Thursday, 19 February 2015

Remberging Gopal Krishna Gokhale


On His Centenary Year 2015

He spent last decade of his life to pursue for ‘Compulsory and Free Primary Education for All’ in India. He had to face opposition even at home. Finally, he succeeded to bring a law at Privy Council.

At early Twentieth Century, in his time, there were 2% educated people in India. In 1947, we were 400 millions. Today there are about 400 millions illiterate people. (I do not believe any statistics based on Sample Surveys.) I wonder those who are literate use their literacy in modern India?

I am sure my primary education at my native village in vernacular – Marathi – was possible by his efforts. I gratefully remember him now, and, whenever the issue of Education comes up.

He was mentor of Gandhiji; his mentor was Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade. What a great continuity! Gnadhiji introduced Basic Education... However, bureaucracy failed to implement it with relevance.

I learnt spinning and weaving during primary education, in Konkan where cotton is not produced. There Basic Education in Farming — Agriculture, Aquaculture and Horticulture or Forestry — should have been more appropriate. 

 Read More >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gopal_Krishna_Gokhale

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©Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

LIFE-SIZE PLANNING AND DESIGN OF ABODE

LEARNING FROM PEOPLE

Let us get down to some basic issues, now.


Katkari Tribal hamlet in Maharashtra, India

Children play 'Homemaking'


Drawing your house with a stick or lime powder on ground yourself is elementary way to start designing. Children used to play 'ghar, ghar' (home, home) once upon a time, and find a right place. It's basic instinct. Now they play games on mobile phones (in cities).

A student of architecture was writing a thesis on topic 'Spaces for Children'. She gave one of several examples of children used ‘umbrella' for the game (in urban areas) for ‘house’. To build a shelter – a basic need – is an instinct, animal instinct.

You don't need a measure tape. You are the life-size measure and scale, both. 'Anguli, viti, haath, vaav, purush, 'foot' etc. are ancient Desi scales of measurements.

Clay is sustainable building material


You can also make a Model back at home. A lump of prepared clay for a model is excellent. A model in clay could be modified while working. Take care, when not working on it, to keep it moist and soft by covering it with damp cloth. For scale and proportion, take a paper cut-out of a human figure (picture) and fix with pin on the clay base of the clay model.

Many sculptors make 3D 'sketches' of their concepts in clay, not only on paper. See for example, Henry Moor. They believe clay, wood and stone are living materials, not POP or concrete.

(I introduced 'clay model' at Architecture College (AOA) in 1990s. Now, Malak, my friend, builds mud houses!).

I advocate self-help housing for EWS (Economically Weaker Section) projects by the Agencies - NGOs and Govt. Many people in the bracket of EWS, e.g. those living in slums, are peasants; they have skills in building and maintenance of their houses. Building by self-help, with limited budget, is most economical system.

Government introduces Third Party Intervention in Shelter


The fact is peasants practice Life-size Planning and Designing their Houses and Habitat. This practice has been going on for millennia. They are successful because they are one with Lind-Water-Life. But who could convince Agencies? They make paper plans because they want to control the resources, which are provided by Mother Nature – Srishti.
I am not an activist. Being vacationist I believe in action by self – by myself.

Remigius de Souza
(Mumbai | 21-01-15)
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©Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

History of Mumbai's waste management

Work for Food with Dignity in Mumbai


Work for Food with Dignity in Mumbai

I am not a scholar, historian, expert or activist. I see history or its result or its residue in the Present, which is in flux.

In one word, it is mismanagement. Mumbai, like India, is large, too large, for Agencies to manage on borrowed models of development from the Waste, and information from text books. It is not based on the study and field work of ground realities, success and failures.

Squatters working on waste collected-1
However, I may add an important aspect that is rarely mentioned. In Mumbai's 130 million people, there are about 60 % people who are squatters and slum dwellers. They struggle, not fight, but to save their lives from being 'wasted'. They 'recycle' the inorganic waste of the city, and even organic waste in the city.

Squatters working on waste collected-2
They have a tragic history behind them of hundred years, perhaps more. They show 'life wasted’ living in subhuman conditions in the 20th & 21st centuries in one of the ancient civilized societies! They are the residue of the modern industrial development begun by the British Raj and continued by the First World India, which is a powerful minority.

Twenty years ago I thought if Mumbai recycled human excreta, it could replace five mega- factories that make chemical fertilizers, today many more with increasing population.

Squatters working on waste collected-3
Mumbai's Slums & Squatters display their faith in Indian Democracy by being Self-reliant with Dignity more than the elite.
Mumbai's more than 60% citizens are Slum dwellers & Squatter, a fall-out of The First World India's Development & Progress: What an irony!
Slums in Mumbai are self-help townships, where many skilled, semi skilled & unskilled building workers live, who built Mumbai over decades.
(06-03-2011 | Revised: 22 July 2014)


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©Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Why wage Energy Wars?


Why wage Energy Wars? End the Work of Evil Wants!

Image: Why wage Energy Wars? @Remigius de Souza


Work expends energy.
 
But to question the two aspects, the Work and the Energy, the logic rarely reaches its inevitable end or to its Death.
 
If all must die, why should not their logic die first or come to an end?
 
Any action or work ― cook, eat, drink, wash, bath, walk, mate, farm, garden, read-write, see TV... make money or artefacts in real or virtual world - consumes energy.
 
Some works are for mental and physical need; some are mere wants, which are transient.
 
Some actions are constructive.
 
The destructive acts too are easily called creative!

Why wage Energy Wars? End the Work of Evil Wants!
  
Mumbai.
(Wed, 07-09-2011)

Related Post: Karma-sannyasi's Self-immersion in Water (Poem)

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©Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Many Avatars of Corruption


The Worst Form of Corruption: the Intellectual Corruption of the Elite


1. Congress stalwart hijacked by BJP

Power breeds Corruption; to put it other way: ‘hunger for power (and profit)’ breeds corruption.

Corruption is not limited only to 'cash and kind' as is popularly known or assumed. There is also 'Intellectual Corruption' caused by ideologies – isms, dogmas, religions, colour, race, language, regions, cults, faiths and greed for Power & Profit.

Intellectual Corruption, which is mainly noticed among the elite, is immeasurable form of corruption. History is witness; for example, ‘Holocaust’ in Nazi Germany, in the recent times.

In modern times, of course, the forms and vocabulary in these contexts have changed. For example, goons/mafias/slumlords extort money by terror from the wealthy as well as weaker sections of society.


The Intellectual Corruption of the Elite


While Food, Shelter and Clothing are primary needs of all the living beings, including humans, they are also equipped by Nature with FIVE AUTONOMOUS FUNCTIONS – WORK, LEISURE, HEALTH, LEARNING and PROPAGATION for their sustenance and survival. There is no other authority over these autonomous functions.

However, the civilized societies in general, and now, in modern times the Industrial Civilization, through its tentacles or tools (governments, institutions, legal aids, science, technologies, industry, trade and market) has taken control over these Autonomous Functions, even of the humans, to capitalize for power and profit. These tools encroach upon even in private domains of an individual and the collective.

Civilized Society by its very structure of centralized power of class/caste has the seeds of this corruption from its beginning 5000 years ago. The ruler class/caste collected taxes from the ruled – the weaker classes/castes for their protection, and the clergy class/caste performed worships, sacrifices and offerings on the altar of deity for the salvation after death of the believers — the so-called commoners.

Corruption in the Governments


If the personnel of a democratic government (legislators – ruling and opposition, executives, judiciary, law & order and other dept.), the government undertakings and institutions, planners and experts, during their duties could remember and think that they too are citizens of the nation, much of the burden, e.g., corruption, on the heads of the ‘Other’ citizens will be reduced.
“Constant Surveillance is the Price of Power.” — Alistair MacLean
Unlimited Power — Unlimited Piracy
Antidote: If people want to keep the power in their hands, they must continue to exercise constant surveillance over the governments, at least in the age of democracy.

Corruption starts at the Top rungs of societal organization. It then trickles down, like infamous theory of 'Trickle-Down Economy'.
Therefore, the movement against corruption, also, must start from grassroots – the masses.
Nelson Mandela too started the fight against corruption — the Appertained, which is intellectual corruption — at the bottom, the Masses.

But where is such a charismatic leader like Mandela or Gandhiji, who is ready to go for the personal suffering? Mandela had suggested: ‘study – study – study (the ways of the enemy)’! Who is the enemy in a democratic nation? What about Anti-corruption Law? But who shall enact such a law?

The moral of all the flashing media stories at present 2014 Election Season is: As a saying goes, one may fool many, but one cannot fool all, all the time. Politicians' Hidden Agendas (of ideologies and/or practices) is a known issue. Particularly ryot — India's large majority — cannot be fooled, though silent they may seem. Because they are witness to the ground reality they face daily.

Do the media adequately represent rural population of 833,087,662 persons living in the 638,588 villages, spread over 3,287,240 km2 area (Census 2011)? This large majority compels the power-hungry politicians to run to form alliances.

2. Big, Bigger, Biggest (Image Source: Hindustan Times)

We Indians may be theist, atheist or agnostic. Some may or may not believe in deity-worship, yet we believe in hero-worship, by our mindset of ages. The politicians take advantage of this Indian mindset (See; Illustrations).
In the present election propaganda, BJP or NDA has fielded a prime ministerial candidate; Congress or UPA has fallen for the bet!
Imagine, among 1200 million people there are only two candidates posing themselves to be Prime Ministerial candidates! It reminds us of Team India’s 12 cricket players out of 1200 million citizens!!

None thinks about our democratic setup is for electing a prime minister from the elected MPs; it is not like electing a presidential candidate as in the US. This indeed is a bad precedent, which could lead to a dictatorship of a dogma. This is dangerous for Democracy.

The worst example of Intellectual Corruption 

Human Energy

Industrial Societies monopolize earth's resources that belong to all the living beings that terrorize life on earth. It also colonizes weaker regions. Their modern creed – Science – so far could not discover how to use Seven Billion-plus ‘Human Energy’.
Is elite India following its lessons from the West? This calls for our unbiased introspection.
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NOTES:
Illustration 1- Image Source: Internet
Illustration 2- Image Source; Hindustan Times | READ MORE >> BJP links campaign to Sardar Patel statue | 28 Nov 2013 | Hindustan Times (Mumbai)

Remigius de Souza
Mumbai
09/04/2014

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©Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.