Thursday, December 29, 2005

Another free swing....

...............................another innocent victim.

This is how one may well summarize the attack on the IISc y’sday night in Bangalore.

And the Indian government and security agencies continue to function in a slapdash fashion without any coordination among each other.

That is all there is it to the tragic incident!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Holy crap! They’ve drafted him into the side…

When politicians control and run a sports body, the result always is chaos and pandemonium. And that is what is happening with cricket in India, actually, for a long time now.

The whole controversy surrounding the issue of Sourav’s presence in the team wouldn’t have taken place, if the selectors weren’t pressurized to select Soruav for the test series against Lanka, after dropping him earlier for the ODIs. But, as usual politics (read Dalmiya) had the final say, rather than the factor of performance, in the selection process and thus Sourav made it into the side. And to his credit......he performed marginally well,than usual,in the Delhi test and that too at crucial stages.

But, unfortunately for Ganguly, major changes in Indian cricket took place in the same week. The Dalmiya faction, which until then was the power house of Indian cricket, got defeated in the board elections and Mr. Sharad Pawar was elected as the new BCCI President. This also resulted in major changes in the selection committee; the members who were seen as pro-Dalmiya/pro-Sourav were shown the door which automatically ensured in the dropping of Sourav for the Ahmedabad test.

And the rest as you know is history.

I feel bad for Mr. Moore, he had to come up with one reason or the other to make sense of the whole situation. He was made into a villain by the media, along with Mr. Chappell, in the whole episode which he absolutely had no control on.

Politics is what, that, has ensured a place in the test team for Sourav. Now it is up to him to hold onto the place by performing on the field, ‘cause his cricketing days are being numbered.

Update: Dada is back to his best!

Friday, December 23, 2005

A momentous day in Parliament today…

In a country where the justice system is known for its snail’s pace on actions, the legislative bodies of the country- both the Lok Sabha & the Rajya Sabha-acted swiftly today by expelling the 11 MPs involved in the ‘cash for questions’ scandal.

By coming down heavily on the tainted MPs, the Parliament has set a bench mark for the future. It is an appropriate action, and more importantly a necessary one, to restore the faith of the people in the parliamentary system. The Parliament deserves praise for acting swiftly without any delay on this serious issue. Well done.

On the other hand, it was shocking to see the BJP-led Opposition stage a boycott citing that it is too harsh a punishment for the MPs.

Oh god! What a fall in standards for a party which came into the National scene as a party with a difference!!

God only knows what made them to change their mind on the issue after suspending the accused MPs from the party within an hour of the exposé. I think BJP clearly missed the bigger picture here. They made a huge mistake in deciding to boycott the motion. It would have done an enormous good for the party if they went along with the motion. Rather they choose the other way, which would most probably tarnish their image further after the battering they took due to ‘Operation West End’, the first sting operation that exposed high level corruption in the system.

Alas, the BJP too is becoming like a normal political party that we hate!

Anyways, let us hope that the Parliament acts in similar fashion in dealing with the MPs caught asking for kickbacks for sanctioning funds under MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Humiliation of Mr. Rao continues…

It’s going to be exactly one year, this Friday, since the passing of Mr. Narasimha Rao. But, the shabby treatment that the congress party meted out to him during his death still continues even to this day. It really bewilders me why his own party continues to behave in this way, when the rest of the country acknowledges the invaluable contributions that he made during his term as the PM of this country.

Is it because he refused to be the rubber stamp of the “dynasty”?


Is it because he was the first non-dynasty individual to complete the five year term and that too with a great deal of success?

Wasn't the eight year isolation and humilation, after he stepped down as the PM, enough? He was even denied a ticket, by the then Congress President Mr. Sitaram Kesari, in the 1998 Lok Sabha elections. I think there is no need to remind anyone as to whose orders Mr. Kesari was following.

It pains me to see that there hasn’t been any kinda memorial in his name yet in the capital. Whereas, someone like Sanjay Gandhi has a ghat in his name beside the ghat of the Mahatma!

It is not the issue abt any memorial or ghat, it simply tells us that the center is yet to recognize his contributions. What pains me more is the attitude of the State government of AP, where the Congress party is also in power. I mean, it is one thing that the center has neglected Mr. Rao, but the fact that the people of his own State are simply neglecting him is an insult to him.

The images of his half burnt body in the papers, the day after his funeral, are still fresh in my mind and to an extent still haunt me. To see an ex-PM being treated like this in his own country and worse in his own state is a lot to think about how things work over here

I think he wld have received better respect and recognition if there were different parties in power. Parties like the NDA and the TDP wld have definitely taken a better care of his death than the congress.

But one thing is for sure, whether his party or state recognizes his contributions or not, his place in the golden pages of Indian history is assured. He will always be remembered as one of the best PMs that India ever had.

P.S. : Click the title of this post for a related story.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The buck passes on…

Coming close on the heels of “Operation Durhyodhana”, “Operation Chakravyuh” carried out by Star News and another news-cum-investigative agency (Grt times for these agencies ha!) exposed seven (six, if u discount the ‘double’ by Chandra Pratap Singh of BJP) more members asking for kickbacks for sanctioning funds under MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).

Good lord! Our founders would have killed themselves if they were alive today.

So add 6 more to the “Hall of Shame” for this year… wait!....there seems to be 50 more, according to one Southern Daily, who were also caught on cam in the same matter.

So keep counting…..the fun continues!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Adios Leo…

For those who follow “The West Wing” avidly, like I do, the untimely passing of actor John Spencer, who plays vice-presidential candidate Leo McGarry, comes as a great shock. His portrayal, as a tough,shrewd and loyal White House chief of staff, really brought the needed intensity to a brilliant screenplay.

We will miss you John!


Friday, December 16, 2005

New links....

Been reading the musings of these two of late....

1) Shruthi

2) Ravi

...adding them to my links.

Hope they don't mind!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The fall continues…

Our politicians never cease to spring surprises upon us. They keep on vomiting out the same sh*t on us tht we’ve kinda accepted it as the ‘part & parcel’ of the whole “deal”- called a politician.

The brand new ‘cash for questions' scandal is one of those things that u kinda know happens in the legislative assemblies (wake up to the reality if u think other wise) but pray and hope tht at least the parliament is above all this. Apparently, it has been one of the worst kept secrets in New Delhi until now (damn….it really sucks to be an optimist sometimes).

The most troubling angle to all this is tht u kinda think that the normal culprits in these scandals would be the usual suspects, criminals turned netas, but most of the 11 MPs caught on cam were graduates! Boy….that’s a new thing….ha??!!

Well, kudos to the news media (a.k.a the 24 hr news channels) involved in this operation. For once they made a positive impact with their skills and resources. At last, they are emphasizing on issues that matter the most (whatever there objective might be). In a way, its gud to have numerous 24hr news channels competing for viewership ratings as they tend to focus on issues tht wld grab the attention of the public. Let us hope tht they wld keep the gud work going.

It is also upon us to shun the nature of compromising and accommodating the evil of corruption in our society.

Let us start by expelling these members out of parliament for life and initiating criminal proceedings against them. This shld serve as a warning to others who weren’t caught.

It always pays to learn from history and ones’ mistakes, else the ongoing fall of the system into the abyss wld continue unabated…
P.S: A link to a good editorial at the T.O.I.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Destination home!

Finally, after a year and half of being away from home came back to India this Sunday. Man am I glad to be bck or wht….

Had a 34+ hr long boring and tiresome journey to home with four connecting flights. (damn my budget…. and damn my agent….). Had it not been for the in-flight entertainment systems (which keep on repeating the same crap) and a dozen friends for company….i wld have surely gone crazy during the trip. A piece of advice from me for those who’d like to come to India…never take more than two connecting wldn’t be worth the few hundred bucks tht u might save.

I have a lot to say and ponder abt this trip….tht wld make it damn boring to read…so i have a better idea….I’ll summarize it for u….(in my own way ofcourse)...

• Why the hell do the people don’t follow the seat numbers on their tickets while traveling inside the U.S.?

• Why the hell does the in-flight food tastes so horrible?

• Why are the state carriers in the South Asia offer such crapy service?

• What’s with the dress code of the stewardess in the South Asian carriers? Is it necessary to ask them to wear sarees when they themselves feel uncomfortable and awkward in them?

• When are our airports going to change? ( the airport in HYD and to tht matter the Heathrow was in a horrible condition; whereas I was impressed by that of Colombo)

• Why the hell does our baggage always come in installments? ( I’m still missing two of my luggage….. :-( )

A lot of unanswered questions tht I have….. (Hmmm…did I sound a bit like master Yoda??!!!)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A (small) milestone for my thoughts in the virtual world!

It's been jst over an year since i started blogging at blogger.

Posted around 30 posts (excluding this one) up till now. Though i shld say tht it was only during the last two or three months tht i've posted a major chunk of those 30 posts.

Some of these posts were gud, some were ok and some...lets simply say bad.

Though i initially started off with topics tht moved me or touched me and which i thought deserved the right attention...i gradually spread my scope of blogs to some entertaining and trivial topics too. But my chief objective still remains the topics that do concern and matter .

Blogging at blogger broadened my perspective...Though i shld add 'along with the fact of me starting living in the US'...abt the things around me and tht were happening in the world. It gave me an insight into the thoughts of other people in the world...Sometimes abt the world and most of the times abt their lives. I was able to discuss and share my thoughts and opinions with people from around the world...which to say the least wld have been an incredibly impossible thing to do without the medium of blogs.
So...since i'm going to be going off for a month or so...i wld like to hear from u abt my thoughts and opinions.....of the last one year of my blogging.
Please share with me your views abt my blogs up till now....frank and scncere comments are always welcome!
Do also let me know which post of mine is the best of the lot and which is the worst...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..............It's damn cold over here!!!!!!!!!!!!

The winter has started off with a bang over here in North Texas.

It's around -8 * C ( 18*F) right now and is expected to touch -11 * C by the morning of 'morrow .

Tht's crazy! 18 F in this part of the world??!!

Hmmm....we need to think abt the issue of global warming more seriously!

After one heck of a summer and a bsy hurricane season, the country is already experiencing a very harsh winter....Mr. President wake up !

Anyways...I'm lucky tht...I'd be off to India for a month this comin friday. ( Yahooooooooo........or.......goooggleeeee.....wht ever u'd like to call it) .
I'd be saved from the wrath of this cold for the better part of the winter this year.

...............well atleast for a week or two.....or maybe till jan 19th!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Rewriting history or telling the truth?

History doesn't always tell the complete story of an event. Especially, if that event occurred at a place where history is what the ruling elite make it to be.

In October of this year, I came across an article that really made me to think about how history is written. It made me wonder whether we always hear the truth in history or just the side of the story which the rulers then wanted their people to hear. I published this particular article then in my now defunct yahoo 360 page. Since this blog of mine has got a wider audience than my old blog....I'm reproducing it down here....Shamelessly....with some changes...

Today I came across a very interesting link that one of my friends sent me that dealt with the first recorded human flight. I'm re-producing a part of the article that was published in Deccan Herald , an English daily from southern India,two years back. It follows as below....

"Flying high Hundred years after Orville Wright's first flight, K R N SWAMY remembers Shivkur Bapuji Talpade, the Indian who flew an unmanned aircraft, eight years before Wright.Orville Wright demonstrated on December 17th 1903 that it was possible for a 'manned heavier than air machine to fly'. But, in 1895, eight years earlier, the Sanskrit scholar Shivkar Bapuji Talpade had designed a basic aircraft called Marutsakthi (meaning Power of Air) based on Vedic technology and had it take off unmanned before a large audience in the Chowpathy beach of Bombay. The importance of the Wright brothers lies in the fact, that it was a manned flight for a distance of 120 feet and Orville Wright became the first man to fly. But Talpade's unmanned aircraft flew to a height of 1500 feet before crashing down and the historian Evan Koshtka, has described Talpade as the first creator of an aircraft.

I'm providing the link for the remaining of the article over here... Shivkar Bapuji Talpade

I myself had done some googling over this topic and found some interesting results.( Google )

I'm not saying that all the content in these websites is true , but there can't be smoke without any fire right?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

How fat are we becoming ??!!

Well one of the weird (was alarmed actually) news snippet tht I heard in recent times..... " Obesity stops jabs hitting target "

Was in the field today collecting data for my research and heard over the radio (on NPR) about this. This makes me wonder whether going for longer needles is a solution to the problem! Shouldn't we be more concerned about spreading awareness about the serious health risks associated with a person being obese!

Are we kinda getting used to being fat that we are looking for these kinda alternatives?

And jst as I was abt to post this, one more article related to this problem came up.....( D'oh.....need to stop eating at mcds....need to start working out soon!)

damn....these studies sometime scare the sh#t out of me!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Swami Vivekananda's Chicago speech...

I've come across the full text of Swamivekanada's famous, and truly wonderful,1893 speech at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, Illinois and I'm producing it below. Go thru the complete set. It really defines the meaning of a religion, the way one needs to practice it.

" Sisters and Brothers of America,

It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us. I thank you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world; I thank you in the name of the mother of religions; I thank you in the name of millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects.

My thanks, also, to some of the speakers on this platform who, referring to the delegates from Orient, have told you that these men from far-off nations may well claim the honor of bearing to different lands the idea of toleration. I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and nations of the earth. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to Southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny. I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation. I will quote to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn which I remember to have repeated from my earliest boyhood, which is every day repeated by millions of human beings: "As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea, sources in different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee."

The present convention, which is one of the most august assemblies ever held, is in itself a vindication, a declaration to the world of wonderful doctrine preached in the Gita: "Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to me." Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. But their time is come; and I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honor of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal. "

Those who want to go through the complete set of speeches that he made at chicago, jst click the title of this particular blog.

And those who'd like to listen the audio of this great speech, click here.

This speech is a masterpiece.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Turning of the tide...

Atlast, some hope for the people of bihar.

After 15 years of misery ( at least these folks have woken up now!), the people of Bihar voted out laloo and his clan out of power. They have chosen development over cast and pseudo-secular politics.

It is now up to the newly elected CM to ensure that the trust kept in them by the people shouldn't be taken for granted and toyed around, like the previous governments did. It is a golden opportunity for the newly elected leaders to end the darkness in Bihar and fulfill the hopes and dreams of the people of this troubled state.

Anyways, this change is only the first step on the long road ahead for the people of Bihar towards progress and prosperity.

Let's keep our fingers crossed and wish them all the best. Let's also hope that this shldn't become one of those false starts, that always promised them good times ahead but ultimately ended in abyss.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The numerous faces of awkwardness....

Well it is getting awkward everywhere for this guy now......hmmm....Why is it so?

To be frank, when I saw the photo (without reading the contents of the story), i thought tht it might be another skit on the tonight show with jay leno by that dubya impersonator.

But had a grt laugh when I went thru the piece.

(Photo: I played around with the original AP photo a bit.)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Are you a poop sleuth???

Test your poop investigating skills................ :-))))))))

Well going thru my daily routine of the BBC browsing and came across this funny game on its Science & Nature page . Sounds a bit gross when you hear it the first time around....but you might even n joy the test of your poop sleuth skills at the end.....he he he he !!!!!

Apart from the fun, the Science & Nature page on the BBC portal is an amazing database of facts concerning the two topics. It makes a great read (leisure aswell as serious info.) for the buffs in both the fields.

Do check out the link.
And seems tht...i'm no gud at poop investigations!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bihar: One of India's many unending nightmares

It's not often that one particular region of a nation stands as an epitome of all the problems that a nation is facing or coping with. Bihar,a state in the north of India, is one such example.

Sunday's attack by 1000 odd Maoist naxals on a jail in Bihar really puts in perspective the extent to which lawlessness has penetrated the system in this state. The insurgents staged such a meticulous and well planned attack wherein the police of the town had to simply look from the sidelines as mute spectators without acting in anyway;this itself clearly shows the inadequacies of the administrative system there . It's almost like the coordinated attack on a Russian town by rebels a couple of weeks ago. This coordinated attack on a jail, that too during an ongoing state election is shocking and outrageous to say the least. Even to the standards of Bihar,where 14 murders, at an average, are committed every day and one kidnapping every four hours, according to a recent newspaper report, it is quite distressing. It simply symbolizes the total failure of the system as a whole from top to bottom.

For decades now, feudalism and authoritarianism dominated the politics and thus the governance in Bihar, making mockery of democracy,freedon and justice. Once this part of India, called the kingdom of nalanda, was known for it's glorious cultural, educational and historical heritage. It used to be the center for academic,poetic and theatrical excellence in the 11th and 12th centuries. In fact, it used to be the home of one of the world's oldest university-The Nalanda University.
Bihar now stands as the anti-thesis of what it used be.About 100 gangs are active in kidnapping and extortion in Bihar today. Of these, 21 operate in the capital Patna alone.
Failure of successive governments to introduce and promote land reforms, promote literacy coupled with colossal problems like poverty,large scale corruption,awful basic infrastructure,political patronage of outlaws and criminals have taken a heavy toll on the society and the way society works in Bihar today. And above all these issues...the caste of an individual.... has become the root of all the troubles that stem out in Bihar. To a large extent this holds true for the whole of India, but states like Bihar,UP,TN,Haryana specially stand out in this regard. Everything in these states is centered around the politics of caste.

And during all these years the center, and for that matter the rest of India, stood on the sidelines and watched as the rule of law and the order in Bihar broke down to what it is right now. The center's role in this regard may be partly attributed to it's larger role to look after the whole country. However, that doesn't mean that it should stand aside when one government after the other in Bihar fails to fulfill or even guard the basic dreams and aspirations of its people.

The time has come for the central government in India to take a strong stand against the lawlessness and lack of order in Bihar. The center has to take concrete steps in restoring order and faith in people towards the administrative system.

Using the skills and services of the district collectors is a way that government should seriously consider, 'cause they are the only real hope for making constructive progress in a troubled state like Bihar. Being from the IAS cadre is good enough to entrust them with such a gigantic task, that would test their ability to full extent.

It is also time to crack down heavily on the growing and menacing problem of Maoist naxalism in India and send a message to anti-social elements like these that they will not be tolerated anymore now. The once noble ideology that was associated with them and identified with by the people has long been gone and they have become the problem itself not the solution that they proclaimed to be.

But it, as always is, comes down to the people of the state itself to find the solution for there problems. They have an invaluable weapon in their hands, the right to vote/political franchise , that can be a great defence and solution to all of their problems. They have to realize that caste politics may help them in their short term needs but it is like slow poison that will engulf the whole system finally.

(Photo: Relatives of a victim of the jail attack grieving outside the jail, Reuters)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The deceit continues...

It is really sad that the deceit of American people is still being continued by this administration. Even indictments seem to have failed to wake up this administration abt the quagmire of lies that it is sinking itself into it.May be they need some convictions at the top to come down!

Y'sday in an effort to hit back at a resurgent dems. and to contain the downward spiraling of his approval ratings...the president used a stage like Veteran's commemoration day to take political advantage. He not only called his critics of trying to change the history of the premise for war by accusing his administration of lying but he also pulled up the emotional card of hurting the moral of the troops by doubting the reasons for war!!!!!!!!.

He not only lies in the first place but now accuses his critics and dems as liars and of manipulation!!!!!!!!! What an a@@##l# he is!!!

How pathetic can it still become?!!

I don't think the GOP, and Bush himself, realizes that its prospects for '08 would continue to suffer as long as this administration keeps on lying about the reasons for going to war. Turning their back on the public and trying to tear down all those who seek the truth would only further dent their chances of winning the coming midterm elections and the next presidential elections .
Meanwhile the dems shld keep up the pressure and shldn't let this administration to get away that easily on any subject that would effect the Americans, afterall world peace is at stake.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

“Quote ... Unquote”

The thing about famous quotes is that once they get into your mind, they are hard to get rid of from one's thoughts. They keep on lingering at the back of of you're mind and sometimes may indeed inspire you to do something positive with your life or to other lives. Of course it isn't often that people get inspired by inspirational quotes and set upon doing something positive, but sometimes they turnout to be both inspirational as well as pure gems that get associated with the legacy of that particular statesman. Like, this one from JFK's Inaugural Address....
And so, my fellow Americans…ask not what your country can do for you…ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world…ask not what America can do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”
Simply brilliant, Isn't it?

I think this one kinda got etched into each and every American of that generation. I myself heard this one from my dad when I was in high school and I think I learned a bit or two about being a good citizen from it(...did i sound a bit melodramatic there?).

Then there are some quotes which are true epitomes of the political geniousness of the this one...

"When I don't make a decision, it's not that I don't think about it. I think about it and make a decision not to make a decision."
The 9th Prime Minister of the Republic of India.
And then there are quotes like this one be frank....they make you wonder how the person got there in the first place....though there is no denying that one can get a good laugh out of it... :-)))))

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
President Bush.
Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004.
He truly is a Pan !!!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Ignorance Is Bliss!!!

Yesterday the Kansas Board of Education approved new science standards that question the validity of the theory of evolution ( hey....Why is it still called a theory ?....we need to start calling it a law...What do u say? ) . And they also have redefined science !!!! (How in the hell did these guys get elected in the first place ?)

This means that now "creationism" could be taught along with (or more than) evolution if pressurized by local communities, a free ticket for the conservatives to push ideology. Teachers now might be forced to tow the line of teaching 'creationism' as a valid theory, thus leading to increased chance of confrontations in the classrooms and outside of the classrooms. This also means that we could also have students coming out of Kansas brought up in an atmosphere that belittles science as just another conspiracy of non-believers against the believers.

What an irony!!! A nation best known for some of the greatest advancements and technological breakthroughs in modern human history is facing a situation where a section of people still want to be the "Earth is Flat" group( Also chk this out...LOL!!!).And what makes it even worse is that the President of the country itself heads the group!!!

Maybe I'm reading too much into this...there is still a lot of light in the tunnel itself...democrats started the process of restoring America to its people with y'sdays gains....people of Pennsylvania began to strikeback for gud....Californians too joined in.....



Saturday, November 05, 2005

Is it really news????

News in India today is undergoing a dramatic change, for good or worse! The good old days of seeing some meaningful & quality news on the national network or at least from production houses like NDTV and Aaj Tak are gone. News in India is heading in the direction of the news in the west, giving importance to hype and so called 'celebrity' news rather than to the real news.
It's really sad to see the standards of the content in the news bulletins falling to new low levels each day.One can safely say that this degradation of standards ,in news, in India began with the advent of too many private 24-Hour news channels at once. In order to grab the viewership ratings , to increase their Ad revenues , news channels are competing with each other to give importance to "hype" rather than quality of the content in the news.

I mean just think about this once.... when a news channel carries the wedding of a celebrity or an awards function or a fashion show as its leading headline of its bulletins rather than an issue that really matters.....u know that the standards are not the same as they used to be.Even most of the so called infotainment websites in India like indiatimes, rediff, sify etc. are really reaching new lows to grab attention of the public, putting senseless news items as their front page stories.

For example, look at this headline that appeared a couple of months ago on I swear this is true....

" Are girls more promiscuous than guys?"

come on.......for god's sake is it really "news" ??? I mean I don't have an issue with the topic, hell that is what the freedom of speech/expression is all about....but isn't that kinda needs to be discussed in other sections. Aren't there more important issues like corruption,poverty, high HIV rates.... that need to be addressed and dealt with?

what's the solution then? How to change this situation?

To be frank, one can't totally blame the cable news media for this pathetic mess...after all they are doing this to stay in business in a very competitive market. Then who's going to deal with this situation?

Well the responsibility of this lies with the people of the country itself. The public passively accepted this at the first place and they only could change it now. It is only up to the people who watch and read such news to change the way news is going to be presented in the future.They have to really herald in the change so that news remains news. Objective news networks like BBC or Public networks like PBS are required in todays world, not some nonsense cable news channels that really harm the society without anyone noticing or realizing it.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Good Idea...

Yesterday I was googling for Widgets and stumbled upon this website of BBC. It is kinda platform/forum/front-whatever u may call it- where BBC encourages its viewers to use its content feeds to make new widgets...... obviously on a non-commercial basis . I believe that the popular BBC Weather widget on dashboard ( aka Apple Dashboard ) was a result of this effort of the BBC. A brilliant way to promote its brand name, though I seriously doubt whether an organization like BBC needs that at this point of time.

Check out the website, makes an interesting read. I personally found the prototype of the Talking TV guide quite amusing. They call her Charlotte. I think I've heard this kinda idea before....something on the lines of a virtual newsreader. I remember...Ananova is her name..hadn't heard of her/it since then though!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Another postcard from space...

Well one can't stop oneself from posting these pictures......Can you?

: Last month, a Soyuz TMA-7 spacecraft docked with the International Space Station. The spacecraft was launched a few days earlier from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Pictured above, the approaching Soyuz spacecraft carried the new Expedition 12 crew to the Earth-orbiting International Space Station (ISS), as well as fee-paying spaceflight participant. The Expedition 12 crew is expected to stay on the ISS for about six months, while replacing the Expedition 11 crew who had been on the station for about six months themselves. About a week after this image was taken, the Expedition 11 crew returned to Earth in the Soyuz capsule, along with the spaceflight participant. The Expedition 12 crew will carry out repairs on the ISS, explore new methods of living in space, and conduct research in space including a kidney stone experiment.

Day 2:Delhites rise,GOI still in deep sleep!!!

Indians over the centuries have learnt to speedily recover and pick themselves up from various tragedies....they might be events like natural disasters or an event like a terrorist attack. One may attribute this to them for being targets of continuous pillage over the centuries or just say they all have strong will of life and have learnt the lessons of survival the hard way. Whatever it might be....they have once again shown that terrorists can't stop those who love and value freedom from carrying on with their lives. These acts of terror would just make the will of the people more stronger and would make them more determined than ever to carry on with their lives.

I Salute the Delhites for their fightback.

Meanwhile the government of India ( GOI ) continues to sleep in deep slumber. I don't know when our government is going to stand up strongly against such acts of terrors and terrorists???? It is obvious that some elements across the border have taken for granted the inaction by various governments over the years as a sign of weakness on the part of the people of India. Continued terror strikes, hijackings,bomb blasts etc., are stark reminders of this and the response of the GOI hasn't always been effective to say the least. Added to this, the various governments across the border haven't stopped aiding and supporting these elements all these years and god only knows why the international community to a large extent continues to ignore this support of terrorism against a democratic and free country ??!!! Some countries still haven't completely learnt the lessons of turning a blind eye to such elements for their own selfish reasons.

It is high time that the GOI conveys a strong and clear message to the harmful elements across the border once for all. It should also make it clear to the government across the border that India wouldn't tolerate these acts of terror anymore and their failure to stop these acts would be dealt with strongly and in an appropriate way.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Terror Strikes Home....AGAIN!!!!

Once again India became the (easy) target of terrorists. Atleast 70 people died on Saturday night when three car bombs went off in busy market areas of Delhi. The victims here ,as always are, are again innocent people.... Shopping for the coming festivals of Diwali & Eid.
It is really sad and makes me really angry that innocent people continue to die by these unjustifiable acts of terror. And I don't know for how long does the Indian government(s) lets this carnage to continue year after year. When would it stand up against these terrorists who have been making attack after an attack on Indians for many decades now ???
Photo : AP

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Schwarzenegger Street…

I came across this political cartoon on Schwarzenegger @ The Huffington Post today . It ain't tht gud like the "This Land" cartoon from Jib Jab during the '04 elections, but it's worth having a look at.

And those who haven't yet checked the latest one from Jib Jab.... titled Second check it out.

N joy!!!

The hijacking of Swastika / Swastik

A few days ago, I came across a photo-blog by two Americans who've visited India recently and what caught my attention is that these two guys were initially surprised ( they later found out its significance) to find the symbol of Swastika/Swastik being widely & prominently used everywhere in India.

Like most Westerners they too though that it kind of represents an allegiance to the philosophy of the Hitlers' Nazi Party or an acceptance of fascism and racism , of which the symbol is generally associated with in the West. Most of the Westerners would have shown the same reaction on their first visit to India as they are all unaware of its significance and importance in the Hindu way of life in India.

Swastika has been in use by the Hindus for thousands of years now. It is a symbol of good luck and auspiciousness for Hindus. It could be widely seen all over India on temples, houses, shops, new vehicles or machines etc.,I myself , having a Hindu brought up, have seen it being marked on my books during the festival of Lord Ganesha , on the wedding cards of my cousins and relatives and we even have it marked on the entrance of the meditation and puja room in our house and, to be honest I never thought of it in any other way than I knew it was.

It is really sad to see that such taboo is attached to a symbol because one crazy racist party hijacked it to represent there ideology. That's crazy!!!! It is like doing the same to the cross because of it being used by the crusaders during the 11th and 13th centuries or for the KKK using it as a prominent symbol. It sounds ridiculous right!

And after seeing the above mentioned blog I made some research on this topic and found out that Swastika was used by various civilizations during various periods of time and still certain cultures around the world use it in the similar way as the Hindus do. ( Check this! )

Now it is up to the large number of expats of these cultures present around the world to enlighten the world about the misconceptions on the use of Swastika and should see to that the neo-Nazi parties,still present in some parties of the world, stop using it to represent their ideology which one shouldn't forget resulted in one of the darkest moments known in history.

Update: And if you believe in this cause and would like to get the icon up in your blog then go over to this place and try out the code!

I'd like to make clear that i purely see this as a cultural issue and not as a religious or any other issue. I deeply respect and understand the complexity of this issue and what it means for the Holocaust Survivors around the world. I no way or ever will endorse the repulsive and unacceptable ideology of the Nazis.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

An Insight into the minds of google......

If u are a google fan like myself, do check out the link tht I've given . It gives u an insight into the minds of men behind google and there is also a lot of useful stuff in those blogs too.

Even if u r not a google fan u cld jst read it as an interesting blog.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Sad "milestone" in Iraq for America....

A Sad "milestone" for the US Military in Iraq....the number of MP dead crossed the 2000 mark today.

And the number of Iraqis killed lies anywhere between 36000 to 100,000!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don't even think about the number of injured on both the wld(shld) be disgusted with yourself....that is if u consider yoursef to be a human being and have any conscience in you.

All for.....What?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Are we (really) there yet???

Until an year ago, living in India, I always used to believe (& dreamt) that we are going to be a developed nation pretty soon...may be within the next 20 years. But thanks to the "Sarkars" of India, I was always wakened up to the reality of India and assured that the dream of a developed India may always remain a dream.

The last week's earthquake in South Asia is a good example of the defects and potholes that still riddle the bureaucracy inherited from the Raj. The way the state & central administrations failed to stand up for their own people in the hour of need just shows that we have a very long way to go in terms of being a developed nation. Here was the one opportunity where we could have won the hearts and minds of those disgruntled percentage of kashmiris who might be having hard feelings towards India and we floundered it real bad. It's pathetic. What else could describe the situation when even after one week aid hasn't reached to some parts of the state????

India's economy is now growing @ 7-8% an year and is forecasted to maintain the same or even higher growth rate in the coming years, progress is being made in providing health care,education,drinking water,good infrastructure throughout the country , the quality of life in general is increasing and we have a USD 143.435 billion forex reserves ( and counting). IT has been and still is a major factor in fueling the present growth and it may eventually take us to the top. But...Is it enough to sustain us at the top for ever? The answer is simple...NO.

Also the question here is...Is the wealth that is being created reaching the poor? Around 40-45% of the 1.3 Billion population in India still lives behind the poverty line,the same percentage of people are also illiterate, corruption is still a major demon that needs to be tackled,minor ethnic and communal strifes still plague the country.....the list goes on....

I'm an optimist. I believe that we could still make it to the top league, but we need an initiative from the political establishment that would usher in the golden days that people in India are waiting for the last 58 years. India as a nation has three valuable qualities--a vibrant democracy,a secular identity and sovereignty--which a very few nations in the world could boast of having. And I believe that as long as these three form the pillars on which the nation stands there is always HOPE.

P.S. : The Photo above is of a Kashmiri boy trying to stay in line for the supplies at a relief camp.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Stunning postcards....

Two images tht wld take your breath away....

This stunning image taken by the Cassini spacecraft was released by NASA two days bck. This is an image of Dione ,one of the moons of the Saturnian system, against the back drop of Saturn and its rings. These images keep getting better and better with every day and I cldn't stop myself from posting this image.

For those of you who want to know more details about this particular image....go to image ......and for those who want to know more abt the mission try Cassini-Huygens .

And this image won the best black n white wildlife photograph award for 2005 (BBC). It shows a crowd of elephants (wht does one call a crowd of elephants?) against the backdrop of Mt. Kilimanjaro which is 25miles away.

Simply amazing!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

First Link...

I'm glad to add on Dr. Alamandrax as my first outside blog link....

Monday, October 17, 2005

What a farce!!!

World Champions ( Australia ) vs World XI.....

It was billed as the "Super" series that would take the cricketing world by storm and which would be held every four years on the lines of the world cup. But alas! What a false beginning, for this mega event of cricket , it turned out to be at the end!

The more than convincing 210 runs victory by the aussies in the just concluded Super test at the Sydney Cricket Ground has already dug up its' own grave as a tournament, all for a brilliant concept still in its nascent stages ( ICC ) .This test victory follows the 3-0 thumping received by the World XI from the ruthless aussies in the one day series that preceded the Super test.

The World XI really had themselves to blame for the thrashing they received at the hands of the aussies. Even though it had the likes of Lara, Dravid, Flintoff, Inzy among others in its ranks, the lack of cohesiveness and team spirit in addition to lack of match practice and form led to the downfall of the World XI. I believe the selectors are also to blame for their sloppy selection of the team. The process of selecting the probables was made four to five months prior to the tournament, too early to begin with, and the current form of the players was grossly ignored.

On the other hand, the aussies were rearing to go after a humiliating Ashes loss to the English. This series was taken by the aussies as an opportunity to strike back at there critics who began to doubt if there dominance of world cricket is coming to an end after the Ashes defeat. And they rightly have proven that they still are among the best in the world, if not the "invincibles" that they once were.

Finally, I think that it would be a big mistake to drop this tournament just because of the reason that an out of form team was thrashed by the world champions. It would be foolish on part of the ICC to do so. In-fact, the ICC should be willing to promote this idea in the future to keep the sense of compadre seen among the players and most importantly among the people of different nations who turned up to watch it. The (cricketing) world needs this after what all is happening in the world currently.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Kudos to the Chinese

Well let me first congratulate the Chinese for their country’s second successive launch of humans into space. Nice job!

This successful launch is a good sign for the space community around the world after some disappointing setbacks to the American shuttle program. I believe this augers well for the future as it would keep the interest of other developed nations in sending humans into space.

China’s space programs’ position right now could be mostly attributed to the Russian technology and the extent of its own indigenousness is still questionable. But as with most of the things in China there is a great deal of secrecy in this too and thus hard to make out whether China really has the cutting edge technology to take the next obvious step, to be more precise to land on the moon. Officially though, it is planning to send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2010. Anyways I think china is making fantastic strides, and that to at a very quick pace, in its’ space ambitions and definitely a booming economy is also playing a major role in this. This is helping China in putting up a face in the international arena as a powerhouse and aiming to be a superpower in the not too distant future.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Fox news scares me....

Fox news scares me!!!

Even though I don't have cable at my place I use the net to keep track of the happenings both in and out of the US on a daily basis. Today,driven by boredom, I opened up and came across some video content that they have from their regular programming. My goodness!!!! I was really shocked at the point of views of most of their anchors.....It really frightened me....'cause they really sounded like people with very extremist and outrageous views. Not only their views sounded absolutely stupid but it seemed that most of them are absolutely ignorant of the facts and really don't give a damn about wht the world thinks . I don't have to prove my point by citing any example here, it's there to see on the website itself. It scares me very much because FNC is a national cable news channel that has a greater reach across America and people are being fed nothing but lies in the name of news. This kind of news does no good to the people of this country and America itself stands to gain nothing out of it, it jst spreads the unfounded hatred towards other nations and cultures.

I agree that everyone shld have the right to express their opinion ,whether he is a liberal or one with an extreme point of view...But this shldn't be at the cost of burying the truth!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Ohh Pat!!! ¿Qué usted ha hecho?

It always surprises me how hypocritical can one could become as a person. The controversy stirred up by the 'so called' (tele) evangelist Pat Robertson exemplifies this.
Any sane person who might have watched his show ( accidentally ) "The 700 Club " would have realized that most of the comments expressed in the show are either irrelevant or sound extremely senseless. So it doesn't come as a surprise that a person like Robertson, who recently prayed on his show for a vacancy on the supreme court so that a conservative candidate could take his place, openly talks about how the special forces should take out a democratically elected president. But what comes as a surprise is that such a "righteous" person still tried to lie in face of public outcry against his statements. He has taken hypocrisy to new levels!!!

It is also interesting to note that the response from the bush administration was simply a short statement saying that Robertson's remarks were "inappropriate." And Rumsfeld also added this ... "Our department doesn't do that kind of thing. It's against the law," he said. May be if there wasn't any law as such they could have considered it!!!!

Well one can't really blame them for this, afterall Robertson is a former Republican presidential candidate!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Monday, July 25, 2005

The 8 bullets.

First of all let me set one thing clear, terrorists deserve to be punished. The punishment might be in the form of capital punishment or otherwise it doesn't matter. People who take innocent lives or who cause the death of thousands of civilians by their stupid decisions don't deserve any gratitude or respect. They might be some crazy religious lunatics or a powerful national leader, justice has to be served.

The perputrators of recent attacks on london deserve the same, make no mistake abt tht. But in these strange & difficult times we shld'nt be blinded from the basic human rights that a human being deserves. The guning down of an innocent man in london by three plain clothed police is an incident that shldn't be jst ignored as a "regretable tragedy" that is bound to happen in the given circumstances. I agree that things like these happen, a case of mistaken identity in our multi-cultural socities is bound to happen. We can't avoid an odd incident here and there, but what has to be noticed in this particular case is that around eight shots were fired and that too when he was pinned down against the ground!!!

Come on!!! 8 Shots ? ( Seven into his head and one into his shoulder per the BBC )

Tell me, how pissed off an officer(s) should be to do that? Believe me any officer in his senses wouldn't put in more than two or three bullets into a criminals head in situations like this....'cause they know what a bullet could do to one's head at that short range. I know people would say that the officers were in a very tense situation.....but aren't they trained to handle such situations? Once think of the situation faced by this poor fella.....confronted by three men in plain clothes and with guns in their hands....anyone would have reacted the same way in that kinda situation.

Just think about it.