August 31, 2009

Jinnah and Jaswant Singh

With all the uproar over MA Jinnah in recent days, here's my two cents worth.

Chetan Bhagat made a point that the young generation of today doesn't care about who Jinnah is. For better or for worse, I think that's correct. The younger generation would be hard put to write one paragraph if asked to about who Jinnah was. Now, it's a different matter altogether whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.

The young generation is busy playing with cell phones and texting and watching cricket and Bollywood movies — I am talking about the young generation in India, of course.

The young generation would likely be ignorant about all history, not only about what Jinnah's role was.

I love to ask this question to a gathering of youngsters (if the date happens to be August 15): why is India's Independence Day celebrated on August 15 and not on some other day out of all the 365 days of the year? Expectedly, no one knows the answer to that and indeed, nobody cares.

The other question I like to ask youngsters and others is pretty much my favorite question of all: How many men have landed on the Moon?

The second most favorite question I have is this: How many Indians have landed on the Moon?

The confused answers I receive to either of these questions gives me some amount of illicit pleasure.

For this generation that is so fascinated with Blackberrys, very few know that Blackberry is a product of a company called RIM (Research In Motion).

On a completely unrelated note, it gives me some hope that two persons who dropped out of college have done very well for themselves in life: Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. No, make that three. I think even Michael Dell is in that category. Why that gives me some hope is becase I myself am a dropout from engineering ... and much else really.

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