Jostling With Ethics -6- : For Common Good

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A paradigm of our social norm aims for universal ‘good’. Sarva Jana Hitaya,cha our scriptures advocate, and also Sarva Jana Sukhaya Cha. Surely that seems to be a good goal to strive for. Unfortunately, both these words – hita (benefit) and sukha (happiness) – are subjective concepts. Benefit for an individual can often mean the opposite for a group that the individual belongs to. Choice of actions for an individual in such situations of conflict becomes a matter of personal ethics. Read the rest of this entry

Jostling with Ethics -5- : Shooting a Clay Pigeon

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I was then a very junior officer of the Air Force, a mere flying officer. I had however become a Qualified Flying Instructor. I was on the staff of Number 1 Air Force College at Begumpet. One day I was asked to report to the armory for some documentation. Being a law-abiding officer, I went down there and inquired what documentation I was required to perform. I was directed to a table where a register lay open-faced. There was a Sergeant behind the desk. He found my name on the register and pointed to a column marked as ‘Signature’. ‘Please sign here sir’ he said. Read the rest of this entry

A Very Small World – 11 – : Mishti Dances Through East Africa

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When I returned from Iraq in February 1976, the immediate family was scattered all over the country.   The eldest was in Bal Bharati Air Force School in her tenth standard.   She could not be shifted till the end of the school term.   The second and the third were with my mother and my brother in Bankura West Bengal attending a School with Bengali medium.    School term ended there in December.   Those two were thus free to move back to me.   My wife set up a small household looking after the eldest and the youngest at New Delhi while I set up another House and brought the middle three children, Sukanya Swagata and Subir with me to Tambaram.   Sukanya was all of 15 years old and promptly became the mother of the house. Read the rest of this entry

Brushing a Star per Chance – 1

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The morning of 19th November 1956 was quite calm and cool. It had rained a bit in the night in Hyderabad. The sky was overcast and some light drizzle was possible, but every one hoped and prayed for the rain gods to leave us alone for the next five days.
The New Zeeland Cricket Team was touring India and they were to start the first test at Hyderabad that morning. Read the rest of this entry

The Tejas Debate Continues

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The Tejas debate continues at a furious rate. I would attempt to respond to Vina who has been a persistent critic.

Vina’s first point was a personal opinion:

I do feel that the govt’s decision of getting the IAF out of the airframe business was correct. It is too specialized a field and requires a whole different set of skills than what a force trained for fighting would possess , unless the IAF too like the Navy goes and recruits Naval Architects, either builds a specialized cadre staffed with trained Aerospace engineers hired from outside and/or trained in IAF technical schools ,even if it is restricted to purely design , concept studies and architecture and not goes into actual building (which will require an even wider set of skills in manufacturing, sales,supply chain etc).

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The Tejas Debate – A Repartee

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My post on the arrival of the Tejas has elicited a lot of response, on this blog as well as on the Bharat Rakshak Forum. A large segment of the critical responses have chosen the perceived neglect/hostility of the air force to the Tejas project to be the focus of their ire. One of the most strident voices that have come out belongs to poster Veena. His views are clear and are placed cogently. There are however other points of fact and opinion that would make his denouncements somewhat less valid. I would try to present these facts and views for Veena and my other readers. Read the rest of this entry

The Tejas Arrives……

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The morning papers on 11 Jan 2011 were full of details of the ceremony at Bangalore declaring the Initial Operational Clearance for the Light Combat Aircraft now named Tejas. It was certainly a happy moment. For those of us who are not so young any more, such happy news brings with it a flood of memories from the past but connected closely to the source of happiness at hand. Read the rest of this entry

Jostling With Ethics -4- Is Conflict Necessary?

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In our daily life we take a million decisions without much special thought. Lets have a cup of tea. Let’s take in a movie this afternoon. I do not like spicy food. I love to read Harold Robins. In our day to day life such decisions do not cause any ripples around us in most cases. However, even such mundane decisions sometimes cause dissent. What if your companion has an appointment with a hairdresser for the afternoon that cannot be sacrificed for a movie? What if she really loves that spicy curry that must be cooked to day? Well… Life is not easy. I realized this simple truth when I joined the Tigers in October 1953 after I completed my conversion training on the Spitfire Mk XVIII at the Operational Conversion Unit, Air Force Station Hakimpet. Read the rest of this entry

A Long and Arduous Path

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Some time, in our humdrum daily life, we chance upon opportunities of doing some things of utmost importance without really being prepared for it. Some times the opportunity fructifies and you are able to achieve something memorable and valuable. At some other times, you either do not recognize the opportunity and let it slip by or are unable to take up the challenge for various reasons. On some other times, you get a chance and try your best, but your best turns out to be not good enough. The opportunity dies. These occasions leave a scar on your soul that do not heal with time. My tale today is of such a chance that I could not grab and see through. Read the rest of this entry