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India Awaken! The world needs you…

A recent article (in French) from Belgian news site “L’Express” summarises a growing acceptance in the scientific community that India is the cradle of humanity as we know it. Prof. Tejraj M. Aminabhavi, winner of the Nikkei Asia 2013 prize, summarises the various contributions that have been fundamental to the evolution of humanity.  Briefly,

Maths: India is where Zero, Infinity and Pi (Indian mathematician to first estimate pi correctly using infinite series known today as the Leibniz series) where discovered, it also set the basis for algebra, arithmetic, trigonometry, and many other concepts crucial to modern technology.

Medicine: Ayurveda is the most ancient medical practice in the world, it’s ancient text detail advanced notions in Anatomy, Embryology, Physiology, Genetics, Psychology, as well as information on the Immune system, the digestive apparatus and metabolism.   Furthermore, Sushruta is the first surgeon to operate with anaesthetics

Metaphysics & Astronomy:  Did you think gravity was discovered by Isaac Newton?  I did, that is what I was thought at school, at college, and everywhere really… well not quite, it was known to the Indians 1000 years earlier, mathematician Brahmagupta noted that “Bodies fall towards the earth as it is in the nature of the earth to attract bodies, just as it is in the nature of water to flow.” The Earth’s circumference, that it revolves around the Sun, the origin of the Universe as well as some modern Cosmological theories for the Universe… the list just goes on.
Astronomical tables for stellar movements across the skies may have already been computed 4500 years before they where discovered by western astronomers. Indian Astronomy has many first to its name, something hard to believe today.

Languages: India is not only the repository of the first languages spoken by mankind, but it gave the world many of its modern language concepts.

And much more… from religion (4 major world religions come from India, possibly even Jesus Christ may have got his teaching from India.  Yoga, Meditation, modern concept of  Consciousness.

India was the largest economy in the World for over a 1000 years before its colonisation and eventual cultural and economic destruction by Britain.

There once was a land, today known as India, source of knowledge, source of growth and development, power-house of economic strength and beacon of light for humanity.  This fact is no longer a question.  So today we can only ask, What if she awakens again from her slumber?  Imagine what India’s revival could gift the world?  A world torn by strife, hunger, war, and divided and in need to enlightenment.

India Awaken! Indian Awaken! India Awaken!

Stop Acid Attacks on Women

Stop Acid Attacks.org is fighting to raise more awareness for this horrendous crime on women. Shame on our society to raise and harbour such coward men.
Spot  of Shame is a yearly campaign to remember women that have succumbed to such attacks.  Here are the next events  in various towns and cities across India:

Delhi: Khan Market, 22 Jan 2014
Mumbai: Bandra Station, 25 Jan 2014
Kanpur: Nawabganj, 27 Jan 2014
Unnao: 28 Jan 2014
Lucknow: 29 jan
Chennai: 30 Jan (At Eliot’s beach, Besant Nagar, opposite Barista coffee shop).
Agara : 01 Feb
Panipat : 03 Feb.
Meerut : 05 Feb.

India among top ten countries where slavery is prevalent

30 million salves in the world

Slave labour has been officially outlawed worldwide for over a century in many countries and more recently in the last decade a number of western and African nations have made official apologies for their role in the salve trade.  However, it is estimated that close to 30 million people worldwide are still living under various forms of modern salve labour.

A recent article in The Indian Express ranks India in 4th category worldwide where salvery is still prevalent.  It is interesting to note that India is considered to have one of the best anti-slavery laws in the world, but due to poor enforcement of the laws, the practice prevails.  India has also the dubious record of the highest bondage-labour in the world, with half of the world’s salve labour population being in India.  The salient points highlighted by the article are:

* With an estimated 13.9 million slaves, India is home to almost half the world’s slave population.
* Almost all forms of slavery are prevalent, ranging from inter-generational bonded labor to sex trafficking, child labor and forced marriage.
* Experts say India has excellent anti-slavery laws but enforcement is sporadic and inconsistent. It remains one of the few nations not to have ratified the Worst Forms of Child Lab our Convention.

International Conference on Business Social Partnership

Syllogic Consultants participated at the 2nd International Conference on Business Social Partnership organised by the ISOL foundation that promote spiritual values in businesses. The conference was held from 7-9th September at the Delhi University and saw a range of topics discussed.
We presented a paper on enabling sustainable business practices in Indian SMEs, which was warmly received by the participants as most of the topics concentrated on corporate businesses rather than small enterprises.  We were further felicitated for our on-the-ground work in making a real impact towards achieving sustainable development in rural communities.  You may review our presentation below.

We also submitted a research paper on our work which will be published in the conference proceedings.

Beautiful Delhi Flora

I was recently in the capital to attend a conference on the value-based management practices inspired from India’s spiritual heritage.  I came to the city with a certain apprehension based on the many media stories surrounding the recent attacks on women as well as a sense of shame from its leaders who are not able to take a firm stance in the face of these most horrific events.  Delhi, a city of rapist, Delhi a city of misogynist, Delhi capital of all that is shameful and ugly in the Indian man.  So it was with a pleasant and refreshing outlook that I discovered a city that is much more than what the recent media has painted it to be.  From its most efficient and luxurious metro service, to its colourful fauna and its love of arts, I found Delhi to be a grand old-lady that is striving to rejuvenate itself.

Yesteryear Ambassador parked on the road side.

My first encounters with Delhi in the mid-2000s was one of heritage of a glorious past with beautiful architecture, spacious roads and a love of antique monuments preserved neatly behind manicured lawns.  The Delhi I found today inspired in me an image of an island in north India aspiring to modernity under attack from forces of obscurantism that try to stop her relentless march forward.  Taking the world-class metro service on a daily basis to attend the my conference in Delhi University, I was surprised by the beauty of Delhi women and their sense of dressing.  Being a Frenchman and having worked and travelled in countless European capitals, I have come to appreciate the sense of dressing that Parisian woman display, often regarded as epitomising women beauty in Europe.  I can say that Delhi women have nothing to envy to their Parisian counterparts.  Their sense of dressing at times took my breath away, simple, elegant and detailed down to the shoes and accessories, yet not loud.  Sri Aurobindo, a great Indian seer, talks of the importance of looking after our bodies, of dressing it with care, for he champions the idea that the body is a living temple of the Divine.  Delhi women are beautiful temples.

I Touch a face and it murders me

Of course, one may argue that my perception is a skewed selection effect of the metro’s flora, and no I am not mistaking with the fauna, I mean the flora, for surely Delhi should treat its women like an ardent garndener, with love and tenderness. What would be mankind without the love of women. 

On my last day, the conference ending early, I whiled my spare time with a visit to the Delhi Art Galley in Haus Kaas, coming across one of its artist on display, Amitava, I was startled by a canvas painted back in 1989 which expressed with distinct clarity the essence of the feeling of violence that Delhi inflicts on its women.  The painting was titled “I Touch A Face And Suddenly It Murders Me”.

Artist are no different to scientist, they too seek to describe the world, only the language differs.

Leaving Delhi to return to my south Indian home, I reaslised that the changes Delhi is going through, its modernisation, love of art and heritage, and an aspiration by its women to be beautiful can only reflect a deeper sub-conscious and latent aspiration of a city striving to sustain its glorious past while embracing the future.  It will take time for the men to learn to respect and love the contribution of woman to this world, but it is ironic that behind such shameful and careless men lie a mother that has spoilt her male-child, and so it is important that women too take responsibility and change the way men are brought up in our society.

People actually queue in the crowded metro stations, a first in India!
It is surprising the number of peddle rickshaws that ply the small streets of the older city
An other pleasant surprise is the introduction of electric shared autos
Always a lemon juice vendor on the crowsded street corners

A look at life

An interesting little post celebrating Calvin & Hobbes.

Bill Watterson retired from writing and drawing “Calvin & Hobbes” about 18 years ago, but the timelessness of his message — to always remain thoughtful, imaginative, and playful — will stick in our culture forever, if we’re lucky. Case in point: Cartoonist Gavin Aung Than, who pens comics on his blog Zen Pencils, created this tribute to Watterson that has struck a chord with the Internet over the last few days.

I think the cartoon speaks for itself, and an inspiration for all of us seeking to make a positive contribution to the world we live in.

The art of Green-(eye)-washing

Is Nike a green brand, or Nestle, or even Coca-Col, or for that matter Shell (an oil company)??? One wouldn’t really think so a priori.Yet, according to highly mediatised report by Interbrand, these are among the top 50 greenest brands in the world, or so they would like you to believe.

A new report by brand value management company Interbrand, a US based Media company that compiles reports on global companies.  The report, titled Best Global Green Brands 2013, has been conveniently marketed in world Media as the greenest brands in the world (see sample articles, here, here and here.

The methodology used in the above report is a little thin on details, although it contains the right vocabulary.  However, like all statistical analysis, much and anything can be conveyed and obtained from statistics, it all depends on how objective one is.  So without knowing who is sponsoring this report, it is difficult to evaluate its authenticity.  If you look at the clients of Interbrand (the company behind the report) many of them are global multinationals.

Another interesting aspect of this report is that it has only been applied to the top 100 global brands (selected in terms of brand value, economic profit, brand strength and role of brand) in other words we are talking about the most valued companies.  Top 50 Greenest brands are not the most sustainable brands, but rather the most sustainable of the most economically successful brands).
The nominees are drawn from Interbrand’s annual Best Global Brands report, which ranks the world’s 100 most valuable brands. (Quote from Interbrand report methodology.)
This finer point is conveniently left out of their Media report, letting consumers believe these are the greenest brands in the world.  So yet again, a lovely marketing eye wash that lets me believe that this report has been financed by top global brands as yet another exercise in Green-(eye)-washing.