Harish Jharia

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21 February 2010

Core-Centers of Social Discrimination: Indian low-castes were formed to make slaves


© Harish Jharia

Social discrimination has been one of the worst problems in India since time immemorial. It was there in Indian societies many centuries ago and has been continuing until today. The people in villages are the worst sufferers of social discrimination in the form of castism. All along hundreds of generations.


Centuries ago the village heads and the chiefs of small settlements and tribes in different places discovered casts. Today we blame the higher casts for creating untouchables and discriminating against the lower casts. Nevertheless, this looks absurd theory if you just imagine the days when people were uncivilized and lived the lives of barbarians. How the higher cast did came when there was no civilization, society and humans lived like hordes of animals. In those days there were no casts no societies, no customs and even no definite languages. Everything in the life of humans was under development for turning the wild humans into social animals.

I can imagine the days when the profession of humans was just fighting. Fighting for places to settle, fighting for ownership of female captives and fighting for captive slaves and domesticated animals. Gangs and hoards of friendly people used to capture a place with facilities of water, forest for wood and land for farming. Wars were going on everywhere around. The mighty families declared themselves the rulers those became kings later. These kings used to fight all the time killing other kings and capturing properties and captives of the defeated kings. Humans had not discovered the institution of marriage until then. Everyone except the rulers was captive and slave.

The rulers, kings, and the chiefs of gangs or the village heads turned these captives and slaves into different casts. Just imagine the days when religion was not discovered and humans were not introduced to the entity of the almighty God, how the slaves and captives might have been treated.

Wars were the catastrophes when helpless humans used to run away from one place to another. They used to migrate from one kingdom to another simply to face the worse consequences than being killed in the war. These migrants were kept under captivity away from the people of the kingdom and were subjected to rigorous investigation for ensuring their genuinely.

Once their genuineness was ensured the migrants were allotted jobs to do and were called by the names of their trade. I believe that this might be the way in which the casts were discovered in the beginning of the human civilization. These people their females and children were branded with the trade they did and the name of the trade became the caste.

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So-called Low-cast are in fact or slaves...

The scenario that I visualized in the above paragraphs is the one that might have happened thousands of years back. Yet, the scenario in the Indian villages in interiors of rural and tribal areas is no different from what all is described above. The only difference is that in earlier days the casts were newly discovered whereas in modern days the casts system is practiced in the most inhuman ways.

Today’s village heads have turned into politicians and ruling the rural masses in the guise of democratic setup. They are operating like kings of olden days. The police, army and paramilitary forces have no access to these places and if some policemen happen to be posted there, they also turn to be captives of the village heads.

I would conclude this article with an appeal to the readers and to the government organizations to go to these places and liberate the rural and tribal poor from the shackles of the village heads that are running parallel governments in the far-flung areas.

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Disclaimer:
This article / Story / fiction is written based on my personal observations. My intention for publishing the same is to provide healthy reading and intellectual entertainment and not for educating the visitors. Names of people, societies, communities and description of faiths, beliefs, incidents are imaginary and fictitious. They have neither any relevance to the prevailing entities and traditions nor have any similarities with ongoing lifestyles, political ideologies and legal doctrines. The contents of this creative work has not been written with any intention to criticize, condemn or oppose anything what-so-ever present in reality in any country in the world. No literature or authentic books have been referred for writing the contents of this article. The visitors are advised not to refer the contents of this article for any research or testimony on scientific, geographical, political, civic or legal purposes. The visitors are further advised to consult relevant experts before adapting any information from this article. The author or the website are not responsible for any errors, mistakes, or omissions there in.
- Harish Jharia
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09 February 2010

Learn English: How To Speak Better English (Part- 2)

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 © Harish Jharia

Whenever we prepare ourselves for speaking English, we usually form that dialogue in our mother tongue and subsequently translate it to English within our mind, and eventually speak out in English. While going through this three-tier process, we commit many mistakes that result into imperfect speech:
  1. Confusing in selecting right words from vocabulary
  2. Missing out the sequence of words
  3. Fear of forgetting the sentence
  4. Delay in speech
  5. Mincing words
Sometimes speaking a dialogue the meaning of which might be other than that we wanted to convey; therefore, for speaking flawless sentences fluently and effectively we should think and speak in English only. We need to practice a lot for that until our mind develops a natural instinct.

English speaking is not that difficult as compared to speaking other languages including Indian languages. We need to develop expertise in providing proper sequence of words, suitably breaking the sentences in 2-3 parts and giving prominence / stress / higher pitch to a word or two; and eventually making the sentence easier to speak and adequate for understanding by the person we address. Always remember that you should not attempt to speak any sentence in a single breath. because it is neither right nor possible. 

Written language and the language we speak have basic differences about which many of us are not aware. We should not try to speak the bookish language that we read in books, newspapers, magazines and novels. The speaking English has to be quite different from written English. We need to follow the following The various requirements for ideal speech are as follows:
  1. Your speech should be distinct for attracting attention of listener
  2. Your speech should be clear and easy for the listener to understand
  3. Your speech should convey the real message that you want to speak
  4. Your speech should be should carry your feelings and emotions that you want to convey
  5. Your speech should have simple and common words
  6. Sentences in your speech should be short for you to speak easily
  7. Your speech should be short for the listener to understand easily
  8. Your speech should have no ambiguity
  9. You should have correct pronunciation and accent
  10. You should break sentence in 2 – 3 pieces and stress / emphasize the vital words and create right expression
  11. You should use facial gestures and express with nodding your head wherever required
  12. Do not be loud in gesturing
  13. Keep the tone and volume of your voice controlled
Here are examples of sentences:

*Your speech:
(-) stands for breaks and
(bold) stands for emphasis / stress / higher pitch.
  1. Usual sentence: He is dutiful and does not evade hard work.*Your speech: He is dutiful - and does not evade - hard work.
  2. Usual sentence: A typical Indian woman is emotional by nature.
    *Your speech: A typical Indian woman - is emotional by nature
  3. Usual sentence: A sensible person should not be blind to his shortcomings.
    *Your speech: A sensible person - should ‘not’ be blind - to his ‘shortcomings’.
  4. Usual sentence: You should not depend on an unfaithful friend.
    *Your speech: You should not depend - on an unfaithful friend.
  5. Usual sentence: These are imaginary fears that do not exist in reality.
    *Your speech: These are imaginary fears - that do not exist - in reality.
Look at the sentences under subheads ‘Usual sentence’ and ‘*your speech’. Under ‘Usual sentence’, a sentence is written in a normal format. Whereas under ‘*your speech’ the sentences has been broken in pieces and marked for emphasis / stress / higher pitch that guides the speaker about the style of speech.

These styles of speech may differ from place to place and from person to person, depending on the local dialect spoken in that area and the persona and nature of the speaker. Styles may also differ with the occasion and environment, depending on when and where the conversation takes place.

Changing words and sentences suitable for speech:

For better spoken-English, we should use appropriate words and construct proper sentences, a bit different from the written English, for effective expression of the messages that we need to convey.

We should always remember that there is a slight difference in written and spoken English. In written English, we speak full words and sentences whereas for speaking English we speak short forms of some words and make sentences a bit more expressive as compared to that we write.

Here are some examples of written and spoken English sentences:
  1. Written: What is your name?
    Spoken: What’s your – ‘name’?
  2. Written: My name is Harish.
    Spoken: I am – ‘Harish’.
  3. Written: Yes!
    Spoken: That’s ‘right’!
Whenever someone asks us, a question and we need to reply in affirmative then we say, “That’s right!” Rather than saying “Yes.”

We should better say, “What’s” in place of “What is”.

I had an Anglo-Indian friend Joe. One day I asked his son-
“What is your name?”

The child did not understand my question. Joe asked him the same question in a different way
“What’s your name, dear?” and the child looked quite comfortable with his question.

This practice of abbreviating words and reconstructing the sentences in a different way from the written language is followed in other languages also.

Expressions and body language:

Gestures and actions are inseparable part of effective oratory and it is equally followed in English speaking also. Our speech world sound dull, ineffective and would not convey the real meaning of our message if we do not use gestures. Nevertheless, we should be careful for not being loud in our gestures and body language lest we might look funny.

Our speech would sound inert if we do not synchronies our dialogues with proper expressions on our face and body gestures. We should remember that there is a big difference between interacting with somebody and reading a news bulletin on TV.

In a civilized society, we need to express our sympathy facially and verbally while conveying a sad message or offering condolences. We will have to follow this protocol in a proper way, while answering or conveying a message carrying a particular feeling or emotion like exclamation, pleasure, distress, excitement etc.

Tone and volume of speech:

You might have observed that there are different tone and loudness of speech at different places and this style differ from place to place, depending on the dialects spoken in that area, the temperament and social / cultural environment in that area. It even differs between urban and rural parts of the same area.

So is the case in English also, these styles of speaking differ in all the languages in the world. The speech of sophisticated gentry is soft and civilized where as the rural world speak loud and raw language without following protocols. Following the same principles our tone has to be soft, mild moderated while speaking face to face with someone. Nevertheless, the volume may vary with the environment, emotional situation and distance from the listener. Yet, the tone should continue to be soft, at all the time and in all the conditions.

Non-English-speaking people usually try to imitate the dialogues and vocabulary from English films produced in Hollywood and Hong Kong. By following this learning process, we usually pickup styles adapting the vocabulary and learn to speak shrieks, shouts, slang and abuses from the interactions portrayed between bad characters in the films.

We should remember that English is spoken among educated masses in non-English-speaking world. Therefore, our English speech has to be decent and civilized. If we want to learn English from films, then we should pickup dialogue delivery from the decent and intellectual characters in the English films for emulating their style of English speaking.

How To Practice Speaking English:

The more we speak using our tongue throat the better would be our English speaking expertise. English is one of the most tongue twisting languages. Many words in English are not that easy to pronounce for the first time, because it needs a proper twist of our tongue to speak them in an appropriate way.

The best ways for practicing English speaking are listed as follows and discussed subsequently:
  1. Interact with your siblings or friends
  2. Read newspapers or books aloud
  3. Listen to English news on TV
  4. Do not hesitate to clear doubts with anyone
Interact with your siblings or friends:

More and more speaking is the only way to be fluent in the language that you want to learn. We will have to speak as much as possible; it does not matter whether we speak right or wrong. Our aim has to be just keeping speaking as much as possible and there is no other way-out.

You should pickup someone who continues to be with you most of the time and have a pact with him / her to speak only in English between you people. Brothers, sisters, cousins, roommates and classmates are usually the right people with whom you can go for this understanding.

Your practice partner for practicing English need not be an expert in English. Anyone, having working knowledge of Basic English speech would be fine for you to take off on this adventure.

Read newspapers or books aloud:

All the languages carry certain tongue-twisting words or combination of words that create big obstacles in the pursuit of speaking chaste English with perfect pronunciation, accent and fluency. We usually fumble and sometimes even stammer, as our tongue does not synchronize with our mind for perfect phonetic reproduction. The tongue does not just twist to speak such words.

Therefore, we will have to get our tongue used to such typical words, by pronouncing them repeatedly, so much so that, we develop a natural instinct for speaking English as very effortlessly as we speak our mother tongue.

‘Vulnerable’ was one such word that gave me a real hard time, whenever I tried to speak as a single word or tried to use it in a sentence. I of course sometimes could speak it as a single word; yet, I fumbled while speaking it in a sentence. Then, I kept speaking this word repeatedly and tried to used it deliberately by finding opportunities to speak ‘vulnerable’ as many times as possible.

That is the best way to practice for overcoming difficulties like fumbling with these tongue-twisting words or the combinations of such words by ‘reading them loudly’. In our day-to-day academic preparations, we need to read books and we read newspapers and magazines. We need to bring a little change in reading and that is by reading that loudly and use our tongue and throat many times.

This rigorous practice will put your tongue and throat on an exercise, eventually synchronizing it with the commands released from your brain in the process of speaking English. by doing it repeatedly, our tongue develops a natural instinct to produce a desired sound and eventually pronounce it without any fumble or stammer.

Listen to English news on TV:

Even small children as young as eight months learn speaking by hearing our speech and imitate our sounds that they hear when we speak. Hence, we need to hear someone speaking perfect English if we want to learn speaking this language. When we hear them then we can try to copy them...

Speaking any language, other than our mother tongue, is not as simple as physical exercise. That cannot be performed by solitary practice, because speaking includes specific phonetic reproduction and certain specific style, grammar and accent. There is no other option for us, except listening to that sound carefully and emulating the same by synchronizing, twisting the tongue with orientation of our throats while blowing air with controlled throttle.

The easy and freely available resource of perfect English speech lessons is the news bulletins read on radios and TVs. make it a regular practice of listening these news bulletins carefully. Better, listen to Indian English news, rather than opting for CNN or BBC or any other foreign media. I think that Indian English as the best for English for Indians to learn because, people in other countries speak English with different pronunciations and accents. If we try to learn from English spoken by British, American, Australian or Canadian people than we would be rendered confused due to ambiguity and might not even learn the English spoken in India.

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Read more articles on similar subject: Click on the following links
Discover Life: Speaking English- 1  
Discover Life: Speaking English- 2  
Discover Life: First Step to Speaking English (Words)  
Discover Life: Second Step to Speaking English (Sentences)  
Discover Life: Speaking English (Speech)  
Discover Life: Speaking English (Practice)
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Learn English: How To Speak Better English (Part- 1)

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© Harish Jharia

In the modern corporate world, English speaking is considered a must. You would attract attention of the listeners far more than others would, if you are able to speak English in an effective way. Just speaking English would not be enough; your speech should rather emerge like a natural instinct. You should not appear to be trying to speak out by making extra efforts and mincing words and often repeating sentences for an effective communication. You are expected to speak with the same ease and comfort as you speak your mother tongue or the local dialect. 

Let us discuss the basic requirements for effective English speaking.  Most of us do not adequate vocabulary and we do not know the difference between pronunciation & accent. Let us have clear concept of these basic requirements for English speaking. They are enlisted as follows:
  1. Grammar
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Pronunciation
  4. Accent
Grammar:

Grammar is the basic requirement for speaking any language including English. Without having knowledge of grammar, you would not be able to read, write or speak any language. We will proceed with this article, with the presumption that we are well aware of grammar and discussing on a dedicated project - “Let Us Learn Speaking English”, without discussing about grammar.

Vocabulary:

Vocabulary means your stock of words. One day my father asked me to write as many English words as I could. Those days I was doing my graduation in engineering. I studied all through my academics in English medium and knew quite good English. In spite of that, I could not write more than 50 words.

Then my father helped me out by asking synonyms of the words that I wrote on the paper and to my astonishment by trying out for meanings of those words, I could write another 25 words. I tried my best; yet, I could not cross the magic limit of 100.

Based on the above exercise my father told me that I was having vocabulary far less than 100. He asked me to read more, strive hard to learn and understand more and more words, and make it sure to cross the magic figure of 100.

The bigger the stock of words we have, the easier would be for us to speak better English in a better way.  That means that we should know and understand the use of as many words as possible.

Here are some examples of synonyms of words:

security = safety, refuge, sanctuary, safekeeping, safety measures, defense, protection, precautions
 belief = faith, conviction, principle, idea, confidence, trust, certainty, credence
betray =  be disloyal to, give up, hand over, let down, deceive
trouble =  problem, difficulty, dilemma, mess, nuisance, snag, danger 
Pronunciation:

Speaking words with specific sounds may be called ‘Pronunciation’. Utterance is also a synonym for pronunciation. Your pronunciation should be right for a right speech.

Examples:

Look how pronunciation changes-  ‘hop’ & ‘hope’; ‘save’ & ‘shave’; ‘dose’ & ‘does’; ‘advice’ & ‘advise’.
There are many among us who cannot pronounce ‘sh’.  We speak ‘sssss’ in place of ‘sh’
Similarly, most of us do not pronounce the word ‘pleasure’ in the right way. We pronounce it as ‘pleazere’
We pronounce ‘window’ as ‘bindow’ or even ‘bhindow’
We pronounce ‘four’ as ‘phore’ and ‘foreign’ as ‘phoreign’
We pronounce ‘film’ as ‘philm’
We pronounce the letter ‘L’ as ‘yel’ and ‘H’ as ‘hech’
In addition to the inherent phonetic reproduction for a particular pronunciation depending on the local dialect or mother tongue that influence and affect our pronunciations while speaking English. There are the different styles of speaking English in the different parts of the world.

Slightly different pronunciations are used in different English speaking countries for the same words because; the phonetic reproduction depends on the dialects spoken in those particular parts of the world.

The number ‘8’ is pronounced differently in different countries like in Australia they pronounce it as ’aight’ and not as ‘eight’ as pronounced in other countries.

We must remember that we In India have adapted ‘UK English’ for studying in our academics and working in offices. Nevertheless, we come across ‘US English’ while watching Hollywood films and working on computers and internet. In spite of all this fuss, we should not try copying the English speaking styles from different parts of the world all at a time.

We should follow the pronunciations and accents of English that we have learnt from our primary schools and kept improving as we promote ourselves all through up to our university levels and venture into our professions or jobs.  It is always better to speak a fluent Indian English rather than stammering while copying Australian or American styles.

Accent:

Speaking any word by breaking it in two or more pieces and stressing at any latter is called accent. Pronouncing with an accent is in fact speaking by highlighting, stressing or giving a higher pitch to a part of word while pronouncing it.  We may compare accent with the notes and percussion beats or rhythms giving to a line of a lyric for making a musical piece.  Accent gives speech a musical twist and makes it distinct for an effective phonetic reproduction.

Examples:

If we consider ‘examination’ for example; while giving accent to ‘examination’ we should break it into 2 pieces and stress on particular letters for making it easier to speak and for sounding better and specific. Just do it as follows and see how ‘examination’ and a few other words sound and make easier for you to speak:
  1. Examination = exa-mi-nation*
  2. Visualization = visuali-zation*
  3. Vandalism = vandal-lism *
  4. Thermodynamics =  thermo-dyna-mics *
  5. Entertainment =  enter-tain-ment*
  6. Rise = rise ***
  7. Rustic = rus-tic*
  8. Rigorous = rigo-rous
  9. Decoration = deco-ration
  10. Extravaganza =  extra-vagan-za
* (‘Dash’ shows break; ‘underline’ shows stressing)
*** (Need not break being small word)

If you carefully study dictionaries, you will find that there are specific punctuation as guidelines also provided for accent of words in addition to pronunciation. 

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Read more articles on similar subject: Click on the following links
Discover Life: Speaking English- 1  
Discover Life: Speaking English- 2  
Discover Life: First Step to Speaking English (Words)  
Discover Life: Second Step to Speaking English (Sentences)  
Discover Life: Speaking English (Speech)  
Discover Life: Speaking English (Practice)
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Why do our palms itch?




Crazy Ideas...

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Why do our palms itch?



There are two schools of thoughts:

1.
Some of us believe that itching palms is an indication of some unexpected gain of money or treasure.

2.
In fact our palms itch out of allergy, whenever they come in contact with any foreign material like fungal or toxic dust or liquid. Wash your hands with soap and you are done.
To which school of thoughts do you belong?
- Harish Jharia
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06 February 2010

Who have real knowledge of English?



Crazy Ideas...
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Who have real knowledge of English?


There are two styles of speaking languages:

1. The people who speak English in Indian accent or western accent definitely have knowledge of English.

2. The people who speak Indian languages in English accent or western accent do not have knowledge of English.
In which accent do you speak your mother-tongue?

-Harish Jharia




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05 February 2010

Crazy Ideas: Types of successful People

Types of successful People...


There are two types of successful people:

1. The first type of successful people... is that includes those appreciated by families and friends, yet, ignored  by outsiders

2. The second type of successful people... is that includes those who are appreciated by outsiders, yet, ignored by families and friends.

-Harish Jharia



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