Friday, March 27, 2009

A lesson before voting

If history is any lesson on the relationship between academic qualification and efficient political leadership/management in India then Shashi Tharoor must definitely not be voted in at Thiruvananthapuram. An example that comes to mind on the inverse relationship that exists between academic qualification and management skills is the ridiculously well-qualified yet utterly disappointing manager of our nation, our prime minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. This is a good article which highlights the poor performance of the UPA government. However, it still doesn't mention the increasing budget deficit that has been a Manmohan Singh speciality since he's taken on the role of PM. This article predicts a staggering fiscal deficit that is 6.4% of GDP. I wished to highlight these facts about our performance during Manmohan Singh's leadership because I was shocked to find how ignorant some of these educated bloggers are, and how empty of facts their arguments are for bringing a party back into power(It turns out the so called arguments he has provided too are unreferenced and copy-pasted from here. Of course that Shashi Tharoor made these arguments doesn't impress me any further. It only detracts from his value) Coming back to what I intended to say, although Shashi Tharoor should not be voted in based on history, I am more inclined to leave history aside because ultimately it is common sense that educated leaders are more capable leaders than illiterate ones and I do want to encourage educated men to participate in the administration of our country. So with this end in mind I would vote for Shashi Tharoor. His intentions are sincere, but so were Manmohan's. So one must hope that if he is voted into power, he can do a better job with the implementation.Among other such cheerful developments, the charming JPN has decided that politics cannot be cleansed of corruption by sitting outside of it. Yay!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Advani advocates

Today Advani challenged Manmohan to a live TV debate a la US presidential elections. While this challenge was blurted out more in fury at the criticism by Manmohan Singh of his essentially destructive presence in Indian politics, the suggestion in itself is a one I welcome and even hope will be realised this year. Based on the US TV presidential debates it is clearl to me that debates will not be any indication of a party or individual's capacity. All things popular are ultimately about the right rhetoric. If the masses are educated, then the rhetoric must come with a generous dose of teary-eyed elocution from a man with a university degree to appeal to the educated man's own sense of being intellectual. Anyhow, I still welcome live TV debate because a democracy is ultimately a popular system of governance and it is essential to keep the populace in the loop, to borrow an americanism. Although Indians will refuse to buy or be ignorant of condoms, they are all aware of and will save up to buy a TV. The reach of this device is incredible, and I think it is a powerful means for both sides to spread the rhetoric. Although there are TV ads, a 'special occasion' can attract the attention of a significantly greater audience than regular annoying ads. Take the example of the Filmfare awards in India or the Oscars. Like these events, with sufficient media propaganda, we can have the whole nation engaged in watching the event. The US media propaganda for instance has been so successful that people not just in US but all over the world watch the two noise-makers make noise in the noise-making event. And so, the live debate can form an important platform for rhetoric and get the people involved. This is critical. Besides, because it does have the title of a debate. Although the individuals contesting can say just about anything they want about the future, the past has to be cited(even if unverified) and the overall appearance has to be of a rational process of dialogue, to a reasonable extent. The benefit that this could have is to get the lesser educated masses thinking of the democractic process along rational lines instead of personal sops. Of course, it is a far fetched hope that one debate can make our uneducated masses see reason. But that is not what I expect. A human being has an instinctive capacity for reasoning, however primitive it may be. When he is bombarded for an hour or so with dialogue and debate on policies and reforms and such like instead of promises of sarees and lungis, I expect somewhere in that primitive brain a blob will shift uneasily and wake from its slumber. It will sense something wrong and wonder. That much is enough.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thought for the day

I don't know what these Americans are complaining about. They have a baby boom generation. We have a baby boom nation!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Question for the day

In India, 18 is the legal age for drinking and driving. True or False?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Some thoughts for the day

Chili is hot.

When I say something clever and imaginative on chat and I get a reply 'Quel artist!', do I read it as good French or bad English?

Who are those people all over India who call up various dial-in shows (like Pepsi Uma)? Do they really exist?

What do you do with half a toilet?

An ad I found in the mallu ASU orkut community:
Hello Everybody,

We are four Indian girls, looking for another Indian girl to replace one of us, (preferably vegetarian, but its fine if not) from May 2009.

Our house is on the Apache and Terrace Intersection. It is a neat, well maintained townhouse, in a safe and hospitable community. It is a 2 bedroom 1.5 bathroom house, with a nice patio. It is unfurnished, but we have some furniture and appliances that are sufficient (dining table, chairs, book-shelf, rice cooker, blender etc.). The kitchen is provided with Microwave oven, Refrigerator, Burner, Dishwasher, etc.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Usually phones in the US are designed such that it is possible to dial the emergency services even if the keypad is locked(I am talking about non-flip phones). For some reason, almost any two digits pressed on my keypad followed by the dial button calls the emergency services, apart from the usual 911 dial. As a consequence, I have rung inadvertently for 911(08 dial has been the most common random combination I've achieved!) at least 20 times (counting) in the past 3 years. I've now had this T-mobile service for well over its contract period and I AM eligible to change to a new, better phone for free! Yet, I remain in this same unperturbed state out of sheer inertia to call up t-mobile and request a new phone. It is a good thing the police department is also expected to serve shepherds!