Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Caeser’s wife, or Sonia's lapdog ?

Clean and Honest, Really ?

Recently, there is a lot of media hype on how our PM, Manmohan Singh, is an honourable man. There are lot of drumbeats, how this “innocent” man is being unnecessarily maligned the opposition. How his integrity is beyond doubt. How he is Caeser’s wife etc., ad nauseum. You will really puke if you watch the media today about this.

It is shocking that none of the “intellectuals” who run the media in India have asked the question, “Is he really Clean and Honest ?”. I am a lay man who watches reports by the same media on the various acts of corruption by the Italian Maatha and am shocked as to how much of a “willing accomplice” our “clean and honest” PM has been! Yes, folks Manmohan has willingly participated in enabling corruption by the first family of the congress. Let us look at them case by case.

1. CWG: We all know the public loot that happened, case after case the OC escalated costs and our Cabinet headed by the PM simply signed the cheque. Yes, folks verify this fact. This has led to the cockiness of Suresh Kalmadi that “nothing will happen to me, because the PM signed the cheque”. It is shocking to believe that a “Clean and honest” & economist PM will simply not ask the question why does it cost Rs.600 crores to renovate a stadium, when the cost to build a new one is only Rs.100 crore? Similarly, the cabinet secretary was made in charge of restoring order to the CWG and soon after the games were complete, he is no longer the authority. It is back to Kalmadi! No wonder, files are going missing day after day in deal after deal. Imagine, the hurry shown to remove CWG OC from the ambit of the PM’s office. This has been done deliberately, so that Kalmadi will be in charge of the committee when it comes to “assisting” the agencies conducting the probe. Clean and Honest ?
2. CVC: We all know the snafu that has happened with the Central Vigilance Commission. This is superintending body with monitoring power over the CBI. Now there were three names finalized by the committe, which were sent to the selection panel, two were men of impeccable integrity. The third was Thomas, who has a criminal case pending against him. Worse, as telecom secretary, he questioned the jurisdiction of CAG to enquire into the 2G scam and fought it tooth and nail. Now if such a person, is appointed as CVC how can we expect him to be objective in probing issues related to himself? When the leader of opposition pointed this out, she was bluntly told by our “clean and honest” PM, “You can give a dissenting note, we are going ahead with him”. Yes, Sushma Swaraj has mentioned it several times, even in a live telecast of her rally in Delhi this was mentioned by her. Now we have to believe that “clean and honest” PM intended Mr. Thomas to become “born again” and rededicate himself to investigating corruption, after being corrupt and party to huge corruption all his life!
3. 2G: This is the most glaring of all. PM himself points out the potential for illegality and writes to Raja asking him to stop and refer things to the cabinet. Finance and Law ministries object. Raja then says hell with you and goes ahead. With certain firms having DDs ready for Rs. 1600 crores and delivered from banks based in Mumbai at Delhi, within minutes of the announcement. Some employing goons to muscle other firms from coming in with bank guarantees. When this is asked about, our “Clean and Honest” PM replies “I asked Raja, he has assured me that everything is clean”! Shocking, from now onwards we should dispense with all forums of justice, just simply ask the criminals as to whether they did the crime and based on their word prosecute them or release them. Yet, nobody in the NDTV brigade feels compelled to ask all this. You know why after watching all the Radia phone conversations. Even after Raja has resigned, PM meets him pats him on the back reassuring him in various public forums. When asked about all this he displays righteous indignation and says ‘I am ready for investigation by the PAC (alone)” and the media is now falling at his feet. PAC is a body that only audits accounts submitted and has limited powers to expand its ambit. It is like an accused saying, "I will appear only if my case is prosecuted by this judge, with this public prosecutor and this list as jurors." Would we accept this, yet our media slaves call this as “PM’s masterstroke” to establish his “Clean and Honest” nature.

It is wrong to adopt “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to corruption. If he clearly knew what was going on, then what stopped him from taking action earlier on CWG, stop Thomas from becoming CVC and remove Raja from the telecom ministry. He needs to answer only these questions. He is determined to hide the Italian Maatha who is behind all this corruption. If he is clean and honest then it is only in meeting his commitment to Sonia Maino and no to the nation. Since, for the opposition to ask this question and demand official explanation is possible only through the JPC the government is determined to hide things by resisting it and worse our PM’s media perceived “Clean and Honest” faced is being exploited.

When we all can agree with a PIMP who says “I just ran the brothel, I never prostituted myself” as valid defence against prosecution for prostitution, then we can agree with Manmohan on how “clean and honest” he has been as a defence against corruption. Till then the opposition has every right to continue to stall parliament and agitate taking to the streets if necessary.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Once in a while….

Good things do happen, when they do they deserve as much of a pat on the back as the rigorous finger pointing we do when things go wrong. Recently, our PM and government felt tingling in their back and discovered that it is because they have a spine!

I am talking about “enough is enough” approach the policy makers adopted vis-à-vis China. This nation is behaving is a huge kid on a mega dose of steroids. Of late, it is has been pin pricking and provoking India in a variety of a ways on a whole range of issues. It has stepped up drumbeats that Kashmir in India is unique and people from that region of India will be given separately stapled VISA which will be different from Indians.

If you think about, it is a very provocative move with almost de-facto recognition that Kashmir is not Indian. Our government tried its usual appeasement policy.

Finally, they reacted to the tingling in the back and did the following:
1. Issued a warning to China that Kashmir as much an Indian territory as Tibet is Chinese
2. Ordered our Ambassador to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, openly daring China.

That is it, within 48 hrs. China issued statements that it will no longer adopt a separate VISA policy for residents of Kashmir and issued a statement about putting all such issues behind and looking for co-operation. As far as I can recall, it is probably the only time we made China taste its own medicine…

It is not often, I get to thank our government, but is really such a rare occasion…..

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wrong Role Model

Presently, there are lot of scams that are out so media has a field day with constant “breaking news” saying person XYZ may resign in 48 hrs etc. Even if that “breaking news” runs for more than a week it is still breaking news for the media. One disturbing aspect of all the scams are that the source of the corruption is the Italian Maatha of Congress, who has been pretty busy behind the “clean and honest” façade of our PM.

We all have heard the CWG scam, how the media has been running constant breaking news on that. Kalmadi has point blank stated that he will not resign any of his positions and indeed he hasn’t! He has time and again stated that the whole organizing committee took all the decisions. This masterstroke has stopped the congress dead on its tracks, guess who is a member of this committee, who has cleverly kept out of the public eye – Yuvarajaa Rahul Gandhi of course….

Everyone screams that Prathibha Patil is unfit to be president as there is a murder case pending against her husband/brother in which they murdered a rival congress leader in maharashtra. Still she is appointed president, with her making it absolutely clear that she will be completely faithful to Sonia.

We all know the 2G scam. A new low (or high, pun intended) is established in corruption in governance. Manmohan reallocates the portfolio to him again in UPA2, when journalists ask him, why is RAJA continuing the clean and honest man’s reply is “I have asked him about, he has told me that he is innocent”. Imagine, in a control freak setup that the Italian Maatha has, where in every CM has to obtain permission from Delhi to go to the bathroom every day, we have to believe that Raja had the guts to ignore PM, FM and law ministers’ advice and acted on his “own” without any political backing from a higher up. Also, it is the DMK which needs the congress and not the other way around.

The blatant move to appoint PJ Thomas as the CVC has really blown the lid of this corrupt Maatha and Yuvaraajaa. He is an accused in a criminal case, as well as doing all the work for Raja in the 2G scam. Now he as CVC he has to investigate himself in the SCAM. Pathetic !

By admission of the congress party that PM’s integrity is a role model for us to follow and unimpeachable, going by their pretensions, the only 2G Manmohan knows is SoniaG and RahulG -- OK let us take them at their word, but who then overpowered Manmohan in the congress hierarchy. It must be one of the fake Gandhis….

It is time that the fake Gandhis followed the real Gandhi, but their role model is Silvio Berlusconi (Italian PM) and he truly must be proud of their achievements….

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thank You, my dear Bihari…

I want to extend my thanks to fellow Indians in Bihar, who in unequivocal measure voted for NDA government rejecting some formidable forces in the form of Media insinuations, below the belt punches from Rahul Baba, Manmohan, Italian Maatha. Not to be outdone Lalu played his part. Even going to the extent of appealing to public by openly apologizing for his mis-rule, in addition to the usual religious appeasement tactics.

The average Bihari has clearly seen through this charade and has opted for development. This shows that public at large want development and whoever is willing to provide it gets the vote ! Yet this simple logic somehow failed to impress the English media in India.

They were obsessed with the following:
• Biharis are too casteist
• Muslims, will vote against anyone with the BJP
• Rahul Gandhi factor (the most comical one of all)
• Naxals will lock up several constituencies and
not allow the people to vote.

Boy, I hope that all the political pundits in the anglo media are licking heir wounds now! The Bihari has delivered a chappal slap on their faces. Consider this…
• Irrespective of caste combinations NDA has won in
approximately 207 out of 244 seats
• Robbery Devi herself lost in both the seats.
• Rahul Gandhi factor has clearly established the real hold
of the party (or just one family) has in Bihar. When there
are no sycophants it is hard for the fake Gandhi family to
have an aura. It has been proven in UP, Gujarat and now
in Bihar. Congress lost its deposit in many constituencies..
• People came out and boy did they deliver a message to
all the “Intellectuals” who had predicted the momentum
in favor of the naxals how they will dictate terms etc.
Women in particular delivered a pointed message by
outnumbering Men.

It is all very obvious for all to know what factors influenced the vote, development, reduction of crime and general safety for the public. Well, take a guess as to what the media is saying now.

• Realignment of caste forces
• Narendra Modi being kept out of campaigning
• Bihari wanted status quo
• They have totally forgotten that they did day long
specials on “Rahul Gandhi Factor” never even once
calling him in fact to ask him how come it totally failed..

Well, on to the next breaking news….. "How the celebrations are very communal", the video they showed had NDA supporters shouting “Bharat Maata Ke Jai”, for the media this is communal. What do they expect? Shout “Pakistan ki Jai ho” to be secular ?

Thank you my dear Bihari, you have given me hope…

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Great Day for Indian Women….

If you observe the Indian Media yesterday and today… you will notice that
• Indian women have broken through the glass ceiling
• Scaled greater heights in the society
• Have been elected to the highest political offices in the nation
• Sky is the limit for them
If you wonder as to what happened? Did we not have women PMs and CMs and even Prathibha Patil was elected more than a year ago? We even have a foreign woman as SuperPrimeMinister. Women’s bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha Months ago? What happened now that is *so uplifting for women*?

Anxious? Well all these monumental achievements happened because some “Nikki Haley” was elected as governor of South Carolina in USA! Surprised, tearing your hair out as to how that is uplifting to Indian women? Well become a believer, this NRI/PIO’s accomplishment is a role model for Indian women, how they have broken through barriers etc… blah, blah, blah etc.

It is a shame, that the anglo media in India is shamelessly licking the feet of western societies. What is good for the west must be good for all. Whether it is sex education for kinder gardeners or social service as curriculum, no exams, live ins, break-ups, link-ups, dating – you name it, if it is there in the west It must be good for India to have it too…

Of course, their obsession has secular limitations. E.g. a Nikki Haley or Barack Hussain Obama had to prove their Christian credentials to be successful in their campaigns. Why they had to do that, repeatedly? Would they have been accepted if they had proudly campaigned on their origins? These are not questions that the Indian media slaves, will ask of their masters to introspect and answer. They certainly will not ask Indian Politicos to (re)affirm their religious credentials (except the minority kind) to able to mount a successful campaign, despite all illiteracy etc. how it is not needed in India is an aspect they will happily gloss over….

Hell, women in India have been liberated lifted to greater heights because of Nikkki Haley; let us leave it at that, shall we?

Monday, October 25, 2010

To Live (In) or not to Live (In)…

“How can this not have legal sanction”, “India has moved to medieval times”, “all the progress we have made so far has come to naught” a “huge blow for woman’s liberation” is the common theme of the articles in papers, (ND)TV brigade…

What happened ? Is it a cry against people beating up folks on valentine’s day, or against the church for calling women not to abort (in Kerala) and to breed plentifully, or is it against enforcement of Burqa for a college lecturer in Bengal ? Well, if you attempted to be logical like me about this you are likely to be disappointed. Wait in line. The urgent issue in question is the recent judgment of the supreme court of India establishing the parameters of what is “Common law marriage” and what are the criteria for compensation, if such a “marriage” were to split. Instead of thanking the SC for highlighting the fact that “Rights” come with “Responsibilities” (pseudo) intellectuals are up in arms !!

The specific case relates to a woman who filed for maintenance from the partner he had a live in relationship. The person is already a married man and lived with the litigant for a period of 2 years. The HC ordered him to pay alimony and sustenance. He went to SC which upheld that the woman is not entitled to any compensation. As a bonus, it (re)defined the parameters of what is common law marriage. In India we have “no Live In” relationship, either you are legally married or in “common law marriage”. There is no other union in the legal framework of the country.

The SC held that for all purposes the relationship under common law marriage is pretty much the same as marriage. There is no legal sanction to start or end such relationships. SC upheld that habitual live-ins are not common law marriage. Neither is live in relationship illegal as adults have the right to decide their lives. It held that you should have been living, and perceived by society as such, for all practical purposes a “committed couple in marriage”. That is you should assume the responsibilities of a marriage, which means taking care of elders children/relatives etc. The court clearly distinguished such common law marriages as distinct from habitual live in relationships. In the court’s view what is the additional responsibility in the relationship which is much more than “a service provided by a keep, or a live in maid” is a genuine but poorly worded question. Now the focus is on the wording and not the issue that court has pointed out.

The court has established that if you want the benefits of a legal union, then even if your “union” doesn’t have legal sanction, it should have abided by the rules of the societal marriage/relationship for that entitlement. E.g. if both of you are already married and say that we want to live-in and give us the benefits of a marriage, it can’t happen. It is this simple fact that SC has pointed out.

It is really sad that all the “pseudo intellectuals” who are screaming that this judgment is retrograde are forgetting a simple axiom in life “You can’t have the cake and eat it too….”, i.e. rights and responsibilities come together you can never choose rights alone….

Friday, October 15, 2010

Watch out for the “Civil Society”

This is an appeal to the real civil society to watch against the “Civil Society” of the media now planting opinions and stances against the Allahabad HC’s judgment on the Ayodhya dispute.

Usually this "civil society" consists of a Professor of History from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi (preferably an atheist), a parsi aunty (at one that looks like one), a SenGupta or some similar intellectual sounding (named) third person, of course a member of the minority community (who will wake up intermittently and say “can we all just get along ?”). This "civil society" will be invited for forums and lectures by several NGOs in various cities. Their presentations are liberally (pun intended) punctuated with “How can we have a new interpretation”, “faith has been made permanent”, “medieval”, “Hinduism is sanctified”, “How can god be a party to legislation”.

There will be stage managed questions, answers nauseatingly predictable and this "civil society" will get its moment of glory in the local media (the Hindu/NDTV kind) often by inviting the editor/owner of the media as the “moderator”.

There is a section of media and several NGOs are upset that now there is legal recognition that “Hinduism was the default religion of India, for some time in the past”. This recognition if you think about is just stating the obvious and has no implications whatsoever on the secular India of today. For some reason this is anathema to the “civil society”. They are concerned that the “English speaking, pseudo intellectuals” have been totally ignored by this judgment, this is something they can’t live with.

In fact, the ridiculous extent to which history is presented in the textbooks of the government, where in the fact that ancient Hindu sites were demolished by invaders is ignored meticulously. There is plenty of evidence both material and historical fact, in terms of ruins of somnath, Krishna janmabhoomi, Ram Janmabhoomi, Vijayanagaram (on the material side) and even in Babar Nama glorifying the emperor for destroying and building “Masjid-e-jamnasthan”(historical records). Yet, the real civil society has to move heaven and earth and wait for 63 years of legal proceedings to get recognition.

So more than fundamentalists and politicians this “pseudo civil society” that is doing the lecture circuit in the country is the real threat.

There can be no better security in a society than your own neighbors rallying to protect you in times of trouble. For a person of “Minority” it is a relationship which results in a “Majority” that stands by their side. The real civil society will see reason in this statement, the “pseudo civil society” will see a threat to minority from the majority.

Watch out….

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It is time Bollywood started making Hindi Movies….

On the face of it, this looks like an odd statement, but of late if you look at most of the Hindi movies, they all look like dubbed Hollywood ones. My family had the misfortune of watching Anjaana Anjaani. This movie is the latest in a long line of movies, which are typically as follows:

1. Pick troublesome dating scenario in the west
2. Make that happen to Racially Indian people
3. Make them yuppies, dwell a little bit longer on their problems of not having enough of something, love from parents, friends etc.
4. Throw in some liberalism (either a gay theme, live in relationship etc., top marks if there is a pregnancy outside of marriage)
5. Finally, for a miniscule dose of realism make it a story that happens in the west (New York being the top destination for now)

Now go back and replay the so called “Hindi movies” you have seen in the recent past, that fall into the category above. There is a section in the Indian Society, which feels that life in the west particularly USA is way superior to any other society or country. Worse, all the happenings in the western life are innately normal and worst of all should be the norm for every other society as well. This group of people, is collectively known as “mall multiplex” crowd and a probably one millionth of the Indian society at large. They have a disproportionate share of presence in the media and mindshare in the “pseudo-intellectual” NDTV brigade, a whole system of review/ratings are evolved. The farther , from reality the movies the greater the brownie points given. Worse, movies that have been traditionally Indian are derided as artificial.

Trust me, I live in India and for the Indian society in even amongst the Lutyens crowd in New Delhi a gay theme or live in etc. are as unusual as a hero bashing up 20 people in a masala, so who died and gave these morons the right to decide one as way superior to other. When Arnold Schwarzenegger or james bond pull off incredible stunts it is “awesomely special” when a Salman Khan does a Dabang, it is "simplistically crass"…

In this context, hats off to Southern Cinema which has not been swayed such a slave mentality to the west and is able to churn out moves like Bommarillu in Telugu, Katradhu Tamizh in Tamil etc.

Appeal to the Karan Johar and his wannabes in Bollywood please start making Hindi movies and not the seemingly dubbed pseudo western Trash…

Time to introspect why Endhiran is such a big hit and Anjaana Anjaani is a flop. The fault is certainly not with the movie goers….

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Real 3 Idiots …

More than anything else, I want to thank the Allahabad HC for helping us identify in crystal clear terms the real 3 idiots in India. Well in case wondering how and who are they read on…

They are
1. Burkha Datt of NDTV
2. Arnab Goswami of Times NOW
3. Rajdeep Sardesai of CNN-IBN

Watching them struggle to report on a verdict that went against their “pseudo secular” credentials was really comic. Even after, several hours enlightening stances articulated by several legal luminaries the shock on their faces is pathetic. After watching them, I am of the firm view that such biased presentation should be investigated by industry watchdogs and if necessary, such channels should be banned altogether.

Consider this, there was shock and awe for the idiots, the line-up of “experts” they had prepped had all come expecting that the verdict will go against Hindus how they should appeal for “peace and harmony” all were cases of scripts that went horribly wrong. Instead of reacting maturely they and their “experts” cast aspersions in the court and judges, call it as “Panchayati”, “Astonishing” and “Court exceeded its mandate”. Of course, with occasional jibes and punch-lines liberally mentioning “will BJP stop politicizing this at least now ?”. Never calling the Italian Maatha for her opinion on this, whether her party will abide by the court verdict, will not attempt to politicize the issue by doing another “Shao Bhano legislation” ?

I have had my reservations about Indian courts in general and particularly about contempt of court privileges for our judges, what I saw was a really fit case for courts to slam these reports by the channels and lock them up for a really long time.

Thanks to Rohit Sharma for the 3 idiots theme, triggered by one of his comments…

Monday, September 27, 2010

Time to do away with contempt of court privileges for judges…. ?

There is a section of law, pertaining to contempt of court which actually means contempt for the due judicial process. Judges of all categories of courts have used this ultimate weapon to threaten errant officers/citizens who do not obey the court’s directives to obey them; all to ensure that due justice is delivered. However, in recent times courts are increasingly using this privilege as a shield against public scrutiny of its affairs.

Recently, Mr. Shanti Bushan who was law minister under Morarji Desai, submitted list of around 10 corrupt judges to the CJI openly daring him to debate the issue and even jail Mr. Bushan for “contempt of court”. Our CJI is not reacting well to that issue, he of course is in a dilemma. Whether to find out the details about the corrupt judges or ignore the issue and swipe the whole thing under the carpet, which is what the court historically has done. Take the case of Justice Dinakaran, the CJI removed him from Karnataka but at the same time, deemed him as acceptable to Sikkim High court. Perhaps, the level of corruption in Sikkim HC is already high, so Dinakaran will fit in perfect is the judgment here ? Curious minds are at a loss to understand why the SC is behaving this way?

Right from issue of judges declaring their assets before they assume the office to when they retire, on each issue the SC has constantly resisted all attempts at sane public disclosure. While at the same time preaching probity in public office, electoral process etc. in one ruling after another. The SC from this angle has consistently has “had the cake and eaten it too”.

Increasingly, at variance form their role of judging legality of the laws, the courts had moved into the realm of policy making and even law making, several instances of this are all over the places to make this very disturbing. E.g. the 15% quota for all India seats is the creation of SC, similarly several decisions as to how an election for speaker should happen in UP, as well as several vote of confidence measures etc., the courts have time and again intervened and created policy/rules/law. The recent ordering of Sharad Pawar to distribute the grains to the poor, however well-intentioned it might be, is just plain wrong -- in the grand scheme of separation of powers envisioned in the constitution.

Even in matters regarding selection of judges the collegium is behaving like a country club, with a we have told you so attitude that flies in the face of its own judgments handed down decrying the government’s discretionary and arbitrary processes in various selections/promotions.

It is high time, the judges started living under their own pronouncements. They can start with by giving up contempt of court privileges, or limiting them to ensuring due process and enforcement of laws. E.g. if a judgment is not enforced then by all means throw the bastards behind bars. When somebody points a needle of corruption/suspicion, then win them over with details and data – don’t fall into the gimmick of contempt of court. Similarly, when media reports on a case which is sub-judice then don’t hide behind the contempt of court law, banning all discussions. Maybe the court knows a thing or two about fallibility of judges that we do not….

This disease of arrogance and a resultant arrogation of power is epidemic in other arms of the government too. E.g. the EC bans all exit polls, if I make a good faith decision, in the interest of a stable government to vote for a party that is leading in exit polls or prior phases, why should the EC be concerned ? Colonials, did all this as they didn't trust our intelligence, our brown Sahebs in Indian Arrogant Service are intent on bettering them.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I want us to fail as a nation

I want us to fail as a nation once …

Before you all start flaming me back, let me give more details. I think that a major disaster that happens during common wealth games will have beneficial effects for the longer term. Succeeding in hosting them will cause immense harm to the nation in terms of good governance. With us stepping up economically (despite the government mind you) it would be a disaster if that were to become reality.

Consider this, there has been monumental corruption in the commonwealth games effort. It has degenerated into CongressWealth Games effort. Despite proof staring at them from all angles and literally in every phase of the project there is total silence from the PM, SPM and Yuvarajaa. There is a very calculated stance at (according to the NDTV brigade a very intellectual one) apportioning the blame on the government and not on the folks actually in government !

Corruption in village building, CPWD is responsible, bridge collapses Delhi government engineers and builder are responsible. A toilet paper roll is bought for Rs. 3640, treadmils that cost Rs. 1.5 laks to buy outright are rented for a month for 10 lakhs. A proposal for cleanup is submitted with 1000 laborers at Rs.100/day, it is rejected and a contract is given out for 200 laborers at Rs.800/day. Mr. Kalmadi actually comes on TV and says that media is unfairly blaming him for all the corruption and that he is responsible for Rs. 108 crore only ! Shocking, is this what this country deserves or coming to ?

Through this all, the media has singularly failed to ask the question “OK who is actually responsible for this ?”, they will not as it will directly lead to their paymasters, which is the congress party. To a lay man like me it is obvious that congress is preparing an election war chest for elections in Bengal and Bihar next year.

That is the reason; I feel that the games should fail with a major disaster. So far all we have showcased is our incompetence and corruption. If history, is any indication the only proactive planning that our government would have done is to prepare which officers of the government should get flat allotment from the CongressWealth games village! I am sure, they will leave no stone unturned to do a very good job here… If these games were to fail, then perhaps, there will be media scrutiny as to who is responsible and hopefully, people will get educated and choose someone who can better govern than the bunch of morons.

If they succeed even with hiccups, then the focus will be on how we pulled everything through and instead of follow-up on the monumental corruption of Rs.28000 crore event, the media will sing praises on organizers and at that time, I am sure that Italian Maatha and the Yuvaraja will show up in front of cameras.

That would be a disaster indeed for the nation, I for one am deeply concerned.

PS: When I was young, I always used to wonder why Italian Mafia was in control in sicily and how governments used to collapse in Italy, it had 50 governments in the first 40 years, how a totally corrupt person like Sylvia Berlusconi despite all the scandals and convictions still gets the spotlight. Now I understand that perfectly, we are also heading towards becoming another Italy, we already have an Italian SPM too…

PS2: SPM == Super Prime Minister == Sonia Antonio Maino != Gandhi ever, period.

PS3: It really scares me that I share this desire with Mani Shankar Aiyar...

Friday, September 17, 2010

How come your heart is not bleeding for Mr. Vijay Kumar, Mr. Manmohan Singh ?

Recently, a documentary filmmaker from India, Vijay Kumar, was detained by immigration authorities in the US, as he had some jihadi material and a pair of steel handle knuckles with him. Mr. Kumar is a documentary filmmaker making films on Jihadi terrorism; he gives lectures on the dangers of how a Jihadi mindset is cultivated in youngsters etc. So the material he had with him was purely “coursework”. Now, on his way back he is now detained in Canada on the same charges? We will come to the unfairness of his case prosecution later, what is glaring is the help he got from Indian consular staff-Which is absolutely nothing, with a very informative statement which said “his dietary needs are being met”. Kudos to the Hindu association of NA, which stood by his side and helped him through all this.

Now, contrast this with the arrest and detention of Dr. Mohammed Haneef who was living in Australia, who procured the SIM which was in contact with the terrorists who caused the blast in Glasgow airport in 2007. Chat history of his conversation with his brother which clearly proved that he had prior knowledge of the blast and even had come encouraging words. You should have been in India, to appreciate the media circus around this terrorist sympathizer. Manmohan Singh appeared on TV, eloquently announcing (well as eloquent as he can get) that his heart goes out to the mother of the Dr. Haneef, true the Indian government left no stone unturned in getting him back.

Why this silence this time ? Such acts make me laugh at when Yuvaraja of congress talks about how they have an inclusive agenda for all Indians… Are Hindus Part of that inclusive growth ? I am not so sure, real secularists like me are really upset…. Of course, NDTV is happy…

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Leave the IITs alone....

This is an open letter to Mr. Kapil Sibal. I am sure that the best way of reaching a person, who is a media darling and constantly obsessed with sound bites, is through the media only. At least, I hope that you will now you will take your job seriously and instead of vested agendas will take a wholesome approach to education. It is high time you stopped being the minister for IIT entrance exam reform and focused on all things. Before we go further, I want you to answer the following questions:
1. Do we have the right capacity in all geographical regions for primary education of children?
2. Now, do we have the same in high-school and secondary education?
3. The higher education capacity (college) is an abysmal 11% are you even aware of this?
4. Does your government have a priority list of additional subjects and do you have a plan for rolling them out?
5. Are we equipping the socially backward classes with enough skills to take advantage of the reservation programmes from the government?

Based on your high and mighty media projections, I am not so sure whether you have even thought about these. Well, we all know that focusing on these and getting strategies published, consensus built and committed is a tough job. Of course, this will not get you air time in the NDTV brigade. So rightly (in your opinion that is) it doesn’t deserve urgency.

We have reservations and rightly so, in some sense, for weaker and oppressed sections of the society. Are we equipping the people from these sections to take advantage of them? Are rural students as well equipped as their counterparts with choices and awareness about education? These are serious questions that you need to answer and firm up policies. Like it or not, you have the potential to change or destroy the young minds, I would urge utmost caution and diligence in the way go about it. Presently, though you seem to be obsessing about “reforming” IIT entrance exams only. It is high time you got off that high horse and focused on a total approach starting with primary education.

Look at rural India and the urban poor, do they have right schools? Leave out colleges, which are abysmal even in urban areas and even in big cities. Even with large sections of the society not having opportunities, still our higher education capacity is abysmal, with graduates who get out of even some engineering and medical colleges functional illiterates. That really is the status of education today. Mr. Sibal, I hate to break the news to you. If at all, there are a set of institutions where its graduates are functional literates, it is the IITs and guess what you are up to, obsessing with ways to “reform” them. Excuse me, but to a lay man like me, for whatever their flaws they seem to be doing way better than most and why are you hell bent on destroying them?

All your ideas seem to be what were in vogue in the west, particularly in the USA, perhaps during your Harvard days as well. All the proposals like aptitude test,well rounded approach judgment and doing away with the need for microscopic judgment (marks) and go with broader classification (grades). Even in the west, there is increasing focus on academic standards with several countries/states introducing common board exams to judge how students are doing when judged against a common bar. Countries like China/Japan/Korea/Singapore all have made giant strides leapfrogging by building an honest and transparent education infrastructure and a rigorous evaluation system, in some ways lot tougher than what a typical youngster goes through in India. It is a shame that for some unknown vested personal interest, you seem to be hell bent on adopting the ways that are practiced in the USA. Your government, can show its loyalty to USA with nuclear agreement, but please spare us your efforts on the education front. I wonder as to what is obvious to a lay man like me is amiss in the thoughts in an intelligent (I still have my hopes) man like you.

Start with education capacity, focus on starting primary and secondary school in every village or cluster. Don’t be a control freak and trying this as a purely central government driven effort which results in only a focus on English/Hindi based medium of instruction and leaves the majority of India which studies in other mediums of instruction. Partner with the state governments in establishing such schools. Achieve commonality in subjects like Math, Science, and Economics etc. Acknowledge that heroes and significant folks in history geography exist outside of Delhi too. E.g. how many of your students who are studying CBSE history can answer who is “Andhra Kesari”. Whereas each one of the students in TN can answer who is “Chacha” and call it out as Nehru. Do you get the point at least now? In history and languages defer to the state boards. Agree on a common exam and conduct it simultaneously in all regions and languages. Each student irrespective whether they are urban or rural, or from North/South/East/West should feel integrated. It is precisely a feeling that CBSE exists only for Delhiites is causing angst in a large section of the population and state governments. There are saner voices as education ministers in various states, listen to them.

Please Mr. Sibal, leave out the IITs for now. Ensure corruption free and common education and evaluation criteria at various levels, I would recommend common board exams from 8th standard onwards. Normalize results when appropriate. E.g. leave it to the TN government to manage the Tamil language criteria and evaluation and similarly defer to other states. Acknowledge the diversity of cultures and education systems in India, you seem to be recognizing Madrasas as the only unique things that need preservation, trust me every state board in India deserves the same. Get the priorities right, e.g. why CBSE deems sex education as something that is of a higher priority than e.g. basic law, is a question that needs to be answered. Bottom-line, please educate yourself first on the diversity of education in India, maybe then you will have a better shot at going about your job. There are several exams like AIEEE and AIMedicalTest etc. which provide ample opportunities for you to learn from them and course correct. At least, compared to your predecessor you are not corrupt, hence my decision to appeal to you…

Last, try this if you really do a good job, there is no need to worry about what NDTV thinks about you, wouldn’t that be perfect? At the moment though, you seem to have only one agenda which to a lay man looks like the following: “IITs are elitist, their selection process is corrupt, they are in serious need of reform”, if this is true about them and considering that they are the best in producing folks that are sought after all over the world, god help India !!! Thankfully, we all know that is not the truth….

Sincerely yours,

Baskar Kothandaraman

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Paying for the wrong assassination...

We all know that Nathuram Godse assassinated Gandhi in 1948 that mistake of his has the cost the nation plenty. I am of the opinion that Godse committed a horrible mistake and we all are paying for that mistake even today. A look at UPA government of today firms up my belief that it is high time that I made everyone aware of the mistake Godse committed. That of assassinating Gandhi instead of Nehru !!!

Yes, catch your breath. India would have been lot better off if Nehru had been assassinated, before pseudo secularists are up in arms listen to this…

Gandhi:
1. He wanted the Congress Party dis-banded, he felt that it will take undue advantage of the fact that it has fought for India’s independence
2. He strongly advocated against religious conversions, was particularly acerbic in his comments proselytization calling out that will mean no peace in the world.
3. He was for true secularism, with equal respect for all religions.
4. He had genuine concern for the poor and Dalits, not just lip-service.

In a nutshell, he would have been tremendously inconvenient for the Congress party of then and more so, now.

Nehru:
1. “I want to be known as the last English PM of India”
2. “I wouldn’t mind being called a dog, but would be damned if someone called me a Hindu”
3. He initiated government control over all Hindu religious endowments and set about “reforming” the religion. At the same time consciously nurturing vote banks and total unfettered freedom to minority religions.
4. His Dynasty – need I say more.
5. He followed a government led model of development, where in public sector was thought to be the only way out for everything.
6. He took what was the second largest foreign exchange reserve in the world (yes India had it in 1947) and wasted it away.
7. His act of appearing a gentleman and taking issues to United Nations is still costing us plenty. (Thank god we had Patel to restore sanity in certain issues)
8. Even after 63 years, we are nowhere near the task of dismantling his initiatives. It will come to a closure, when planning commission is closed !!!

If you look at what the UPA is doing today your blood will boil… A murder accused appointed as President, A IAS official who is accussed in a scam in Kerala is a Central Vigilance commissioner, Supreme court judges rewarded immediately in judgments against Gujarat government. The level of depth to which Maatha Sonia has corrupted all arms of the civil society is unbelievable. Even in parliament, blatant machinations to ensure that foreign companies don’t share any liability for the nuclear mishaps is another case in point. Yes, the present PM is a proxy for Nehru dynasty. How many more years we have to endure this…..

I really wish that Godse had the right target in 1948…..

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pseudo charity and Giving Campaign

This blog got triggered by a conversation I had with a recent returnee from the US, who upon joining promptly wanted to know ”when does the giving campaign start and end in India”. I was taken aback by his question, which prompted some self-evaluation and introspection as to “Hmm.. How come we don’t have an annual giving campaign in India (in the society)” followed by “Do we really need one”.

Yes, do we really need a giving campaign in India? This question needs serious thought and self-evaluation in all of us.

First question I pondered was why does the USA which has an extensive Social security program need a giving campaign? The answer is in alignment with the overall expectations of the American Society, which is to enjoy rights without responsibilities… Children have a right to parentage, but not the responsibility to take care of their parents in time of need. In India, even lower middle class families are anchored by elders, no matter the bitterness of life in general, they do get taken care of often under tremendous financial and emotional burden by the working class. So typically, the working class in India takes of the generation above and the one below. If these were systemic then why else would you need a giving campaign?

With the IT industry, and wannabe IT folks, mushrooming it is now very fashionable for corporate employees to go through a guilt trip of “Ok what do I have to do for the poor?” It will invariably lead to discovery that children aren’t being educated enough or right. Followed by a determination or resolution that “I want to change the system”. Well, don’t hold your breath. Usually, such initiatives end up with the following:

1. A day with colleagues, to meet with the children (who can barely read even at grade 6) to inspire them about the opportunities in the industry.
2. A day to paint their classroom.
3. Collect old clothes, supplies etc. distribute them
4. This one is the icing on the cake. “A mobile library, full of books” which will go to school periodically so that the children can learn. Trust me this is the most useless of things you could do. These children can barely read their text books, let along sparking their curiosity with more complex books in English language !!

Sadly, such initiatives are mistaken for worthwhile efforts and worse, people even gain mindshare for this. I have few tips for the so called charitable folks.

a. Identify teachers who spark curiosity in the minds of the people, pay them extra money to teach these children in a school.
b. Ensure that you pay people to follow-up with these children after school, to ensure that they study.
c. Get them to understand the concepts in their native tongue, work in parallel in educating them about English as a language or a tool for communication. Once they begin to think then transliteration is easy.

Most of the so called charitable schools, particularly those that are started with a conversion agenda, give an illusion of education but leave the students just as ill equipped to grab the opportunities as they were on the day joined the school.

In this topic, hats off to my wife, who has gathered around twenty children and has been patiently working with them for 5+ years now, getting them to understand the subjects and English as a language. Some of the kids have done really well. So much so, that he conversion factory immediately grants them a “double promotion” and sets them for a grand failure… Well, our society has its own way of punishing those that do well too…

So my appeal is,

a. Don’t get into this so called “charitable initiatives” just as a check mark that your kids need in terms of social service for their admission to schools in the USA
b. Don’t organize needless interaction with students to inspire them.
c. Trust me -- by painting their classrooms they will not gain any knowledge. If you can, teach them, make learning subjects simpler for them. Explain things in their own language.
d. Educate them about the opportunities in higher education/employment through several government initiatives/reservation. Equip them to leverage them, so that they are setup for success in life.
e. Charity is not a photo-op, nothing could be more insulting for these children…

Thursday, August 19, 2010

When was cricket a "Gentleman's Game" ?

Recently, there was a huge media report on a very unfair thing happened to India. If you let your mind wander on whether it is inflation, terrorism etc. let me stop you. The major event was Sri Lankan bowler intentionally bowling a no ball to prevent Sehwag from getting to century in a cricket match.

That is it, Zilch… This has gotten the media talking and they are still at it, prompted knee jerk reactions from all the commentators, players and the cricketing establishment. Even the ICC, which usually just turns over and resumes its sleep, when a lightning strikes has issued immediate statements, calling out the need to uphold the spirit of gentleman’s game.

Well, I hate to break the news to you. Cricket stopped being a gentleman’s game long time back. Yes, sit down and take note. In the early seventies, when England lost test series to India, ICC immediately changed the rules/laws of the game limiting the fielders on the leg side, to negate the advantage India had from its spinning trio. Folks, cricket stopped being a gentleman’s game on that. The charade that is still one is being carried on for reasons that are known only to the establishment.

When “mental disintegration” of the opponent became a game plan for the Aussies, cricket stopped being a gentleman’s game. I am aghast, as to how this notion of “gentleman’s game” has come about for cricket. From the beginnings, when the ICC successfully kept the non-white players into second class level, to when the still played against South Africa regularly, while ignoring India et al, cricket has never been a gentleman’s game. Yet, some a more than gullible media and intellectuals (mostly retired old son of bitches, in search of a column assignment) keep this going !

I am convinced if the Aussie team had done this to Sehwag, then all the oldies would have written columns and waxed eloquent as to how tough the Aussies are, how professional and clinical they were to deny Sehwag that century.

Adding insult to injury, Sehwag was guilty of the same tactic to kick a ball over the boundary to get a tail ender in the batter’s crease !!

Sri Lanka, despite all the scorn I am with you.. Let us end this myth of “Gentleman’s game” once and for all…..

To the so called cricketing world (just 7 significant countries btw), “Grow up and Get over it…”

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hysteria around blackberry...

Blackberry Security threat
Is it really security threat ?

We all have heard recent reports about blackberry security threat and even a possible ban on its usage by the Indian government and media. Well, it is time to look at this issue in depth and form our own opinion.

What is this security threat ? Unlike other service providers who keep their servers that store their servers which provide email/sms and other features in India, blackberry stores all its servers in Canada and USA. Which means, if the Indian government wants to access them for some reason, e.g. to read a message sent by a Jihadi bomber on what target to attack etc., they can’t because the servers are not in India and the data stored in the servers is strongly encrypted and without blackberry’s co-operation you can’t understand it as well. It is precisely these concerns that prompted various governments, just as Indian government is doing now that blackberry locate its servers which are used to provide services to Indian customers in India and most importantly, agree to allow the government to intercept them on a need basis.

There you have it, this is the basic issue. Now what do we do ? Is it a security threat for our government to be unable to access such information, absolutely yes. Now, having access to that information will it achieve anything for the government, absolutely nothing. Well friends, I hate to break the news to you, having access to the government which is by and large corrupt will harm the citizens more and will not achieve much from a national security angle as well.

Why will it not achieve anything ? Emails have to flow from one territory to another, e.g. from to a destination with at least one point being in India for our government to intercept them. I can ask my friend in Pakistan to create a gmail account in the USA (again through another friend) share the account information and we can then log on, type in whatever we want and save that email, not send it ! This simple technique ensures that we can exchange information and still there is no information flow to and from India for our government to intercept.

The only security issue is that the communication of Indians using blackberry is now accessible to US authorities and not Indian authorities. That is the only issue here. I am not seeing our government and the media highlighting this legitimate need, mob hysteria is being whipped up and somehow, they are projecting this as a huge security threat, which it clearly is not.

Worse, with our government historically been corrupt and abusive, it will only use the information that it lays its hands to extract favors and bribes, for that simple reason I will stand against this proposal from our government.

What we should do actually, is to demand that blackberry stop sharing its co-operation agreement with various governmetnts and protect the data it has lot tougher !! It will ensure that USA with its agreement is unable to intercept communication that is happening between two consumers in India. It is the threat to Indian consumers that the government should be worrying about.

A note from history, in 2007 the French government prohibited all government employees to conduct any information exchange, email/sms on government or related matters using blackberry, their concern was that the US could access them, there was no hysteria and yes, no ban either….

Perhaps, we can a lesson or two here…

Friday, July 23, 2010

CBI – is it Central or Congress’ Bureau of Investigation

Fight on Mr. Amit Shah !!!

Well, it is that time of the year for Indian (pseudo) secular media houses again. Their secular credentials are overflowing and if you go by media reports. Entire Gujarat government has been convicted, they have all the evidence for that, in particular Mr. Narendra Modi has been proven guilty. Only thing that is left is whether he will file a mercy petition before the president to commute his death sentence.

Of course, none of this is true. But you get the idea of the “crusade” the media is on, though. Let us look at the situation objectively and then make a decision for ourselves.

Point 1: CBI’s credibility. In recent times the UPA government has mis-used the CBI to suit its political compulsions without any shame or fear. Let us look at the following cases:
• Quottracchi: the flip flop by the CBI even ignoring several court directives to get all international warrants annulled and accounts dfrozen is legendary.
• Mayavathi: when she agreed to support the UPA then immediately the CBI changed its tune in the disproportionate assets and taj corridor case.
• Mulayam SinghYadav: Similarly, the stance CBI adopted changed dramatically depending on whether Mulayam supported the UPA or not.
Now, when the UPA is facing tough time in parliament the CBI is asked to “help out” and CBI suddenly “discovers” evidence against Mr. Amit Shah. Let us look at the “evidence” and the stance that CBI itself has adopted on exact nature of evidence in the past in detail.

Point2: Evidence: The CBI and several media houses are in possession of the call list of Mr. Shah’s phones. There are four calls in the two day period in which a wanted criminal and history chargesheeter, against whom encounter orders are already issued by Maharashtra and Andhra governments, was shot dead by Gujarat police. Yes, if you don’t know who Mr. Sohrabuddin was better educate yourself. It doesn’t mean that he should be killed by extra constitutional means. In India, encounters are legal, btw. The evidence is that the Minister for Home affairs spoke on the phone to Director General of Police, who reports to him in the hierarchy ! That is it, this is the “clinching” evidence that the CBI has. Now, let us rewind the clock back, when Prathiba Patil became the president, there was a case pending against her brother, who organized the killing of a rival Congress party worker. The goons (rowdy sheeters) who were arrested and convicted for the killing (by the congress government) received calls (many many of them btw) from President’s brother. This case also went to the CBI and guess what the agency submitted in the court. “These phone calls made by president’s brother to known criminals do not constitute evidence or enough and necessary proof”. Yes, this is the very same CBI who finds the exact (and much smaller number of calls during those two days) evidence in the form phone calls made by a home minister to an official in police dept. for which he is in charge of as clinching evidence!! Now, do you understand why neutral persons like me are upset at the UPA and the CBI?

Point3: Mr. Amit Shah has run away. Let us look at this in detail. Whenever a citizen of India feels that the investigating agencies have a malafide motive and purpose and an arrest is imminent he or she has a constitutional right to anticipatory bail. Which is precisely what Amit Shah did. So he is “running away” for our ndtv brigade. The CBI which has been having the call list for the past 5 years and is directly investigating the case for the past 6 months issues a notice to Amit Shah at 10am and asking him to appear in roughly two hours ! So when repeated representations for extension of time and wanting to know what the issue is what the questions are as the issue is over 5 years old were only answered with “NO you must appear at this time” -- leave alone Amit Shah, even I would go for an anticipatory bail. There is nothing illegal or immoral in this. It is your constitutional right.

So I request all of you to appraise yourselves of the facts and then form opinions and stances. You will certainly not hear about them in the (pseudo) secular channels (== NDTV brigade) and their intellectual Anglo Anchors (Prannoy Roy bridage). Only thing that is left is the "Chief Justice of the Media Kangaroo Supreme Court of India", Mr. N. Ram to pronounce the verdict. Boy, I am already waiting for that comedy show to unfold !

I for one has no hesitation in saying, "keep up the good fight Mr. Amit Shah, I am with you. I don't care what your idealogy is, what religion you belong to, the fight you are on, is for all citizen's of India and their rights against an abusive government and its authority" (== UPA & CBI).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Minister with a Mandate ? Dream ON, India !!!

Our foreign minister SM Krishna was recently back from a trip to Pakistan to initiate a “dialogue” with Pakistan. Even before the fumes of his flight had disappeared into a sky he suffered the ignominy of being called “unprepared, without a mandate, constantly taking orders on the phone from Delhi” & “When a minister has a clear mandate to negotiate we will.. we can wait” from his Pakistani counterpart in a press conference.

Now there is a huge hue and cry in the media about pak minister’s undiplomatic gaffe and how it will have repercussions for our relationship etc. About, insult India has suffered etc. Hmm… It is not Pakistan that has insulted India, but our own government and most importantly the SPM ! If anything, we owe a debt of gratitude to Pakistan for having brought the nation’s attention to a huge problem in the UPA.

How, in a “high command” based culture of Congress party we can expect anyone to have a mandate to do anything? Even our PM doesn’t have that ! He has to tolerate, Chidambaram’s incompetence and pseudo intellectual stances on the Home Ministry (still way better than the moron Shivraj Patil prior), monumental corruption of A.RAJA, intolerable Sharad Pawar, Praful Patel combo etc. Not to mention, minister for WestBengal DIDI. How can he look at himself in the mirror everyday and still decide to live is a mystery to me.

This is a party, where in every CM has to call Delhi everyday to get permission to go to the bathroom every morning ! Even panchayat candidates are decided and lists released by the High Command. Even our PM candidly admitted that when said so, he would gladly vacate the seat he has so nicely warmed up for yuvarajaa Rahul !

Now, why they decided to engage Pakistan is still a mystery to me. That terrorist nation has time and again operated outside the limits decency and diplomacy. Even americans are having a tough time getting it to toe our line. I for one, believes that there is a think-tank in the UPA, sorry it is one individual (Maatha Sonia), who believes for Indian Muslims to be appeased, the government has to engage Pakistan in a “peace dialogue” no matter what the consequences are. What we saw is the “tip of the iceberg” in the line of thinking that exists in the Pakistani establishment, which is well aware of this line of thought in the UPA. This has led to an arrogance, with a permanently smug attitude that for their “vote banks” UPA will talk to us no matter what.

This attitude of the UPA is doing the most damage to Indian Muslims, there are millions of them, who are as much of a patriot as anyone else. Who genuinely care for and pray that no harm should come to this nation. They are the ones who are bearing the brunt of criticism and are cast aspersions all around and pay the heaviest tax of all in India. It is in the interest of thsi nation that the silent majority of all religions speaks up and makes politicians aware of the costs of playing such games.

Else, why would you want to talk "peace" with a terrorist nation that is only interested in a “piece” of India ? Explain it to me, I am willing to listen….

Only positive outcome of this visit was to highlight the Master-Slave relationship that exists in the Congress party. Minister with Mandate in a congress government, Dream on India !!

PS: SPM == Super Prime Minister

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What do U want to be, NRI, NRI or NRI ?

After returning to India what do you want to be, NRI or Indian ?

IN this topic I want to present to you the dilemma, today’s NRIs seem to be going through when they want to take that earthshaking decision – yes, that of returning to India. We have to understand the past, the India we left behind, the future – the India of today well to make an informed choice. Since my family had gone through this (though without any heartburn both ways) I thought it would be a topic to resonate with… I have held several talks with my colleagues in my company in USA regarding this as well. This article is a collection of those experiences as well.

When I decided to move back to India in 1999, the immediate family and the society was in disbelief. “What happened? Is your career not going well? Did the stock tank?” were the routine questions that people wanted answers to. The fact, someone can make this decision in good faith was unfathomable to them! Most were not willing to believe that I moved back to India, because I wanted to in my own free will. Trust me folks, it was an easy decision to make for me and should be so for everyone as well.

I have no regrets about my life in US and now in India, I enjoyed both of them in equal measure. I was not shying away from taking decisions while living in the US with the thought “Will this be a waste if I return to India or why waste money, as I am returning to India anyway?” Similarly, in India now, I do not worry about safety, security corruption etc.

The key to success in taking the decision and as well as in your life in India after that, is determination. Take a stance and stick to it… Decide whether you want to move to India for professional or personal reasons. Decide the importance of each category and temper your decisions based on the weightage. There will be significant issues you will have to consider e.g even the same company you worked in the USA will operate under different rules… Education systems are different, people you hire into your household and office come with a set mind and priorities. It is time to reset your expectations and enhance your awareness all around, to be successful.

1. Reset your expectations: With your “NRI” status don’t expect to waltz in and the society to be subservient and hand things over in a platter for you. There has been a section of Indian society that holds its own against the very best in the world and now with resurgence, they have increased in numbers. So “Let me tell you how to…” it is a wrong choice in mentality in most issues.
2. Housing etc. be prepared to be shocked. It might surprise you to know that by and large indian middle class lives in Larger houses. Yes, it is not a mistake average apartment in the league that NRIs will compete will be twice the size of the ~1700 sft house you are used to in USA.
3. The league you attempt to live amongst has always existed in India, only now you are equipped financially to get close to them. So shed any arrogance.
4. Things take time, get used to it, this is the biggest change in mindset that is required.
5. Balance your privacy expectations and responsibilities. Yes, relatives will drop in unannounced and you may perceive them as a pain but they also are the first ones to show up during an emergency as well… This more true in India than in USA.
6. Distinguish your clothes and dress appropriately. In general, what is food for one is poison for another. What might be a regular high-school attire might fall into the category of provocative lingerie in a society, where in people put a towel on the shoulders even if they are in a nightie that is thick enough to be bullet proof ! This is similar, to your life in USA where you changed your attire consciously to blend in. When in Rome dress like Romans do, “don’t stick out like a sore thumb” is a good motto always in life.
7. Temper your expectations in schools. Here teachers will often deliver a blunt message asking your kids to step up. Understand their motive, which is to do good by your kids.. Don’t go around lecturing how the whole system is bad and how it needs to change etc. If you firmly believe in that, then your only choice is to stay in USA or start your own school. It is as simple as that. Educate your kids, that there are smarter kids around and get used to life. Stop hugging your younger ones every day in front of the school gate and apologizing to them for sending them to school every day. Don’t expect a big graduation ceremony when your kid goes from first grade to second grade ! The level to which mediocrity is celebrated in India is much lower than in USA !

Last, be determined to see it through. Just rewind the clock back when you moved abroad, you were determined to make a life out there isn’t it. Now you need to have the same determination to succeed.

A NRI after the move back to India is still an NRI, it is up to you to decide whether the NRI after the move is “Nicely Reconciled Indian” or “Not Reconciled Indian”. For this reconciliation there is a lot of stepping up in terms of attitude, adjustment and most importantly respecting the local culture/tradition. E.g. though you knew English when you moved to the USA you picked-up phrases and even an accent. But when you move back to India and to a different state what are you prepared to do, be determined to learn the language and culture. You will only be a better person for it.

Only in rare cases an NRI becomes an Indian, my appeal is to you all to become nicely reconciled Indians… (NRI)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tale of a suicide…

Recently the media (mostly the Anglo ones) have gone on a crusade. That of fighting for the case of a suicide victim. Running detailed programs on what drove the person to suicide, how society is cruel, friends family failed the victim and of course asking for prompt action from the government as well. Finally, chastened by media hue and cry the police have launched a detailed investigation.

Meanwhile, page3 personalities are all over the media, asking for the government to look into how cruel the profession of the victim is, how seasonal their income is and how it can’t sustain the lifestyle of the victim though the person is single. Hmm… If you are like me and thought finally the plight of farmers in India is getting deserved attention from the media and you would be naïve as well.

Yes, the case in question is that of Viveka Babji, the erstwhile super model who earned millions as a model for various products during hey days including the Kamasutra condom !!! Sociologists are waxing eloquent as to how cruel their profession is - how they are subject to the vagaries of the market. How their lifestyle and luxurious clothes, drinks and parties are no longer affordable and finally out of sheer desperation they commit suicide!!

Is it just me, of does anyone else think that the media houses got their priorities so wrong and so completely. They also doled out statistics on how a model commits suicide every two years etc. and asked for understanding from the family and society and of course welfare from the government.

Now, ever since the UPA came to power there have been roughly 16000 suicides of farmers every year on average. Yes, this is the harsh reality of Indian agriculture today. With farmers committing suicide, as their responsibilities to their families in terms of Children’s education, marriage and basic necessities in terms of even food, can’t be met. They are usually reeling under debt to money lenders charging 20 percent interest every month !

No large scale reporting from the media on all this, but the bitch who couldn’t sustain her luxury habits of drinking, socializing and partying (== super model’s lifestyle) and commits suicide gets all the attention from the media.

Socially responsible reporting in the NDTV brigade, I am not holding my breath for it…. You don’t either.

Friday, June 25, 2010

How to be in the good books of மாமிஸ்...

மாமிகளை கவர்வது எப்படி ?

I had written an earlier blog about how Maami’s have evolved in their lifetime and made an attempt to understand their mindset. Now, over a period of time, I observed that some people are extremely favorably treated by the Maami’s. But some who do lot of work are not at all viewed favorably by Maamis. It was a paradox for me but I think that I finally got it !!

Specimen 1: Will constantly yell “Vaango” to every guest that enters the house. But will not do a damn thing after that. But for “good manners” this specimen will get top marks from Maamis.

Specimen 2: This species will fake that they don’t know what the Nakshathram, or Thithi is without any motive or purpose wonder when the next Pradosham is etc. Of course, they will get top marks. They may not even remember a single sloka or any of the rituals but they know which buttons to push etc.

Specimen 3: Every sentence will be sprinkled with “Enga Aathulayellam”, “Enga Koilillayellam” etc. kinds of nonsense all around - irrespective of its relevance to the context or occasion.

Speciman 4: This species will cook shit, but will provoke a positive reaction from you. Usually they will serve with a caution “நானே பண்ணினது, சுமாராத்தான் இருக்கும் ...”. Their strategy is to get Maamis in a condescending mood and the reaction invariably is “Paravaillai amma, nannathan irukku” giving marks for “Panividai” and politeness. One such candidate tried the same technique on me, but got a “பரவாயில்லை என்ன கண்றாவின்னாலும் நான் சாப்டுடுவேன்” as a response. She stopped this technique after this with me 

Specmen 5: This is the ultimate one. Mami’s generally frown upon their daughter-in-laws dressing well. This is Tamil serial induced mentality. If you observe the tamil serials, the one with oiled up hair, with a kondai and perennially in a nightie looking like she is about to take a bath any moment is – THE HEROINE ! The one with matching blouse -- is a woman of low values, matching jewelry -- a woman of low morals. God forbid – if there are matching high heels then -- she is THE VILLAIN !!!. So certain females, who regularly go to beauty parlors get eyebrows threaded and usual waxing facials etc. have tuned the fine art of communicating it to Maamis. The strategy is as follows: “பாருங்கோ மாமி (in a musical tone), இன்னிக்கு ப்யூடி பார்லரில் waxingக்கு மயிரே கிடைக்கவில்லை, ஐயோ கடவுளேண்ணு பிரார்த்தனை பண்ணி லலிதா சகஸ்ரநாமம் சொன்னேன், அப்படியே மயிர் எல்லாம் புல்லரித்து நின்னுது, பராக் பராக் ன்னு waxing முடிஞ்சு போச்சு !!!”. Shockingly, at this statement the Mamis will dote over that female and notch her way up in their pecking order of Kudumba Pongal !!!

So my tips…
1. Liberally, use Vaango, Yenna Maami (in a very musical tone) in your conversations.
2. Just wait when the workhorse in the house does everything and after the serving of the food is finished, dart over and ask “Sappittaelaa Maami” (really musical tone), this will swing the full credit your way.
3. If you are a lazy bum, who has no clue whatsoever about kitchen or how to run a household, then get food from outside for all meals during the day. But ensure that Maami hears you reciting slokas for an hour that is it all your sins are forgiven…

More tips are welcome, send them my way…..

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Annoying book parents

Aka Teaching kids right and wrong…

My family recently concluded a function where my son’s upanayanam was performed. We all had fun. It was object lesson in planning and execution I learnt a lot from it as well. What was striking was the new species called “book parents”. This is a set almost as self absorbed as the Maamis we saw and are no less annoying as well.

This is the species, that probably read Dr. Spock’s books and have been reading books on child psychology explaining how to deal with “newborn – vol 1, month old vol -2, two month old vol – 3, so on – you get the idea. They have lost all evolutionary wisdom and instinct by totally surrendering to books/guides.

You can smell book parents a mile away, they can’t bear to see their child realize the value of “NO, you can’t” as a response to anything, period. Even if a child sez, “Mummy, I am going to stab you with a knife” a typical book parent will respond, “here use this blunt knife, so that my chances of survival are better”. Yes, this is not far fetched. One of our friends’ son used this technique to perfection, by threatening to kill himself, provoking a reaction along the lines of “There is nothing wrong in what you did, the world is just a big bad place etc….” and all that non-sense from the parents. One day, in my house the poor kid after damaging something tried the same technique, and was surprised to see me hand over a butcher knife and saying “Go ahead, make my day”. This particular tantrum of his ended that day. To this day, his mom wants to know what magic I did to make him stop that behavior.

Get a clue…. ? Kids don’t know what is right and wrong, it is our job to teach them that. Yes, by using NO effectively and repeatedly till the obnoxious behavior stops. Also, kids need to get used to life, in life you will hear NO pretty often -- guaranteed. You are better of preparing for that as well.

I have seen parents literally dancing to tunes to feed children. Wanting to know which of the toys I wouldn’t mind breaking, so that it can be given for playing etc. These parents are so self absorbed and are missing the very reason parents exist, which is to teach kids right from wrong.

Trust me, when I made a mistake as a kid, I immediately knew it. It made me stop that behavior. Don’t make the classic mistake of letting the child discover everything for itself, it might be too late in its life, when it discovers what is a horrible mistake !!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Real politik aka Rajneeti - movie review

Rajneeti is a good movie, which makes you feel that it could have been better. I somehow, feel that Prakash Jha’s hands were forced by the censor board and the super censor board (the congress committee). You can’t have a better example of present day RajNeeti than the process the movie producers had to go through to get the movie released !

There are many characters, inspired by mahabaratha, but the one that stands out is the one played by Ranbir kapoor, he has impressed me with the maturity in his performance, portraying naturally a variety of emotions apt to the occasion in each scene in the movie. He is omnipresent in the movie and deservingly so.

Prakash Jha is somewhat mellowed in this movie, this movie is not that hardhitting as Apaharan or any of his prior ventures. The direction is uncomplicated and purposeful. Dialogs are all crisp and very well written. Nana Patekar delivers on his role with the usual aplomb and with the mischief that is deserving of the Krishna characterization. To Jha’s credit, he even got Katrina Kaif to act in a few scenes !

Prakash Jha is carving a niche for himself with his movies, not falling into the (pseudo) artistic trap that Satyajit ray, Adoor Gopalakrishnan etc. fell into. He makes movies that are realistic and are for the masses and most importantly which are easily understood by the masses as well. In that singular aspect, he distinguishes from the pseudo intellectuals who ruled the “artistic” cinema genre in India.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Time to root for CPM in West Bengal... !

Today in a major tragedy, more than 100 people died and many hundreds more injured in a train accident which was a result of sabotage by the Maoists in Bengal. The incident threw up several important issues for us all to be aware of and vote properly when the next elections are due in Bengal. It is very easy to sympathize with the goal of getting rid of CPM as the supreme target and lose sight of the fact that Mamata Bannerjee is equally dangerous to the state and to the nation.

The Maoists, are now sufficiently well armed and well spread that they are threatening the unity and integrity of the nation and waging war from within. The usual NDTV intellectual brigade is harping on development as the solution out of this. Consider the following acts by Maoists:
1. By killing civilians travelling in buses and trains what are they trying to prove
2. By blasting cell phone towers, they inconvenience rural folks who are the greatest beneficiaries of the cell phone revolution happening in India.
3. By blasting and destroying pucca government schools what are they achieving. This is especially worrisome, as the Maoists are not worried about the threat of Christian missionary schools in their tribal belt, which is also used by the security forces.

The agenda here is to render the Indian state impotent, subvert democracy and achieve sedition. They are getting moral support from missionaries and several Missionary inspired NGOs. It is no coincidence that their schools and building are untouched by Maoists, who see great threat in letting a government school exist in the same street. This leads me to suspect, that missionaries want to use the Maoists to further the conversion agenda thereby altering demography irrevocably. We all know that Atheism and secularism always degenerates into anti-hinduism in India !!

Now, CPM, which belonged to the Naxal parivar was in bed with the Maoists not so long ago, now Mamata is proving to be a better partner in bed for Maoists, so they have now started biting the hand that fed them. CPM, is chastened and is regretting their decisions of the past, in this area. Mamata is shamelessly furthering the Maoist cause, thwarting tough action against them in the cabinet and going so far as to say that there are NO Maoists in Bengal !! Even today, after incontrovertible evidence that 1.5 feet of track was cut out, the minister was blabbering about bombs and terrorist groups and not one word on the Maoists.

If anyone comes up with Maoist support, it is not good for the country. Already, with the moron called Shibu Soren in Jharkhand we have already seen tacit support to the Maoists go up. Similarly in Bengal if Mamata comes to power with Maoists, with Bangladesh also more than willing to support insurgent groups one shudders to think what would happen to this great nation.

For one who firmly believes that “If Left has any role in India’s future, then India has NO future left”, it is a shame for me to admit that I would have to prefer CPM in Bengal over Didi… who is firmly in the Maoist camp. It is high time, the PM dismissed her from the cabinet and confined to the dustbin of politics in Bengal by cutting off the alliance with her. Without congress she is dead in Bengal, period. Any one listening in UPA ?

God help us..

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Existential Dilemma – Air India strike..

I hope many of you noticed the earth shattering that happened in Indian business circles. No it is not our growth story. First time in the history of Air India, the management actually terminated employees for discipline related issues. Yes, sit down take a breath; good things do happen in life. Finally, the government realized that the slight tingling in the back was actually the spine; it realized that to a limited extent in this case. I hope and pray when the next strike happens, it shouldn’t be too long, and the government really cleans out dead wood which is most of the employees of this behemoth.

Like typical government entities, the employees of this airline have become a self-perpetuating pool of folks, who firmly believe that the airline exists only for their jobs and not to service customers.

What is all the more shocking is the reason for the present strike. AI wanted aircraft urgently flown into the gulf to bring in families of the recent crash that happened at Mangalore. Somehow, AIs engineering staff weren’t available and it got the permission by getting it certified by engineers of another airline, nothing illegal. That is it, all hell broke loose with engineers resorting to flash strike and a more than willing happy family of unions joining the strike and ground the airline to a halt. Instead of the thanking the other engineers who took care of an emergency for them, all this was resorted to. Pay and other unrelated items, for which other strike notices are pending were all rolled into one and flash strike started.

Usually, there is a compliant judiciary which has always put the interest of socialistic employment goals ahead of customer welfare. Not this time, the Delhi HC in a remarkable display of spine, termed the strike as illegal, though the Bombay HC didn’t!

The management, after clearance from Maatha Sonia, showed spine as well and started dismissing people. Now, there is going to be a strike protesting against the dismissals, which were a result of an illegal strike call. But somehow, this time I am not holding my breath. Proper notices etc. have been given, so avoid Air India like a plague.

It is high time that the government shut down this behemoth and sold of the asset piece meal we might actually get some return on the thousands of crores we have sunk into this cesspool of an airline… It is not even worth it to privatize this airline and try to preserve even one job of the existing employee pool, period.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Announcing Indian Cinema, Internationally -- Really ?

I happened to watch “Kites” movie with my family and have been regretting that decision ever since. The movie was uniformly bad from all aspects, be it story, screen play or acting. I was particularly intrigued by this movie, because this was touted as the one that would announce the arrival of Indian Cinema to the world ! Well, if that were truly the case the global audience is likely to have as much of a favorable opinion on Indian Cinema as a Global traveler would have about Air India. I feel, that Air India actually has a better shot !

We watched the “hindi” version, which is just a technicality as most of the movie is was in English and Spanish. English seems to be the lingua franca of the mall multiplex crowd and the NDTV driven media has a whole review/reporting system which rates movies purely from this perspective. The story when written on the back of a bus ticket will actually have significant space left. Most of the time the characters are silent so no need for any major dialog writing as well. What would have been a very smooth and linearly edited story, is chopped because the “intellectual director” (== Anurag Basu) felt the need for a flashback style.

I for the life of me can’t understand why any producer would want to risk his/her hard earned money with this moron. All his prior efforts including “Gangster” were all traumatizing and some were as bad as Shyam Benegal – Adoor Gopalakrishnan genre ! You know the type of filmmakers, who feel that movie is for intelelctuals, only if the audience can't understand them. He is presently directing a movie called "Silence" hopefully that will be end of career for him !

Hrithik Roshan has taken care of his image only from physical appearance perspective with 10 packs and by spending more on waxing than Kangana and Barbara combined ! This movie if looked at critically is missing pieces for a smooth flow throughout, worst in the action scenes. If Barbara Mori is anywhere near a highlight for Mexican cinema, then god help Mexican Audiences. The same story set as that of a love story between say a Hindi guy and a Telugu gal with languages etc. mattering that much in being incomprehensible to each other would have had a better effect and probably cost lot less for Rakesh Roshan.

Typically for Roshan family productions, Rajesh Roshan excels himself movie after movie - in music, not this one. He seems have dug a hole deep for himself. Barbara Mori is as much of an actress as I am in producing a movie. Wait a minute, I feel actually I will have a better shot ! She is there in the movie, for her bosom and ability to shed clothes and as she is instant recognition candidate for the white skin obsessed Indian media, which would not have given the movie the time of day, if say Priyanka Chopra had played the part. Or worse, “someone from the south” had been the heroine.

Rakesh Roshan needs to get back to his roots for success, focusing on family oriented movies like Krish etc. Hrithik, needs to learn to act, period. Barbara Mori, actually makes Kangana Ranaut look like a Nun, if you can imagine that.

Fittingly, at the end Hero deep dives -- to be with his lover in the deep sea, thankfully his career nosedived before that and probably cushioned his fall as well.

Waste of time, money and everything else you can afford.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Why no one is crying out for Javed Akthar ?

Javed Akthar, the famous poet who has given is numerous movies like Don as part of the Salim-Javed duo and also several soulful songs including the “Radha Kaise Na Jale” in Lagaan, had to march into local police station and had to request security to protect him from folks who had given death threats. Javed is a self-appointed (pseudo) secularist, who is a regular on NDTV shows etc. So I was curious as to why the media is not fighting for his cause as fiercely it did in the case of MF Hussain. Not a peep from Hindu as well!!

Javed had criticized religious extremists for reinforcing medieval practices, keeping out women as a whole from the workforce and banning existing women workers from their jobs, threatening the employers as well. He lamented that these decrees are keeping the society medieval and from modernity. In fact, in my mind, it was a truly secular act from Javed. The extremists rebelled now he became the subject of decrees, death threats were issued and he had to seek protection.

Curiously no editorials from Hindu. NDTV didn’t run day long specials on the shame of India etc. that it did for MF Hussain etc. Why ? Simply because, Javed Akthar criticized the “fatwas” issued by the Dar-Ul_Uloom in DeoBand, which banned muslim women from workplaces, where they would come face to face with non-family members, i.e. practically all employment. He criticized it as retrograde and as one that will take women back to medieval dark days…

The partiality and hypocrisy shown by the (pseudo) secular intellectuals/media and their bosses was sickening. It would be laughable, only if it weren’t so pathetically obvious…..

Poor, Javed Akthar, for once in his life he attempted to be a true secular. Now he has no choice but to go back to being the media darling (== pseudo secular) he was…. Imagine, if he had said something about the Shankaracharya in similar vein and if only Shriram Sene had issued him the death threat, we all would have found out the full strength of the media and government in dealing with this… Now there is dead silence and the usual intellectual culprits like (fake) Gandhis and Prannoy Roys aren’t uttering a word. Not to mention N Ram of Hindu….

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The census fraud

Well, it is time to talk about another intellectual in the cabinet Mr. P. Chidambaram. I want everyone to think about the opinion that comes to their mind when they think of PC. Intelligent, articulate, suave, smart etc. right ? Well would it surprise you to know that this man covered up Rs. 3000 crore fraud in which his party the TMC was solely responsible, when he was the finance minister. Similarly the utterances and roll backs on policies have benefited certain individuals who were playing the market ? Last, as home minister, he has embarked on a (pseudo) secular/intellectual scheme of building up the NPR, the national population register.

Here various definitions have been twisted, the citizenship act totally ignored and a disguised “census” operation is underway. In India typically the census is done every 10 years and based on that LS seats are allotted to various states, reserved constituencies are decided upon and rotated as well all based on this data. Though it has some unwelcome effects, such as the LS seats are largely being transferred to the Bihar/UP belt, where people are breeding like crazy. Similarly in the NorthEast, without breeding the population of Muslims is exploding not just in religious demography but in overall numbers as well to such an extent that even the Supreme Court expressed its anguish at the vote bank politics behind it.

Now, a lot was depending on the census a proper enumeration of religions and castes. We might argue that it is bad and that we are living in utopia etc. but that is hardly the truth. Religious Conversion is in full swing in the South of the country, similarly Bangladeshi Muslims are taking over WB and NE states. Demography is undergoing a serious change in the nation. At the minimum, the government deserves us all an answer to the extent of this change. What we do with that data is totally different matter altogether and is worthy of another separate article as well.

Now, instead of discharging its official duty the home minister comes up with an “intellectual” stance. We will just enumerate the population, which is defined as those that are living in India. Everybody is lining up appreciating the intelligent minister, of course NDTV brigade has gone on overdrive in their praise as well. What could possibly be wrong with this proposal ? Nothing superficially, but the devil lies in deep and it is obvious if you look at the data that is not being collected, caste enumeration and religious enumeration…

Why ? the courts in the past and even now have repeatedly asked, condemned the government for lack of data to decide the basis of reservation, which till now were only caste based and the Maatha Sonia Government is working overtime to make that religion based as well. If you want to continue this vote bank politics then the fact that some states have suffered changes in demography will have to be acknowledged. Also now court induced scrutiny will happen on how it happened? Similarly the government owes some answers to the SC on issues like “Which caste has moved out of the BC list because of reservation ?” “What is the basis for the %s that are presently in use ?” etc. How do you avoid answering them -- simple don’t enumerate them ! Similarly, when it is time for religion based reservation for vote banks, it would be really uncomfortable for the government to have that data….

There is also, another point of view that the population has increased amongst the backward sections of the society lot more than the earlier data and hence the lack of that data is a ploy by upper castes to keep them down from an entitlement perspective. Which is also quite a genuine concern that needs answers.

Instead of mounting an honest and detailed exercise, the home minister, through deviously worded statements and clever interpretations of the citizenship act, has embarked upon committing a giant fraud on the nation. It is time we realized this and evangelized it to all our friends to realize this.

We need an honest enumeration of the different demographic sections. Also most importantly who amongst them are Indian citizens…. It is precisely this data that this government is determined to hide….

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Maamis and how to deal with them

We all have seen “elders” in our families and how they believe in certain things -- follow things a certain way etc… More often than not, we don’t agree with their approaches, philosophy and issues that concern them. This article attempts to list some of these and then introspect around as to what we should do to end this “vicious” cycle of bitterness that exists between Gen X and Gen X+1 !

A lot of us are experiencing a resurgent India, one where you don’t have to book your Bajaj Scooter. Wait for a telephone line was more than 10 years and the most ridiculous of all – you needed “connections and influence” to get a HMT watch… How many of us remember that ? It happened during my lifetime as well. The generation before really went through some really tough and traumatic times. Right from medical care to essential food items, they had to rush in and invest everything in “Yearly supply” in Rice, DAL and even Tamarind !! The only enjoyment possible was occasional drama/dance and some movies. No television as well. This is a generation that has grown up without experiencing what entertainment should be. Their life revolved around home, marriage visits, occasional cinema and of course a Kacheri or two. The “job” -- for the men it was outside an women inside – the home, though nobody recognized the enormity of the job of a woman. She was branded as “housewife” with some not so glorifying assumptions about the person’s intellect if she were a “housewife”!

Make no mistake, this generation though it had no means “compared to the lifestyles of today” still gave the best of education and opportunities that were relevant to the times, be it Sanskrit classes or typewriting classes, they all were dutifully arranged and “employable” skills were built into you by this generation…

For some reason, men from this generation when they are “in laws” don’t exhibit the same bitterness as women do. Perhaps, the “downtrodden” nature of the housewife brand is playing a role here but women from this generation are particularly bitter about their life, there a few exceptions but they are just that – exceptions !

When a Maami is single you will find a constant game of one upmanship will begin. Whether you know the raasi for your nakshatram, the thiti for today, whether it is sukla paksham or not. Do you remember whether today is thiruvadhirai etc, to such an extent the life becomes a constant Quiz competition. Usually, the women of generation X+1 bear the brunt of this interaction. Unless we show understanding this vicious cycle of bitterness will continue…

Now, when two women of earlier generation meet, the competition moves to a totally differently level and usually exponentially harder for the woman of the newer generation. Both the oldies will have conversations which usually take the following form:

1. “Naangal Yellam …. நாங்கள் எல்லாம்” Will usually be the beginning of every alternate sentence, with how they used to do things differently, with a hidden jibe or two about how the women of today are doing inferior things. It really doesn’t matter how irrelevant or insignificant the whole thing it is, as long as there is a “Naangal Yellam Athai appadi thaan seivom” possibility anything is fair game!
2. There will be constant competition as to who is closer to Kanchi Acharya …
3. Worst, when two such maamis are there when you ask, what shall make for dinner or lunch, boy you have no idea of the trouble you are about to run into.
a. Usually, they will be deadlocked with each one waiting for the other to go first, be thankful if this happens to you, because actually it is the best response you can get…
b. One will start, “I don’t need much (எனக்கு ஜாஸ்தி வேண்டாம்)”, with the other doing better, “ I am still full with what I ate a week ago, nothing for me”. Finally the decision would be “Write Meal on a piece of paper, that is enough for me (நீ பேபர்ல சாப்பாடுன்னு எழுதி கொடுத்துடு, அது போதும்)”… level of degeneration, all of course with constant reminders as to how “I really don’t want to be imposing on anybody” (நான் யாருக்கும் பாரமாக இருக்க விரும்பலை). Of course, there is poetical exaggeration of how the whole thing goes, but you get the idea…
c. The icing on the cake, in such an interaction is -- it will be intense if the two maamis happen to be Sambandhis 
4. Usually when the husband and wife go together out whether it is for school program for your child, or a movie or whatever usually there is also constant frowning as to “Why both of you need to go ?”. Again, to them it will appear unusual, because of the relative vaccum (in such things) they have grown up with in their lives…

Now, we are all humans, so how do we break out of this vicious cycle, I dunno. We (myself & wife) have told my kids and given them a diary of such things that we hate when they happen to us. With a request that in the future when we become like this show this diary and ask us to course correct….

Any Ideas ? Hurry up, I am increasingly being called "Uncle" now :-(

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sunanda Pushar Guide to "Sweat Equity"

There is lot of media controversy over Shashi Tharoor now-a-days with entrenched stances in the media.

The first lot led by NDTV are an upset lot – their line of thought is “But he speaks such good English, married to a white woman” -- to add to the credibility has divorced twice – now is cultured and sophisticated enough to have “girl friends” (perhaps solely to uplift them from their messy divorces). You get the idea, he is the poster boy of NDTV brigade – the politicians they dream of to rule India.

The second lot is a brigade that bristles as to how he has gatecrashed into the IPL club (Lalit Modi, Sharad Pawar & Co, which is also known as BCCI) they are determined to get at Shashi Tharoor so that the IPL can be kept within their privileged club. I for one, simple do not believe that Lalit Modi would have chosen to go against Shashi Tharoor unless he had the backing of the higher-ups of BCCI.

If you look at the chronology of events, company registrar's log books (documents shown on TV) one thing is painfully obvious that Shashi Tharoor is guilty of playing the game on someone else's behalf.

20th Aug 2009, Rendezvous company is formed with two directors both Gaeckwads, Sunanda Pushkar is no where in the picture.

8th Mar 2010, Rendezvous changes its name to appear an international entity with an additional director another Gaeckwad – again no Sunanda Puskhar.

Now suddenly just 15 days before the bidding a director is added to the company books guess Who, Sunanda Pushkar of course... It is no coincidence that Mr. Shashi Tharoor becomes Hyper Active in steering a franchise towards Kochi... Rest is history.

Now, against all company law norms why would you include a director in the company books, who is not in the list with the Registrar of Companies, Pune. That too when the law specifically bars any “Sweat Equity” within the first year that too under 15% only. Ms. Sunanda Pushkar has gotten within 30 days of the company being formed that too 25%. If you thought this is it, there is more. She will get 100% of her share of the profits, but only 1% of her due losses. The rest of the equity holders willingly agreed to “bear” the losses. All this for someone who is nothing more than a glorified receptionist in the Gulf. Her claims of having been an expert consultant on bidding etc. were immediately trashed by none other than Shah Rukh Khan himself !!!

I am sure that the Equity was “Sweat Equity” but Shashi Tharoor seems to have done all the sweating both in the boardroom of Kochi Franchise and in the Bedroom of Sunandar Pushar. She of course has gotten all the equity...

It is a shame, that such facts which are readily obvious to a lay man like me, are proving very difficult to the government and most importantly, to the “Intellectual, Economist and Honest” PM – Manmohan Singh !!!!