Archive for September 16th, 2008

Milk feeding by Kannadamma!

September 16, 2008

Those were my high school days… we had been to Hyderabad on educational trip. When we reached the city, it was already a time of mid-night. We were awaken by our teachers at 5 o’clock in the morning. We got ready by 6 o’clock. But some of our friends were still busy with the preparations. I felt like to have some hot breweries.

Just I come out of the lodge with our teachers’ permission. There was a hotel infront of me. One of my friends Devappa, who was already sitting in the hotel, called me to have a cup of coffee. I followed his voice and crossed the road, which was just getting ready to tolerate the crowd of vehicles. Banni Mr.Menasinakai avare (wel-come Mr. Menasinakai!)… a wel-come by the person, who was sitting on the cash-box of the hotel!

I wondered! Because we did not heard Kannada since six days of our trip! “how did you come to know my surname?”-I asked him. He said-“just now I heard your friend, calling you as Menasinakai !” But my wonder was about his Kannada knowledge. He introduced him self as he is Rajesh, hails from Raichur. He asked about my surname which means chilly.

Afterwards we ordered for a coffee for Devappa and a milk for me, as I don’t consume tea or coffee! Then we went to the cash-box to pay the bill. But that person denied to take the money from us and said-“it is my pleasure to serve the Kannadigas, you have made my ears happy by speaking our mother tongue Kannada! So please don’t..”

I fell-down in dilemma. My friend Devappa said-“if the case is so, we would have ordered for heavy break-fast!”. But I closed my eyes and submitted thanks to the great Kannadamma!

till today when ever I think of my mother tongue, Rajyotsava, trip out side the state I will recall this incident.

Jai Kannadamma!

–Sangamesh Menasinakai

(note: unedited version, it was published in Sunday supplement of DECCAN HERALD dtd 31-12-2006)

Were they real fans?

September 16, 2008

Letter to the Editor:

With reference to A.Surya Prakash’s article “Raj Kumar a lightning rod and firewall” (VT April 27), I think writer has not observed the situation thoroughly, of disturbances at the time of Dr.Raj’s demise by his so-called fans. Because on that day policemen were very patient. Ofcourse, the government was failed to make proper arrangements to regulate the movement of his fans and to enable  them to pay their respects to departed hero; was the way to responding by attacking on police, government and private property?
One could watch the Kannada channels about police men’s behaviour, where they were very passive to control the mob. If police had desired, they could have killed several people. Instead of that they faced critical condition without caring their lives!

Dr.Raj had fans’ club not only from Karnataka, from all over India. Even in abroad also we can find the deep fans of him. But riots happened in Bangalore only. Here one can assume that they were not real fans of Annavru.     If all fans were followed the same, then whole Karnataka would have become funeral ground!

So if one wants to criticize the police, in this case, so-called fans’ attitude should also be criticized.
28-04-2006                                                                         -Sangamesh Menasinakai

(note: unedited version, it was published in Letters to the editor of VIJAY TIMES dtd 05-05-2006)

interview for kids!

September 16, 2008

A reputed public school in Bangalore south…where three and half years’ kid Arjun faced an interview to get the admission for the L.K.G., had a funny play with his performance! After the interview his mother Anjali Ramanna, who is an advocate also, got the answer that, ‘we will inform you later’! Around 20 days passed. No response from the school. But neighbour received a letter from the same school. Tension arised among Arjun’s parents. They were expecting negative response atleast! So that they can try in some other schools for his son’s admission.  Finally Anjali contacted the school and asked about her son’s selection. But there was no satisfactory response. “it may come in second list, it may come in third list…concerned clerck is on long leave…”. These were the answers! Advocate mother met management members. They were already well aquainted with this parent, as her elder son was studying in the same school. They said “we prefer the siblings”!

When Anjali asked about this unnecessary delay, she came to know that, “Arjun is not upto-the-mark”! She just got surprised, as Arjun was already a student of a play school, which is a well-known in pre-nursery course. Finally she got a letter from management to the school, which was supposed to send by a peon,  she was just curious to read the same. She could find a marks list of her child, which shown the details as: “looking smart- 5 out of 5; mingling with peer group- 5 out of 5; apprehension- good; respecting elders- good; Alphabets-3 out of 8; colouring-1 out of 3. This child is very good looking, highly confident, has updated general knowledge. But not able to recognize the alphabets and colours”.   “If my son is able to tell everything, what they would teach in next two years” asks Anjali, who preserves a copy of that letter!

As Delhi High Court has ruled that no private school should conduct interviews of either children or parents during admission to nursery classes recently, a discussion is going on about the same across the Karnataka, among the parents, private schools as well as educationists. Delhi High Court had directed earlier on Dec 9, 2005, to The Association of Unaided Private Schools regarding this. The association had assured in an affidavit that suitable parameters would be evolved to dispense with present practice.

Anyways the counsel of ‘Social Jurist’, an NGO should be thanked for this, who had filed a PIL against the present system.

Is there necessity of interview in nursery schools? Answer stands for both-yes and no. As western educanist James Coleman had said in a paper that-“interview system is very essential in private schools. Because private schools are more successful than government schools, as they have higher levels of ‘social capital’. Social capital includes families’ and schools’ shared expectations and goals, which are reinforced through interactions between children and adults.”  Parental Involvement Model at the University of Houston also supports this system, which increases the parents’ responsibility in the all round development of a child.

“But in the Indian context, interview has become a way of financial discussion. Managements would keep observing financial condition of parents”  opines  Prof. Mahesh Tippashetty, who admitted his grand daughter in a reputed school in Bangalore. He also adds that we can not blame all schools in this regard. As some of them have really good intension to know the educational qualification and cultural background of parents.

As for as concern about child psychology, “it is a very bad idea” explains child psychologist Dr. Ajith Bide. But he also finds that interview helps to identify the children who may be suffering from behavioral problem.

Mahendra Singhi who runs three schools in Hubli asks that “if we get 200-300 applications for 30 seats, what criteria should be followed for the selection?.” He requests the educationists as well as concerned authorities to suggest comparative way than interview. Dr. P.S.Khona, vice-president of Sri C.D.O.Jain Education Society in Gadag, opposes the interview system strongly, but his school conducts interviews since many years! As he says it is collective opinion of the committee. According to Dr. Khona interview creates severe psychological pressure on kids. But on contrary Rumila Kolhar who is assistant head mistress in the same school, opines that interview is must to know the basic knowledge of child and parents. She does not agree with psychological pressure among the children. “Now a days most of the children are very intelligent, confident. Their I.Q. level is also good. So they answer with courage and boldness” she explains. Then what about the children, those who are not bold in viva test, but bold in writing? Rumila says “as we go through the written test, we will give much time for such students”.  But Veena Shashidhar a resident of Rajajinagar Bangalore, who is a B.E. graduate opposes this statement and says “such system should be banned in Karnataka also. Because 90% children can not open their mouth in front of strangers though they are intelligent enough.”
Sudha Narasimharaju cine-small screen artist-who has been to a noted school for the admission of her cousin’s child-finds a new way of informal interview. “In this way there is no question of tension among the children and parents. Because we can find homely atmosphere in such interviews. Children would be kept in a garden or hall for a hour or  two. No restrictions for their  activities. They will move with other children of same age. In between this session, teachers or other concerned persons of the school will come to them with smiling face and ask questions lively. A child who is already full of confidence, will answer easily!”

“Formal or informal does not make any difference” orgues Hemalatha M.N., a nursery teacher in Kengeri satellite town. According to her, schools should consider the children of uneducated parents also. Then if the no. of applicants is more than available seats? Hemalatha  propounds the method of ‘first come-first serve’. S.R.Rohidekar a noted educanist  also supports this method and he suggests that children should get admitted in their surrounding schools itself. He says education has to be controlled by the government, not by the private institutions. But today it is reverse. Money is acting in a major role in the present system. As he observes, this interview system is being followed in pre-nursery level also, to which he protests strongly. “Oh god! Interview for two and half years’ child!” he expresses his surprise.

It is not that only schools’ managements have promoted this interview system, where parents are also equal responsible for this. As Premalatha-sociology lecturer-defines “If a school does not conduct interview, parents express a doubt about the education quality of that school!”  Yes, some parents wish to have an interview with school managements. Bharathi S., who resides at Agrahara Dasarahalli affirms in this way- “if they give admission to all, wise and dull students without interview then wise students may follow the dull fellows. So I expect interview to bifurcate  students according to their IQ level.” “But most of the institutions do not preserve the common sense of what to ask and what to not” Shrilaxmi, who is an casual announcer in AIR Bangalore, interrogates strongly. She was asked about her caste, what she did not want to tell about. When she said ‘casteless’ management was not ready accept. When she got clear idea from her advocate friend, then it was entered as ‘casteless’. Veena Shashidhar was asked about her degree and house work. As being an engineering graduate, she is a full time house-wife, she was asked- “ being a engineering graduate why are you not working any where?” Her answer was very serious- “it’s  my personal matter!”

One can find that interview system has become a great problem for the parents, those who use to shift their residence because of their transferable jobs and other reasons, from one place to other. As Dinesh Shiny-a hotel businessman of Manipal-defines if a child has got good marks in  his previous standard of one school, though he has to face another interview in new school, which puts the child in much tension.

-Sangamesh Menasinakai

(note: unedited version, it was published in Education supplement of VIJAY TIMES dtd 08-09-2006)

Hats off to ‘COMMUNICATOR’

September 16, 2008

Letters to the Editor:

I felt very pleased to read the article “India’s immediate response to a distress call” (April 25). India has shown it’s pity towards countries like Sri Lanka & Maldives, through out the history. And it has secure respectful place in the history of other countries’ also.

I but one thing we should remember that India always sacrificed and lost a lot, by such helps itself. As India sent ‘Indian Peace Keeping Force’ to Sri Lanka in 1987, the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was attempted to kill by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam’s militants. Though  India did not stop it’s helping  against mercenaries. As the result of this, Rajiv Gandhi was killed by the LTTE.

Ramamohan Rao has related the  Operation Cactus with his daughter Smita’s  marriage. One should learn this way of remembering our personal happenings, so that we can make our birth day, wedding anniversaries memorable  with the national/global happenings.

25-04-2006                                                                       -Sangamesh Menasinakai,

(note: unedited version, it was published in Sunday supplement of VIJAY TIMES dtd 29-04-2006)

solid fuels

September 16, 2008

I remember, I remember
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;

These are the lines from the poem-‘past and present’ written by Thomas Hood. But we remember, we remember; the house where we were born; the little window where the smoke use to go out at morning to evening to morning! This was scenario of a decade ago in rural as well as urban area. Today modern fuels like LPG, gober gas, solar power have taken over the place of firewood, coal, cake of cow-dung.
But though technology has advanced and is also available at reasonable price, people are still bent on sticking to traditional practices such as this. A report by WHO says that half of the world’s population still does cooking using solid fuels! ‘smoke from using fuels like wood, dung, coke etc in the kitchen room is equivalent to breathing in 40 cigarettes a day’ the report says.
‘Two-three years back I was always suffering from cough, as we were using wood as main fuel for cooking. When we started using of LPG, cough melted gradually and now I am happy with cooking using LPG’ says Annapurna B. Rangrej, a teacher of Gajendragad in Ron taluk. But she also adds that, there is necessity of wood for heating the water for bath. Ofcourse Gajendragad is a small town, where LPG is available easily. But in rural area, still there is no proper supply of LPG. ‘As our village is 25 kms away from our taluk center, who supplies LPG to us? So it has become our custom to burn ourself with wood’ disquests Nagaratna Sulibhavi, an uneducated house-wife of Kataral village of Koppal dist.

According to a survey, three-quarters of all households in India, comprising more than nine-tenths of rural households and one-third of urban households, used traditional fuels like wood and dung as main fuel in 1999-2000.
As Dr. Umesh Sullad, a government practitioner of Balutgi village in Karwar dist., says-rural woman has become main victim of such solid fuels.  She suffers a lot due to

(note: article is incomplete)


September 16, 2008

I enterd into freedom struggle by the motivation of classmates. News papers like Samyukta Karnataka and Lokamatha inspired us to get participated in the movement. The paana nirodha movement was the first one for us. 22 students of our school, including me left the school and started the movement in Gadag. There was no interruption from teachers and no support also. They were disgusted by autocracy of British. They were helpless to protest also.
I got married in 1943 at the age of 18. My wife Sangamma was also interested to fight with British rule. She was inspired by the seeing Ganghiji personally. Gandhiji had come to Jakkali village in Ron taluk. He spoke to freedom fighters at Doddameti Andanappa’s residence. So I felt very happy to get married with such bride. She was a founder member of Kumari sangha, a group of women, which was creating awareness about freedom among the women.   I had also organized a troop called Snehitara Sangha (friends’ circle).
After the marriage our family was shifted to Koppal. There I joined the camp of patriots at Kataraki village, whose leader was Shirur Veerabhadrappa.
There was a major rally against British at Davanagere, under the leadership of Sharat Chandra Bose, brother of Subhas Chandra Bose. He spoke to the public in Hindi language.  Though the crowd could not understand the Hindi language, it was responding with claps and slogans. Yes, language was not a problem at all for the emotions of patriotism.  After the function I met him personally. He touched my back and said- aap log abhi jawaan hain, British logon se darna nahin…isi tarah aage badhna ok? (still you are young, don’t get afraid of British, continue with such activities. ok?).
Then I involved  much deeply in the movement. I stopped coming home as I became too busy with my activities in Kataraki. Sangamma was alone at home in Koppal. My friends use to make required arrangements for her. They use to bring meals for me. Today Sangamma would be recalling the incidents in leisure time. Socialism leader Jayaprakash Narayan had visited to Koppal at vegetables’ market. He inspired us much by his powerful words.
Ofcourse  India gained independence in 1947, but people of Hyderabad-Karnataka could not enjoyed the freedom till one more year. Rulers of Hyderabad–Karnataka province did not allow the people to enjoy their freedom. Then I involved  in this movement. we were arrested on August 15, 1947 and produced before special court, where we got imprisonment for 18 months in Hyderabad! But we were very lucky to know that, we would be released before that period. As I was released by the jail and reached Koppal, I found a secrete way to the Koppal fort and put a flag on that! Finally our region got involved in the independent India in September 1947.
Today where are we on the way of progress? Here I want to review the social concerns of that age and todays. Before independence, everyone, especially youngsters were very brave about the country. Educated women also used to participate in movements. Even employees of British government  also used to support us internally! There was no question of communality. But today I find lack of nationalism among the youngster.
According to me, corruption is another major reason, by which India is facing no.of  problems. It shows that present generation is unaware of values of independence.

On that day…
August 15, 1947…I am sure that you were enjoying the freedom. But on contrast we were arrested at Kataraki by the Nizam’s ruling.  I can remember that day…my self, Chidambar Bhat Purohit, Ramakrishna Bondade and others called a open function. As we said some words against establishment. Mean while another public function was arranged in Koppal by the patriots like Laxmanachar Agnihotri, Veerabhadrappa Shirur, Narasingh rao Hampikar. All of us got arrested and kept in a jail of Hyderabad. At the same time Swamy Ramananda tirtha called the public for a movement against Nizam’s ruling.
That jail life was horrible! We were treated like third grade citizen. We could find cockroaches and other insects in the meals. Then we would start a quarrel with jailor by forcing him to have that food. But he never had it.
There was a horror show of horses. 40-50 horses would attack on us suddenly.  Our one of fighters Shrinivas Nittali died in such incident itself.
-Sangamesh Menasinakai

(note: unedited version, it was published in Sunday supplement of VIJAY TIMES dtd 13-08-2006)


September 16, 2008

We were inspired by speeches of veteran freedom fighters like Doddered Andanappa, Sardar Veeranagouda, Nesvi and others. When I shifted to Navilugunda (today’s Navalgund) for the high school education, it was the time of Quit India movement. As  the great leaders like Gandhi, Nehru, Azad and others got arrested by British government, I could not stop myself to be in the school, my emotions made me to organize a rally against the British establishment. I purchased some copies of Samyukta Karnataka daily, in which speeches of national leaders use to publish to attract my schoolmates for the rally. Our teachers tried to stop me and said to think of my future! I didn’t bother.
The procession started with 70-80 students and reached Tehsil office. The Tehsildar tried to persuade us. He said-“you are violating the law and order, which is not good for students like you. I am giving a chance to withdraw your strike if you give a letter of apology”. But that was not our way! Tehsildar called the parents of our companions, they took their children back to home. Finally we were just three members! Our flags of tiranga, which was also a symbol of Indian National Congress having charaka, were grabbed. We sat for a strike from 7 o’clock in the evening to 12 in the mid-night to arguing that our flags should be returned. By the interference of some elders, our flags were returned. It was the first phase of my struggling life.
Then we started destroying activities. My self, Katta Govindareddy and another person involved in secrete movement for a month. I was the eldest in that group. We use to copy the bulletin and distributing to public. We use to act like beggars to fulfill our hungry! Finally we got arrested by British intelligence and produced before Navilugund court. Then we were kept in lock-up for 10-12 days. Again Tehsildar tried to persuade our mind. But he found useless and sent us to the resident magistrate in Hubble. Justice Saldana was the then magistrate. He also shown mercy on us and suggested  to continue with studies. He also said, “first of all you have to become graduate and responsible citizen of India. Afterwards you can fight for the freedom”. Then I asked a question- “sir, you are a graduate and responsible citizen of our country. Are you fighting with British rule?” He had no answer! Though that Anglo-Indian asked us about our courage and sacrifice. We replied-“sir, Gandhiji has said, do or die!” He felt very bad about our dealings. He sentenced us for fine and imprisonment. He also assured that if we pay money, he will reduce the imprisonment. As  all of us were from poor families, we opted for more imprisonment. We could find tears in his eyes while announcing the punishment for us!
We were sent to Hindalga jail in Belgaum. Jailor was very good Samaritan. He was an Indian. But superintendent was Europian. We use to prepare rope and work harder during his visiting hours. Often we were calling meetings about freedom movement, without knowledge of jailor. There were around 3,000 fighters.
I came back to Sudi after the completion of the punishment. Still I had to complete  my matriculation examination. I got admitted into VDSTC high school in Gadag. But there was no arrangement for the boarding and food. Then I approached Shivanand mutt and asked for the same. The chief interviewed me. I said proudly that I am freedom fighter and I had been to jail for once. On contrast, it was the negative point in their view!  Though they gave admission on a condition that chanting the mantra Om namah shivaya is compulsory. But I didn’t agree, as I had  no faith in such customs. Finally I joined the mutt. Gained matriculation from Bombay university. After returning to home place, I organized seva-dal  and tried to spread the thoughts of socialism. In this period I met veteran freedom fighters like R.R.Diwakar, Andanappa Doddameti, Venkatesh Magadi, Leelavathi, Shantinath Singade, Tippanna Shastry, Deshpande and others. Finally we got independence in 1947.
In those days, the nationality trend was common among the youngsters. Most of them were patriots. People were un aware about the values of freedom. But they were respecting the fighters. Every one was eager to sacrifice their lives. Today youngsters have become very selfish. There is no sincerity  towards country. Social and political systems have to be changed.
Corruption was very rare phenomenon. It was in the form of giving small things with love. One could see the servicing nature among the officers. But today it has become a part of our daily life! Instead of serving nature, administrators have developed the luxurious life!

On that day…..
It was already known that India will have freedom on August 14 at mid-night. We put a flag pillar at Mahadev Mailara bazaar, which was named by us. The 15 fighters-approved by Mahatma Gandhi-were fecilated  by the citizen. There was a festival like situation in the village. Women were singing some traditional songs, with our names. There were special food items in every house. There was a chance to talk about our struggle and values of freedom.

-Sangamesh Menasinakai

(note: unedited version, it was published in Sunday supplement of VIJAY TIMES dtd 13-08-2006)

corporal pinishment part-2

September 16, 2008

Yes, it is 100% justified! One should remember, no man could achieve or gain without an external pressure. This is universal truth. As a teacher I say loudly for 100 times that corporal punishment in schools is justified. The psychiatrists, educationist-those who are protesting the corporal punishment, are just repeating lessons of their textbooks! They don’t deserve practical knowledge about the school environment. They think all children come from ideal family/social environment, which is absolutely away from the truth. Do you know? If a lady teacher is smart enough by external appearance, boy students of 5th-6th    standard will dream about romance with her! If a gents teacher is handsome enough, girl student of 7th – 8th wants to propose him! If we behave friendly or try to understand/solve their problems they will take us granted. Of course, one should agree that a teacher should move friendly with students, but there should be a thin layer between teachers and students.
Here I should mention a quote of an educationist- a teacher should beat the students by hand but love by heart. So the feel of the beat will remain for some minutes and love will remain forever.
My grand father Late Gurubasappa, who had learnt standard-VI, in a small village, used to say- “when corporal punishment was accepted by society in our school days, we used to concentrate our mind on studies despite of poverty and lack of facilities. Now I can challenge the graduates in subjects like Kannada, Mathematics and English. I find today’s students in studying at bachelor degree level, can not write or read their mother tongue properly!”
Just show me a parent, who has parented his children without punishing physically. Is there any mother, who has shown her affection and concern to her child without beating at least for once? Then how could a teacher teach the student without punishing directly?    Is there any possibility for a sculpture to make a statue without hammer and chisel?
Do you know? There is a reference in this regard, in manu smruthi also. It is mentioned that, the accused student has to serve Guru patni (teacher’s wife) for 15 days, he has to bring wood from forest, he has to have meals for once per day etc.
I agree there are many examples of punishing pupils in bad manner. A teacher should understand that his punishment must evolve students by mentally as well as physically. I protest the corporal punishment, if it makes long time or permanent effect on student’s mind or body. If the intention of the punishment is to achieve all round development among the children, then I hope none problem will arise.
The Department of Public Instruction has to think thoroughly before making it as circular. If it banns the corporal punishment, I request not take any action on teachers if low result is achieved.
So, for the department as well as government- this is the right time to understand the meaning of   A stitch in time saves nine!

-Sangamesh Menasinakai

(For your kind information-I am a govt high school teacher in a small village)

We want bicycles!

September 16, 2008

Bicycles abscondoned! This is not an advertisement of any local paper or local channel. This is the slogan of VIII-standard students studying in government and aided schools of the state.
The co-alliation government had started a new scheme of providing bicycles to students of standard-VIII of government schools. Initially it was restricted for girls itself. Budget allocation for this was Rs.35 crores for 1.75 lakh bicycles. Earlier it was told that cycles would be supplied to the girls, who come to the school from long distance. But it was difficult to find out such students, as the high schools have been opened in many villages. Later Below Poverty Line cards were the criteria to sanction the bicycles. And the scheme was extended to boys also at the end of the academic year and the no. Of the bicycles was increased into 4,70,000.
Indian Bicycle manufacturers Association (IBMA) questioned the tendering process. As the government had announced the cost of a cycle Rs.2,030 and Rs. 2,300, it was smelled a rat in the whole scheme. The parents as well as public had expressed a doubt about the quality of the bicycles. IBMA had blamed that the government of Karnataka has completely violated the guidelines of Central Vigilance Commission and World Bank. According to IBMA, the Karnataka government could have saved Rs. 300 to Rs. 400 if small and medium size manufacturers were allowed to participate in the tender.
What ever, recently the government has issued an order telling ration cards should not be produced to avail any government facilities alike. So VIII-standard students of the current year are eagerly waiting for the bicycles with their caste and income certificates. But the Department of Public Instruction as well as government is acting like blind in this regard.
Reason? Every one knows that the present situation of the government!

-Sangamesh Menasinakai


Fotos by- Sangamesh Menasinakai
Fotos Files attached: bicycles1 (a file foto)
bicycles2 (a file foto)