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Totally agree to what Murty is saying. But thats more about where our Moral values are draining and Indeed our slowly fading culture has been rich in these things.

Our slowly fading culture does brings about the moral questions into focus as it seems it's what we are actually loosing. So talkin about Culture. What's that? As I said earlier a way of living. Yeah, sort of but does it holds any meaning in this always shrinking world? In this age of internet, Airplanes n all. Long ago, probably last century or even before that an American was much more different than an Indian or a Japanese. All lands were far away, each having a very different way of living, different food to eat, different cloths to wear. But the things have been closing in for the 50 odd years. Noe we have an iPod as quickly as an Australian has it. We wear the same dress an American will wear to office. Who says McDonalds was an American name. and this list can go on and on.

So there isn't any cultural identity any more as our immediate world has widened several hundred folds, covering almost all of the globe. Cultures have always changed over the centuries but now that pace is of years if not decades.

So, somehow the word Culture doesn't seems to hold the same meaning as it would have have had say 100 years ago or even 30-40 years ago. earlier culture was something coming down from ages, spanning numerous generations. But now the unit of time or rather change in times has changed dramatically and so has the word culture. There used to be a word cultural identity separating one individual belonging to one land, from another belonging to another land but now who can tell the difference between Naseer Husain and Greme Smith. But even if there are small differences they are slowly merging.
And the term Culture is falling prey to the term Globalization.

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...... take the example of a pickpocket. In a community of a 100 people, there is 1 pickpocket. For the other 99, the pickpocket is a bad influence on their culture as he promotes thievery.
For the pickpocket though, what he does might be right. He might be stealing to feed his kids. He might be stealing to pay for his wife's treatment(sounds melodramatic, eh..). For him, what he is doing is right and hence, not a bad influence.
It's all a matter of perspective. For me, culture is an amalgamation of all that one sees around him/her self, and hence has to change with time.
I'll end by giving a quote of a fan, a normal fan of the IPL:

"Everyone here is mature enough to understand their morality. It doesn't need to be forced down our throats"

Talking about the example you gave. Isn't it the age old dilemma of Right:Wrong v/s Good:Bad. What the pickpocket is doing is good for his family, good from a closer perspective but it is wrong. Why a pickpocket? Is an average Hawaldar living on a meager 6-8k salary, feeding 3 children, living in Mumbai justified in taking bribes or taking his job casually? Yes, by the logic you mentioned, taking into perspective his family/economic situation. But what do we get from that? Our Indian Police and we all know how much we are proud of that.

Indeed it's a matter of perspective. but What is Morality? A sense of right and wrong but that too taking into consideration Man's social/environmental existence.

Taking cue from what Anupam Kher once said on the issue of censoring. He said while censoring a movie I don't have to see only what an average person from a Metro thinks about the issue but also how a youngster sitting in a village will take it.
For that village youngster the thing will be a case similar to the frog from first experiment that I mentioned above.
We metro people have been in these waves of westernization, these drifts of globalisation for the last few decades. And that too with the luxuries of internet/ cable television etc.
And Morality isn't one's sole perspective but something taking every perspective into count, but again through the lenses of good and bad.
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On TV today Ram Chandra Guha, defending the call for a ban on CheerLeaders, said that these things while in addition to diluting the game of Cricket are also against our culture.

The question is not what is it that is against our culture, we already know what he's pointing out. But what exactly do we mean by Culture and what is it that exactly that makes us so protective towards it? Do we really have to bring up the banners of Culture against any sort of change? Haven't been there hundreds of changes already invading our lives, which don't comply to our so called culture.

What is culture? Simply put, a way of living. And aren't these cultures made by adding small changes at a time, slowly and steadily over the centuries. Looks true. So why are we so averse to only certain kind of changes even when they may not be more harmful than many other changes which actually go unnoticed.

In Al Gore's documentary on Global Warming there a portion where he shows an animation of a frog. The frog is first thrown in a boiling tub to which the frog responds by quickly jumping out. Then another scenario is shown. The frog is thrown in a normal temperature tub of water, and slowly the temperature is raised bit by bit.The change is so subtle that it's barely noticeable. But the temperature keeps on rising nevertheless and the frog stays there bit nervous but still there. and after some time it's almost at the same temperature from the first experiment but the frog is still there. And the temperature keeps on rising. And while ending the animation Gore says that he will still be sitting there unless someone rescues him.

Cultural changes are also like that small, subtle, almost noticeable, always approaching, always on the edge and there's one day when they are no more the change but part of the existence. Talking about Guha he's just like the frog in the first experiment and we are the frogs of the second experiment as we, the next generation, have been in touch to such changes all our lives and People like Guha, say from the last or the foregoing generation have been in touch a bit less while talking in terms of percentage, and that too with skepticism.

A person goes out to live in some western country he's moved at a greater extent than what we are here as his chnages are more vast are much more noticeable. Thats why there is so heavy a folklore of Exile in Literature. That's why we have books like Namesake or much lighter Inscrutable Americans.

Yesterday as I was watching Anand (no am not a fan of old movies, but was just a passenger in the bus in which they showed the movie) there was a scene where Renu's(Bacchan's finance) mother says to Rajesh Khanna, Wo purane zamane gaye aajkal toh ladki ladka apni pasand khud ki karte hain. So even after 35+ years the same lines hold the weight, not not as much they used to then. Point being the such cultural changes are always approaching.

But still the one pertinent question hat crops up is how do we judge these changes? as going by above points there will be always too late to judge the merit of such changes. Frog was just a single entity and could have been easily rescued in due time, and that too by a more intelligent specie but when its about hundreds of crores of mindsets its almost inevitably impossible.
Not saying that I have a concrete view that this cheerleader thingi is bad but still it brings up many more pressing questions on this term called Culture.

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Thanx for opening this thread.

There are a lot of issues here. As rightly said, Tibet is using the Olympic games to leverage its cause. But is there another option for them. For a nation as small as Tibet with no say in world economy, it had become mighty difficult to get its point across to the world. China being a major economy and with trade relations with all world countries does have a lot going for it.

The point is what should India do. Can India afford to speak out against China and let the increasingly friendly relations between the countries to sour?
I guess India is more worried of opening a whole can of Kashmir worms in case it supports Tibet actively. This will surely call for autonomy to people of Kashmir in which case India stands to lose a good part of it.

Lets not forget its not just Pakistan trying to get a hold over Kashmir. China too is occupying a part of it. And the only way for India to get those countries out is by military force. But it can't go on attack against two of its neighbours.

Good point about economy. Also the fact that Tibet never had any army or anything of that sort, owing to its culture, which was he reason that it was able to provide negligible resistance to China in 1959. Also with Pakistan sidelining with US, Tibet is very important for China from Geographical point of view, for its being adjacent to India and also owing to its altitude. China has had bad reputation till now. It hasn't yet given up from Taiwan as yet and Taiwan is quite better economically than what Tibet is.

BUt I guess here the way Tibet issue is progressing, also taking into account Dalai Lama's popularity, China might be forced at least to open talks. Olympics is something that China was going to use as a platform to tell its arrival to the world and with things going bad from the start it may well have to come up with something.

Also commendable was the way Sarkozi has helped the cause. With Euro and all, the Europe has been getting closely knitted better than before. So France's steps are quite threatening for China as other European countries may well get together on the issue.

Talking about India's stand. Well, if India could have said "We are a democratic country and every one here has rights of peaceful demonstration which we won't stop. Otherwise its an internal issue that China and Tibet will have to solve between themselves" it could have been better. But what can we judge if the diplomacy and politics sitting here. but still the decision of shortening the Torch's run was quite a lame one.
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So Olympic torch enters India tomorrow. And India being Tibet's friendly neighbor for long and as well as home of many displaced ones from there prmomises to further whats being going on for past one month.

Tibet's been under Chinese rule for the past 60 years and its calls for autonomy have been brutally(that's what media says) thwarted. Their leader, Dalai Lama, has been in exile for long. Though one can't comment much on the actual state of affairs between China and Tibet as what we have is only what media says. But the recent events have put up many questions upfront not only about Tibet but also about India.

Being a friendly nation giving support to Tibetans we have suddenly gone onto be a politically, diplomatically correct nation, may be because of the weight of China's upper hand which seems to be getting everywhere. Not saying that we should have out rightly spoken in favour for China but a neutral or a statement showing democratic, impartial intent of India would have been a right response. But sadly that wasn't the case and so much so that the length of the Torch Journey has been reduced from 9 km to mere 3 km.

Same India took a stand against SA, on account of Apartheid, but at that time whole world was united against them and SA was no immediate neighbour to us. But here situation is different as no one has come up against them, except France. So we don't have anyone to follow. Sad.

Baichung Butia took a stand but what furthers are the debates of not Tibet's Situation but whether Sports and Politics should be mixed or not?:shock: Well, it would have been a good point of debate in some other country but not in India where every thing seems to be in a seamless mix. Be it politics mixing with Cricket in BCCI. Or Cricket being lauded as a tool in bettering of bilateral relations. We are the same country where Religion is so passionately mixed with politics.

They now say to Tibet: why now? Why on the eve of Olympics? Arent you using Olympics to further your political interests???:
Well, it seems we have forgotten Simon Commission or Lala Lajpat Rai. Weren't we protesting on the eve of something then? Isn't that incident a pillar stone in our freedom struggle?

There are also questions about shouldn't this situation be treated same as Kashmir issue. What happens when same thing happens on the eve of coming Commonwealth games?
Very valid question but, don't we have a platform of talks which seems to be missing in Tibet's case. Didn't we take the Issue to UN for talks. Heck! even Krishna Menon holds the record for longest speech(8 hrs nonstop) there and it was on Kashmir issue.
But truly speaking taking that point the situation seems more complex. We even had a procession in Canada on that Punjab's Khalistan issue. One could say it could also be seen on the same lines.:neutral:

Well, the games haven't yet started and things are boiling as yet, donno how things will take shape further.
With Torch run in India scheduled for tomorrow, things could get worse than what happened in France.
Hoping something good comes out of that.

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Hey All,

The list will be UPLOADED on the site ( by 12.30 midnight.
The list will also be displayed on the FMS noticeboard in the campus by 10 AM tmr.

All the Best to All!!!

12:30 tonight?... may seem like a dumb question to a few!

well, the tmr above does tells the tale...:grin:
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]Kafka on the Shore is a fantastic read. A typical Murakami narrative having all his trademark elements. He explores the themes of Oedipus Complex, difference b/w actual reality and metamorphical realities, dreams and Reality, few Japanese myths and traditions etc.
In all a absolute gem.

Do read it. But in case if its the first Murakami novel that you are going ot read I would rather suggest you to read "Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World" or "Norwegian Wood". As they are the most accessible and better written of all his books.

Pamuk talks a lot about Dostoevsky in his book "Other Colors". He has as much as three essays on Dostoevsky in the book. Other Literary influences for him, about whom he talks, were Bernhard, Borges and Nabokov.

BTW am currently reading "The New Life" by Pamuk. It's good but somewhat overstretched.

these were too hard to digest....see I'm a first timer -a light reader n like to read sumthin with which I can relate to.....I'm not a patient reader u think these buks will be fine?:whatthat:

Well, as I said "Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World" or "Norwegian Wood" would be very fine ones to start reading Murakami.
and believe me Murakami has the potential to turn a first time reader into a dedicated one..he's an addiction..he explores complex themes but in a very accessible manner with regular references to pop culture....and also he has got some amazing imagination whereby he keeps his readers on toes alwayz with unimaginable surprises round every corner....I have read various authors, good, bad, reputed but somehow the satisfaction that I get out of reading Murakami is unmatchable..
Do pick either of the book mentioned above and you will thank me for that.

About other authors..If you wish to read Pamuk start with "Snow".
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Has any1 read Shantaram??..planing to pick it up...
and also any comments on Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami??


Kafka on the Shore is a fantastic read. A typical Murakami narrative having all his trademark elements. He explores the themes of Oedipus Complex, difference b/w actual reality and metamorphical realities, dreams and Reality, few Japanese myths and traditions etc.
In all a absolute gem.

Do read it. But in case if its the first Murakami novel that you are going ot read I would rather suggest you to read "Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World" or "Norwegian Wood". As they are the most accessible and better written of all his books.

Hey. Even I've read Pamuk's My Name Is Red. Its a really good book. Considering its actually a translation from turkish to english, i think the description and language is just brilliant.

Another wonderful book i read was - Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. Simply brilliant. a must read. and - India Unbound - by Gurcharan Das.

Needless to say Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment is one of the best!

Pamuk talks a lot about Dostoevsky in his book "Other Colors". He has as much as three essays on Dostoevsky in the book. Other Literary influences for him, about whom he talks, were Bernhard, Borges and Nabokov.

BTW am currently reading "The New Life" by Pamuk. It's good but somewhat overstretched.
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I tried that link(Click Here).
It is no working...............
what should i do in that case.

Try again Or tell ur SNAP ID here and somebody will be able to check that for you.
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Results are not available at

All the best!

Congratulations to all the shortlisted candidates!

I guess W and T got interchanged there.
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