Sunday, March 17, 2013

Preach what you can practice

This blog entry should have, in actual, been published three weeks back, when I was still fuming. Better late than never.

On February 22nd, 2013, I had the honour of representing the bank where I work in the Kerala Management Association's Young Manager's Contest 2013. Our four member team bagged the second runner-up position, sharing it with Wonderla Holidays Pvt Ltd.

From the onset, when the four member team was formed from aspirants spread across the country, we were set upon winning it for the bank. We talked to many people - industry experts, past contestants and were told to expect tough competition and not be shocked by the end result. And we were also asked to look out for Mr. S R Nair. Once the name popped up, we were keen to know who he was. Thanks to Google and the World Wide Web, soon we had enough info on him. His blog, S R Nair's Blog, gave us a insight into what we were to expect. A professional turned entrepreneur, as he himself claims, had views on everything happening around the world, be it business, politics, religion, sports or society. We were awed by what we saw and were a little concerned on what to expect during the finals, for which he happened to be a regular member of the judging panel (so we were told).

I don't want to talk about what happened during the finals of the KMA Young Manager's Contest 2013. It's best if we let that untouched. But what I want to say happened a week later, at the closing ceremony of the KMA Management Week. Held on 27th February 2013 at the Avenue Center Hotel, Cochin, it was also to be the presentation ceremony for the winners of the KMA-YMC 2013. And as informed, we reported to the venue at 6.30 P.M. Mr. S R Nair, who also happens to  be the President of KMA, was prominently seated on the dais. He opened with his speech of Kerala, on the theme of this year's Managment Week, beating a bush here and there, and making attempts at lightening the mood with his (attempts at) jokes.

Seated among the honoured guests on the dais was the director of one of the better known B-Schools of Kerala, who happened to be one of the sponsors for this year's management week. He too was one among the speakers on the occasion. Accordingly, when his turn came, he walked up to the podium and began his talk. The speaker was a holder of a Doctorate. The audience also had around 50 or more of his students.

A few minutes into his speech, Mr. S R Nair used his dais microphone to interrupt him, reminding him in full public that the doctor had 2 minutes to wind up his speech! Hearing this, my jaw dropped. I felt embarrassed on behalf of the poor speaker. And exactly two minutes later, the President again donned the microphone and told him loudly that his time is up!

For me, this was the height of insult. To be interrupted and asked to stop by the host when he was one among the invited guests. That too by a so man who cribbed in his blog in April 2012 that he was invited and insulted by one of the biggest TV Show hosts in Malayalam.Such hypocrites people can be! Now, when I look back, the most he has done in his blog is crib and complain about people and their lives. Some people live in the belief that they are so perfect and gifted that they have a right to criticize anyone and everyone and whatever they do or say is always right. Yes, everybody has the right to speech and the freedom of speech is of utmost importance but it should not be at the expense of others' rights and dignity. And it would be much better if people practiced what they preach. As for Mr. S R Nair, all I've to say is, What Goes Around, Comes Around.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

For the love of Freedom...

How much does a couple of packs of cigarette cost? A bottle of beer at your favourite pub? A coffee from CCD? A lip gloss by Maybelline? Are you ready to spare an equal amount, as a one time thing, towards the protection of freedom?

For those of you who have the habit of Googling things, you would have noticed that, in most of the cases, one of the top 10 search results would be a link to Wikipedia (or one of its sister websites). Recently, Wikipedia has put up a new pop-up banner in their site. It goes like this -

Dear Wikipedia readers: We are the small non-profit that runs the #5 website in the world. We have only 150 staff but serve 450 million users, and have costs like any other top site: servers, power, rent, programs, and staff. Wikipedia is something special. It is like a library or a public park. It is like a temple for the mind, a place we can all go to think and learn. To protect our independence, we'll never run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations averaging about Rs. 1500. If everyone reading this gave Rs. 100, our fundraiser would be done within an hour. If Wikipedia is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year. Please help us forget fundraising and get back to Wikipedia. Thank you.

If you believe in the freedom of speech; the idea that information should be available without boundaries or curbs or limitations by the law, please do your bit for keeping the Wiki group sites running. The fight for freedom doesn't always require loud, flashy slogans or protests in the streets. Sometimes, all it requires is a few clicks.

Here are the different Ways to Give.