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Attitude vs Aptitude

There are a lot of quotes on Attitude vs Aptitude but my favourite on this subject is this dialogue from the movie Chak De India Kabir Khan, the coach, explains beautifully - टीम बनाने के लिए ताकत नहीं नीयत चाहिए - you need 'attitude' (intention / sincerity) to form a team and not power (aptitude). 

Lal Bahadur Shastri - the original strategist PM

Who was the first Prime Minister of India to authorize an 'across the border strike' to defend Jammu & Kashmir? The answer is [Sorry Narendra Modi fans!] Lal Bahadur Shastri whose birthday we celebrate today with Gandhiji. In 1965, the Pakistani army hatched the Operation Gibraltar which was aimed at annexing J&K by cutting off India's neck below Jammu. Sometime late August / early September, Pakistan started advancing its troops [as usual - disguised as locals] from Gulmarg, Uri and Baramulla. When they got detected, it launches Operations Grand Slam to annex Akhnoor and then Jammu. Incidentally, Indian forces which were devastated recently (1962) during the Indo-China war could not mount an effective defence in this sector. In response, however, Lal Bahadur Shastri's government authorised advancement of Indian forces further south in Punjab cutting off the Pakistani forces advancing towards Jammu from the other side - a classic military tactic. India

Greta Thunberg may be a fraud - but is that the point?

If you are writing off Greta Thunberg as a case of poster girl for environmentalists-with-vested-interest and believe that her doomsday predictions are just shenanigans - you are missing the point entirely. Here's a teenager who's situation is compounded by Asperger's syndrome and Selective Mutism - speaking out aloud to a community of world leaders. Her scenarios are obviously blown out of proportion - weren't yours when you were adolescent? The point isn't whether or not her predictions are true - the point is we adults care so much less than we should. Mankind will not go extinct - and while some species might, its not going to be a mass extinction either. If it indeed does happen, while millions of poorer humans may perish, most of us using social media, (presumed to be) living in developed cities / towns will survive. Temperature going up by 2° will inflate your Air Conditioning bill and may be add to 'work from home' days when its either snow

The Curious case of Prosenjit Hazra - Part 3

Read Part 1  and Part 2 Part 3: Macanos Hangba It was a sultry morning as he got into the newly opened Dubai Metro service, Macanos wondered why Dubai was so late in introducing metros. His own hometown, Bangkok, though much worse in terms of traffic than Dubai, had a metro network since quite some time. The reason for all these thoughts was simply that he was running late for his meeting and could not afford to be late. This was a critical meeting. Thankfully the metro station opened into the hotel lobby and Macanos reached a good 15 minutes before the appointed time of 9:00 AM. Five minutes to 9:00, a young boy dressed like an American teenager walked in and joined him at his table – “Crimson Carter!” he said extending his hand. Macanos had heard that Internet hackers were mere ‘kids’ but he wasn’t really prepared to actually face a kid with a hoodie on him! This is going to be interesting, he said to himself. Crimson Carter was the online identity with whom Macanos had be

Budget 2019 - between the devil and the deep blue sea with a monster waiting!

If you have ever visited Jabalpur, you surely would have taken a boat ride across 'Bandar Kodini' at the Bhedaghat waterfalls. The boat ride initially takes you along the Narmada river at a leisurely pace, as you gape in wonder at the majestic white cliffs - a hundred feet tall on both sides - changing colour. They do not actually change colours, the cliffs comprise of many shades of marble and as the rays of the sun bounce off their surface, give an illusion of changing colours. And then as your boat ride comes to a close, the tranquil waters of the river gain a sense of urgency after a point and turn turbulent as they crash down the Dhuandhar falls. I don't know if the new Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has ever visited Bhedaghat, but she might be able to relate this with the experience she is going to have with the Indian economy. The two giant cliffs she is rowing the boat between are Slowdown in Economy and Managing Inflation. With the NDA government having

Universal Basic Income vs Income Guarantee

unsplash-logo Image Credit - Abby0427 Yoga With Modi's farmer scheme ( PM Kisan ) and then Congress follow up with 72k per annum for poor ( NYAY ), a lot of debate has ensued on the efficacy of income guarantee as a tool of public welfare. There are many who argue the time has come for India to start giving some form of Social Security to its citizens while some others argue the exchequers (in)ability to do so. The financial debate aside, one major aberration I see is the conflation of the terms 'Income Guarantee' (IG) and 'Universal Basic Income' (UBI). I am no economist but I have keenly read about the UBI experiments in Scandinavian countries , libertarian geeks on the subject [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] and the recent UBI proposal by the American Presidential candidate Andrew Yang . On the basis of this reading, I was able to conclude at least on one thing - IG and UBI are different concepts. UBI is supposed to be Universal - even an Aka

The Curious case of Prosenjit Hazra - Part 2

Read Part 1 Manikarnika Crematorium Varanasi  Part 2: Prosenjit Hazra Prosenjit Hazra’s father, Biswajit Hazra migrated to Varanasi from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) at the time of partition. Belonging to a poor Hindu family from East Bengal, he was still pursuing his graduation when partition happened. Varanasi was once called a ‘mini Kolkata’. Nearly three lakh Bengalis, who had settled here were engaged in various activities – trading, business and tourist services, among others. Biswajit knew a wealthy Banerjee family who had a large house [ 5 ] along the riverbank in Benaras and visited the place during vacations. When partition happened, Biswajit sought out the Banerjees who lived in Kolkata – the Banerjees could not invite him to Kolkata, but instead offered him to become the caretaker of the family’s ‘holiday mansion’ in Benaras. Living as a servant of the Banerjees, Prosenjit’s father completed his studies – as a caretaker, he had almost no income, the Banerjee

The Curious case of Prosenjit Hazra - Part 1

Disclaimer: This is a purely fictional amalgamation of several real-life incidents I've read in the past several days formed into a contemporary tale running across threads of misinformation, cyber-security, terrorism et al. The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this series of posts are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred. [ 0 ] Mumbai Police Headquarters Part 1: ACP Vaman Chandrakant ACP Vaman Chandrakant just couldn’t settle his mind on how he should present the case of Prosenjit Hazra. He had taken this case on the recommendation of his mentor ADGP Padmanabhan. “ Just like a case on the Underworld was a stepping stone to promotions in our times, it is going to be terrorism and cybercrime in yours – and this case has a perfect blend of both ” – Padmanabhan Sir had said. Padmanabhan himself had risen through the ranks of IPS to become the DIG

What's with the 20 year fascination?

Here's a 2005 video of a TED talk by Ray Kurzweil - noted futurist and now a director of engineering at Google. He talks about some of the life-transforming (literally!) innovations which will happen by 2020, due to the accelerating speed of technology change. I had written in past about how the science fiction of the 1980s predicted several innovations (like Androids, Space Travel, Space cities, and teleportation) would come true by the year 2000, and how hardly any one of these seem to be coming true by 2050. As we cross the year 2019, and we can predict with a more absolute sense about where we will be in the year 2020, and Kurzweil's vision that "we will succeed in reverse-engineering the human brain" and "we'll be able to manufacture almost anything we need in the 2020s, from information, in very inexpensive raw materials, using nano-technology", look pretty much unachievable. Nevertheless, self-driving cars are here and smart digital

How did India become a British Colony?

The ills of British Raj in India are well documented; historians - both Indian and British - have also left large literature [ ref ] regarding the revolt of 1857. Popular perception has it that the British defeated a motley band of Indian princely states who came together under the titular regime of Bahadur Shah Zafar - the last Moghul. This description while technically accurate hides in itself a very important disgrace - as to how did the British get to the point where they became the common opponent to all the princely states. Surely, the East India Company's (EIC) conniving use of their relations with certain Indian states, its treachery and opportunism in using 'laws' like Doctrine of Lapse - brought them to a position of control in several parts of India, but this was not sufficient for a foreign entity whose officers had once prostrated in front of India's monarch, to gain control over large parts of India. The main events which brought EIC (the pre