Monday, 31 October 2011

Laying of the Foundation of the New Block in the St.Thomas School, Jagadhri

Today, on the 31st. of October, laying of concrete was preceded by a prayer by the School Chaplain, Revd.George Lazar. Present on the occasion were Mr. S.M.Chauhan, the Manager of the school, and myself, the Principal of the school. After the prayers, and the pouring of the concrete, the customary  sweets were distributed among the staff members of the school. With the opening of the new block we expect to have an Air conditioned Canteen serving the best and most nutritious food, and also it is hoped that the class rooms on the first floor and the second floor (total eight) will give some relief to students studying in already overcrowded class rooms. It is hoped that construction will be completed in the month of May 2012. Given below are some photographs taken on the occasion:






Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Sports Day the Final Take

The Sports day took place in the school on the 24th. of October.  Mr.Dhan Singh the Retired Sports Teacher was a Special invitee. We didn’t call parents and other guests because it was an internal event. There were many events in the sports day, like the relay races, the sack race, the tug of war, and the Chatti event, in which Mr.Dhan Singh even participated. Their was a festive atmosphere throughout the school, and everyone was excited about the events which would take place later in the day. The March Past was a well co-ordinated event and the Guard of Honour was presented to the Guest of Honour. All the teachers worked very hard under the leadership of Mr.Anand Kumar.  I have pasted below, some of the photographs of the event taken by Mr.Nikhil, and Tejas of class ten, Jaguars:








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Honey Bee

Some  guests  came  to  visit  me, but their stay was brief!
There  was tree in full blossom  and  they came for a  brief
Feast  of Nectar. Said I to  them, tarry, and  tell your  brief
Tale, from whence you’ve come and how’re yonder lands?
Guests in  hurry said, “far have we to go,and much is the
Work left! Winter is nigh, we’ve many mouths to feed the
Queen-mother awaits  us!”  Off  they  launched  into  the
Unknown, on to a long journey of adventure and danger!
I, the  disappointed  host  watched them go, but  happy,
For   so  many  guests  had  I never  had before! Lucky
Me,  each guest  had  a  different  tale to   tell of  lonely
Lands   afar,  of  mountains and valleys   and   streams!
Greeted  I,  honey - bees,  bumble - bees,  butterflies,
And   wasps,  for    they   had   graciously come  dine!
And  I,  the   gracious  host  was  happy  to have such
Important  guests  like  them!  And   wrote  I  a   poem!

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Monday, 24 October 2011

Why Socialism failed in the Soviet Union, and the G.D.R. and why was the Berlin Wall breached?

My childhood was spent in Ethiopia, a country which turned towards Socialism after the Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown. I saw the steady decline of the powers of the Soviet Union and its protectorates from the early nineteen eighties! A common joke I shared with my friends was that the Eastern Bloc countries had to renounce Socialism because the people wanted Coca-Cola, Macdonald’s Burger and a pair of Wrangler Jeans. I remember that friends from the Soviet Union were crazy about Coca Cola, Wrangler Jeans, and all electronics from Japan!
It became clear moreover that people in the Soviet Union had become fed up with the rather obsolete Lada, which was a copy of the Fiat 124, the Volga, and the Moskvitch! In the GDR, (German Democratic Republic) there was a long wait for the Trabant, a rather quaint two-stroke car which gave trouble from the time it was brought home! The IFA truck from the GDR had a high centre of gravity, and the UAZ jeep from the Soviet Union overturned! The Riva, another jeep, although more refined was not very efficient!
We used to joke that if a product made in the Soviet Union did not work, you only had to hit it with a hammer, and it would start working! There was a story about how Japan bought a large number of tractors from the Soviet Union, only to melt them down to make cars! My friends from the Soviet Union often complained about the long lines of people who turned up early in the morning to buy bread and provisions from the People’s distribution stores only to learn with disappointment, when their turn came that the store had run out of essential items! Another standard joke shared by my Ethiopian friends who had returned from the Soviet Union after studies was that you could win the loyalty of a girl in the USSR by gifting her a pair of Jeans!
Taken seriously, it becomes apparent that the steady decline of Socialism started from the era of Stalin itself! Stalwarts like Leonid Brezhnev were already aware that socialism was in its last stage. In those days, the Rouble was artificially inflated. Aeroflot was the cheapest airlines, although most flights were routed through Moscow. I read a recent article about what brought about the fall of the Great Wall of Berlin, and wondered if it was not perhaps because the people of East Germany were not jealous of the good life that their cousins in West Germany were enjoying! The constrictions of a Socialist regime meant that there were spies all around, and you couldn’t be sure about even your closest friends and relatives! An atmosphere of paranoia pervaded the societies in the Eastern Bloc countries.
It is clear that Socialism in the Eastern Bloc countries failed among other reasons, because of a closed market policy, lack of liberalisation, curtailment of the right to freedom of expression, freedom of religion and the general right to dissent! Unfortunately, while the common man had to face hardships, the members of the Polit-bureau lived in comparative luxury! They even had stores which provided them the luxuries of the Western countries! The Co-Operative farms, and the communes began to yield lesser and lesser yield! Ultimately, it was the common man who rebelled against the strictures of Socialism! The common man wanted the freedoms enjoyed by his western counterparts. He wanted Coca-Cola, and he wanted to wear Wrangler Jeans, and he wanted to have a Macdonald’s Burger! Strictures against going to church, and following a religion made the common man fed up! The common man wanted to go to Church, but unfortunately anyone professing a religion other than Socialism was denounced and his party membership was taken away! Communist Party ideology denounced religion as being the opium of the poor! People who returned from abroad told their relatives about Coca-Cola and the Macdonald’s Burger, and the “good life” in the West, and this added to the discontent of the people residing in the USSR and the GDR!
Ultimately, the expense of supporting so many countries in terms of military hardware and other infra-structure lead to the downfall of Socialism in the erstwhile USSR, and GDR. Things came to head in the time of Gorbachov who introduced the policy of Glasnost, or openness, or, in today’s terms, transparency. The introduction of Glasnost spelled another death-knell for Socialism! The period under Boris Yeltsin brought about further change! Finally, it was the people who finally decided to break down the Berlin wall and turn towards the western philosophy of life because they were fed up of an oppressive regime which did not provide them true freedom, and the freedom to purchase what they wanted without having to stand in long queues! People had the money, but then there were no goods to be bought in the shops. People didn’t want to wait for months for a Trabant car that refused to start!

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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Rehearsals Prior to Sports Day

The final rehearsal prior to Sports Day took place on Saturday, the 22nd. of October, 2011. The teachers and the students had rehearsed everything very well, and it looked as if the rehearsal was the final event. Each teacher took his or her duty seriously and they were seen working as hard as the students in making the programme a grand success! The snaps below provide a peek into the rehearsal!

DSCN5384 A photo Op with the Principal-the Head Boy, Head Girl, and team of students office bearers.
DSCN5292              DSCN5325

DSCN5326              DSCN5349
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DSCN5336              DSCN5359
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DSCN5363              DSCN5375
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