Friday, November 20, 2009

Myths and Cultures role in building them

DEVDUTTPATTANAIK talks in TEDIndia about the myths that define our beliefs.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pranav Mistry speaking at TEDIndia-MYSORE

Another proof that Indians have arrived!

Pranav Mistry delivers lecture at TED India about his gadget 'Sixth Sense'.

I had seen his presentation, first when 'Sixth Sense' was introduced to the world through TED - Ideas worth spreading.

This Indian Lad talks of how he approached to make the gadget, which will change the way we live. He had developed it initially in India and further took it forward during his stint at MIT.

What more he also intends to keep it open sourced so that people can make as much use of it as their imagination permits them.

HATS OFF to him!!!

Role of media and its lethargy

I stumbled upon a report by a renowned media man arguing that we get the government that we as a polity deserve. In the same way we get the media reporting that we as a society deserve. He has to sell his product at the end of the day to remain in business, thus justifying the maddening reportage of Page 3 Celebrities, instant celebrities and general degradation of the news reports and news presentation.

If in a free-society the general perception is that the governing community is doing exceptionally well and people are so charmed by the leaders that they do not see their follies, then it is the duty of the media to - using a cliche - 'wake up the masses'.

Media cannot keep churning out gossips and ignore the misgovernance citing the excuse, that the people like the leaders, since they do not know they are corrupt and hence we show gossip or else we will have to shut shop.

Media is selling ideas, thoughts and future of the nation. It is not dealing with peanuts here. When an author writes rubbish and is successful in diverting the attention of the nation from the priority issues, then he is doing disservice to the nation and his profession. Media is not without reason called the fourth estate or the fifth pillar of democracy.

If making money is the reason why journalists are here, then better start hawking chaats or sell balloons at the traffic signal.

If a nation is losing its focus and media is unable to direct the focus on the important issues then it is the failure of the media.

Media, which is supposed to be unbiased, if goes on singing paeans after paeans of one party and ignoring their failures keeps influencing its readers favourably towards a select bunch of corrupts, is no longer fulfilling its duty. Readers can see through it and if they skip the front page due to this, then they land up on the Page 3. Media then cannot blame their readers of having an inferior taste of prose.

As we get a government we deserve and media reports what we deserve to read. The FDI-bought media also gets readers that it deserves. The mirror would show the media men their true face

Viewers might soon find Doordarshan news more interesting - although it churns out sarkari farmaans - rather than the breathless, nonsensical and pure sensationalised news channels.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Role of Human Rights activists and their impunity

India mourned on the 25th Death Anniversary of Indira Gandhi's death on October 31. She died when her security personnel opened fire upon her. Her death had bought about a devastation unseen before. Sikhs were massacred with impunity and India failed to protect their lives. Rajeev Gandhi after a fortnight famously quoted 'When a huge tree falls, earth shakes!'

The perpetrators of the massacre were never held accountable and Indian society as a whole failed to uphold the rights of its very own citizens. The perpetrators would always want to be left unscathed for their crimes, but what failed more, was the society at large - the media, judiciary, politicians - to get justice for the victims and their families. This failure is something on the lines of busting the myth of a democratic set-up, right in the face of us, Indians.

In fact the impunity or lack of accountability extends to the self-proclaimed human rights champions too.

Arundhati Roy for example denounces - and rightly - the violent Sri Ram Sene kinda outfits, but in the same breath, she talks of support for the Maoists. True that the tribals need more rights and need to be taken care of, in terms of economic prosperity. But violent revolution does not compliment any human rights fight. There are rights of the dead policemen too. To mean that the all the poor tribals are picking up guns would be a sham.

Thankfully for majority of the 450 million poor people sanity prevails and only 20000 of them have picked up guns.

But how can Arundhati Roy denounce Sri Ram sene/SIMI/ Indian Mujahideen but embrace the Maoists? All of these claim to be marginalised, some ideologically, some politically, some economically. All of them need to be brought to the mainstream. Its a binding responsibility for every Indian.

We need better, rational and unbiased Human Rights Activists. NGO's and activists have given the nation RTI, they wield lots of power. After all, the Congress has been allowed to get away with 1984, only because of the stony silence of the true do-gooders.

We need more of them.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jamiat-e-Islami-Hind and Deoband issue fatwa against singing Vande Mataram!

Jamiat-e-Islami-Hind and Deoband Seminary organised a conglomeration of Muslim organisations and passed a 25 point resolution. One of the most important and controversial points of the resolution was a fatwa for Muslims against singing the National Song "Vande Mataram".

The sickening fatwas of this kind only go on to aggravate the issues of minority. When A R Rahman said 'Maa tujhe Salaam' was he less Muslim?

Deobandis should have been smarter by now. Jinnah used them as fodder to get power pre-independence and left them with people whom they had vehemently opposed. Same happened with them post-independence when politicians would arrange grand iftar parties but would turn a blind eye to the progress of the community.

This is a political gimmickry by politicians who want to gain power in UP, which would ensure them of, victories in ensuing LS polls for the coming decade.

Bankim Chandra Chatterjee had written the 'Anandmath' novel describing hermits revolt against an oppressive British regime. The Britishers censored the novel and forced Chatterjee to depict the revolt being against the Mughals by the hermitage. Thereby, sowing the seeds of opposition to the song.

When Subhash Chandra Bose included the song for his INA. Even Rabindranath Tagore advised him against the idea of worship and Bose kept only the first two stanzas wherein, there was no mention of worshipping anyone else, but salutation to the mother. The same song was adopted by the constitution. Many freedom fighters be it Muslims or Hindus had romanticized martyrdom with this song.

It is not a show of patriotism to sing this song. But not singing this song and imposing other 'followers' to not sing it, shows an attitude and mentality of opposition to assimilation with the culture This attitude of maintaining an isolation is the one that needs to be addressed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

PM's security denies a patient entry to Hospital. Patient dies!!!

A man with kidney problems and renal failure died, due to overzealous security guards, during PM's visit for a function at a hospital in Chandigarh. The family had arrived to Chandigarh from Ambala 45 kms away and was turned around from entry points after entry points for 2 hours, since all routes were sealed for the PM's security.

The PM has written to the family of the deceased in Chandigarh, expressing his deep regret over the incident and has moved on! He might compensate monetarily and thats it. The next function he attends might snuff another life, we all move on. THANK YOU very much!

To avoid such a scenario, precautions could be taken. It is preposterous to believe that entry into a HOSPITAL is restricted since a VIP is arriving there! How can we celebrate success and anniversaries of Health centres, with this kind of attitude?

As much as the VIP's, the guards themselves too hate being grid-locked in traffic and would want to fly-past the lesser beings.

VIP cavalcades have caused lots of heartburns to the commoners over the years. There should be, to start with, a no-VIP time during the peak rush hours for the commuters. Say daily from 6 to 7 no traffic would be held up for any VIP.

VIP's can leave early or stay put in their offices for the duration. For extremely-urgent-immediate-attention-deserving-armageddon kinda events they can use helicopters. All of them bundled into one or two and leave.

Nothing more needs to be spoken upon the topic. Since there is actually NOTHING to debate about it. We have cultivated a VIP culture in our lives and we alone are responsible for it.

Cut the commandos to the VIP's and use them for better jobs. Its an insult to their ability to surround these VIP's.

After elections are over aam aadmi is expendable. He, unfortunately, becomes a JAAM aadmi.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A ROBOT Dog! A must see

ROBOT Dog!!!

This is a Robot designed by researchers in Boston Dynamics. This seems to be as good as a living being or may be even better.