Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Human Intelligence or Dumb Aggregation

Well, I've been looking all along for my perfect news source. I tried TOI's website, decided against it because of all the sleaze and modeling ads (Neelima, 20, Delhi, Mamta, 18, Mumbai. Reminds me of another category of websites I visited... I mean my friends visited back in College..). Next I moved my main news source to ibnlive. CNN-IBN I thought would be a reliable source since CNN is quite good at reporting (atleast I think so, I'm not sure if my American friends agree), but CNN-IBN turned out to be a disaster. Firstly, they were highly biased during the elections and was too sensationalist. Never once did they try to really report on facts and real issues. Timesnow was a definite no-no because their chief editor is an self-righteous, opinionated ass who couldn't understand what good journalism was if it kicked him in the head! Overall, here are the problems I had with the mainstream news sources:
  • They tracked too few stories. They always had only 6-8 stories and kept getting reactions, opinions, SMS polls and controversies around these same stories. I liked reading my newspapers because they were a good mix of different stories. I still get TOI at home, but that's mainly because my wife likes their dirt the best!
  • Absolutely everything is Breaking news. Leander Paes comes back to India; Rahul Gandhi itches nose; Dhoni didn't smile at Sehwag; Aliens are stealing our cattle and amazingly yesterday "An English poodle gets stuck in a drainpipe in the UK"! Need I say more.
  • There were more opinions expressed than facts reported. Overall, I began to get very confused as to what was really said by people and what these 'eminent' editors in chief interpreted. Everyone from Nitish Kumar to A.R. Rahman is misquoted and blown out of proportion. Barkha Dutt, someone I had a tremendous amount of respect for at one point has turned into a tabloid journalist! She's now trying to grow controversy where there is none. (Might I add that she's still miles better than that other editor-in-chief I mentioned above) Whatever happened to "Just the facts"! Nothing more. Nothing less
  • There is a very prominent bias amongst these TV channels, reporting some news repeatedly and shutting out others completely.The Teesta Seetalvad fabrication as reported in the Judicial Inquiry report. Why hide such a thing? Nobody reported it when Pramod Muthalik apologized for the Mangalore incident - I heard some logic that that would have made him look more benign in the public eyes! Frankly, that's insulting my intelligence. I want to know all the facts. I'll make my own decisions, thank you very much!
That's why I settled on my latest news source. Dumb Aggregation rather than Human 'Editorial' Intelligence picking out what I should hear. Google News Zindabad! Now I get varied news (Keep clicking 'More' and you keep getting more unique stories) aggregated from different sources (including some I mention above). So nobody can prefilter my news. It's highly unlikely that absolutely no sources of google report on a newsworthy item. Plus gives me newer sources that I've never heard off before! And what's the best? I have no intrusive ads!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


So I've really gotten into microblogging on twitter. I realize that there's a lot of stuff that can be said in 140 characters that can't be easily done in 150! My handle is @sujeetpillai and I promise you my tweets aren't just "going to work", "good night" and "good morning".

So got some Edge on my Windows mobile S710 and tried out this client called Twikini. Tried out other clients first but all of them were too minimalistic or too slow for my liking. Twikini is cool, gives u just the amount of freedom you need to interact with twitter. You can follow new users,
unfollow old ones (that's for the celebs, when you've had enough of "going to the gym", "in the makeup chair", etc.) and what I love about it is its twitpic integration.

How many times have you seen something funny, infuriating, strange or outright scary and thought, let's take a pic and email it to our friends. But the pic remains on your phone and that email never goes out.. Twikini with it's twitpic integration is just the right thing for that. Take the photograph on your phone, from within Twikini and it automatically uploads it to Twitpic and posts the link in your tweet! It's awesome.. Try it out yourself if you have a WM phone. Here's the link to download it:

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Arrrrrrrgh! Get off our cricket team's backs

You english media dimwits - You made a total mockery of election debates, we bore it. You made the 26/11 attack seem to be a bloody soap opera, we bore it. But if you think for one second that you will use your imbecilic reality show sensationalist attitudes against the Indian Cricket Team and we'll stand by and listen, you have another think coming. Take a look at this article.
Not that I'm against the reporting a rift in the cricket team, but the self-righteous, 'we-believe-our-mole-more-than-MSD-and-the-Indian-Cricket-team' tone that has been used in this and other articles about this silly rift (if there even is one) in the team makes (to use a cliche) my blood boil.
For the first time since I've been born, we have a winning cricket team who's confident. For the first time we're favourites in a World Cup and our english media is acting as if they've been paid by the Rest of the World to break our team's morale and spirit.
I don't wish to make any comparisons to former captains, but I believe MSD's modesty and down to earth attitude will make him one of the greatest captains that Indian Cricket has ever had before he's ready to retire. Hence, I understand and totally support his behaviour yesterday. The english media somehow believe that everyone is answerable to whatever nonsense they serve and somehow they are beyond all reproach. Note the line below brimming contempt when Gary Kirsten gave them some criticism:
He even chose the occasion to preach the virtues and
needs of responsible reporting
Additionally they keep plugging the term "Indian People" in every sentence as if they actually believe that they are the collective consciousness of the population of India. Utter nonsense. The last line is the one that takes the cake:

And they want the media to believe that.

My response to that: I don't f@^&ing care what you believe or don't believe. Just leave our team the F&#* alone. We believe that they know how to manage and play their game better than you guys know how to do your own f#*@ing jobs! Or else!! I'll start watching India TV (Kya aapko pata hai ki aliens aapke gaay bhains chura rahe hai?)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Newspaper Cheese

Is it just me or are newspapers and news portals trying to come up pithy headlines for their stories and end up with very cheesy results. I'm guessing the elections have somehow opened all eyes towards India's youth and the news channels and portals are trying to fit their headlines to the youth's ways of thinking and is turning out to be a disaster. Guess you just can't teach an old horse new tricks. News companies still having self-righteous, pompous screamers for editors just can't seem to cater to the youth in terms of news headlines atleast. I'm guessing that's why people are turning more to online aggregated sources to keep out the news companies inherent biases and prejudices. Some examples of these lines:
  1. MS office installed, UPA 2.0 begins operations - Yuck!!
  2. Singh is king! - God haven't they used that like a 100 times already?
  3. Leno set to say 'No Tonight anymore' on the show - What the hell does that even mean?
  4. Wind beneath their feet - Guess what this is about
Of late I've had a few comments to make about how the news media especially the English media in India is going about their work. Probably will do a few posts on that soon.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It’s irrational .. but that’s us

Indians are an irrational bunch. We are so emotionally attached to things that people in other countries consider trivial.


The monsoons always evoke serotonin in even the most depressed Indian. That first rain brings some sort of weird hope/relief/excitement amongst us. I'm sure even Ram Jethmalani (He's probably the most depressed/depressing man I can think of in India) looks forward to the first rain! It's always been related to good rainfall giving good crops and a plentiful harvest, but most of us have long divorced the agrarian profession yet somehow the love for rain remained in our genes. The funny thing is that in the west rain is usually a spoilsport. People are depressed seeing rain, for them somehow sunshine is what brings cheer. Even in Hollywood, you'll always see the most depressing scenes associated with rainfall. In the west, you plan around the rain, watch those stupid weather channels, see if they predict rain and plan your day accordingly. India however is not challenged (There are rare exceptional days in Mumbai) by the prospect of rainfall in the disposal of their daily duties. Just pick up your lungi and walk around, through or over it. Somehow I believe a lot of bachelors dream of their honeymoons as being stuck in a cave with their new brides with torrential rainfall outside! It's irrational, but that's us – We love the rain! (As long as it spares our cricket matches)


Food never has been only a nutritional activity for us. How attached we are to our food is evident in the hours of hardwork we put into cooking our food. TV Dinners have never been and will never be a success in India. Even those who are most pressed for time will sacrifice sleep to cook himself a good meal rather than grab a TV dinner. Bad food is bad mood! And we need lots of it.. Don't decorate a plate with some green goo and a couple of cucumbers and call it French cuisine and charge us $200 for it. We'll pay you $210 for a healthy plate of rice, sambar, curd and pickles or a healthy helping of Dhoklas and amazing green Chutneys or freshly fried Pyaaz ki Kachodis or Spicy fried fish with boiled tapioca and crushed chillies or wholesome Aloo Parathas! We love different things in India, but we love it with the same vigour evenly across the country. If you want me to cut on my food to go to size Zero, I'd rather be size 6.. Don't you come close to my plate! Our attachment to food was well portrayed by a practice in the Mangalore area. Brahmins who have always been known to feast every day had this unusual custom of reciting the seven names of the Yamraj and keeping 3 morsels of food to the side before they began their meal. Their logic was that they wanted to please the Yamraj so that he would not take them away before the meal was over. So they're reconciled with death, but even at the time of the inevitable, they tend to ensure that they are not taken on a half-filled stomach. It's irrational – the west may call it gluttony.. But that's us!


Spirituality comes naturally to us. We may not exactly be the epitome of religiousness – no mass every Sunday.. maybe a temple/gurdwara now and then, but nobody can ever disassociate us from our base belief of somebody watching us. I bet even Prakash Karat at times of distress (like now!) looks heavenwards, hoping for a miracle. Some of us wear it on our necks, some on our tattoos, some in our wallets and some on our walls. But in India God is everywhere. He's the one that gets those 11 rupees when India needs 6 runs of the last over, or we need 12 marks to pass or to ensure that Shaalu doesn't look as ravishing as you do today and hence Akash will ask you out instead. He's the guy you think of albeit for a second when you start off a huge initiative in your life. He's the one even Sachin Tendulkar who's been blessed with more runs than other people have hair, looks to when the scoreboard gets to 94. We never doubt our confidence in our abilities, but never forget to ascribe our success to his benevolence. It's irrational .. But Inshallah, by god's grace, bhagwaan ke kripa se we've got him with us.. But that's us!

(For all the feminists, please replace all the masculine references to God with feminine references before reading. Don't blame me, Hollywood and Bollywood gave me the perception that God looks like Morgan Freeman, Amitabh Bachhan or Rishi Kapoor.)

Indianize everything

There's something that the Pramod Muthalik types will never get; that we're as much an influence on other countries cultures as much as they are on ours. Where else in the world would McDonalds separate out Veg and Non-Veg cooking areas and Kentucky Fried CHICKEN have a vegetarian menu. Bring in the Butter Chicken Pizzas, the Aloo tikki burgers, Schezwan dosas and don't even get me started on the Indian Chinese food. By far our youth listens to more A.R. Rahman than they do to Britney, Westlife et al. No matter how much the west may call our movies silly, we still are dedicated to it. A movie isn't a movie without a few songs, an item number, a fight sequence and the guy getting the girl in the end. Our Saas bahu serials still worked until the IPL began. The biggest evidence of this effect we have on the world can be seen in some so-called desi clubs in the US/UK/other rich countries that have H1B programs! As long as the DJ plays English music all the desi guys and girls have this strange 'cool' ritual of dancing without moving much of their body. Turn on the "Rang Barse", " Tunak Tunak Tun", "Dhagaala Lagli", "Aa Ante" or "Appudi Pode" and every desi guy and girl (even some non-desis) have their Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra, Andhra and Tamil Naad uprooted from within them and in full flourish on the dance floor. It's irrational – You non-desis may call us crazy.. But that's us!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A new blog

Well. I realized that my regular readers might get bored with my political posts and hence decided to move that to this blog. Black Camel’s lair will only feature regular posts like before the 2009 General Elections began.

This new blog will essentially be the spewing point for all of my thoughts on right-wing politics in India. I’m hoping to present my thoughts on the ideological basis behind right-wing line of reasoning. The purpose is to explain to my readers that while right-wing ideology may be complex and not as easy to understand, it stands far superior and far more akin to the thinking we need to bring about change for the better in India.

The right's rights and why the right's right!

Hope y’all will enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Political Clouds

I came across this interesting concept at the An Unquiet Mind Blog. Just wanted to replicate some of that and include the BJP manifesto. Due acknowledgement to Mahendra for this idea. Below are word clouds representing the BJP and INC manifestos. The only words removed are "Indian National Congress", "BJP" and "Bharatiya Janata Party"

The BJP Cloud

The INC Cloud

Mahendra's idea has unleashed a monster. I realized that Wordle could also do RSS feeds. So I took google's RSS news feeds on both the BJP and the INC and created word clouds on what the news was talking about them currently.. Some interesting notes:

  1. Advani is bigger than Manmohan in the INC cloud. Lalu is even bigger than Advani.
  2. Surprisingly neither "Gandhi" or "Rahul/Sonia/Priyanka" figure much prominently
  3. The word "hindu" features in equal prominence in both clouds.
  4. The word 'infrastructure' features quite prominently on the BJP cloud, but not at all on the Congress cloud
Here are the clouds:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The National Game of India – Politics!

I've been pondering this idea recently of an anti-model code of conduct for all politicians close to the elections. The EC has got it all wrong. It should be the other way around. About 2 months before the elections, the candidates should get a license to SAY anything they want and get away with it. It will save the EC a lot of work.

This doesn't seem feasible, hence do something yourself. Just assume that the politicians mean almost none of the crap that they've been saying and look at the events and statements again. Anyway nothing that politicians say during election time anyway is adhered to. A beautiful fictional world of drama and one-upmanship will reveal itself that rivals the best director's efforts in bollywood. Truly an amazing replacement until this stupid film folk/multiplex strike finishes. Here are a few episodes:


  1. Varun Gandhi makes/allegedly makes a hate speech.
    1. BJP: Damn it! Now what do we do.. let's disassociate with that speech material
    2. Congress: HAHAHAHA! Now let's drive the stake in.. Let's keep referring to Varun Gandhi everywhere and portray the communal side of the NDA
  2. Varun Gandhi files appeal
    1. BJP: Crap.. it's getting worse, they're throwing the kitchen sink at him. Claim the CD is doctored.. some sort of damage control.. What can we do? Hmmmmm..
    2. Congress/RJD/LJP: Push it.. This is where we get our muslim votes.. Let's send rollers, Priyanka, Rahul, the Geeta, etc.. everything at him
  3. Varun Gandhi cancels appeal and gets arrested with much fanfare in Pilhibit
    1. Congress: Damn it!! Those wily b******s turned it around. Now the locals there will see him as a hero/martyr and he gets a lot of sympathy. God Damn it.. why didn't we think of this.
    2. BJP: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Two can play at this political game! Now everything you say in this matter will only help us!! Go Varun Go!! Now he comes out in a week or so on bail, and sweeps the local elections and this hate speech will be long forgotten.
    3. Mayawati: Hmm… Here's where I can get some of my Muslim votes. Bring out my NSA arrow.. Point and shoot…
  4. Varun Gandhi has NSA slapped on
    1. BJP: Crap!! The NSA may keep in jail longer and may spoil our election. Damn it.. Why didn't we think of this. Damn you behenji.
    2. Congress: Crap!! The NSA is a bit harsh isn't it.. But we can't say that out loud, it'll be as if we're taking Varun's side.. Damn Mayawati has put us in a fix!! Let's just shut the hell up on this. If anyone asks… BJP and Mayawati have a secret pact and it's an elaborate game played by both
    3. Maywati: HEHEHEHEHE!! That threw them off balance.. But crap.. if the SC throws out NSA, I'll get slapped..Did I do that right?
  5. And the story continues..
    1. Mayawati might have been better off if she hadn't slapped NSA, especially if the SC throws it out
    2. The Congress/RJD/LJP would have given less prominence to Varun Gandhi if they had condemned it and not brought it up everwhere. Now everyone in the country knows who Varun is.
    3. The BJP would have been better off if Varun hadn' t made that stupid speech in the first place

On Shoes, Tytler and Sikhs

  1. Jagdish Tytler gets clean chit from CBI
    1. Congress: Lets give Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar tickets, why don't we have the CBI issue a clean chit before they file, that way they won't have the 1984 riots on their heads while campaigning.
    2. BJP: What? Clean chit, 20 days before the election.. Even Lalu isn't that stupid. Nobody will even care if the clean chit is true or not.. the timing is horrible.. Let's bring this up in every show. The mainstream media will play it down, but we have to bring it up.
  2. Jarnail Singh throws a shoe at Chidambaram (Shoe misses)
    1. BJP: Hahahaha.. Some Sikh threw a shoe at Chiddu.. Call up the Akali Dal.. Make them offer him something.. Bring Sikh anger to the forefront.. Call that journalist a hero.
    2. Congress: Shit.. somebody threw a shoe.. And you know what the bigger problem is.. That journalist apologized already and everyone is saying he's a nice clean character. Damn it.. If it was someone with a NDA leaning and the shoe had actually hit it would have been better. We could have called it politically motivated and blamed BJP for doing cheap politics. The crappy part is this journalist is too clean to pin anything political on him. If we do anything of the sort, they'll come and kill us on that
  3. Congress withdraws Tytler and Kumar's tickets
    1. BJP: HAHAHAHA! If they think it's over they have another think coming. They've brought up the Gujarat riots way too many times.. This is the first election after 1984 that the 1984 riots is going to become a major issue on.. Push guys Push.. If anyone says communal, tell them about 1984!!
    2. Congress: Damn it, we had to withdraw their tickets and now ppl are asking if the CBI report was not manipulated why did we not stick with the same candidates.. What a load of crap we're in. Whose brilliant idea was this CBI crap anyway?
  4. And the story continues..
    1. The congress could've had it's pie and eaten it too if they'd just quietly fielded Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar. Nobody would've cared much. Their attempt to give them a clean chit before the polls just came back and bit them in the butt!!

On Amma, Karuna and Lanka

  1. Amma makes a grand coalition in TN
    1. Amma: heheeh.. This time I'm going to kill Karuna!! Last time he wiped me out.. This time he's going down!! And I'm definitely in the government at the center. I'll just go with whoever is in the majority, a simple two way bet guaranteed to win..
    2. Karuna: Damn it! Amma's got some ppl on her side this time.. Stupid PMK also ran away after all we've done for them… We might get killed this time.. What do we do, what do we do?
  2. Amma hunger strikes for SL Tamils
    1. Amma: Hehehe.. I get the tamil sympathy vote.. I was the first to do it, so I get it. If Karuna does anything now I just go and say that he really doesn't care and is just faking it. Moreover if he fasts for a day, he'll die!!
    2. Karuna: Damn it! She's getting more powerful everyday.. I need to come up with a response soon.
  3. Vaikko says Prabhakaran's blood wil cause a bloodbath here:
    1. Amma: Damn that stupid man.. Why did I coalesce with him? Well doesn't really matter he was in both NDA and the UPA and said all of this at that time too.. Which central party can ask me about him.. I'll just put it back on them. I'm too good.
    2. Karuna: Damn it.. Amma did it for the Tamil Civilians, Vaikko will also get that few LTTE sympathizers.. I'm in deep shit.. I better make a statement soon.
  4. Karuna says LTTE chief is his friend
    1. Amma: Damn it.. He said it too.. What happens if he gets some seats.. If the seats are split, my chances with the congress are less, because they'd have to dump DMK to get me and hence it would give them only a small gain.. I won't be able to play Kingmaker. What do I do? I know.. I'll taunt the Congress and Sonia.. If my taunts can get them to publicly dump the DMK, I'll have both the UPA and NDA options open and might get some extra votes here too.. Yup.. "HOW CAN SONIA, THE WIDOW OF RAJIV REMAIN SILENT"… "The Congress party must answer on its ally's position"… The BJP will anyway kill them for this unknowingly helping my cause to open a UPA window for me. God damn it I'm too smart for this polity
    2. Karuna: Shit.. Amma has begun to attack the Congress over me.. If I'm going to lose a few seats this election, my only hope of govt. is remaining with UPA.. After the Ram Setu stupid questions the NDA will never go with me. The UPA don't want to lose me since I'm pretty much the last of their allies. I need some damage control.. Here goes "We can never forgive the LTTE for Rajiv Gandhi's assassination" ..Damn it.. Hope that does it..
  5. And the story continues.
    1. If Karuna had not remained so silent for so long, he would be much better off. Too little, too late is more dangerous than nothing at all
    2. The BJP unknowingly is attacking the Congress by hoping that they'll drop the DMK the last of their allies, but that opens the door for Amma's alliance with the UPA.. Something the BJP doesn't know about. Game theory is a bitch isn't it.!!


DISCLAIMER: I realize that in this article it may seem as I have trivialized real painful issues to people like the 1984 riots and the Tamil civilians issue. My intent is not to do so. I understand how painful these issues are, I am only attempting to utilize these issues as political statements in the shallow manner that they do. I sincerely apologize if I have hurt any sentiments.



Thursday, April 09, 2009

More on Amisha Patel for PM

Well, I've got some good feedback on my Amisha Patel for PM Post. In a recent debate with a friend, I realized that Amishaji (All the PM candidates have that suffix) should not fight from the NCP but form her own party.

Name: Secular All India Brainless,Asinine Bimbos Association (SAIBABA - We're Secular)

Prime Ministerial Candidate: Amisha Patel (Right now we believe only Amishaji has the statesman like character to be PM)
Party President: Celina Jaitley
Other party members:

  • Riya Sen

  • The entire female cast of all MTV "Reality" Shows (Roadies, Splitsvilla, GTalk)

  • Karan Johar

Party agenda: To make India a more silicone implanted, Botox laden beauty, but reduce the average IQ by several points. This IQ has never been good for us. We don't have any, look where it got us?

Campaign Strategy: Get a mudpit and get two Roadies contenders and make them have a catfight, should attract enough voters. Celina Jaitley/Riya Sen could wow them with their Hindi spoken in English.

Campaign Symbol:

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Alternate Polling form

I realized that the link that I sent out was limited to 100 responses. If you were not allowed to respond to that poll, please use the polls below. I will eventually combine both the results and post a combined results workbook on this page. I know it's a bit ugly, but that's the best I can do now!
Also please note that these two questions are separate polls now. Please choose your preference and click on vote on both polls one at a time.

Lok Sabha 2009 - Take the Survey

So, I wanted to get a feel of what the online Indian Voter was thinking. I designed a small survey for the same. Please fill out this survey. Should take only 2 minutes.

Please feel free to send the link to all your Indian friends! Not being racist, just trying to get some accuracy on the dataset. At last a chain mail that does make to send forward. But I can't promise you luck if you send within 5 minutes, only some good data, which I'll publish here on a weekly basis.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Another Sad Day!

Slashdot has a link to a story that talks of the UN Human Rights Council holding a vote on a law to introduce a law into the member states to enforce the restriction of defamatory statements being made against religions. This law was proposed by Pakistan (Ah! The last remaining bastion of freedom and human rights in this world) on behalf of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Countries) and essentially makes Islam (and other religions) beyond criticism. It will now be illegal to criticize a religion or it's practices in the member states of the United Nations. So much for free speech huh.. You can just fling that out the window.

The vote won 23-11 in the house and had 13 abstentions. India, the glorious democracy and freedom advocate that it is, did not vote for the legislation, however it did not vote against it either. India abstained from voting with a few other strong democracies essentially allowing to pass in the house.

I do realize that the United Nations is now just as comparable to the League of Nations with more lip service than actual action or a voice of it's own, but I believe this vote is symbolic. Our nation, did not vote for the motion, but did not have the gall to go against such a vote and fight for freedom, but chose to do what it did with the resolution on the formation of Israel. Abstain!

If a lot of our rebels and fighters for freedom of speech, expression and self determination were buried in coffins, they'd be shifting uneasily right now!!

You can read the whole story here. FYI.. if you see a BJP ad on the page it's not my attempt to plant BJP propaganda, it's just google adsense doing it since looks like the BJP bought up all the ads on the net!