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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Practical and Ideal

Practical and Ideal

A PM is there to help economy to grow, infrastructure to develop, ensure social harmony and many other issues concerned with governance. 

It does not matter whether he is a devotee of Durga or Allah.

I think Indians must learn to not to mix irrelevant things.

​ At times it is difficult to draw the lines of being idealistic and being practical.

What is idealism in one era becomes practical in another.

Read this book 'An idealist  View of Life' by our former President Dr. S. Radhakrishnan who was at ease in the theory of both eastern and western philosophical systems.

Practical and idealistic are context specific, so without real context, only generalization will govern.

In reality those holding any top position of importance in government like MPs, Ministers, more so PM or PRESIDENT must, in public, confine themselves,  to mere publicity posturing or participation as symbolic gestures but must not overdo, irrespective of whatever be their personal identity or private affinity. 

These become more important in pluralistic societies with excessive media freedom [now added to these we have a huge military of memes generators].

It is not a question of mere playing on words or verbalization but sometimes harsh reality and at times it is perceptions that get in to expose the differences.

Practicality consists in seeing through the differences, not to admire or to avoid but at least to acknowledge and to accept.

For example, STANDARDIZATION is very important in certain spheres like size of plug point or size of sim cards; in certain areas UNIFORMITY is a necessity to measure and make comparative analysis to determine relative merits and demerits like syllabus in education system.

However, forced HOMOGENIZATION to mutilate variety is unwelcome like compelling everyone to lead only a certain way of life.

Similarly, even natural beauty like a vast mountainous region or travelling in big rivers like Amazon can get boring after sometimes due to sheer MONOTONY.

Either unintentionally or intentionally all the four above i.e. Standards, Uniformity, Homogeneity, Monotony all indicate some sort of sameness or similarity.

However, their importance, impact and our interest in them are obvious but in the case of homogenization it is subtly injected and in the case of MONOTONY it is our mental reaction or attitude.​​

Evaluation of any profession must be based on matters intrinsic to the domain and relevant to context. 

No big terms of idealism or practical, both them can be used relatively.

What is possible or Practical for someone at some place may be idealistic for others.

It is more or less like trends and taboos.

For example while discussing about pace bowling you admire McGrath, Walsh, Akram irrespective of what religion, what color, what country, what language , who are their girl friends, how many wives they have, whether they drink or smoke weed. What matters is only their bowling.

You admire or abuse anyone of them for other reasons than bowling when we discuss about their personal life in some contexts, not when they are admired for their bowling.

Even for Modi, like all politicians, symbolic overtures to garner votes may be good but to prioritize and project such symbolic overtures and gestures may be also counterproductive.

All said and done the greatness of USA and the beauty of INDIA are the freedom, secular fabric, aspirations of youth predominantly towards education, economic development, and overall cosmopolitan civilization and progress beyond and besides the confines of native traditions and practices, however, great or good they may be. These have been the reasons for which both nations are sought after by many despite all adverse projections by global media. 

The most comprehensive book on evaluations ‘ Making Evaluation Matter-a practical guide for evaluators’ by Cecile Kusters with Simone van Vugt, Seerp Wigboldus, Bob Williams and Jim Woodhill also emphasizes certain factors repeatedly and predominantly they are context/situation, situational responsiveness, stake holders, inherent qualities of the project /program/person being evaluated ,multiple roles, consequence awareness etc

Even this material also throws lot of light on evaluation ‘American Journal of Evaluation-2011-Smith-565-99.pdf

Here I am tempted to quote, “Friend to Groucho Marx: “Life is hard…” Grouch Marx to Friend: “Compared to what?”

The problem is we as a nation work on defending the undeserving, justifying the unjustifiable, resorting to unloving criticism and uncritical love, hero worshiping and deifying and many other vulnerabilities so much do that we seldom see and observe facts as they are and fail to appreciate performances of anyone in existing contexts with immense limitations, enormous compulsions and exaggerated expectations and on top of it all media manipulated narratives and misinterpretations etc.

Evaluation is a very deep science to be performed dispassionately and which must be devoid of prejudices and factor in various aspects with inherent attributes of the issue or thing and their contextual relevance along with considerations for the sensitivities of the performers and so on.

Most importantly we can avoid the following usual traps while exploring the facts.

They are we must desist getting distracted by:-

Mutilating the facts,
Analyzing them with preconceived notions or prejudices,
Generalizing the particular and particularizing the general,
Approaching facts with unloving criticism or uncritical love,
Evaluating facts with our pet isms or philosophies,
Resorting to statistical justifications,
Unleashing unworkable utopia,
Mask them with logical fallacies,
Mute them in pleasant jargons, and
Give historical justifications
Comprehend with confirmation bias or pre conceived conclusions
Trying to over simplify the complicated and over complicate the simple factors/aspects.

Ultimately, conceptually , Bhagawad Geetha, in fact the whole of Bhagawad Gita is popular  because ( one of the reasons why it became more popular among the 28 Gitas, is that all its 700 stanzas are sand- witched between two words the starting word 'Dharma' and the last word ‘Mama’.)

It must be actually read as ‘Mama Dharma’= my dharma- does not mean either Krishna’s or Arjuna’s Dharma, rather  when everyone reads it becomes ‘his Dhrama’ and all these 700 verses [ subjected to all sorts of excellent, enlightening as well as, often used as tools to justifying traditional practices, explanations by many] primarily are about attitudes to be adopted, actions to be executed and reactions to show at different situations taking into consideration the overall welfare of all [humanism].

This manual is more about balancing the intellect and emotions and most importantly through both emotions and intellect, or to be precise, in short it talks about the dynamics of synthesis of human nature and nature of Truth [ define as you may- it is the inevitable and intellectual perception and sometimes all logic eluding factor].

Life is all about movements, actions and reactions which broadly could be defined as i.e. Karma but then the Laws [Dharma ] of motions [Karma] of life are very important and therefore prioritized.

Personal grief, sorrows and miseries are difficult to handle even for some of the most advanced intellectual giants or highly sane and even balanced souls.

It is easier to sit and sermonize or pontificate dispassionately as an outsider.

It is difficult to prescribe rules for any type of crisis in any aspect of life.

However, if the mind, especially of a grown up individual, is equipped with certain qualities, then, encountering the crisis becomes a shade more simple and sane.

However, the balanced mind, calm soul, caring heart, clever mind will wait and work on multiple options before resorting to impulsive actions which may more often result in regret.

Life is the sum total of many choices and decisions we make/take at every moment and the concomitant actions and reactions based on them.

But, does life or our cultures or social systems or religions or education systems offer us ready made templates to make/to take relevant or correct choices and decisions with multiple options at every moment?

Or   even if they offer and are ready, are we willing or capable of understanding and making use of those templates?

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