(January 16/17, 2016, No. 3/2016)
Thus spake Swami Vivekananda*
1.     Out of the past is built the future. Look back, therefore, as far as you can, drink deep of the eternal fountains that are behind, and after that, look forward, march forward and make India brighter, greater, much higher than she ever was. Our ancestors were great. We must first recall that. We must learn the elements of our being, the blood that courses in our veins; we must have faith in that blood and what it did in the past; and out of that faith and consciousness of past greatness, we must build an India yet greater than what she has been.
2.     "Wake up, stop not until the goal is reached", say the Vedas. Up, up, the long night is passing, the day is approaching, the wave has risen, nothing will be able to resist its tidal fury. The spirit, my boys, the spirit; the love, my children, the love; the faith, the belief; and fear not! The greatest sin is fear.
3.     Do not be afraid of a small beginning, great things come afterwards. Be courageous. Do not try to lead your brethren, but serve them. The brutal mania for leading has sunk many a great ship in the waters of life. Take care especially of that, i.e. be unselfish even unto death, and work.
4.     Have faith that you are all, my brave lads, born to do great things! Let not the barks of puppies frighten you -- no, not even the thunderbolts of heaven -- but stand up and work!
5.     I do not believe in a God or religion which cannot wipe the widow's tears or bring a piece of bread to the orphan's mouth. However sublime be the theories, however well - spun may be the philosophy -- i do not call it religion so long as it is confined to books and dogmas. The eye is in the forehead and not in the back. Move onward and carry into practice that which you are very proud to call your religion, and God bless you!
6.     Look upon every man, woman, and every one as God. You cannot help anyone, you can only serve: serve the children of the Lord, serve the Lord Himself, if you have the privilege. If the Lord grants that you can help any one of his children, blessed you are; do not think too much of yourselves. Blessed you are that that privilege was given to you when others had it not. Do it only as a worship. I should see God in the poor, and it is for my salvation that I go and worship them. The poor and the miserable are for our salvation, so that we may serve the Lord, coming in the shape of the diseased, coming in the shape of the lunatic, the leper, and the sinner!
7.     Him I call a Mahatman (great soul) whose heart bleeds for the poor, otherwise he is a Duratman (wicked soul). Let us unite our wills in continued prayer for their good. We may die unknown, unpitied, unbewailed, without accomplishing anything -- but not one thought will be lost. It will take effect, sooner or later.
8.     Know that every time you feel weak, you not only hurt yourself but also the Cause. Infinite faith and strength are the only conditions of success.
9.     Infinite patience, infinite purity, and infinite perseverance are the secret of success in a good cause.
10. Neither numbers nor powers nor wealth nor learning nor eloquence nor anything else will prevail, but purity, living the life, in one word, anubhuti , realisation. Let there be a dozen such lion - souls in each country, lions who have broken their own bonds, who have touched the Infinite, whose whole soul is gone to Brahman, who care neither for wealth nor power nor fame, and these will be enough to shake the world.
11. Three things are necessary to make every man great, every nation great:
i.            Conviction of the powers of goodness.
ii.            Absence of jealousy and suspicion.
iii.            Helping all who are trying to be and do good.
12. Let people say whatever they like, stick to your own convictions, and rest assured, the world will be at your feet. They say, "Have faith in this fellow or that fellow", but I say, "Have faith in yourself first", that's the way. Have faith in yourself -- all power is in you -- be conscious and bring it out. Say, "I can do everything." "Even the poison of a snake is powerless if you can firmly deny it." Beware! No saying "nay", no negative thoughts! Say, "Yea, Yea," "So'ham, So'ham"--"I am He! I am He!"
Source: A mail received from Vathsala Jayaraman, Exrbites Group
Mumbai deserves clean gutters
The Pocket Oxford Dictionary before me defines a gutter as ‘a shallow trough beneath the edge of a roof, or a channel at the side of a street, for carrying off rain water’. In Mumbai gutter has assumed different meanings for different people. For most of us, a gutter is a trench provided by municipal corporation where dirty water get collected and people dump waste. Now, let me ‘come to the point’!
A 12 feet wide gutter flows adjacent to the housing complex in Bhandup (West) where we stay. It comes from somewhere beyond Pawai and silently flows beyond our area, perhaps terminating somewhere near Vashi creek. The stretch of the gutter from Powar Public School to some distance beyond Bhandup Railway station has huge accumulations of waste and water has no free flow. The sides of the gutter ‘house’ snakes, rats and other ‘wild life’ creatures. The gutter provides a fertile breeding ground for mosquitoes and a variety of fleas.
The one kilometre stretch visible from Bhandup Railway Station supports the following:
i)                   Sale of about 20,000 units of mosquito repellents per month to 10,000 households.
ii)                 Fumigation contracts in several housing societies in the area.
iii)               Medical profession providing healthcare support to residents in this area.
iv)               Savings for some families which throw their waste into the gutter.
The list is illustrative and not exhaustive. Just wondering, whether any vested interests are preventing the authorities from periodical cleaning of gutters. When normal and routine thing do not happen normally and routinely, citizens use their imagination to formulate ‘allegations’. In Kerala, at one stage, people alleged commercial interests of ‘anti-rabies medicines lobby’ to be behind supporters of ‘save street dogs campaign’!
Speaking from the ramparts of Red Fort, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had exhorted people of India to cleanse their premises. ‘Swacch Bhaarat Abhiyaan’ is a follow up of this.
In Mumbai, gutters are cleaned once in a year, sometime in May/June to ensure free flow of water to prevent flooding of streets. What is preventing Municipal Corporation from ensuring that the gutters remain clean during other periods also? If someone has an answer, express it!
(The writer is a freelancer based in Mumbai and author of the 2014 book “Banking, Reforms & Corruption: Development Issues in 21st Century India”. Email mgwarrier@gmail.com)

Business Standard, January 15, 2016
Message for RBI board
With reference to "Rajan bats for more powers to RBI board" (January 13), first, congratulations to Business Standard for the brilliant coverage of an important message on several crucial issues concerning the management of Indian financial sector and the role of regulatory and supervisory bodies in doing it efficiently.

The document, this year's New Year message from the RBI governor, can become a reference point in future, though, perhaps, at the time of writing, Rajan was addressing his "colleagues". Rajan has brought in one place several impediments faced by the government and statutory bodies engaged in regulation and supervision, basically because of talent deficit at the highest level.

The RBI Annual Report 2014-15 also had the Rajan touch and did express several concerns that needed support from the government of India to enable RBI to perform effectively. Strangely, media (both electronic and print) which usually give broad coverage to RBI's annual reports did not take adequate notice of the report. Of course, the report is with the government and hopefully, appropriate action will be taken on flagging issues.

M G Warrier Mumbai
Points to ponder
“We are a service organisation. We have customers, whether they are the regulated organisations, the public, or the Government. We need to serve them effectively and efficiently. By and large, our staff members perform well, with a few committed extraordinary individuals going way beyond the call of duty. Nevertheless, if I press the stakeholders I meet, I do hear criticisms. Our regulations are not always very clear, our staff sometimes is neither well informed of our own regulations nor willing to help the customer, our responses are occasionally extraordinarily slow and bureaucratic (in the sense of hiding behind opaque rules or avoiding a decision rather than taking a sensible course of action). The imagery that comes to mind for critics is of a traditional unimaginative organisation rather than a dynamic intelligent one.” 
-RBI Governor in his 2016 New Year Message to colleagues
The concluding sentence is true only about the way RBI handled forex reserves including gold and pension issue since late 1990’s. Considering the institution’s achievements on all other fronts, the comment is uncharitable. This cannot be avoided, when large organisations are left to be run by ‘birds of passage’. A restructuring and revamping of the institution envisaged in the PREAMBLE of RBI Act 1934 is yet to happen!


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