Showing posts with label India. Show all posts
Showing posts with label India. Show all posts

Monday, June 6, 2011

Did Baba really get 55 Lakh missed calls?

Amid all the drama and hoopla of past 3 days, one number struck me as very odd. As I've a tendency to take numbers too seriously I decided to do some analysis of the news that Baba Ramdev got 55 lakh missed calls. I used a simple technique. A day has 24 hours, each hour has 60 minutes and each minute has 60 seconds. So multiplying all we get 86400 seconds. Now the next step was crucial, I took an assumption here and you can question me on that. I assumed that a person calling Baba will at least busy his phone for 5 seconds (Note- I'm not saying that the phone will ring for 5 seconds). So dividing 5 by 86400 seconds will gives us 17280, exactly the number of calls possible in a day if the above assumption is taken.
The next part was to calculate how many days are required to reach the magical figure of 55 lakhs. Just another calculation away. I divided 55,00,000 by 17280 and I get roughly 319 days. That leaves a question. To get so many calls has Baba been planning this for more than year?

Monday, May 23, 2011

That’s how you hit two targets with one shot says Congress

Today an LTTE Leader made a sensational appearance hinting that DMK might have been indirectly responsible for Rajiv Gandhi’s death. But that’s not the crucial. The crucial thing is the timing. If we look back at most of the incidents around DMK and Congress one can easily sense what’s going on.

Before going on let’s have a look at some of the facts. DMK is the third largest party in the UPA coalition behind Congress and Trinamool Congress with a substantial 18 seats. The last two years of the government has seen more scams and allegations of corruption than bills passed, with DMK seen as the centre of it most of it. The media has mostly shown DMK as a corrupted party which has nepotism grounded in it. The DMK lost badly in the recent assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and the by the looks of it, it doesn’t seem that they will gain the lost ground soon and easily. And then the most important fact of them all, two DMK MP’s, one of them being DMK supreme’s daughter is behind bars for one of the largest corruption cases India has seen.

Enough facts now let’s see the ground situation. Congress suffering from bad public image is trying to put all corruption image on the face of DMK and even distancing itself from DMK sometimes. They cannot afford to leave DMK’s hand as if DMK pulls out, the government can collapse. So what they are doing is putting one foot in the door. Sonia Gandhi showing some closeness to J. Jaylalitha and reminding DMK they are just an option. I won’t be surprised if they leave DMK and join hands with AIADMK in the next general elections.

This was the Congress’s situation. Now let’s have a look at DMK’s state of affairs. DMK has hit an all time low. They have a very low public acceptance with them at the moment. So if they decide to pull out leading to a collapse of the government, they won’t be too confident while going for the assembly elections at such a moment. So they are in a situation where they can’t demand anything and can only sit and wait for things to turn better.

So it’s more of an alliance where nobody can do anything but to stay together. But Kanimozhi has been made a scapegoat by Congress to show DMK what they are capable of. Also this has shown how helpless a father can be in the wake of Indian politics.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Find your Singur-An Open letter to Mr. Rahul Gandhi

, cFirst of all congratulations Mr. Gandhi for the victories Congress garnered in the recent assembly elections across different states. A special mention of Mamata Banerjee who has proved that True Grit, Resilience with Patience can help achieve anything, may people take lessons from her struggle and implement them in other places.

Now let’s come back to you. A few days ago you were making headlines for something. Something you did in villages near Greater Noida. You were there supporting the farmers agitation against the state government for the way it acquired land. Well at least that’s what the media was telling me. Now Mr. Gandhi let me familiarize you with one of the cruellest yet most useful word of today. It’s called RESULTS.

You can ask any school going child, or an investor how big is that word’s importance today. So let’s have a look at the results you generated from your so called agitation.

1. Gained a lot of Political mileages and newspaper coverage

2. Checked another point from the To-do list (Going to jail)

Did anything else happen that made significance?

Now those were the results you gave. Let’s have a look at what could also have been achieved. If the land was really acquired illegally or at lower prices, you could have continued your agitation and deliver something like what Mamata did in Singur. You could have done a lot more, that would show up on your report card, telling people that you are serious about things.

Uttar Pradesh is a state which has literally slept through the last two decades of India’s growth. It has always been seen as a drag on the nation, pulling back the growth shown by other states. It has been notoriously famous for its population, having one of the lowest literacy rates in the country. You were the one who termed it as you “Karambhoomi”. Mr. Gandhi it’s not words that matter, it’s the actions, remember.

With UP assembly elections not too far away and then the next General elections in 2014, all eyes will be on you and the results you are capable to produce. Mr. Gandhi “Find your Singur” and make it clear you mean business or we won’t take too long to forget you.

Today you are not only talking to the Aam admi, you are talking to the Common man as well. And common man lives in the age of Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs etc. Common man makes an effort to look beyond the obvious, search and not just believe what he is shown. Mr Gandhi common man is not just educated, he is enlightened also. He can see what India is capable of and where it is lying because of the leaders who are in charge of the ship.

Mr Gandhi, common man puts a price tag on his vote and that vote is not for sale. You will have to earn our votes to get them. You will have to prove, that you are worthy of being considered as a leader, who can lead us in the future. Mr. Gandhi you will have to rise above things like petty politics, easy political mileage and show us some real results. I know it will be a very difficult War, but then Wars are not won in a day. Wars are decided on the fate of small Battles. Battles like Mamata Banerjee fought in Singur, in Nandigram and ultimately won the thirty plus year long War against left. And as caution my dear friend once said; you cannot win every Battle, you’ll have to pick your Battles to win. Pick your Battles today and leave behind petty skirmishes and the big War is coming soon, but its fate is already being built upon. And if you fail to take notice of all these things, that cruel word RESULTS will not be a happy reading for you.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Will the same brand of justice ever be served in India?

I just couldn’t ignore the coincidence. In US, Rajaratnam was held guilty on all 14 counts of insider trading and back here in India we got the free for all access to Amar Prem Katha. And for the icing on top, I read a lot more about Niira Radia too. So as Rajaratnam is staring at 20 years in a federal prison, my question is will the same kind of justice ever be served in India?

Rajaratnam was no ordinary person, no. 236 on Forbes list of wealthiest people in US, richest Sri Lankan alive he rubbed shoulders with who’s who of Wall Street. He hired a team of one of the most expensive attorneys but contrary to what his peers in the hedge fund industry thought, he couldn’t escape conviction.

Back to India, how many big Corporates have we indicted? How many seen the inside of a jail and remained there? None expect for Raju (R another strange coincidence, Holy crap my name also begins with R) as far as I can remember. But what about other big shots who have been known to committing corporate crimes like Anil Ambani, Praful Patel etc.

The Niira Radia and Amar Singh tapes clearly reveals the nexus that is going on between corporate, politicians and even media now. These low life people are destroying and killing the Indian Dream when it is still in its infancy. All I have been seeing throughout the day has been mockery and cheap humour of both these tapes. But I am yet to see any action. I know many more like me think we can rise up the others and get noticed, but with tapes like this coming out don’t be ashamed of the route these people might take.

The last ray of hope we had was a unbiased media and a honest judiciary which has been literally stripped and is laughing back at us make me feel like a fool, a donkey. We dream of catching up with the West and all I can say is we are living in a fool’s paradise. We are bound to stay behind and will always be looked upon as the underprivileged, downtrodden ones unless we stand up, take notice, leave IPL for a moment and do something. I don’t know what that something can be or will be, but we will have to or let’s kill our dreams right now. I just ask one thing.

Will there ever be same justice irrespective of Caste, Creed, Domicile, Wealth or Political connections?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

MBA for a receptionist!

So here comes another Sunday. It’s been a while I rested on a weekend and not go for some partying or shopping. But I have to say as much as I love partying, travelling or shopping, this time I really liked a quiet and alone Sunday. As the first thing on my checklist was to get a good amount of sleep for my sleep deprived body, so I woke up in the afternoon when finally my back started aching. And then as always I had missed my breakfast and lunch at the hostel mess is an option that I never consider. So I decided to take a walk and treat myself to some paranthas. That is how I ended up settling for the nearest market to our hostel which is Kailash. I went there, got my cell phone recharged, another thing I can strike off the checklist and ordered some paranthas. At that point only one thing crossed my mind if only I could have mom’s handmade paranthas. I got my order and started eating. Just as I was engrossed in them, some advertisement struck my eyes. It was one of those kinds where you take out a printout and you go around the town pasting them on the walls. It read


Salary- 6000-8000


I was stunned. It really shook me. I was so taken aback that I forgot I was having food. How can an MBA even think of doing the job of a receptionist, leave alone the salary. You go to a B-school, pay around half a million Rupees at least and then go through the entire rigor to be an MBA. They teach you operations, marketing, finance, HR, strategy and what not. How a person after learning so much, can even think of being hired as a receptionist? I started thinking, my mind now totally diverted from the fact that I had no food for the last 15 something hours and now a plateful of paranthas lied in front of me and only me. I thought, how can that person who gave that advertisement, think of hiring an MBA for the specific job. Well It didn’t require too much of thinking. It takes no Sherlock Holmes to figure out that we are living and studying in a fractured system. A system which has stuck to the old notion of just getting admission in a college and then go through the motions and one thinks he will end up having a job. This has what led to the dilution of what MBBS, MBA or other educations really meant. Many of us study because we think we don’t have enough education to match how much we want to earn. And we forget the fact that it not the education but the capabilities that matter. We forget that in the real world nobody gives a damn what degree you have, they see what you can do. What results you can deliver. I think the person who gave the advertisement, is aware of the same fact. He knows he might hire an MBA for the job of a receptionist but then that’s all he or she might be capable of. Here I am not questioning our education system, what I am questioning is our mindset, how we approach our life at college. Are we one of those who just go through the motions and are desperately waiting for two years to end, so that they can finally earn something, or are we part of the other breed who approach everyday as to learn something new and make a change in them. Are we the same what we were a year ago or there is a fundamental change in how we think, how we act. These all are questions I think all of us who have this huge burden on their shoulders to be dubbed as nation’s future should ask oneself. What am I here for?


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Vision 2020, really?

For the last few days i have been reading a lot. The exams are over and finally I got time to instil some oxygen in my inactive blog. I was a bit confused about what to write. Lots and lots of things were going through my mind, particularly about India and the global scenario. But before i reach there, there has been a thing that has been bugging me a lot. Recently i happened to watch this documentary Enron: the smartest guys in the room. It was a very intriguing experience and at the end of it I was left a bit numb. The magnitude of the accounting scandal and the way it was executed was shocking. Right from the point where SEC granted Enron the right to use “mark to market” practises in its accounting, to the trial where top executives said that they were unaware of what was going on in the company was too much to digest. The worst thing was that top executives earned hundreds of millions out of it and the hardworking employees lost more than a billion dollar worth of pension funds. It was the biggest bankruptcy ever declared in corporate America and was soon overtaken by the bankruptcy declared by Worldcom, which was recently toppled by Washington mutual’s bankruptcy. Although in the aftermath of the Enron scandal the Sarbanes-Oxley act came into existence. But scandals like Enron continue to occur. It left me in a sense of a bad feeling that soon I will be part of this world, where greed continue to exist and is ever increasing. It’s not only limited to the US, India has also seen its fair share of corporate scandals, Satyam being the name that crops up first in everyone’s mind. Although these have been far smaller and too less in frequency compared to the scale of corruption our government engages in. And this is where my apprehensions start. Last night i was reading this article in ET by Swaminathan Aiyar. The article’s name was “India to overtake China in 2020”. A very well written article I must say and he aptly describes why he believes that. He gave many reasons like China’s mean population age will be on the decline, whereas India will have a large young English speaking population. The export based economy of China will not sustain and will suffer the same fate as Japan suffered in the 90’s. He also gives some of the problems India will face like terrorism will increase; tensions with the red dragon will also increase. Demand for smaller states in India will also increase. Well along with all these he forgot a very pressing problem and maybe the most important one prevalent today, its corruption and the corporate world scandals. It was once widespread only in the government run institutions and India’s corporate elite seemed to be saner compared to their western counterparts. The Tatas, the Birlas had built an impeccable reputation. Although Reliance was always seen as someone taking advantage of the loopholes, but it was not up to the extent it occurred in US. But now with the Satyam scandal, LIC housing scandal and many more getting uncovered, it seems like those days are long gone. And then there were other scandals like the 2G scandal, the CWG scandal, the Karnataka Land scam and many more. It can so easily be said that year 2010 was the year of scandals, one after the other kept coming out. And there is a general feeling that many more skeletons might come out of the closet in the near future. Sensex which was supposed to reach new highs has been showing growth signs but every now and then a new scandal hits killing the investor confidence and the ruining the growth. India has got everything it needs to be the next superpower but along with it, it also has everything which can shatter this dream. The billion dollar question “will India become what it is touted to be?” will always remain until we reach that point in the future where we see it fall or rise up to the occasion and prove it to the world. All said and done the disease of corruption is killing India presently and the world thing is, it has infected the very innermost parts of her and is slowly paralysing its economy. For India to rise we need to kill this disease right of its roots, the corporate world needs to be more sensible and so should be the government and regulatory agencies. The need of the hour is strict laws which curb such occurrences and increase investor confidence as well as win the confidence of the common man. Once my economist teacher told us in the class that in America the least trusted institute used of to be the congress and now it’s the corporate world. I fear India might be moving in a same direction. But one must not forget that India’s growth is a story of private players not waiting for government but doing things on their own and getting success and for India to be a superpower that is the way forward. A very happy new year to all who are reading this and to them also who are not. I hope we all step in the New Year with new hopes, new dreams in our eyes and a new found willpower to fulfil them all.

India to overtake China in 2020: Swaminathan Aiyar-

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Delhi as I saw

There is a very peculiar thing about criticism. It tends to strike our mind pretty fast and sometimes can even have a prolonged effect which can erode our sense of rational judgment. While writing this I kept one simple thing in my mind, I won’t subject my writing to any kind of bias. I would simply narrate things as I saw and would give my honest perspective of the events in the past few weeks. The run up to the Commonwealth Games was very disturbing to the common man. The common man, who honestly pays his taxes, listens to news channels and castes his vote to select a privileged few to run our country was deeply in pain as one after the other frauds unfolded and a serious question mark stayed on whether we would even be able to conduct the games. Adding to this was the media, who constantly focused on what went wrong and why and how. Not that I am blaming they were wrong. They easily justified their role by saying that media as the fourth estate has a big responsibility to protect the interest of the common man by exposing government and bureaucratic failures and scandals. Deadlines lingered on and on. Collapses occurred, budgets increased and many more things I came to know because of the 24*7 news. The government was also baffled and in a bid to save its already tarnished image, it went into emergency mode. Leaving all that aside, there was another picture which I saw with my friends. Thanks to my college giving me a few days off, I got an opportunity to explore what lied beyond Noida sector 37. So I with couple of my friends decided to explore what is really going on in Delhi. Normally one would have preferred to see the grand sports extravaganza, but I decided to take a different course. I landed up in Connaught place, one of the busiest places in Delhi and surely the digging up of which must have hurt the Delhiites most. But to good surprise everything was fixed. Another surprise awaited us at the Baba Kharak Singh Marg. The Incredible India festival was going on. Food stalls from all the country were there. There were handicrafts, paintings and many other pieces of art all together at one place, right in the heart of Delhi. The place was so full of energy with cheerful and laughing people around and there was really a sense of celebration in the air. And how can I forget to mention that free coke, yup chilled cold drink was also being distributed, although it would have certainly cropped up in the comments section. The roads were not so crowded for a change, the pollution was also not there and walking on the sideways was an exercise one could enjoy without having to cough or cover one’s mouth. From there on we headed to be a spectator to Jashn-e-Dilli or more known as Delhi celebrates. From riveting dance performances like mohiniyattam to spectacular music performances, it surely is one of the most beautiful memories I have captured over a period of time. We enjoyed a lot the Commonwealth games, although we saw none of the games. One of my friends even said, it doesn’t feel like Delhi, so much big was the transition. But how can one insulate oneself from media. Although the resounding success of the Indian athletes notching up second highest number of gold medals did bring the smile back on our faces, the games truly belonged to the common man, who volunteered to make it a grand success, who paid taxes to construct the village. It is the common man because of whom metro is possible. Undoubtedly the hero of the Commonwealth games has been the common man, who cheered for each and every athlete irrespectively of which state he or she came from. The medals also proved that sports, which was once restricted to the elite few is now in the hands of the strong Indian middle class from small towns. But India’s success has given fuel to a very disturbing discussion. Is the success of an Indian Athlete an individual’s success or is it really the success of the sports bodies and the government. Leaving that debate aside which in future might be the basis of another one of my writings, I was lucky enough to have enough free time to witness the opening and the closing ceremonies and just watching those two would have silenced any critic who ever doubted India’s ability to accomplish any feat. But all said and done, India finishing second, the games gone without any terrorist attack, the black spot of the corruption and irresponsible handling would never be gone. A friend of mine told me, we are experts at getting things done in the 11th hour, I think this mindset seriously need to change if anything long lasting and concrete has to be achieved. We are getting another chance by getting to host the cricket world cup. Although nothing as compared to the CWG, it is still a good opportunity to show that we have changed and not merely moved on from the CWG debacle.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Still we ask why?

Last weekend i went to Delhi. I was on my way to Deer park to be a part of drum circle. Drum circle is one of the best things that has happened to me in the past two months as part of my life@IWSB. But this article is not about drum circle nor it is about my life at IWSB. Its about Delhi and the commonwealth games. You might say not again, another article to bash our government. But here i want to push it a bit further. I went to Cannaught Place and all i could witness was digged up road, mud and puzzled people. All the glam and beauty of CP was nowhere to be find, or perhaps it was overshadowed by the so called preparations for the Commonwealth Games. I find it really hard to believe that we a nation of more than one billion people can't prepare one city to host an international event. But then where does the problem lies? Oh i know politics, bureaucracy, corruption, greed etc etc. But does that mean we should leave hopes that one day our country will be ahead of the likes of US, UK or China. One day our cities will compete with the likes of New york, Tokyo or Beijing. Should we stop saying we will be a super power. I ask, was it necessary to beautify Delhi on the pretext of games, when all they managed to do is uglify Delhi. It would have been a lot better if we just would have just considered making the stadiums and necessary arrangements for the games. Was it so necessary to dig up CP and all those other places? What effect will this have on the morale of Indian athletes who are participating in the games. Now whatever we do, the world has seen what India is and what is going on. Its a sham what these people are doing in the name of development. They are just accumulating wealth for themselves. Its high time we stand up and say its enough. We as common people do so much of hard work which gets reflected when people say INDIA SHINNING and these people just undo all that. We as a nation had a big opportunity to tell the world who we are and what we are capable of. But now as more and more time passes, i feel it would have been a lot better if that opportunity could have been avoided so that the world doesn't come to know what we really are. I did not write this just to criticise. I think enough criticism has been done. I wrote this so that some people really feel that the need of the hour is not criticism but to rise up to the occasion and take the control of our nation. Its our job to make it a super power, nobody else will do it. No neta or affsar will do it unless we do it or make them do it.
Sometime ago we have a small chat in our class regarding why even small countries are beating my India when it comes to medals in international competitions. I guess the answer lies infront of us and STILL WE ASK WHY?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

IPL Saga: Survival of the richest,is it?

Mr Charles Darvin must have been rolling in his grave if he had a glimpse of the title. Heads have been rolling and many skeletons have been coming out of the closets. The latest one tasting the curry seems to be honourable Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution(phew that one was long) Mr. Sharad Pawar.Although Mr Pawar with his partially disfigured face and completely dysfunctional mind for his ministerial duties (Though 100 percent functional when it comes to amassing Paisa) would have seen this coming long time. This is in no way just to lambaste Mr Pawar. The IPL is getting murkier with everyday passing and would have definitely put some bollywood masala movies to shame when it comes to twists and turns. Well to their defence i am mostly snoring just 30 minutes into the most of the movies.

What started as a well thought thought and a scripted event has turned out to be the most unpredicted one, to the predicament of Lalit modi. Heads had started rolling in the previous year with Kunal dasgupta who was part of the initial ensemble cast of the IPL saga leaving MSM. But like there was a lull before the storm and then all of a sudden it was IPL making more headlines than any other national news. Controversy after controversy appeared with an unperplexed Lalit modi at the centre of it all. Surprisingly IPL has made more headlines than India's recent string of losses at the hands of Zimbabwe. Looks like cricket on the fields stands no chance of competing with the one being played off it.

But there are still so many questions no one can answer, some obvious ones being what would be the fate of Lalit modi, or what about the future of IPL. But one thing for sure, all this has undermined the strong foundations cricket once held in my country and the popular belief rich always get away.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's all in the (Sur)name.

Knowing me many of my friends might be surprised that i wrote this, some might be shocked and many would surely frown upon this post. But i have been waiting for a long time to write this article. Finally the moment came when i was sitting in this office and this guy came to me (Better to keep the details anonymous). He asked me my name, i gave my first name and he asked me for my surname. As i told him my surname, a smile appeared on his face, and he was very happy to know i was a jatt. By this point i also came to know he was jatt too so a new conversation starting about our villages and from where my folks came from. Nothing striking came to my mind at that time, but it was when he left, it came to my mind, would i have been treated the same way if i was not a jatt, or say a dalit or a SC.

India as we all know is a very diverse country in every aspect. Religion is the most sensitive issue here and maybe followed by language conflicts. If we see the conflicts

there are

Hindus vs Muslims, Hindus vs Sikhs, Hindus vs Christians(Down south)

Sikhs vs dalit Sikhs, Hindus vs Dalit hindus, Dalits of one cast vs Dalits of other casts and many more my mind ran out of count.

In the midst of all these, Indian government is trying to resolve differences by introducing caste based bills, enhancing quotas based on castes and encouraging people to know each other's castes (census issue).

We live in such an environment today that caste should have been the least important of issues when we have Maoist terrorism, Pakistan sponsored terrorism, internal security problems(so called hindu terrorism), farmer suicides, famines, floods, illiteracy and many more problems up our sleeves. We have advanced to the 21st century and going towards space age but still the social stigma attached to being a dalit or a muslim still continues.

I have no idea when the caste system was invented, but surely the person or maharishi who did it must have been one hell of a genius. It has stood so much and surely has passed the test of time. Hats off to the person who devised it, its surely more rugged than Dr Stephen hawking's theories or for instance good old woodland shoes.

When i was born i had no idea what sandhu is or for instance what kumar, verma or sharma meant. But last 22 years have been really tough for me learning about the cast system and deciphering it all along my school and college days and still going on.

Once a very learned man said

I am neither a child, a young man, nor an ancient; nor am I of any caste”

I for one know that who helps me is my friend and who doesn't can be a friend in the future.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Is that a Fair Price?

Well the story goes like this. Some time ago, a company acquired some acres of land on the outskirts of our beloved Dilli and decided to build our nation’s future and it did. The land belonged to farmers, some with less than 5 acres of it, and that being their only source of income. The government acquired the land under the Land Act and compensated the farmers and the company provided job assurances that sounded lucrative to the young.

Three years later, I pick a copy of my newspaper and the front page shows the Q1 profits made by the company, the news continues on to the business page. But while I am on my way to the business page, I stumble across another news some pages down the line. It says three farmers commit suicide because of their inability to provide livelihood to their family; and I read on. I searched further and found they are just one of the many farmers whose land was acquired by the same company. It turned out as they had no land, they started looking for alternate means of earning bread. First the company rejected them saying they are not skilled or educated thus not required. Then the money they had was used to setup a local shop which drastically failed and whatever money was left was used over the next two years for food and other essentials. After they ran out of all money, they could see no future and decided to take the dreaded step.

It’s ironical to see the farmer, who first provided us with food and gave his land for our future, die in such a way. Their children are jobless because they also like their father only possessed agricultural skills and couldn’t pursue education because of lack of funds. The sad part is that it’s not the end; the story goes on and on in many parts of our Bharat. Our shinning India is facing perhaps the worst crisis since Independence and it’s being totally ignored. We have frog-jumped our way from being an agricultural economy to emerge as a strong services-based economy, skipping a lot of things that needed to be done and implemented.

They say the night is darkest before the dawn and that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. But what good is that light or that dawn for that person who couldn’t survive to see it.

I have just one question for the rising and shining India: Is this a fair price we need to pay ?

Rustam Singh Sandhu

P.S- Thanks a ton to Vasu who led me into this direction and also helped me by editing this piece for me.