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Work and Workplace In The Time Of Covid-19.

Work and Workplace In The Time Of Covid-19.

By

Jitendra Kumar Sharma

Snippet

Dear Reader,

May I seek your indulgence to read my snippet before you read my blog ‘Work And Workplace In The Time Of COVID-19’. In this ‘pre-blog’, I will share a few Side Effects of COVID-19 on me personally.

As a writer, I have avoided growing a beard, though it saves time. Instead, I prefer going to the Barber’s Shop for a close shave. There I get to glance over old magazines and hear the latest village gossip into the bargain and return home brimming with ideas and a fresh, shining face.

On the first day of COVID-19 Lockdown I was about to dash to the Saloon when the old Idiot Box blared: “Stay At Home, It Is A Total Shutdown”, then panned a few long shots closing up to my Barber’s Shop firmly locked up and a freshly shaven policeman, indifferently gaping into the deserted street.

I was angry. I was desperate. Last time, I was at my barber’s I was going through Charles Lamb’s essay THE SUPERANNUATED MAN in an old magazine when he called me out for my turn. Mr. DeMelo’s booming voice snapped me from the mag abruptly ending my reverie that Lamb’s poignant and dreamy style had induced.

COVID-19 had dashed all my hopes to get back to Charles Lamb in the familiar, cozy, and very privileged setting. I could not go not only to the Barber’s Shop but anywhere else too- libraries, book-shops, friends’ homes, all access and avenues to reach and read Charles Lamb were closed. Desperation assailed me as I refused to compromise with the reality of the universal Lockdown. This absolutely arbitrary denial whetted my desire to own and study Charles Lamb’s complete works.

Forlorn, I turned to Keertiji, that is my Laptop. ‘Welcome’, she chimed and I smiled.

Eureka! My Laptop revealed a truth: I was no longer in the real world. COVID-19 had shoved me into a Virtual World and Charles Lamb’s works were only a click away

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Letters-Charles-Modern-Library/dp/B0006AMZSY/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=complete+works+of+Charles+Lamb&qid=1591105398&sr=8-1

Dear reader, have you read Lamb’s ‘THE SUPERANNUATED MAN’? This is also about going to work and staying at home; living for others and living for oneself; work versus leisure and host of questions the Common Man is facing in the time of COVID-19, questions we together shall be debating through my blogs.

But first this important

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links are affiliate links and at no cost to you. I’ll earn a small commission if you click and purchase a product or service using my link. It helps make my blog and all my writings free of cost to you.

Your clicks/purchases help me buy and read study material for writing readable and free blogs for you on my website http://www.agrawalmaharajamcluhan.com/

I recommend products and services from reputed organizations that I’ve personally known, used, or shall myself buy and are available on Amazon.com.

Reader, be of good cheer because COVID-19 has opened up unlimited avenues and vistas for us. It has pushed us into the Automation Age.

In the Automation Age, as my Guru Marshall McLuhan said: “Earning a Living” becomes “Learning a Living”. Jobs disappear, roles emerge; work decreases, leisure increases; drudgery dwindles, creativity quickens; competition is out, sharing is in; governments fail, citizens succeed; working for Others is past,working for One’s Self is future! https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Media-Extensions-Marshall-McLuhan/dp/1584230738/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1MBQE98H293HN&dchild=1&keywords=understanding+media+by+marshall+mcluhan&qid=1591771710&sprefix=Understanding+Media+by+%2Caps%2C410&sr=8-1

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Media-Extensions-Marshall-McLuhan/dp/1584230738/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1MBQE98H293HN&dchild=1&keywords=understanding+media+by+marshall+mcluhan&qid=1591771710&sprefix=Understanding+Media+by+%2Caps%2C410&sr=8-1

Virtual World, in some ways, is like the pristine Vedic World https://www.amazon.com/s?k=vedas+complete+in+english&crid=11Q4GA7M26ZZO&sprefix=Vedas%2Caps%2C416&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_5

when Health was Wealth

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=ayurveda+books&crid=1I2FDROD07JGS&sprefix=Ayurveda%2Caps%2C425&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_8

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=ayurveda+books&crid=1I2FDROD07JGS&sprefix=Ayurveda%2Caps%2C425&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_8

Culture preceded Civilization https://www.amazon.com/Leisure-Basis-Culture-Josef-Pieper/dp/1586172565/ref=sr_1_1?crid=20ETR1KSVWI2A&dchild=1&keywords=leisure+the+basis+of+culture+by+josef+pieper&qid=1591772647&sprefix=Liesure++the+Basis+%2Caps%2C407&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/yourstore/home?ref_=nav_cs_ys

Man respected Nature https://www.amazon.com/Sublime-Nature-Photographs-That-Inspire/dp/1426213018/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Nature+Sublime&qid=1591800462&sr=8-2

Need subjected Greed

https://www.amazon.com/Greed-Versus-feat-Mossy-Explicit/dp/B0879LFYML/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=Need+versus+Greed&qid=1591859257&sr=8-3

Corruption quailedhttps://www.amazon.com/Profiles-Corruption-Peter-Schweizer/dp/006289790X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=VI9ACKKALW28&dchild=1&keywords=corruption+books&qid=1591859423&sprefix=Corruption%2Caps%2C436&sr=8-1

Pollution puledhttps://www.amazon.com/Health-People-Planet-Our-Responsibility-ebook/dp/B088LMSRQH/ref=sr_1_18?crid=JMBRL6J0FRQ0&dchild=1&keywords=pollution+books&qid=1591859551&sprefix=Pollution+books%2Caps%2C450&sr=8-18.

Therefore, be brave.

Leave Behind The Old Real World

And, dear reader,

Enter with me

The New Virtual World

In the COVID-19 Times.

Did I forget to tell you that I had a pretty good shave with Gillette Mach3 shaving kit, courtesy Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/Gillette-Mach3-Razor-Blades-Refills/dp/B0725BK81G/ref=sr_1_5?crid=2MMBS8F99EDI1&dchild=1&keywords=men%27s+shaving+razors+gillette&qid=1590814088&sprefix=Men%27s+Shaving+Razors%2Caps%2C418&sr=8-5

and

https://www.amazon.com/Gillette-Shaving-Sensitive-Skin-Pack/dp/B001E95HJU/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Gillette+men%27s+shaving+cream+and+after+shave+%2Cetc%2C+all+departments&qid=1590815108&sr=8-1

Also got the mandatory

Mask

https://www.amazon.com/Reusable-Disposable-Surgical-Industrial-Protection/dp/B087TFX1J4/ref=zg_bs_3777911_14?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=G87D5S9R78YGFEJ0XC4B

before starting on my Blog

Work and Workplace In The Time Of Covid-19

PS: This blog is inspired by several publications that are currently providing free of cost information and guidance, to mention a few, The Atlantic Monthly, https://www.amazon.com/The-Atlantic/dp/B000IMVNQU/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1VY8ZWF6M151W&dchild=1&keywords=atlantic+magazine&qid=1591800964&sprefix=Atkantic%2Caps%2C418&sr=8-1 The Atlantic Kindle Edition

https://www.amazon.com/The-Atlantic/dp/B000IMVNQU/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3JSFZL0R0CRH8&dchild=1&keywords=atlantic+monthly+subscription&qid=1591168468&sprefix=Atlantic+Monthly%2Caps%2C412&sr=8-1

The New Yorker Kindle Edition https://www.amazon.com/The-New-Yorker/dp/B00EZAIPXU/ref=pd_sbs_350_1/135-8307135-9811014?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00EZAIPXU&pd_rd_r=8607eccd-bb21-4318-a304-70ae6941448c&pd_rd_w=7R72K&pd_rd_wg=NamvY&pf_rd_p=665be1f4-8d3b-46dd-91b4-582d3cec8dd6&pf_rd_r=YC7RN0AD6285A6S1GJX0&psc=1&refRID=YC7RN0AD6285A6S1GJX0

https://www.amazon.com/Atlantic-Magazine-2020-Anxious-Child/dp/B087JFDLY2/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1VY8ZWF6M151W&dchild=1&keywords=atlantic+magazine&qid=1591801066&sprefix=Atkantic%2Caps%2C418&sr=8-3

The Economist – US Edition Kindle Edition

https://www.amazon.com/The-Economist-US-Edition/dp/B0027VSU9S/ref=pd_sbs_350_2/135-8307135-9811014?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B0027VSU9S&pd_rd_r=8607eccd-bb21-4318-a304-70ae6941448c&pd_rd_w=7R72K&pd_rd_wg=NamvY&pf_rd_p=665be1f4-8d3b-46dd-91b4-582d3cec8dd6&pf_rd_r=YC7RN0AD6285A6S1GJX0&psc=1&refRID=YC7RN0AD6285A6S1GJX0

Foreign Affairs Kindle Edition

https://www.amazon.com/Foreign-Affairs/dp/B00284BH62/ref=pd_sbs_350_4/135-8307135-9811014?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00284BH62&pd_rd_r=8607eccd-bb21-4318-a304-70ae6941448c&pd_rd_w=7R72K&pd_rd_wg=NamvY&pf_rd_p=665be1f4-8d3b-46dd-91b4-582d3cec8dd6&pf_rd_r=YC7RN0AD6285A6S1GJX0&psc=1&refRID=YC7RN0AD6285A6S1GJX0

The Washington Post for Kindle (Ad-Free) Kindle Edition

https://www.amazon.com/Washington-Post-Kindle-Ad-Free/dp/B000HC48T0/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1C544O4XT26LA&dchild=1&keywords=washington+post+subscription+for+prime+members+free&qid=1591169225&sprefix=Washingtom+Post%2Caps%2C419&sr=8-2

The New York Times

https://www.amazon.com/New-York-Times-Daily-Kindle/dp/B000GFK7L6/ref=sr_1_5?crid=1C544O4XT26LA&dchild=1&keywords=washington+post+subscription+for+prime+members+free&qid=1591169316&sprefix=Washingtom+Post%2Caps%2C419&sr=8-5

The New Yorker https://www.amazon.com/New-York-Magazine/dp/B005UNSDKQ/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1J2GLBLUX8IR8&dchild=1&keywords=new+yorker+magazine+subscription&qid=1591847373&sprefix=New+Yorker%2Caps%2C405&sr=8-3

The Washington Post https://www.amazon.com/Washington-Post-Kindle-Ad-Free/dp/B000HC48T0/ref=sr_1_3?crid=ZBVN9W2WSCM2&dchild=1&keywords=washington+post+subscription+for+prime+members+digital+free&qid=1591846998&sprefix=Washington+%2Caps%2C478&sr=8-3

The Wall Street Journal Kindle Edition

https://www.amazon.com/The-Wall-Street-Journal/dp/B000FDJ0FS/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2PSQI97QYQKQ6&dchild=1&keywords=wall+street+journal+subscription+for+prime+members&qid=1591847532&sprefix=Wall+Street%2Caps%2C1009&sr=8-1

Project Syndicate

who are offering to readers free information on COVID-19 pandemic, generating ideas, and inviting response to questions of life and death in these uncertain times. The context of my blogs differs from theirs, so do my readers, I believe.

====The End of Snippet====

Read free of cost author’s opinion pieces, short stories, write-ups, reviews, plays, academic essays, spiritual commentaries on his website: http://www.agrawalmaharajamcluhan.com/

Finally, here is my blog:

Work and Workplace In The Time Of Covid-19

The coronavirus has been ‘carousing’ through different parts of the world making the prevailing predicament more puzzling. Some aspects of it, however, are clear. The invisible parasite is going on a spree all over the globe. Most governments are relaxing the Lockdown and people are once again moving, meeting, gathering, and the virus is jumping between hosts depending on proximity, density, and mobility. The illusion of normality must force us to think: Shall the world be the same as we knew it before this invisible Thanatos invaded it.

The West is powerful yet hapless and confused before the insidious and invisible enemy that has knocked out work as the very basis of Modern State and Westernized Modern Societies.

The future is uncertain and the common man is expecting neither a swift return back to the normal nor a unified collective experience. The fear of a second wave vexes the people everywhere.

Uppermost in the people’s minds is the question: Shall we return to work? Will the workplace look the same as we left it? Is working for earning as meaningful as it was? Such questions are important to dwell upon and debate in the time of Corona. They are more important to The West, and hence to the world because The West leads the rest of the world’s politics and economy. This question is important to non-western countries and societies because they imitate and emulate the West.

The future scenario is splintered in larger countries like the USA and India because in both these countries local reality is being ignored by their powerful leaders. President Trump and Prime Minister Modi are claiming victory over COVID-19 while the virus is freely claiming victims and poor people are the worst hit by Corona. Lifting of the Lockdown is, thus, further dividing the already fragmented States of America in the West and the States of the Indian Union in the East.

In the face of uncertainty, people are returning to their polarized groups. The rich and the poor, privileged, and deprived are fleeing to their respective ghettos in both these big democratic countries.

If the Covid-19 or its mutations re-surge forcing governments to shut down again, people shall defy because they’ll be distrustful. Floyd protests in the USA and worker’s long march along the hot, sun-struck highways in India are prognostic portents.

Both these nations face the risk of getting demoralized under bouts of shutdowns and re-openings that are bound to damage the prospect of economic recovery. The consequences of re-opening in May-June will not show up until August-September 2020 at the earliest. The longer the gap between actions and their consequences, the greater the likelihood of authorities making more mistakes.

No behavior pattern has so far emerged and COVID-19 remains as enigmatic as it was in its offing. Most countries that successfully controlled the coronavirus used masks but New Zealand did not use masks. Some had very firm and powerful leaders; Hong Kong did not. Vietnam’s “budget-friendly” fight against the coronavirus has set an example for its neighbor China that let the novel virus lose upon the world.

India’s central government has passed responsibility to the states who are free to lift the Lock-down the way they like. If a state reopens and sees no immediate increase in cases, it slaps its own back and the media amplify the hurrah without waiting for sufficient time. Doctors are getting tired, some dying, and have no time to watch for spreader events. Hurried researchers based on small samples are arriving at big conclusions. And the hapless citizen has to find its own ways and means to fend off the invisible, deadly COVID-19, heightening the social and economic differences as also class, group, and race divisions.

Every country big and small is eager to be the first to formulate a vaccine to prevail over the COVID-19 and the world market further confusing the pandemic scene.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not a cyclone like the recent one that hit Bangladesh and India. It has come but shall it go away like a cyclone? Millions are being bedeviled by this question.

There is no obvious moment when recovery should begin as happened in the case of the plagues of yore. Nor can the novel virus be compared to Albert Camus’ novel The Plague. The post-COVID-19 world shall face much more difficult and serious existentialist questions than Camu’s ‘ the Absurd’ and Sartre’s “The Other”.

For the employer and employee, worker and the workplace helter-skelter reopening is not a philosophical question, nor can philosophy offer much consolation to them. The white-collar and blue-collar workers are sailing in the same boat between the deep sea of economic uncertainty and the devil of a deadly virus.

In a patchwork like this, questions will be asked millions of times over, and many answers will be wrong.

Whether to continue with the Leisure of the home or walk to the dangerous workplace is the Kierkegaardian knot of either/or like it was for Jean-Paul Sartre’s famous Freedom Fighters Pablo who sweats and Tom who pisses in fear of death in the captivity of Spanish dictator Franco.

Employer and Employee, Work and Workplace, and all of us, dear reader, are in the indefinite captivity of COVID-19.

We cannot move yet we can certainly think, read and write like the freedom fighters in so many countries locked up in the dictators’ and imperialists’ jails who still beckon to us from the pages of history.

Read the author’s latest novels The Perfume Girl, The Prime Minister’s Robot Wife

Thhttps://www.amazon.com/s?k=The+Perfume+Girl+by+Jitendra+Kumar+Sharma&ref=nb_sb_noss

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Jitendra+Kumar+Sharma%2CPrime+Minister+and+His+Robot+Wife&ref=nb_sb_noss

and short story collections

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Curry+Intercontinental+By+Jitendra+Kumar+Sharma&ref=nb_sb_noss

भारतीय राष्ट्रीय महिला सेना और प्रधान मंत्री (Hindi Edition) Kindle Edition

https://www.amazon.com/%E0%A4%AD%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%80%E0%A4%AF-%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B7%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%9F%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%80%E0%A4%AF-%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%B9%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%B2%E0%A4%BE-%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%A7%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A8-%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%82%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%80-ebook/dp/B082P2Z2PH/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=%E0%A4%AD%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%80%E0%A4%AF+%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B7%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%9F%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%80%E0%A4%AF+%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%B9%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%B2%E0%A4%BE+%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%87%E0%A4%A8%E0%A4%BE+%E0%A4%94%E0%A4%B0+%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%A7%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A8+%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%82%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%80+%E0%A4%9C%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%87%E0%A4%82%E0%A4%A6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0+%E0%A4%95%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B0+%E0%A4%B6%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%BE&qid=1591774386&sr=8-1

The Panther and The Prince And Other Stories of Another Clime

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=The+Panther+and+The+Prince+And+Other+Stories+of+Another+Clime+By+Jitendra+Kumar+Sharma&ref=nb_sb_noss

click above on

www.amazon.com

=========FINIS===========

‘Work And Workplace In The Time Of COVID-19’

 

By

  • Jitendra Kumar Sharma

Snippet

Dear Reader,

             May I seek your indulgence to read my snippet before you read my blog ‘Work And Workplace In The Time Of COVID-19’. In this ‘pre-blog’, I will share a few Side Effects of COVID-19 on me personally. 

As a writer, I have avoided growing a beard, though it saves time. Instead, I prefer going to the Barber’s Shop for a close shave. There I get to glance over old magazines and hear the latest village gossip into the bargain and return home brimming with ideas and a fresh, shining face.

On the first day of COVID-19 Lockdown I was about to dash to the Saloon when the old Idiot Box blared: “Stay At Home, It Is A Total Shutdown”, then panned a few long shots closing up to my Barber’s Shop firmly locked up and a freshly shaven policeman, indifferently gaping into the deserted street.

I was angry. I was desperate. Last time, I was at my barber’s I was going through Charles Lamb’s essay THE SUPERANNUATED MAN in an old magazine when he called me out for my turn. Mr. DeMelo’s booming voice snapped me from the mag abruptly ending my reverie that Lamb’s poignant and dreamy style had induced.

COVID-19 had dashed all my hopes to get back to Charles Lamb in the familiar, cozy, and very privileged setting. I could not go not only to the Barber’s Shop but anywhere else too- libraries, book-shops, friends’ homes, all access and avenues to reach and read Charles Lamb were closed. Desperation assailed me as I refused to compromise with the reality of the universal Lockdown. This absolutely arbitrary denial whetted my desire to own and study Charles Lamb’s complete works. 

Forlorn, I turned to Keertiji, that is my Laptop. ‘Welcome’, she chimed and I smiled.

 

Eureka! My Laptop revealed a truth: I was no longer in the real world. COVID-19 had shoved me into a Virtual World and Charles Lamb’s works were only a click away 

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Letters-Charles-Modern-Library/dp/B0006AMZSY/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=complete+works+of+Charles+Lamb&qid=1591105398&sr=8-1

 

Dear reader, have you read Lamb’s ‘THE SUPERANNUATED MAN’? This is also about going to work and staying at home; living for others and living for oneself; work versus leisure and host of questions the Common Man is facing in the time of COVID-19, questions we together shall be debating through my blogs.

But first this important

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links are affiliate links and at no cost to you. I’ll earn a small commission if you click and purchase a product or service using my link. It helps make my blog and all my writings free of cost to you. 

Your clicks/purchases help me buy and read study material for writing readable and free blogs for you on my website http://www.agrawalmaharajamcluhan.com/

I recommend products and services from reputed organizations that I’ve personally known, used, or shall myself buy and are available on Amazon.com.

Reader, be of good cheer because COVID-19 has opened up unlimited avenues and vistas for us. It has pushed us into the Automation Age.

In the Automation Age, as my Guru Marshall McLuhan said: “Earning a Living” becomes “Learning a Living”. Jobs disappear, roles emerge; work  decreases, leisure increases; drudgery dwindles, creativity quickens, competition is out, sharing is in; governments fail, citizens succeed; working for Others is past, working for One’s Self is future!

https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Media-Extensions-Marshall-McLuhan/dp/1584230738/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1MBQE98H293HN&dchild=1&keywords=understanding+media+by+marshall+mcluhan&qid=1591771710&sprefix=Understanding+Media+by+%2Caps%2C410&sr=8-1

Virtual World, in some ways, is like the pristine Vedic World https://www.amazon.com/s?k=vedas+complete+in+english&crid=11Q4GA7M26ZZO&sprefix=Vedas%2Caps%2C416&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_5  

when Health was Wealth

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=ayurveda+books&crid=1I2FDROD07JGS&sprefix=Ayurveda%2Caps%2C425&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_8

 Culture preceded Civilization

 https://www.amazon.com/Leisure-Basis-Culture-Josef-Pieper/dp/1586172565/ref=sr_1_1?crid=20ETR1KSVWI2A&dchild=1&keywords=leisure+the+basis+of+culture+by+josef+pieper&qid=1591772647&sprefix=Liesure++the+Basis+%2Caps%2C407&sr=8-1 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/yourstore/home?ref_=nav_cs_ys 

Man respected Nature 

https://www.amazon.com/Sublime-Nature-Photographs-That-Inspire/dp/1426213018/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Nature+Sublime&qid=1591800462&sr=8-2

Need subjected Greed

https://www.amazon.com/Greed-Versus-feat-Mossy-Explicit/dp/B0879LFYML/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=Need+versus+Greed&qid=1591859257&sr=8-3 

Corruption quailed

https://www.amazon.com/Profiles-Corruption-Peter-Schweizer/dp/006289790X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=VI9ACKKALW28&dchild=1&keywords=corruption+books&qid=1591859423&sprefix=Corruption%2Caps%2C436&sr=8-1  

Pollution puled

https://www.amazon.com/Health-People-Planet-Our-Responsibility-ebook/dp/B088LMSRQH/ref=sr_1_18?crid=JMBRL6J0FRQ0&dchild=1&keywords=pollution+books&qid=1591859551&sprefix=Pollution+books%2Caps%2C450&sr=8-18.

Therefore, be brave.

Leave Behind The Old Real World

And, dear reader,

Enter with me 

The New Virtual World

In the COVID-19 Times. 

Did I forget to tell you that I had a pretty good shave with Gillette Mach3 shaving kit, courtesy Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/Gillette-Mach3-Razor-Blades-Refills/dp/B0725BK81G/ref=sr_1_5?crid=2MMBS8F99EDI1&dchild=1&keywords=men%27s+shaving+razors+gillette&qid=1590814088&sprefix=Men%27s+Shaving+Razors%2Caps%2C418&sr=8-5

  and 

https://www.amazon.com/Gillette-Shaving-Sensitive-Skin-Pack/dp/B001E95HJU/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Gillette+men%27s+shaving+cream+and+after+shave+%2Cetc%2C+all+departments&qid=1590815108&sr=8-1

 Also got the mandatory

Mask

https://www.amazon.com/Reusable-Disposable-Surgical-Industrial-Protection/dp/B087TFX1J4/ref=zg_bs_3777911_14?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=G87D5S9R78YGFEJ0XC4B

before starting on my Blog

 Work and Workplace In The Time Of Covid-19

PS: This blog is inspired by several publications that are currently providing free of cost information and guidance, to mention a few, The Atlantic Monthly

https://www.amazon.com/The-Atlantic/dp/B000IMVNQU/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1VY8ZWF6M151W&dchild=1&keywords=atlantic+magazine&qid=1591800964&sprefix=Atkantic%2Caps%2C418&sr=8-1 The Atlantic Kindle Edition

https://www.amazon.com/The-Atlantic/dp/B000IMVNQU/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3JSFZL0R0CRH8&dchild=1&keywords=atlantic+monthly+subscription&qid=1591168468&sprefix=Atlantic+Monthly%2Caps%2C412&sr=8-1

The New Yorker Kindle Edition  https://www.amazon.com/The-New-Yorker/dp/B00EZAIPXU/ref=pd_sbs_350_1/135-8307135-9811014?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00EZAIPXU&pd_rd_r=8607eccd-bb21-4318-a304-70ae6941448c&pd_rd_w=7R72K&pd_rd_wg=NamvY&pf_rd_p=665be1f4-8d3b-46dd-91b4-582d3cec8dd6&pf_rd_r=YC7RN0AD6285A6S1GJX0&psc=1&refRID=YC7RN0AD6285A6S1GJX0

https://www.amazon.com/Atlantic-Magazine-2020-Anxious-Child/dp/B087JFDLY2/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1VY8ZWF6M151W&dchild=1&keywords=atlantic+magazine&qid=1591801066&sprefix=Atkantic%2Caps%2C418&sr=8-3

The Economist – US Edition Kindle Edition

https://www.amazon.com/The-Economist-US-Edition/dp/B0027VSU9S/ref=pd_sbs_350_2/135-8307135-9811014?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B0027VSU9S&pd_rd_r=8607eccd-bb21-4318-a304-70ae6941448c&pd_rd_w=7R72K&pd_rd_wg=NamvY&pf_rd_p=665be1f4-8d3b-46dd-91b4-582d3cec8dd6&pf_rd_r=YC7RN0AD6285A6S1GJX0&psc=1&refRID=YC7RN0AD6285A6S1GJX0

Foreign Affairs Kindle Edition

https://www.amazon.com/Foreign-Affairs/dp/B00284BH62/ref=pd_sbs_350_4/135-8307135-9811014?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00284BH62&pd_rd_r=8607eccd-bb21-4318-a304-70ae6941448c&pd_rd_w=7R72K&pd_rd_wg=NamvY&pf_rd_p=665be1f4-8d3b-46dd-91b4-582d3cec8dd6&pf_rd_r=YC7RN0AD6285A6S1GJX0&psc=1&refRID=YC7RN0AD6285A6S1GJX0

The Washington Post for Kindle (Ad-Free) Kindle Edition

https://www.amazon.com/Washington-Post-Kindle-Ad-Free/dp/B000HC48T0/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1C544O4XT26LA&dchild=1&keywords=washington+post+subscription+for+prime+members+free&qid=1591169225&sprefix=Washingtom+Post%2Caps%2C419&sr=8-2

The New York Times 

https://www.amazon.com/New-York-Times-Daily-Kindle/dp/B000GFK7L6/ref=sr_1_5?crid=1C544O4XT26LA&dchild=1&keywords=washington+post+subscription+for+prime+members+free&qid=1591169316&sprefix=Washingtom+Post%2Caps%2C419&sr=8-5

The New Yorker https://www.amazon.com/New-York-Magazine/dp/B005UNSDKQ/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1J2GLBLUX8IR8&dchild=1&keywords=new+yorker+magazine+subscription&qid=1591847373&sprefix=New+Yorker%2Caps%2C405&sr=8-3 

The Washington Post https://www.amazon.com/Washington-Post-Kindle-Ad-Free/dp/B000HC48T0/ref=sr_1_3?crid=ZBVN9W2WSCM2&dchild=1&keywords=washington+post+subscription+for+prime+members+digital+free&qid=1591846998&sprefix=Washington+%2Caps%2C478&sr=8-3

The Wall Street Journal Kindle Edition

https://www.amazon.com/The-Wall-Street-Journal/dp/B000FDJ0FS/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2PSQI97QYQKQ6&dchild=1&keywords=wall+street+journal+subscription+for+prime+members&qid=1591847532&sprefix=Wall+Street%2Caps%2C1009&sr=8-1

 Project Syndicate who are offering to readers free information on COVID-19 pandemic, generating ideas, and inviting response to questions of life and death in these uncertain times. The context of my blogs differs from theirs, so do my readers, I believe.

     ====The End of Snippet====

Read free of cost author’s opinion pieces, short stories, write-ups, reviews, plays, academic essays, spiritual commentaries on his website: http://www.agrawalmaharajamcluhan.com/  

Finally, here is my blog:

Work and Workplace In The Time Of Covid-19

The coronavirus has been carousing through different parts of the world making the prevailing predicament more puzzling. Some aspects of it, however, are clear. The invisible parasite is going on a spree all over the globe. Most governments are relaxing the Lockdown and people are once again moving, meeting, gathering, and the virus is jumping between hosts depending on proximity, density, and mobility. The illusion of normality must force us to think: Shall the world be the same as we knew it before this invisible Thanatos invaded it.

The West is powerful yet hapless and confused before the insidious and invisible enemy that has knocked out work as the very basis of Modern State and Westernized Modern Societies. 

The future is uncertain and the common man is expecting neither a swift return back to the normal nor a unified collective experience. The fear of a second wave vexes the people everywhere.

Uppermost in the people’s minds is the question: Shall we return to work? Will the workplace look the same as we left it? Is working for earning as meaningful as it was? Such questions are important to dwell upon and debate in the time of Corona. They are more important to The West, and hence to the world because The West leads the rest of the world’s politics and economy. This question is important to non-western countries and societies because they imitate and emulate the West. 

The future scenario is splintered in larger countries like the USA and India because in both these countries local reality is being ignored by their powerful leaders. President Trump and Prime Minister Modi are claiming victory over COVID-19 while the virus is freely claiming victims and poor people are the worst hit by Corona. Lifting of the Lockdown is, thus, further dividing the already fragmented States of America in the West and the States of the Indian Union in the East. 

In the face of uncertainty, people are returning to their polarized groups. The rich and the poor, privileged, and deprived are fleeing to their respective ghettos in both these big democratic countries.

If the Covid-19 or its mutations resurge forcing governments to shut down again, people shall defy because they’ll be distrustful. Floyd protests in the USA and worker’s long march along the hot, sunstruck highways in India are prognostic portents.

Both these nations face the risk of getting demoralized under bouts of shutdowns and re-openings that are bound to damage the prospect of economic recovery. The consequences of re-opening in May-June will not show up until August-September 2020 at the earliest. The longer the gap between actions and their consequences, the greater the likelihood of authorities making more mistakes. 

No behavior pattern has so far emerged and COVID-19 remains as enigmatic as it was in its offing. Most countries that successfully controlled the coronavirus used masks but New Zealand did not use masks. Some had very firm and powerful leaders; Hong Kong did not. Vietnam’s “budget-friendly” fight against the coronavirus has set an example for its neighbor China that let the novel virus lose upon the world.

India’s central government has passed responsibility to the states who are free to lift the Lockdown the way they like. If a state reopens and sees no immediate increase in cases, it slaps its own back and the media amplify the hurrah without waiting for sufficient time. Doctors are getting tired, some dying, and have no time to watch for spreader events. Hurried researchers based on small samples are arriving at big conclusions. And the hapless citizen has to find its own ways and means to fend off the invisible, deadly COVID-19, heightening the social and economic differences as also class, group, and race divisions.

Every country big and small is eager to be the first to formulate a vaccine to prevail over the COVID-19 and the world market further confusing the pandemic scene. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is not a cyclone like the recent one that hit Bangladesh and India. It has come but shall it go away like a cyclone? Millions are being bedeviled by this question.

There is no obvious moment when recovery should begin as happened in the case of the plagues of yore. Nor can the novel virus be compared to Albert Camus’ novel The Plague. The post-COVID-19 world shall face much more difficult and serious existentialist questions than Camu’s ‘ the Absurd’ and Sartre’s “The Other”.

 For the employer and employee, worker and the workplace helter-skelter reopening is not a philosophical question, nor can philosophy offer much consolation to them. The white-collar and blue-collar workers are sailing in the same boat between the deep sea of economic uncertainty and the devil of a deadly virus.

 In a patchwork like this, questions will be asked millions of times over, and many answers will be wrong.

Whether to continue with the Leisure of the home or walk to the dangerous workplace is the Kierkegaardian knot of either/or like it was for Jean-Paul Sartre’s famous Freedom Fighters Pablo who sweats and Tom who pisses in fear of death in the captivity of Spanish dictator Franco.

Employer and Employee, Work and Workplace, and all of us, dear reader, are in the indefinite captivity of COVID-19. 

We cannot move yet we can certainly think, read and write like the freedom fighters in so many countries locked up in the dictators’ and imperialists’ jails who still beckon to us from the pages of history.

Read the author’s latest novels The Perfume Girl, The Prime Minister’s Robot Wife

 Thhttps://www.amazon.com/s?k=The+Perfume+Girl+by+Jitendra+Kumar+Sharma&ref=nb_sb_noss 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Jitendra+Kumar+Sharma%2CPrime+Minister+and+His+Robot+Wife&ref=nb_sb_noss

and short story collections

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Curry+Intercontinental+By+Jitendra+Kumar+Sharma&ref=nb_sb_noss

भारतीय राष्ट्रीय महिला सेना और प्रधान मंत्री (Hindi Edition) Kindle Edition

https://www.amazon.com/%E0%A4%AD%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%80%E0%A4%AF-%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B7%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%9F%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%80%E0%A4%AF-%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%B9%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%B2%E0%A4%BE-%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%A7%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A8-%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%82%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%80-ebook/dp/B082P2Z2PH/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=%E0%A4%AD%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%80%E0%A4%AF+%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B7%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%9F%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%80%E0%A4%AF+%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%B9%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%B2%E0%A4%BE+%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%87%E0%A4%A8%E0%A4%BE+%E0%A4%94%E0%A4%B0+%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%A7%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A8+%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%82%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%80+%E0%A4%9C%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%87%E0%A4%82%E0%A4%A6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0+%E0%A4%95%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B0+%E0%A4%B6%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%BE&qid=1591774386&sr=8-1

 

The Panther and The Prince And Other Stories of Another Clime

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=The+Panther+and+The+Prince+And+Other+Stories+of+Another+Clime+By+Jitendra+Kumar+Sharma&ref=nb_sb_noss

 click above on

 www.amazon.com

=========FINIS===========

आम आदमी पार्टी ने सीखा बीजेपी से चुनाव जीतने का गुर

पैसे से   अधिक  कैंडिडेट  की जात   करेगी काम

ताज़ा ख़बरों के अनुसारहरियाणा के विधानसभा चुनाव में अलग अंदाज में उतरेगी आम आदमी पार्टी“I वैसे तो आम आदमी पार्टी अपने अलग अंदाज़ और अलग अजेंडे के लिए ही जानी जाती  थी लेक़िन हरयाणा लोक सभा २०१९ के चुनाव में आम आदमी पार्टी ने अपना अंदाज़ और चेहरा इस तरह  और इतना बदल लिया क़ि इसे आम आदमी के लिए पहचानना ही मुश्किल हो गया है I आम आदमी पार्टी अब दूसरी पार्टियों जैसी ही लगाती हैI

केजरीवाल जी  आगे दौड़ ,पीछे चौड़ वाली निति अपना रहे हैंउनके इरादे और महत्वकांक्षाएँ  इतने ऊंचे चले गए हैं क़ि वे अब आम आदमी की जरूरतों और समझ से ओझल हो गए  हैं I केजरीवाल जी के कुछ कारनामों ने

आम आदमी पार्टी को अपनी पहचान से ही अलग कर दिया है। 

आदमी पार्टी हरियाणा  में विधानसभा चुनाव २०१९  में  उतरने से पहले ही  अपना रंगरूप  काफी बदल चुकी है। जातपात  और पैसे की राजनीति में अब आम आदमी लिप्त है और अपने साधारण  कार्येकर्ताओं की अनदेखी करने लगी हैउदहारण के तौर  पर हम कह सकते हैं  क़ि केजरीवाल जी ने राज्य सभा के टिकट पैसे  और  एक  ख़ास जात वालों को ही दिए  और अपने कार्येकर्ताओं को नज़र अंदाज़ किया  था I एसा  करके उन्हों ने अपनी आम आदमी पार्टी का रंग रूप बदल  दिया है और हर नए इलेक्शन में आमआदमी पार्टी दूसरी पार्टिओं जैसी ही बनती जा रही है I और इस पार्टी का आम आदमी से जो गहरा रिश्ता था वह भी  टूटतl जा रहा  है I

रंग बदलने के बाद अब  हरयाणा के विधानसभा चुनाव २०१९ में  आम आदमी पार्टी अपना ढंग भी बदल दे  गी ऐसा मुमकिन ही नहीं बल्कि अपरिहार्य है।

 हरियाणा में आम आदमी पार्टी ने  विधानसभा चुनाव की तैयारी शुरू कर दी है। इस चुनाव के लिए नई रणनीति भी बनाई है। आम आदमी पार्टी के सुप्रीमो व दिल्ली के मुख्यमंत्री अरविंद केजरीवाल जी हरियाणा के रहने वाले  हैं और हरयाणा पर अपना वर्चस्व बढ़ाना अपना हक़ समझते हैं । दिल्ली को पूर्ण राज्य का दर्जा प्राप्त नहीं है, इस कारन से भी वे हरयाणा में आना चाहते है।

चुनाव आचार संहिता लागू होने से पहले उन्हों ने संगठन को मजबूत करने के  लिए एक दर्जन नए प्रकोष्ठ बनाने के  लिए हरियाणा इकाई को हिदायत दी है। कांग्रेस को बेहाल देख कर आम आदमी पार्टी को लगता है कि वह  हरियाणा में भाजपा का इकलौता और मजबूत विकल्प बन सकती है और इसी लिए आम आदमी पार्टी को भाजपा के तौर तरीके अपणाना  भी आवश्यक हो गया है ताके वोटरों को लगे के आम आदमी पार्टी और भारतीय जनता पार्टी में अब कोई फरक नहीं है। और उसको अपना एजेंडा लागू करने के लिए मोदी-शाह के मुंह की तरफ हर वक्त ताकना नहीं पड़े गा। फिर हरयाणां में दिल्ली की तर्ज़ पर आम आदमी को लुभाने वाला एजेंडा भी वह लागू कर पायेगी।

केजरीवाल ने बनाया नवीन जयहिंद को पंडित जय हिन्द

आमआदमी पार्टी ने तै किया है की हरियाणा में विधानसभा चुनाव वर्तमान प्रदेश अध्यक्ष नवीन जयहिंद जी के नेतृत्व में ही लडे गी। संगठन के कार्यों में तेजी लाने के लिए प्रदेश प्रभारी गोपाल राय के साथ राज्यसभा सदस्य डा. सुशील गुप्ता को हरियाणा का सह प्रभारी बनाया गया हैI डा. सुशील गुप्ताजी ही टिकटों के लिए उपयुक्त उम्मीदवारों के नाम तै करें गे । पंडित नवीन जयहिंद और सुशील गुप्ता आखिरी सूची त्यार

करेंगे। टिकटों का अंतिम फैसला तो अरविंद केजरीवाल ही करेंगे।

 आदमी पार्टी ने हरियाणा में तीन कार्यकारी अध्यक्ष भी बनाये हैं । तीनों कार्यकारी प्रधानों को  तीन-तीन लोकसभा सीटों के टिकट बाँटने हैं और प्रदेश अध्यक्ष पंडित नवीन जयहिंद को अपनी अपनी उम्मीदवारों की लिस्ट सौंपनी है। पहले कार्यकारी प्रधान करनाल, कुरुक्षेत्र और अंबाला, दूसरे कार्यकारी प्रधान हिसार, सोनीपत, रोहतक,व सिरसा और तीसरे कार्यकारी अध्यक्ष फरीदाबाद, गुरुग्राम व भिवानी-महेंद्रगढ़ लोकसभा सीटों के लिए प्रत्याशी तलाशें गे। ग़ौर तालब है की नवीन जयहिंद फरीदाबाद में इलेक्शन के बाद अपने नाम के आगे पंडित लिखने लगे हैं। नवीन जी ब्राह्मण हैं  यह वोटरों को बताना भी चुनाव में विजयी होने के लिए आमआदमी पार्टी की रणनीति का बड़ा हथिआर माना जा रहा है । सभी उमीदवार अपने नाम के साथ अपनी ज़ात भी उजागर करें गे। ख़ास कर नॉन-जाट कैंडिडेट्स।

दिल्ली में किए कामों के आधार पर हरियाणा में आगमन

आम आदमी पार्टी हरियाणा में दिल्ली में किए गए विकास कार्यों को वोटरों के सामने रखे गी। पंडित नवीन जयहिंद के अनुसार दिल्ली में हुए बेहतरीन कामों की सूची तैयार है। जो दिल्ली में चलता है, क्या हरयाणा में भी भागे गा?हमें ऐसा नहीं लगता I कारन यह है कि हरयाणा ग्रामीण है और दिल्ली शहरी; बल्कि  मेट्रोपोलिटन है।

दिल्ली में बड़े बड़े हस्पताल हैं और आम आदमी पार्टी ने उनको सुधारा है! बिजली पानी भी सस्ता हुआ हैी स्कूलों पर भी ध्यान दिया गया है! हरयाणा के गाओं में तो हस्पताल ही नहीं हैं और बिजली कभी कभी आती है। किया बिजली के लिए बड़ी बड़ी कम्पनिया हरयाणा में आने को उन शर्तों पर त्यार होंगी जिन शर्तों पर दिल्ली में ख़ुशी से काम कर रही हैं?

हरयाणा में बहनों को मेट्रो में मुफ्त सफर का तौफा चुनावों से पहले कैसे दे पाएंगे केजरीवाल जी?

आम आदमी पार्टी पर ना तो ग्रामीण होने की छाप है और न ही ग्रामीण विकास का कोई मॉडल है ! आम आदमी पार्टी का कुल अभिविन्यास [टोटल ओरिएंटेशन] शहरी है; गावों से कोसों दूर I हरयाणा में इस बार गाओं के वोटर का रुख निर्णायक हो गा लगता है आम आदमी पार्टी ने अपनी रन निति बनाते समय हरयाणां के तथ्यों को  ध्यान में नहीं रखा 
 
दिल्ली में निम्न मध्यम वर्ग कार्यकर्ता आम आदमी पार्टी की सब से  बरी मजबूती है । हरियानाके  गाँवों में निम्न मध्यम वर्ग के कार्यकर्ता को स्पष्ट रूप से पहचानना मुश्किल है।और हरियाणा में, आम आदमी पार्टी उस तरह के मध्यम और निम्न मध्यम वर्ग के बल और समर्थन को इकट्ठा नहीं कर पाई है, जैसा वह  दिल्ली में रने में सफल रही थी।
मैं नांगल कलां गांव मैं वोटर हूँ जो दिल्ली बॉर्डर से तीन चार  कम है। यहां मुझे कोई आम आदमी पार्टी की गति-विधि दिखाई नहीं दी है। मेरे राई हलके मैं प्रमोद कौशिक  कौशिक सक्रिय हैं । राइ विधान  सभा के मंत्री हैं।
ब्राह्मण समाज मैं भी वह काफी बढ़ चढ़ कर हस्सा लेते हैं । इसी प्रकार से शैलेंदर त्यागी सोनीपत और गनर मैं काफी सरिये हैं। लेकिन इन दोनों को आम आदमी पार्टी के टिकट की उम्मीद नहीं है और स्वयं भी पैसे की की के कारन से चुनाव मैं कूदना नही चाहते l 
केवल उम्मीदवार की जाति ही नहीं बल्कि उम्मीदवार की गुणवत्ता भी 2019 के हरियाणा विधानसभा चुनावों में मायने रखेगी। चुनाव लड़ने वाले सभी राजनीतिक दलों के लिए यह एक आम समस्या है। भाजपा में  अन्य दलों से बड़े पैमाने पर दल बदल के कारण बहुत अधिक भीड़
हो गई है और बीजेपी के लिए  जीतने वाले उम्मीदवारों को टिकट बांटना अन्य दलों की तुलना में एक बड़ी विकत समस्या बन गया  है । उसके पास मौजूदा विधायकों में बहुत सारी ‘मृत लकड़ी’ [डेड वुड। हैं 
मध्य प्रदेश में भाजपा से कांग्रेस के लिए उल्टे दल बदल शुरू हो गया हैं। टिकट से वंचित भाजपा विधायक अन्य पार्टियों के लिए संभावित दल बदलू है और भाजपा के राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष अमित शाह द्वारा तय किए गए ७५ विधायकों को नई विधान सभा में लाने के लक्ष्य को हासिल करना हरियाना भाजपा के लिए टेढ़ी खीर बनता जा रहा है। आम आदमी पार्टी को भी इस समस्या से जूझना पड़े गा ।

­– जितेन्द्र  कुमार  शर्मा

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नशा जवानों को मौत और तस्करों को सत्ता की गोद में बैठा रहा है ! – जितेन्द्र कुमार शर्मा

अटारी से ५३२  किलोग्राम हेरोइन की बरामदगी को इस बार भी नाटकीय ढंग से  पाकिस्तान की साज़िश बता कर पेश किया जा रहा है और भारत के अंदर ही घर मैं बैठे समाज के दुश्मनों का नाम तक नहीं लिया जा रहा I ठीक है, पुलिस ने  नार्को-टेरर एंगल से जांच का दावा करते हुए तीन पाकिस्तानी नागरिकों के अलावा, साहिल खान, फारूक लोन और एक स्थानीय  एजेंट, आमिर नूर, कृष्णा नगर के अजय गुप्ता, 20 अन्य लोगों के खिलाफ मामला दर्ज किया है। कुछ आरोपी गुरदासपुर, तरनतारन, बटाला, अमृतसर और जम्मू-कश्मीर के बताये गए हैं।

एसएसपी (ग्रामीण) विक्रम जीत दुग्गल  के अनुसार ये सभी आपस में और पाकिस्तान की खुफिया एजेंसियों के साथ मिल कर तस्करी कर रहे हैं।

पकिस्तान का सरगना साहिल खान उर्फ मूसा खान है और पाकिस्तान के राजनीतिक हलकों में उसकी अच्छी साख हैI भारत की तरफ  से  राजा रंजीत सिंह राणा उर्फ चीता को इस गरोह का मुखिआ बताया जा रहा है  जो तरनतारन में सराय अमानत खान का है और इस में कोई हैरानी नहीं कि यह कुख्यात ड्रग तस्कर राजा रंजीत सिंह राणा पुलिस की ग्रिफत में नहीं हैI

एक विशेष गौर करने वाली बात ये है कि एसएसपी दुग्गल की जांच में भारतीय सत्ताआसिनों  का बिलकुल  कोई ज़िकर नहीं हैI  ऐसा  होना  कोई  अचम्भे  की  बात  नहीं हैI यह हन्दुस्तानी जांच एजेंसिओं की  विशेषताओं के अनुरूप ही हैI

पकिस्तांन का होना तस्करों और उनके सत्ताधारी आकाओं के लिए उतनी बड़ी ग़नीमत है, जितना बड़ा अभिशाप ये हिन्दुस्तानी साधारण नागरिकों के लिए है और पुलिस के लिए एक आसान बहाना I हर बुराई और सामाजिक अपराध पाकिस्तान पर कितनी आसानी से थोपा जा सकता है इसे हम हर रोज़ सरकारी और ग़ैर सरकारी ख़बरों में देख सकते हैI अपने गुनाहों पर चादर डालने का इस से आसान तरिका क्या हो सकता  है?

हम जानते है कि पाकिस्तान हमारे युवाओं को नशीली दवाओं द्वारा अपना शिकार बना रहा है लेकिन हम यह भी जानते हैं कि वह  अकेला ऐसा कभी नहीं  कर सकताI हमारे देश के अंदर बैठे समाज के  दुश्मन जब तक पाकिस्तान की साज़िश में शामिल न हों कोई पाकिस्तानी हमें शिकार नहीं बना सकता I

पाकिस्तान के साथ ५५३ किलोमीटर लंबी हमारे  पंजाब के साथ लगती सीमा है। और इस सीमा के आर पार नशीले पदर्थों  की  बड़े पैमाने पर तस्करी आज से  नहीं बल्कि जब से यह सीमा वजूद  में  आयी  है तब से हर किसम का नाजाइज़ व्यपार इस सीमा पर हो रहा है और बहुबलिओं को और  अधिक बलवान    बना रहा है l उनको सत्ता के नज़दीक ही नहीं बल्कि राजनीति  में ला रहा है और सत्ता के सिहँसानों पर बिठा रहा है I

पंजाब सरकार ने  जुलाई 2018 में राष्ट्रीय स्वास्थ्य सुरक्षा योजना के तहत ‘विशेष श्रेणी’ का दर्जा मांगा था I

राज्य  और राष्ट्रीय सरकार  एक दूसरे पर नशीले पदार्थों के आतंकवाद से निपटने की ज़िम्मेदारी डालती रहती हैंI कोई कारगर और ठोस कदम तस्करी को रोकने के लिए और देश के अंदर बैठे और देश के ऊपर बाहर से आघात करने वाले शत्रुओं  को एक जुट हो कर नष्ट करने को त्यार नहीं हैं I

५३२  किलोग्राम हेरोइन, अनुमानित  2,७००  करोड़ रुपये, और एक अन्य ५२  किलोग्राम मिश्रित नशीले पदार्थ, भारत में  मादक पदार्थों की अब तक की सबसे बड़ी बरामदगी मानी जा  रही है और इसे  खूब उछाला भी  जा रहा है । यह भारी खेप  अटारी सीमा के पार बिना किसी बाधा के आयी जबकि पाकिस्तानी पक्ष के पास  इसका पता लगाने के लिए स्कैनर हैं -भारत के  अधिकारिओं ने कभी स्कैनर के बारे में सोचा ही नहींI

यह भारी भरकम्प खेप तो लगता है केवल हिमशैल का एक सिरा है क्योंकि यह धंधा तो दिन रात चलता है, आज से  नहीं  दशकों से l

स्वर्गीय बीरबल नाथ, आईपीएस, एक प्रतिष्ठित पुलिस अफसर  थे,आईजी हरियाणा थे और उच्च पदों पर भी कार्यरत रहे । वह १९७९  में मुझे मिलने आये l तब  मैं जनता पार्टी की राजनीति में सक्रिय था और ४ कालिंदी कॉलोनी, नई दिल्ली में रहता थाl

उन्हों ने मुझे बताया कि उनकी सबसे बड़ी निराशा यह है कि वह एक तस्कर के खिलाफ कुछ नहीं कर पा रहे है जो केवल २ किमी दूर रहता था जहाँ ४ कालिंदी कॉलोनी, नई दिल्ली में हम बैठे थे और बात कर रहे थे।

आज भी, ईमानदार पुलिस अधिकारी हैं जो ताकतवर राजनेता-नौकरशाह-व्यवसायी सांठगांठियों से जुड़े तस्करों के  सामने असहाय हैं।

हरियाणा, केवल कुछ दशक पहले, सरल जीवन शैली और पौष्टिक भोजन के लिए जाना जाता था। दूध, दही, मलाई, घी और कड़ी मेहनत हरियाणवी लोगों की मुख्य विशेषता थी। ड्रग्स और नशीले पेय, हरियाणवी संस्कृति को बुरी तरह से प्रभावित कर रहे हैं। नशियों की बढ़ती संख्या से परिवारों का स्वास्थ्य और  खुशहाली नष्ट हो रही है।

भाजपा सरकार ने हिंदू संस्कृति की रक्षा और बढ़ावे के अपने दावों  को बार बार  दोहराया है लेकिन समाज के भीतर बैठे दुश्मनों को दंडित करने के लिए कुछ नहीं किया है। वास्तव में, खट्टर सरकार के तहत मादक पदार्थों सेवन और खतरा हरयाणा प्रदेश में  अधिक   और भयानक होता जा रहा है।

भ्रष्टाचार को दूर करने के लिए मोदी सरकार तत्पर है  लेकिन ड्रग तस्करों के खिलाफ स्पष्ट रूप से कोई सख्त कदम नहीं उठI रही है।

ड्रग तस्करी, हमारे विचार में, भारत के लिए  बैंकरों और नौकरशाहों के भ्रष्टाचार से  भी कहीं  बड़ा खतरा है। सरकार को ड्रग तस्करी और ड्रग पेडलिंग के लिए शून्य सहिष्णुता दिखानी चाहिए। हम ड्रग फ्री हरियाणा और ड्रग फ्री इंडिया चाहते हैं।

अगर मोदी सरकार ने भारत को कांग्रेस मुक्त बनाने के लिए किए गए प्रयासों का एक थोड़ा सा हिस्सा भारत को नशामुक्त करने के लिए अधिक किया होता, तो भारत कितना स्वस्थ और खुशहाल होता!

­– जितेन्द्र  कुमार  शर्मा

‘One nation, one election’. What is your opinion about it? By Jitendra Kumar Sharma

‘One nation, one election’ is not a new idea, though Prime Minister Narendra Modi is presenting it in a peculiarly nationalistic context. In the first two general elections in 1952 and 1957, polls were successfully held all over India at a time for both parliament and state assemblies. For practical democratic reasons, the practice had to be discontinued. Some state governments fell before completing their 5-year term and went under President’s rule and the polls had to be rescheduled subsequently.

PM Modi’s ‘one nation, one election’ proposal is being viewed with skepticism by most opposition parties, and certain sections of the Indian Intelligentsia, even though, as was expected, President Ram Nath Kovind endorsed it during his address to both Houses of Parliament. The CPM has gone too far and dubbed the plan ‘anti-democratic and anti-federal’ and ‘an attempt to replace the parliamentary system with the presidential one’. The Congress Party sees it as a ploy to divert people’s attention from key issues such as unemployment and farmer suicides. The timing and the tone of the Prime Minister’s proposal have served the purpose he had in mind while serving this proverbial old wine in a new bottle and as intended, it has produced partisan and divisive notes.

True, Elections in the world’s largest democracy are becoming increasingly humongous and time-consuming and their cost is rising astronomically. India, it is argued perhaps cogently, remains in the election mode more often than not and the country’s development gets impeded because of the repeated imposition of the model code of conduct and government machinery is ushered into the conduct of the election at the cost of major policy decisions and their implementation. Considerable savings in money and manpower are possible if the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections are carried out together.

Such was the practice in the 1950s and 1960s when Congress enjoyed almost One-party rule all over India. Then the dissolution of some Legislative Assemblies in 1968-69 and the Lok Sabha in late 1970 led to separate elections to Assemblies and Parliament.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh claims that ‘one nation, one election’ is the country’s agenda, not the government’s. He perhaps means that India as a nation will be more united if only one election every five-years is held but he appears to be confusing or equating Uniformity with Unity. In common perception, the BJP “is making a pitch for simultaneous polls with an ulterior motive and …the saffron party wants to cash in on its stupendous victory in the 2019 General Election to wrest control of a majority of the states and union territories”, says an editorial in The Tribune dated June 21, 2019.

The fact is the regional parties upstaged the BJP in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. In both these states, Lok Sabha and Assembly polls were conducted simultaneously in 2019. Elections are due in many states for Assemblies and opposition parties presume that they have a chance to overwhelm the BJP with regional dominance and influence the voter with their regional agenda.

The constitution will need to be amended but the amendment procedure is simple and amendments have been passed more than a hundred times and more for changing the constitution. In any case, the constitution does not clearly state whether we can or we cannot have the policy of ‘one nation, one election’. Article 83(2) says that the Lok Sabha shall be for 5 years unless dissolved earlier. Similarly, Article 172 says that tenure of State Assemblies shall be 5 years unless dissolved earlier. However, the state assemblies can be dissolved for specific reasons in accordance with Article 356 of the constitution and dissolving the assembly for simultaneous elections would be a violation of the constitution.

Also, since India is a federal country with a strong central government, ‘one nation, one election’ appears contrary to the spirit of federalism if not a violation of the federal structure.

As to saving of money, Modi’s avowals are doubtful. His own rallies are exorbitantly expensive and remain unaccounted. He must reform his own BJP party before he argues for saving the government money on elections. Money spent or overspent on keeping the elective democracy alive is fully justified and India has borne and can in future bear the financial burden of holding elections.
It is hoped that PM Modi will not make it a big issue and instead let the people and political parties mull over the revival of ‘One Nation, One Election’ practice slowly and gradually arrive at a consensus. It is not an urgent matter and needs general acceptance.
Should India not hold referendums on such issues?

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Modi &BJP have set a very bad example for society by showing the door to their senior and founding leaders by Jitendra Kumar Sharma

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A concerned Senior Citizen, Kundli-based senior journalist, Jitendra Kumar Sharma, fearlessly expresses his  Thoughts on The United Nations’ Day, Today, June 15,  the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

           A few days back younger married women of Haryana received wide publicity on the social media for the very wrong reasons. A video had gone viral as thousands of viewers watched and discussed the unsavory action of a Haryanavi married woman. The Haryanavi ‘bahu’ was seen mercilessly beating her 80-year-old widowed mother-in-law !

The Haryana police too saw this video of an ill-behaved  Haryanavi Bahu’s criminal actions and arrested her.

If it were an isolated incident, there would be no need for me to write this piece. Regretfully, this is not a rare occurrence nor do such abusive acts always get legally punished. The fact is, Indian senior citizens routinely face harassment, humiliation, social insults and even injuries by their family members, relatives, children and society at large.

There are some NGOs dedicated to the cause of senior citizens. They conduct surveys and publish reports on the state of Indian senior citizens. According to an Agewell Foundation survey, over 71% of elders face abuse. Another NGO, HelpAge India’s study last year put the estimate at 60%. The UNOs report says that  1 in 6 older people experience some form of abuse.

The United Nations have designated June 15 (today) as the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to articulate their repugnance and resistance to the abuse and suffering inflicted on the elders anywhere.

The aforementioned HelpAge study shows that “ the most common form of abuse elders experienced was disrespect (56%), verbal abuse (49%) and neglect (33%)”. Shocking as it may seem but, according to the said report, the main abusers were the sons (57%) and daughters-in-law (38%). The average age of the abuser was 42 years.

A World Health Organization report cites six key categories of elder abuse, namely, “structural and societal, neglect and abandonment, disrespect and ageist attitudes, psychological, emotional and verbal abuse, physical abuse and legal and financial abuse”.

 Political leaders and parties play a vital role in ameliorating the conditions of weaker sections and vulnerable segments of society, irrespective of their being in power or out of it.

It is a sad comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Modi-led ruling Party BJP that it has shown gross disrespect to their elders such as L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, founding leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and thousands of senior workers whom Modi-Amit Shah duo have reduced to limblessness.

Modi dreams of bringing India at par with advanced democracies like the USA, Canada, Australia. Laws of these democratic countries prohibit discrimination on the basis of age of a citizen.No senior citizen can be retired unless and until she/he wants it. In our country, the hypocrisy of the ruling party on social issues is in utter contrast to basic principles of democracy and deserves to be deplored in the strongest terms.

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“What Does Your Enemy Say?” By Jitendra Kumar Sharma

“What Does Your Enemy Say?”
By Jitendra Kumar Sharma

“What does your enemy say?” Our teacher, Radha Krishnaji at Bhupendra High School, Narnaul, a district town in the erstwhile Patiala State, was a Master of English idioms and made us learn so many of them by rot.
This is idiomatic English; it means, “What is the time by your watch?”
He used to wear a big round watch tied by a slipknot to a noose-like cord suspended from his neck into the front pocket of his shirt. He pulled up the strings and held his pocket watch in his right hand, looked at it cursorily for a moment and repeated: “What does your enemy say?”

I learned the idiom and it got stuck to my memory. Whenever I met my classmates, we turned back in time, recalled our Master Ji and asked: “Who is our enemy? Is it Time? Or is it our watch?

Our confabulation always ended inconclusively, leaving us in a greater state of confusion and excitement about “What does your enemy say?”

We never dared ask questions in the class, nor were we allowed to make suggestions nor lead a discussion. That this idiom would keep nagging me all my life, and lead me to strange actions and experiences, I had little idea then! It has triggered me to act in foolhardy ways to seek practical and experiential answers to the question: “What does your enemy say?”

“I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop”, bring Master Radha Krishna ji back and tell him, “No one in England I have heard use this expression nor in Canada, nor in other English speaking countries”. None of my Professors at the University of Toronto where I wrote my thesis, “Achilles’ Spear: Problem of Time and Consciousness” was familiar with this expression.

What does your enemy say? I was impelled to answer this question many a time in thought and action and felt even more unsatisfied like cigarette smokers craving for one puff more!

I had not yet fulfilled all the requirements for my doctorate that I got a job offer from the University of Guelph. My main reason to prefer Guelph U was that it had the so-called Trimester system. That is, if I taught three semesters in a row, I could avail of the next two semesters as paid vacation, traveling anywhere I liked. In Two-semester universities, every seventh year was the Sabbatical Year.

A couple of days after joining my academic duties, I joined the Guelph Flying Club. Each time, I went up in the sky with Mike Taylor, our Flying Instructor, I felt like I was soaring into a ‘No-time Zone’-Canada has six of them! Each time, Mike turned off the throttle perfect calm settled around us and I would close my eyes. Mike had to shove me to resume flying.

One morning, I went to the Flying Club and found a Cessna 180 whirring on the runway.

I could not resist the mechanical bird. I did not care to sign the log book. Just jumped into the cockpit and surged into the sky. On reaching the serene heights, I silenced the engine. The little Cessna stalled and hung in the air. I closed my eyes and silently uttered: “What does your enemy say?”

No time here. No watch on my wrist. No answer to the question either. Only deep, dreamless sleep. I do not remember how long but it lasted till I felt a sensation of a steep descent. It roused me from my meditation. Cessna was plummeting into, what later I was told, Guelph Lake.

I was disqualified from the Flying Club membership and earned a good deal of free publicity. This did not please Dean H.M.H. Mackinnon who summoned me to his office. Heavy classical scholarship permanently enthroned in his thick glasses, his unsmiling face looked unusually scary.

“What are your plans for next year?”

I dared not say, “I have no plans”. He was a pucca North American WASP [White Anglo-Saxon Protestant] and had little affection for those who do not plan their time.

I simply uttered, “I intend to go to India at the end of the third semester”

“You are not going anywhere, Jitendra. You will write your General Examination and fulfill other Ph.D. requirements– if you wish your contract to be renewed.”

I did not take the threat seriously and came out of the Dean’s office determined to go to India. My Guru, Marshall McLuhan had already published a few articles by me in his “Explorations”, a highly respected Quarterly.

My dissertation too was with a publisher. I had also read a long paper at The Learned Societies of Canada which was accepted by “The Journal of Philosophy and Phenomenological Research”.

“Publish or perish” was the rule for academic survival and I was confident of getting an academic post. Several new universities were also coming up in Canada then.

“Plan your work and work your plan, Jitendra”, was Dean Mackinnon’s parting advice.

“What about spontaneity?” I shouted to myself most inaudibly and exited.

I had never fancied myself to be an academic. I wanted to be a wanderer if I could afford to be one.

I returned to my office, called my friendly Bank Manager Mutrie who, as ever was ready to finance my trip to India, which included the purchase of a factory-fresh Diesel Mercedes at their Stuttgart Manufacturing plant in Germany under a ’Travel Now, Pay Later’ plan.

At the end of the third semester, I flew to England and after a few days at Cambridge where I met E.M. Forster I flew to Stuttgart to pick up my Mercedes. I had to wait in their Canteen as it was being given the final touches and a Carnet du Passage was being prepared for me to drive it away from Germany.

The only other buyer was a Malagasy diplomat, linah Luciano, a very articulate, middle-aged, most appropriate person to speak to about Time.

“We Malagasy experience time as flowing behind us, literally behind our head and the past keeps spanning before us”.

“How?”, I said, feeling as if I was doing Shirs Aasan like Nehru trying to see the world upside down.

“It’s simple; the past we can see and know, it always interplays with our actions”.

Feeling even more ignorant, I again said, “How?”

“Actually, we go on consulting our ancestors, we even dig out their bones, if required for seeking their advice”, explained Monsieur Luciano.

“Like Mackenzie King of Canada who used to consult his dead mother”, I rejoined.

“Who, Mackenzie King?”

“He was a former Prime Minister of Canada”, I informed.

“And how do you perceive the future?” I asked.

“Actually, we do not. Anyway, it is behind our heads, so we cannot see it”.

“It is not time but people’s volition that decides things in Madagascar”.

“I don’t understand”, I confessed.

“In Germany and Switzerland, have you noticed how obsessed they are with punctuality? Trains departing 7-03 Yverdon, arriving 7-49 Lucerne”.

“Is it not good?”

“We are not talking about good or bad. In Madagascar, a train shall leave only when it is full”

I relished what diplomat Luciano was telling me.

“Is the train meant for people, or is it being run for Time?” Luciano had a mischievous smile for the topsy-turvy world of western civilization.

“In my country, a train will not leave until it is full” and “No company is ready to run a passenger train there. We have only freight trains.”

My Mercedes had arrived. I took leave of the learned diplomat and started driving. Pride and patriotism intensified by an excruciating twisted ankle held me up for three weeks at Charlottenburg, West Berlin where Netaji Subhash Bose had stayed as Hitler’s guest.

Crossing the Berlin Wall, a most friendly Russian Immigration Officer issued me a Visa in a matter of minutes. We together drove in my Mercedes to the nearby Ratskeller in the basement of the Rathaus.

Over lunch, I said, “Time runs faster in West Berlin”. Vladislav, my Russian friend of the moment, promptly retorted, “They are all crazy on the other side of the Wall”, then apprehensively tipped, “I must tell you there is no Mercedes Service in Russia. Change your route”.

Thence, my Mercedes and I crossed from Europe to Asia at Uskudr on a ferry. The blue waters reminded me of many other places, of Port Said and Capri where the sea and sky had appeared literally to mate merging the Here into Eternity. Time and Endlessness of Time!

“What does your enemy say?” was on my mind and I had my heart’s fill asking and getting answers of all kinds of people I met during my long journey.

At Trabzon, a mountain resort on the Black Sea, a young Turk, Abuzer Abidin took me to a Hamam, a Turkish Bath, where we were bathed, wrapped in white chaddars and served Kahava. We came out and walked up to a cliff overlooking the Black Sea. I asked Abuzer, “Is there any phrase like ‘What does your enemy say’ in Turkish?”

“Let us not talk of enemies. We are friends”. He planted two kisses, one each on my two cheeks, took away a little black comb peeping out from the front pocket of my jacket and put a green one from his pocket into mine and parted.

At Salonica, capital of Greek Macedonia, I stopped several academics at Aristotle University to enquire, “How would Aristotle respond to ‘What Does Your Enemy Say?’ Their answers setoff a splitting ache and serious doubts in my head about Aristotle’s Greek origin, even his existence.

Did I fulfill my wish to stop Time or did Time stop for me? How and where I met my Masterji? How old was he and how old was I when we met? Did I ask, “Time or Watch, who is our enemy, Sir?” Or, I simply forgot about it.

On reaching India, I did drive to Narnaul. Met my old schoolmates. They said, “Master Radha Krishnaji retired at 55, not seen since”.

I was slothful in my search for Masterji because my cousin, Sudhir, Deputy Manager with Indian Oil Corporation at Varanasi was abducted by oil mafia during an Inquiry he was conducting in a case of diesel pilferage from the Company’s containers at Mughal Sarai.

Instead of Varanasi, I drove to 1, Rajpur Road, Dehradun where my stepmother Shanta Sharma lived [now, Mridula Sharma, my step-sister; the reader may please check]. Finding me despondent, she straightway took me to Swami Satyanand’s Rishikesh Ashram.

Most of the way we were silent but as we reached, she said, ”Swamiji is eighty-two years but he appears 52 or less”.

“How do you know him?”

“I know him from my Gurukul days. After your father’s death in Nasik, I and Mridula returned to our Khukhri Market Flat, Dehradun and renewed my contact with Swamiji’s Ashram. Seth Ram Prasadji also used to come to the Ashram. This is where Mridula started babbling about her previous birth and recognized Sethji as her father in the previous birth. Sethji soon adopted her under Swamiji’s guidance and gifted Mridula 1, Rajpur Road where now we live.”

I had read the story in papers.

We are born again and again in Time. Which Time? Time of the clocks and calendars or there is some other Time!

We sat in front of Swamiji, he on his raised Aasan. He surely looked less than fifty. Should one believe one’s eyes or the municipal or school records or calendars? That is why the Hindus care little for history, rulers, rajas, maharajas, things temporal and much more for Sanyasis!

Many devotees sought Swamiji’s advice and he was generous with his time and wisdom. My stepmother nudged me to ask something.

“Why do we take the Sea and Sky as symbols of Eternity?”

I thought it was a profound question but Swamiji debunked the whole idea of Eternity and deflated my academic ego.

“This is your westernized tutored sensibility; there is no such thing as Here or Eternity. There is Time or the Timeless”.

I gaped at him.

“Can one live timelessly?” I timidly asked.

“Yes, in time and timelessly. Not so mysterious either. Live desirelessly and you are living timelessly”.

Finding me nonplussed, Swami Satyanandji turned his gaze to Mridula and said to me,
“Look at Mridula! No death or birth for her, only exchange of atoms. Changing places. She got what was hers in her last birth. 1, Rajpur Road”.

More than his discourse on Time, death, birth, timeless, I was lured by his looks. “Is he 82 or 48, 47?”

While driving back, I said to my step-mother, “I wish I could live with Swamiji rest of my life”.

She sighed sadly, “Your father was in the habit of leaving things half-done or undone”.

I returned to Canada. Dean MacKinnon did not renew my contract at Guelph U but Donald Theall invited me to join McGill. I completed my doctorate and am still teaching at McGill. There is no retirement age in Canada.

That night, I had returned from my seventh sabbatical leave from Birds of Paradise, Papua; was still unpacking when John Harney called:
“I am at the Bistro. Come”.

We had several beers and then drove around aimlessly.

“Have you regretted giving up academic life?”

“No, I have tons of money. I joined my Dad’s business”

“What do you do with tons of money? Nothing much. Make more of it”.

“Do you also have tons of Time?”

“I have no time for anyone, not even for myself at times. But ‘Time is Money’ makes time pass quickly for me”.

I don’t know when we reached the Laurentian Mountains.

“This is Vajrayāna Vihar”, said John Harney.
“James George, our first High Commissioner to India brought lots of Tibetan Buddhists; a mad man in brown Lama habit is seen lurking about this lodge. I knew you will love it here”

“Yes, John leave me here”

In that uncertain morning hour, crowding, whirling fall leaves made rapid short loud sounds at times imitating several asthma patients rasping, wheezing, chasing one another as black-white spruce, balsam fir, larch, poplar, white birch swung and danced on the shoulders of tall mountains feeling taller and seeing farther than they.

Suddenly, I was blown toward and caught the sight of my Masterji.

“Masterji?”

“Jitendra?”

Were we ghosts? Or like ones we see in dreams.

As I moved forward, I saw Masterji did not have his specs, he appeared less than forty and I was more than eighty.

Reading worldly curiosity on my face, he said: “Yes, I no longer wear glasses; I was fifty years when I taught you “What does your enemy say?” I had myself learned it from my teacher”.

He tweaked his ears as he recalled his teacher.

“Now?”

“Now I am forty, my son”

My son! Someone my son’s age, calling me ‘my son’!

Anyway, I touched his feet. “Time means less to you than it does to me and much, much less than it does to John Harney”.

“We at Vajrayāna Vihar do not live in the past, present, future.”

“Don’t you live in Time?”

“We do, all things and beings do”

“Then, how is it, you and I have different vestiges of time?” said I.

“Your world is too conscious of time; increasingly, it wants everything instantly. Soon children will have no time to grow, have no memories. No childhood either. They will be eighty, ninety, one-fifty, even before they are ten. You are lucky to live on memories at eighty-two.”

“Come with me Masterji, and teach these things to others”, I implored.

“As soon as I step out, your world will treat me as a mad and old man of one-twenty. I might die of old age”.

“In fact, I had gone mad after my retirement but Lama James is always in need of madmen. They perceive right, he says.”

“How do you stop time, Masterji?”

“We don’t”

“Then?”

“We live internally”

“Internally?”

“Yes, Man began to know death from life when he started measuring time.”

“You mean, he began to live externally”, I said.

“Yes, Time appears but is not. Your age and know the time when you live externally”

Before I could speak further, my Masterji said,
“Are you carrying that picture postcard you wrote to Sudhir at Capri but never posted it because you had no Italian stamps?”

“I always carry it in the hope of handing it to Sudhir myself”

“You can do it now”, Masterji pointed to Sudhir running toward me. He was as we were together in school, fourteen years!”

I recognized him alright. He has always existed in my memory.

“Bir [brother in Haryanavi]”

“Where were you? Did not the Mafia abduct you at Mughal Sarai?”

“They did. I escaped and never felt like returning to Sansar, the Time-World. I met George in Bhutan; he brought me here.”

We hugged,I eighty-two-year elder and he, a fourteen-year kid brother. I gave him the picture postcard:
“Dear Sudhir, Ever since I shipped myself via Llyod Tristano’s ‘Asia’ from Bombay to Genoa,I have longed for that glimpse of Eternity as mer and moon fore-played and the ‘Asia’ skirted the Island of Capri in the Mediterranean! I threw my wristwatch into the gentle sea, sort of offering from a Time’s creature –Jitendra”

I am packing for my eighth sabbatical leave at eighty-nine. Finally, I am going to Madagascar. I shall meet Luciano and read out to him my story!

What happened to Sushma Swaraj’s Stratagem to supplant Modi? By Jitendra Kumar Sharma*

Sushma, before renouncing elective politics, mustered courage and cunningly annoyed Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. She contrived to amend the rule that required a woman to produce a ‘No Objection Certificate’ from her husband for getting a passport to travel abroad. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been denying NOC to Jashodabehn, his deserted wife. Jashodabehn was hapless and could do nothing against the Ministry of External bureaucrats who had rejected her passport application for this reason alone. Sushma amended the rule and Jashodabehn is now free to apply and get her passport without her husband, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s NOC. This ‘act of courage’ shall keep her distinctly in focus if and when the time to replace Modi does arrive. She will be in the race for the top post without her even trying!

WHAT IS THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE?

 Know then thyself, presume not God to scan
The proper study of Mankind is Man.   –Alexander Pope
 
 
Whether Man is central to the scheme of Universe is a question that different cultures have answered differently. For Christians, Man is created in the image of God and all other beings- fish, fowl, bird and beast- exist only for Man. For Hindus, Man is just one other being as is manifested by  Avatars took various forms - from fish to Lord Krishna with Narasimha [Man-Animal] in between.  Humanism, with its emphasis on Perfection through knowledge  regards Man at the very center of things. Now scientists are asking and answering the questions philosophers have been posing, adding more, albeit, very interesting confusion to the debate.
 

Brando Carter was perhaps, the first to propose “anthropic principle” in 1973 at a symposium held in Kraków, Poland as a part of celebrations on Copernicus’ 500th birthday. He proclaimed: “humanity does hold a special place in the universe after all”. In his Paper, “Large Number Coincidences and the Anthropic Principle in Cosmology”, he observed: “Although our situation is not necessarily central, it is inevitably privileged to some extent”

 
 
In Philosophy, the anthropic principle basically postulates that "If something must be true for us, as humans, to exist; then it is true simply because we exist."  Or, any valid theory of the universe must be consistent with our existence as carbon-based human beings at this particular time and place in the universe.
 

According to Wikipedia, “the proponents of the anthropic principle suggest that we live in a fine-tuned universe, i.e., a universe that appears to be “fine-tuned” to allow the existence of life as we know it.” It has been argued that the anthropic principle will explain the physical constants such as the number of dimensions in the universe, and other cosmological constants.

The values of one or two of nature’s fundamental constants, if slightly changed or get slightly different, then, we will have altogether a different world, or Universe. For example, if the strengths of forces that hold atoms together were slightly different, one possible consequence might be that the Earth’s oceans would freeze. Water — basic element to sustain life — is unique in its property to be lighter as a solid than as a liquid. Therefore, ice sheets float and form an insulating layer that stops the deeper waters from freezing. Had water lacked this property then the primordial oceans would never have stayed liquid long enough for life to evolve. And, logically, we would not be here to ponder over our fate and fortune or read or write this essay!

This is the essence of the anthropic principle. It starts from the fact of our existence and then argues that the precise properties of the universe that emerged from the big bang had to be those that made the emergence of humans inevitable. The unique and peculiar properties of water depend on a precise fine-tuning of the fundamental constants. Why are these constants just right? Because, if they weren’t we wouldn’t be here, that is, to favor our existence.

There are many other fine tunings. Take Carbon, which is also essential for life. It is made in stars by the fusion of three helium atoms. It is by an extraordinary “coincidence” in the resonant energies of helium, beryllium, and carbon that stars make a profusion of carbon. Change it by just 0.0001 per cent and there shall be no carbon. And NO MAN!

 Stephen Hawking suggests that our universe is not as ‘special’ as the anthropic principle proposes.  Hawking puts a 98% chance for a universe like ours to result from a Big Bang. Or, it is even possible for it to come out of nothing. His new theories are being debated but earlier, Hawking himself asked: “ Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?”

The anthropic principle discounts theoretical explanations for the precise values of the fundamental constants. They are what they are because we are. Its opponents debunk it because this principle disallows us from imagining other possible forms of life than our own. True, but imagine: If the weak force that binds atomic nuclei had been just a bit weaker, all hydrogen would have turned to helium without making any of the heavier elements. If the strong force had been a bit stronger, the universe would not even have had any atoms. A very fine balance of constants it is that make the Universe, Man and the “Anthropic Principle” tick. [750 words Approximately]

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ENLIGHTENMENT IS BEYOND MIND https://www.amazon.com/s?k=The+Prime+Minister+and+His+Robot+Wife&i=stripbooks-intl-ship&ref=nb_sb_noss Click Above Kindle &Paperback Editions at Amazon.com The Prime Minister and His Robot Wife

What is Enlightenment? Can it be attained or it just happens? Is it in the realm of being or becoming? Can it be achieved collectively or is it peculiar to an individual? Is an enlightened being different from ordinary beings? Can, or to what extent, accomplishments of the mind be construed as a form of enlightenment? Or, is Enlightenment really beyond mind? These are questions of perennial philosophy and have never been answered definitively. Perhaps, on the mundane level, Enlightenment is seeking rather than finding, far less it is keeping and possessing.

We live in a scientific age but science and scientists have not enlightened us much on Enlightenment. Though, as Science advances, the distinction between matter and mind is becoming blurred and indistinct. And, enlightenment is increasingly being understood in terms of consciousness rather than in terms of individual or collective achievements of the mind. We of speak of “enlightened society” or “enlightened persons” but these phrases have very limited meaning and contexts. Enlightenment is coextensive with Consciousness which, like the Universe is ever expanding. True enlightenment is a kind of self- realization, a spiritual fulfillment, beyond the dimension of space and time. And, the poets and saints have dared reach for a glimpse of that which lies beyond Time. T.S.Eliot, for instance, in his Four Quartets tells us:

Time past and time present

Allow but a little consciousness.

To be conscious is not to be in time

But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden

…. ..involved with past and future

Only through time time is conquered.

Is enlightenment, then, total consciousness? How can such a state of being be sustained? Words, after all, are spoken and written in time and space and, hence , are incapable of capturing and expressing the moment [or is it eternity?] of total or universal consciousness or moment of self realization where time and the timeless interpenetrate and leave the realizing self configured into another pattern so that the Enlightened One experiences the Now and Here at the same time as it experiences Never and Nowhere:

Words move, music moves Only in time; but that which is only living Can only die. Words, after speech, reach Into the silence.

[T.S. Eliot ]

That is why the yogis, or the enlightened ones do not speak about their enlightenment. That which is beyond space and time, cannot be put into words. Language is a creation of the Mind and Enlightenment remains beyond the Mind’s grasp.

We cannot, however, totally disregard the concept and view of Enlightenment that provided impetus to “ an intellectual movement and cultural atmosphere which developed in western Europe during the seventeenth and reached its height in the eighteenth century”. The name given to this movement was Enlightenment and its common element was a belief in the efficacy of Reason. Reason, according to Godwin, Descartes, Voltaire, Diderot, Leibniz, Immanuel Kant, would lead man to Enlightenment , that is, “The Light of Reason”. Kant , in his famous essay “What is Enlightenment” published in 1784 defined it as “ the liberation of mankind from his self-caused state of minority.” In other words, Mind when fully developed makes Reason prevail or Universal Reason synonymous with “ fully developed Mind”.

Allied to this “Light of Reason” or Eighteenth Century European Enlightenment is Deism that eschews all “ revealed religions”, including Christianity. Deists’ rely on “universal human reason” for creating universal truths and values and for liberating the whole mankind from false and narrow beliefs. In other words, “ there is a deity, discoverable by reasoning from the creation to the creator, who sanctions all moral values and deserves our worship”. Alexander Pope, renouncing Catholicism, expressed the basic deistic tenet in “The Universal Prayer”

Father of all in every age, In every clime adorned By saint, by savage, and by sage, Jehovah, Jove or Lord.

In Modern Western Tradition Knowledge is equated , if not identified with Consciousness till the Existentialists like Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Kierkegaard,Heidegger, Husserl, Merlau-Ponty, Karl Jaspers toward mid-twentieth century became concerned with the questions of positing the individual as a “conscious being” in the phenomenal world. Absurdity rather than meaning they encountered in Existence that “precedes” Essence. Therefore, one must make “ conscious choices” in order to authenticate one’s individual existence which can at the most be a series or concatenation of conscious choices in moments of crisis. Kierkegaard questioned Reason and Reasoning and reversed Descarte’s proposition:

“ I think, therefore, I am” to “I am, therefore, I think”.

Existentialist Enlightenment, then, is an enlarging and heightening of disillusionment with established norms and bourgeois existence of routine life where Nine to Five pattern of life has a boring ,deadening and killing effect on an individual being’s consciousness. Existentialist living demands individual and collective or historical consciousness and choices made often against one’s own grain, a kind of continued renewal of “ being” in “acts of becoming” and “intense living”. Existentialists emphasize Experience rather than Knowledge for conscious and enlightened living which is a form of “disillusionment” forcing an individual to invent his own meaning in an absurd meaningless universe.

In both secular and religious western traditions, however, Knowledge and Reason, resulting from the development of the mind receive emphasis. Objective reality, its penetration through active mind is the way to enlightenment and even perfection in history. Christian Humanism and Scientific Method both rely on Knowledge: Science in the acts of discovery and invention, Christian Humanism in the form of good moral conduct and belief in the anthropocentricity or centrality of the Human Being in the Chain of Being. Man is the Center of the Universe and all things and beings, fish or fowl, birds or animal exist for Man’s enjoyment. But man, endowed as he is with a moral faculty, will prevail over his baser self, finally do good and not merely avoid evil. All humanists, Christian or secular believe that Man shall triumph and the Nobel Prize Winner, novelist William Faulkner articulated their belief when he said : “Man Shall Prevail”. Development of the Mind, in other words, is the way to Enlightenment for all mankind.

In the twentieth century new strands of thought made possible by mingling of races, civilizations and traditions , have changed our view of Enlightenment. As early as 1725, Vico challenged the view about the “primitive man” which , according to him, was far from being “savage”; it had the characteristic of the “poetic wisdom”[sapienza poetica] and is not less but more enlightened than the so-called “rational” or “civilized” man. Only, the ‘primitive mind” comprehends reality by symbols, metaphors, myths instead of describing it in reasoned prose. Not the secrets of Physics but the mysteries of Metaphysics are the subjects of his exploration. Perception, conscious discourse, epiphany or “sudden spiritual manifestation” currently have become part of the academic and humanist endeavors as tools of enlightenment. Yet, linguists and anthropologists such as Franz Boaz, Edward Sapir, Levi-Strauss have made us aware that “human beings do not live in the objective world alone, nor alone in the world of social activity as ordinarily understood, but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society”. Since Language has been created by Human Mind, one is a prisoner of the language , as the title of Fredric Jameson’s book “The Prison-House of Language” would suggest and, hence, of the Mind.

Along with these trends, we have the increased visibility of Godmen like Mahesh Yogi to Rajnish developing techniques of meditation, modes of living and establishing Retreats and Ashrams for their followers or seekers of “Instant Nirvana” for the rich of the world and “unhappy hordes” everywhere. But serious thinkers like Aldous Huxley, T.S. Eliot, Hermann Hesse have explored the traditions of the East, predominantly Zen and Indian traditions in which “darshan”, “revelation”, “self-surrender”, merging of smaller identity with universal self form part or various stages of Enlightenment. In the Indian Tradition, Knowledge is a form of Ignorance rather than a ladder to the Tower of Enlightenment. An Enlightened Being shuts himself from the World of Mind and Senses and transcends to a Reality where words are not valid, distinctions dissolve and moment becomes timeless as the drop becomes ocean when the rain falls over the vast seas. Earlier Chinese traditions of Tao and Confucius emphasized codes of moral conduct rather than realization of the self or universal consciousness for becoming an enlightened person.

In the Vedant and Upanishads, Hindu rishis explored regions of Consciousness and described three stages of human awareness as “Awakening”, “Dreaming”, and “Deep Sleep” , summed up in the “imperishable sound”- “AUM”. A totally aware, self-realized being is like a “being in deep , dreamless sleep”, with no distinction between “Being” and “Nothing”. But for most of us, only partial consciousness or “Awakening” or “Dreaming” is possible. A glimpse of all these stages of consciousness is possible through Meditation. But when the self returns to the work-a-day world, what happens to the enlightened experiencer ? About this there are many interesting anecdotes. One of them is about a Chinese wood cutter who suddenly became famous for being a ‘realized soul’. People swarmed his hut and waited for him to come out duly in awe of the ‘Enlightened One’. The wood cutter came out with his axe and a piece of rope as usual and looked somewhat surprised to see so many people at his door.

“Your Holiness, You have become a realized soul, you are The Enlightened One. So we have heard”.

“Maybe, but right now I am going to the forest for my daily work”, and he walked to the woods.

Sidharatha , after he had become the Buddha, the Enlightened One, laughed to his heart’s content when an elder from his own hometown asked him: “What knowledge did you gain after your tapas or long meditation and penance under the Bodhi Tree?”. Replied Gautum the Buddha: “ Nothing that I did not know when I left Kapilvastu”. [About 1650 words.]

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