Category Archives: Sociopolitical Rantings

Censoring the Internet.

A lot has been said on Internet censorship esp. with the recent statements made by Mr. Kapil Sibal. CIS has brought out some interesting points in their article. For example:

While Mr. Sibal uses the examples of communally sensitive material as a reason to force censorship of the Internet, out of the 358 items requested to be removed from January 2011 to June 2011 from Google service by the Indian government (including state governments), only 8 were for hate speech and only 1 was for national security.  Instead, 255 items (71% of all requests) were asked to be removed for ‘government criticism’.  Google, despite the government in India not having the powers to ban government criticism due to the Constitution, complied in 51% of all requests.

Is he really working for the betterment of the public or being self serving?

Read the full article “Invisible Censorship: How the Government Censors without being seen

 

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Bureaucrat vs Politicians

In today’s TOI edit page, there is a opinion column written by a Mr. K J Alphons (Steel frame turns flexible) where he says “The fundamental problem with this country is not the evil politician, but precisely the ‘obedient government servant’ ”

He goes on, stating, “Government servants were expected to be the conscience keepers of the nation. They were expected to speak, write, advise & execute without fear or favor”

How is the bureaucrat supposed to to do his duty ‘without fear’ when the politicians have the capability to induce fear? Discharging your duty when you are constantly facing ‘requests’ from the minister heading your department is tough. After all, how many wish to be in the bad books of their boss? Not many want to make their life a living hell & end up bowing to the pressure.

The minister is there for 5 years, the bureaucrat for his entire life. After the ruling govt. is out of power, the minister is gone, while the officer is left holding the bag. “Why did he sign off on it if he had doubts” they ask. Well what option did he have? Who had his back? You?

An uncle (a district magistrate) was asked to rig a local election in favor of the party ruling the state. He refused. He was threatened. He still refused. His reward? Suspended for over a year & investigated for taking bribes. The irony! The people who asked him to do the rigging? Nothing. They were big fish after all.

This is not to justify the wrong doings that happen, but please don’t preach about doing duties without fear when the conditions are clearly not so.

The ground realities are not as simple as you make it out to be.

Having a TV is overrated

Stuff that makes me happy that I don’t have a TV. I’d rather invest in a high bandwidth internet connection & stream/download whatever I need to watch.

CNN IBN:“Sania marrying Shoaib Malik is not a political move”. guys….when was it ever??!!!

Saw an ad on Telebrands. It showed a coating for cars that would protect it from almost anything…even fire! I remember an episode on F.R.I.E.N.D.S. where Joey & Chandler are watching the telly & are awed by a similar ad. It could not be the same one, could it!!!

New advertisement of a mosquito spray [Good Knight I think] shows a kid being bugged by a whole bunch of mosquitos as a distraught mother looks on. BANG! In drops a can of the spray & the mum’s face lights up. She picks it up and sprays it straight into the kids face, the kid smiles big & inhales deeply. Then the mum goes on to explain that the spray no longer smells weird & is in-fact sweet smelling. Yeah, its the SMELL that prevents me from spraying poisonous stuff all over me!

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A guy doing stunts lands on his belly, temporarily paralyzing his diaphragm making it hard to breathe. When he finally recovers he says ” dude *cough* *cough*, I so hate not being able to breathe“….So do I sir, so do I !!

The news channels make a 40 inch TV feel inadequate. Most of the screen is filled with BOLD flashing ”Breaking News“…& it’s not the news that is in large bold letters but the announcement of the fact that this is the breaking news. The news itself is in some puny lettering that makes you squint. Then you have random stuff floating around in the various ticker bars, some weather/stock info on the left, & a couple of ads. The person giving you the news is almost an afterthought, awkwardly squeezed into a corner. I’d rather have my daily news dose the old fashioned way….at 8pm on Doordarshan. Then there is always the internet!

HP sucks.Period.

Anuj’s HP charger had gone bust. He had been running his lappy on battery, that he would swap with Raghav’s when it ran out of juice. To conserver power Anuj’s lappy was running on Powersaver, hence ultraslow making him, ultrapissed. He had tried to get the charger repaired as the damage was limited to the connector pin. Thanks to HP’s pointlessness the pin/connector was of unique make & not available in the market. And believe me I when say he looked high & low for it’s replacement [from upmarket stores right down to the chor bazaar]

So he withdrew Rs.2400 something that made his heart heavy & his bank balance lighter. We went to the HP store on JM to get a new adapter. He bought it :). To celebrate we went to FC to have Chocolate Toast. It’s quite good! The bread was crisp & the chocolate….sorry am drifting… :p
On the way home we exchanged the old Spike-guard for a better one & made it back so that Anuj’s lappy was up & running, on High Performance [after 2 weeks!], before 7pm. Something he had promised he would make happen 😀

But as with all good things there is a catch. The pin that goes onto the laptop is not of the correct size, it is 3 times larger in circumference. So to get it to fit HP has made a teeny-weeny converter. Now the whole thing looks positively stupid. It hardly resembles a charger, instead it looks like some confounding electric voodoo. Or in Anuj’s words “Rocket banaya hai kya?” Now, instead of one, we have four points that have a high chance of giving out. Plus there is chance of loosing the small adapter. The fun part? If the little thing gets lost/damaged, you have to buy a whole new charger worth Rs.2400 [as of today]! Wonderful HP, what a brilliant plan to drain your customers dry! *applause*

  Top:New connector with adapter. Bottom:Old connector

Top:New connector with adapter. Bottom:Old connector.

  Converter+Connector

Converter+Connector

What is this need to unnecessarily complicate things? As it is your product quality is crap [am too irritated to sugarcoat anything right now.] And you are adding more crappy stuff, that nobody needs. Two of my roommates have HP laptops, one is DV 6000 other is DV 2000 & both have had to buy new chargers in the span on 1 year from their respective date of purchase. Both have different connectors & now you have added a new type. Thats 3 different connectors over 2 years. I only wish the time you spend on developing these (highly) dispensable connectors, you would have focused on making laptops that don’t scorch you when you work on them & don’t need to be taken to your snail-paced “Service Centers” every 2 months.

Congrats & welcome to the summit to stupidity *bows*. Dickheads.

Of Cheetahs & Water woes

Read in TOI yesterday that the cheetah is going to be imported from africa & tried to be inducted back into the wild.

Environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, “The cheetah is the only animal that has been declared extinct in India in the last 1,000 years. We have to get them from abroad to repopulate the species.”

Dude! Are you guys crazy?!? We all know what is happening to the Tigers & Lions we all have in our “Reserves”. Why bring them back just have them slaughtered? The thought process of these guys is completely warped…first you should have a plan in place to defend the assets you already have & then add to it further. *shakes head*
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Again you can see this convoluted thinking in trying to solve the water problem in pune. You know that our monsoon is fickle & we have a water problem. But you get down to it when you are in the middle of the crisis. Boring wells etc. could have been done already & tankers should have been standing by to swing into action instantly. Instead we now have hurried digging, resulting in chaos & unnecessary pressure. The tanker owners are charging exorbitant prices & blackmailing the citizens. All this could have been avoided with a little foresight…nitwits

We are to have water cuts through out the day, but have no idea when these cuts will take place. If we had the information we could stock up on drinking water etc. for daily use. Instead here I am waiting, or rather, hoping for the water to come back on, so that I may brush my teeth & get ready..7-save-water-seung-hoon-nam-korea-thumb.jpg.

Incompetence is frustrating!!!!!

Dawdling Democracy:The Name’s Cong…King Cong

Dhakki-tiki-dhakki-tiki-dhakki-tiki-dhak!

getimage-2-dll.jpegThe Result Table:

Picture 2

Putting all hoopla to rest, UPA has steamrolled the 14th Lok Sabha elections. Congress emerges as the single largest party…largest in the last 25 years! The exit polls had predicted a very close result, similar to 2004. The 3rd & 4th front were to have played a major part in the govt. formation. Thankfully UPA has enough to out maneuver anybody else. I was afraid of a patchwork govt. with heavy inclusion of the 3rd front. They have nothing in common to hold them together except to oppose UPA & NDA. Once that was done they would have no clue as to what to do. The whole thing would have soon come apart at the seam. Now, no sweat!! The 3rd front itself barely has enough, let alone it being the decider. It’s not that I am a Congress supporter…but I do not like the communal overtures of BJP. As they say:Lesser of the two evils…

Best thingies of this verdict:

-Loved to see the ego-inflated “Kingmakers” get pricked.WOOSH…PHSsss 😀

-UPA will be the dominant partner in any coalition.

-Commies get the long coming round-house punch…right on the nose. Reduced to nothingness. No more WB & Kerela. VERY satisfying.

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-Congress rises up again in UP. Unforeseen & unexpected, it is desirable due to a lot of reasons. It has brought a very much needed reality check to Mayawati’s regime. After her win, she has gone, to put it simply, MAD. I mean what is up with the statues? And the parks? She has misconstrued her winning majority to mean that she can do whatever she wishes to. This set-back should bring things back into perspective for her. As for the her being the PM, please…the govt. that does make it happen won’t last longer than an orange candy in the summer heat of Lucknow.

-Laalu & Paswan fall…As Walter would say [Jeff Dunham’s show]”dumasses”

-Hinduvata may finally be laid to rest. How can anybody in their right minds use religious-hate as a political agenda?

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-Goons like Mohd. Shahabuddin & Pappu Yadav contesting through proxies were beaten.

-Shashi Tharoor wins from Thiruvananthpuram. A deserving candidate. His presence in the parliament would be very heartening to see.

This elections saw the Indian Voter coming of age[for once I seem to agree with Shobha De!]. This time caste & religion have been given a backseat to stability & peace. NDA has played it’s Hinduvata card for over 10 years & should now realize that there is more to India that just the religion. With allies such as Shiv Sena [who “inspire” others like MNS] it propagates an image of instability & conflict. At a time such as this the economy needs stability, the hostile approach of NDA could have scared the voters.

The Left got knocked on the head with Didi’s shrill voice & lost the plot all over. Karat uncle watch Spiderman…With great power comes great resposibility. If a simple guy like Uncle Ben could get it, how hard could it be for you? Oh…sorry the movie is American :). Hmm, maybe you did watch it & since it is American you automatically went the other way,silly of you I must say. Diwali seems to have come early for India Inc. with the Left out of the equation.

Congress did not take the support of regional parties, UP being a case in point, in many parts of the country. Regional parties winning results in small thinking, the bigger picture is never taken a look at. This result will force many local leaders to think at a national level if they want to be counted.Picture 1

I am sorry to see L.K.Advani go. He is a good statesman & politician. But his platform for NDA had a negative vibe. After him I don’t know who is going to steer BJP. If it’s Modi then BJP will be a lot worse in the future. Modi may be hailed as CM, but he is nothing more than a blood thirsty Czar, ruling with an iron fist masked by new industries, a little digging is all that is required. For NDA to become a real alternative to UPA, they need to shed their religious extremism. How can a country progress when the leaders are creating unrest? In the opposition I hope they will be more productive & not vindictive. Right now they say they will respect the people’s mandate & be a responsible opposition, but they certainly have not done it in the past 5 years.

rahul-gandhi-2009-4-2-9-26-54.jpgRahul is being called the hero of the UP upset. He really did do a lot of work & his gamble paid off. I would like to see him join the cabinet to learn the ropes of the trade. This would be the metamorphosis that would present him as a viable PM candidate for the next elections. We need more ppl like him!!

With UPA having such huge margin, the govt. formed should be a stable one. They should choose their supporters with care, an honest & ideologically sound govt. is the need of the hour. The economic reforms that were being tripped up due the interference from the Left, should be passed. This govt. has a lot to live up to, they must not betray the trust of the ppl. Right now they have the power to take our country to the top.

To sum up, in the words of Swaminathan A Aiyer:

Bharat Shining,Congress Smiling, Left Whining!!

Jai Ho!

Images courtesy:STOI

Dawdling Democracy 2:Why Vote when you can Veto?

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We all know it. The facade of polling to “choose” our leader will be over soon. We also know the result:Hung Parliament. Then it is upto the various parties to gather enough numbers to pass the muster & usher in the government.

What a buttload of crap 😦

Anybody can form the government. You need 272 seats, so go on the coalition spree! It all depends on how many ppl you can get & so we have “the independents” ,the “aadha darjan” parties, the so called “third front” & other opportunities who contest just so they can profit by the coalition fever. We will have a sarkar with people who might have abysmal numbers[& worse track records] & the party with the max numbers might have to back out just because no one want to get cosy with it. The party that lost will come into power with the association of ppl with dubious characters, some who would give you the heebee-jeebees just by crossing them on the street [ohhh…but after being elected why would they be out on the streets! They will be sitting in their palatial bungalows chewing paan]. They don’t have any ethics, all they see is the proverbial kursi & they just have to get to it. The “how” never enters their conscious, its “anyhow”.

How can we justify this? What is the use of our voting when the crappy losers end up ruling us anyway? We have people squabbling about making voting compulsory, all set with punishments if you don’t. Why should you have to go out, brave the sun & heat to be negated into nothingness? You vote to get someone in, but maybe now you need to vote to keep the nitwits out.

Unleash the power of VETO…

Ironical:Takea look at my previous post…seems like I keep swinging like a pendulum : Optimism-Pessimism-Optimism-Pessimism…

Image Source

Why the future belongs to India:GD

This article appeared in the Sunday Times Of India,10.5.09.
This article came at a time when I was contemplating the state of our country. It reminded me that there are always two sides to a coin. Here’s to putting an optimistic spin on things
😀

——————

Why The Future Belongs to India:Gurucharan Das

        In preparing for a much publicised debate in London on the motion ‘The future belongs to India, not China’, i was reminded of a conversation with my mother. She had asked, what is the difference between China growing at a rate of 10% and India at 8%? I replied that the difference was, indeed, very significant. If we were to grow at 10% we could save twenty years. This is almost a generation. We could lift a whole generation into the middle class twenty years sooner. She thought for a while and then said gently, “We have waited 3,000 years for this moment. Why don’t we wait another twenty and do it the Indian way?”  She had understood that the cost of democracy is the price the poor pay in the delay of their entry into the middle class. She did not elaborate the ‘Indian way’ but it must include taking a holiday on half a dozen New Year’s Days! It is easy to get mesmerized by China’s amazing progress and feel frustrated by India’s chaotic democracy, but i think she had expressed the sentiments of most Indians who will not trade off democracy for two per cent higher growth.
    
        In referring to the ‘Indian way’, my mother meant that a nation must be true to itself. Democracy comes easily to us because India has historically ‘accumulated’ its diverse groups who retain their distinctiveness while identifying themselves as Indian. China has ‘assimilated’ its people into a common, homogeneous Confucian society. China is a melting pot in which differences disappear while India is a salad bowl in which the constituents retain their identity. Hence, China has always been governed by a hierarchical, centralized state — a tradition that has carried into the present era of reform communism. China resembles a business corporation today. Each mayor and party secretary has objectives relating to investment, output and growth, which are aligned to national goals. Those who exceed their goals rise quickly. The main problem in running a country as a business is that many people get left out.
   
        India, on the other hand, can only manage itself by accommodating vocal and varied interest groups in its salad bowl. This leads to a million negotiations daily and we call this system ‘democracy’. It slows us down — we take five years to build a highway versus one in China. Those who are disgruntled go to court. But our politicians are forced to worry about abuses of human rights, whereas my search on Google on ‘human rights abuses in China’ yielded 47.8 million entries in 13 seconds! Democracies have a safety valve — it allows the disgruntled to let off steam before slowly co-opting them.
    
        Both India and China have accepted the capitalist road to prosperity. But capitalism is more comfortable in a democracy, which fosters entrepreneurs naturally. A state enterprise can never be as innovative or nimble and this is why the Chinese envy some of our private companies. Democracy respects property rights. As both nations urbanize, peasants in India are able to sell or borrow against their land, but the Chinese peasants are at the mercy of local party bosses. Because India has the rule of law, entrepreneurs can enforce contracts. If someone takes away your property in China, you have no recourse. Hence, it is the party bosses who are accumulating wealth in China. The rule of law slows us down but it also protects us (and our environment, as the NGOs have discovered).
    
        We take freedom for granted in India but it was not always so. When General Reginald Dyer opened fire in 1919 in Jallianwala Bagh, killing 379 people, Indians realised they could only have dignity when they were free from British rule. The massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989, where 300 students were killed, was China’s Jallianwala Bagh. China today may have become richer than India but the poorest Chinese yearns for the same freedom.
  
          Because the Indian state is inefficient, millions of entrepreneurs have stepped into the vacuum. When government schools fail, people start private schools in the slums, and the result is millions of ‘slumdog millionaires’. You cannot do this in China. Our free society forces us to solve our own problems, making us self-reliant. Hence, the Indian way is likely to be more enduring because the people have scripted India’s success while China’s state has crafted its success. This worries China’s leaders who ask, if India can become the world’s second fastest economy despite the state, what will happen when the Indian state begins to perform? India’s path may be slower but it is surer, and the Indian way of life is also more likely to survive. This is why when i am reborn i would prefer it to be in India.

Random Blah…

-Today we went to “Wonder Funkey”. Its kind of an Indian version of “Chucky Cheese” with all sorts of games for little children with an important addition:It has a Bowling Alley [otherwise, going to that place would be simply weird]. In pune, I think there are only two places that have bowling alleys, & to my knowledge this is the better one.                                                 dsc00858.jpg
Why we went there? For that I must rewind to around 4pm today:We were bored out of our minds. Why? Lets have another rewind to 2pm:All our laptops were dead & we were sweltering in the heat…why?…no, no more rewinds[a habit I picked from watching too much HIMYM…more on that later]:Electricity had gone off at around 10am, taking the water supply with it, & instead of coming back in the usual one hour, the cut continued endlessly. So we watched movies, played couple of games till our laptops gave up, sweated for 7 hours before deciding to get out & go somewhere. One problem:It was hot & going out would mean the sun. So to avoid heat decided to head off to WF & finally cross off bowling from our to-do list. Called Anshu, Soni, KD, Kunal. Unfortunately only Anshu agreed to join us. Got ready…a tough job, considering that we had only a bucketful of water & what we had to do required more than that!! Just before leaving Aashay dropped in & we coaxed him to come along. Left at 5:20pm.The whole bowling thing costed us Rs.120 for 1 game[20 shots] each. It was the first time we had bowled & it was fun, esp. since we were 6 ppl, competitionpana was nice.
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Result:
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1st-Hemant
2nd-Aashay
3rd-Raghav
4th-me :(…followed by Anshu & Anuj

-Watching the following TV shows regularly:How I Met Your Mother, House MD, Scrubs. Fantastic shows. Today was the last episode of scrubs season 8 & possibly the last episode of the show. If the present cast will not be in the next season, then they should end it here itself. HIMYM is fun, esp. Stinson. His “Bro Codes” & pickup stories are awesome ;). House the megalomanic, tortured-torturing genius. Previous season had more medical mystery than soap opera. But as this season had more human elements/charachters soap-operaism was expected.

-The Auto rickshaw strike ended today with the RTA agreeing to keep the first kilometer charge at Rs.10, but thankfully they stood firm on the succesive distance being charged at Rs.7, brought down from Rs 9. Original fare:Rs.10 for first km, Rs.9 for successive. Proposed:Rs.8 for first km, Rs.7 for successive. For this the auto guys went on a surprise 6 day strike [obviously only the first day was the surprise day, rest was expected]. I think the RTA should not have backed down. If they can demand a hike in fares[Rs.8 for first km, Rs.6 for successive, this was raised to Rs.10 & Rs.9] when fuel prices rocketed off, we must have the right to demand a reduction when the price falls, shouldn’t we? Bloody goondaraj. As it is they take us for a ride, literally & figuratively,fleece us naked & then demand that prices stay up. Coming from the station to my place, would cost me around Rs.75 on the meter. But ask them & they bluntly tell you it will be Rs.150 + Rs.20 for my luggage, irrespective of what you carry. My luggage weighs 10kg. Had another person been sitting with me in the auto would weigh atleast 6-7 times that, do you ask him for the Rs.20 too? They refuse to ply all the routes, their meters run way fast & they are rude. Why do you think I would pay you more? RTA should not have folded. The auto association had no concrete reason for their strike, the autos would have started plying the road soon anyway considering they would have had no other option. They need to be taught a lesson.

-Why don’t we have debates in our elections? Like in the US, the candidates engage in a debate that show us their stand on the important topics & their intentions. A direct standoff is required to show the public the real leader. Engaging in a direct debate & defeating your opponent by presenting your views successfully, while simultaneously outwitting him seems more deserving than babbling a mugged up speech,on a podium with a buttload of supporters around & trying to kick down your opponent. A head to head competition is needed.

-Obama is off again. Blaming Bangalore for your country’s financial dumbness won’t make a difference. Listening to him would make you think that had Bangalore not existed everything would still be rosy.Sorry dude…you still would be where you are now. Sad to see you raising unnecessary muck to coverup things, you were above such petty things. All this Bangalore-lore has given the city a bad name, maybe that’s why they changed it to Bengaluru. It’s so tongue twisting that even we can’t say it, forget the Americans!! Smart move I must say 🙂

more of the blah later….

Dawdling Democracy 1

2009 will play host to the 15th lok sabha elections. Mercifully, the UPA lasted its whole tenure of 5 years, quite contrary to the expectations. One of the things we Indians are good at is drawing room politics [cricket is at the top, but with India doing well in New-Zealand, that is on the backburner ] & with that come some very cliched arguments/statements vis-à-vis

1.Nothing can be done. India & her politicians will never change.
2.If you want change, why don’t you do something? Join politics or the cilvil services. Change the system!
3.As you vote, so shall you reap.

My thoughts:
@1: Not true. As they say change is the only constant. Esp.in the couple of years, a lot has happened, we are more positive than before & this optimism is borne out of some good stuff that has occurred in the recent past.

@2: What is being said is right. But the success rate of this theory is very bad. You join with the zeal to change, but at the time you retire, you are happy to have made it through without compromising on your principles. And this is the positive aspect, most of the ppl, “adapt” to survive or simply give up. And if you take pt. 2 to heart, everybody will be on the ruling side & the whole funda of “representation” goes to the dogs! Right now I have no control on the selection of my representative. I might agree with the principles of one party but might have to go with another one just because they fielded a candidate with better morals/scruples.

@3: NOT TRUE AT ALL. It’s more like “As you vote so shall you weep”. No matter how we vote, we are always on the loosing side…exasperation is the reason for the low voter turnouts. And I am pretty sure you are going to quote statement 2 to me, right about now. yup, it’s a vicious circle *sigh*.

How about an alternative…?
Why don’t we have the negative vote? A NO vote. Right to rejection, if you will. Election by elimination [hey, it’s even catchy!]. If we can have negative marking in almost all the selection exams, why not here?

Here is a rough sketch. We have the right to reject any candiate. Any candidate getting a certain percentage of NO votes cannot be allowed to contest in the present & the next election, infact he cannot be part of the present event in any form [no coalitions etc.]. This will give the ppl an option of saying no if they do not him, forcing the Political Parties to put up better candidates in the first place. Slowly we can eliminate those nincompoops .

The only flaw is that this would be most effective in a two party system[US,UK], though if you think about it a two party system would be way better than the multi party system we have now. In the end there are only two sides. Most of the parties join together to form a coalition anyway[if you can call it that. Definition: an alliance for action. Well they are more pro towards inaction, as the left adequately proved this time.]

What I am saying is that we will have control over our representation. We will influence the representative selection rather than only the selection of the party. I bet that there would be a quantum jump in the voter turnout when you introduce this. Why choose lesser of two evils when there should’nt be any evil? Right now we do not have a “bad” on our feedback form. The NO will shake the powers out of their reverie. More power to the ppl!

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Let the moral policing be….

I think it was the day before yesterday that I read about the incident in Mangalore….you know…young guys & girls in a pub, beaten up by the thugs of “Sri Ram Sene”. I have nothing to say about these closed minded, out-of-sync, bumbling numbnuts. What they did was wrong, no matter which perspective you look at it with. What amazes me is the comment & the attitude of the CM of Karnataka, BS Yediyurappa. Him agreeing with the goons’ ideology is not at all becoming for a CM. Let me make it clear, he did not agree with the violence perpetuated by the SRS boneheads & has said that they will be brought to book. But what he did say was that the pubs etc. are corrupting the youth & destroying our culture.

Would people please just lay OFF trying to be moral custodians of the entire country???

Disturbingly the CM of Rajasthan, Mr Ashok Gehlot has also come out with the following statement-“I want to end the pub & mall culture where young boys & girls roam about hand in hand…not the culture of Rajasthan”. Well sir, neither is eating non-veg food or listening to rock music. Maybe you would like to convert all the restaurants & ban the concerts..eh? And what does mall have anything to do with any of it! Maybe its just your name Mr.Zealot…sorry…Mr. Gehlot

What is with people trying to push their brand of morality down other people’s throat? Are we not capable of making choices on or own? As far as I am concerned, I should be provided with all the options & I decide what I want to do. People who drink in pubs or go to discos also respect the traditions of Holi, Diwali, Durga Puja equally, if not more. I would rather have them as my friends than the SRS gundas, who are probably abusive drinkers in their private lives & take it out on their families.

Globalization brings in change, some bad, but mostly good. You want to crack down on stuff that our traditions do not allow? How about cracking down on the leaders of various extremists outfits like MNS, Shiv Sena, SRS, who promote violence against the public?
It has become something of a fashion to brand anything that the young do as anti-traditional/offence to the bhartiya sabhayta. And such close-minded statements coming from CM certainly does not bode well for our country.

A pledge for the envoirnment

New year resolutions may have been broken, but here are some promises that I am sure to follow

-Stop wasting paper by making rough notes on them, instead use my Mac…I’m front of it anyway so why not use that?
-Switch over to ebooks from paper magazines [as many as possible]
-Recheck documents before printing, so I don’t have to print drafts or re-print.
-Use both sides of pages. If printed only on one side, then use the other side[useful for doing rough calculations/math problem practice] before sending away for recycling.

I have always been a savings kinnda guy & always try to my bit for the planet [ask my friends! I am always bugging them about water/electricity wastage :)],
so putting the above pledges into practice should be easy.

If you are reading this then you too should think of ways you can save paper/water/electricity. Put them in comments…or better still, here

Subverse-Jugular Vein

TIMES OF INDIA,27TH DECEMBER,2008
EDITORIAL

S U B V E R S E JUGULAR VEIN
Odds and evens                                                                        
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Jug Suraiya

A lot of people are wondering what’s happened to Raj Thackeray of late. Ever since 26/11 there hasn’t been a choo from the self-proclaimed champion of the Marathi manoos. Where’s he gone and what’s he up to? Has he pushed off on a secret Mission Impossible into Pakistan to avenge the terrorist attack on Mumbai and bring LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, kicking and screaming, to India for justice, with Dawood Ibrahim as a New Year bonus? No one knows. But the other night i had a curious dream in which that stalwart upholder
of Marathiness had come to take up residence in the National Media Centre, the Gurgaon housing society
where i live and which is, in many ways, a microcosm of India.
In my dream, no sooner had Raj settled in than he began to cast a keen eye around for any Marathi manoos on whose behalf he could take up cudgels. There were indeed Marathi manoos in the NMC. The trouble was that they could not be told apart, not even by themselves, from the non-Marathi manoos, i.e. Punjabi manoos, and Haryanvi manoos, and Bengali manoos, and Gujarati manoos, and Malayali manoos, and Tamil manoos, and even a few foreign manoos, like American manoos, English manoos, and Russian manoos, who also lived in, or were associated with, the NMC. Not only did all this bewildering variety of manooses — poor Raj hadn’t had the faintest idea that there could possibly be so many different varieties, even more than all 31 flavours of Baskin-Robbins — live together but they were often inextricably linked to each other through ties of marriage, or profession, or common interests. Heck, it was all so mixed up, that Raj himself couldn’t tell apart the Marathi manoos from his non-Marathi NMC neighbour.
That being the unfortunate case, how was Raj to fulfil his life’s vocation of creating parochial rifts in any given community? Some people collect stamps; Raj collected rifts. But here in the mini-India of the NMC, where were the rifts for Raj, or anyone else, to collect? But Raj is nothing if not innovative. If there were no rifts in the NMC, then he would have to create them. How so? In a flash, it came to him. Numbers. If he could not create rifts on the basis of community, he would create rifts on the basis of numbers. This seemed quite easy to do.
The NMC has 190 houses, numbered from 1 to 190. These could be divided — or rifted, if you prefer, which Raj did — into odd numbered houses and even numbered houses. For example, 1 was an odd numbered house, in that
the number 1 is an odd number, which cannot be divided by 2. On the other hand, or the other rift, if
you prefer, which Raj did, 190 is an even numbered house, as 190 can be divided by 2. So Raj began his divisive campaign.
He told all the even numbers that all the odd numbers were, well, to put it frankly, distinctly odd. As in weird, strange, angular, unpredictable, funny, not ha-ha funny, but funny-funny, like psycho-funny, like people-who-bay-at-thefull-moon-funny. In short, odd numbers were not to be trusted and should be given not just short shrift but also short shift, as in shortly shifted out of the NMC. Then Raj told all the odd numbers that even numbers were, well, to put it frankly, even. Which meant they were divisible by 2, and as everyone knew, anything or anyone who was divisible was essentially unstable, unpredictable, undependable, a split personality. In short, a sicko with whom one should have absolutely no truck, lorry, or bus.
Raj spread his message of divisiveness. But the harder he tried the less he succeeded. Odds and evens seemed closer together than ever before. Why wasn’t his plan working? Simple. It was because of the number that Raj himself was. He was neither odd nor even, but when added to any other number, odd or even, made everything even. That’s right, what Raj was, always had been, always would be, was a perfect zero.

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A perfect article!! Where is Mr.Thackery now? When his “manoos” needs him there is not a single whimper from him or any of his dumb followers. This shows how important he & his mafiadom MNS actually are. Actions speak more than words…so coming into my college breaking stuff, bashing ppl, regales you to just being another goonda.In national/the international arena you hardly have any presence. When everything has quieted down they will come out thumping there chests about how they would have handled situation. They will take up arms against muslims or ppl of pakistani origin but not address the root problem of terrorism. They know their pomp & show will only work on the common defenseless man. They are worried about “bhayias” taking over Maharashtra when they are being assaulted by terrorists. Where were your lathi wielding, “Jai Maharashtra” screaming band of fools, when mumbai was under siege? Why don’t you devote your energy in assisting authorities to prevent these acts?

Jug Surayia was right…whatever you do you will always be a zero
Congratulations

Mourn for Mumbai

taj mumbaiThe dastardly attacks  on Mumbai have made terrorism personal. Earlier it would be blasts…something that was hard to give a face to, but a direct assault such as this is scarier. I congratulate the forces for handling the situation & pray for the deceased.

Thoughts:
1.What good is kicking out V.R.Deshmikh/ Patil & associates? Let them stay on & take the flak for their mistakes. Is just sacking them punishment enough? The sacking simply takes them out of the public glare & they are left in peace.

2.No country can stay in RED ALERT perennially, searching each & every corner of the country daily. Our borders/sea coasts should not be as porous as they are. There should be a basic level of security…metal detecters at entrances[working], Relatively alert policemen at strategic positions, equipped properly & in contact with the command center to report anything out of the ordinary

2.Don?t randomly question the working of Intelligence agencies. It is true that when they avert a disaster it is rarely known, but every failure is pounced upon. True, a failure can cause massive destruction, but criticism should always be positive. Looking for scapegoats at such time is demoralizing.

3.Intelligence is the first level of defense, in case of a breach we must also have an action force to contain a situation till the specialists are called in.

4.Any decisions post-incident needs to be handled with a sense of detachment. Emotion provoke reactions that bear little merit. Logical approach is instrumental to reaching proper conclusions.

5.Plug holes every time. Each incident shows us our weakness. Take that as reference & brain storm on other such possible gaps

6.The media should have some selfcontrol over the information they show. I don’t mean a complete blackout, but specifics should not be mentioned. Same goes for politicians, self proclaimed leaders etc. I know its a dog eat dog etcetera etcetera, but nation’s  security comes first, right?

To the Authorities: Whatever course is taken, it must be thought out precisely. Knee jerk reactions will not do. Short term promises/measures are useless, don’t patronizing the public…they are not as dumb as you think. They will bay for blood & it is easy to throw up a couple of names, get a few convictions & forget about everything. Please don’t play the blame game & don’t go for the usual political bickering[Advani mouthing off about the incompetence of the govt…remember the parliament attacks? You were no better…]. Try to be a little sensitive & stop this foot in mouth thing you all have going on.

Most importantly, don’t go half cocked into battle. Don’t make the same mistake the US made invading Iraq. Terrorism cannot be stopped by military aggression…alteast not by overt aggression. Seal our borders, get intelligence flowing, take help from international agencies[why such an ego? If they can be of help take it.]

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Read Second Opinion by Jug Suraiya [6 December,08] & it seriously made me think.

-All appearances of Pakistan in the international media is negative: Failure of the Govt. machinery, taliban, terrorism, economic backwardness etc.

-If India did not exist what would pakistan do?

-Is it like the joker from The Dark knight? “You complete me”

-Pakistan would simply implode with its all consuming wrath.

-Instead of trying to destroy India, if the leaders/extremists had tried to improve Pakistan they would have commanded respect today & not be hated/looked upon. Destructive tendenceies help nobody

-What Suraiya states is true, Pakistan=Anti India

Why the Bias dear??

I have been in pune for almost a year now & from approx. 2 months back I have come to despise the radio channel-Radio Mirchi, 98.3 FM-with every fibre of my being….

Why??
1) They play crap songs
2)Limited track lists, LOADS of repeats
3)KILOS of adverts.
4)incessant bak-bak of pure nonsense
5)95% of the bak-bak in MARATHI


For the first four charges, OK can be handled [BUT that too,up to a limit only]
but for the 5th charge the should be hung by their freaking cables in their studios…OK this is Maharashtra, speak marathi I will not complain…but have atleast some teeny-weeny sa consideration for the non-marathi speaking public!! I mean radio is a public domain…. you can speak marathi, but sirf marathi??

You know, if I had enough money I would pack the whole RM of pune & leave them stranded in timbutktu or some ghoulish place,surrounded by the local natives….lets see how they like being jabbered at in a tongue they cannot comprehend, 24×7

My grudge is that earlier it was OK…All speech was an even mixture of Hindi/English/Marathi…of which I happen to understand the first two….so using my IQ,average though it may be, I could easily know what the chattering was all about…..but from the past two months there has been a Marathi overload!!KYON

They start of with Hindi…mebbe the first or the second word, then a couple of sentences in chaingun like marathi [By chain gun I am referring to the rate of fire as well as the damage sustained] with a couple of words in English sprinking like rare spices

Would those dimwitted, amoeba-IQ’d, suffrables kindly EXPLAIN to this poor non-marathi speaking [apart from the Eekre,Teekre,Thamba,Chala] how in the name of all the 257 Great Indian Gods am I supposed to understands even the tiniest fraction of the iota of what the say???

Sometimes I feel that the radio station is being held hostage by those stupid dumbos of the Shiv Sena outfit…forcing their oh-so-precious “Jai Maharashtra” on everyone….Why are them ppl so insecure??I know many are scared that the influx of so many Non-Maharashtrians might make Pune-the last bastion of The Maratha-into a multi-ethinic duplicate of Mumbai, but is this the way to protect it???By forcing it down ppl’s throat….thats what their attitude suggests

I come from Lucknow…Even Lucknow’s famous tehzeebz culture is on the decline, but do we go around forcing ppl to act as in the old? No dear, we make the ppl aware of the fact & the citizens try to bring it back…the only hurdle is the anti-social extremist who shouts, & thats it. Just shouts creating turmoil & destroying the fabric of harmony

Nobody is averse to learning a new language, imbibing virtues of a different culture…But force somebody & you will turn their backs up, instigate them, bringing out the hate. And then you will condemn the acts done due to the hatred YOU yourself brought upon & cast ppl in to a mould…

Take me for example or even my non marathi speaking friends….we used to make concious effort to learn new words in marathi, enjoy marathi festivals, not beacuse we had to, but just because we liked it.. but after almost a year of being treated like outsiders, we have come detest the language & the ppl speaking it…. Kya faeda hua??

*sigh* Look what happened…I had started out to speak out against RM but instead I embarked on a long crusade against MAHARASHRTA….

“Mark my words boy mark them well…”

Beware the Darkness that creeps into your soul….

Thoda soocho yarr…

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