Erasing the Lines

Reading this made me realize how deep-seated the belief is, especially in India, that homosexuality is an “undesirable, unhealthy, unnatural and abnormal behaviour increasing without control” to quote the words of the author of the above article. An article in which he rails against the open letter written by many eminent writers, artists, human rights activists and others calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality in India by overturning Article 377 of the Indian constitution. What I find even more disquieting is that the writer is apparently a qualified paramedical professional. Here we have a person connected to the medical field who argues that homosexuality should not be decriminalized because, and I quote here,

“…it is an altogether socially, ethically and medically unacceptable idea to treat them as normal. There are no homosexuals among any species of animals. Such practice is fundamentally against nature. With all our sympathy, we have to treat them as abnormal.”

In closing, he wants this to be “a wake-up call for the guardians of traditional morality and ethics”. I utterly disagree with this oft-argued but blinkered view of homosexuality, especially from a scientific point of view. To counter the major argument that it is unnatural here is a link to a seminal book available on Amazon.

Job Supply Deficit in India

India is heading for a job supply deficit says the International Herald Tribune (article here). The paper quotes a NASSCOM survey to show that only one in four engineering graduates is considered employable. The reasons have been open secrets for the past decade: lack of depth in technical knowledge, lack of English speaking skills, lack of team skills. Over the past few years, I’ve had the occasion to stand in on and conduct several interviews for engineers in India’s IT capitals, Hyderabad and Bangalore. What I noticed first hand was that they could be broken up into categories based on types of ignorance:

1. Ignorance of technological basics (such as a software engineer who fails to differentiate between an OS and a programming language. Or who doesn’t know what is a Software Development Lifecycle).

2. Ignorance of latest developments in their specific technical arena (While those in this category are sound on the basics, they are not aware of the latest versions of the very development platforms on which they work and earn their living, or of any of the technological changes in the field. Inexcusable in the Information age).

3. Ignorance of Business applications of technology: These are those young engineers who cant tell what is the role of the software they’re developing in the client’s business, or even what is the very business function that it addresses.