Friday, November 28, 2008

What can you do to fight terrorists?

Surprisingly, a lot. As terrorists get bolder and bolder and more delusional, it is time to give them a reality check. Terrorists can never stop and will simply move on to the next target after one disappears. For example, terrorists elements within Sunnis go after Shias if they run out of other groups to hate on.

Here are the steps.
1> There are quite a few people, especially in the US, middle east and UK, that say, "We just send money to terrorist groups to get revenge". Report these people to authorities. Money is what drives terrorism.
2> Keep an eye out for people that have uncontrolled rage against other groups out of nowhere. These are the kind of people targeted for recruiting and action. Again, watch for the word "revenge". Report them directly or anonymously.
3> Watch out for people that say that terrorists are only against government and not the people. These are the people most likely to fund terrorists. Report them directly or anonymously.
4> You are likely to hear such words mostly from friends or other that share a common religious or ethnic background. Report them directly or anonymously. Terrorists are not followers of God, they are the devil incarnate. Hateful conversations from any religious group is bad.
5> Do not donate to charities unless you are absolutely sure what they do. Donate to Prime Minister or Chief Minister relief funds when in doubt.
6> Do not carry money on behalf of others when visiting India or Pakistan. Unaccounted money often ends up in the wrong hands.
7> Do not use hawala or unofficial channels to transmit money. The underworld fanatics get a cut out of those transactions.
8> Do not do unofficial bets on cricket games. Corrupt cricket officials get a cut out of those transactions and they are tied to extortion/terrorist groups. BTW, Pakistan will have a spectacular defeat soon just to mess up the spread, now that Javed Mian gets to select the whole team.(And here it is)
9> Walk away from conversations that are hateful. Terrorism begins in the intelligent mind and get implemented by mindless moron. Sindhi master, Punjabi blaster. (Reference: Mad Max movies)
10> Be the possibility of peace and harmony. This is the most important step. Ofcourse, kill a terrorist before he can do harm. But be an incarnation of peace otherwise.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Raj Thackeray celebrates a Hindi birthday.

Was it Uddhav's birthday recently? I can understand why Raj Thackeray does not want to put his brother's name on the birthday cake, given that Uddhav has his own party. But why not have "भाऊ" on the birthday cake instead of "भय्या"? For someone who wants to pull down banners in other languages, this was a definite lack of discipline.

Of course, we do not want to accuse the party spokesperson of lying and we want to believe that it was a dear brother's birthday. You usually put own loved one's name on birthday cakes for birthdays.

But I have a feeling that the party spokesperson is lying and talking in conceit. Indians should not take this action lying down. If there is one thing history has thought us, even a tyrant like Hitler began with small steps. The baby steps are intended to break the will of the oppressed and also turn silent supporters into more vocal supporters of hatred and divisiveness. We can now safely assume that this party's agenda is ethnic hatred.

Funny how good words end up with bad meaning. It is the turn of Bhaiyya now. Thirty years ago, it was "Anna", a revered word in Marathi's south Indian heritage, but reviled as a reference to those dark Mariatta worshipping Madrasis. There is a similar reference in South African history. South Indian migrants(slaves?) called their masters "Saamy" (meaning lord, master). The South African masters called them a Bloody Saamy right back.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cricket politics

Here's a BCCI quote.

"We are disappointed by this move from Sri Lanka," Niranjan Shah, the BCCI secretary, told Cricinfo. "We will now refer the matter to the ICC, which is already debating the issue of unauthorised cricket." If that is unauthorized cricket, what about the charity match played by some Indian cricketers right in the middle of a one day series? Just proves the point that BCCI can pretty much do whatever it wants, including risking player safety and health to have them play cricket in your political backyard.

Just because the BCCI uses money from Cricket to build gyms for fat politicians in Delhi does not make them the guardians of authorized cricket. Cricket can be played by anyone. If the BCCI wants to take it's revenge, it can continue to do that. But it should stop acting like a priest that condemns all activities not purified by its political presence.

Ofcourse this edifice will come down after Congress loses it's power in elections. Right now, this is probably the top reason as to why the Congress government should be kicked out. Dabbling in cricket politics is not cricket and their wicket should be uprooted just for this reason.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What is freedom?

For all of us who have lived in a free country for 60 years, we tend to not comprehend the meaning of freedom. It becomes apparent only when we see examples of events that indicate a suppressed populace. Here is what China did to make sure that the Chinese look supreme at the Olympics opening ceremony. The 7 year old girl pictured below was deemed too ugly for the song she sang and was replaced by a 9 year old pretty girl.
A certain German individual had tried equally hard many years ago to look perfect during the Olympics. Hopefully the rest of history does not repeat itself. Because if it does, India would end up being the equivalent of France. Better to get ready, because this event does provide a deep insight into what passes for Chinese "pride".

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ram Setu back on the map

The Ram Setu project seems set to come off the back burner as a reward to the DMK for doing the right thing and standing by the Congress during the no confidence motion. It is a huge step in the right direction; people are dealing in the welfare of the country rather than cold cash.

Plus the Ram Setu area can be turned into a religious attraction that can be travelled to by open sea.

This is something that needs to be done to convert Tamil Nadu into a coastal business area similar to Mumbai. The people in the southern parts of Tamil Nadu stand to benefit the most from this.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Manmohan Singh, prime minister

There is a high probability that the current government will lose it's vote of confidence. And they would probably not mind it either as it would prove that they care for India more than any of the other parties. This also raises questions about states that are dominated by regional political groups; they do not have an interest in national level activities or are totally out of focus with the real India.

Hopefully some of the former opposition parties will join the coalition in sufficient numbers. India does not need an election and does not need a Prime Minister other than Dr. Manmohan Singh right now. And yes, the nuclear agreement has to be signed in the interests of stability in the region.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Corrupt sons of soil all over the Indian soil!

In a very convoluted way, Raj Thackeray is asking son of the soils not to be corrupt. By requesting them to not issue fake certificates in Maharashta. Domicile and ration card authorities earn millions of rupees during the medical and engineering admission process in India. People are ready to pay tens of thousands to avoid lakhs of capitation rupees in many cases.

But the paradox is that sons of the soil fight over these low paying jobs just for the corruption money. A municipal school teacher teaching English is there to take her daily rest and relaxation. Asking them to shape up is not going to cut it. If you want honest officials, you have to open these jobs to a merit based admission process and provide good salaries. And stop stuffing these posts with sons and daughters of the soil that happen to know some politically connected person.

The one good(?) thing about these corrupt officials is that they do not care as to who is on the other side of the table; Maharashtrian or outsider. If you do not have the proper documentation to get the certificates, you have to pay up even if your last name happens to be Mumbaikar, Nagarkar, Tendulkar, Agarkar or Wadkar. Paisa nikal, phir baat kar! Soil does not matter to these officials, only cold cash does. That is where the sons of soils all over the country get their percentage. And this is how the leaders of political parties get their riches too. Corruption begins at the top and percolates to the bottom.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pakistan finds a terror fighting formula!

Pakistan has just found the solution to world terrorism. Now that Afghanistan, with US help, wants to do what Pakistan has been doing in Kashmir for 40 years, Pakistan almost sounds like India. They are having an epiphany about territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Afghanistan has been Pakistan's thrash dump for a long time. They unleashed the Talibs aka Taliban on Afghanistan years ago using their local Pashtun population and were proud of the end results. They are now turning a blind eye towards them within their own borders. Unfortunately for them, American eyes are sharper. Of course, nothing much is going to come of it. All the noise making will stop after the American elections are over.

Divorce education?.....

It is indeed a tragedy that women in India that want to get out of a marriage think that suicide is an available option. The death of a Karnataka legislature member's wife is a case in point.

Maybe there were other forces involved too. But there should be no room for a woman that wants to separate from her spouse to go this route.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Duh...Allow foreign retiring citizens to be in India...

Here is a crazy rule being enforced in India; retiring foreigners are not allowed to settle in India. With the globalization of Indian commerce (and way of living, to some extent), this will be the case often. Plus these retirees end up spending their dollars and pounds in India and contribute to the local economy.

Maybe there can be restrictions, but there cannot be a ban. I am guessing that this does not apply to persons of Indian origin. Because soon there will be tons of British and US citizens retiring back to India(and doing social work). Either way, retirees should not be stopped this way; maybe a new visa type can be arranged to take care of this.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

City based team angst...

With the heartbreaking Mumbai Indians loss to the Rajasthan Royals, Indian fans get to feel the angst that goes with a city based franchise. Unlike national teams that we support unconditionally(think Harbhajan), our relationship with a city based franchise is more complex as we get bombarded with more up to date information and get to experience them more up close and personal. Plus there are more direct viewing opportunities.

Now we know why Wankhede games have a different feel compared to the DY Patil games. Apparently 70% of the Wankhede tickets are sold inhouse, so it leads to a grumpy knowledgeable crowd, very much like a British crowd. DY Patil has not yet gathered such a crust, plus it is a bigger stadium. But the IPL finals will not have any such allocations, so a true fan can watch the game more easily. Ofcourse there is always a danger of a rabid crowd like the ones you see at Eden park. But that is probably more a sign of a dead city; Mumbai folks typically are more diverse and will not be subject to such combustions.

Mumbai Indians are not out of it yet. A loss by Chennai Superkings can still open the door for Mumbai. And with the semifinals and finals in Mumbai, they will be a very difficult opponent to beat.

As Shane Warne has indicated, having semifinals at a "neutral" venue is not a good idea, there is no advantage for the top seed. Infact, if the local team scrapes through to the semifinal, mentally they end up becoming the top seed due to the support that they will receive. The semifinals have to be held at the home team ground. The finals can be at a rotating prearranged venue as it allows for better planning and showing off of the climactic event of the league.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cricket, terrorism connection?...

There has been another blast in India; this time in Rajasthan. This seems to happen every time India and Pakistan talk peace and commerce. Since there are a bunch of males across the border who make their money and obtain their wives via such attitudes and behaviors, this is not going to end soon. It is probably a good idea not to have any face to face meetings with Pakistan; the human costs of these useless meetings seems to be pretty high. If Pakistan keeps Kashmir as the top issue locally, there is no point doing any business with them. India can let them rot and fester in the stink of their own hatred.

This also indicates that India has a lot of sleeper cells that can be activated at will. There seems to be a disturbing tie in to cricket as well. When India wins important games, the target is usually Kashmir; the easiest target of all.

This time around, there was some hard bargaining with the cricket board of Pakistan, which is controlled by the military, regarding Shoaib Akhtar. The board was made to drop accusations before providing Shoaib with a chance to play. Plus Shoiab outed them when they asked for their cuts when he makes money in the IPL. This does not seem to have sat well with the military elite that typically use the corruption money to send their male sons to colleges in United States. So they seem to have gone after the IPL Commissioner's home state and the city that hosts the best team at the same time. This also shows you that terrorism and loss of human life has become a fun game for the masters. The Shoaib Akhtar drama played out over just a couple of weeks, so the terrorist cell activation and execution was real quick.

An unexploded bomb has been obtained; this means that the culprits will be found eventually.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Police recruiting fraud...

A police recruiting fraud has been exposed in Kolkata. This means that something similar is happening in police forces all across the country. Mumbai is one place where this may be happening. The going rates for getting into the police force are pretty high in Mumbai and future cops may be opting for dummies to ensure clearing the examination. The scope of under the table earnings are huge in big cities. Visit these cops' relatives houses in their native places and examine their spouse's assets to find the scope of the problem. Sources of income are typically brothels, gambling dens, illicit liquor and dance bars. Another huge source of income is allowing people to "go back home" or "stay home" after a complaint has been received by the police.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

You complain, we wear pants

Looks like a pattern has been established now regarding cheerleader attire. Any state that complains about Cheerleader attire will now get Cheerleaders wearing pants for both the teams. Liberal cities will continue to get cheerleaders dressed in cheerleader attire. The moves of the Cheerleaders remains as crisp as ever, pants or no pants.

Thank God for the hawk eyes of politicians. The dignity of females have been preserved in the land that gives them the ultimate indignity in the form of dowry and female foeticide. If you politicians think that a woman is the embodiment of God, do something about dowry and selective abortions.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Crazy Sreesanth...Bye bye Harbhajan...

Here is an article by a Malayalee author as to why Sreesanth is not the most popular Keralite. The article also mentions previous interactions between Harbhajan and Sreesanth. The article's premise is now justified.

Sreesanth just does not know when to stop assing around. He has got some enormous loose screws in his head and his actions have caused an end to Harbhajan's international cricket career. Harbhajan is a loose screw himself, but like any hotheaded Punjabi, he goes mad when he is right, unlike Sreesanth, who goes nuts whenever he thinks he has an advantage, which is pretty much all the time.

He got the eight wicket in the 20-20 match against Mumbai, walked over to the other side of the crease and gave the close walk/talk to the player that got out. He did that a couple of times to Robin Uthappa too before that. After the end of the game, Harbhajan slapped him in the field. Even though it is Harbhajan whose career will be over now, it is Sreesanth who has had the last laugh(or cry) by making sure that everybody knew what Harbhajan did. His revenge against Harbhajan is now complete.

By crying and not retaliating, Sreesanth has preserved his own career for now. I am sure he was scared and emotionally hurt and it was not an act. Whatever it was, Harbhajan's career is done, given what happened in Australia. So we have a case of 20-20 causing damage to the Indian team. There is no better off spinner around in India at this point in time.

I also think that the owners will stop showing up to support their team with the same fervour going forward. Anybody who has support galli cricket and other local forms of cricket knows that supporting your team at close quarters is not a fun experience when you get the see the ugly and unsportsman conduct that usually happens.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cheerleader morality...

Mumbai's morality police has had success with bar dancers before. Now they are training their eyes on the Cheerleaders in the IPL league. Yes, Cheerleading is an envelope pushing activity in India. Some of the cameramen even went one step further and got into camera angles unseen in the US, mostly because the cheerleader platforms are raised above the ground. Looks like nobody noticed this with the ICL league. Even more funny is the fact that film star politicians are raising the issue.

Looks like you can do these kind of things only in a film and not anything "live". If males can do bodybuilding, then surely females can do cheerleading, the ultimate female body and attitude showoff activity.

Only Chennai has an all Indian cheerleading team and they were absolutely miserable. One of the females considered just her presence to be good enough and would not even join in the dance routines!

Hopefully other parties will pick this up in other states and make sure that our "In-den-ness" is preserved.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The IPL 20 league..

The first IPL 20 match delivered what the newly formed league promised and the matches were similar in format to American football sports events that usually last around 3-4 hours. The software companies around the Bangalore area seem to have seized the opportunity by plying the company buses for their employees. A great idea that needs to be followed in other places. Watch out for punch drunk folks on the way back though; these won't be happy campers.

I did not feel bad about spending the money required to watch these games. Hopefully the format sticks and we will see a lot more of such events and tournaments going forward.

I did hope for Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, but the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders were pretty good themselves. And they have put in a lot of hard work. Knowing how India works, the biggest challenge for the Indian cheerleaders will be for them to get comfortable in their costumes in the face of future adversities, especially when the home team is losing and the beer is flowing. I do not envision them to ever match the athleticism of their American counterparts, thanks to the absence of intense activities for Indian women as a general rule. I did not see much of security in the first game; that will need to change, especially around the cheerleaders. Or maybe they are already doing that and I was too busy watching the cheerleaders.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Painful reminders to out of state residents...

Here is the speech by Rajnikant that was invoked recently by politicians in Maharashtra. Rajnikant is an icon in Tamil Nadu and a former resident of Bangalore and he has lot of friends in Bangalore. Rajnikant is essentially asking Congress politicians in Karnataka to speak the truth and not fan violence. Congress did have a victory though; they convinced Karunanidhi to keep quite for a while so that elections get over in Karnataka.

The common thing between the Karnataka violence and the anti north indian violence in Maharashtra is that these are essentially anti Indian activities. Karnataka politicians refuse to implement supreme court directives, Maharashtra politicians refuse to acknowledge the contributions of other ethnicities.

An interesting point bought out in the Tamil protests protests was the use of the slogan "हम सब भाई भाई' invoked frequently in feel good speeches. Obviously Kannadigas do not consider a Madrasi a भाई, even though the relations between them are very similar to that between Gujarat and Maharashtra minus the water. A maharashtrian definitely does not consider a भय्या भाई, and I am not sure what figure of speech that is. अगर भाई भाई नहीं हैं, तो भारत काहेका? Once you get out of your own home state, it is essentially a वनवास। You end up becoming मद्रासी, भय्या in a bad way, வட நாட்டான் (North Indian in bad way in Tamil Nadu), ಕೊಂಗಾ (Konga, which is Tamilian in a bad way in Karnataka), gulti and hundreds of other ethnic slurs।

आम्ही सगळे भाऊ भाऊ, तू कौन भाई बनने चला? चल वर्गणी निकाल!

Here is a link to a interesting article about Amitabh's mom. I guess that makes Amitabh half punjabi in addition to his UP roots. So maybe the punjabis should start attacking him now for not getting their share. And Aishwarya Rai is from Karnataka, so they can get in line too.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Advice: Retire back to home state if possible

I have always been fascinated by the insistence of Puneris and Chennaites to stay in that region under all costs. I am now beginning to understand why, given the recent events in Maharashtra. They want to stay there as they get preferential treatment there, at the cost of discrimination to other groups. And that might mean discrimination towards other groups from the same state too. Cobras and Debras in Pune constitutes the top of the totem pole, followed by Marathas and then "all others". You can answer a perfect engineering exam in Pune, but if the examiner is a Cobra and you are an "all others", you will get marks only deserving of "all others". (This is probably happening throughout India with many other majority or minority groups, in case other examples are flooding your mind right now)

The lesson to be learned here is that you can work and play anywhere you want, but you do want to retire in your native state, down to the exact native region. That does put Sindhis, Baluchis and other partition migrants in an awkward position. And if you are an ethnic Marathi in Belgaum, it might not hurt to eventually retire on the other side of the border.In a way, the blatant Indian discrimination and prejudice explain why Indians do well all over the world; training for coping up and overcoming discrimination begins at home and they are pretty good at advancing despite the odds stacked up against them. The stay home Puneris and Chennaites and Bengalurians do not do well "mentally" outside the country or state and always keep pining to go back home and frequently do. So there is a lesson to be learned from these silent but very effective discriminators, when they get their opportunities.

You might say that a couple of violent incidents in Maharashtra do not mean much. The incidents may be isolated, but the discrimination is pervasive. The only thing that seems to trump discrimination is corruption based incentives. Almost makes you think that corruption is a good thing for India; it plays out as a discrimination equalizing tax, even for doing legitimate business. With all the blatant discrimination playing out in India right now, corruption has never appeared so good.

To repeat the retirement statement, it is all about peace of mind. The looks of contempt and the subtle acts of discrimination can eventually wear you down. So make sure that you plan for a retirement in your native area in India, irrespective of whether you are Maharashtrian, Bihari, Keralite or Kannadiga. Of course, this applies only to retirement; you have to persevere and take the risk for your family and kids and your job. India is still a free, democratic country

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Blueprint for the end of India?....

The events of recent weeks provide what could be a possible blueprint as to how India will cease to be in existence. All that is needed is retaliation by other states. So when Maharashtra goes after NorthIndians, they could in turn go after South Indians who could in turn go after the North Indian. During stray violence, Maharashtrians and Tamilians get killed in Karnataka, causing South Indian violence on each others. Sikhs start attacking nonSikhs in Punjab due to the attacks on them all over the country, causing an exodus there. Everyone get tired of "Mera Bharat Mahaan" and set up their own states. Belgaum ehtnic Maharashtrians and Bangalore ethnics Tamilians are sent packing, setting the stage for future border wars.

All this requires is the presence of three powerful jokers. We are dangerously close to such a scenario now, the two jokers in the pack right now are Raj Thackeray and Lalu Yadav. Firm government intervention is needed to address this threat to national integrity.

India is the cake that everyone takes for granted. There is a lesson to be learned from Yugoslavia here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

किसका Mumbai?

What are you supposed to do when politicians take over your city and your state and redefine it's identity? As is happening with Mumbai and Maharashtra now? Ofcourse, they will be defeated badly in the next election(will they?). But the damage is already done. Looks like Maharashtra is all set to become a beacon of ethnic intolerance(like many other states in India).

What next? Ask other states not to perform Ganesh Chaturti as it is a Maharashtrian festival? Ban out of state people from visiting Saibaba? I feel bad that that Baba Amte had to witness this before passing away.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Teacher harassment...

Teacher harassment and favor seeking is reaching epidemic proportions in India. The case in Gujarat is extreme, but teachers in private engineering, medical and dental colleges have been known to indulge in abusive behavior. Hopefully laws will be introduced and legal protection will be provided to students that lodge complaints.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Smoking allowed in adult films...

Moral admonitions are not going to stop smoking on the Indian Screens. Plus there is an element of freedom of expression.

The punishment has to be economical. Make all films that have smoking scenes to be an Adult film. That will keep a key demographic out of theaters and put a rein on the "creative" instincts of artists. Wallets are the least common demonitors here, not morality.

Ofcourse stars can do whatever they want in public, including smoking. The health minister has a habit of targeting North Indians, he would hesitate to say that about South Indian stars.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The ID experiment in New Delhi...

It is an understandable idea, given Pakistan's fascination with killing political leaders of their own country and neighboring countries,but it will not work. Indians can work in any city they want. Maharashtra uses ration cards and the Bangladeshis simply accept the 7000 rupees it cost to get a ration card as the price of settling in Mumbai. The ID will go the same way. Plus the uneducated will get the most trouble; Biharis and UP folks will bear the brunt of the rule.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Surrogate mothers, great outsourcing....

Surrogate motherships are the new form of outsourcing going on in India right now. This is probably the best outsourcing that India has done to date. An American baby in a caring family is a precious and rare commodity, thanks to the unforgiving fast track work culture in America. IVF treatments cost around $17000 a try; you can have a baby for a comparable amount this way. Add to the mix the recreational drug menace in America and it makes perfect sense to have the baby in typically lacto vegetarian, drug free settings and using already married educated women that have had normal pregnancies.

Efficiencies of scale might make you nervous about the situation. But I believe this is the best thing to happen.

Adoptions all over the world have gone terribly wrong in more ways than one. For example, Christian Charities in India seem to send over the sickest babies for adoption. While it is a great humanitarian concept, the average American family goes under managing the baby. The American family is not informed of the sickness of the adopted babies in most cases and there are horror stories of the kid needing emergency procedures right out of the airplane. Plus the adopted child is almost always a girl, if you are adopting from India. Surrogate mothership is the perfect outsourcing, even better than software outsourcing.

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