Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Now that we are nearing the end of the term, let me reflect on a reading I really liked.. 'Weapons of the Weak'- . The weapons mentioned in this reading are visible only in highly intelligent life forms.( I guess worker-bees are not 'there' yet) . Our family once had a servant who was good at household chores. But whenever my mother tried to teach her a new recipe, she always feigned her ignorance at cooking. And if that didn't work, she used to subtly over-salt the dish so that we would never like it and ask her to cook it again. Really Smart, I say!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Reflecting on Naxal violence through Freire’s lens

Naxalism is one of the biggest problems affecting this nation. One of the reasons that no end seems at sight is because of the inability of the government and the naxals to enter into a dialogue. Both want to name the world in a way the other is not willing to accept. Both refuse dialogue for the fear that the other will use it to dominate. Also so caught up in the idea of revolution naxals are, that there is no reflection, just activism .The act of revolt has become more central than the cause.

The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself

Colochel war, fought between erstwhile Travancore and the Dutch resulted in the defeat of Dutch. They never recovered from the defeat and no longer posed a large colonial threat to India. The story goes that the fishermen in Travancore were ordered by the King to stand along the beach in multiple rows with their oars kept along the shoulders so that it would appear like soldiers with guns. It is said that this frightened the Dutch army and led to their failure. If the story is true, then this is an example of the ninth rule of tactics.


The exam season is just 2 days away.The entire janta is loaded with Herculean loads of assignments .But submittion of CAC poster came as real jolt to the entire batch.There were show -stoppers to the ordinaries(read me) in the batch who didnot know even how to draw a line.But then came some collective action within the whole batch as all of us shared ideas among ourselves. Also we got together to get our print outs in the computer centre by tendering a special request to the CC .All of us were found running from one room to another asking for this thing or that.The postors were finally ready early in the morning (some of us had finished making the posters in the night itself)after a late night binge and some collective action among the batch members .Though the posters were supposed to be made individually ,but the support and help of each of the class mates had gone into the making of each poster.The satisfaction of creating something was clearly visible on each of our faces as we put up the posters for display in the class room complex .The posters were appreciated by all.Our collective efforts had finally borne fruits.It was a rocking show .Great job PRM 30!!!!

An equation for success of a collective action

The equation for success of a collective action can be written as :


on reading this equation we can conclude that unless and until there is mutual self interest in responding to a shared threat, a successful collective action cannot come into existence. This can be proved by various examples. One being, on realising that the severe threat to earth's ecology would spell doom for all the countries alike, the respective governments have started meeting to decide about the plans for ecological conservation.


power is not only what you have

The first rule of power tactics talks about the difference between ‘power’ and ‘what it is made out to be’. It is a common sight in India, where right before elections, there is a mad rush to mobilize supporters for one’s own party. We see leaders in the hinterland trying to collect funds to get as many cars, vehicles, and even elephants for their campaign! All this is done just to show the opposition the strength of one’s support among the masses!

How effective all this is in the Indian context, is my question..



a contradict truth

in india lots of unsung hero happened. but no body knows them . but why on government expenditure  we glorify nehru family. why important institute on their name .when a army fight only people know the commander but a small soldier who makes the commander glorify. are we lacking a leader who comes from ground works? why looks a family for providing leadership ? we have to think ? are we so ineligible to do it ?

Chaebol: A form of Collective Entrepreneurship

The last reading in CAC, while talking on the topic of collective entrepreneurship, gives teh example of Chaebols. Chaebol is a conglomerate of multinationals in Korea, which brings together expertise from different fields to setup a common venture. However, they are generally spoken of as simply another form of crony capitalism, nothing but an arrangement between business houses, mostly owned by the same family. What this really leads to is a whole web of lies, forgery and cheating the common investor. This is an extreme example of a collective that could only harm the people outside the collective!

-rajat, 30029

naxalbari movement

naxalbari movement was initially started against the landlords to give back the peasants their land . but the movement lost its momentum in the due course and assumed a radical nature. today the naxalism which prevails throughout the country is taking a toll on the people.the tribal have assumed a bad state and the suppression by the state has resulted in greater loss than the benefits. so what were the reasons for the failure of his collective action? was his collective action for the good?

Cooperation between two countries!!!! India n Bangladesh...

The two countries’, have agreed on the need for “better cooperation” to contain cross-border transmission of communicable diseases. This will help Bangladesh side to learn from the expertise gained by India on curbing of communicable diseases. India has also offered, experts from Bangladesh to visit the testing centers developed by India.

Considering that the two countries have similar health related issues, mutual sharing of expertise, knowledge and information through cooperation will be useful for both the parties.Thus cooperation on a large scale will provide better health standards to the people of both the countries.

keep it going.. on and on!

The seventh rule of power tactics talks about 'keeping the pressure on' in situations where you are pitted against the odds,. However it would only be possible in cases where the tactics are moulded and remoulded with the changing times. Even with this, one cannot be sure about the purpose being solved. One example of this is the Greenpeace movement, where newer means of fighting for the purpose are taken up from time to time, however, no considerable movement has ben seen in terms of success towards the goal!
-rajat, 30029

What people can learn from how animals make collective decisions!!!!!

DICTATORS and authoritarians will disagree, but democracies work better. It has long been held that decisions made collectively by large groups of people are more likely to turn out to be accurate than decisions made by individuals. The idea goes back to the “jury theorem” of Nicolas de Condorcet, an 18th-century French philosopher who was one of the first to apply mathematics to the social sciences. Now it is becoming clear that group decisions are also extremely valuable for the success of social animals, such as ants, bees, birds and dolphins. And those animals may have a thing or two to teach people about collective decision-making.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Most people who hold an anti-reservation viewpoint claim that caste-based reservations are inherently opposed to merit. Slogans like “murder of merit” are common in the anti-reservation movement. I disagree with this point of view. After all, what is the definition of “merit” ? In India admission to educational institutions is primarily based on obtaining high scores in designated examinations. Can we seriously claim that these exams are truly accurate mechanisms for measuring merit ? To a certain extent, examinations in India do measure a candidate’s level of education, but to an even larger extent doing well in these exams depends on joining the right coaching classes and learning the appropriate exam-writing techniques. If, by “merit” we mean innate talent or ability, then our exam system fails miserably to measure it accurately.


At the end of this season of blogging, at least for me, I would like to draw your attention to the unconscious collective action in IRMA. This is collective waste of resources which includes electricity, food and water.
At least when all are concerned about the developmental activities for rural India, this is not expected.
So let us take new initiative and in next term start CAC (practical) and make ourselves proud.

Risk and Return in collective action

There is a trade off between risk and return. So a low risk taker will settle for low returns because of his incapability to undertake risks which in turn will hinder collective action.

Flaw in NSS survey regarding NREGS

NREGS is a collective action in which central and state government, people etc. come together. According to NSS survey only 1% of the rural youth is unemployed which implies NREGS is redundant. This survey is misleading as people employed are mainly farmers and work under the scheme when they are idle.

Means or ends???

William Shakespeare said,"All's well that end well". So, of all the cases in the world the end of everything decides weather it is good or bad. If some one have to achieve success in life, one have fix the goal and accordingly.
But by taking values, morals, ethics into account and count it more towards the spritual way then means definitely becomes the important factor. It's natural for everyone to look back at where they came from and want to show their struggles. This justifies the importance of means.
'True god is never acheived by the doing of evil"

Live, Lead & Dream -Imagine Leadership

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Leadership, Ethics and Values

My Name Is Khan - Protest failed..........

What happens when a collective action would have designed around a person’s command and he could not justify the cause to his followers? It all happened during the controversy with new released movie “My Name Is Khan” starring Mr. Khan. Chief of a political party was agitated because Mr. Khan, IPL Team owner criticized the fact of non inclusion of Pakistani cricketers. That agitated Mr. Chief and he decided to protest against him. But He failed to mobilize mass because of the cause of this protest was not accepted heartily by the followers and it resulted the failure of protest.

Indians For Collective Action

Collective Waste

How many of us actively participate in the class discussion? And how many of us are "zombis"? Majority of us remain passive in the class where there is a collective waste because of our non-participation while our duty is to actively participate and make professors life miserable. And it so happens that professors start questioning the credibility of few people who ask questions. And the silence on the part of majority of the class is taken as basis to drive home some points. By being indifferent to the happenings in the class, we are collectively letting the learning to go waste.

Shared Memories of Collective Action


Tragedy of Commons Revisited!!!

Organisations formed through collective action

Member based people's organisations are organisations of poor people which seek to improve their lot by collective action. It is so as collective action assures them the minimum right to subsistence by an increase in their bargaining power. Also these organisations have a few non poor members. They are important in the sense that they play the role of utilitarian in a collective action initiating the very process. Also every attempt is made to include large and large numbers of poor members into the governance structure so that the interest of the collective is served without subversion by anyone.

Not me

In a large group injustice is borne collectively, while there is a collective sense of resentment no one volunteers to take any action against this. there is always a waiting, waiting for someone to step forward and lead and take the responsibility , while the benefits accrue to all of them collectively. And what if that single person stands up? chances are he is either heard and after a long and tiring battle catalyses a change or he is brutally suppressed without a voice to appease a society which prefers silence to an uncomfortable truth.When will this 'not me 'attitude change to 'why not me', when this does take place then the society will be truly empowered.

When it rained Cats in Egypt.

The fourth rule of power tactics says," Make your enemy live upto their own rules". Now, I don't know if this story is truth or legend, but it sounds feasible. When the ancient egyptians were engaged in a battle with another army and were at the verge of victory, the General of the opposing army found out something. The Egyptians considered cats to be divine and would not dare hurt them. The Egyptians were rendered totally inactive later when they saw a barrage of cats approaching them from the enemy's side. The Egyptians became sitting ducks for the other army and lost eventually.
Many kingdoms have falllen due to their restrictive rules of engagement. What every nation must finally come to terms with is, when it comes to war, THERE ARE NO RULES.


Micro-finance institution work through the medium of SHG. here every member contributes a certain amount regularly. However SHGs get dismantled after some time; this is so as when even person does not make his/her payment, the others followsuit. The cooperation among members are sustained through Grim Trigger Strategy where everybody cooperates as long as everybody does and defect forever when one of them does. This is so as people are repeatedly facing same collective action problem.

Everything is ethical????

'Ethics ethics everywhere, not an ethical example in sight..' first rule to justify, second rule to justify....nineth rule to justify and god knows which rule to justify. one wonders after studying all these 'rules' whether there is something called ethical left or not. if each and every action has a reason then i wonder if we can pronounce any one guilty at all for 'each one will teach one'. Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg had a reason to plead not guilty too!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

‘Win-win’ or ‘just win’?

In most of the collective actions, the stakeholders are concerned with the benefits to the group they belong to. How much more time stakeholders need to spend in rhetoric’s of so called ‘win-win’ situations and bluff the society, whereas in reality stakeholders spend most of their time on just ‘win’?
How do stakeholders define the “WE’? Are the stakeholders are sensitized enough to think about the world as a whole and work for ‘real’ win-win solutions? I think the problem of global warming will force the stakeholders to find the real ‘win-win’ situations.

Is dissecting Ethics ethical??

Ethics was dissected in our CAC class. It was put into rules which said why and when ethics will be prioritized and circumstances where it will not be. Our education system has been. trying to teach and induce ethical values into us. Practicing ethics requires sheer will and self-control. Isn't it by portraying ethics as mere cause and effect of circumstances demeaning to individuals who have very high ethical standards and practice it in every circumstances.

breakdown theory of collective action

Breakdown theory is the classic sociological explanation of contentious forms of collective action such as riots, rebellion, and civil violence. The theory says, these events occur when mechanisms of social control lose their restraining power. Researchers claimed that breakdown theory couldn’t account for societal events as they were then unfolding - the social movements and collective violence of the 1960s and 1970s, nor for newly collected historical data ending its dominance in 1970s. A new theory emerged to explain the anomalies. Resource mobilization theorists said collective action flows not from breakdown but from groups wing for political position and advantages.

Rising sugar prices... politics or economics???

Sugar prices have reached sky highin the last few months, a phenomenon not having occurred on such a large scale earlier. While the govt. is blaming the rising food and sugar prices an effect of inflation, we have got news of farmers burning their sugarcane for want of better prices and MSP amidst which we have news of the Mayawati Govt. not allowing UP sugar mills to take delivery of thousands of tonnes of raw sugar lying at kandla port. Politics or economics;what is the actual reason is the question to be pondered upon??

Why this double standard?

Why is there no effective collective action for flushing out the hoardes of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh inundating our country? Why the 'so-called' custodians of Marathis or Assamese remain silent on this issue? My question to them is why they don't act on this issue? They participate vigorously in beating and killing migrants from other states of India, who are very much our own countrymen, but they remain silent this influx. Instead of wasting their time and energy on attacking celebrities shouldn't they pressurize our government to do something on this issue. Isn't it pseudo-patriotism??


Thursday, February 11, 2010

I before WE,

The main reason behind the failure of collective action as we have been reading from day one is the existence of Ibefore We , when people fail to see the benefits of a group and solely focus on themselves there exists no possibility of a collective action. A single voice in a mass of humanity will fail to elicit any sought of response if it lacks the support of its society. As seen often in the case of victims of gross injustice who are either forced to retract from their stand or have to pay a heavy penality because they dared to speak up. Why does this happen? becauce despite knowing their plight and knowing that they are right , the society for its own selfish reason fails to support them and in some cases also go against them, as seen in the bhanwari rape case. What is wrong here , is it the lack of awareness among the people about sticking together? or is humanity dead nowadays and I is the only human existing in everyone?

Honour killings: Collective action against life?

We often come across news reports of honour killings in various parts of the country. The various members of a particular caste or a community get together and mete out punishments to such couples who dare to break the laws of the “collectives” (read love or marry outside the community). The latter are quick to be branded as offenders and there is collective consent to their being banished from the community or even being killed. Are the “laws” put forward by a collective, more important than an individual’s life? I am searching for an answer.

Individual Vs Collective Entrepreneur

Since when we have been given the task of Blog writing we talk more about collective action and co-operation. But we almost all participants of PRM must have gone through the cases of collective action and co-operation in the villages where we went for around 2 months in Field Work segment.
What i saw in my village was something unique. Before going to fieldwork I had seen different entrepreneurs who were working individually. But in the village where i went for field work in Uttarakhand, i saw the people shifting from individual entrepreneur to collective entrepreneurship. It was done for having better livelihood and more incentive that individual cost. The collective entrepreneurship was done to promote Eco-tourism in that area.
I saw the fruitful impact of action.
Don't you think this is the need of rural India; particularly those people living on lower side of socio-economic spectrum if they want to have a better and enhanced livelihood?

Inclination for collective action

Why is that the collective action takes place easily for emergency and destructive purposes? Why people are not able to combine their efforts and collectively for a betterment or progressive cause? Is it the problem to see long term benefits of the collective action or is it that people want to involve them and vent out frustration through performing aggressive things in life? How the vision and persuasive skills of initiators shape the future of the collective action? The more I am thinking to find out answers, I am getting more questions into my mind.

Learning CAC & UO together

In the class of CAC we were taught about the "Means & Ends" & "Tactics". In that lecture we learned about life and how we live, it is the story of means and ends. The end is what we think, and means is how we get it. whenever we think about social change, we think only of the actual resources and possibilities of various choices of action. we ask of ends only whether they are achievable and worth the cost; of means, only whether they will work.
In today's UO lecture we were taught about " Learning Organization" & "Organization Learning".
I believe that these two are also related to Means & Ends.
Do you also believe the same as i do?

SRK vs Shiv Sena: Collective action totally uncalled for

The recent protests by the Shiv Sena supporters, which have been rocking Bombay for the past few days, show how collective action can be used to quell the basic rights of the citizens. Shah Rukh Khan was perfectly within his rights to favour the inclusion of Pakistani and Australian players in IPL 3, Shiv Sena’s decision of not allowing his new film to be released in Bombay, till he retracts his statement, speaks volumes of highhandedness collectivities, tend to show. This is to the extent of denying a citizen his fundamental right of expression. Collective action sometimes can be totally uncalled for!

Tactics to fight corruption

Tactics is what you can with what you have. A good example is from Movie MUNNABHAI MBBS where an old man applied tactics to give everything including his clothes to a government employee in full public galore in reply to bribe demanded to start his pension. As all of you know, to avoid the further public embarrassment the government employee started the pension of the old man immediately after the incident.
Can we find these kinds of tactics to fight corruption in day to day life??

The atmosphere is a common property!

As Ms Sunita Narain said in her lecture that you cannot stop the goat from entering the forest until the benefits of not entering are equally divided, the question comes as how to have the collective action and cooperation with the rich countries so as to save ourselves in long term!

How do we ensure the equitable distribution of costs and benefits?

"Live-in Relationships and Dowry - Should we or shouldnt we?"

If you thought that being in a live-in relationship would save you from being punished for demanding 
order that can expand the rights of women in live-in alliances, the Supreme Court has 
turned down the plea of Koppisetti Subbarao who had disputed the dowry charge pressed by his live-in partner on the ground that they were not married. 


"Indians who wish to return from PoK are welcome", this statement by the defence minister in the wake of terrorist groups reorganizing their operations and meetings convey different messages to the Indian as well as to the rest of the world. Is it a step in the process of a collective effort to reduce the terror attacks or to send a signal signalling that we are ready to face any consequences. Here , the means are still not really clear in justifying the end of eliminating terrorist attacks in that region. The main problem could be even the terrorists can come back and settle down in India. So, was this a good tactic deployed by Mr. P.chidambaram ?


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Uru the Awakener

In the story, Uru was an Awakener in all the villagers he visited except one. There he was a Disappointer. Isnt it because of the failure on part of the villagers that the Awakening didnt happen there? I feel its because of lack of incentive for collective action among the villagers that they failed to realize the Awakening. Moreover as Uru said it is the villagers who know what is the best for them, not an external person. Isnt it why we are emphasizing more on participative development of the villagers now?

Collective action by Brokers

Today I was going through the book “maharaja of business” which was about the success stories of the various businessmen. In that I read about one incident in 1982 in which collective action of group of various small brokers (FRIENDS OF RELIANCE) under the leadership of Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani, were succeeded in defeating the mal intentions of one Marwari trader to artificially create the decline in stock prices. Can‘t it be called collective action???

Is it necessary that collective action is only for marginalized section of society?

Note: The decline of Reliance Stock prices would have affected millions of small retail investors.

Black side of collective action

Valentine's Day is just round the corner. And it won’t be late before we start reading about couples being harassed by “keepers of Indian culture”. This seems to be the one most disgusting face of collective action wherein the political parties unleash the hoodlum a.k.a party supporters. The collectivities of the moral police try to protect the traditional Indian culture, by damaging property and humiliating people. But in doing so, they tend to forget the tradition old Indian culture of tolerance towards other cultures. An example of the black side of collective action.

Collective action vs. Collective action

I am reminded of an incident which took place in far off Odisha, when I was working in a bank. The BJD had called for a Bandh in Odisha and its supporters went on a rampage and forced shopkeepers to down their shutters. However, things were to take a “U” turn in a particular area. Shopkeepers in that area came together and took the battle to the enemy camp and the bandh enforcers had to beat a retreat. A beautiful example of collective action for the better against that for the worse.


Farmer suicides are a common sight in our newspapers. However, these suicides are mostly committed by well-to-do farmers who try to diversify their cropping patterns in the direction of cash crops. These well-to-do farmers do have considerable amount of social recognition and this prevents them from seeking support from external sources in the hour of crisis. Lack of support coupled with social prestige leads to isolation. Once, a person is isolated from the society, he is already dead from the inside! This isolation hinders the process of collective action of similar farmers in times of crisis.

My Take on Means and Ends

Means and ends debate may not always have morally right answers. Many chose morally wrong means to be on the right end. The right end can be defined as the individual benefit or collective benefit they are going to get.U see a footballer deliberately pretending on a football field to get a penalty kick for his team and questioning some of the means adopted by naxalites for the rights of the people who have been deprived of these by the state.The ground situation,past history and future benefits of a collective action in the above cases arguably justify the means adopted.


the first tactic as put forward by saul alinsky is a representation of age old wisdom of power perception . An interesting example from nature which is true with regard to this rule is that of a spider which paralyses its victim by its sheer presence , maybe the victim had a chance to escape had it not been intimidated by the spider's sheer presence .this is true of many people around us, we tend to submit to them just because we percieve them as being superior to us beacuse of their physical appearence or traits , when the reality is they may not be as powerful as they seem to be.

Rama, Krishna and Collective Action

I have liitle knowledge and even lesser belief in mythology. These mythological figures might have created a collective action in the distant past if ever ? I live in present and I would like to talk aboiut the effect of these revered figures on the psyche of the people and the kind of collective action taking place in their name. Some not so pious examples :
1. Ayodhya movement and demolition of Babari Structure.
2. Genocide in Gujarat.
3. Riots against christians in Orissa.
4. Proliferation of chauvinist forces like Ram Sene etc...
I do not find the courage nor the inclination to look in the past to search for the glorious examples of collective action by Gods.

India and Pakistan.. time to talk?? or still time???

The recent attempt by Indian Gov. to get talking to Pakistan once again has raised many eyebrows in India and abroad, especially in the backdrop of the Jehadi council meeting in POk and amidst claims that such talks are being done under pressure from USA. What needs to be seen that whether both the nations are ready to accommodate each other views and not attach any precondition to talk, and be open minded and flexible . The people of both nations want development and progress, but are that possible amidst such levels of mistrust and suspicion

seva (self less service ) a comments ..................

The commitment of ‘I want to do it, come what may’, brought in a wave of liveliness one can feel it.
Over the years, many, many people suddenly come alive with smiles and enthusiasm, ready to help and serve… Their tiredness and fatigue just dissolve like an early morning mist which simply evaporates as the sun rises. The immense joy and fulfillment that one gets by doing something for other people, by lending a helping hand is simply unparalleled and doing Seva (self less service ) can be quite an addiction ?

Seva - Lending a Helping Hand
Seva - Lending a Helping Hand
The energy and the inspiration are always there for the taking, you only need to care!
But unfortunately many, many people have a limited and myopic idea of Seva.
For most people, Seva is normally limited to going to a slum or a village and clean the gutters and roads, or giving money to a beggar (and feeling good about it), or giving away old clothes (and making space for new ones), or donating blood or going to an orphanage and spending time with the kids there, or feeding people, or merely wearing a red ribbon at an AIDS charity concert, etc (With a few exceptions, many celebs have mastered doing this kind of politically correct Seva). This kind of Seva typically increases the dependency of the people who are being “helped” on the “helper” and is done out of a feeling of pity and no belongingness at all.
Seva of course, is all this, but it can be much, much more.
First and foremost one can realize that every soul on this planet is desperately yearning for peace and fulfillment. This, it can get, only through the Knowledge of the Self. through the process of giving love and care  . Making THAT happen would be the ultimate Seva. Because now when  this  actions is done out of genuine compassion and care for people. And making them self sufficient, not dependent and obligated.
how we empower people to experience profound peace, unconditional love and enthusiasm and sustain those. This in turn allows people to be good and creatively do good, to achieve success with minimal or no stress and to celebrate and live life to its fullest.
Seva Result? - A Happy Planet! :)
Seva Result? - A Happy Planet! :)
Sa ae va (word Seva split in Sanskrit) means ‘to be like Him’, to be like God or Nature. The divine has created such amazing beauty, such abundant variety, just so that we can be happy. If each one of us can be happy and in turn can spread that happiness, we would be fulfilling the planet’s greatest need.
If we can make a fire in the hearts of people by kindling that spark of inspiration which is already there, to support each other’s highest ideals- Then that would indeed be Seva in it’s full glory and this planet will transform into a paradise, a true Divya Samaj…

Unfair Means In Examination

I hope I m not taking moralistic stand. But before deciding the issue of using unfair means to get good marks in the examination why don't we stop for a moment and talk a little more about the END itself ? Is getting grades an end in itself or learning is the end ? Quizzes, examinations and grading system etc are the means to achieve a greater end and that end according to me is LEARNING. It will be a real tragedy if we forget this in this cacophony of Means vs.Ends debate.

Individual vs Collectivity

Our society is getting more and more individualistic as time is passing. Earlier people used to share tastes, habits, ideas. So they use to come together more often. But today is the age of customization, wherein everything from cars, clothes and even the flavour of potato chips comes which caters to the need of a select few. This bit-by-bit increasing spaces between people make them grow apart. The very need of collective action is a shared ideology. But with individuals becoming more important than collectivities, the shared beliefs, ideas, etc are breaking and with it the scope of coming together.

Collective Action vs Collective Inaction

We see collective action in all forms. The political parties collectively mug voters and the “rulers” become the “ruled”. The Govt. workers collectively wreak inefficient and unscrupulous behavior on the very people they were chosen to serve. The wealthy collectively try to keep the poor out of the 9% GDP growth. The terrorists collectively wreak destruction; the “babas” collectively dupe people.

To this, we collectively remain silent, collectively let people mug us only to vote them in, again; collectively cheat the person who is lower to us in the food chain; collectively bribe govt officials to get our work done. This COLLECTIVE INACTION on our part collectively makes them stronger to collectively take advantage of us.


It was refreshing to read something in the book which was interesting as well as quite practical.......well Tactics what I have understood is how to play with the enemy's mind for your benefit or of a group !!! it is not always about the 'might' that gets you success but how you project yourself.......would appreciate if someone could elaborate on this thought!!!!!

My understanding of CAC at the end of course..

The facts that there is a lot of collective action even in many large-number contexts in which individuals do not have rich relationships with each other and that, therefore, many people are not free riding in relevant contexts suggest at least three possibilities. First, there are ways to affect the incentives of group members to make it their interest to contribute. Second, motivations other than self-interest may be in play. Third, the actors in the seemingly successful collective actions fail to understand their own interests. Each possibility is interesting, and the latter two seem to be philosophically interesting to me.

the case of collective security....

Interdependence is a habitual source of conflict among nations. Today's version of collective security, often demands military action. Collective security offers inherent contradictions: Does multilateral action, indicate international accord on countering the 'aggressor'? The answer is probably "no" because smaller nations may join the crusade for completely different reasons, for example, not to offend the larger partner. Does multilateral action always succeed in creating a Pax Universalis? No, on the contrary it may lead to war. Collective action neither is necessarily a good thing nor is unilateral action necessarily a bad thing. However, collective security can be preventer of conflict.


Dear URU,
Hope you be the Awakener at my place. Even, If you be the Disappointer, it should be fine.
I am not getting Grades using either of any means. I am always forced to do what the powerful wants accordingly. Now, when I wish to do something that I like, I am not able to do. When I have done something that I like, the Powerful does'nt like it. How would someones Means justify my ends? URU, please help me. I want to go. I want 2.o, Above all, I want to justify both the means and the end myself rather than someone more concerned about me.

Thanking you,

To walk...or not..

The eight rule of ethics says that the morality of means depend upon the timing of it. In cricket a big issue is made of batsmen who walk voluntarily. However what needs to be looked at, is the balance of the game. If someone walks when the match is already in his team’s pocket it may not mean much .What is important is whether he walks when his dismissal may influence the result decisively.

To Give Alms or Not To...

"While waiting for the traffic signal to turn green, a young girl with an infant clinging on to her knocks on your window and raises her hand gesturing for ‘help’. "

The common argument against giving alms is that the charity would in all probability go into the hands of the ‘drug lords’ and the ‘syndicate’ which controls these beggars. Also in the process, we’re encouraging this 'system' to work and demotivating them from doing any collective action.

Then, why not the people who propose this argument get together, mobilize other such theorists and collectively try helping those who are calling out for ‘help’ instead of expecting them to help themselves?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Corruption : Justified ???

Corruption is a major leakage because of which a major chunk of benefit does not reach the intended beneficiaries. Apart from increasing the service-delivery cost, it undermines local development by weakening the rule of law, diverting resources from intended recipients, and typically adversely impacting the poorest most dramatically.

And this is an issue where no single stakeholder can significantly reduce the problem on his/her own. If one person stops bribing or taking bribe, it will not make any difference. Infact, it will take a much broader effort to implement effective institutional reforms and a conducive climate that minimizes opportunities for corruption.

However, seen from today's Means-and-Ends-Class's perspective and the various rules proposed; it would seem that even corruption can have its uses and can be justified into a rightful act under certain situations.

Collective Action against Corruption...

Corruption is a major leakage because of which a major chunk of benefit does not reach the intended beneficiaries. Apart from increasing the service-delivery cost, it undermines local development by weakening the rule of law, diverting resources from intended recipients, and typically adversely impacting the poorest most dramatically.

And this is an issue where no single stakeholder can significantly reduce the problem on his/her own. If one person stops bribing or taking bribe, it will not make any difference. In fact, it will take a much broader effort to implement effective institutional reforms and a conducive climate that minimizes opportunities for corruption.

Women Empowerment through Collective Action

The real example of CAC & GAD.

Acharya Ramamurti is a 91 year old Gandhian who has been heading Shramabharati, a non-profit group in Bihar focused on rural development and realizing a self sustaining non violent social order.
After the government enacted the mandatory reservation of 30% of the panchayat seats for women, Bihar saw some 45,000 women elected to its village and district councils. Due to socio-cultural reasons like illiteracy and gender inequity, many of these women were ill equipped to do justice to the elected positions – they remained disempowered in positions of power.
Acharya Ramamurti began to invite these women to week long sessions to situate them better to discharge their duties. These groups of women were trained in leadership skills, conflict resolution and prevention.

Understanding Social Movement

After going through many articles for my CAC poster, i found four points that make us understand about social movement.
1) it informs us of the broader spatial context within which social movements are located.
2) it informs us of the spatial and cultural specificity of movements.
3) it informs us of the cultural expressions of social movement agency.
4) it informs us of how the strategic use of space may constrain or enable collective action.

Do you find these points in every social movement or at least in the posters that you are making ?

Managing Common Property Resources

Under what circumstances will villagers co-operate to supply themselves with goods and
services that they all need but could not provide for themselves individually? In what
circumstances are those who face a potential 'tragedy of the commons' able to organise a
system of rules by which the tragedy is averted?
Many writers on collective action and common property consider that these circumstances
are very limited. A long line of collective action theorists has argued that people
placed in a situation in which they could all benefit from co-operation will be unlikely to
co-operate in the absence of an external enforcer of agreements. An equally long line of
theorists on property rights has argued that common property resources are bound to be
over-exploited as demand rises.
In my view the only solution is private enclosure.

United Nations:Collective actions of the nations after the Second World War

United Nations was founded in 1945 after the second world war.Its primary aim at that time was to stop the wars between different nations.At present,192 nations are its members.
On many issues,it has failed to deliver.But,on many front it has created an environment and platform to sort out differences between the nations.During the cold-war,vietnam-war,philistine-Israel conflict,Cuban-missile conflicts and on many other occassions it has delivered.
Although it still has the "expansion" and "dominance of US " issues,but in some peace-keeping and developmental works,it has performed very well.
Last year after Copenhegan summit,Ban-ki-moon,present secretary-general of UN said-"Collective action is the only effective action......UN has acted on it.....and would act upon it in the future also."

@Lord Krishna

Are we going to let the lesser gods have a say???

Lord Krishna:Master of Collective Actions

According to lord Krishna,we all rotate in the wheel of Collective actions and don't discriminate which is our own special path.Our collective action is defined with the circumstances of our birth,the place,the nation,social group etc.In early stage of humanity,our divine essence and the lower ego are in a state of 'sleep'.The time of collecting and balancing Karma is thus stretched almost endlessly.
Gradually,the awakening human-being begins to discriminate his/her personal goals.The growing ego receives collective actions.And,the divine forces tries to balance it.
So,individual action is constantly drawing people into different individual and collective actions and experiences to balance it.But,with the passage of time the rotation becomes more complicated.

64 kalas(Actions) of Lord Krishna

Mythological texts have described 64 kalas (actions) of Lord Krishna as follows-
The following is quoted from one of the sources of mythologoy-
.Singing,2.Instrumental music,3.Dancing,4.Painting,5.Forehead adornments,6.Making decorative floral and grain designs on the floor,7.Home and temple flower arranging,8.Personal grooming,9.Mosaic tiling,10.Bedroom arrangements,11.Creating music with water,12.Splashing and squirting with water,13.Secret mantras,14.Making flower garlands,15.Head adornments,16.Dressing,17.Costume decorations,18.Perfumery,19.Jewellery making,20.Magic and illusions,21.Ointments for charm and virility,22.Manual dexterity,23.Skills of cooking ,eating and drinking,24.Beverage and dessert preparation,25.Sewing(making and mending garments)26.Embroidery,27.Playing veena and drums,28Riddles and rhymes,29.Poetry and games,30.Tongue-twisters and difficult recitations,31.Literary recitation,32.Drama and story telling 33.Verse composition game,34.Furniture caning,35.Sexual arts,36.Crafting wooden furniture,37.Architecture and house construction,38.Distinguishing between ordinary and precious stones and metals,39.Metal-working,40.Gems and mining,41.Gardening and horticulture,42.Games involving animals,43.Training parrots and mynas to speak,44.Hair dressing,45.Coding messages,46.Speaking in code,47.Knowledge of foreign languages and dialects,48.Making flower carriages,49.Spells,charms and omens,50.Making simple mechanical devices,51.Memory training,52.Game of reciting verses from hearing,53.Decoding messages,54.Meaning of words,55.Dictionary studies,56.Prosody and rhetoric,57.Impersonation,58.Artful dressing,59.Games of dice,60.The game of 'akarsha'(a dice game played on a board),61.Making dolls and toys for children,62.Personal etiquette and animal training,63.Knowledge of dharmic warfare and victory,64.Physical culture.


Winners win accolades & Losers get critique

Since the earliest civilizations, histroy has been written and rewritten by winners , erasing every glorifying incidence by those who lost. Later, justifying each and every deed(winners) either through moral "gown" or "the context of which the action was taken", thus proving it "right ". Is this fair that losers have to be critisied and proved "morally wrong" in most of the cases....

As in case of Hitler, except the Jew killing, it was he who united and strengthened GERMANY which was left devastated after the Treaty of Versallies. But was he ever glorified for his “act”???

India vs. South Africa: Collective action gone haywire?

I have never seen a better example of collective action than that visible in a cricket match. Especially for the fielding team. But when Dhoni, said, “we were outplayed in all departments”, it presented another example. Of collective action going haywire.
We always have this tendency to romanticise the concept of collective action. But without proper co-ordination among all the actors, mind you all the actors, the desired goals can seldom be reached. This might be something which we all take for granted, and sounds so clich├ęd, but do we give any serious thought to it?

Lord Krishna,Collective Action,Srimadbhagvat Geeta and its Misinterpretation

In one of the blogs,Lord Krishna has been misinterpreted to justify worldly wrongs.Those who have studied these mythological texts know that many metaphysical experts have described Lord Krishna much greater than Maryada Puroshattam Sri Ram.My purpose is not to compare these two greats,because it is not possible.
My purpose here to say that the means used by Lord Krishna was as pious as that of Sri Ram.If we go through the Sri Madbhagwat Geeta,one of the most important texts in metaphysics and philosophy,we can find the evidence of that.

The word Karma is derived from the Sanskrit Kri, meaning 'to do', in its most basic sense karma simply means action, and yoga translates to union. Thus Karma yoga literally translates to the path of union through action. However, in Vedantic philosophy the word 'Karma' means both action and the effects of such action. Karma Yoga is described as a way of acting, thinking and willing by which one orients oneself toward realization by acting in accordance with one's duty (dharma) without consideration of personal self-centered desires, likes or dislikes. Acting without being attached to the fruits of one's deeds.

Therefore, without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty, for by working without attachment one attains the Supreme.

Krishna then goes on to describe how Arjuna should surrender the fruits of his actions (good or bad) to him, Krishna, (as the Supreme Person or avatara) :

Therefore, O Arjuna, surrendering all your works unto Me, with full knowledge of Me, without desires for profit, with no claims to proprietorship, and free from lethargy, fight.

Krishna explains that work done without expectations, motives, or anticipation of its outcome purifies one's mind and gradually makes an individual fit to see the value of reason. He states that it is not necessary to remain in external solitude, or remain actionless, in order to practice a spiritual life, since the state of action or inaction is primarily determined in the mind.

In order to achieve perfection of life, Krishna explains that it is important to control all mental desires and tendencies to enjoy pleasures of the senses. The practice of Karma Yoga in daily life makes an individual fit through action, meditation and devotion to sharpen his reasoning, develop the intuitive power of acquiring knowledge, and to transcend the mind itself.


Last year around this time, I was all excited and tensed about my admission into Irma and just keeping my fingers crossed hoping I make it. One year later, Already with almost 0.4%(diploma) learning in rural management finished, I look back what it really did to me ? Well, it has been an eye opener starting from the induction week and then influencing to a greater extent in the Fieldwork to the rural realities. The concepts of rural research methods and CAC are real intresting and thought provoking. But, I wonder at this place called IRMA, can we as batch take or start a collective action with respect to what this institution has produced or done to the Rural India through collective action or cooperative movements or any other thing. Keystone foundation, FES, Rangsutra, Kalaraksha are all in a way examples of collective action. So, can we take this Message out as a batch on the occasion of IRMAs 30th anniversay. Ideas and Thoughts are welcome.


Means and Ends ..

One of the rules of means and ends states that irrespective of the (unethical) means used by a person, if he emerges as the winner, then is praised everywhere. These kinds of examples could be frequently witnessed in the field of sports. If unchecked, if doping wins a person medal, or ball tampering a match, then they will be praised for their achievement which they truly did not deserve.

Means or Ends???

what matters more...Lord Krishna believed in achieving of ends...if one has to kill Bhishm Pitamah, to win the war do it...whereas Lord Ram believed in means...maryada purushottam.. The point is that mythology also doesn't give the answer as to what is more important...means or ends???
For some getting grades is important... for others maintaining their personal ethics is more important....can we always say what is right...for some it is the means that matter....for others it is the end.. Shouldnt it be left to the individuals to decide what is good for them???

Placements: A good example of collective action

Now that the placement season is over, it is time to look back and revel at the perfect example of collective action which both PRM 29 and PRM 30 showed. Despite the tensions running high and the delicate situation the senior batch found itself in, the placement committee members of PRM 29 worked as a group for the common interest of the batch. Also the collective action of our batch mates in co-ordinating with the candidates and the PC members, as well as with each other, was really heart warming.

Is only monetary base attached to collective action?

The collective action is always measured in terms of monetary value.People see the benefits associated with collective action which has to be in larger than the costs incurred. But is there not a emotional base associated with the success of the collective action.For eg in the Van Panchayat the involvement of women in the collective action helped in the success of the action . The mere involvement of the women in the action gave the sense of belonging and encouragement of participation. so should not the other factors also be taken into account of a collective action?

Anti-POSCO movement

The proposed POSCO plant in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha has faced strong public resistance.The rehabilitation and resettlement Show all(R&R) package offered by the company is not accepted by the people. In fact people are sceptical regarding the R&R package of a foreign company. In this fight on the one side stand the struggling people of the area who want to protect their sustainable Beetle leaf- Paddy farming - Fishing economy for themselves and their future generations and on the other side stands the Posco Company that is eager to make lakhs of crores of rupees as profits..