Posts Tagged ‘culture’

Is “Military Intelligence” an “Oxymoron” ?

August 5, 2015

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal: -> http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/do-military-officers-have-brains-or-is.html.

Humor in Uniform

DO MILITARY OFFICERS HAVE BRAINS…?
or
Is “Anti-intellectualism” an OLQ (Officer Like Quality)…?

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Military Thinking


A few days ago – I received an invite for PILF 2015 – Pune International Literary Festival 2015 –  scheduled in the first week of September.

This evoked in me some delightful memories of PILF 2013 – held 2 years ago – in September 2013 – especially the enlightened discussion with a young lady during the Question/Answer Session of the workshop on “Blogging” that I conducted at the Literary Meet.

So – here is the article – comprising the “memoir” and my “reflections” – once more – for you to read, have a laugh and ponder over…  

THE MILITARY “BRAIN”
Reflections of a Navy Veteran
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Around two years ago – in September 2013 – I was invited to conduct a workshop on “Blogging” at a Literary Meet (Pune International Literary Festival – PILF 2013).

During the discussions – a smart young lady sitting in the first row asked me a question:

“Sir – I have read your book of short stories and I regularly read your writings on your blogs – especially your fiction stories – and I was wondering –‘…How is it possible that you can think so creatively despite having spent so many years in the Navy?’…”

At first – I was stumped.

But – I quickly recovered my wits – and I said: “Life in the Navy is so eventful – you meet so many unforgettable characters – you have so many interesting experiences – so you get plenty of material to write about.’

“No, Sir – I did not mean life experiences. I am asking about thinking ability. Tell me, Sir – ‘…Doesn’t military life affect the ability to think creatively?’…” she asked.

“I really did not understand your question – could you please elaborate?” I asked her.

“Sir – I was an army officer till recently – and I found the atmosphere quite stifling and restrictive – which inhibits creative thinking…” the smart young lady said.

Now – I was beginning to understand what she was driving at – so I said: “Do you mean the military “anti-intellectualism” – which suppresses intellectual activity – the military regimentation ethos of  ‘…“Don’t use your brain – just do as you are told” army culture?’…”

“Yes, Sir – that is exactly what I mean…” she said.

I smiled to myself.

She was echoing the thoughts of Liddell Hart.

Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart (31 October 1895 – 29 January 1970) – commonly known throughout most of his career as Captain B. H. Liddell Hart – was an English soldier, military historian and military theorist.

Liddell Hart – while highlighting the dangers of “anti-intellectualism” in the army – had pointed out the reason due to which military officers lose their creative thinking abilities.

He opined that:

“…A lifetime of having to curb the expression of original thought culminates so often in there being nothing left to express…”.

There is a saying which applies to the Brain:

“Use it – or you will lose it”

I have read somewhere that there is a relationship between mental activity and cerebral blood-flow – and – like muscles – the brain atrophies from prolonged disuse.

Military Officers (especially Army Officers) are encouraged to do plenty of physical exercise to keep their body fit.

However – the anti-intellectual “just do as you are told – don’t use your brain” military culture inhibits the use of the brain.

The ramification of this regimented blind-obedience military culture is thatmilitary officers keep their bodies fit by constant physical exercise – but they neglect exercising their brain (especially the right hemisphere of the brain).

While a military officer may occasionally use his analytical “left brain” – his creative “right brain” will fall into disuse and atrophy.

And – as the military officer spends more years in service and becomes a senior officer – he will lose the ability to think creatively.

The young smart ex-fauji lady officer had a point and she was implying that:

‘…Living for a prolonged duration in a dogmatic “don’t use your brain – just do as you are told” strait-jacketed “anti-intellectual” insular military environment can certainly affect your creative thinking abilities…’

Obviously – during her days as an army officer – the young lady had experienced this intellectually suffocating feeling.

Maybe – she had also observed the detrimental effect of the prevailing military culture of “anti-intellectualism” on the creative faculties of her peers and seniors.

Obviously – during her days in the army – she had experienced that this “blinkered thinking army culture” was constraining her creativity.

Probably that was the reason why she had quit the army before it was too late – in order to enable her creative juices to flow freely – and – now – as a civilian – her creativity was certainly flourishing – as was evident from the inspired creative writing on her blog.

Well – I told the young lady that the intellectual culture in the navy was certainly more liberal and “broadminded” than what she had experienced in the army – and – in general – the navy milieu was conducive to creative thinking.

In fact – I found navy life quite eventful – and this probably gave my creative thinking ability an impetus – as there was never a dull moment in the navy – with so many curious characters around.


“ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM” IS AN IMPORTANT OLQ (OFFICER LIKE QUALITY)

After the workshop was over – I had a delightful discussion with the charming young lady.

“I am sure you have heard of the term OLQ…” I asked her.

“Of course I know what is OLQ – it was drilled into us – OLQ means ‘Officer Like Qualities’…” she said. 

“Well – “Anti-intellectualism” is an important OLQ – yes – “regimented thinking” is a vital “Officer Like Quality” – and – if an officer uses his right brain and thinks creatively or “out of the box” – as they say – then he is doomed…” I told her.

In jest – I told her that during my Navy days – I always carried two brains inside me:

1. A “fauji brain” for regimented military thoughts

2. A “creative brain” for interesting thoughts where I could let my imagination run wild.

Most of the naval officers I met were cerebral types – but I did come across a few anti-intellectual specimens too.

If you are a “fauji” (serving or retired) – or a “faujan” – do tell us if you have come across some “just do as you are told – don’t use your brain”“anti-intellectual” types during your service in the military.

Like I said – the overly regimented Army is certainly more “anti-intellectual” than the Navy –  and most of the naval officers I came across were cerebral types – but I did meet a few “anti-intellectual” types in the Navy too – and about one such hilarious specimen – I will tell you in a subsequent blog post.

And – before I end – let me leave you with a famous saying: 

“Military Intelligence” is an “Oxymoron”

You agree – don’t you – the phrase “Military Intelligence” is a contradiction in terms – isn’t it…?

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This is a spoof, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Abridged Revised and Updated Extract of my article THE CRAZY COMMODORE WITH A PHOBIA FOR “MANAGEMENT THOUGHTS”written by me Vikram Karve on 19 November 2013 and posted online in my various blogs including in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Posted by Vikram Karve at 11/19/2013 12:31:00 PM at url:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and revised version at url:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/05/2015 11:12:00 

Romance in Uniform – A GIRL IN EVERY PORT – Navy Myth or Fact?

May 13, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – A GIRL IN EVERY PORT.

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Humor in Uniform

A GIRL IN EVERY PORT
Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

“I have heard that Naval Officers have a girl in every port – but so far we don’t even have a single girl,” my course-mate said.

“Come on – we were under training. Maybe now – things will look up,” I said.

“Yes,” my course-mate said, “we are lucky to have got Bombay based ships.”

(This story happened 37 years ago – in the 1970’s – and those days – Mumbai was called Bombay – but I shall use Mumbai from now on).

“Yes – we are indeed lucky as compared to those poor Vizag guys – they are destined to a desolate life,” I said.

“The first thing I am going to do in Mumbai is to get myself a girlfriend,” my friend said.

“Me too,” I said.

My friend succeeded.

I failed.

I just did not have the talent for romance.

Everything had been handed down to me on a platter – the conditions to get a girlfriend were ideal – I was on the best ship – and in those ‘licence-quota-permit Raj’ days – as far as girls were concerned – Navy Officers were in high demand – since we got exotic foreign stuff duty free (especially perfumes) – and these imported goodies were was not available outside – and we had access to the best of clubs and social circles.

(Now – with the advent of liberalization and globalization – the charm of the Defence Services has gone down – since everything – and more – is freely available to civilians).

Most Naval Officers had girlfriends – and a few ‘Casanovas’ were having a good time with ‘fleet auxiliaries’ – but I had drawn a blank.

My course-mate had acquired a girlfriend within days of our reaching Mumbai – and he was often seen gallivanting with her all over the place.

In my case – having failed to acquire a girlfriend – I focused on food and drink.

Once – after imbibing half a bottle of whisky – followed by a sumptuous Biryani at Olympia – and a delicious ‘Triple Sundae’ ice cream at Yankee Doodle – I was fast asleep – enjoying sweet foodie dreams in my cabin.

I was jolted awake – it was my course-mate who had come over from his ship which was tied up alongside next to my ship.

“I am very upset – I want to talk to someone – and you are my best friend,” he said.

“I was your ‘best friend’…” I said, “…now you have got your girlfriend.”

“It’s about her – I just saw her off at the airport – she is on a long haul flight plan – she will be away for two weeks…” he said.

His girlfriend was an airhostess who flew on international routes.

“Okay – so you can join me for food and drink till she comes back…” I said.

“No – it’s not that – she wants to marry me …” he said.

“So – get married,” I said.

“It is not so simple – my parents won’t agree – her parents want her to continue he job too – and in her airline – airhostesses have to quit the moment they get married – it is all very complicated – I have realized that falling in love has complicated my life…” he said – and then he went on and on telling me his ‘sob story’ – and disturbing my sleep – by narrating his ‘love woes’ till early morning.

I thought that having a girlfriend made you happier.

But – exactly the opposite had happened to my otherwise cheerful friend – who appeared to have become miserable after falling in love.

I said to myself: “If having just one girlfriend had done this to him – just imagine the situation of those with multiple girlfriends…!”

It seemed that a ‘zero-girlfriend’ guy like me was much happier than my counterparts who had girlfriends.

I realized that ‘Food’ was a safe investment like a Fixed Deposits – maybe the ‘returns’ were lower – but for the time and money you spent on food – you got a guaranteed ‘return on investment’ (ROI).

On the other hand – ‘Romance’ was a risky investment like the share market.

Acquiring a girlfriend was like investing in a stock – just like the ‘returns’ from the stock market were unpredictable – the ROI you got from a romantic relationship could swing between ecstasy and agony.

Of course – I did make some efforts to ‘fall in love’ – but – sadly – no girl was willing to fall in love with me.

So – I resigned myself to the fact that ‘love marriage’ was not in my destiny – and – hence – I settled for an ‘arranged marriage’.

As a newly married couple – my wife and I – along with our pet Lhasa Apso girl Sherry – we lived in a lovely one room flat in Curzon Road Apartments in New Delhi.

One evening – we were sitting in Nathu’s Sweets – in Bengali Market – one of our favourite places where we often walked down in the evenings.

There was a group of beautiful girls sitting nearby – and my eyes were focused on them.

Yes – I was ogling at the pretty girls – as most young men do – or want to do.

One girl seemed particularly attractive – and I was staring at her quite blatantly with frank admiration in my eyes.

My wife followed my gaze – and she was quite amused to see me looking at the girls so intently – especially the yearning look I gave to that most gorgeous girl who seemed to be the object of my total attention.

Suddenly – my gaze shifted.

My wife was curious.

Was there a new ‘object’ which had captured my attention?

She followed my gaze – to see where I was looking.

On observing the new ‘object of my attention’ – my wife started laughing.

A tray of sweets was being brought in from the kitchen – and my eyes had ‘locked on’ to the mouthwatering sweets like a Radar ‘locks on’ to its target.

The tray was heaped with my favourite sweet – the inimitable ‘Lavang Lata’.

Soon – I was fully focused on eating my Lavang Lata – totally oblivious to my surroundings – and I seemed to have completely forgotten about those beautiful girls sitting on the table nearby.

In fact – I was so absorbed in savouring the delicious ‘Lavang Lata’ – and I was enjoying myself so totally – that I even forgot about my wife sitting opposite – who was not quite relishing the dish of ‘Lavang Lata’ I had ordered for her too.

“So – it seems that you found the ‘Lavang Lata’ more enticing than those beautiful girls…” my wife said to me.

“Of course – I love good food – there is no greater love than the love of food…” I said.

And then – while walking back home – I told her about my ‘Food is like a Fixed Deposit’ versus ‘Romance is like the Stock Market’ theory.

My wife looked at me and said: “Someone had told me that a Naval Officer has a girl in every port – but looking at you – I am convinced that you did not have even a single girl in any port – in fact – you must have had a ‘foodie joint’ in every port…”

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This story is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


Posted by Vikram Karve at 5/13/2015 10:47:00 AM

Changing Face of the “FAUJAN” (Military Wife) – Story of 4 “Fauji Memsahibs”

April 22, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: ARMY WIFE – THEN AND NOW : A TALE OF FOUR FAUJI MEMSAHIBS.

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

THE NEW AGE “FAUJI MEMSAHIB”

Sometime back the Social Media was abuzz with news of a curious contretemps pertaining to AWWA (Army Wives Welfare Association) and this issue was reported in the media too (Link to report below):

Major’s wife threatens action for being forced to rehearse for a show

If you read the news report and peruse the numerous comments and views on the incident expressed by young army wives on the social media, especially twitter, it is evident the archaic feudal army social culture is not in sync with the aspirations of the new age army wife.

All this “humor out of uniform” reminded me of a blog post I had written a few months ago about the changing face of the “Fauji Memsahib”

I am posting the story once more for you to read:

ARMY WIFE – THEN AND NOW : A Tale of 4 “Fauji Memsahibs
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Story of 4 “Fauji Memsahibs”

ARMY WIFE NO. 1 – SHE HAD NO REGRET MARRYING AN ARMY OFFICER

1948   Army Bride

“There is a marriage proposal for you,” her parents say, the moment she returns home from college.

“I don’t want to get married,” she says.

“Do you want to remain a spinster all your life?” her mother asks.

“No. But let me finish my graduation. Then I’ll see,” she says.

“She has a point. Let her finish her graduation. It’s just a question of one year,” her father says.

“Yes, let me finish my graduation,” the girl says.

“What graduation? Your whole aim is to get married, isn’t it? The boy and his parents are not insisting on graduation. They saw you at the club last evening, they have liked you, the boy has liked you, and the proposal has come. And let me tell you one thing – you won’t find a more eligible bachelor than him. It will be top status match. He is an army officer and you know that army officers are in highest demand – he can get any girl he wants, and you will be very lucky to get a husband like him. We will all regret it if we let go an opportunity like this,” the mother says.

“Please don’t hurry me up. Let me meet the boy. I will talk to him. Maybe he will wait for one year till I finish my B.A. – maybe we can get engaged now and marry later,” the girl says.

“No. The boy cannot wait for one year. He has been selected to go abroad for a long training course in England. He is leaving next month and they want to get him married before he leaves so that he can take his wife along with him to England,” the mother says.

Her father interjects, “I have found out everything about the boy from my army friends. The boy is a fine officer and has a very bright future in the army. The family is very respectable and decent too. I think you should consider this proposal.”

Seeing the daughter confused, the mother says firmly, “Listen carefully. They want our answer by tonight – yes or no. There is bevy of girls lined up for him, so may girls are desperate to get married to him, and you will regret it all you life if you let this boy go.”

The girl nodded her acceptance.

He mother rang up the boy’s mother.

Next day, the boy and his parents came over to “see” the girl – notionally, the boy’s side still had the prerogative to “reject” the girl but then they had already seen her and liked her.

The girl got married to the army officer the next week. They went on a whirlwind honeymoon to Darjeeling, then to the army cantonment where the boy was posted, where there was a flurry of parties, and then they set sail for England.

The girl did not complete her graduation. There was no need for so much education – for she was going to be a full time army wife – a “memsahib”.

The girl did not regret her decision.

In fact, marrying an army officer was the best thing that happened to her.

Where else would she get the high status in society, the top quality lifestyle, and the comforts that she enjoyed as the wife of a General?

Yes, her husband had become a General and she was the “first lady” and she was proud to have contributed to his success as a perfect army wife.

She felt absolutely no regret that she had married an army officer.

In fact, marrying an army officer was the best decision of her life.


20 Years Later…


ARMY WIFE NO. 2 – SHE HAD A LITTLE BIT OF REGRET MARRYING AN ARMY OFFICER

1968   Army Bride

She was a budding lawyer with a lot of promise.

After her LL.B. she had begun her practice under the tutelage of a top-notch lawyer.

One day, she submitted her resignation and told him that she was giving up her law practice.

Her boss was aghast and demanded to know the reason for her inexplicable decision.

“Sir, I am getting married to an army officer,” she said.

“But why resign and give up your practice? You can continue to practice law even after marriage. You are so talented – you have a very bright future ahead of you – I am sure you will become a very successful lawyer and, who knows, you even may get the opportunity of being elevated as a judge,” he said.

“Sir, my husband will be posted all over as an army officer and I don’t want to live separately from him – in fact, he has made it quite clear that he wants me to accompany him wherever he goes,” she said, and quit her law career.

She enjoyed being an army wife, supporting her husband in his career, taking part in various social duties, the nomadic way of life, and cozy existence of cantonment life.

Later, as she saw that some of her classmates and erstwhile lawyer colleagues, who were much less accomplished than her, had become successful lawyers, and some had even become judges, and she felt a tinge of regret, for she had no identity of her own except that of being the wife of an army officer.

Yes, she did feel a bit of regret that she had married an army officer and sacrificed her own career.


20 Years Later…


ARMY WIFE NO. 3 – SHE HAD PLENTY OF REGRET FOR MARRYING AN ARMY OFFICER

1988   Army Bride

She was a qualified engineer who had specialized in computer and software engineering.

She got a job in the top pioneer software company and had settled down quickly in her career.

She got married to an army officer.

She had two choices:

Option 1

1. She could give up her career as a “Techie” and join her husband in the remote place where he was posted and then accompany him wherever he was posted. She realized that if she wanted to always be with her husband, as an army wife she would have to be either a homemaker or a teacher, the only feasible career in a cantonment.

Option 2

2. She could continue her career but have a “long distance marriage” with her army husband as he got posted all over.

She chose the second option. 

Yes, she chose Option 2 – she decided to pursue her career as a “Techie” and have a “long distance marriage”.

She did extremely well in her career.

Soon, she was way ahead of her “fauji” husband who was plodding along in the army.

In their entire married life, they spent just 3 years together when her husband managed a posting to her place of work.

Often, she felt lonely, as she missed her husband.

As she saw her fellow “techie couples” enjoy the bliss of married life, she was filled with regret that she was married only on paper.

Yes, she was married only on paper – in practice, her life was as if she was not married.

Loneliness proved corrosive for her army officer husband too, who took solace in alcohol.

Worse, the army officer husband developed an inferiority complex because his wife had done much better than him in life, career-success wise and money wise, as the prospects in the army were limited as compared to the software industry.

All this – the conjugal separation, her work pressures, compounded by her husband’s increasing melancholic attitude, took its toll on her too.

She regretted marrying an army officer.


20 Years Later…
                                                          

ARMY NOT-TO-BE-WIFE NO. 4 – SHE DID NOT WANT TO REGRET BY MARRYING AN ARMY OFFICER

2008   Not-to-be Army Bride

She was the ambitious daughter of an army officer – she was an “army brat”.

She studied economics from a premier college and then followed it up with an MBA from a top Business School, topping in both courses.

She had got a top-notch placement as an investment banker.

She was taken aback when her classmate from school suddenly proposed to her.

He was also an “army brat” who had joined the NDA as a cadet after school and was now an army officer.

The army officer told the investment banker that he was secretly in love with her and was waiting for her to finish her studies before he proposed.

“But I treated you as a friend,” she said.

“But for me you are much more than a friend – tell me – what’s wrong if we get married – we know each other since school,” he said.

“Are you crazy?” she said.

“Crazy? Why?” he asked.

“Why don’t you understand? You are just an army officer and I am an investment banker. I am out of your league now. Do you know the package I have been offered? In the army, I doubt you get even one-tenth of the salary and perks I get. See, don’t feel bad, but I have my dreams, my ambitions of making it real big – now I am heading for Hong Kong, after that I don’t know where I will go – so marrying an army officer just does not fit into my career plans – you understand, don’t you?” she told him, “I do not want to regret by marrying an army officer.”

The investment banker girl looked at the dejected army officer and said, “Will you mind if I give you some advice?”

“Go ahead,” the army officer said.

“If you want to be happy, you better find a wife within the army,” she said.

“What do you mean?” the army officer asked.

You should marry a female army officer. There are so many girls joining the army nowadays. So why don’t you find a bride in uniform – it will best for both of you.”

With these words she walked out his life.

So, the investment banker, the ambitious daughter of an army officer, the “army brat” – she did not want to regret by marrying an army officer.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This blog post is a is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)



Updated and Revised Version of my Article “THE CHANGING FACE OF THE ARMY WIFE” posted in my blog on 22 Jan 2014 First Posted by Vikram Karveat 01/22/2014 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/10/2014 12:08:00 PM

MAHARSHI KARVE (18 April 1868 – 09 Nov 1962) – His Life Story in His Own Words – Looking Back – Autobiography

April 17, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: MAHARSHI KARVE – His Life Story.

Article Link:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/04/bharat-ratna-maharshi-dhondo-keshav.html

Article also posted below for your convenience to read:

MAHARSHI KARVE
His Life Story in His Own Words

LOOKING BACK By DK KARVE (1936)

 
The Autobiography of Bharat Ratna Dhondo Keshav Karve
 
(Book Review by Vikram Waman Karve)
 
Tomorrow 18 April 2015 is the 157th Birth Anniversary of Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve (18.04.1858 – 09.11.1962).
 
I felt that, on this occasion, it would be apt to tell you about his life and work as written by him in his autobiography titled LOOKING BACK published in 1936.
 
Dear Reader, you must be wondering why I am reviewing an autobiography written in 1936.

Well, sometime back, for six years of my life, I stayed in a magnificent building called Empress Court on Maharshi Karve Road at Churchgate in Mumbai.

I share the same surname ( Karve ) as the author.

Also, I happen to be the great grandson of Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve. 

 
But, beyond that, compared to him I am a nobody – not even a pygmy.
 
Maharshi Karve clearly knew his goal, persisted ceaselessly throughout his life with missionary zeal and transformed the destiny of the Indian Woman.

The first university for women in India, SNDT University, and educational institutions for women under the aegis of the Hingne Stree Shiksan Samstha Poona, later renamed Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha (MKSSS) Pune, covering the entire spectrum ranging from pre-primary schools to post-graduate, engineering, vocational and professional colleges bear eloquent testimony to his indomitable spirit, untiring perseverance and determined efforts.

 
In his preface, Frederick J Gould, renowned rationalist and lecturer on Ethics, writes that “the narrative is a parable of his career” – a most apt description of the autobiography. The author tells his life-story in a simple straightforward manner, with remarkable candour and humility; resulting in a narrative which is friendly, interesting and readable.
 
Autobiographies are sometimes voluminous tomes, but this a small book, 200 pages, and a very easy comfortable enjoyable read that makes it almost unputdownable.

Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve writes a crisp, flowing narrative of his life, interspersed with his views and anecdotes, in simple, straightforward style which facilitates the reader to visualize through the author’s eyes the places, period, people and events pertaining to his life and times and the trials and tribulations he faced and struggled to conquer.

 
Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve was born on 18th of April 1858. In the first few chapters he writes about Murud, his native place in Konkan, Maharashtra, his ancestry and his early life– the description is so vivid that you can clearly “see” through the author’s eye.
 
His struggle to appear in the public service examination (walking 110 miles in torrential rain and difficult terrain to Satara) and his shattering disappointment at not being allowed to appear for the examination (because “he looked too young”) make poignant reading.
 
“Many undreamt of things have happened in my life and given a different turn to my career” he writes, and then goes on to describe his high school and, later, college education at The Wilson College Bombay (Mumbai) narrating various incidents that convinced him of the role of destiny and serendipity in shaping his life and career as a teacher and then Professor of Mathematics.
 
He married at the age of fourteen but began his marital life at the age of twenty! 
 
This was the custom of those days. 
 
Let’s read the author’s own words on his domestic life:
 
 “… I was married at the age of fourteen and my wife was then eight. Her family lived very near to ours and we knew each other very well and had often played together. However after marriage we had to forget our old relation as playmates and to behave as strangers, often looking toward each other but never standing together to exchange words … We had to communicate with each other through my sister … My marital life began under the parental roof at Murud when I was twenty …” 
 
Their domestic bliss was short lived as his wife died after a few years leaving behind a son.
 
“Thus ended the first part of my domestic life”… he concludes in crisp witty style.
 
An incident highlighting the plight of a widow left an indelible impression on him and germinated in him the idea of widow remarriage.

He married Godubai, who was widowed when she was only eight years old, was a sister of his friend Mr. Joshi, and now twenty three was studying at Pandita Ramabai’s Sharada Sadan as its first widow student.

 
Let’s read in the author’s own words how he asked for her hand in marriage to her father – “I told him…..I had made up my mind to marry a widow. He sat silent for a minute and then hinted that there was no need to go in search of such a bride”.
 
He describes in detail the ostracism he faced from some orthodox quarters and systematically enunciates his life work – his organization of the Widow Marriage Association, Hindu Widows Home, Mahila Vidyalaya, Nishkama Karma Math, and other institutions, culminating in the birth of the first Indian Women’s University (SNDT University).
 
The trials and tribulations he faced in his life-work of emancipation of education of women (widows in particular) and how he overcame them by his persistent steadfast endeavours and indomitable spirit makes illuminating reading and underlines the fact that Dr. DK Karve was no arm-chair social reformer but a person devoted to achieve his dreams on the ground in reality.
 
These chapters form the meat of the book and make compelling reading. 
 
His dedication and meticulousness is evident in the appendices where he has given date-wise details of his engagements and subscriptions down to the paisa for his educational institutions from various places he visited around the world to propagate their cause.
 
He then describes his world tour, at the ripe age of 71, to meet eminent educationists to propagate the cause of the Women’s University, his later domestic life and ends with a few of his views and ideas for posterity. 
 
At the end of the book, concluding his autobiography, he writes:
 
“Here ends the story of my life. I hope this simple story will serve some useful purpose”.
 
Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve wrote this book in 1936. 
 
He lived on till the 9th of November 1962, achieving so much more on the way, and was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters ( D.Litt.) by the famous and prestigious Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Varanasi in 1942, followed by University of Poona [Pune] in 1951, SNDT Women’s University in 1955, and the LL.D. by Bombay [Mumbai] University in 1957.
 
Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve received the Padma Vibhushan in 1955 and the India’s highest honour the “Bharat Ratna” in 1958, a fitting tribute on his centenary at the glorious age of 100.
 
It is an engrossing and illuminating autobiography, written in simple witty readable storytelling style, and it clearly brings out the mammoth contribution of Maharshi Karve and the trials and tribulations he faced.
 
 
Epilogue
 
I was born in September 1956, and I have fleeting memories of my great grandfather Maharshi Karve, when I was a small boy, during our visits, till 1962, to Hingne Stree Shikshan Samstha (now called Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha).

My mother tells me that I featured in a Films Division Documentary on him during his centenary celebrations in 1958.

 
Here is a picture of me with my great grandfather Maharshi Karve taken in the year 1958.
 
 

Vikram Waman Karve with Maharshi Karve (1958)

 
It is from some old timers, a few relatives and mainly from books that I learn of his pioneering work in transforming the destiny of the Indian Woman and I thought I should share this.
 
I have written this book review with the hope that some of us, particularly the students and alumni of SNDT University, Cummins College of Engineering for Women, SOFT, Karve Institute of Social Sciences and other educational institutions who owe their very genesis and existence to Maharshi Karve, are motivated to read about his stellar pioneering work and draw inspiration from his autobiography.
 
VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this book review. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 
 
Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

Navy Officers – “SEA DOLL” versus “SEA DOG” – Two Types of Archetypal Naval Officers – Humor in Uniform

April 17, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: “SEA DOG” and “SEA DOLL” – Two Types of Navy Officers – Humor in Uniform.

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

HUMOR IN UNIFORM

“SEA DOG” and “SEA DOLL”
TWO TYPES OF NAVAL OFFICERS
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:

Please read this spoof only if you have a sense of humor. 

This article is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.

The terms “dog” and “doll” are used in a metaphorical sense.

If you have a look at The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English – in this Slang Dictionary – one meaning of the word “doll” is “a very attractive person of any sex that you may find attractive” – and, of course, you know that the term “sea dog” means an experienced sailor.

This spoof is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.


SEA DOGS and SEA DOLLS – Spoof by Vikram Karve

When I joined the Navy – in the 1970’s – I observed that there were two types of Naval Officers:

1. Sea Dogs

2. Sea Dolls

Now – before you jump the gun and accuse me of “gender insensitivity” – please note that the term “Sea Doll” is not being used for women naval officers – there were no women naval officers when I joined the navy – except a few “landlubber quack chicks” in the medical branch.

Even today – women naval officers adorn only “soft” shore billets – and a woman naval officer does not have to undergo the tough strenuous ship life of male naval officer on warships at sea – so maybe I will have to conjure up some other epithet (without the prefix “sea”) for these feminine landlubber ladies in white uniform.

I have digressed – so let me come back to the topic of “Sea Dogs” and “Sea Dolls”.

As a young naval officer – I realized that there are two navies within the navy:

1. The Operational Navy – comprising all aspects pertaining to warfighting at sea – warships, submarines, aircraft, the dockyards and various frontline units supporting the fleet…

2. The Ceremonial Navy – comprising all the “showmanship” activities like parades, fleet reviews, Public Relations (PR) Exercises, “shop windows”, events like navy week and navy ball, public shows, parties, social events et al…

“Sea Dogs” ran the “gristly, gritty and grimy” operational navy.

“Sea Dolls” ran the “spick and span” ceremonial navy.

“Sea Dogs” were rugged masculine looking men.

In contrast – “Sea Dolls” adorned the “fair and handsome” genteel “metrosexual” look.

Most “Sea Dogs” sported rough and tough “Full Set” Beards.

“Sea Dolls” preferred to have an elegant and pretty “clean-shaven” look.

There were some exceptions.

I have seen some clean-shaven non-bearded “Sea Dogs”.

But I have never seen a bearded “Sea Doll”.

Whether bearded or not – “Sea Dogs” preferred the tough natural look – a seaman’s robust grooming and rugged brawny turn out.

“Sea Dolls” were obsessed with maintaining a suave polished appearance and chic glamorous attractive turn out.

“Sea Dogs” were “tough cookies”.

Most “Sea Dogs” had an abrasive personality – like rough and tough sailors.

In stark contrast – “Sea Dolls” were “smooth operators”.

All “Sea Dolls” had a pleasing personality – like slick charming corporate executives.

In earlier days – it was the “Sea Dogs” who dominated the senior ranks in the Navy – but gradually the tide seems to have turned in favour of the “Sea Dolls”.

I wonder whether the same applies to the Army and Air Force – and what are the Army and Air Force equivalents of “Sea Dogs” and “Sea Dolls”.

By the way – have you read the classic military novel Catch-22 ?

Yes?

Then, let me give you a metaphorical example.

If “Catch 22” was a Navy Novel – a “Sea Dog” would be someone like the character of General Dreedle (an archetypal no-nonsense blunt plain-speaking military man) – and a “Sea Doll” would be someone like General Peckem (a pompous pretentious sycophantic show-off)

If you have read Catch-22 – you will understand what I mean.

I can go on and on about “Sea Dogs” and “Sea Dolls” till the cows come home – but by now – I am sure you have got the drift.

So – the next time you meet a Naval Officer – have some fun and amuse yourself – have a good look at the Navy Officer – and try to judge for yourself – whether he is a “Sea Dog” or a “Sea Doll”.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This blog post is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh. 
2. This article is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)
 


This Spoof is written by Vikram Karve in June 2014 and Earlier Posted Online by Vikram Karve in Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve byVikram Karve at 11/22/2014 08:03:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 4/17/2015 01:53:00 PM

“HAPPY” NEW YEAR – a story before you freak out at your New Year’s Eve Party

December 30, 2014

“HAPPY” NEW YEAR
(Do read this story before you freak out at your New Year’s Eve Party)

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/12/happy-new-year.html

“HAPPY” NEW YEAR
A Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

From my Creative Writing Archives:Here is a story I wrote 8 years ago on New Year’s Eve – on 30 December 2006, to be precise.I think it is worth a read before you head for your New Year’s Eve Party…

“HAPPY” NEW YEAR – a Story By Vikram Karve

She licked the salt from her hand and drank the shot, in one go, then had a long swallow of beer that met the tequila’s burn as it rose.

Everyone clapped and cheered.

With that one act she had crossed the barrier.

She was no longer the rustic girl from the mofussil.

Now, she was one of “them”.

No longer would she have to hear those derisive jeers and taunts which pierced her heart – dehati, behenji etc – for now she would “belong”.

“Hey, Mofussil Girl, that’s not the way to have a shot,” Cute Girl said.

“Please don’t call me Mofussil Girl,” she said.

Then Mofussil Girl looked at Cute Girl.

Cute Girl was one of those sophisticated synthetic urban beauties who looked real chic.

Cute Girl was Mofussil Girl’s role model.

“Then let me see you do a Los Tres Cuates,” Cute Girl said.

“What’s that?” Mofussil Girl asked.

“Come on Mofussil Girl, don’t you know what’s a Los Tres Cuates – ‘The Three Chums’ – The Tequila Slammer?” Cute Girl said.

“No,” Mofussil Girl said.

“It is the best way to drink Tequila. Look, I will show you how it is done,” Cute Girl said.

Cute Girl put some salt on her palm, licked it off, downed the neat tequila shot in one gulp down her throat, picked up a wedge of lime and pressed it between her teeth, biting hard into it.

“See – that is how you do a Los Tres Cuates – now you do it,” Cute Girl said.

Mofussil Girl sprinkled some salt on her left palm and picked up a tequila shot from the bar with her right hand.

“Be careful,” a voice said, “It’s her first time.”

“Oh, come on, Killjoy. She’s a tough girl. She’ll drink all of us under the table,” Cute Girl said.

It was now or never.

Mofussil Girl knew that once she proved her capacity to drink she would gain real respect and acceptance in this crowd and she would truly be one of them.

She downed the shot in one go.

As soon the tequila shot hit the pit of her stomach, a rash of gooseflesh raced up from her insides, tremors reverberated through her body up the back of her neck resonating into her brain and she felt her as if her brain might explode – like a terrible black orgasm.

And then she felt a high – a high like she had never felt before.

Everyone cheered Mofussil Girl.

Then a voice said, “Let’s drink to that,” and they all had a few shots of Tequila – in quick succession – one after another – one after another – shot after shot – till they were swinging high.

“Let’s hit the dance floor,” someone shouted, and propelled by unseen hands Mofussil Girl was in their midst swinging away on the dance floor to the rocking music.

The atmosphere in the disco was electric, fantastic, like she had seen in the movies.

Mofussil Girl felt wonderful, mesmerized, and with her inhibitions dissolved in the alcohol inside her, she let her hair down and danced so unabashedly and vigorously that soon she lost herself in the ultimate state of frenzied ecstasy she had never felt before.

This was the hep, hot and happening way to celebrate New Year’s Eve – not sitting with a pizza and ice cream watching the boring New Year’s Eve programme on TV like she had done for the past few years and like her roommate was doing right now.

Mofussil Girl danced continuously without break.

The dance-floor was packed with bodies, rubbing against each other.

Suddenly, the lights went off and it was pitch dark.

The DJ announced, “Ten seconds left for the New Year.”

And then he began counting: “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1” and suddenly all the lights came on and everyone seemed to have gone berserk.

Hooters, whistles, horns, drums, shouts – all had raised the noise level to a din.

Total strangers hugged and kissed Mofussil Girl wishing her a Happy New Year.

The reverberating music, the wildly passionate crowd, the dancing strobe lights, the intense smoke, the fantastic cacophony, her sheer excitement and the intoxicating alcohol inside her – it made Moffusil Girl’s head swim so much that she negotiated her way and swayed across to the nearest sofa and slumped down on it.

Moffusil Girl tried to focus on the dancing couples.

Everything was a bit hazy.

Moffusil Girl’s head began to swim even more and she felt thirsty and reached out for the glass of water across the table.

As she stretched across the table she swayed and rolled back uncontrollably into her chair.

Her stomach seemed to be full of mercury, ice-cold and enormously heavy.

Her face felt hot and beads of perspiration began to appear on her forehead.

She pushed herself forward again, trying to reach the glass, and knocked it across the table.

Her brain began to fade, and she leaned her elbows helplessly on the glass edge of the table and felt her head fall on her wrists.

“You’re okay?” Cute Girl asked.

“I don’t know,” Mofussil Girl said.

“Come,” Cute Girl said holding out her hand, “Let’s get some fresh air.”

Mofussil Girl took Cute Girl’s hand and followed her like a zombie into the dark.

Outside it was cold, and in her drunken haze Moffusil Girl could barely sense the maze of hands groping her, supporting her unsteady body and propelling her towards the car park.

Mofussil Girl felt there were two persons within her as result of the baleful double personality that comes into being through drunkenness – the first acted as if without any brain at all, in a mechanical, vacant manner – and the second observed the first quite lucidly, but seemed entirely powerless to do anything.

“Shove her in the backseat,” a male voice said.

“And you come in front,” the man in the driver’s seat said to Cute Girl.

The car drove off into the darkness.

Hearing a shuffling noise on the rear seat, the driver asked, “Hey, what are you guys up to?”

“Giving her a drink,” a male voice said.

“Be careful, she’s already had too much to drink,” Cute Girl said.

“Just priming her up!”

“It may be her first time.”

“Really? Then she’ll need more priming. I’ll give her one more swig.”

And then the man roughly forced the bottle into Moffusil Girl’s mouth.

“Shall we do it here?”

“No. Not in the car. We’ll go to our usual place.”

“Shit! Bloody Shit!”

“What happened?”

“She’s puking.”

“What?”

“She is filthy drunk! She is vomiting all over me. Stop the car before the whole place is covered in puke.”

They stopped the car.

“She’s badly sick,” Cute Girl said, “It was her first time and she’d had too many shots. I told you not to force booze down her throat.”

“What do we do?”

“Let’s clean her up and go ahead.”

“Shit! She’s still puking. She is vomiting all over the place. It’s bloody nauseating. I have lost it.”

“Disgusting! Let’s dump her here.”

“Here? No. Let’s drop her back,” Cute Girl said.

“Drop her back? Are you crazy? And ruin our New Year’s fun?”

“We’ll get into trouble.”

“She’s so drunk that she won’t remember a thing when she wakes up in the morning.”

So they dumped Mofussil Girl in a desolate spot and drove away to enjoy the New Year.

Wallowing in her stinking vomit and shivering uncomfortably, Mofussil Girl stared vacantly into the dark sky, never so frightened, never so alone.

She wanted to cry – but tears refused to well in her eyes and her throat felt dry.

Her recollections and images of the terrible night were just vivid flashes in a void.

Her head throbbed with pain and her body ached as she retched again and again – puking again and again – till there was no vomit left inside her.

Feeling totally shattered and enveloped by unimaginable agony she lapsed into a zombie-like state of suspended vacuum.

The urbanization of Mofussil Girl was complete.

And at exactly the same moment, Moffusil Girl’s roommate was drifting off to sleep tucked in her comfortable warm bed, after watching the boring New Year’s Eve Programme on TV.

Moffusil Girl’s roommate was full of envy as she imagined her friend Mofussil Girl having a great time at the New Year’s Eve Party.

She wished she had accompanied Mofussil Girl to the grand New Year’s Eve Bash.

Wondering with envy how Moffusil Girl was enjoying her New Year Party, the curious roommate dialled Moffusil Girl’s cell phone number to wish her a Happy New Year.

The mobile phone kept ringing in Moffusil Girl’s puke-drenched purse.

But Mofussil Girl did not answer the phone.

Mofussil Girl did not answer the mobile phone because she was in a drunken stupor, totally inebriated, dead drunk, passed out stone-cold, in a state of unconsciousness, oblivious to her surroundings.

So Moffusil Girl’s roommate sent Mofussil Girl an SMS: “Happy New Year”.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Revised Version of My Story written by me in December 2006 and First Posted Online by me Vikram Karve at Saturday, December 30, 2006 in my blog at url: http://vikramwkarve.blogspot.in/…

MILITARY LEADERSHIP OLQ PARADOX – “YESMANSHIP” versus LEADERSHIP – HOW CAN GOOD FOLLOWERS MAKE GOOD LEADERS?

August 21, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: MILITARY LEADERSHIP – CAN GOOD FOLLOWERS MAKE GOOD LEADERS – “YESMANSHIP” versus LEADERSHIP.

Click the links above to read my original post in my blog

The article is also posted below for your convenience:

Link to my original post in my blog: MILITARY LEADERSHIP – CAN GOOD FOLLOWERS MAKE GOOD LEADERS – “YESMANSHIP” versus LEADERSHIP

“YESMANSHIP” versus LEADERSHIP

HOW CAN GOOD FOLLOWERS MAKE GOOD MILITARY LEADERS ?
Ramblings of a Retired Mind
By
VIKRAM KARVE

LEADERSHIP IN UNIFORM

THE “OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES” (OLQ) NON SEQUITUR

If you wonder why, at times, the military leadership seems clueless on taking decisions well within it purview and seeks “guidance” from politicians and bureaucrats, maybe the answer lies in the promotion policies of the Military Human Resource (HR) Management System.

The promotion policy of the navy (and army) is based on the premise:

“Good Followers make Good Leaders”

Yes, promotion in the military is based on absurd logic, a contradiction in terms, on the non sequitur:

“You have to learn how to follow in order to lead”

Is this statement not an incongruity in itself?

How can the ability to lead depend on the ability to follow ?

It is just like saying that the ability to swim depends on the ability to sink

Good Followers carry out decisions made by others. 

Followers are required to blindly obey orders without questioning.

Good Followers are not expected to use their own ingenuity.

They must simply “do what they are told”.

Good Followers must never act on their own initiative or “make waves” or “rock the boat”.

Good followers are “yes-men”.

The basic hypothesis of the military promotion system is: “good followers make good leaders”

Hence, in the military, it is mostly “yes-men” who rise up the promotion ladder and get catapulted to leadership positions.

Ideally, in theory, “officer-like-qualities” like professional competence, integrity, patriotism, honesty, straightforwardness, single-mindedness-of-purpose, brashness, and the ability to call a spade a spade by bluntly speaking out your mind, are desirable in combat officers.

However, in practice, especially in peacetime cantonment soldiering, these very same idealistic “officer-like-qualities” may adversely affect the career prospects of an officer in comparison to his more “tactful” morally-pliable peers who “ego-massage” their superiors, practice “yes sir yes sir three bags full sir” yes-man-ship and grovel with sycophancy in front of their seniors.

Well, I have seen this happen in the military services, but when I see so many“yes-men” masquerading as leaders in the civilian world too, especially in politics and bureaucracy, it seems that this absurd non sequitur paradox“Good Followers make Good Leaders” is universal in nature.

YESMANSHIP versus LEADERSHIP

ONCE A “YES-MAN” ALWAYS A “YES-MAN”

In his book “On The Psychology of Military Incompetence”, Norman Dixon quotes Liddel Hart:

“A lifetime of having to curb the expression of original thought culminates so often in there being nothing left to express”.

Similarly, after grovelling and bootlicking for 30 years to “earn” his promotion to high rank, how can you suddenly expect an officer to instantaneously metamorphose from “a dog in obedience” to “a lion in action”.

With continuous dedicated practice of  good “followership”, meek obedience becomes your trait and subservient yes-man-ship becomes your nature.

Once “yesmanship” becomes your natural trait, you will continue to be a good follower irrespective of whatever rank or level of authority you attain.

There is truth in the saying: Once a “yes-man” always a “yes-man”.

Good followers are competent at carrying out orders, while good leaders are competent at making decisions and giving orders.

Yes, a leader is required to take decisions.

“Yesmanship” stifles decision making ability.  

In the long term, continuous practice of “yesmanship” kills leadership qualities.

Thus, when a yes-man is promoted to a leadership position he cannot take decisions himself and hence he keeps running to his superiors for even the smallest of issues though these may well be within his purview.

Is this not visible in the senior military leadership of today who keep running to their political and bureaucratic masters seeking advice for decisions which may well be within their scope or may be purely tactical or military in nature?

Do you see this lack of good decision making capability in the political and civilian leadership as well?


FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Many of the greatest military leaders throughout history, who achieved success on the battlefield and victories in war, were notoriously poor followers, especially in peacetime soldiering. 

In fact, in many cases, had it not been for war, many of them may not even have been promoted. 

(One such example in India is Field Marshal Manekshaw who may have retired as a Major General had it not been for the 1962 war).

Let me end with a quote:

Thousands of moralists have solemnly repeated the old saying that only he can command who has learnt to obey.

It would be nearer the truth to say that only he can command who has the courage and initiative to disobey.

William McDougall, Character and the Conduct of Life (1927)


Dear Reader: What are your views on “YESMANSHIP” versus LEADERSHIP – CAN GOOD FOLLOWERS MAKE GOOD LEADERS?

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


This article first posted by me Vikram Karve on 28 April 2013 at 4/28/2013 02:35:00 PM in my blog at url: DO GOOD FOLLOWERS MAKE GOOD LEADERS – Absurd Logic – The Promotion Paradox

Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/21/2014 01:55:00 PM

EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN IN INDIA THROUGH VOTEBANK POLITICS

December 2, 2013

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: WOMEN’S VOTEBANK – A Distant Dream?.

Link to original article in my academic and creative writing blog:

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/12/womens-votebank-distant-dream.html

Article also posted below for your convenience to read:

WOMEN’S VOTEBANK – A Distant Dream?
WOMEN CENTRIC VOTE BANKS FOR EMANCIPATION OF WOMEN IN INDIA
Musings
By
VIKRAM KARVE
ELECTION DAY IN GIRINAGAR – An Apocryphal Story By Vikram Karve
This happened a few years ago when I lived at a place called Girinagar near Pune.
“I want the day off,” Sushila, our maid, asked my wife.
“Why?” my wife asked.
“We have to vote. Today is election day,” she said.
“That’s good,” I said.
I was quite surprised at Sushila’s eagerness to vote because Sushila was totally illiterate.
Yes, she lived just a few kilometres away from a modern city like Pune (often called the “Oxford of the East”) – yet, like so many others, she could not read or write.
But her keenness to vote indicated what a vibrant democracy we were.
“Who are you going to vote for?” I asked, in jest.
She told me a symbol – “I am going to vote for XXX symbol,” Sushila said.
“But why?” I asked.
WE have decided,” she said.
WE” meant her husband.
Apparently, her husband had gone for a “meeting” and it was decided that the entire neighbourhood will vote for XXX symbol.
“So you vote for XXX symbol every time,” I asked her.
“No, last time we all voted for YYY symbol,” she said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because “WE” had decided,” she said.
Of course, she did not know anything about the ideology of the  political parties to which the symbols XXX and YYY belonged.
It was none of her business.
Before every election, it was the men who had a meeting and decided who to vote for and the women dutifully complied.
(Of course, the men had a “leader” who guided them in these matters)
Like Sushila’s husband, most of the men in that area were drunkards who lived off their wives’ earnings.
But all that did not matter.
In the patriarchal society that prevailed, the women dutifully obeyed their men, even if the men were good-for-nothing drunkards.
So, in Sushila’s family of 7 voters (she, her husband, her two sons and daughters-in-law, and unmarried daughter), all would be voting for the symbol XXX which had been “decided”.
Added up, it was quite a large number of votes in the locality, and since they all of them voted en-bloc for a certain “symbol” it was quite a sizeable “votebank”.
A few more such solid votebanks could ensure victory in the election, as the victory of the XXX candidate proved.
Around 3 in the afternoon we saw Sushila standing near our gate.
“Have you voted?” I asked her.
“No,” she said.
“Voting time will be over soon. Why didn’t you vote in the morning?” I said.
“They haven’t come to take us,” she said.
A friend of mine who had come over and was hearing the conversation said, “Don’t you know? Someone has to come and take them to the polling booth in a vehicle – and then give them some inducement, here it is mostly liquor – only after that will they vote.”
After some time I saw a van arrive to take all them for voting.
In the evening we saw Sushila’s husband and her sons lurching in a drunken manner on the road, as were most men.
It was obvious that liquor was flowing freely on election day (though strictly speaking it was a “dry day”)
At night, when Sushila came to work, we saw tears in her eyes.
She said that her husband and her sons were drunk – and her husband had thrashed her as he always did when he was drunk, and one of her sons had thrashed his wife too.
“See,” my wife said to Sushila, “you voted for the person who gave liquor to your husband and sons – you all women voted for those who are causing you harm.”
What an irony!
Why do women vote for someone who causes them more harm than good?
IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE A WOMEN’S VOTEBANK ?
Isn’t it a similar story everywhere?
We see media reports of male chauvinistic politicians who make derogatory remarks about women from time to time.
Is it possible for them to get elected unless women vote for them?
After all, women comprise 50% of the electorate.
Though it is a secret ballot, obviously, most women do not vote independently and freely for that candidate or party who may best serve women’s interests.
In our patriarchal culture it is the men who decide who to vote for and women comply meekly.
That is why votebanks are male-centric.
And that is why many politicians have no qualms about denigrating the dignity of women by making tasteless comments, because they are confident that women will still vote for them.
In a democracy like India, the only way women can emancipate themselves is to organize themselves into a formidable women’s votebank.
A women’s votebank will have 50% of all voter strength.
The women’s votebank will be larger than all other votebanks put together and it will be the women’s votebank which will decide the results of the elections.
Women have to emancipate themselves, not depend on men to do so, especially when democracy has given them the opportunity to do so.
I wonder why women politicians are not taking the initiative to consolidate women’s votebanks to address and mitigate women’s issues?
For example, in the place I mentioned, alcoholism was a major issue which was affecting most womenfolk.
If all the women had got together and decided to vote en-bloc for that candidate who promised in his manifesto to shut the liquor shops and introduce prohibition of alcohol in the area, would it not have been better for the women?
A strong women’s votebank will ensure that political parties include women’s issues like safety, security, gender equality etc in their manifestos and try to implement them otherwise the women may throw them out in the next election, or better still have their own candidate.
I feel that the best solution to achieve betterment of women in a secular democracy like India is to have a strong women’s votebank cutting across caste, creed, linguistic and religious lines and including all women.
 
We have all sorts of votebanks.
 
Isn’t it high time for a gender based women’s votebank which can be a game changer in Indian Politics?
 
VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 
Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
NB
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 
Did you like this article?  

I am sure you will like the 27 short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL
To order your COCKTAIL please click any of the links below:
http://www.flipkart.com/cocktail-vikram-karve-short-stories-book-8191091844?affid=nme
http://www.indiaplaza.in/cocktail-vikram-karve/books/9788191091847.htm
http://www.apkpublishers.com/books/short-stories/cocktail-by-vikram-karve.html

COCKTAIL ebook
If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:
AMAZON
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005MGERZ6
SMASHWORDS
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87925

Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll
If your are a Foodie I am sure that you will like my book of Food Adventures APPETITE FOR A STROLL. Do order a copy from FLIPKART:
http://www.flipkart.com/appetite-stroll-vikram-karve/8190690094-gw23f9mr2o

About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse – his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Email: vikramkarve@hotmail.com

Twitter: @vikramkarve
      

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

RITUALS CUSTOMS TRADITIONS AND SUPERSTITION – The Story of the Mystical Cat

October 24, 2013

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: DO YOU BLINDLY FOLLOW RITUALS CUSTOMS TRADITIONS AND SUPERSTITION WITHOUT QUESTIONING THE LOGICAL BASIS OR RATIONALE.

 

Link to my post in my journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/10/do-you-blindly-follow-rituals-customs.html

DO YOU BLINDLY FOLLOW RITUALS CUSTOMS TRADITIONS AND SUPERSTITION WITHOUT QUESTIONING THE LOGICAL BASIS OR RATIONALE?
The Story of the Mystical Cat
Food for Thought 
By
VIKRAM KARVE
 
The military is steeped in tradition.
 
There are many customs, traditions and rituals.
 
I remember, there was a custom in the army, in the artillery, where they do not light more than two cigarettes with a single matchstick.
 
There was a logical reason for this practice during World War I – but today it seems archaic and meaningless.
 
In the navy, we do not clink glasses while drinking or making a toast.
 
This is plain pure superstition.
 
If we asked the reason for a certain custom which we found meaningless, our seniors would admonish us: This is the Naval Tradition”  
 
Even in our day to day life, in the name of tradition, we unquestioningly follow traditions and customs and perform all types of religious, social and superstitious rituals without understanding the spirit behind the ritual.
 
ritual is an action performed purely for symbolic value.
 
In many cases there is no logic or rational explanation for the ritual. 
 
This apocryphal story from ancient wisdom “ The Mystical Cat ” illustrates how customs, traditions and rituals begin.
 
The story also tells you how due to repeated repetition over the years these customs and rituals are gradually established and become a part of culture. 
 
And then, once established, customs, traditions and rituals are blindly followed for years and years, despite the fact that, in most cases, these customs and traditions have lost their significance and the rituals have outlived their utility and meaning.
 
THE MYSTICAL CAT
An Ancient Wisdom Teaching Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

A seeker joined a monastery to learn meditation and the art of living. 
 
Every evening all students and disciples assembled in the large meditation hall for a discourse by the Spiritual Guru followed by group meditation.
 
Just before the meditation session commenced the disciples would catch a cat, tie it up and place the tied up cat on the lap of the Spiritual Guru. 
 
The Guru would then start caressing the cat and begin the discourse and meditation session. 
 
After the meditation session was over, the cat would be untied and set free.
 
This was the established daily ritual.
 
The Guru would start the meditation session only after the tied up cat was placed on his lap and he was extremely particular about this.
 
Once when the cat could not be found, the Guru refused to start the meditation session and demanded that the cat be placed on his lap.
 
So the meditation session was delayed and all the seekers launched a desperate hunt for the cat.
 
The searched for hours till they found the cat.
 
The cat was duly tied up and placed on the Guru’s lap and only then did he start his discourse-cum-meditation session.
 
The seeker was quite perplexed at the mystery of the tied up cat. He could not understand the significance of this ritual and how it was connected to meditation. 
 
The seeker wondered: What is the significance of the tied up cat placed on the Guru’s lap and what is its correlation with meditation?” 
 
He asked around but no one knew the answer till someone told him to ask a wise old man who lived in a cave up the hills.
 
So our curious seeker trudged up the hills to meet the wise old man and ask him the significance of this time-honoured ritual.
 
“It is like this,” the wise old man said:
 
“one evening, many years ago, when the then Spiritual Guru and his disciples began their evening meditation, a cat that lived in the monastery made so much noise that it distracted them and disturbed their meditation practice. 
 
So the Guru ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening discourse-cum-meditation practice. 
 
This practice of tying up the cat before meditation practice continued, so much so that even after the teacher died, the next Guru continued this tradition and a cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session.
 
When the cat died, another cat was brought to the monastery to be tied up during the evening meditation session.
 
And when that cat died too, they brought another cat to be tied up during meditation practice, and then as cats kept dying, they kept replacing the dead cats with new cats, and the practice of tying up a cat during meditation continued.
 
With the passage of time this has become such an established ritual that now no one can dare to question it. So it has become a custom, tradition and established ritual to tie up a cat during the meditation session.” 
 

As years passed, the ritual of tying up the cat during the meditation session continued and continued till it became an eternal established ritual.

Our seeker, who by then had become the Spiritual Guru, wrote a scholarly treatise about the significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.

WHY DO YOU BLINDLY FOLLOW RITUALS CUSTOMS TRADITIONS AND SUPERSTITION WITHOUT QUESTIONING THE LOGICAL BASIS OR RATIONALE ?

I wonder why we accept customs and traditions without understanding their significance?

Just like a blind man lead by others, why do we blindly follow rituals without examining the meaning, logic and significance of that ritual using our own intelligence and judgement?


Why do we follow customs traditions and rituals that are obsolete and have lost their significance and outlived their utility?

If you see any ritual, custom or tradition being blindly followed and for which there seems to be no rational or logical explanation, remember this story of the Mystical Cat

Ask questions and find out the logical basis for the ritual, custom or tradition. 

Is there some rationale for the belief, or is it just superstition?

And if you are not convinced, it is better to stop blindly following superstition which has become meaningless in the modern world of today.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this book review. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 
Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
NB:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)
 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

 
Did you like this article?

I am sure you will like the 27 short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL
To order your COCKTAIL please click any of the links below:
http://www.flipkart.com/cocktail-vikram-karve-short-stories-book-8191091844?affid=nme
http://www.indiaplaza.in/cocktail-vikram-karve/books/9788191091847.htm
http://www.apkpublishers.com/books/short-stories/cocktail-by-vikram-karve.html

COCKTAIL ebook
If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:
AMAZON
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005MGERZ6
SMASHWORDS
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87925

Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll
If your are a Foodie you will like my book of Food Adventures APPETITE FOR A STROLL. Do order a copy from FLIPKART:
http://www.flipkart.com/appetite-stroll-vikram-karve/8190690094-gw23f9mr2o

About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse – his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Email: vikramkarve@hotmail.com

Twitter: @vikramkarve
      

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION – The Key to a Lasting Marriage

May 30, 2013

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION.

Click the link above and read the post in my journal

Also posted below for your convenience:

DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION

Link to my original post in my journal:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/05/divorce-is-not-option.html

MUSINGS ON MY 31st WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
By
VIKRAM KARVE

We, my wife and I, got married on 30 May 1982.
Today, on 30 May 2013, we complete 31 years of married life, and enter the 32nd year of our marriage.
Ours was an arranged marriage. There was no “love” involved.
We are certainly no “made for each other” couple.
In fact, we were, and still are, a terribly incompatible couple.
The wife of a friend of mine who knew me closely and observed my “would-be-wife” when we had gone to invite them for our wedding commented to her husband that our marriage will not last for even 10 days. My friend landed up on our 10th wedding anniversary on 30 May 1992 with a bottle of champagne and made his wife eat her words.
But what the lady had said did have a ring of truth in it.
My wife and I are indeed an incongruous couple, we are poles apart in all aspects.
We have huge differences of opinion on almost all matters, we fight a lot, we criticize each other, we shout at each other, we never hide our feelings especially when we don’t like something and we call a spade a spade.
We don’t indulge in lovey-dovey Public Displays of Affection (PDA) and we don’t indulge in “niceties” like giving each other gifts or celebrating occasions like birthdays and anniversaries.
Ours may be a rather volatile and “loveless” relationship but there is nothing fake about our relationship.
In these modern times when even passionate “love marriages” breakup and end in divorce, why is it that our rather prosaic marriage has stood the test of time?
There is just one reason.
Both my wife and I were always clear about one thing:
“ DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION 
Posted by Vikram Karve 
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