1. ‘Hindu Tea’ and ‘Muslim Tea’
Suggested points of discussion
- Why do you think the Government wants to count soldiers on the basis of religion?
- Why do you think there may be lesser Muslims in the Army than expected?
- Do Muslims not choose to join Army, or does the Army choose to hire lesser number of Muslims?
- If a particular community, say Muslims, are underrepresented in the Army, should they be provided with reservation?
- What comes first: Religion, country or the self?
- All for a job
Rahul is a B.Tech 4th Year student in Adarsh College of Engineering, Northern India. He is a jolly-natured fellow. His academic performance has been average but he has excelled in co-curriculars. He has got a good friend-circle and he is very fond of his friends. Purvi is his closest friend. Rahul’s other friends tease him by saying that she (Purvi) is more than a friend to him.
Rahul is idealistic by nature. He loves fun, frolic and entertainment and even bunks classes to enjoy the odd movie or cricket match. However, there are certain ideals he is very attached to. Not cheating anybody is one of his ideals. He just cannot tolerate unfair means being used anywhere. He has fought many a battles for this ideal and has not hesitated to pay prices for it.
Purvi comes from a lower middle class conservative U.P family. Her father was very reluctant to send her to Engineering college. However, he finally sold his land and paid her fees in the expectation that she will get a good job. Purvi is under tremendous pressure to earn soon by getting a job.
The placement season in the campus is about to get over. 90% of the students have already been placed. Rahul, probably due to his carefree nature, has not been able to secure a job till now. Purvi too has not secured a job. Datasys is the last company to visit their campus. It places a lot of importance on the academic record (percentage of marks etc) of the candidates
As luck would have it, Rahul and Purvi are the only two candidates to reach the final interview round with Datasys. Datasys has declared that it would hire only one candidate. Both of them are asked to submit their marksheets. Rahul goes to Purvi and finds her extremely nervous. On looking at him, she breaks down and sobs heavily. In her hand is her Interview form. Rahul notices something terrible. Purvi has deliberately misrepresented her percentage as 75% instead of 65%, her real percentage. At that moment, her name is called and she walks into the Interview room.
Rahul is dumbstruck. What should he do?
- Give up those goals!
In a series of experiments, psychologists followed a group of teenagers for a full year.
Over that time, teenagers who did not persist to reach goals had much lower levels of a protein called CRP, an indicator of bodily inflammation. Inflammation has recently been linked to several serious diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. This suggests that healthy but overly tenacious teens may already be on the road toward chronic illness later in life.
Hence, psychologists suggest it may be wise to not to have overly ambitious goals.
Suggested topics for discussion:
- What are you doing for India?
Sunita Williams goes into space, and we as a nation go over the moon. Major international companies come to recruit at IITs and IIMs, and we fill up with pride.
Aishwarya Rai on the Hollywood, A R Rahman on Bollywood, Kiran Desai on the Booker honour roll -- all of it further fuels our pride in ourselves as a people, as a nation.
Cricketers win the World cup, Hockey team gets the Asia cup, Footballers win the Nehru cup, Vishy becomes the World champ, Sania gets into top-30.
India -- as Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore predicted -- is finally emerging from darkness, to light. From the ignored 'Third World' country, to an emerging superpower.
This pride we feel is natural, but so what? Is that where it begins, and ends? Do we remain just spectators applauding the passing parade? Or do we contribute in our own way to India's progress?
Lot of people are doing a lot of things to make us proud of India. But what are you doing for India?
Suggested points for discussion:
- How do we move from being an observer to being a participant in India’s progress?
- Are our personal success also the success of India?
7. Perils of Prosperity
- If prosperity harms environment, should we remain poor?
- What is more harmful for environment; increased consumption of plastic goods and automobiles or irresponsible usage of these products.
- Can technology offer solution to growing pollution problem?
- All the government schemes are targeted to bring poor people out of poverty. Should government also try to reduce wealth of rich people so that they can consume less of those products which harm environment?