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Are prisoners not Human?

Seriously - national television is too bankrupt of good reporting - as I type this they are debating on IBN 7 whether or not Ajmal Kasab has a right to use a toothpaste and deodorant while in Jail!  However, reporting standards of national TV apart - I have had a lot of my friends and colleagues believing that there is no point waiting for a trial for Ajmal Kasab , leave alone granting him a lawyer - he should simply be convicted of his crimes.  Their argument is that everyone has seen Kasab - on CCTV's - more so he has been caught on the spot and so there is nothing left to prove in a court of law, nothing left to defend for the lawyer - so why the lawyer and why the trial? Simply execute him of the charges!! The recent debate on his age too is incomprehensible to most - how does it matter if he was 17 or 18 - he is guilty, he should be executed. Well I am not a lawyer - but a student of logic and I believe that we are all making the mistake of assuming that a court is n

Why we can't afford Pakistan to fail

" The time for lighting candles at Wagah border has long since passed " - quips Veer Sanghvi in his latest article in the Hindustan Times. He argues that we now need to shun our 'friendly neighbour policy' towards Pakistan and embrace the military attitude of "hit back every time we are attacked".  Veer is correct from the Indian perspective - with the Taliban hovering on the borders of Islamabad - the Military and government have lost control of the country and we are soon going to deal with a loose group of multipolar infidels in our neighbourhood who neither understand nor heed 'international policy and neighbourly ties'.  However, looking beyond the limited view of India - Pakistan is a democratic experiment which the world cannot afford to fail.  In the multicultural word today, International politics is more like politics in a democracy - while the rich and powerful rule the roost, minorities and weaker sections also have their say. A majori

Main Chalta gaya .. Car'waan Banta gaya

Its been 8 months since I got the delivery of my Car (on August 7th, 2008); I recently clocked the 10001st kilometer on the road in my car.  A couple of days before that, I clocked 9337 kilometers - so what's so special with that. Just that my registration number also happens to be 9337 and I was fortunate to notice the meter when it turned to 9337.      My experience with driving my own car has been great till now - the machine - Maruti WagonR Duo runs pretty cool. Except for a little lack of pick up at high speeds, the LGP engine works just like Petrol hile saving money and of course environment as well.  I have done 2 Pune trips, 1 Lonavla drive, 1 trip to Daman and numerous trips to the Palm beach road and South Mumbai - trust me having your own car to drive around gives you a feeling of freedom - Iyamlouvingyit ...  Here are some snaps of my Lonavla trip with friends (way back in September). [Click the images below to get enlarged Flickr versions] The Mumbai-Pune Ex

Nano se Naina ladaike!

I had visited Chroma in Pheonix Mills Lower Parel a couple of days back - the Nano was on display there. I clicked a few snaps with the little celebrity :-)  Here are some of them. [Just in case the snaps interest you  - today is the last date to book the Nano]

Deceptive Appearances

Those of you who have not seen this video   from a popular reality show in the UK - "Britian's Got Talent" should watch it. This video in a short span has become the second most watched YouTube video of all time with 100 million hits already over a weekend, and will soon become number 1 when it crosses 118 million mark. And don't watch it completely at one go - first watch the first minute of the video; pause it and contemplate what the rest of it is going to be; and then watch the rest! Done it!! (No? Then watch it first ... don't read the rest of this post) I bet you can't say you knew this would happen! In the first one minute, no one would expect that Susan Boyle would sing like a canary in the next 5 minutes.  It goes on miles to say about how much our appearances affect our perception of people. This is what Malcom Gladwell has argued in his book blink that we often base our decisions on 'perceptions' - which is why you are more likely to fi

More on Bhopal

Continued from here . Though Bhopal's claim to fame in bollywood remains the character of Soorma Bhopali potrayed by Jagdeep in Sholay, recently Bhopal has been the shoot location for a few bollywood movies . Prakash Jha who is shooting Rajneeti in Bhopal , said : "... he had come to Bhopal for the first time in 1997 for the promotion of his film Mrityudand which featured Madhuri Dixit, Om Puri and Ayub Khan [and] was impressed by the beauty of the city even then and decided to return to the city to shoot his next film.  Jha said Bhopal now has big hotels and good approach roads and that in the coming days, he may shoot at other locations in Madhya Pradesh." The point here was not to highlight the bollywood connection (of which there are many ... ), but to highlight that praise for Bhopal's infrastructure is not limited to commited Bhopalites like me :-). A quick peek at Bhopal's Wikipedia page would tell you that Bhopal is a promising city - for example the

Bhopal - the city of passion

Living in Mumbai, its not difficult to find people who have no idea even about neighbouring cities like Nasik, leave alone cities like Bhopal. It pains even more when people are all praises for cities like Chandigarh (which is a good city, but to be frank a little hyped) and treat Bhopal akin to a village.  Being born and brought up in Bhopal, one knows that this is a city with many positives; to enumerate a few: A beautiful landscape dotted with parks, ponds and lakes. The hilly terrain on which the city is built gives it a unique ambience - roads rising up and down the slopes, formations of row houses on ascending tracts, long winding roads along the lakes and parks ...  Superb infrastructure compared to the size of population it supports. Unlike most old cities in India, Bhopal has very good amenities - whether it is underground drainage or roads and traffic signals. Smooth roads in most arterial tracks Cleanliness in most of the new Bhopal areas is a lot better than other cit

Coda: Entrepreneurship education in India

On the chain of thoughts on Entreprenuership, Ujjwal Banerjee - one of my seniors from NITIE also posted his thought. Ujjwal as some of you may recognize is one of the finalists of the Lead India contest held by Times of India.  Ujjwal, true to his iconoclast image strikes a completely different perspective on Entreprenuership - that of the Individual's choice. Read on ...   "I belief in Libertarian school of thought where the individual is given complete autonomy to decide what he/she chooses to do in life. The government and society should faciliate that ideal and allow people to flourish and ensure that they abide by the rule of law. "The role of education is to help them become rounded individuals where they not only acquire certain skills, but also understand the responsibility they have towards their fellow beings, nation, environment and the world at large. Today the education is more focussed on skill building that too for the section of society above a cert

Role of the society

Continued from previous posts [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] While my point on the US culture and subsequent responses, has anyway addressed a lot, Prof Prasad's take on Indian society is worth mentioning.  I feel - what is there in USA we cannot (in economic terms) provide in India. And even if you provide all those things which are in USA to the Indian audience, we cannot achieve the results what US achieved with their method, because we are different on many other things. We are culturally and socially different compared to USA. There people work, People tell and do the same things, there is no inheritance of wealth, youth are made to work. In such a system the VC system works.  Let me now come to what India is when compared to USA on enterprising front. In India, the social system is [built on] spoon feeding. 45 year olds are controlled and mentored by their elders. Till 30 years [of age] there is complete dependence on the parents. Parents want to continue the dependence syndrome even f

Schools, Courses, Society

Continued from previous posts [ 1 ], [ 2 ] I feel that entrepreneurs are born with it and they can only be provided the right opportunities. Such opportunities are available to a lot of people in the US - opportunities like  Universities which will allow you to stay in the hostel, not attend classes, but work on your ideas People who are ready to give you a pocket money to run your life while you are busy burning midnight oil in a garage working on your startup Proper funding when you see a business rise beyond the curve Unfortunately, we don't have such things in India.  Note that even in the US, its is not specific courses - definitely not MBA courses - which have churned out entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs have come out of regular courses on software engineering or energy research or aviation technology or plain accounting or commerce (Steve Jobbs & Bill Gates).  But what has differentiated such courses from similar ones in India is the prevailing culture of the institution