WEEKEND LIGHTER: KERALA COOPERATIVE BANK

WEEKEND LIGHTER*: Kerala Cooperative Bank
 (April 15/16, 2017, No.15/2017)
Feel free to mail your views on this edition of WL to mgwarrier@gmail.com
*Weekend Lighter is posted every Saturday at www.warriersblog.com
Section IV: Fiction: A review of “My Book on Women”…
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I
Cover Story
Kerala Cooperative Bank*
The latest ordinance promulgated by Kerala Government has objectives much beyond restructuring of the management of District Cooperative banks(DCBs) in the state. It will, hopefully, pave the way for formation of Kerala Cooperative Bank to be formed through merger of the Kerala State Cooperative Bank and all DCBs in the state, a dream project of the present Chief Minister of Kerala which found a mention in CPM’s Election Manifesto for the last assembly elections.
Coming closely on the heels of merger of State Bank of Travancore with SBI the formation of a big local bank gains significance. If the new bank is able to gain scheduled bank status and the political leadership allow the bank to function with efficiency and professionalism, a history of sorts will be made in the cooperative sector and may emerge as yet another ‘Kerala Model’ for other states to follow.
Cooperatives across the country had more than their due share of  problems post-demonetization. While primary(urban) cooperative banks  whose functioning is similar to mini-commercial banks are regulated and supervised by RBI, the three/two tier structure of cooperatives comprising State and District Cooperative Banks and thousands of primary cooperative societies have multiple regulatory and supervisory oversight involving RBI, NABARD and Registrar of Cooperative Societies(State Government).
It is comforting to find that Kerala has understood the urgency in finding a solution to a problem that has arisen due to continued neglect of an institutional system which has been serving the semi-urban and rural areas of the country, with all constraints. There are no alternative conduits to ensure  banking service to their clientele in semi-urban and rural areas.
The cooperatives need to survive, and issues like politicization, inadequate skills or problems arising from the dual control of cooperatives by Centre and states need to be resolved once and for all. There is need for cooperation among the judiciary, central and state governments and cooperatives themselves in solving the immediate problems the clientele of cooperatives are facing today. Sorting out hurdles in the formation of Kerala Cooperative Bank quickly and amicably will go a long way in reinventing the real role of cooperatives in India.
At this stage Centre should come forward and support the Kerala initiative and play a proactive role in revamping cooperatives.
M G Warrier, Mumbai
*Business Standard, April 14, 2017, Letters: A ‘Kerala Model’
II
Recent response
Restore credibility and trust*
Apropos “Cut out any doubt” (From the viewsroom, April 12), it has to be conceded that this decade has seen deterioration of trust in all walks of life in India. The political parties who happened to land in opposition benches who magnify all types of allegations against governments in power are  equally responsible for this state of affairs, as are citizens who have developed a special interest in sensational and ‘spicy’ gossips spread by social media.
Media and political leadership have perfected the art of converting even normal police action or routine deliberations in courts into stories with focus on ‘failure of governance’. This trend needs to be reversed.
Institutions like Election Commission, CAG, Reserve Bank of India and even courts are being dragged into controversies by politicians and media making common man suspect the trustworthiness of all pillars of democracy in India. It is also true that all along these institutions have stood the tests and sufficient credibility in the system is left from which we can build up an edifice of trust.
The EVMs could be made a test case. It will be ridiculous to abandon a technology-driven voting system, built up over years and  which is working well, succumbing to pressures. But credibility need to be restored. It would not be cost-effective to reintroduce paper ballot or even to have the so called ‘Voter Verified Paper Audut Trail Machines’. But it should be possible to have both paper ballots and EVMs in a small percentage of polling booths with which it would be easy to establish that there are no manipulations in EVMs. May be, experiments should go on, till trust and credibility are restored.
M G Warrier, Mumbai
*The Hindu Business Line, April 13, 2017, Letters
III
Spirituality
The Hindu, April 13, 2017
Faith
Reaching the Brahman
Uddalaka gives his son Svetaketu many examples to explain the nature of Brahman, said M.K. Srinivasan in a discourse. After explaining the subtle nature of Sath, Uddalaka goes on to explain what liberation means and also the need for an Acharya to give spiritual instruction.
Uddalaka says, “Suppose there is a person from the Gandhara country. He is taken to a forest and left there blindfolded. The forest has no human habitation. The man will shout that he has been left alone and is also blindfolded. He would shout out in different directions. If a person happens to be present, he will remove the blindfold and then guide the lost man, telling him how he can reach Gandhara. From then on, the man slowly will make his way to Gandhara, by making enquiries on the way.
Once he is told the right direction that he has to take to reach his destination, then he can make the journey alone. Likewise, a person who has a good Acharya will know the way to reach Brahman.” But when does a person reach Brahman? Only when he exits the body can he reach Brahman. Once he has served out the effects of his karma, his soul leaves his body.
Uddalaka further explains that when a person is on his death bed, his relatives gather around him asking him if he recognises them . He is able to recognise them, until his speech merges into manas, and manas merges into prana, and prana merges into tejas and tejas unites with the Supreme One. At that stage, he no longer recognises anyone. In other words, once the soul unites with Sath, he does not recognise anyone.
So the relationship with the body is impermanent. He who knows this will not be touched by the sorrows of samsara, for he knows that Sath is the atman of everything. He will meditate upon this Sath.
IV
FICTION
Book Review: An unusual book by a strange author*

My Book on Women
Author: Anonymous
Publisher: Sociall Mediaa Publikations
Price: N A

This book  with several blank pages and a beautiful cover landed in my inbox today (April 14, 2017). Being an author myself, I was curious (really!).
After publishing my first book “Banking, Reforms & Corruption: Development Issues in 21st Century India” in July 2014, I have been getting several tempting offers from publishers to go ahead with my second book. Now I have got the !dea which is going to change my life. I am going to write a book reviewing “My Book on Women”(MyBow in short). Those who want to sponsor the publication are welcome.
Every author starts with a blank slate or blank book or a blank page opened on her computer or mobile. This first volume inadvertently published by the anonymous author need to be seen from that angle. Nothing happens, if you don’t get started somewhere. Now that several WhatsApp and email fanatics have ‘purchased’ the maiden edition of the book, the second edition has to be released fast.
Dear Anonymous
From tonight on, please keep a copy of MyBow under your pillow. That will disturb your sleep. People with sleeping problems are/were great authors. On the first night (?), if you sleep through the entire night, the moment you wake up, write whatever comes to your mind filling the first page. Like this, whenever you wake up from sleep, write something in continuation of what you have written in the ‘blank’ book. Continue this for one fortnight. Next fortnight, edit whatever you have written and convert it into an article (Minimum 2000 words- not much, it works out to just 150 words per day). Like this you will be ready with a book of 52,000 words in two years.
Try your luck, then, with some publishers.
If nothing clicks, start your own Blog and send emails to friends asking them to CLICK! Over time, it will click or you will get used to people’s indifference.
Love and affection
M G Warrier

*Credit: My good friend Rangasayee who forwarded the book to me.

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