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Showing posts with the label SocioPolitic

Need for Compassion in politics and its relation with success of countries

7 years ago today, Nelson Mandela left us - committed to ending differences in human race and a keen follower of Gandian values, Mandela is a powerful role model for leaders in the 21st century.   But before there was Mandela, there was Robert Mugabe, the Premier and later President of Zimbabwe who was heralded as the statesman of Africa and the model for good governance. [ 1 ]. As history tells us however, Mugabe and his politics failed miserably.  The reason why Zimbabwe became a failed state and South Africa a successful one was because of the Gandhian values, mainly ' Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner ' imbibed by Nelson Mandela, and a contrasting revengeful reign by Mugabe in Zimbabwe (especially in the 1990s). The story about how Mandela used the Rugby World cup [ 2 ] to reconcile and reach out for his erstwhile oppressors is a case in point [The subject was used in the movie Invictus , which is titled on one of Mandela's favourite poems - and mine too!]. Mugabe vs Ma

The good things about Covid-19 outbreak

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus - Mumbai Unprecedented Lockdown Its been a month and 10 days of the lockdown here in India, an attempt to contain the outbreak of Covid-19; the deadly virus which has engulfed the whole world and caused the death of thousands - possibly the most deaths mankind has seen in a span of few months since the Second World War. [I mean this only in the global context though, locally we have had wars, calamities and similar viral outbreaks which have outnumbered Covid-19.] As the founder of a travel startup, I was initially terribly shaken at how life has been thrown completely out of gear by this deadly virus. Travel is the worst affected sector; suddenly 2020 which we had planned to be the 'explosive growth' year for us has thrown us into an existential crisis. The situation has taken such a wild turn that I've grown comfortably numb only shifting the timeline of our 'explosive' growth to the next calendar year [or potentially even furt

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

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

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

Why is our faith in power of people so weak?
Do you fear / hate Modi or are you actually afraid of another Indira

Reading the Lounge this Sunday, I was particularly struck by the conspicuous underpinning in several articles fearing a dictatorial dystopia in Indian politics. Whether it was the article and a  story on Giant Statues, translation of the poem of dissent, caricature fiction  on the eerie mix of mega weddings and government control, or the note on movements of the 'collective' - all of them smoked of dissension from the Modi government's policies, attitude and actions. Why is this striking, you may ask - after all we're just about a quarter and a half away from the General elections and media is expected to write anti-establishment. It isn't really the fact that these articles and stories are anti-establishment which strikes me, but that most of them hint towards the fear of a dictatorial dystopia which people fear Modi will usher in. Even in private discussions, I have found more Indians wary (and even angry) not at what was done (Demonetisation, GST, Statu

Data Localisation directive is weak and its intent misdirected

There has been a lot of focus on (personal) data localisation off late, thanks to a policy announced by RBI and also as a part of the Draft privacy bill by justice Srikrishna committee . Both these documents present similar views on the subject of personal data localisation. Essentially, what they say is that any company (body corporate) collecting personal information of Indian citizens, is free to store the data in any part of the world provided they maintain a copy of the data locally within India. Most multinational companies seem to have a problem with the data localisation requirements, may be because most of these companies are incorporated overseas and would prefer to follow the legal jurisdictions of countries where they are incorporated. Countries such as the United States or even the European Union have personal data processing laws which may necessitate that data processed by companies incorporated in their territories should preferably be stored within their own

Does Capital Punishment help reduce crime?

I just read this news article in reaction to the Government's decision to allow courts to award the death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age. The government's decision comes in the wake of nationwide protests against child rape. But as the article states, and I quote - "fear that with the death penalty, most people will not report child rapes, as in most cases the accused are family members. The conviction rate will come down further". I have been myself thinking about this ever since I have heard of the law being passed. The problem in India has been the implementation of a law and not having a stringent penalty. I quote again - "We already have the death penalty for several offences and that has not led to any deterrence. If we are looking to create a deterrent, then we have to create it where it works." The issue is not that child rape or any crime doesn't have stringent punishment but that conviction is low

Bookstore of the future has arrived

I had written about an aspirational bookstore idea almost 2.5 years ago - I am glad that the idea is taking root and no other thanthe big daddy of e-commerce Amazon has come up with physical bookstores which encompass some of the ideas I proposed in my original piece.  Here are some news items along with excerpts on this.  Amazon officially opened its first brick-and-mortar store in New York City.  Every single book is turned to face outward, so that you can shop with your eyes--which only confirms that people do, in fact, judge books by their cover ... customers can find recommendations based on other books, just like they would when shopping online. On entire walls, customers will find books side by side, with arrows pointing and instructing, "If you liked this, then you'll probably like this." .. the tag under each book provides customers with a real Amazon review, along with the total number of reviews and star rating Source: https://www.inc.com/nic