Nirad Majumdar – A Devalued Genius of Modern Indian Art

Nirad Majumdar first went to Paris when he received a French government scholarship in 1946. In Kolkata, he was a founder member of the Calcutta Group, the first progressive art group of India. Calcutta Group artists were trying to break away from the tradition of the dominating style of the Bengal School, instigated by the patriarch Abanindranath Tagore. By that time information about new developments and experiments of twentieth century European art was gradually coming in and the Calcutta Group artists, influenced by the developments, started to change the course of the modern art in India.

Nirad Majumdar became obsessed about French culture, particularly Paris, from his early days and when he ultimately landed there he at once embraced the culture. Paris in those days was the world art capital. Major painters and sculptors like Picasso, Braque, Matisse and Brancusi were at the helm of their artistic careers. Students and artists of different countries were flocking the Paris streets and boulevards, attending art courses in the Parisian academies, studying masterpieces at Louver, assembling around the masters and endlessly discussing their ideas in the cafes and social gatherings. Nirad Majumdar quickly became one of them. He was greatly influenced by Cezanne, became a close disciple of Brancusi and Braque and befriended many contemporary intellectuals. At the same time he was a regular visitor to the Parisian opera houses and theaters, met Picasso and Jean Genet, was reading Balzac, Baudelaire and Rimbaud and was deeply impressed by the modern French poetry. He was actually suggested by a noble French lady to read French love poems to learn the French language better which he spoke fluently.

But among all these activities Nirad Majumdar was searching his own artistic language. He realized soon that the modern formalism which he had closely observed in Paris, cannot give him a distinctive identity until he travels back to his Indian roots. After a deliberate search he finally ended up rediscovering the symbols and images of Tantra. He tried to make a synthesis of western form and Tantric symbolism and ultimately developed a unique style of painting, rich in idea and form. He held his first exhibition in Paris, in the year 1949, traveled to Holland and Britain and returned to India in 1958.

Majumdar started teaching art in Kolkata and later was the Principal of a Kolkata art college. He exhibited regularly; his shows were thematic representation of ideas with poetic names like ‘Image Eclogue’, ‘Wings of no End’, or ‘Nine Variations of Symbolic Nine’. He revisited France again in 1977 and ’78 but was bitter to see the changed face of Paris where the studio of Constantin Brancusi, the man he highly respected, was destroyed and converted into a motor garage. He wrote an extraordinary memoir after his return, ‘Punoshcho Pari’ (Paris Revisited). The book, written in Bengali, had glittering observations and anecdotes on French cultural life and personalities. His language was also inimitably original, full of lyrical imagery even when he was addressing ordinary subjects. The book was published after his death on September 26, 1982.

Nirad Majumdar is one of the most devalued painters of modern India. Today, in the boom and hype of modern Indian art we have almost forgotten this man.

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Build a Rain Garden

There’s a new garden in town. It is (mostly) easy to install, looks good year-round, requires almost no maintenance and has a terrifically upbeat impact on the environment. No wonder rain gardens are such a great new gardening trend!

Storm water runoff can be a big problem in summer during heavy thunderstorms. As the water rushes across roofs and driveways, it picks up oil and other pollutants. Municipal storm water treatment plants often can’t handle the deluge of water, and in many locations the untreated water ends up in natural waterways. The EPA estimates as much as 70 percent of the pollution in our streams, rivers, and lakes is carried there by storm water! By taking responsibility for the rainwater that falls on your own roof and driveway, you’ll be helping to protect our rivers, streams and lakes from stormwater pollution.

To reduce the excess water runoff, many towns are encouraging businesses and homeowners to install rain gardens in their yards. Rain gardens are specially constructed gardens located in low areas of a yard where storm water can collect. The idea is to have the water naturally funnel to this garden. The rain garden collects water runoff and stores and filters it until it can be slowly absorbed by the soil. Rather than rushing off into a storm sewer or a local waterway, the rainwater can collect in a garden where it will be naturally filtered by plants and soil.

Installing a rain garden is easy.

You simply dig a shallow depression in your yard and plant it with native grasses and wildflowers; things that are easy to grow and maintain in your area.

What makes a garden a rain garden?

First, the garden will be designed with a low spot in the middle to collect and absorb rain water and snow melt. This depression can range from a few inches in a small garden, to an excavated trough that’s several feet deep. Second, rain gardens are usually located where they’ll catch the runoff from impermeable surfaces like sidewalks and driveways, or from gutters and roof valleys. Third, rain gardens are usually planted with native wildflowers and grasses that will thrive in tough growing conditions. Finally, rain gardens are designed to channel heavy rains to another rain garden or to another part of the garden.

Your rain garden should be located at least 10 feet from the house. The garden’s size and location depends on the yard. The ideal situation would be to locate the garden in a natural depression. You also can funnel water from downspouts on gutters into the garden. The soil should be well drained so the water doesn’t sit in the garden for more than two days. A special “rain garden” soil mix of 50 to 60 percent sand, 20 to 30 percent topsoil, and 20 to 30 percent compost is recommended. You can dig this mixture into the soil to depth of 2 feet before planting.

Once you’ve identified the new garden’s location, remove the sod and dig a shallow depression approximately 6-inches deep. Slope the sides gradually from the outside edge to the deepest area. Use the soil that you remove to build up a slightly raised area on the lowest side of the garden. This berm will help contain the stormwater and allow it to percolate slowly through the rain garden.

If your rain garden is no more than about 6-inches deep, stormwater will usually be absorbed within a one- to seven-day period. Because mosquitoes require seven to 10 days to lay and hatch their eggs, this will help you avoid mosquito problems.

Your downspout or sump pump outlet should be directed toward your rain garden depression. This can be accomplished by a natural slope, by digging a shallow swale, or by piping the runoff directly to the garden through a buried 4″ diameter plastic drain tile.

Plant Selection… The final touch.

The most difficult part of building a rain garden (if it can even be called that) can be plant selection. Plants need to be tough enough to withstand periodic flooding, yet attractive enough to look good in the garden. Deep-rooted, low-care native plants, such as asters, and tough non-natives, such as daylilies, are best. If properly designed, the rain garden can consist of a blend of attractive shrubs, perennials, trees, and ground covers. Planting strips of grass around the garden and using mulch also can help filter the water.

New plants should be watered every other day for the first two weeks or so. Once they are well established, your garden should thrive without additional watering. Fertilizers will not be necessary, and only minimal weeding will be needed after the first summer of growth.

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Case Study: Identifying Ethical Code and Issues in Leadership

Ethics have been research topics for over 2500 years, dating back to the time of Socrates and Plato. While many ethicists now consider emerging ethical beliefs to be values that guide how one ought to behave, many philosophers consider ethics to be the “science of conduct.” The duration of ethical code over time has changed in perception, although recent scholars and practitioners continue to place a high value on ethics in the organization – maybe higher values than ever before.

Organizational ethics are standards that govern an organization’s behavior. These standards can apply directly to an organization, or even to an industry at large. Many organizational leaders find codes of ethics to be the most effective way to encourage ethical organizational behavior. A leader must establish, communicate, and support such a code through his or her organization’s overall climate.

It is the expectation about ethical behavior that often signifies a broader standard. According to Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn (2000), “Ethical behavior conforms not only to the dictates of law but also to a broader moral code that is common to society as a whole.” The societal code of conduct usually parallels the written laws, but sometimes the ethical code of a human sector can simply be invisibly instilled through generations of teaching and preaching.

Review of “Organizational Behavior” by Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn

As an authority, author and researcher Hunt Schermerhorn made a connection between moral and amoral behavior in an organization through ethics mindfulness in the leadership that was involved. It is very important that leaders understand that their followers must gain insight into their ways of thinking and the behaviors they are likely to engage when working with others.

Summary of Schermerhorn’s understanding

The general definition of Schermerhorn’s understanding was, “Ethical behavior conforms not only to the dictates of law but also to a broader moral code that is common to society as a whole”. In one of his particular compilations, Schermerhorn, et al. identifies “four ways of thinking about ethical behavior in and by organization” (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2000).

The Utilitarian view

Utilitarianism derives its meaning from the word utility and, when used to describe a form of ethics, it speaks of an act that is weighed by its moral worth. The utilitarian ethical philosophy opposes principled philosophies that allow the conscience to decide right and wrong. It also opposes philosophies that decide the righteousness of an act based on its contribution to happiness or pleasure for its doer. The total outcome of this view is often measured by the phrase “the greatest good for greatest number of people”.

The Individualism view

The golden rule ethical philosophy emerged in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and teaches that everyone should “love your neighbor as yourself.” This philosophy’s central tenant is that an individual should be as humane as possible and never harm others through insensitive actions. An off-shoot from the individual perspective, Christianity teaches that all persons are created in the image and likeness of God gives justification for protecting and promoting human dignity. It has been said by various authorities that, “to be a good person, one must take ethics seriously” (Hausman & McPherson, 1993).

The Moral Rights view

Absolute moral law was a philosophy that stresses it is a crucial moral duty that trumps individual desire in producing a humanitarian society based on reason. This theory argues that right is never wrong and must be accomplished under any circumstances. Consistency is the key, and once a guideline is determined for an action or idea, all behaviors and beliefs must always be applied in accordance.

It was the late 1970s that brought about a view of ethics that left them no place in the business world. It was proven, over time, that “business ethics served a needed social and business function” and through this realization the public opinion has embraced, developed, and largely integrated business ethics into the majority of corporations (DeGeorge, 2000).

The Justice View

This philosophy was developed to give an alternative perspective to utilitarianism, and was also referred to as the veil of ignorance. Under this viewpoint, all people are equal; therefore, no class of people is entitled to unique advantages over any others. It usually emphasizes the importance of moral argument, especially in political thinking.

Relation of my organization’s ethical code to Schermerhorn’s view

My organization’s ethical code speaks to discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship that tends to produce great results. This belief is more in line with the Moral Rights view expressed by the popular author, John R. Schermerhorn, (et al.), a chief authority in the study of ethics and ethical behavior.

In a similar vein, just as the business leaders of today manage diversity, not only because it “makes good business sense as a strategic imperative”, but also because it addressed legal and moral issues as well (Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn, 2000).

I believe that my organization’s ethics code subscribes to the Moral Rights particular view, because issues regarding the moral rights and duties between the company, its contractors, and its shareholders are the driving forces that “ensure delivery of quality products and services to the warfighter”.

Responsibilities and privileges of leaders

Leaders will frequently have special relationships with an in-group of assistants and subordinates, who get high levels of responsibility and access to resources. Characteristics of the in-group often include empathy, patience, sensitivity, and responsibility. In-group employees work harder, are more committed to task objectives, and share more administrative functions. In return, they are expected to be completely committed and loyal to their leader. They are mostly considered the trusted associations of the leader.

Leadership skills impact vision, organizational effectiveness, and strategy. The examination and comparison of the key aspects of the Leader-Member Exchange (LME) Theory showcased leaders’ responsibilities and privileges – their use, authority and power – which provided an opportunity to think strategically and comprehensively about leadership.

“The changing demographics of today’s workforce make managing diversity effectively a key strategic issue for organizations. The premise of the current research is that leadership-specifically, inclusive forms of leadership-is critical for successfully leveraging diverse human capital. In addition to the moral argument for developing an inclusive work environment, the results of the present research suggest that inclusive leaders can also help the bottom line” (Nishii & Mayer, 2009).

Expected ethical decision making process

The process of guiding others can begin with sharing vision and strategy with all in the organization. Strategy can focus on the areas of change; for example, a change in the dress code or the work environment can initiate a cultural change that can introduce an ethical philosophy into the picture. This chain of events regularly influences the decision-making processes of today’s American organizational leaders. As leaders face crises regularly, they need to practice ethical and moral decision making and consider the needs of employees, customers, stakeholders, shareholders, and even the community.

Consideration of gender issues in leadership

Women-versus-men as leaders is a catch-22, at best. Most authorities are bound by the very same diversity, ethics, and gender issues that leadership must succumb to and handle. Therefore, the studies that are most often cited state the conclusion of their research as showing that male and female leaders are equally effective. Still, women are less likely to be pre-selected as leaders, and followers often evaluate the same leadership behavior higher for men than women (Kolb, J. 1997, p 504).

Regardless of researchers’ support of or opposition to gender relation theories in organizational development, sexuality continues to influence organizational control and organizational leaders must accept its role in organizational growth. Leaders can help foster gender sensitivity within their companies. Organizational leaders will need to assess their environments and be aware of developments that affect ever-changing gender-related concerns.

Brief review of the culture

Leaders need to deal with two major cultural aspects on a daily basis: organizational culture and cultural diversity. Applying a “multidimensional assessment” (Ruiz-Palomino & Martínez-Cañas, 2014) and carefully adopting strategies to manage these types of culture has a significant place in today’s workforce. Organizational culture is a unifying force that strongly appeals to entire organization and is the sum total of the organizational image. With more and more organizations going global, cultural diversity is fast becoming commonplace in most organizations.

Possible obstacles gender may have on effective leadership

Many of the traditional ways of talking and thinking about leadership can continue to mask the strengths women bring to being successful as leaders. The results of some studies show that with or without early career support, women have accomplished extraordinary achievements in their respective fields. What is important to keep in the leadership mind is that it is the leaders’ own tenacity and optimism that play an important role in their accomplishments – any other traits, especially visible ones, are secondary and usually irrelevant.


DeGeorge, R. (2000). Business Ethics and the Challenge of the Information Age. Business Ethics Quarterly, 10(1), pp. 63-72.

Hausman, D. & McPherson, M. (June 1993). Taking Ethics Seriously: Economics and Contemporary Moral Philosophy. Journal of Economic Literature, (31)2 (Jun. 1993), pp. 671-731;

Kolb, J. (1997). Are we still stereotyping leadership? Small Group Research, 28(3), 370-371.

Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2008). Leadership Challenge (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. (Wiley).

Nishii, L., & Mayer, D. (2009). Do Inclusive Leaders Help to Reduce Turnover in Diverse Groups? The Moderating Role of Leader-Member Exchange in the Diversity to Turnover Relationship. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(6), 1412-1426. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

Northouse, P. (2007). Leadership: Theory and Practice (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc.

Ruiz-Palomino, P., & Martínez-Cañas, R. (2014). Ethical culture, ethical intent, and organizational citizenship behavior: The moderating and mediating role of person-organization fit. Journal of Business Ethics, 120(1), 95-108.

Schermerhorn, Jr., Hunt, J., & Osborn, R. (2000). Organizational behavior. (7th Ed.). NY: John Wiley and Sons Inc. Retrieved December 13, 2009, from Argosy Online L7101 XB: Foundations in Leadership Document Sharing and

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