Sunday, April 14, 2013



Today, April 14, is the birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (April, 1891 – December, 1956), the greatest Indian of the contemporary India. The greatness of Ambedkar rests with fact that in spite of the fact that he held divergent or even conflicting views with Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel and other leaders of the contemporary India on many matters of interest and concern, Dr. Ambedkar could hold and prevail against tides of the time. Mahatma Gandhi rightly said on dealing with Ambedkar ‘You may criticize him but you cannot ignore him’. It is a matter of satisfaction to note that as the time passes, contemporary India is in the process of paving its way to go ahead in its progress and development, the acceptance of Ambedkar and recognition of his contribution in the nation building also increases and rightly so.

There were two major contributions which Ambedkar made to the polity and governance and social edifice of India. First he was the father of the Indian constitution. It is gratifying to note that India is the largest functional democracy of the world. The governance of the country is run under the provisions of the constitution in which the ultimate power rests with the people. India is on the rails. It has come a long way in its development but still it is still to go a long way to eliminate poverty and misery among the masses. There is hope to do so if we remain in the constitutional norms as stipulated by Dr. Ambedkar. He said in his last speech in the Constituent assembly on November 25, 1949 “If we wish to maintain democracy not merely in form but also in fact, what must we do. The first thing in my judgment we must do is to hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives. It means we must abandon the bloody methods of revolution. It means we must abandon the methods of civil dis-obedience, non-cooperation and satyagraha. When there was no way left for constitutional methods for unconstitutional methods. But where constitutional methods are open there can be no justification for these unconstitutional methods. These methods are nothing but the Grammar of Anarchy and the sooner they are abandoned the better for us.”

 The second important contribution of Baba Sahib to the society at large was his untiring crusade the clean the society from the shameful stigma of untouchability, caste system, religious dogmas, ill treatment of women folk and socio-economic inequality in general. Dr. Ambedkar was of the view that unless the political democracy we had established in the constitution was transformed to economic and social democracy, India will not make a big dent in its progress and prosperity. The mission and philosophy of Baba Sahib is as relevant and potent today as it was before.

My second innings -2 – Vidya Niketan

I wrote about my second innings on April 1. We took the second step on April 13, by performing the Shubh Mahurat ceremony of Vidya Niketan. The auspicious occasion of Baisakhi was fixed for the purpose consciously with a view to invoke all the best wishes to all our friends and well wishers. The guruvani dictum “Deh Shiva var mohe, shubh karman te kabhun na tarun“ of the great Guru Gobind Singh will be the guiding force behind our thinking and action in running the School.

The registration for various courses at the Jalandhar School of Careers and Opportunities (An Institute of Pritam-Sodhi Vidya Trust) will start on April 15. The classes and coaching is scheduled to begin on May 1. We are starting in right earnest. But we are to catch up in the race as the competition is tough. We know that it is not an easy job. We shall do our best. Our target, as written before, is the weaker sections of the society. We would tend to provide not only excellent educational facilities and much needed guidance but also the necessary confidence to the students to stand up and say “We can do it. We will do it” Our motto underlines the Buddhist philosophy “Be Your Own Light”

The formal ceremonial launching of Jalandhar School of Careers is likely to take place later in May/June 2013. The School Website:  may be visited for some more details

Monday, April 1, 2013

My Second Innings – Jalandhar School of Careers & Opportunities

I retired from my diplomatic career (IFS) on December 31, 2010. At my ‘Good Bye’ Reception hosted for the Diplomatic Corp in Minsk (Belarus), my last station of posting, I said that it was not the end of journey for me. I had just finished my first innings in the game of life. My second innings was yet to begin. The day has come when I am all set to start with my cherished dream of opening a school as my post retirement activity. It took almost a year to come up with a suitable venue and building, Vidya Niketan, at a plot at Bootan Mandi (near Buddh Vihar) in Jalandhar, my native place. Jalandhar School of Careers and Opportunities have been announced which will unfold step by step. I have started sitting at the School from today April 1, the FOOLS DAY. My greetings to all of you on the occasion.

The Mission and Vision of the School to provide much needed guidance and help to the young students, particularly the weaker sections of the society, at affordable costs. The objective is not to run a commercial entity with profit motives but to make a social and personal endeavor to repay the debt of gratitude which I owe to the community. It will be done under the aegis of Pritam-Sodhi Vidya Trust which my immediate family has decided to establish after the name of our parents. The lofty ideals of self-help and self confidence as stipulated in the Buddhist thought “BE YOUR OWN LIGHT” will be the guiding principle of the School. Yet another guiding force with us would be to prepare the young people for “LEARN to EARN”. I don’t believe in academic degrees alone. I believe in preparing ourselves to enter life in a meaningful way. The catch word is to earn ones bread and butter with dignity. That is what my parents taught me.

I wanted to write more but I am not in that mood but still I want to post this today. I would pick up the threads later. Kindly wish me luck.