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!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tigers and their prey!

It's a pleasure to read something you always independently believe to be true in a column. I have held the view for this election that nobody has a clue what's going to happen. The congress seems supremely confident, the BJP has a more cautioned confidence and all the regional parties already have their leaders measuring out their PM robes. There's one thing they keep forgetting. i.e. the people. The people of our great nation have become predictable only in one respect - their unpredictability.

What pleasure when you see one of your favourite columnists echo that view. Read the full article here.

I'll just leave you with his last paragraph, as usual a hit out of the park:

Never confuse the Indian voter’s temporary maun vrat with the silence of the lambs. This is the silence of tigers, as they pad noiselessly towards their quarry, shattering the air of the jungle only once, with a roar with the final leap towards the prey. When tigers feed only once in five years, the casualty rate can be terrifying.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Amisha Patel for Prime Minister!

So Amisha Patel is contesting from Rajkot on an NCP ticket.. I say let's make her PM.. I believe she deserves it more than most of the other PM-wannabe's out there.. Plus, there will be the following advantages!

  1. India will by far have the hottest head-of-state in the world. Carla is only first lady. Suck on that Sarkozy!!
  2. She won't be interrupted in the Lok Sabha like all our other PMs.. I'm sure most of those old-timers will happily let her speak for as long as she wishes as they ogle her.
  3. If "Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic" is anything to go by.. I think South Block will be painted pink, yellow and orange. (That place could use a bit of colour)
  4. The greatest gift that all Indians will receive is that due to her busy schedule.. "SHE'LL STOP ACTING"!!!

I say it's the winning combination.

Talivar Amishaji, Vazhuga

Amisha Patel Nethave dheerathyode nayicholu

UPDATE: I already have 6 supporters. Pledge your support by leaving a comment.

  • Sujeet Pillai

  • Amit Jain

  • Piyush Peshwani

  • Venugopal Balasubramanian

  • Rajesh "YES WE CAN" Nambiar

  • Moiz Husain

UPDATE: I have recently been updated by my wife and other TOI gossip experts that Amisha Patel contesting is really a rumour. I'm keeping the campaign going though!

UPDATE: Venu's contribution. You can already see that visionary look in her eye. With due apologies to the original ofcourse:

Monday, March 09, 2009

Let’s get to the point. No BS please

One of my professors from IIT, Bombay once said a line that has stayed with me forever. I continue to utilize that principle in every aspect of my life and I think it is the most powerful line I have ever heard:

Think straight! Don't get messed up, you must think straight!

Essentially, you'll always have a hundred arguments to justify and complicate the arguments for and against in a debate, however you'll be successful in getting to the root only if you think straight. Be objective! Think like everybody, but think like nobody.

M.J. Akbar, one of the few from TOI that I like, is a person who can shoot straight. No airflow induced deviations, no distractions, straight at the eye of the parrot. I just read one of his articles I missed, and found a couple of thought-points that coincided with mine. Thought I'd bring it to your notice. You can read the full article here. Here are some of his strongest excerpts:

Look, you must not confuse the Pakistan issue with the Indian Muslims issue. Their so-called alienation or their economic deprivation is not linked to the issue of Pakistan.
Indian Muslims have nothing to do with Pakistan. They have absolutely no sympathy for Pakistan. They know that Pakistan was the biggest mistake committed in the history of Indian Muslims. They know it. You can ask anyone in Baroda, Bihar or Mumbai. They know how they are suffering the backlash of all the consequences of cross-border terrorism. 

Brilliant! Especially coming from an Indian Muslim himself. Any of you who've been confused and thought Indian muslims and Pakistan had a sort of bonding.. "BULLS*^#@". Don't confuse it with Pakistan. If Indian muslims have problems, that is our problem, that is India's problem, has nothing to do with Pakistan or the concept of Pakistan.

Here's another gem in straight-shooting:

If whoever is responsible for protecting the nation fails, then he or she should not be allowed to continue in power. That is the toughest and sharpest message we can give. You can tell that you may be a soft State, but we are a hard people and we are hard voters.
We are not going to forgive you for your lies and deception and for your waffling. How many blasts do we need to understand that? When Jaipur , Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Delhi happened no one who was genuinely guilty was caught.
We have to understand now that corruption has eaten away vitals of this nation. It is the biggest danger to the security of India. It is not just the case of some spectrum being sold to someone by some minister in. Everyone who is corrupt get out!

It's simple, don't confuse it with Congress-BJP, Shivraj Patil/Vilasrao Deshmukh, A.R. Antulay or what not. You're the govt., terrorists attack several times giving you a warning and then one major attack takes place. You were incapable of stopping them, and have proved your impotence in curing these 'infidels' as well. You don't deserve to be in govt. You have to go!

Lastly, this:

I don't know how many readers smoke hashish and other stuff, but I am accusing them of cross-border terrorism. Drugs come to India from Afghanistan via Karachi.

If you think you never did anything to aid terrorism, read this. All drug use directly funds those responsible for killing our people. Next time you pick up a syringe, joint, pill or snort, remember that you're practically drinking our blood.

I'll end with one of his best lines ever from a different article. It's one of those lines that makes you feel proud to be an Indian, when our country is reeling from almost everything :

On the day that terrorists attacked Sri Lankan cricketers, I had a previously arranged speaking engagement at a university in Delhi before largely Muslim students. I began with the suggestion that every Indian Muslim should offer a special, public prayer of thanks to the Almighty Allah for His extraordinary benevolence - for the mercy He had shown by preventing us from ending up in Pakistan in 1947. The suggestion was received with startled amusement, instinctive applause and a palpable sense of sheer relief.



Thursday, March 05, 2009

Time to pick the help

Ladies and gentlemen, let me give you a quick recap of what has been happening around us in the recent past:

  • The world faces one of the worst economic depressions in history. China has an appalling growth prediction of 8%, so you know it's true. The Free Market Economy is pretty much on its way up there to play cards with its old rival communism. The US and UK are nationalizing banks, trade protectionism is on the rise. And of course the Indian left is saying "Told you so, starving under Stalin was so much better than losing your job to these capitalist bourgeoise morons".
  • The Taliban is a short midnight drive away from our country's borders. You know one of these days a Talib hothead is going to get a little bit too tipsy and decide and declare that Madhuri Dixit is Taliban property and Indians viewing movies of hers is an offence against the entire Islamic world. He's going to jump in his jeep and come to claim her. (I don't expect him to know that she stays in the US nowadays! Shhhh!! Nobody tell him)
  • Terrorists have become more frequent that chaiwallas in our cities' streets. I have a feeling these terrorists really just are trying to find a way out of Pakistan, so they sell their souls to ISI and hope to come over shoot up some folks and blend into our crowd and never go back to Pakistan. I bet they do it for our saas-bahu serials.
  • Personal Freedom guaranteed by the Constitution of India to all citizens of India (and any illegal immigrants) is at grave danger of being forgotten. Biharis driving taxis in Mumbai and Women drinking in pubs at Bangalore have a strange similarity. Absolutely everyone is offended by everything. I'm offended that Hrithik Roshan isn't overweight like me. His six-pack has offended us fat peoples' sentiments for years. It's time he puts on some weight.
  • Our government departments' efficiency, honesty and integrity is very close to the point of no return. I'm pretty confident the whole Provident Fund organizations work can be done by a well written software which would take less than 3 months to develop. Their offices look like a fire hazard with bundles of paper as old as the swinging sixties and people as old as the Tense Thirties lying around. I'm pretty sure they took kharchapaani from their father to give him his pension!
  • Our elephant economy image has eroded. The government has managed to neither implement good schemes for the poor nor make India a better place to do business. "We're pro-poor, so what if we couldn't make the poor any richer, we made the rich poorer didn't we? In a relative world, that's equivalent. We're not going to let rich people in their expensive Tata Nano's drive around our state. We prefer to be jobless than produce such luxury goods."
  • The whole subcontinental region is ready to explode. Lanka is in the deepest strife since Big Daddy Ramachandra went over to whoop some Ravanass, Bangladesh is not quite sure how they had a mutiny, Nepal has a huge Maoist hangover (It's true what the elders say, never mix drinks. Monarchy and Maoism never goes well down or out), Swat has a system of law finally (and it's not too good for the ladies who want to shake a leg), I'm pretty sure Baluchistan already has a national flag, the Tribal provinces bordering Afghanistan are kept busy with their narcotics agriculture and American target practice and then there's Pakistan. I still think Pakistan is the happiest of the lot since they have a very talented clown for their President (Sigh – Only if Sarah Palin had won).
  • Finally, our poor Mother Earth, who had been hoping all this global warming angst would help her out a bit, has no respite for some time now until all these problems humans create with their paper with presidents on them are solved. Cheers, wait a few years and Pune may have its own beach, and we can all go scuba diving to look at the lost city of Bombay.

Pretty historic times don't you think. And I was complaining that I was born in the wrong era, and nothing exciting ever happens any more. Oh, how I wish it were those good old boring times again. 'Ikkare nilkumbol akkare pacha'

Considering all these factors, I believe our future is going to be determined by the choices we make, the choices we make now. Let me say it now and say it aloud:

The next 3 months are going to decide our future once and for all. These general elections are going to be the single most historic, most important elections the republic of India has ever faced. The results of these elections will decide a government. That government will shape the future of India once and for all. It's that defining moment in India's history. Either we define the moment or the moment defines us. There is no looking back. This is the big leagues, this is the world cup, this is the final, this is the board exams, this is IT!

So I implore you to go out there and make your choice, because you will be held to it. An Al-Qaida prisoner once said:

"You claim to be a democracy, and as a democracy, you are responsible for your government's actions. So the government is equivalent to the people in a democracy"

Strange, how you can find truth in the weirdest of places. Let's make our choice, and not the choice of a few, not the choice of 50 odd percent, the choice of a billion people, and when we choose, the world shall watch because our government will decide our future and by relation the future of the world. So vote:

Vote so that people may call Barbers, Barbers in movies

Vote so that Biharis may drive taxis in any part of the republic of India

Vote so that women may drink in pubs

Vote so that Terrorism is prevented and not cured

Vote so that when push comes to shove, Indians have food to eat

Vote so that a poor man may receive his pension on time

Vote so that the poor and the rich may get richer

Vote so that we may watch Madhuriji's movies forever

Vote so that we may multiply our Olympian medal winners

Vote so that Puneites have to drive 3 hours for a beach

Vote so that Hrithik may remain the 'Ken' figure that he is

Vote so that fishermen may go out to sea without fearing their throats being cut

Vote so that I may have a coffee with my grandson at the Taj in Mumbai look at the Gateway of India and tell him:

"Jab jab desh par vinaash, asatya aur aneeti ka parinda mandraaya hai,

Tab tab ek junoon humaare desh ki janta mein punarjanamit hua hai,

Hum jo bhi hai humaari janta hai,

Aur hum jo bhi nahi hai humaari junta hi hai"


Monday, March 02, 2009

F*** Satyam – Check out the honourable Government of India

Business Standard is reporting a story how Rs. 51,000 crores of public money has gone into NGO/other independent bodies where the CAG (Comptroller Auditor General – India's Auditor) has no way to track what happened to that money. Read the full story here. Here's an excerpt:

The revelation by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) that the government has been overstating the spending on its flagship programmes and other schemes meant for the welfare of the aam aadmi (common man) is distressing, but not a surprise. The report, released two weeks ago, said that funds worth over Rs 51,000 crore allocated for these programmes in 2007-08 were actually transferred to the bank accounts of non-government organisations (NGOs), autonomous bodies and district authorities. The government was apparently clueless as to how these funds were actually used, as the accounts of these agencies were not subjected to any official checks. It was not surprising, therefore, as pointed out by the CAG, that these funds either remained unspent or were diverted to other, usually unspecified, purposes, thereby depriving the intended beneficiaries, mostly the poor. 

51K crores is grossly 15% of all Direct Tax collections in India in a year. Yet our govt. has the gall to increase our income taxes in the name of education cess and poor b@#&$%%$ like me gladly pay up thinking my countrymen are getting a better education. Well maybe they are, the kids of some rich netas are probably going to B-schools in the US on my money. These schemes are probably used to better the conditions of some impoverished politicians, after all the hard work he did, he definitely deserves that new Audi – Poor fellow. Ugh!!

P.S. – I apologize for my language, I was just that disgusted reading this article.

Another WTF - Congress counts 8 Oscars as part of UPA `achievements'

I might be a week late on this but this is awesome. Read the story here. Here's an excerpt.

Keen to be part of the euphoric `Slumdog' bandwagon, Congress has counted the eight Oscars as part of the UPA's `achievements'. The party lost no time in claiming credit for the `Indian triumph' and hinted that good times had come with the UPA government. 

Well they're right, Slumdog Millionaire's story would've lost the charm without all the poverty, dirt and squalor from which the beacon of hope emerges from. Who else is responsible for all that other than years and years of Congress rule!