The future of things to come: Rights of the few trampled under the guise of pursuit of justice

Disclaimer : This blog post is not an effort to judge who is right or who is wrong neither is it about taking sides on appealing to religious sentiments of the readers. Here is a typical case study of how a nation can be victimised for the handiwork of the few radical hardliners and the whole world stands and watches nonplussed. 

Its nearly a forthnight since outbreak on a mini scaled war in the Gaza Strip ! The two stakeholders under contention are the Hamas and the Israelis. At one side is The Hamas which is clearly a parasite that breeds amongs the palestine community and is least bothered about the extensive damage that inspite of loss of life among the community is relentlessly pursuing its own agenda and on the other side is a country that seems to have a hell care attitude towards humanity with a single minded hard vengenance as the only agenda
 
How could we justify this ongoing collateral damage where nearly 650 civilians have been killed which include children, women and more than 1400 injured in the last 14 days. Relief supplies of food and medicines has been blocked and barred from entry into the Gaza . Missile attacks on the power supplies of the gaza strip have rendered them dysfunctional and thus event ground water is not available to people. On one hand Israel’s Gross violation of Humanitarian rights of the those few Gaza residents and the whole world is watching helplessly. UN is just a dog barring its teeth but under the strong leash of other superpowers who are keeping mum allowing this to happen  . On the othes hand is Palestine that has two parties. Fatah who are the moderates and the Hamas, who are the hardliners. Both these parties have been alternatively succeeding to power by capitalising on incumbent sentiments of the people there. Hamas assumed power since 2006 and has been actively pursuing ” intifada ”  and has been on a suicidal streak ever since head on with Israel. The recent culmination of events that have unfolded is a result of this hideous agenda of Hamas.

There is this interesting recommendation on counter terrorism measures called ” The Gills Doctrine ” put forth by KPS Gill after his extensive experience combating Khalistani Insurgency at Punjab in the 80’s. The Gills Doctrine recommmends ” When fighting terrorists armed with military-issue hardware, the definition of what constitutes ‘minimal force’ requires recalibration. If terrorism is after all a new way of warfare, then the Government must be prepared to combat it on a war-footing. At the same time, there remains an overwhelming need to insulate the local population from suffering disproportionate collateral damage. For this reason, the use of area weapons and airpower is to be avoided, even if the result is heightened casualties on one’s own side”

In his approach to combat those who weild the relegious excuse to pursue terrorism strikes down with a strong handed persuasion that no relegion in earth advocates the use of violence / warfare on women and children and for that matter even against unarmed men. People who have been misled by such false idealogies need to be dealt with severly. He states in his doctrine ” Gill offered the terrorists a stark choice: they could either die for their idea of God, or live for themselves. There was no third option. Many Khalistanis responded as per logical dictates and surrendered. Those that did not, engaged in gun battles with the Police, and frequently ended up meeting their Maker. ”   Some of his recommendations have been very much hailed by experts across the world. And is an interesting read on measures one can take to quell such insurgency.

Coming back to Attack on Gaza , On one hand it is very important for countries to intervene and talk to either of the countries to seek for a immediate cease fire to prevent further bloodshed of innocent lives. On other hand war is big business opportunity for many countries to intervene and play the big brother role . At current recession climate when countries are groping for solutions to lubricate the economy as well as to create a resource exchange this kind of mediation, peace keeping effort is an excellent excuse.  As far as the Media is concerned it has been having a hay day for all this sensationalism with higher TRP’s and feeding us crazy like the day of Operation Desert Storm

Look at the world around us today. Close to home we have the LTTE rebels fighting a loosing war where a lot of civilians are being killed as collateral damage. A little far away we have Thailand nearly in a state of disorder. Then there is Pakistan trying all its antics at our homeland. Each of these scenarios have all possibility of getting played out or escalated to a Gaza like situation if we elect the wrong decision makers to power. These are times that require us to act responsibly and exert our franchise with great thought.

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Blogging about Saving money and films !

Is my blog a personal journal ? Partly yes and partly it isnt !

Yes because i write mostly about my passion and about my personal initiatives in serving my time at earth. That involves in writing a lot about group initiatives of TKF and event updates on Momo, howtocamp, proto, blogcamp. wikicamp so on. This has created a lot of readership audience who look for updates on all these front from us here. Thanks to vijay that PROTO has a mouthpeice and separate platform where updates can be followed but for other events we are yet to create a separate site where we can aggregate all that data and provide our enthusiasts.

At the same time to bore such readers about my other passion like investments and other pursuits in the same space dilutes the seriousness of the blog. So here are two separate blogs that will be exclusively on that front.     

Paisa Bachao !

This blog will explore smart investment strategies and how to survive incurrent financial times. This blog would also explore realty trends in chennai market with assessment about Stocks, mutual funds, bullion market, and related industry news. To ensure that there is freshness in the blog I would care to avoid installation of pipes thus making it one more content aggregation destination Instead we would like to throw open new ideas that have succeeded in other markets that can be followed. I would be interested to invite Experts with their opinions and views to join in coauthoring this blog

Bollynews

Bollynews blog will be about popular movies as well as rare movie reviews , Industry news and tidbits. We welcome bloggers who are interested to coauthor this blog on the category about Kollywood in this space .

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Celebrating an Affair of a lifetime

Its a Sunday morning and i am sitting at home after all the regular chores fantasizing about the best that can happen to me right now. You take a hapless bird, skin it, sprinkle it with some of the hotest spices and leave it overnight. Hold on,  I am not talking about the devil and his histrionics in hell for the sinners. I am talking about heaven on a platter. Ok Continuing what i was saying the next day we take the marinated bird and put it on a fiery cauldron at 600 degrees C. that we Indians called the Tandoor. You leave it there for 20 minutes and then take it out and serve it alongwith its companion in the tandoor the Naan aaaaaand Viola ! …. you get the heavenly food – Tandoori Chicken. Its been a long drawn love affair for me with Tandoori Chicken across borders and cultures. This is one dish that goes well as any meal of the day and is my all time favorite.It is a Pan Asian dish that you can find in any non veg restaurant in Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore.

The Wikipeadia has an interesting account of the roots of Tandoori that food lovers can check out here. The dish is crisp at the outer and succulent at the inner. The meat is evenly engorged with the juices of spices and to have that with naan is a taste that will linger in your tastebuds forever. Tandoori Chicken is a food you will find in any non vegetarian hotel across India. This one mughlai dish where you can be certain that the fat content is relatively very low. Online research shows that 1 leg piece of Tandoori Chicken has 273 Calories. Check out the tandoori chicken at its very best at The Bukhara at Maurya Sheraton Delhi, An experience that will linger in my memory for a very long time.

Certain Facts:

This is a National dish of UK and is 2 Billion pound business in Britian.

Even SARS doesnt dimish our loyalty to this dish.

This is a dish that is favored by most of my overseas friends and loved.

And for those who feel the longing to have one here is a recipe that fits for the one cooking at home. In Chennai catch the tandoori at Dhaba Restaurant and GRT’s Radisson Hotel. If you are the one ready to try the kebab shops at Peters road, Triplicane will offer you a great treat.  

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Cool Gadgets for Geocaching !

Garmin Colorado for the professional GPS tracker

Garmin Fore runner for the sports enthusiasts

Here are two interesting devices that I am contemplating to buy for a project initiative related to GPS. India today lacks a proper valid data when it come to maps that are geocoded. We infact have no goecoded maps that can be made available to public for use. GIS has major implications across industry and domain where information can be put to use in varied forms. Many organizations who would like to have such information to launch a market feasibility study, or consumer research stop short due to lack of available data . And to start an initiative of this kind by itself is a project on its own. Why shouldnt  we as citizens of our neighborhood do this work from scratch. What i am planning is to acquire these devices and starting mapping my neighborhood and once i am done with that i am ready to lend it to whoever is interested to map his/ her neighborhood (and of course returnable) and slowly we take this initiative across to all our known circles to plot pockets of information about the entire city of chennai over a period of next 6 months.Whoever is interested to join this initiative pls leave a comment on this blogpost with your mail id and we will be in touch with you.

Community Service can also begin on initiatives of this kind where technology can be a big enabler (Anybody can lay roads or fix potholes) but doing geo tagging and geocaching for our neighborhood is going to be pioneering and very helpful base for the emerging applications and for the general public.

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Is Virgin going to make India hot ?

Last weekend when the entire country was glue to the TV watching Filmfare awards there was another major launch happening at Mumbai, that of the launch of Virgin Mobiles. Sir Richard Branson was there to launch the same. Surprise that he was there to launch a mobile service, Seems like there is more to it than meets the eye. Virgin has tied up with Tata Teleservices for the distribution of the same. Just after the Vodafone takeover of Hutch when we all thought that all the fizz in the telecom race is going to settle down here is something interesting brewing up. Virgin announces credit points for all the incoming that the subscriber will receive in his moble. The more you talk the more credit points get accumulated. Airtel had recently announced 1 re per call, Vodafone announced 75p per call, BSNL announced 50p per call and here is Virgin annoucing that it will pay the user for each incoming call. Woah ! All these companies should think on lines of extending their services to 3 g and so forth rather than look at a pure pricing strategy. As for now once again we can see some sparks flying in the telecom space.

Just when the whole world is going Gung Ho about an Indian company (TATA) coming in to take over a Global Brand like Jaguar, everyone wants to be a part of that brand TATA. TATA had recently took a major stake of private jets fleet from an auction at Singapore last month to build a corporate jet fleet for India Inc. And now the king of the Skies of Britian comes calling to TATA. There is more to it than meets the eye. Virgin has a great network and track record of setting up domestic airlines in Australia, Britian, Europe, South America and Africa as well. Some years back TATA also had great plans for Indian Skies in Tieup with Singapore Airlines and Chennai was supposed to be the hub for that. Somehow due the political climate at that time being not to inestor friendly things didnt take off well. And is this another lease of life to those plans of TATA or is there any sort of alliance in the making from the two sky  mavericks of Airlines Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Atlantic) and Vijay Mallya (King Fisher) only time will tell.

Virgin’s presence in India will be a great plus to the Aviation Industry and the Indian Consumer bcos here is a company that thinks out of the box . Here is a company that has promised to put private space travel in the aviation map of the world for the First time and that too cheaper. What more Sir Richard Branson himself has claimed to be in the first flight to space as a kind of assurance to his dream plans (Entreprunuer to the core, daring to dream big and bold ) . As per virgin atlantic’s agenda for the space program they are supposed to go on orbital flight by the end of 2008. India is known for its strengths when it come to space exploration and cryogenics. And space research is one place where entreprunuership has not moved any boulders and we need visionaries like Richard branson to break the mindset.

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2008 Indian Financial Budget : Popular all the way to the (vote) banking system

The Budget for 2008 has finally arrived. What was supposed to have been just an event has turned out to be a good surprise for many of us. All outstanding agricultural loans until 31, Dec. 2007 will be waived . Here we are talking about something to the tune of 60,000 Crores as agricultural debts. Totally an Aam Admi budget to the core . This is a great move that needs to be lauded as it take grit and lot of visionary thinking to do this measure . A point to mention is some years back Agriculture constituted 36% of our GDP and for the last two years has taken a lot of beating partly because of failed monsoon and other factors. This much needed relief will prove to be a great booster to get the sector up and moving. The banks will be reimbursed the debt waiver over a period of 3 years

It has been a popular perception in any democracy is that the government is to feed somebody then it has to steal from some section of the society. So when there was an exemption of Agri loans discussed then perception was that the middle class will face the brunt. Exceptionally this was not the case in this budget as the FM has another great sop for the Salaried individual. On personal IT space the limit has been raised from 1.1 laks to 1.5 lakhs , and 1.8 lakhs for women and 2.25 lakhs for the senior citizen . This was a total popular measure and a great bonanza for the Middle class income group.

Apart from these major areas of focus some of the sops announced were

  • Hospitals to get 5 yrs Tax Holiday
  • Duty on Project imports reduced by 2.5%
  • GDP growth during the period were 8.8% and will continue to maintain the same
  • FII and FDI inflows continue to be strong
  • GST to be imposed from 1 st April 2008
  • Excise has been reduced to 12 % from 16 %. That means the small cars will cost cheaper by more than 7000 – 10000 . Small cars, hatchback models like Hyundai Santro, Getz, Hyundai i10, Chevrolet Spark, Chevrolet uva, and Maruti  Estilo and Wagon R will cost cheaper . This is a Corporate Friendly budget.
  • Banking Cash transaction Tax has been withdrawn
  • Anti AIDS drugs will be totally exempted from Tax.
  • Education sector gets 20% more allocations
  • Capital Gains tax has been increased to 15 %
  • Tourism sector also gets tax sop.
  • Tigers conservation to get 50 Crores.
  • Defence sector gets 10% more allocations as well
  • Govt to keep a strong check on the rising product prices.

The banking space seems to have taken the budget in a very positive note.This reflected well on the Sensex and the Nifty. Over all the budget is positive for the economy as there is no warning signals that i find and the same seems to be the way the market has responded as well. Most of us were talking about an AAm Admi buget and Mr Chidambaram ensured that it will be totally that way. This might swing the vote bank in a major way in most of the states in the months to come.

One of the disappointments from this budget for me was the lack of any kind sop to spurn entrepreneurship. I remember an interesting viewpoint from Mohandas of Infosys on the same issue . The government has to provide some sort of sop for entrepreneurs like access to technology or any resources that will help in creating a startup friendly environment. This can either be in the form of collocated offices that will access to good IT infrastructure at subsidized cost. To keep the industry alive we need to incubate new ideas and new business models. This was one are that the FM hasnt addressed in this budget. Still entrepreneurship is fed by money from friends and family. When will the govt look into this ?

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Jodha Akbar on an Oscar night !

Last evening i happened to view “Jodha Akbar ” starring Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya and directed by Ashuthosh Gowarikar. The movie evokes a desire to look back at our rich heritage, our history and to know our roots beyond the english rule. Going back to our school days Mughal History was a subject that covered until Standard 10th. and very superficially. During school history was a subject that was so elaborate and not a pleasant experience as we had so much to cover . This movie proved me wrong.

Looking at great period movies from hollywood like Troy, Alexander, Motrocycle Diaries, Flag of Fathers and epics like Cleopatra and Ben Hur stirs a lot of interest into those periods from the viewer point of view. And here is a film from bollywood that tends to take the audence in retrospective to the Mughal era. I think thats a good effort from the filmmaker. Rather than making senseless movies that have the film protagonist running behind the heroine around the trees and so on. If a few movies of such genre can evoke the audience to look at different periods of Indian history i think it will create a lot of awareness among the youth of today.

Coming back to the content of the movie, we are not here to dispute the veracity of the story but the storyline is on how the neighboring kingdoms of Amer, Ajabgarh and Rajputana who used to live in peace and then the Mughal kingdom was growing from one size to another. Then there comes the political alliance in the form of a marraige proposal between prince Jalaludeen and Jodha. Jodha is the princess of the Kingdom of Amer. This story revolves around what started as a marraige of convenience to a tumultous love affair of a lifetime in the viewpoint of relegious tolerance, women empowerment and social integration. The trend to have movies like Mangal Pandey, Parzania, Black Friday, Gandhi -My Father throw a lot of light into grey areas of our history. The government has to encourage film makers who strive to recreate those lost moments of our history for the ignorant masses.

On the other hand it was an Oscar night with Coen Brothers ” No country for Old men “, “Michael Clayton” and “Bruno” grabbing major awards. Major letdown was that a movie like ” Atonement ” wasnt recognised at least for an excellent story.

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