Aparna Kalra’s story, “Living in: love in the time of learning business administration”, Mint, 19 December, highlights an interesting feature of top-rung B-schools in India. In spite of more women gaining admission to management schools, a poor ratio between boys and girls still prevails. So, it is but natural that there will be a good deal of attraction among them, and changes into serious relationships in periods of extended group and combined study. The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad spokesperson is dead right in maintaining that if you cannot manage your own life, how can you manage to be a leader in an organization. The phenomena described in the article is not restricted to IIMs, it has spread to other institutes as well.
I failed to see the reason behind Amit Varma’s “Nadiraji wants your money”, Mint, 13 December.
The argument that government taxes should not be used to construct new auditoriums or promote art societies as it profits only a select clique of people seems to have little merit. By extrapolation, I don’t think government should spend money gained by taxing people to construct a new road in an obscure village or providing Internet connectivity to that village. Such activities will benefit only the villagers (who most probably do not pay any taxes) and has very little probability of having any meaningful, direct, impact on my life.
There is a vicious circle here. People don’t go and see theatre since the auditoriums are quite far from places where people live and the effort to get there might not be worth it if the performance is not good or tickets are unavailable. And therefore, such ventures are hardly profitable and hence, no money to fund new auditoriums, and so on.
Your argument that Nadira Babbar wouldn’t probably be interested in putting her own money into the venture because of uncertain returns is worth some merit. I think taxpayers’ money to construct new roads or make new auditoriums, all should be a function of some reasonable measurement of returns, and not whether it affects the people who pay the taxes directly.
Re Amit Varma’s “Let’s rethink doping”, Mint, 20 December. First and foremost, I don’t think that all births are accidents. Even though I think I know what you mean. You are probably referring to the physical endowments that one receives per chance. Here too, I believe there are few accidents. Second, the reason performance-enhancing treatments are banned is because in excess, they are harmful; this is not medical news and has been well-documented. But then again, most things in excess are harmful, including supplements. Science can replicate, but only to an extent; it cannot take over the role played by nature. Human imagination, however great, is no match to nature.
You write that life expectancy has increased in developing countries by about 30 years. I think for most part, life expectancy has increased all over the world. This is not due to drugs being misused. I am not referring to individual rights here; I am talking about creating awareness of the harm substance abuse can do to individuals.
Finally, let’s say if some players underwent genetic therapy or underwent some other performance-enhancing treatment such as using medications that were banned—that would not be fair play.
Not that life necessarily is, but it would be an additional variable in the sport. It would make the game biased, even though only those endowed would be playing the game, since those who were not might not even qualify to enter the game. Survival of the fittest, but not through damage-causing treatment.