

Thankfully it is a feature that is a part of almost everyone's life. Going by the company-employee format and the productivity of the employee being important to the employer - the source of employee's frustration and the ways to improve the situation of the employee form a very important part in motivating the employee. hence Frustration plays a key-role in motivating people .

But I would also like to take the framework to a personal level. Identifying the cause for frustration is a very important thing for anyone to overcome that and accomplish the task that they set out to perform. Here again, but for a frustrating moment, the chance of taking a look back at what you are doing and getting a new lease of life is not possible - how important frustration is! (one may look at Cognitive Dissonance way of motivating people to see this point)

But is that all that I have to say? No. I think I still have scores of stories to tell to justify the same. If one looks at motivation to perform/act as a dynamic thing, and if one keeps doing a host of activities ranging which are highly different in nature, then a series of frustrating moments relating to one action, is an indicator to move over to another activity and start working on that. Here again, frustration plays a key role in motivating one to do something else as compared to doing something which may not be productive at that stage of time.

Wonder what'ld be of the world if it were free from all frustrations!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Winding things up...

In my reply to my friend Rastogi, I have given my reasons as to why there was a natural choice of presenting the Right Wing "propaganda" after bringing the W W Hunter's argument. I shall try to wind things from this end by showing a few pointers to the other side of the story and put a view up, which needs explanation that shall be provided in some subsequent posts.

As I look back at the previous two posts - I understand that there is some problem with what I have done.Both the editorial from The Pioneer and the Comment by S Gurumurthy - both these are copyrighted materials - and there are many an argument regarding bloggers not respecting the copyrights. I think out of oversight, rather, no sight in this direction, I have pasted them on my blog. I shall in the days to come provide a gist of their argument in my words and remove them - and do my bit towards respecting the copyrights - to follow whatever the law might say. I do not want to venture myself into the copyrights and IPRs etc. in this blog, but I think I made my point clear. May be later these shall be dealt with.

Getting back to the topic, the argument that Muslims are being appeased and that the majority section have been neglected is the idea based on which the Right Wing Agenda came up. Now, I request the readers to take a look at this website - to get the the then AIML perspective of the whole freedom movement and its relation with Indian National Congress.There is a need to do a very critical analysis of both kinds of views.

When it comes to issues like Babri masjid and Ram Temple - I think that these should be looked at in greater detail.Unfortunately for us, I do not think if there are any objective sources to deal with the topic. So I shall better not get into a topic where I cannot get reliable sources.

I am happy that I am attempting to write this post exactly hundred years after the Bengal Partition and Bandemataram movement took place. It is this Bandemataram movement and Bengal Partition which gave rise to possibly the worst possible riots between Hindus and Muslims.The start of the misgivings and the misunderstandings that developed then are alive in some sense or the other even today - though unfortunately.I read in newspapers in the past two days that the State Govt. Archives of West Bengal have been enriched with the inside story of the Bengal Partition - the perspective from Lord Curzon, and the British - their point of view - the ideas of Rabindranath Tagore then when Shantiniketan was under constant vigil of the Britishers.I hope that these sources bring in more History to light so as to drive away the current unclear notions which have resulted in popular misunderstanding of history.

Rabindranath's Ghare Baire - speaks of the problem that he saw with the then INC which was looked at by the Muslims at that time as a Hindu party as its movements did not take their role specifically into picture. And as you can see - the AIML never felt in line with the INC in the early days - which is understandable. But even when Gandhiji takes over and there are many a confidence building measure(CBM) from INC to take AIML into confidence(Khilafat Movement is one of them) for a combined work for freedom, the differences remained.

The excessive nature of these CBMs which was against the very integrity of the nation was the thing that I wanted to point out in terms of the rise of Right Wing ideology.Now that Partition has happened, what next? is the question. There is no point in cribbing for history. An Indian might look at Partition as a Historic Blunder but from the notion of AIML in 1940 - it was a necessity. Now, where is the real problem? I can surely point it out from my understanding and analysis, but I wish to do it offline. Anybody interested may contact me.

The Partition left us divided - but definitely not forever, hopefully. The recent Muzaffarabad - Srinagar and Srinagar-Muzzafarabad bus services have started another chapter to the process of removing these misgivings and misunderstandings. Let peace prevail. What are these misgivings and misunderstandings - and how to undo the past mistakes - this is something that requires deeper study and I would not link it just with emotions but I feel there is a need to provide an intellectual thought to the development of such emotions to drive for the best. There was a doctor from Muzaffarabad who remarked "The LoC will fall like the Berlin Wall". So be it - Amen.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Partition... Not an Aberration

I think now that two articles on Communalism are put, let me put this also for your consumption.

Note: I mentioned about Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Aligarh Muslim University earlier - here is something on it - I haven't looked out for a counter-view of the same, so do not consider anything stated hereunder as something that I put my weight behind.
Let's see, after some study, I shall give my own flavor - By the way, I am also looking into some of those Marxist Historians' versions on Partition - which shall be presented in the coming posts.
Sops for separatism

KR Phanda (Editorial from The Pioneer)

Those familiar with Muslim League politics between 1906 and 1947 will not be surprised at Mr Badrul Islam's demand in his article, "AMU calls for justice" (March 3). The writer says that the Aligarh Muslim University "needs to act independently in all affairs including admissions". During the first 40 years of the 20th century, the Muslim League's behavioural pattern was characterised by accusations, demands and denunciations of the Indian National Congress. The reactions of the Congress, led by Mahatma Gandhi, was marked by acquiescence, cajolery and surrender to Muslim demands.

Even after the creation of Pakistan on religious basis, the Congress did not stop pandering to Muslim demands. HRD Minister Arjun Singh's twin gifts for the AMU on its 56th annual convocation at Aligarh on March 2 should be seen in light of this age-old appeasement policy. He has announced financial assistance of eight crore rupees as well as statutory minority status for AMU.

The Congress, thanks to its votebank politics, may not want to inform the public that the AMU's founder, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, had nothing but contempt for it. He was the first Muslim 'moderate' to articulate the two-nation theory that eventually led to the creation of Pakistan.

As reported in the Pioneer of January 11, 1888, Sir Syed had characterised the Congress as a "Bengali movement", "a stupid organisation", and Congress sessions as a mere scribbling and talking shop. He had described Bengalis as people "who at the sight of a table knife would crawl under their chair" (Badruddin Tyabji, Husain B Tyabji, Thacker and Co, Bombay, 1952, p 197). Another Muslim leader of the time, Sir Aga Khan, wrote about the AMU: "Surely it may also be claimed that the independent, sovereign nation of Pakistan was born in the Muslim University of Aligarh" (The Memoirs of Aga Khan, Cassel & Company, London, 1954, p 36).

The status of the AMU had been decided by the Supreme Court in its judgement delivered on October 20, 1967: "The Aligarh University was neither established nor administered by the Muslim minority and, therefore, there is no question of any amendment to the 1920 Act violating Article 30 (I), for the Article does not at all apply to the University" (S Azeez Basha vs Union of India, SCR, 1968). Subsequently, under Muslim pressure, the Congress Government overturned the Supreme Court judgement.

The AMU can be said to have been the centre of Muslim separatism and the intellectual cradle of the Muslim League. The 1906 memorandum submitted by Muslim leaders to Lord Minto at Shimla was drawn up by Aligarh intellectuals led by Syed Hosien Bilgrami. The foundation of the Muslim League in the same year was also their work. Professor Francis Robinson records that "the secretaryship and power in the League generally was to remain in the hands of Aligarh and UP men for most of its existence" (Separatism Among Indian Muslims, Cambridge University Press, Great Britain, 1974, p 149).

The AMU should have been abolished for its anti-national record after Independence. Instead, the Government encouraged the setting up of more such institutions. Why should taxes collected from Hindus be used for an institution that has preached and practised separatism? Why should Muslim institutions get grants and autonomy denied to Hindu institutions? Why should India's largest minority be given special rights while the 'normative' secular paradigm treats Hindus as second class citizens in their own country?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Communalism 2: What the Islamists fear

The following column by Balbir K Punj has references to some of those things mentioned in the previous post, and you may be interested to look at this. I shall follow this up with my own interpretation - let's see, what Mr Punj says: (source :

What the Islamists fear

Two recent incidents point towards spiralling Islamic aggressiveness in the country. The first is Uttar Pradesh Sunni Wakf board's claiming proprietorship of Taj Mahal. The other is SIMI threat e-mail to iconic Yoga-Guru Swami Ramdev. However, the best thing about these is that they expose the public face of "secularism".

In the first incident, two rival sects of Muslims have staked ownership of the Taj Mahal. The UP Sunni Wakf board has demanded that the ownership of Taj Mahal be transferred to it by Archaeological Survey of India by April 9. The claim is based on the premise that the Taj, being a grave, is Wakf property. Muslims also tender Friday namaz at the Taj Mahal. A section of Shias led by Khursi Agha of Lucknow is prodding the Shia Wafk board to stake a similar claim on Taj Mahal since Mumtaz Mahal herself was a Shia and so was the principle architect Isha Khan Shirazi from Iran. Let us see how a communal or sectarian claim of Taj Mahal can really upset India's "secular" facade.

The Taj is a poster site for Indian tourism like the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the Eiffel Tower in France, and Statue of Liberty in the US. Noted Indo-Anglian writer Amit Chaudhuri wrote: "Social scientist Partha Chatterjee is puzzled and engrossed by what has happened to these 'national images' - for instance, the Taj Mahal; Shah Jahan's Red Fort - as they have been represented in our textbooks in the last 40 or 50 years: That is, in our relatively brief, but palpably long, history as a republic. Prof Chatterjee discovers that early photographs and engravings found in textbooks dating back, say, to the Twenties, are gradually replaced in textbooks after 1947 by a certain kind of line drawing. He finds no economic raison d'etre for this change: 'Are they cheaper to print? Not really; both are printed from zinc blocks made by the same photographic process.'

"But the more telling change occurs in the nature of the representations themselves, as the pictures of certain monuments are transformed into 'national icons'. As these monuments are turned into 'national icons' in post-Independence history textbooks, the pictures are emptied of signs of randomness, emptied, indeed, of all but the monument itself, and a new credo and economy of representation comes into existence" (The Casual Moment-The mysterious indefinable quality of poetry, The Telegraph, Calcutta, February 13).

Taj Mahal is a mausoleum. As far as I am aware, Islam forbids erecting mausoleums over graves. Yet Muslim kings built mausoleums for their loved ones and sometimes for themselves in advance. But most Muslim kings in India also enjoyed wine, took more than four wives, patronised musicians and painters. They sometimes opened their purse strings to dargah (shrine) or mazaar (grave) of Sufi saints. But actually, all these are un-Islamic practices, howsoever humane they might appear to non-Muslims. Non-Muslim often romanticise Islam though these essentially un-Islamic customs. But Sunni clerics, who drive Islam, abhor them.

We idolise, no doubt mistakenly, Emperor Akbar for his religious syncretism of Deen-e-Ilahi (which was nothing but promoting Islam through the backdoor). But when Akbar died in 1605, the ulema refused to recite the kalima on his body, declaring him an apostate equivalent. Even Muslim scholars of our era like late Ali Mian (Syed Abu-ul-Hasan Ali Nadwi) held similar opinion about Akbar. Muslim scholars clearly feel that the Sunni empire established by Babar, got strayed in Akbar's gesture of tolerance, Jahangir's indulgences in wine and women, Shahjahan's romanticisations - and it was not until a puritan Aurangzeb that the original pursuit could be revived - albeit unsuccessfully.

Though mausoleums violate Islamic principles, Sunni scholars tolerate them, and don't prescribe their destruction. After all, it will be no good to demolish these souvenirs of Islamic era. However, they don't compromise on Islam by idolising them. So why are these learned clerics asking for the Taj so passionately?

Taking over the Taj would signify a great symbolic victory for Islamists. It would undermine the authority of the Central Government. With Taj taken, the next target would be the Red Fort in Delhi and then the one in Agra. For, these were once the seats of the Mughal empire - atop which fluttered the green banner of Islam. The Mughal empire was the standard bearer of Islam in India.

Shah Abdul Aziz (1746-1823), son of the architect of the Wahabi movement in India, Shah Wali Ullah, on perceiving the decline of the Mughal empire, proclaimed in 1810 that India had ceased to be Dar-ul-Islam (House of Islam) and had become, instead, Dar-ul-Harb (House of War). If the Sunni Wakf Board is successful in taking over the Taj, its moral claim on Delhi's Red Fort and the Agra Fort will be emboldened. As a prelude to the take over, Muslims would start congregating in Pearl Mosque (Moti Masjid) inside Delhi's Red Fort as they did at Taj Mahal.

The Wakf claim can be theoretically extrapolated. If the seat of erstwhile Mughal power should come under Wakf's jurisdiction, why not entire India, most of which was Dar-ul-Islam for six centuries? Remember how Hamas justified its call for "destruction of Israel" by saying that the entire land of Palestine was Wakf property belonging to Allah?

In the second incident Swami Ramdev, the iconic yoga-guru of Aastha channel, has received a threat from banned SIMI (Students Islamic Militia of India) through an e-mail. He has been forbidden to teach yoga to Muslims. He has been warned of major "collateral damages" in his dream-project, Patanjali Yoga Kendra in Hardwar.

Now, Swami Ramdev, of modern gurus, teaches religion the least. He gives no pravachan from the Gita, Upanishad, Puranas or Ramayana. He teaches breathing techniques and some asanas (physical postures) that eliminate physical, mental and moral maladies and promote general well-being. These, according to him, can provide almost miracle-cures to many diseases pronounced incurable. And many practitioners have actually experienced such "healing miracles" after pursuing his simple techniques. They have gladly come forward with their medical records in support of their claim. Aastha channel claims a viewership of over 20 million people. Most of those who had taken advantage of Swami Ramdev's yoga had done so over the television rather than in his yoga camp. SIMI can prevent Aastha channel from reaching Muslim viewers only by preventing cable TV from reaching them.

All of us, regardless of our religion, breathe the same oxygen. Will Muslims cease to be Muslims if they breathe it correctly through Pranayam? I will not become a Muslim by sitting in the posture of namaz, nor a Christian by doing the Alexander method of posture correction, or start speaking Chinese by doing Falun Gong exercises? So isn't there something suspicious about SIMI's fear?

Homeopathy was developed in Germany by Samuel Heinemann. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was perhaps the first Indian to be treated in this method by German doctors who visited him. But he lived and died as a "Hindoo King". No one ever became a Christian after being treated with his wonderful system of homeopathy medicine. Muslims of Pakistan have no hitch in coming to India for delicate surgeries and transplants performed by "kafir" doctors of India. But SIMI sees a problem if a Muslim is healed of his diabetes, heart disease, obesity, skin diseases, and tension through pranayam and asana. What SIMI actually fears is Hindu resurgence through yoga, which is likely to cure the hypocrisy called "secularism" in the Indian mind. The Hindu civilisation might suddenly come across "self-realisation", something Islamists don't want. But their design of Islamisation of India will be foiled again.

(The writer, a Rajya Sabha MP and Convenor of BJP's Think Tank, can be contacted at

Communalism and The Indian Musalmans...

Fortunately, I got to take a look at "The Indian Musalmans" - an excellent and path-breaking, influential book which has since the time it was published has had an an impact on the minds of people even till today.

A master piece by W W Hunter. If only he had been true to his statement of not generalising a case of Bengal to the whole of India, the idea of partition may not have got so deeply rooted amongst the Muslim elite. Read on...

Key Words/ Names/Phrases: Crusades, Muslims, Christians, Black Hole Tragedy
(It is claimed that it may have/may not have occurred ) and Siraj-ud-dowlah, 1857 Revolt led by Bahadur Shah and other Muslim leaders (NOTE: The war was fought under the Last Mughal Emperor of the then India), Continuation/Increase of the Christian-Muslim Strife, Bengal Muslims' Plight, First Census of India (1871).

The above are various things that happen in the pre-W W Hunter era. Drawing inspiration from all these events with the help of statistical data and inferences drawn from those emerges W W Hunter's "The Indian Musalmans" - wherein W W Hunter presents an argument for the betterment of the living status of the Indian Musalmans.

(Note: All his observations were based on the statistics drawn of Bengali Muslims. He honestly mentions this before he went on write his analysis. But unfortunately he goes on to generalise the observations of Bengal to the whole of India - which leads to a lot of problems).

His argument was - to put it simply - this - The British officials because of their enmity and bitterness towards Muslims which is in continuation of their age-old traditional bitterness in terms of Crusade or in terms of 1857 war etc. etc., have not created opportunities for the betterment of the Muslims in terms of modern education,and in terms of the jobs they held with the administration - (Civil Services) - whereas in contrast - the Hindus have been doing farely well in the area. He points out that the race which was in power not long ago and enjoyed administrative powers was deprived of basic facilities that a dutiful Government of the British should provide them with. He holds in contempt all the activities of the
British which led to impoverishment of the Musalmans (who then constituted about 46.3% of the population in Bengal [both East and West]), which according to him was detrimental and a blot on British Government. To support his argument he presents many a statistics from various corners.

[Note: There are other arguments which are taken up today which show that generalising done by W W Hunter to represent the Indian Muslims using a sample of Bengal is incorrect as the statistics at other places show that the Muslims were not all that backward as was claimed ]

This argument was so powerful that it is still held in respect even today. In fact, this argument was used by many a Muslim leader from then on to extract benefits from the British Administration in their favor. Interestingly, even the Indian National Congress falls for the same argument. This begins the concept of luring the Muslims which continues even today and the "actual" plight is always set aside, by people
including the Muslim leaders. There has been a political exploitation which kept continuing.

Now in order to know the designs of the Muslim elite who exploited the situation to their political favour - one should look at the following:

Though I wouldn't want to start a controversy, please do look at :

a) Formation of Muslim League
b) Muslim League's Opposition to Open Competition based selection of Civil
c) Minto Morley Reforms (Understand the "Nation within a nation"

Once you look at this, a continuing policy of favors "demanded" by Muslim
League continues which ultimately results in what we today know as "Partition of India".

It would be interesting to see the whole thing in the light of Wahhabi Movement, Wahhabi Movement in India,Shah Wali Ullah (1703-1762),Shah Abdul Aziz (1746-1823), Dar-ul-Islam (House of Islam), Dar-ul-Harb (House of War), Sir Syed Ahmed Khan - Aligarh Movement, Bankim Chandra's Anand Math.

The development of the theory of communalism has different takes. Currently we are trying to look at the roots. The current status has a lot of other angles to look at. The right wing - RSS/VHP growth and their ideology as opposed to the Muslim League and the politics of the INC first and then Congress (I) later and BJP much much later and the various political parties finally leads to the current complex world of Secularism/Pseudo-secularism which is closely linked with the understanding of "Communalism" (interesting though - this is a very Indian term - coined by Indians)

I shall continue this take after some time too.. I think linking up all the key phrases above shall make another post in itself. For those interested, you may go through the following links:
(I forewarn you that the links are views expressed by the author and I have no special agreement with the same - But it contains things of historical value which can be extracted)

There are other papers too on which can be looked at.