Authored by: Prem Rawat; HarperOne, NewYork; 2021; 

ISBN: 979-0-06-321500-9; 260 pages; Price: ₹399/-

“The more you know yourself, the more patience you have for what you see in others.”

-Erik Erikson

The book, “Hear Yourself: How to Find Peace In A Noisy World?,” is a unique book authored by Prem Rawat, the renowned teacher and author of the internationally bestselling Peace Is Possible.  This volume is almost at a resonant frequency of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi’s popular philosophy “Who am I?” that begins with answers to questions that were put to him by M. Sivaprakasam Pillai in the year 1902, bearing on self-enquiry.

“Hear Yourself,” is just not a general book but it is a treasure that addresses the impact negative thinking has on individuals while it sets out a way to reach a deeper, unchanging sense of ourselves that according to the author exists beyond our thoughts.

On one hand, without any doubt, there is a lot of muddled intellectual noise around the topic of understanding the self and on the other hand, understanding what exactly peace means. Nonetheless, this book gives readers the answer to both these quandaries — as the author records that the purpose of gaining self-knowledge is a herculean task which involves experiencing refreshing clarity, deep fulfillment, and immeasurable joy — and many other wonders —by being at one with the universe of peace inside us.  

The author himself reveals the fact that he had learned from his father many things. For the first time he had addressed the followers of his father when he was barely four years old; and his first-ever message to them was, “peace is possible when you start with yourself.” Of course, the message that the author passes through this book is — starting with oneself is in reality the best thing one can do for other people.

The reviewer believes that the book, “Hear Yourself,” is an encyclopedia in itself that provides many issues that have been touched upon in holy books such as Bhagavadgita. For example, according to the author, it is often our mind that keeps us distracted from a deeper connection to ourselves. The following verse from Bagavadgita exactly speaks the same thing:

mana eva manushyanam

karanam bandha-mokshayoh

bandhaya visayasango

muktyai nirvisayam manah

When exactly translated, the meaning of the verse is — for man, the mind is the cause of bondage and the mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation.

The reader becomes wistful when going through such statements as, “when the wind blows really hard, the trees that don’t know how to bend break. But the trees that know how to sway with the wind, they stay. It’s just a storm; it will pass. But you have to be above it. You will be okay.”

Occasionally, this book addresses the ultimate individualities of a person viz. forgiveness, love, duty and responsibility, etc. The author has offered a dedicated chapter i.e. Chapter 9 on love. As the author confesses that the theme of this chapter has long been close to his heart, so would be for the reader!  

The book is a throng of answers to all 5Ws and 1H that moves around the title of the book i.e. Hear Yourself. This book enchantingly presents the author’s standpoints and analysis of the captioned subject and contextually discusses some of the happenings in his life.

Though I understand that it is always very easy to critique books for what they leave out or what we as the readers don’t accept, I strongly felt, in this case, the author has intensely deliberated that it is a very simple task to experience the peace in oneself before choosing to fight or not, while introducing the Peace Education Program (PEP), an initiative by Prem Rawat Foundation. But, personally, the reviewer (in the capacity of an air veteran) in a broader context believes that an individual or nation that cannot win a war should not attempt to sermonize on the importance of peace — for the nature of awareness about war and peace collectively is existence-consciousness-bliss.

The author, who is the founder of Prem Rawat Foundation, has achieved the objectives he had set when he was writing this book in the first place. Overall, the purpose of the author in writing this volume is achieved — to bring a practical message of hope, happiness, and peace to all, one person at a time.

Indubitably, this book will appeal to assorted readers — serves the reader as a mirror that paves the way for the reader to see his/her inner self palpably. To this end, this excellent publication — the culmination of a lifetime of study, by all means, serve as a good read. In a nutshell, the message given by the author through this book is — if we allow ourselves to listen, what we hear is the amazing miracle of existence—an experience that transforms our relationship to life and everything in it!

-Dr. Suman Kumar Kasturi



Authored by: Rama Krishna L; Notion Press.Com, Chennai; 2022; ISBN: 979-8-88629-261-9; xiv+221 pages; Price: ₹299/-

Book Cover

“High school is what kind of grows you into the person you are. I have great memories, good and bad, some learning experiences and some that I’ll take with me the rest of my life.”– Giancarlo Stanton

On the same wavelength as the above reference, high schools play the most significant role in everyone’s life. High school time is the decisive transition period wherein one discovers himself or herself. Such a discovery is very significant for the rest of one’s life to ensure to live up to one’s expectations by not trying to be someone else.

“Rambo: 7 Seasons At Sainik School,” is not only the story of a Saikorian but also of every individual who passed out of high school — in a husk, a story of you and me! Consecrated are a few who could do schooling from any of the thirty-three Sainik schools that form the comity of India’s premier educational institutions, administered by the Sainik Schools Society under the Ministry of Defence. Apart from imparting Military oriented education to the cadets, these schools have a few other objects like removing regional imbalance;   developing qualities of body, mind and character; and of course, bringing public school education within the reach of the common man.

The first chapter of the book comprising a total of eighteen chapters begins with the revelation of the family background of the author that hails from Kondrapole village in Nalgonda district of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh (present-day Telangana). In the same chapter, the author narrates his admission to the Korukonda Sainik School. Stirringly, within a few hours after his spending on the school premises, the author was named the “Ring Leader Ramakrishna,” by none other than his housemaster. This very incident brings out the fact that the author enjoys his salient freedom of who he really has been — his trade in reality for a role. In the same chapter, the account of the food in the hostel mess and sharing the pickle of a friend among all to leave the bottle empty within no time, makes the reader go back to their school/hostel days.   

In the succeeding chapter, the author introduces us to the character of “Bampu,” through another character named Paparayudu, an immediate senior of the author. Besides, the reader also gets familiarised with such nicknamed characters as Tokada and Kaddi. Of course, one more important character Sparrow along with Daku will join the list in the latter part of the book. The author narrates the welcome party and announcement of COCK house, champion houses for the year, and also about the new appointments. There’s no doubt that almost every school has four groups each among which the competitions track. The reader becomes nostalgic for sure when reading between the lines of the narration of house groups. Most importantly, this chapter gives us the details about how Ramakrishna turned out to be Rambo. Yes, it is Gagan, the house captain, named Ramakrishna as Rambo after the chocolate he was biting then.   

Rambo Chocolate

Beyond doubt, a nickname is the stiffest nugget that the evil spirit can throw at a man. When a person unexpectedly hears his nickname from unexpected people, sure, it will create an affray. That’s what happens in Chapter 3 — Ignorant Mistakes. The funny narration of Bampu knowing that Paparuyudu has revealed his nickname to the new joiners and after matters makes the reader stick to the book.  

Further reading in this book discloses the fact that Sainik Schools follow the hierarchy of Military Institutions, for the punishments like ear squats, kneel-down, etc, described throughout the book reveal the very fact. The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. The incident wherein Nageswara Rao alias Kalia, a close pal of the author, scribes “TOK” on a wood piece to continue it to make “TOKEN” inscribed would be misinterpreted as the process of inscribing “TOKADA” by crafts master, supports the above thought of George Bernard Shaw.

The reader becomes wistful when the author narrates the story of him stealing the mangoes from the orchard and his friends arriving for the rescue operation. In another incident, Virat, a friend of the author, drops his question paper and picks up the copied material of the author under the pretext of collecting his question paper — a clear intent to save the author. These particular incidents leave an impression that friends are friends, no matter what, they always remain well-wishers of us!  

Occasionally, this book brings out the ultimate love of a mother. It is palpable through the incident wherein the author’s mother dares to kill a snake for his sake. The feeling is identically deep when we read through the incident wherein the author escapes his half-yearly exams upon his father’s arrival to take him back home for the treatment, for his mother was worried about him for consuming the milk of the buffalo that died of a dog’s bite.   

The book is a collection of tender, adamant and ignited minds that want to dominate for being dominated; a book of the desperate group mates who want to win the cross country; a book of blokes that look after to take revenge for being offended — no matter whether the one who affronted was even their instructor, etc. With the narration of the author’s journey through the seven seasons of his schooling, the readers stick to this book.

This book fascinatingly presents the author’s perspectives and analysis of his journey through the seven seasons at a Sainik school and categorically discusses most of the contemporary happenings.

Nonetheless, though I understand that it is always very easy to critique books for what they leave out, I strongly felt, in this case, the author has palpably taken it for granted that every reader has done schooling at the same place, forgetting the very fact that this book can have diverse reader profiles — the batchmates of the author, the alumni of the same school, general readers, and readers having some defence background, etc. I, the reviewer, strongly felt that occasional pictures of the school and a group photo of all those characters cited in the book could have added more exquisiteness to the narration.

If we meticulously follow an autobiography, we can live the life of the person described therein! Indubitably, as one reads through the book, one can live his own student life through the author’s narration.

The author, a Saikorian, has achieved the objectives he had set when he was writing this book in the first place. Overall, the purpose of the author in writing this volume is achieved — to provide assorted readers with the seven wonderful years at Sainik School. It is very much pertinent to mention that a few autobiographical narrations and contemplations make us live the character role of biographer! This semi-autobiographical work serves the same.

Indubitably, this book will appeal to assorted readers. To this end, this excellent publication, by all means, serves as a good read to not only the people associated with the author but also the people of general interest.

Before wrapping up…it is rightly said that some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers. I express my resilient decree that without the strong support rendered by Ms Laseeta Kunhikannan, the editor of the book, this book might have not taken its present form — the supreme editing capabilities are palpable wherein she has extracted Rambo out of Rainbow of emotions, and seven seasons at Sainik school from seven colours of the author’s sprightly emotions!

-Dr. Suman Kumar Kasturi

© https://www.sumankasturi.com & http://www.kasturionline.com

An expedition to touch the sky with glory

This archived article is being reblogged on the occasion of 89th Air Force day!!

Dr. Suman K Kasturi's Blog..!!!

An expedition to touch the sky with glory


Indian Air Force is the decisive sharing out of the Indian Armed Forces – the military forces of the Republic of India. It is the youngest service among the tri-services, when compared to the Indian Army and the Indian Navy. Nevertheless, as far as the mightiness is taken into account, IAF unquestionably outshines the other two services.

An Expedition

The Journey

Way back to history – it was on the same day in 1932 – Indian Air Force was officially established as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire. With an infinitesimal strength of 25 air warriors, the first aircraft squadron had come into force on April 01, 1933. During the World War II, the IAF played a dominant role in blocking the encroachment of the Japanese army in Burma, where its first air strike was on the Japanese military base in Arakan…

View original post 1,524 more words

Patriotism Isn’t a Jiffy Affair!

Your vehicle comes to a screeching halt as the light turns red at the traffic signal. Even as you fret over the eternal wait, a plastic tri-colour flag is flashed in front of your face. You soon hear a chant of Vande Mataram, Jai Hind from a little boy’s mouth trying to sell you the flag. He has other accessories too – an Independence Day metal badge, plastic lotus, soldier figures etc. Then it dawns upon you that there’s a National holiday ahead. Feeling guilty, you even buy a souvenir to display your patriotism only to forget after a while. Sounds familiar?

In India, Independence day is celebrated on August 15 every year with zeal. The objective of such celebrations is to connote the transition of India from the slavery yolks of the British Dominion to be a democratic and republic nation where all the supreme political powers, sovereignty, and authority rests with the people.

Today, India is celebrating 75th Independence Day. On this occasion, repeatedly the only question that has been wavering in my mind is – why do people become patriotic only on selected instances? Having been an air warrior, who served the nation for 19 years, I realize what patriotism means. To me, it is an inexplicable feeling, which should also be an inherent trait for any national.

Patriotism has a rich meaning. In general, it means edifying attachment to one’s native soil that ultimately leads to devotion to one’s nation. Such a feeling should not be restricted to just extrinsic values rather it should be an intrinsic value that should be obsessed by every citizen.

Patriotism is the true spirit an individual should have for his nation. Do we Indians have such a feeling within us? India proudly claims to be the nation with plurality as her nature. Unity in diversity has been the slogan which we often find making circles in all nooks and corners of the world. Do we maintain such a spirit at all times? Or is it limited to a few occasions like Republic Day, Independence Day and Martyrs Day?

Surely, every Indian turns to be patriotic on two occasions – every year on January 26 and August 15. Patriotic songs like “Mere Desh ki Dharti” reverberate almost every street in town. Why is it so? At this juncture, the only question that arises in my mind is whether patriotism has any periphery limits? Or patriotism is a trait that has only a limited role?

Every year the Independence Day is celebrated most spectacularly in New Delhi, the capital of India. The main attraction of the day is an impressive and magnificent parade that puts forward the military powers and cultural affluence of the country apart from the patriotic vehemence of the Indians. An amazing fly-past by Indian Air Force and Naval aircraft rounds off this majestic celebration. A similar thing happens every year on January 26 too.

The true spirit Independence day brings out is nothing but patriotism. It’s not a single person’s obligation to keep the nation free from any sort of worries. Every citizen should feel responsible to make the nation implausible in the purview of the entire world.

I feel that patriotism should come from within and not without. Patriotism ensures the stability of all kinds in a given nation.

I second the thought of John F. Kennedy on patriotism. According to him, one should ask only “what you can do for your country” — as if “country” were the master, and “you” and I and all of us merely servants. Most of the influential personalities of developed countries realize the importance of patriotism. For example, US President Barack Obama once said loving one’s country means accepting one’s responsibility to do his part to change it. Patriotism is nothing but the grand inherent apostle that prompts a person to serve his nation, at any given time.

The essence of patriotism is fully recognizing and consciously participating in that network of affinity, paying very close attention and constantly responding to a range of issues like what everyone else is doing and saying and wanting and hoping.

Out of the multiple associations emerge ideals and institutions. But those ideals and institutions are valuable only insofar as they support the fulfilment of each and all. The individual is the master; the nation’s ideals and institutions exist merely to serve persons. So ideologically in any given nation, true patriots do not serve some imagined unchallengeable unit called nation or country; rather, they serve the needs and aspirations of every person.

There is a need to self examine whether we can be called factual patriots? Had we been patriotic year after year, India could have accomplished laurels; but not plummets in grading in almost every sector.

Who is responsible for such trounce is not the question of the hour rather how should we overcome trounce is that question. The ultimate answer is the true spirit of patriotism, which in turn ensures the following:

  • Fraternity among fellow citizens
  • Enhanced civilization; and thereby achieving a fall in crime rate
  • Increased employment opportunities
  • Corruption-free societies

The true spirit of democracy lies in patriotism alone. Each and everyone is responsible for making the dream of Mahatma Gandhiji – “After attaining Swaraj (independence), now it’s time to attain Suraj (good governance)” a reality.

If such a day is realized in India, such an occasion would just take new dawn with the bright appeal of unity, brotherhood, and love. On that scrupulous day, there is no Hindu, no Muslim, and no Sikh; there is only one caste, one religion, and that is Indian. The sacrifices of all the martyrs will add significance to India’s history.

Let’s hope this year’s Independence day will not just be a routine affair, but add true fervour of patriotism in every citizen’s life, both in letter and spirit. Let’s not forget what the great Mahatma once said: “Be the change you wish to see.’ Jai Hind!!

-Dr. Suman Kumar Kasturi

The Success Connotations of Kargil War


  2. Isn’t Patriotism a Jiffy Affair?
  3. The Success Connotations of Kargil War
Ops Vijay Star

Complacently India is celebrating the twenty second anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas today — to streak the victory of Operation Vijay. At the opening, I would like to express my nostalgia that as a young Air Warrior, I was a partaker, full of zip, in the Kargil War that came to blows for more than two months. It was on July 26, 1999, India efficaciously took command of the high outposts that were otherwise lost to Pakistani intruders.

Kargil: India’s Greatest Victory of Recent Times

It has been customary that every year this day is celebrated in the national capital as well as in the Kargil–Drass sector. For this occasion, several programmes are prearranged all over the country — to venerate the contributions of the armed forces. As well, the Prime Minister pays homage to the martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate. For many people, these celebrations are sheer get-togethers. Nonetheless, the fundamental objective of these carousing through nationwide campaigns is meant to arouse a feeling of nationalism and patriotism, particularly amongst youth.  

Kargil War: The Winners

Insofar as Kargil War is concerned, indubitably, Pakistan had a much of the circumstantial preparation that took account of the building of logistical supply routes. The war occurred due to the infiltration of the Pakistani soldiers into locations on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) that functions as the de facto border between India and Pakistan. It is worth mentioning here that the Pakistani soldiers infiltrated in the guise of Kashmiri Militants — documents left behind by casualties are the evidence of this fact.

According to me, it was a war between two sides — having Pakistan on one side with a concrete plan, and India on another side to face an unanticipated contingency. Despite the fact that India was not very much ready to face the situation, the Indian Army, which was supported by the Indian Air Force, recaptured a mainstream of the intruded areas on the Indian side of the LOC. Far along, bowing to the international diplomatic antagonism, the Pakistani forces were pulled out from the residual Indian settings along the Line of Control.

Kargil Vijay Diwas

The interesting points of observation that I have drawn from the epic confrontation as the success connotations of Kargil War are territorial imperative battered with the Game Theory and Minimax approach. Beforehand, I would like to make acquainted with the concepts of territorial imperative, game theory and the minimax principle, while extenuating my arguments.

In effect, usually, the term Territorial Imperative is used in the milieu of ‘total war.’ Obviously, the Kargil War that was fought for more than sixty days resulting in India’s victory is not less than any ‘total war.’ The territorial imperative is the need to claim and defend a territory. It could be well-thought-out as the way the fighting forces use space, weaponry and strategies. The entire thing booms territorial imperative.

The Power of Indian Armed Forces

Territorial Imperative

The initial situation in Kargil War was to confront a condition wherein the Pakistani infiltrators occupied such sporadically inhabited region as Kargil, which is located in isolated valleys disjointed by some of the world’s uppermost mountains. In order to encounter such situation, there was certainly a demand from the top brass of the Indian Army to execute great forward-thinking on top of numerous administrative and wartime strategies. There is no doubt that the Indian Armed Forces were effectual in taking up such a challenge and defend our territories. 

Game Theory

On the other hand, game theory is the study of scientific models of strategic communication between balanced decision-makers. It has solicitations in all fields of social science. In the beginning, game theory spindles zero-sum games, in which one person’s gains result in losses for the other participants. As far as a zero-sum game is concerned, there is always a calculated demonstration of a situation in which each participant’s gain or loss of function is precisely well-adjusted by the losses or gains of the function of the other participants.

The Saga of Patriotism

Going back to our context of the discussion i.e. India’s triumph in the Kargil War, our side has definitely achieved what a zero-sum game in game theory intends to. In my viewpoint, the peace-time training of the Indian Armed Forces has achieved a very objective. Palpably, what Indian Armed Forces have gained through their immaculate peace-time training has resulted in the loss of the opposition. Also, sensible strategic communication has played a key role in India’s triumph.

Minimax Approach

The third connotation for the victory of the Kargil War that I would like to imply here is the Minimax principle. Minimax approach is an administrative principle by which when offered with two conflicting strategies, by the use of logic, one should determine and use the strategy that will minimise the maximum losses that could occur.

Again, turn back into the success of India in Kargil War and applying the minimax principle, it is substantial that Indian Armed Forces, by restraining themselves from making the situation more offensive, have definitely minimised the maximum losses that could have otherwise occurred. It was definitely a strategic move as concerns India because the Kargil War was purely a startling upshot in India’s war history. While confronting a situation that was not estimated, if the more offensive strategies were embraced, unquestionably it would have ensued in a great loss rather than paybacks. Evidently, Indian Armed Forces have adopted a self-induced war strategy of restraint in keeping the war limited to the Kargil sector.

Ops Vijay Medal

Definitely, India’s conquest in envisaging such an unforeseen eventuality and win over the well-equipped opponent in the Kargil War has spotlighted India’s preeminent vigilance to encounter such situations. The Kargil War is a saga of resilient political, military and diplomatic engagements; and it will always be conjured for the strategic and tactical surprises. In concluding words…India’s victory in the Kargil War modestly reverberates, “the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war!”

-Dr. Suman Kumar KasturiDr Suman Kumar Kasturi


  2. Isn’t Patriotism a Jiffy Affair?
  3. The Success Connotations of Kargil War

Why do few celebrities get into prostitution or suicides?

Few celebrities of all genres choose the ultimate path of prostitution, while few others choose the path of suicide. There is no specific need to quote examples in this regard.

History divulges many incidents. Many people may wonder why people who created a repo for self should get into such mucky things. Yes, it’s rather a well-founded question indeed!

Celebrities – mostly from the fashion world and film fraternity reach to the zenith within a very less span of time, whereas it takes long battled years which is close to one’s lifetime in the case of other professions.

Achieving success may sometimes happen overnight, but retention and maintenance of the same tempo becomes a tedious job for the celebrities. Also, the celebrities in general uphold a touchstone life after achieving their initial success. Such standards include a very lavish life.

In case of continuous success, there won’t be any problems. Nevertheless, the problems arise only when a celebrity experiences failures after an initial success. For sometime – it won’t be difficult to manage the situation. But, the problems begin only when the cushioned up riches exhaust. The actual diversion of the path begins here. There may be different directions that could be followed. But, mostly only two paths are chosen by the screen idols: the path of flesh trade & the path of suicide. Beyond doubt, both are the paths of immorality, which even after a realisation, the celebrities opt to choose for obvious reasons. Most of the women celebrities facing destitution opt to get into flesh trades for it pave an easier way for earning money. But, for male celebrities it is not a fitting option. So, they choose to manage the situation for some time by borrowing money from the sources close to them.

In either case, they develop some sort of mental fear and insecurity that ultimately leads them to think repeatedly about the aftermath. The thoughts of suicide then sowed in the minds of the celebrities facing the destitution. Suicide is a tragic event with strong emotional repercussions for its survivors and for the families of its victims. According to an estimate, more than 36,000 people in the U.S. alone kill themselves every year. Statistics also reveal the fact that men seem to be especially at risk, and have nearly four times the suicide rate as women for sundry reasons specific to men themselves. Loss, depression, anxiety disorders, medical conditions, drug and alcohol dependency, financial, legal or scholastic problems, and other life difficulties can all create weighty emotional distress. They also get in the way with individuals’ ability to solve problems.

Suicidal thoughts, also known as suicidal ideation are thoughts about how to kill oneself, which can range from a detailed plan to a fleeting consideration and does not include the final act of killing oneself. The majority of people who experience suicidal ideation do not carry it through. Some may, however, make suicide attempts. Some suicidal ideations can be deliberately planned to fail or be discovered, while others might be carefully planned to succeed.

Suicide is definitely not an ultimate solution. In this world, each and every problem has a solution. There is a need to address this issue at an appropriate level. Because.. “Jaan Hai to Jahaan Hai”. Dignity of any celebrity lies within the way they conduct self. Why should a person choose only two wretched paths, while neglecting other options? It is better to dwell a simpler and happier life than choosing wrong paths and there by landing up in troubles for self and other concerned people.

Dr. Suman Kumar Kasturi

Dr. Suman Kumar Kasturi



Authored by: Kambhalapalli Krishna; Bhoomi Book Trust Hyderabad; 2019; ISBN: Not Available; 160 pages; Price: ₹100/-

I can’t think in terms of journalism without thinking in terms of political ends. Unless there’s been a reaction, there’s been no journalism. It’s cause and effect.-Hunter S. Thompson

It is precise that there is no journalism without thinking in terms of political ends. This inkling holds good both in terms of actual political ends concerning the political goals as well as the inside politics of a media organisation. In fact, journalism and human communication cannot be seen as two different entities. Both of them are unified if we consider that journalism enlightens the very nature of human communication and the arrays that come to light in social connection.

This book titled— The Journey of a Journalist — is authored by Kambhalapalli Krishna, who has been associated with both print and electronic media (Telugu) for twenty-five years. I read this book with great interest as it is on a topical and relevant subject, and one close to my own interest in exploration. This book covers a vast canvas on the life journey of the author from the time when he has accidentally become a journalist. This book, though not formally chapterised, is divided into fifteen chapters (if can be called so). All these fifteen chapters are thematically and chronologically entwined. 

As rightly mentioned by the author in the first chapter concerning his twenty-five years of journey as a journalist, he has discussed the contemporary political issues throughout this book — mostly pertaining to the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. Even though this book cannot be categorised as a research book, it adheres certain features that any research book owns. This book could be categorised as a non-fictional and non-academic book.

Cover Page of the Book: The Journey of a Journalist

The book begins with the revelation of the family background of the author, who is the youngest among all his seven siblings. Excitingly, the author has decided his own date of birth as no one has noted down the same. In the virtual first chapter, the author gives us the entire background of his childhood and schooling. Then, in the same chapter, he reveals the fact of him getting a job in Praja Shakti, a contemporary Telugu Newspaper, where his elder brother Shekhar was then working as a cartoonist. After reading this chapter, the reader gets a feeling that the author is not a journalist rather an accidental journalist! My justification for this comment is — firstly, the author never aspired to become a journalist and secondly, he does not even formally acquire the qualification.

In the succeeding chapter, the author makes a revelation about his entry into Andhra Jyothi on October 16, 2002, for a meagre salary offer of ₹4,500/- per month. The interesting part of this chapter is how his involvement in an FM Radio Program ‘JAPA-4’ has led him to start a column titled Lolli in Andhra Jyothi newspaper. The author makes it an annotation in the following chapter that the articles published under the column Lolli were published as a book with the same name.

Further reading in this book discloses the fact that the author commenced his career in TV9 as a Reporter after concluding the journey as a print media journalist. As understood by me, July 28, 2005, is an important day in the career of the author. He left for Mumbai for the coverage of the Mumbai Floods. This event has hauled out the talent in him to ultimately pave a way for him to get a chance to leave for New Delhi, for political coverage from the national capital. The author captivatingly narrated the story of his first flight journey and the birth of a baby in J&K on the earthquake day i.e. on October 08, 2005. This part certainly reveals the tenacity of the author in the capacity of a journalist to reach a far-flung area in J&K.

All the way through the book, the author has made a disclosure of his life journey while discussing the coverage of contemporary political issues. In the ensuing chapters, the author has talked about his career in other popular Telugu News Channels such as NTV, Zee 24 Ghantalu, V6, TV5, Sneha TV, TNN, and HMTV. While working with V6, the author was inspired by Amir Khan’s popular television program Satyamev Jayate, the first episode of which was telecasted on May 06, 2012. This led him to think of directing an analogous program which ultimately took its shape by the name Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya. The narration of his struggle to direct the series makes the readers stick to this book.

This book fascinatingly presents the author’s perspectives and analysis in examining the political environment during the second phase of Telangana Movement. Without a doubt, this book set alight conversation about the most important developments that took place in the last two decades in the political arena of India. Significantly, this book, though not directly, emphasises the importance of the ethics of journalism — an extermination feature of present-day media.

Book Release at Press Club Somajiguda Hyderabad

This volume categorically discusses most of the contemporary happenings. Nonetheless, though I understand that it is always very easy to critique books for what they leave out, I personally felt, in this case, the author has forced himself to maintain the neutrality without presenting his actual opinion about certain political matters that are referred in this book.

Mass Media and Society mutually influence each other and are reciprocally interwoven. The author, who is a journalist by profession, has definitely achieved the objectives he had set when he was writing this book in the first place. Overall, the purpose of the author in writing this volume is achieved — to provide general readers, established media personnel, media educators and beginning students unfamiliar with the state of a journalist to provide a taste of the actual life of a journalist.

This book will definitely appeal to media aspirants and faculty members who want a thorough overview of not only the field but also sample research stemming from its various component parts. To this end, this excellent publication, by all means, serves as a good read to not only the people associated with the media but also the people of general interest.

In concluding words… the idea behind offering an English Review for a Telugu Book is to endorse the suggestion that this book has the budding prospect to be translated into English or any other language for the benefit of many!

-Dr. Suman Kumar Kasturi

Dr. Suman Kumar Kasturi


Coronavirus disease 2019, most prevalently known as Corona or Covid-19, needs no explicit outline — because — over some time it has been petrifying the entire world. This infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 was first recognized in December 2019 in the capital of China’s Hubei province – Wuhan. It has since spread globally, resulting in the ongoing pandemic.

Covid-19; This infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2

Likewise, like many countries ordered the lockdown of their respective nation-states, the Government of India (GoI) under Prime Minister Narendra Modi on  March 24, 2020, has also ordered a nationwide lockdown for 21 days that persisted up to April 14, 2020, which is further extended till May 03, 2020.

The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi Announcing Lockdown

Soon after the announcement of the lockdown, the GoI has announced numerous measures to be implemented under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana under which about 80 crore people were expected to be covered. Cumulatively, the PM Garib Kalyan Package provides ₹1,75,000 crore to the poor to help them fight the battle against the Coronavirus. Besides, various states in India have come out with their self-sustaining financial assistance schemes to combat a situation created by the lockdown due to Covid-19.

Palpably, any such schemes undertaken by the government have to be implemented through the Public Sector Banks. They have been instrumental in the implementation of almost all welfare schemes designed, developed, and implemented by the Government of India. In this manner, the banks work as an arbitrator between the people and the government. The incredible efforts put in by the banks during demonetization is commendable.

Queue In Front of a PSU Bank

However, the situation, in this case, is entirely different from demonetization and has been turning the banks into the threat and hazardous zones. There is no doubt that the helping measures undertaken by the competent authorities are in good spirits. Nonetheless, when it comes to the implementation at the ground level, it is hitting a blow on the very purpose for which the lockdown has been announced.

Usually, a customer who visits a bank branch, once in a month, is now paying some 10 to 15 visits. Sometimes, the visits are just intended to see if the account is credited with any freebies like Aasara Pension, PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, State Government Rythu Bandhu, or PM Kisan Samman benefit, etc. 

According to bankers working in Telangana, the state government has credited Aasara Pension on April 03, 2020. There was a heavy crowd on the following working day to withdraw this amount — not caring for any social distancing or other preventive measures like using face masks. Soon after the credit of the Aasara pensions, in about just 2-3 days, the women Jandhan accounts were credited with ₹500/-, resulting in further inquiries about the credited amount through third parties, and, subsequently visiting in person to withdraw the same.

Queue Line In Front of a PSU Bank

Then again, after 2-3 days, the accounts were credited with PM Kisan Samman Benefit. The entire sequence of events repeated for obvious reasons. That was not the end of the concern. The state government has credited ₹1500/- into the accounts of the white ration card holders that gave rise to a further fracas, inducing in never-ending long queues in front of the banks even during this hour of crisis. In this entire episode, the customers continue to be the same for the reason that the end recipient of all freebies is the unchanged set of people right through.

Apart from the net banking, e-wallet services, and other digital banking services, the customers have plentiful other options like Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Bunch Note Acceptors (BNAs), Passbook Printers, Credit/Debit Cards, etc. All these facilities would nearly serve the bank customers during the period of crisis. Nonetheless, the customers who are offered these freebies are inept of using any of the above digital services. Thus, they are forced to visit the banks to withdraw the money. Moreso, there has been a hidden trepidation among such customers that if they don’t withdraw the money as soon as it is credited, there won’t be any future credits from the government. Such an allegory is forcing them to withdraw the amounts in many spells, instead of withdrawing the total money at a time. For example, in the aforementioned situation in Telangana, a person who visited the bank after 20th might have withdrawn the total amount credited on several occasions in one go…but it didn’t happen. 

NetBanking Facility Offered by PSU Bank

Additionally, the banks are asked to bid loans to various existing customers under a special Covid-19 scheme. Under this scheme, 10% of the existing sanctioned loan amount (subjected to the maximum permissible amount under each scheme) with a moratorium period of six months would be extended to potential customers. This has, unquestionably, imposed an additional burden on the bankers.

Also, a few PSU banks underwent amalgamation in this crucial period w.e.f. April 01, 2020. This has resulted in people visiting the branches inquiring about the intactness of their accounts in the post amalgamation set-up. Further, the amalgamated banks are not in a position to offer all the services that would otherwise be offered by their erstwhile parent banks, leaving the bankers facing an obstreperous situation, which sometimes results in a pointless argument with the customers.

In keeping with the opinion of most of the bankers, the employees of public sector banks have many woes that need to be straightaway addressed. First and foremost, they take delivery of heavy mental pressure from all ends to execute their roles as bankers, especially under such a stressful condition imposed by the pandemic Covid-19. Also, it has become a practice among the customers, who are likely to be defaulters, to often refer to the instances of Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya — without knowing the very fact that the corporate loans amounting to such huge sums are not tendered at retail banking branches.

NPAs Causing a Threat to the Survival of PSU Banks

In one of the recent articles titled, “When no one wants a promotion:  The appraisal system in public sector banks needs to improve”, the author Shyamal Majumdar, clearly explains the present-day situation of the banks due to which no one would like to opt for a promotion. The recent news has it that five employees of Bank of Baroda’s Ghodasar and Geeta Mandir Branch in Gujarat tested positive for Covid-19. In such circumstances, the demand of bankers for the thermal screening of visitors and temporary closure of branches located in hotspots is not an inordinate longing. Indeed, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. When I consulted the bankers and grasped their woes, I remembered this adage.

Bankers: The Unsung Heroes

In the concluding words, it should be agreed that banks support all financial welfare schemes undertaken by the government even during the times of such crises as pandemic Covid-19. Of course, the banks play a crucial role in monetary missions like demonetization too. The role played by the banks in achieving targets set by the government is ever commendable. However, it is palpable that the bankers are becoming squashed in — both by the customers and the competent authorities. At present, it’s perceptible that even after stretching great services amidst an inordinate risk, the bankers remain yet the unsung heroes!

-Dr. Suman Kumar Kasturi

Dr. Suman Kumar Kasturi

The communication standpoint of Artificial Intelligence

Dr Suman Kumar Kasturi Hans News Service 2 May 2019 11:48 PM Communication is the decisive sharing out of all sorts of human involvements — an influential aspect of human life. The developments in communication are as deep-rooted as the enlargement of humankind itself. Irrefutably, technology has long been a lasting influence behind advancements in communication.

Nonetheless, contemporary technologies are profoundly altering the manner of human communication. Due to expansions in ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) and in the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), the conservative forms of communication are rapidly becoming outdated.

Due to such many expedient features as fastness, easiness, and more convenience of these forms of communication, the new technologies have taken over the entire space of communication. Insofar as Artificial Intelligence is concerned, it can be understood as machine intelligence — the intelligence validated by machines, contrary to the natural intelligence displayed by humans. Simply put, Artificial Intelligence is the facility of a computer program or a machine to think and deliver just like humans.

AI encompasses mainly of three dissimilar types of structures — Analytical (only cognitive intelligence), Human-Inspired (both cognitive and emotional intelligence), and Humanised Artificial Intelligence (all three forms of intelligence i.e. cognitive, emotional, and social). In fact, AI is facilitating people to approach creative activities in a manner that bear a resemblance to mathematics — muddling the line between art and science.

Artificial Intelligence comes to be ubiquitous with social media for the reason that AI is an essential component of the algorithms of vital social media networks. There is no doubt that communication is the most dominant factor in conceiving ideas for better efficacy. Artificial Intelligence is not only the governing factor in business communications but it also has the capability of transforming communication within the workplace.

Unarguably, AI fosters solid workplace communication. With the use of analytics, it can signpost the success of communication whilst submitting feedback on such aspects as presentation skills, areas of strength and weakness. Besides, AI is also supportive in gauging individual factors like a response to the presentation content, style and length. Thus, AI serves to heighten the method of communicating. The feedback of AI includes systems to resonate with the target audience — leading to more personalised and targeted communication. Artificial Intelligence plays an energetic role in vocalising ideas.

According to a guesstimate, above 90 per cent of communication in a business presentation is non- verbal in nature. As a result, AI takes into account each and every single subtle cue and response to precisely evaluate the entire presentation. This feedback becomes more significant in both business communications as well as in workplace communication that is desperate for all business setups.

Artificial Intelligence has entirely transformed the way business communications take place. Also, it has changed the functioning of industries and the way employees conduct themselves. Across the industries, nowadays, employees use apps with cross-platform compatibility that allow fast and effective communication. Such apps also include various messenger tools embedded with automation and bots. They automate many communication features like scheduling emails, instant responses to emails, and reminding forewarns, etc.

At this time, our lives are subjugated by smartphones. Even mobile devices use AI effectively. In our everyday life, Google Assistant and Siri have become an indispensable part — they help in getting easy access to everything without essentially giving manual instructions over the mobile phone. However, there is a hidden threat in this form of communication — AI gets access to the most subtle information stowed in mobile phones. Yes, it turns into a debatable question that AI is a boon or bane.

There is no doubt that with the development of AI, machines can complete almost all tasks with a precision that necessitate human intelligence — at a much larger scale than human beings. In unison, AI has triggered unease among the masses — because — in due course, it may completely melt down the jobs undertaken by the humans. As technology has improved and the scope of AI has extended, there arises a tautness between art and science. For example, in the industry of leadership communication, AI has already substituted natural human intelligence.

From times immemorial, as communication has in general, public speaking has been well-thought-out as an art. It has been a conventional belief that a person can be great at mathematics and science or great at writing and speaking, but not both. Nonetheless, due to Artificial Intelligence, now mastering both is not overly complex. All that makes it a possibility is to programme machines to identify the attributes like listen, act, engage, etc that makes an audience respond. Then, AI can be incorporated in machines to measure enough factors in communications such as usage of words, voices, gestures, etc. This would, certainly, influence the audience reactions. The data thus gathered can be used to develop algorithms — to build a brainy machine that enhances the impact of communication.

From employment to economy, and from warfare to peace communication, Artificial Intelligence is transforming the nature of every aspect of human life. However, there is a dilemma associated with Artificial Intelligence — whether it is advancing towards making this planet a better place to live or a place full of disaster. Similar to every other technology, the advantages and disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence outweigh each other. But, considering the very fact that machines that use Artificial Intelligence are also man-made, it could be envisaged that in the long-term the machines using AI will have more advantages to overshadow the disadvantages. Nonetheless, if it becomes otherwise, there would be a great threat to humankind.

Technological advancements have made humans to embrace a more advanced form of Artificial Intelligence in communication and various other sectors. On the other hand, there is a possibility of many protests in the context of unemployment, information breach, privacy, etc, caused due to Artificial Intelligence. Thus, it ever remains an unsettled question — whether or not Artificial Intelligence is good for humankind! (The author is an Air Veteran, a mass communicator and an author of more than 10 mass media books)


Emojis vis-à-vis non-verbal communication

Dr Suman Kumar Kasturi Hans News Service 26 April 2019 12:12 AM

Certain things change to remain the same! Surprisingly, in the past few years, many old things are becoming new again. At the moment, people have started using utensils made up of sludge, eating raw vegan diet etc. By the same token, the emoticons, which was a feature of popular communication apps of the 1990s have now become a vital part of contemporary Instant Messaging (IMs). In instant visual communication, the emoticon has a long account. In order to express any universal emotion, these emoticons are effectively used.

With a change in name as emojis, these popular communication aids have become the driving forces in communicating — all popular social networks and apps facilitate the users with emojis. A

Going in line with the advancement in technologies, smartphones, especially, have also become advanced to make themselves compatible with the innovations in mobile apps. An emoji can be defined as a visual depiction of emotion in the form of an object or a symbol. Though emojis turn into an effective form of communication, often people find it difficult to associate a precise emoji. With each and every update, the major social media platforms are adding advanced features.

For example, Facebook recently improved the ‘Like’ button by providing new emotions. These new options help in gauging reactions of the audience. It is rightly said that too much of anything is good for nothing. So is with emojis — emoticons prerequisites apposite time and place. In a conversation, if emojis are overused, the communication becomes insensitive and robotic.

It is better if the usage of emojis is limited to casual conversations for the reason that emoticons are not suitable in every form of communication. For example in such areas of communication as business communications, emojis are not advisable. Nonetheless, complimenting a smiley face with civility in business communications is indeed not over the top. One of the recent developments in emojis is the provision of skin tone emoji. In all probabilities, this provision could be an obvious answer to one of the commonplace assortment problems in communication. In the year 2015, excluding the original gold coloured emoji, five other skin tone options were introduced to emoji. This development followed years of criticisms about the lack of black and brown representation. The new range of emojis has facilitated the users in selecting faces and hand gestures in different skin tones.

Despite the fact the introduction of skin tone emojis was intended to see it as a fairness meter for the user’s mood while texting, it has equally become a motif categorising a user as a racist. The intention behind these updates is simple i.e. to allow users an expression of racial freedom, however, according to many, it is personal abuse of racial ghettoisation. For example, if a European uses a black emoji to congratulate an African, the European is risk offending his black friend by deliberately picking an emoji that best fits his colour. In the second scenario, if the European picks the white emoji, it also can offend the African as it can place the European in a position of dominance.

In this background surely one might wonder why should there be a colour palette? It is because, on face value, companies like WhatsApp and Apple are trying to achieve the concept of unity in diversity. The Internet took it as a victory of racial inclusion.

Emojis are a form of non-verbal gestures. Before using the emojis, one needs to have adequate knowledge about the emojis for the reason that emojis appear differently on a range of systems and devices — not only in the appearance but also in a wide range of meanings.

Emojis are effectual only if the two parties involved in the communication comprehend the same meanings to the symbols. Besides, it also depends on the platform used for communication. For example, WhatsApp seems to have somewhat different meanings for the coloured emoji hearts while Instagram has its own clarification. So it is imperative to understand the meaning of an emoji before it is meritoriously used. Let’s support this argument with the explanation of the exact meaning of the coloured hearts.

The Red Heart Emoji is an archetypal love heart emoji. It is used for expressions of love and its linked meanings such as passion, deep connection, romance, friendship, and unconditional love. Equally, a red heart on WhatsApp symbolises the immeasurable passion.

The Green Heart Emoji is known as a jealous heart with its allied meanings as envy, mistrustfulness or possessive love. It can be used in situations when there is hope for reconciliation and friendship. Then again, this emoji on WhatsApp implies a greener healthier connection too.

The Purple Heart Emoji denotes a sensitive, understanding and compassionate love. In order to portray glamour or wealth, this emoji is regularly used. On WhatsApp platform, it stands for sexuality.

The Yellow Heart Emoji signifies happiness and friendship. They are one and the same as the traditional heart of gold — new beginnings, youth, sunshine, spring, purity, and strength. On WhatsApp, it means someone is happy and optimistic.

The Orange Heart Emoji is used to express great care, comfort, serenity, joy, warmth, heat, sunshine, enthusiasm, creativity, success, encouragement. It also means to remain as friends with nothing mutual beyond friendship or acquaintance.

Finally, the Blue Heart Emoji indicates deep attraction, trust, harmony, peace and loyalty. However, on WhatsApp, the blue heart represents the deeply felt friendship and loyalty between two people. Sometimes, this emoji is intentionally used to convey a double meaning too.

In concluding words, emojis can be considered as non-verbal gestures that effectively address commonplace assortment problems in communication, provided there usage is appropriate and conveys the same meaning to the receiver as intended by the sender. (The author is an Air Veteran, a mass communicator and an author of more than 10 mass media books)