Category Archives: Politics

India vs China = Tortoise vs Hare ? – Is the fable an allusion or a force-fit ?

Superpower?: The Amazing Race Between China's Hare and India's TortoiseSuperpower?: The Amazing Race Between China’s Hare and India’s Tortoise by Raghav Bahl

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book takes off in a diplomatic way. I found this very tactical if there is a neutral reviewer reading it ūüôā

But in a ghostly running-background of the race between the hare and the tortoise (allusions here are taken to “Little Prince” levels), the author goes onto surgically lay down the argument for the Indian economy. To sustain the diplomacy in spirit, there are instances of substantially repetitive disclaimers that the likelihood still remains of China re-defining the eco text books

All in all , a delightful read. Besides the obviously apparent economics and GDP-growth based theories, there is a 360 degree analysis taking into account histories of the nations, the socio-eco-political decision making over the years, etc.

My only disappointment (probably due to my own cynicism/ insecurity regarding the flawless hope that the author creates for the Indian economy) is that the theories after a few chapters look nitpicky. In a few episodes in between, there is this overwhelming feeling that the author is pitting the need to be objective against a patriotic bias. Thus, this sentiment leading to the odd splurge of examples which have been cherry-picked to show the Indian economy can win the race. But again, thankfully this observed act is definitely not overdone and even the tiny stardust I might be noticing is perhaps , again just me playing the devil’s advocate.

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*The Metro -Kolkatan epic* Episode 1: Progressive Primacy

And so I took, just for the sake of blogging-inspiration, the metro a couple of days ago.

I should be killed for digressing but this is worth mentioning. While I had to go from Joka to Tollygunj station to catch the metro, I realised that the cab charges for this goes anywhere between Rs.100 to Rs.150/- A strategic comparison with the sharing-auto fares (Rs.12/- to Shaker Bazaar and another Rs.9/- to tolly gunj in a different auto) gave me a opportunity cost oriented  contingency margin of around Rs.100/-  (ha ha ! I should cut this mgmt. mumbo jumbo :p)

Anyway thats not the gist of it. The auto chap and the middle aged bald gentleman sharing the auto with me were discussing about the communist rule in West Bengal, how a direct authoritarian goverment rule is curbing progress et al.

Then at the metro, there were more¬† middle aged bald gentlemen (Lots of them in India ! Its almost like an axiom that the middle aged working proletariat gentleman is bald, has a paunch and flaunts a face in a metro as if someone just kicked him in the nuts !!¬† ūüė¶ ) They were discussing the same. In a half-english , half-bengali combo of verbatim !!!

These gentlemen are no doubt Intellectuals , well-informed, and socially aware.In spite of being  smelling-of-coffee, jelly-bellied, frown faced, and frustrated uncles thinking they could still steal the occasional stare at the big breasted yound lady stading next to them, with a faint hope that she might give them perhaps a lustful second look)

And so I decided to join in. I guess my credibility commenced with my opening statement that I am from an IIM . Well ! Thank the media, word-of-mouth social groups, controversies, the proverbial 1 crore placement every year ūüėČ …that the brand strength of an IIM is still intact in educated minds, though not in the job market … lol !

I had to beg beyond the limits of¬† my “wrongly-supposedly-perceived to be intellectual” brain , for them to talk only in English.

One “i think” Marwari gentleman went off like .. “Because of lazy attitutde of bengalis and the non-progresive communist rule, the state is backward. The bueracratic chaps in the state are lazier, drink more, smoke more, gossip more, sleep more, shave less, perhaps scratch their bellies more , and SHAG more”¬† (how the f**k does he know ? :O¬† Anyway yes ! the word was used !!!)

By then we were at Chandni Chowk station! The Bong guy\’s stop. He said something whose duration and related expressions matched¬† Dharmendra’s “Main tera Khooon pee jaoonga”. Also, whose intention was apaprently like Arnold’s”I will be back” ! And I was getting excited to having been witness to a fight after a long time.And just when things were hating up, the belly-scratching Bengali went away.¬† Curse the immoral me\’s bad luck !

[Point to ponder: Like that episode in HIMYM where you suddenly start noticing people\’s mannerism\’s more, I saw that all Bengali looking people were periodically scratching bellies! Shit … its so yucky !!]

At MG.Road station, the Maru man was still there lecturing away on the backwardness of Bengal. And then came a 30-something Professor, a guy who was an exact replica of Sendhill RamaMurthy (the Mohinder Suresh¬† of the Heroes series) He was an urban Delhi-ite, the \”thought of to be cool people\” of India. And now the state-directed criticism was set to go ultimatum level.But this chap surprised me …he was unexpectedly not so anti-

The Maru gentleman was staring away to glory at the young girls who just boarded the train I guess to go back home from their colleges in College Street. He took a break from his eye-candy-seeing to butt in an occasional line about the communist rule, about the supposedly sweet-eating Bengali lazy folks, about the unethical rigging of polls in the state to ensure communist rule, about the use of excessive oil in food leading to excessive farting (he actually used the word \”Bengali farting\” :O …talk of being super-rude) , of the omnipotent stench of fish ,etc.,

We were reaching Dum Dum, the last stop . I was almost brain washed by our destroyer\’s speech. Then the Professor said suddenly, “We all criticise them … but say we are in delhi or mumbai or hyderabad or bangalore etc., can we enter an elite pub on a weekend for a Rs.700/- cover charge, drink imported drinks, dance away/ just sit watching the huge plasma screen TV at the lounge till 6 in the morning anywhere else in India other than Kolkata …!¬† Is there any other place where money is not as much¬† an incentive ….¬† and hence, there is no cut throat rat race and thus, more peace\”

I guess it does have its advantages.¬† The whole Bengal argumentation …. and that being a direct result of mentioning of one Indian pro-middle class concept,¬† low price!!!

Metro-Kolkatan epic: Pilot episode

For many days I wanted to travel in the metro the one in Kolkata. But never did it in 2 years. Thanks to the consistently persistent nagging of my fellow-con-man Mr.Mike Talman aka Chirag Desai ūüėõ , I mustered the audacity to defy my motion-sickness and travel by the metro …

And then there had been no looking back and the adventures began ,,,, So it begins the “metro” – kolkatan epic ūüôā , a saga of bufoonery, randomness and Bongland

[the (mis)adventures take off from next post…]

The political mis-connections

Seen in the morning news:

Modi blames UPA on global meltdown

(The meltdown refers to the financial crisis in the world today) Can’t understand how some politicians can make such statements with no real connection at all…

Compared to their senseless statements, the dialogues in Mithunda’s Gunda or Balakrishna’s Palanati Brahma Naidu actually sound normal ūüėõ

Anyway I think if such political nonsense goes on, someday, the papers will show the following kind of news too …

Laloo blames his own ruling UPA coalition for restrictions on Railway ministry thus leading to global warming and ozone layer depletion

What is the connection ? Ask the politicos !! ūüėČ ūüôā
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of the political phoonked bleached iriver

ANNOUNCEMENTS¬†ūüėČ ¬†

  1. This post is a light hearted filler.
  2. The next post presents a VIDEO TAPED interview on the ethics and unethics of heavy metal music.
  3. Then, the ¬†one after that is¬† one heavy psychological thriller of a story …again !!!

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Of actors and political forays: (with reference to Aniket‘s comment in the¬† previous post, please refer to the following links if you are interested in groupism-based poltugiri)

Tamil nadu Politics: Where regionalism, linguistic barriers etc., are established as powerful political strategy   (dont miss the MGR thing as mentioned in the last post )

NTR and the TDP : Again mentioned in the last post where film actors and their historinics laden aura contributes  in political campaigns

Amitabh Bacchan : A record margin first time in the history of Lok Sabha polls

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Phoonk is The Exorcist + Tulasidalam ( an old Telugu novel) + RGV style mumbo-jumbo !! Not great at all …First half would scare some 8-yr olds.RGV’s idea about scaring audience means creating loud sounds whenever the camera shows a¬† laughing buddha idol or a giraffe-toy or a monkey-doll !¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† The Second half¬† made me want to puke in my pop-corn (and yeah ! Venni almost beat me up for making the pre-puke face ! ūüėź )

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The awesome finds

For all the Bleach fans and/or for all the 300¬†fans, here’s a tribute …enjoy!!!

Wait !! If you are talking Bleach , how can you leave behind the one ‘n’ only Zaraki Kenpachi ūüėČ … so for the most popular warrior in anime history , a tribute …

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The iriver model (the girl advertising the iriver) is hotter¬† than the ipod model (wait!! Ipod doesnt even have a girl model as far i know¬†!) And guess what! I chose to buy an iriver over an Ipod at Singapore ..talk of irrelevant hotbabe-correlated instinct ..muhahahah !! ūüėČ

Of Megastar, Poltugiri and Daddy-talks

Dad had always been a mega fan of the mega star ūüėõ Though I could never really make out if its because of the caste-feeling or because of chiru’s magnificent career in acting !! ūüėź

I personally believedthat Chiranjeevi (always been my favourite telugu actor for the last 2o years) should have got into politics after the movie, Tagore¬† was released (A remake of the tamil movie Ramana) That was a period when his popularity was at its zenith …following¬† platinum movies like Indra and Tagore

Anyway as you would find me mentioning this, rather out-context, its because I somehow feel that his charisma in public perception has waned. But then, seems it didn’t …judging by the notorious anarchial activities his fans are doing … like tearing down other actors’ posters to set up Chiru’s posters,etc., Would I blame them ? Nope.Not really.This is a by-product of how f***ed up society’s becoming.

Hmm ..so lets see.Looks good the whole ideology of the new party ..PRAJA RAJYAM ! Eradicate corruption, etc., are nice powerful promises for any new party’s election campaign. It is an almost Utopian agenda.Go ahead! have a look here for the technical; details http://grohitbharadwaj.wordpress.com/2008/08/26/praja-rajyam-new-political-party-in-state-politics/

¬†If you go back to the dawn of theNTR political era , the whole prajaa garjhana¬† campaign, the promises were similar almost resembling Praja Rajyam’s agenda. It worked …keeps working !! At least for the party’s first election , such things work !! But long term sustenance ? That¬†would be¬†something we would like to see.

And so I talked to dad about this,

Me: I somehow think that things are doubtful dad ! he should have got into politics in 2003-04 rather than in 2008.His peak in popularity is already past

Dad: What makes you say that ? His election propaganda started then only.It takes time and lots of ground work, behind-the-scenes wooing of social groups, political powerhouses,et al .Only when you are sure you get in.You cant just get in to politics becasue a couple of your movies became hits.So I think thats what he did! CHiru did his homework , increased his awareness, lobbied strong support before officially getting into politics.

( Still makes me feel that though dad is arguing logic , its the Chiru-fan in him talking)

Me: U know what ,dad! This party’s going to crumble.Like a Masala movie that runs to packed houses in the first week, but goes empty then onwards! I mean look at the agenda.its idealistic globe.There are no practical rationales associated with this agenda !

Dad: No its not. What makes you say that ! You have no idea!!

Me: (thinking i am gaining the advantage in the argument)¬† You see take his say on the Telanga¬†issue .He ‘s praising the Telanga people to glory.But he never said anythign about the issue.No stance.He’s just playing safe.And a politico playing safe means that he would turn a deaf ear to the issue inspite of such travesty as a man standing up for the region !!

Why when he was talking of Telanga he sounded like Prof.PK.Reddy from IIIT, who does nothing but speak ridiculous stuff when this issue is involved (Remember the famous bantering between Prof.PKR and Prof.PJN¬† in 2006 ??? ūüėČ )

Dad: Okay cut the outliers ! It might mean that he will take an active stance into looking at its feasibility or infeasibity rather than taking a stance for political gain alone !!!

Me : ( dejected at my argument falling flat …but yet excited that my next example would give me control)¬†Okay ! Take an analogue dad! Tamil Nadu history ! MGR ‘s fight and ideology for the upliftment of the¬† masses … a chapter in Indian politics that revolutionalized the art of political strategy … Putting in place C.K.prahlad;’s Bottom of the Pyramid concept in indian politics for the first time !! Do you think that this party can do something like that In A.P politics ????¬†¬†

(I was sure dad would be baffled at this …. hahah ….¬† C.K.Prahlad , Pyramid ka bottom, mgmt. gyaan in a political discussion …ebat that pa !!!! muhahahaha …..He would not have an answer or so I thought )

My old man didn’t give me an end-of-line look (or)¬†cornered-by-abbulu ¬†look ,like I expected . Instead he smiled and said , “PERFECTLY !!!! “¬†

Halt! Before we proceed further, i would like to make it distincly placid that dad has these two modes of speaking ….

 One, the usual cheerful-sounding, logic-slinging, practical thinking, oratory that you would find strong but yet tempting to argue against.

Two, the more serious sounding , but yet infinitely assertive short statements or even one words , which suddenly send a chill down your spine !Merely by the sheer confidence they are said with, a mode of answering that is so incredibly dad-specific that it reminds me that he is after all my baap !

Mom was listening ..smiling all along. (Shit even she probably ¬†knew it was coming …)

Now … dad said , “You see¬†, lil’ abbulu …”¬† Christ ! Whenever dad says “lil’ abbulu” instead of just “abbulu”¬†, it only means one thing ….¬†¬† abbulu ka khel khatam dukhaan bandh¬†¬†¬†!!!

Dad : Read the newspapers !!

me: (reading headlines here and there from newspapers in the last one week)¬† Social ecstacy! Social pandemonium! Chiru fans on a confidence run! Kapus being wooed for the first time for fear of the Chiru effect ! blah blah blah /….

Dad: Which social communities have the largest number of people in the state

(I answered)

Dad:  Which film -related fan base is officially reported to be the biggest in A.P ??

(I answered)

Dad : So you see , little abbulu ! It not about the ideologies per se. It about the support you already have, either through caste-politics, through general fan following, etc., And then the agenda comes to just justify and retain that support !! So do you understand now ??

Me:  Yes sir !

Dad: Go now …

Shit !! MGR part -2 !! NTR part-2!! Everything part 2!! Here is a situation where the desired¬† outcomes are idealistic , but the means are actually following all the formuale of politics !!! caste …fans …. backward classes … regionalism … reservations …¬† it was the ultimate political juggernaut … the sum-whole of all past political strategies ….

Yeah Now i am convinced the mega star has high likelihood of a mega victory. Though I dont know whether such strategies are intentional , but those are the very means by which he is going to win. Doesnt talk good of anything  if you ask me (demarcating people, using GROUPISM etc.,) But I guess thats how politics is !!! 

The only salvation of achieving such a victory would occur if the so-called mega star actually brings about a mega change when he gets his mega-victory !!!!¬† (though I still am unable to digest the fact that he would win because his caste is the one having the majority of the population in the state¬† ūüė¶¬† )

– abbulugadu