Sunday, June 18, 2006


I would like to express myself on the issue of reservation.
Firstly I object to Hari’s way of classifying – your people (those who’ve got seats through reservation) and my people. My objective of taking anti reservation (caste based) stand is not only because opportunities are being curbed to ‘Upper’ castes for no fault of theirs, but also to avoid the compartmentalization of the society based on caste.
And I’m afraid Hari is doing exactly that by accusing the SC/ST’s of being Goondas in their colleges…
I strongly feel that Goondaism has got nothing to do with caste or reservation. The way Hari has written has only substantiated their plea for reservation in the society, where they claim that the lower castes are being ‘oppressed’ by the ‘Upper’ castes.
Coming to the core issue, if reservation was started with the sole aim of bridging the gap in the society, I would like to ask what gap they are trying to bridge.
Between the haves & have nots?
Between the rural & urban?
Between the upper castes & lower castes?
Is there any necessity to ensure that people belonging to all castes are represented in their respective proportions in educational institutions? If so what are we trying to build? Educational centres or ‘samathuvapurams’? What about something called merit? Should there not be any importance attached to it? In fact I think we are trying to undermine the ability of the so called lower castes by lowering the cut off marks for them. Instead of equipping them for higher challenges, we are only making them weaker by giving concessions.

While agree with Chandrika’s views that people from very low economic levels have neither the facilities not opportunities to get quality education and training to get into elite institutions, how far reservations based on economic grounds will work out remains to be seen.

I have another question. Education being a much sought after product in the market nowadays and we being customers for it, is the unwritten rule – ‘the haves get the best of products’ applicable here too? Don’t we see the impoverished masses being treated like animals in the Government hospitals, and the aristocratic lot getting the best of facilities in Private hospitals? For that matter, it is the same even in temples & religious institutions, where the poor have to stand for hours to get a glimpse of the deity whereas the rich can perform elaborate poojas in the private chamber of the deity itself. Is there a similar situation springing up in Education too? Is this just an inevitable, bitter pill we’ve got to swallow? Or is reservation (based on economic status) an effective answer to it? If so how can it be implemented? Awaiting your views…


Tuesday, June 13, 2006


This blog is wholly dedicated to my classmates. At the outset I'd like to tell you that this is not meant to hurt anyone. If you dont like the sound of it at the start you are free to skip it!

Identify yourself. To which category do u belong?

Type 1: Ever Silent
Never never open their mouth in class. Not to teachers, not to fellow classmates. This is the kind of person who is likely to have 1 or 2 select close friends. But then the amount they talk to these friends would be quite unbelievable given their silent nature

Type 2: Never Silent
Always hyperactive, esp with staff. The kind that says 'I can use up a 50 hour internet connection pack in 2 days'... (guys, I think u know who Im talkin abt?) These people try to act like they are really 'it' and they've got 'it' and wat not. Most of the time they are the ones everybody tries to avoid

Type 3: Never Silent (with a slight modification) only with girls
These guys usually abound in Computer Science departments. Even during lunch and tea breaks they dont socialise with other guys. They are always in the company of girls. And if mallus dont take offence, they are usually mallu guys!

Type 4: Sly Characters
These are guys who hang out with 'macho' buddies. But they r actually dying to talk to girls. Will hurt girls in public by making open remarks but usually they are tryin to get the attention of the girls they hurt. Dont have the guts to talk to them openly. This is the kind that is most detested by girls.

Type 5: Variation of Type 4
They have guts to talk to girls, but not in front of their friends. Forever scared of what others might think, what others might say! They will talk to girls only over the phone and if you want a good laugh, you should try to over hear these convos. Some of the silly things they say would be: 'Why dont you come out with me? ' - Knowing full well that the girl will refuse. Sometimes the girl should say ok, then we'd get to see their reaction!!

Type 6: Girl Haters
Try to avoid girls, talk ill of them etc etc. Sorry, cannot give too much importance to such ppl!

Type 7: Thayir saadams
They'll talk to everybody - but only regarding the syllabus, or abt how much they respect some particular staff. But these blokes are much more decent cos they dont involve themselves in any brawls

Type 8: Macho
Forever showing off. Trying to impress ppl by walking on their heads, wearing a shirt inside out, removing the silencer from the motorbike and wat not.... Really entertaining to watch!!

Type 9: Can I call them 'Brahmins?' (again, no religious sentiments/caste sentiments hurting stuff...ok?)
They'll talk to girls, spend a lot of time with them, claim to be friends, BUT will bitch like crazy... worse than girls....really pathetic to watch them at work

Type 10: Charmers
The best of the lot! Good looking guys, will speak very politely with all girls, will not bitch about them, will do anything to keep up their honour. Rare find!

Anyway, if yo've got bored reading this and cant actually classify urself into any of these, lets take a look at popular 'girl types'

Girl 1: The ubiquitous USER
This is the type by which all girls are tagged. They are like weeds, very selfish characters. They will usually be quite good looking (this is phase 1 of their plan actually) and will mix very well with guys. And the innocent fellows will be victimised earlier on in the game. They make use of guys in their own petty ways. And in exchange for the favors obtained from guys, they will usually make the guy feel jealous by hinting about possible relationships with some other third person. A typical convo would be like this:
Boy: Ok, so what plans do u have for tonight?
Girl: Actually, am going out for dinner with a friend
Boy: Oh, really..... who is it?
Girl: (Being too coy) I dont know if I can tell u.... he might not like it
Boy: (Really pissed now) ok, fine then....
Girl: (After quite some time of idle chit chat and discussion of other stuff) Hey the guy is my cousin ok? dont get worked up for all this!

Now, what do u suppose is the reaction of our guy?? He's so happy that the so called guy is not some other 'rival' and immediately he showers her with some gift or the other..... (hasnt this happened to u ppl??? - If it has, pls for heaven's sake dump the bitch!!)
But these girls are also very careful. They never make any honest statement abt their interest in the guys. They just like to keep the guy waiting....

Girl 2: Frank Characters
Like our Type 10 guys, these are also very rare finds. Totally frank, would never want anyone to get hurt. Can be read like an open book. This is the type that usually succeeds in creating a lot of platonic relationships with guys. But guys are normally really silly and never realise the value of such girls. Ex is Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Shahrukh in the same film... lol!!!

Girl 3: Stealers
They are girls who usually befriend guys they like and act like they'll help the guy in all his affairs and stuff, but then end up stealing the guy from his girl. Beware of these ppl - they are usually more beautiful than type 1 girls (obviously... otherwise how do u think they succeed in stealing guys?)

Anyway, this didnt come out as well as i expected it to - mainly cos I've stopped myself from mentioning examples..If u have any doubts reg whom i've classified into which group, pls contact me... lol!!!

- Chandri

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Pro reservation!

This is a kind of retaliation to the rather harsh blog by Hari. The reservation issue is not as simple as it sounds - not just a vote bank for politicians and not just an issue of fcs asking for no reservation and obcs asking for more.
Just remember that there are two sides to any issue. This reservation is no exception either. (One thing - none of these are my own ideas - they are just stuff I happened to read.. i did feel its true to an extent)
Lets take a look at the kind of classmates we had in school and college. Did u feel there was a difference between the kind of outlook and ambitions these two sets of ppl had??? I passed out of a school where the majority of my classmates were from the upper middle class and high-society (rolling in money kinds)
And I know for a fact that all of them are doing quite well today. Many of them are OBCs (no SC and STs cos am pretty sure they wouldnt have been able to afford the expensive education provided here!) and max FCs. Ofcourse all of us have had minor setbacks in terms of institutions of higher education- where in none of us could get into govt univ cos of the reservation issue and stuff - but just think a little - the problems we had were just regarding univ names; think of the innumerable no of ppl who cannot even afford a degree cos of the economic situation at home.
And talking abt reservation at IITs and IIMs... My dear ppl, do u think it is brains that get you into these places???? Bull shit!!! (I know i sound like the fox in the 'fox and sour grapes' story... but just read on) Brains are a vital part, but in no way the only part. How much hard work do u think u need to put in?? (refer hari's blog where he says he hardly slept for 2-3 hours every day) And what with all the FIITJEE coaching classes and rot, where is the entrance exam a kind of test of intelligence? It has become a battle for 'hardworking' and 'memorising' ability. Coming to the point, do you think a kid, whose parents are not educated and not earning well enough, can afford to enroll him at a KSR, TRS tuition center? (the charges used to be soooo high some 5 yrs back.... it wouldve become phenomenal now!) Or for that matter, enrol him in a Brilliant's Tutorial Postal course?? No - so what? Already he has lost out on the chance to get into one of these institutions.
The other day I was walking by and I overheard a taxi driver talkin to someone over the phone. The guy's question was this: 'My kid has passed his 10th std with 90% (pretty good, if you ask me) and wants to take First Group. Is it ok? It seems this First Group is something to do with Maths, Comp Sci and all'.
Hari, tell me this, how many times did your mom come to school with u, speak to ure teachers abt ure performance? And am sure she knew very well what the meaning of First Group was and who were the best coaches for the IIT entrance and what was the diff between CBSE and State Board Education? Do you think someone else whose mom is not as educated, would be getting the kind of bloody attention you got???
You were studying for your entrance test an am sure through out ure mom would have encouraged you to buy all the best books available in the market, made coffee and tea for u while u were up at night? Can a guy who does not get four square meals a day afford this kind of attention?
Leave the IITs, get to the IIMs. How come you've picked up the english language so well?? Isnt it cos of the superior teaching at your school? The kind of books that you were asked to read while at school, the kind of ppl u mixed with?? Now, isnt English a major part of the entrance test for the IIMs? Assuming you had a corporation school education, for no better reason than that you couldnt afford anything else, would you be where u are today? And how do u think ure parents were able to afford everything they gave u? - Isnt it cos they were educated and isnt that because ure whole family knew the importance of education, right from the time of ure grandparents?? So what kind of an unfair exam is this aptitude test then? Wasnt Ambani a much more successful businessman than most others today, without the necessary degrees? So can we say that the business sense should be tested rather than any other thing??
Not that I am pro reservation. Yes, it has affected me to a great extent. But then the way I see it, for ages the FCs have been riding high. Am not asking anyone to give it up, but its time we shared it with others.
Ofcourse the kind of reservation that is going on now is totally biased. Instead of being based on class, it should be based on 'economic status' and NOTHING else!
And the standard of education provided for at elementary govt school level should first be improved. Maybe only after that the politicians can talk of reservation!
And frankly the real persons who are affected by this are only the economically downtrodden - esp economically backward FCs.

- Chandri

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A B C.............

Thanks to my friend Sivamani for this one.........

A for acha laga apple.
B for bada apple.
C for chhota apple.
D for dusra apple.
E for ek aur apple.
F for fokat ka apple.
G for gol apple.
H for hazar apple
I for itney saarey apple???
J for jaao nahi khaana hai apple
K for kaise nahi khaayengey apple
L for lena padhega tumko yeh apple
M for mujhe nahi chahiye itne apple
N for naa nahi kehtey kyunkey yeh hai apple
O for Oh to tumne khaa daale yeh saare apple
P for peth bhar khaao apple
Q for qismat mein nahi hoti hai sabke, yeh apple
R for roz agar khaao tum apple
S for sehetmand rahoge khaaogey agar tum apple
T for tumko nahi milengey itney achey apple
U for udhaar kii nahi hai yeh apple
V for very tasty hai yeh apple
W for waste na karo time aur khaalo jaldi se apple
X for X'mas mei bhii khane padenge apple
Y for youn na chehra phero dekhkey apple
Z for zaraasa aur khaalo apple

- Hari

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bharathiar Kavithai

தேடிச் சோறுநிதந் தின்று - பல சின்னஞ் சிறுகதைகள் பேசி - மனம் வாடித் துன்பமிக உழன்று - பிறர் வாடப் பலசெயல்கள் செய்து - நரை கூடிக் கிழப்பருவ மெய்தி - கொடுங் கூற்றுக் கிரையெனப்பின் மாயும் - பல வேடிக்கை மனிதரைப் போலே - நான் வீழ்வே னென்று நினைத் தாயோ? நின்னைச் சில வரங்கள் கேட்பேன் - அவைநேரே இன்றெனக்குத் தருவாய் - என்றன் முன்னைத் தீயவினைப் பயன்கள் - இன்னும்மூளாதழிந்திடுதல் வேண்டும் - இனி என்னைப் புதிய உயிராக்கி - எனக்கேதுங் கவலையறச் செய்து - மதிதன்னை மிகத் தெளிவு செய்து - என்றும்சந்தோஷங் கொண்டிருக்கச் செய்வாய்!

- Hari


My college is, was and will be a useless place. Actually, for long I've been contemplating writing a letter to the Editor of The Hindu about the stupidity of the ‘management‘ of the college.
Anyway, let me come to my personal experience in the college and then whoever reads this can decide for themselves if there is any truth in my statements.
Taking you people back to my pre-college days:
I had just finished my TNPCEE (another article on the uselessness of that exam coming up) and knew that I had ‘muffed’ it! I did real badly on that and was awaiting my results (wats worse – I belong to the ill fated FC – more on that also coming up). Since I had already failed in trying to step into IIT (Was not smart enuf for that – not hardworking enuf either!!) I started gathering info about the ‘best’ colleges in TN – I had also decided that I wouldn’t stay away from home (another stupidity! – more on that also later – god! When u write on one topic you get sooo many many ideas for others!!). So then the list narrowed down to SVCE, Crescent, SRM, SB. Ok…. So it makes sense to get into the first three colleges – but there were minor problems for all. First of all my cut off was not enuf to obtain even ‘Bachelors in Back Scratching’ from SVCE. And Crescent was too far off so there were commuting problems. And then SRM had hiked its fees that particular year, which meant I’d have to pay double the amount I would be payin in any other coll and so guess what? – I landed up in SB (Since then I STOPPED praying to GOD…… there was no God according to me for those 4 yrs!)
Anyway, so I was all pepped up and excited – u know, first day of college and then I was standing at the ‘hip’ bus stop (for those of you from Chennai – That’s Maharaja Stores) chatting with a lot of exited youngsters (little did we know what was in store for us!) and then comes the first disappointment rolling down the road – GAWD! Wat a BUS!! VOLVO would lose to this!!! Amazing engine noise, silent brakes, smmmmmmooooooooooth ride, wowwww!! Anyway, it was not very different from a PTC bus, only the outer color was (ya! Excellent colour sense the management had!!) Anyway, we trooped into this and got to the exotic college campus (So many trees, so green and cooooool!!! Lovely!!)
Then we were introduced to ‘The Pandal’ – the amazing ‘permanent shamiana’ located on the campus – remote from the classrooms and close to the Chairman’s home. This great thing is our ‘auditorium’ – our open air theater, etc, etc. In fact the college people are so shameless, they conduct inter-college events here! And wats worse they conducted placement interviews here! (for Infy I heard)

Anyway, here our Chairman is supposed to give us the welcome address – ya! It really welcoming us!! The heatedness of the pandal disappear in the sweetenness of the speaking of the highest of the authority of the college of the university! The sayings of the great peoples is somethings very hardened to chew (i.e., watever the great person said was very hard to digest) but it saying in very fun way that all the parents, their wives and sons and gurls are laugh and laugh! They saying – ‘Girl girl jingle jingle no problem, boy boy mingle mingle no problem, but girl boy jingle mingle BIG problem’!!! Then they say some rules and also tell why rules –
Rule No.1 : Gurl - boy no talk
Explanation: Then they run-awaying as lovers!
Rule No.2 : Senior – junior no talk
Explanation: Then the senior boy ask the junior boy ‘Ey, what is the name of that bootiful gurl in your class’ and then after he finding the name, he finding address and going and visitng her, follow her and creation of all the problems!
Rule No.3: Eating only in mess (Really, it’s a MESSSSSS!!!)
Explanation: Then the student bringing lunch from the home, he feel the hungry before and starting to do the eating in the class and the teacher teaching and no listen. Then he feel the hungry at lunch and eat all the junk food like banana, samosa etc.
Rule No. 4: Travel only by college bus
(This was the ONLY sensible thing in the college – cos this helped avoid a lot of accidents – I mean accidents involving college students – of course the bus drivers driving rashly and killing innocent pedestrians is another case entirely!)
Rule No.5: No out going from college campus
Explanation: Students comes in the morning. That time they be very well. But then mid noon they seeing that good film put in the theater. Then what do they? Tell ‘Ayyo, stomach ache and tryin to do the runway from college. This bad!
Rule No.6: No change the bus route
Explanation: Again good looking gurl on bus, so to can able to do the follow they go on the bus and then do the galatta

Then the follow of issuement of ‘Rule Book’.

(At this juncture I put a full stop to my broken english – I need a break, my the sentence formation can do (ability) is goned!!!!!)
Anyone who is reading this, do u happen to have a copy of the Rule Book? (Please pass it on to me if you do…) Really, watever I’ve written above is mentioned in that book – in the same way – Rotten English!!!
See, why can’t he talk in his mother tongue if he‘s comfortable with that??? Its not like the college is full of students from all over the world (puhlease! Not even from all over South India!!) Besides even if they were, they wouldn't understand what he was trying to say!
But anyway, I still can’t forget the way my parents and all the others laffed! Funny!!!! But ofcourse we had to cover our faces and laff cos we knew there would be ‘Spies’ all over!! (This is TRUE!!)

Ok, then after this we went to our respective classes and I noticed that the classrooms were maintained worse than my school classrooms!! And there was also this funny rule that girls should sit only in the first few rows!!! Anyway, then I knew that I was done for, cos throughout my school days I had been a notorious back bencher.
And then they gave out a few measly books and notebooks and charged us 2500/- bucks for that! (hey… only now I realise that my narration is full of ‘!’…..Really…. it’s a wonder how we ppl survived thro college!!!)
The first day got over more or less smoothly….
Come second day and what do we see?? – Three guesses (No way students from decent institutions will b able to guess-) FLYING SQUAD! – ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!! There would be this group of 6 – 8 jobless individuals who would come storming into your class to check on u – i.e, checking would include:
Do they shave every morning. (I heard that in future they are planning to send questionnaires to all parents regarding their kids shaving, shitting routines – and parents will be given a prize depending on how much extra information they can volunteer – which includes stuff like ‘how much more time did your kid stay in the toilet on Friday compared to last Monday’)
Are they wearing shoes (If the shoes are not polished and hence as a result look worse than a beggar’s slipper it does not matter – I know cos I used to wear these shoes that even the street dog wouldn’t care to sniff!)
Are they wearing id card? (There s a rule coming up which says that students have to pin up their handkerchiefs to their shirt pockets – so that they don’t tend to wipe their hands on their fellow girl classmates’ dupattas!)
Have they pinned their dupattas properly? (Sometimes I used to get so scared that one day they’d ask me to wear dupatta over my workshop uniform – pant & shirt)
Have they brought calculator?
Have they brought college calendar? (The cover page has a photo of the Chairman grinning like ‘I-have-done-my-shitting-today,-what-about-u?’ in a very MGR style)
Have the students brought all note books? (i.e if there are 6 subject classes during the day, then you need to have brought 6 notebooks to write down the words of wisdom passed on by the staff)
Is anyone sleeping in class ? (Ha ha!! The very act of checking for ‘sleeping’ students shows what confidence they have in their staffs’ teaching ability!
And the most important – are the guys and girls talking, or look like they are about to start a conversation, or are they staring at each other, etc etc.
*(Anyway in my personal opinion this college would have been a haven for gays! )

Now, don’t wonder if I am going to mention anything more abt my classmates and stuff like that – Sorry, that would take up a whole blog – I’ll dedicate it to my classmates! This will deal only with college rules and stuff….

There were also some ppl named ‘attenders’ or ‘jees’ who would be walkin the beat outside our classrooms. Their job also included:
Checking for id cards
Checking if any student is sleeping in class
Checking for ragging incidents
Checking for ‘girl boy jingling mingling’
Any rowdy behaviour (actually, this behaviour, if exhibited by management will be applauded) – which includes a wide variety of activities from, eating during class hours, trying to bunk college, trying to act smart in class to stabbing your benchmate – and the penalty, I suppose, is the same for everything! He he!!

Ok, then let me move on –
There were also some weird rules regarding class tests and exams (which we’ve been violating from our 4th semester). In our first year, if anyone scored less than 50% marks in any of the exams they’d be forced to stay in college after 3.30pm and ‘study’.
Oh, at this point I also have to mention the even funnier rule reg writing your Mid Sem and Model Exams:
The subject staff will come to check your paper some 2 hours after the exam has started and they’ll evaluate you on the spot as to whether you’ve bullshitted enuf to pass the exam or not. If you haven't then you’ve gotta stay till evening 3.30pm while your luckier co-bullshitters can run away at 12.30 pm. (Hari, do u remember the frequent passing of answer books – esp when we used to write the exam in the GD JP lab, FM lab and stuff???? Ha ha!! I distinctly remember passing on qn papers crammed with answers to Wilfred and co. )

Then the most ridiculous rule when it came to Univ exams. The exam will start only at 10.00 am but the college bus will pick us up at the usual time – 6.45 or 7.00 am and we have to sit in college and study till the start of the exam. And here there was this rule that girls and boys shouldn’t discuss subject matter (they shouldn’t discuss anything else either!) If any student had doubts, they should necessarily contact only the prof (arrey!!! If they knew something we wouldn’t even have doubts right?!!!! He he – Not true of all our staff anyway!! Some of them were good – But u can count them out on one hand)
And no semester breaks – In fact I got a WHOLE weekend to chill out after my First Year in this college! (IMAGINE – 2 Days!!)
And there was also this rule abt attendance. The univ demands 65% and my college demanded 95%.
(U don’t know how many days my friend and I would sit inside the bus and pray fervently that the Chairman or one of his close family should die so that we’d get a few days off!)
Its not even like the teaching is so exemplary that the college cares so much abt u not missing even one class! The teaching was (is, I am sure) sub standard. In fact in many of the classes my classmates used to shout soooo much that the staff would be forced to put an end to his mediocre teaching!

Now coming to the high point of this college – the point that differentiates it from others (ya! I know ure wondering if there arent enuf differences already!!) – This is Office Duty!
Office Duty is a very noble thing – It means u have to stand in front of the Director’s office and wish them everytime they roll past (ya! They r not capable of walking or any other normal human (e)motions!)
And you can stop this sycophancy when they return your id card (My id card used to look like some 10 dogs had fought for it!)
And when will they return your id card?
When you have ass kissed for long enough
When your parents have bothered to come to college and listen to the directors’ words of wisdom and apologised for not having brought u up properly, for not caring enuf abt their kid’s future (which could be really spoilt if the kid continued this dangerous habit of not bringing the college calendar everyday!!)
If you have enough influence to convince everyone that you are hopeless and nothing they do can ever change your natural rowdy behaviour (This is when they identify tht u are ‘one among them’!!)

Hmmm… wat else? This is the college! Wonderful place – Really I didn’t know ppl in Madras were dumb enuf to actually rate this place as a top notch college!
That’s it for now!! Please watch out for my blog on ‘My College Mates’

- Chandrika

The Opinionated ‘Others’:

Is this a very old fashioned mode of thinking – To be bothered about what others think of us ?
Personally, I feel so.
But, I have been brought up this way. - to take decisions at every stage depending on what others will think of me. Be it the choosing of Science Stream, or deciding to be an Engineer. But somewhere down the line I have got really frustrated – especially in not being able to do things that I really wanted to do just because of ‘others’. And its not like these invisible commentators are going to see you through till you stop breathing!
I feel that the biggest liability for anyone is a ‘sensitive’ nature. Trust me, because I do have one. It is a problem, mainly because, not everyone else around us is considerate about the feelings of others. Not too many people really care about what effect their words have – they say things just for the heck of it – to say SOMETHING. And it becomes a huge problem if we give ear to all these loose talks.
Now, I am just cursing myself for having grown up to be so sensitive. But of course it is not like as if I really change myself to suit other’s views. This makes things even tougher – Its like as if I am saying – ‘I’ll not change just because someone else is asking me to do so, but although I don’t respect their views, I want them to think highly of me’! I also know that this is not possible – but still am weak enough to yearn for this!I really have no clear idea of what I want to express in this article. I think I would like to encourage people to not be like me – to not bring up their children like this

- Chandrika

Friday, June 02, 2006

Affirmative Action, Merit and Reservation

In a recent article on rediff by Praful Bidwai, the author gives his reasons as to why the anti quota stir is " misguided ". As with a lot of people, once again the very concept of merit is questioned. Another interesting point is that he refers to reservation in India as affirmative action.
First, when we talk of affirmative action, we are talking of a act of redressal - a command to the wrongdoer to take positive action. Mostly we talk of affirmative action with respect to ethnic minorities, women etc. India is the ONLY country were we apply it to castes. A comparison has been made with USA, talking of its affirmative action policies - it should be understood that many states, notably California and Washington do NOT subscribe to AA. Also, in USA and UK we have the contribution system which takes into account merit, family earnings etc.
Moving on to merit, it is tough to quantify a persons potential. Agreeed. However we do have systems wherein we can at least partially evaluate a students faculty. If at 18 a person cannot multiply 15 and 13, it is to be understood that he is no Ramanujam!! Yes, our tests need to be streamlined but that does not mean we can question the concept of merit. Is the SAT / GRE system or the O and A level system perfect? Hell no. But they sure do their jobs.
So what would be a solution?
First, to address merit - a unified board across India with a single entrance exam to UG colleges like SAT, with separate common tests for engg /law / med..
Next, as far as affirmative action goes - introduce the contribution system. Let a student show his family earnings and based on it, a percentage would be paid by the family and the rest by the govt. Free more money for scholarships and financial aid. Enhance the quality of rural education. Introduce a quota for the rural students on the condition that one generation and one generation of a family alone is eligible for the reservation. To continue " AA " on the basis of caste only contributes to a India torn into pieces.

- hari

Kumar, Inba et al...

It was like a whiff of fresh air that Pudhupettai released last week in Chennai. It has quickly become one of the most controversial releases of this year. Love it or hate it, there is absolutely no one who has seen it and had no opinion.
Most of its critics quickly spell out their reasons – the vulgarity, violence, lack of social responsibility, the glorification of a gangster. But there have been movies that have depicted gangsters and crooks in the past, and have glorified violence and murder. From kamal’s Sathya to Maniratnam’s Ayutha Ezhuthu . In fact one can argue that kamal’s Virumaandi was as violent and gory a movie.So what is the difference?
The difference between Selva and a Mani is clear. Both are director’s director’s. But songs like “ Enga area ulla varathe……..” and dialogues like “ enna vayasukku vandhuttaya ‘ – spoken when kumar is chased by his mom clearly define the boundaries. Mani would never have had a dialogue / song like that. In mani movies women are given consideration and respect – not sex symbols to leer at. But then, for a Kumar, such dialogue comes naturally. Again Mani is a director of the educated while Selva is an arty director of the masses. For the first time in Tamil cinema we are seeing Quality commercial cinema. Selva succeeds where the Mani’s and Kamal’s fail.
Thus, for a person sitting in Sathyam balcony, paying 100 Rs. For a ticket, his very skin tingles with horror. Ah!! The sheer vulgarity and crassness. But a few kms away at Rohini, the audience erupts as Kumar tells the educated dogs to keep away. It is this crassness, one that is anathema to the middle class mind that Selva capitalizes on – the sheer shock value that propel his movies.
But, there is one more difference. Be it Sathya, Inba or Virumaandi – it is easy to empathize with any of them, for they all have their redeeming qualities. If sathya is a champion of the poor, Inba a person who actually loves his wife and Virumaandi the boorish child – Kumar has none. Throughout the movie, Kumar is depicted as an ANIMAL. Each and every movement of his is PREDATORY. The only time we see a human in Kumar is when he is with his son. In no other movie have we seen something like this.
Pudupettai is all about smells. The smell of blood, the scent of victory, the sniff of power , the smell of a woman– this is a zone where no one has dared tread before.
There are powerful scenes that can disgust you – or give you a heady sensual feeling. The scene where kumar buries his father alive – a planned act of vendetta – the punishment cruelly meted out to the man who battered and murdered his mother – you can see the balcony cringe – but for those who can empathise with Kumar – those who know what he went through – for every man who understands what his mother went through and can empathise with it – there is an almost sensual feeling – a cathartic effect – and you can grin in sardonic satisfaction as the father gets his just dues.
Herein is the difference between Selva and the rest. There is no white and black in a Selva movie – only grey. There is no call to arms as in yuva nor a catharsis as in Indian. The choice is yours. If Mani is the “feel good “ director for the educated, there is no such feel good over here. If the movie ends abruptly and in an irresponsible way – THAT IS LIFE. And no matter how many educated people vilify the movie – the bottom line is this is as real as it gets – and if you deny this, you are living in an illusionary world.
No matter who you are, what you do – do not miss this movie.

- Hari