Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mangalore Outrage ...

So, we have yet another example of 'moral policing' where a mob ransacked a pub 'Amnesia' in Mangalore and assaulted women present there in full view of TV cameras. They were supposedly trying to protect the culture and tradition of our great country by humiliating and beating up the womenfolk for the unpardonable crime of being in a pub. But these people are not at all disturbed when female foeticide is carried out ,when girls are not allowed to study and at every stage of life women is made to suffer for being a women. But protesting against such issues would not get you the eyeballs or TRP ratings.I was totally shocked to read an eyewitness account in The Hindu where a person described how the media persons reached the place in advance and when the attack started he heard someone shout "Action".How low can journalism get ?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Judiciary : Tareekh Pe Tareekh

Indians as a matter of rule take pride in democracy,press freedom and an independent judiciary. We all know that democracy has been made largely dysfunctional for a common man.Media has been overtaken by commercial interest so much that now news does not sell but what sells is converted into news for obvious reasons.The third pillar - the judiciary - has a distorted view of itself and the ground realities. The number of cases pending with courts as of today is mind-boggling (over 3 million cases in 21 High Courts alone). Yes,the number of judges needs to be increased and courts may have to be run on double-shift as has been suggested by a former Chief Justice of India.The law enforcement agencies also need to be spruced up so that thee is not much delay on account of shoddy investigations and wherever required exemplary punishment should be given to govt.officials also if they do not provide reports/evidences to courts on time.But the judiciary also has to look inwards and introspect as to why trials go on and on even in open and shut cases.Why quantum of sentence is reduced for Ansal brothers (accused in Uphaar tragedy) and why does it take ages to pronounce a verdict? The 1993 Mumbai blast case has dragged on for so long and still it is not over.Kasab ,the butcher of Mumbai,is awaiting a 'fair trial' after killing so many people in cold blood.The long drawn out judicial process,the stays and repeated postponement of hearings by courts have sent the deterrent effect of law for a toss. In fact , law has ceased to exist for people with criminal intentions as they know that even if they commit a crime the long drawn out judicial process will ensure that justice will not be done in their average life span,if done at all.

Sunny Deol in Damini sums up the situation well ...have a look !

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Aisi Ki Taisi ....

The day had started with promise, finally after days of planning I had managed to reach office before 10 am (9:40 am to be precise).Since there were two important meetings scheduled for the day , i got down to doing my preparation for the meetings.After some time my friend Baninder Singh,a most affable Sardarji,arrived on the scene and in his own unique way made us smile by his irreverent remarks.Then it was time for the first meeting ,which went off pretty well and all our concerns were brought on the table and necessary action was assured. Trouble started at precisely 4:10 pm when myself and my boss went for the meeting with Mr.Wahi (we are working on a report and he is the designer)and his team.I was carrying all the data in my pen drive and i handed it over to Mr.Wahi .The data was there alright but for some inexplicable reason the files did not open.Everyone looked at me and i could look at no one.Anyway the problem was soon diagnosed and the only possible solution was for me to rush home,get my other pen drive which also had the same data and hope for the best.I was given 20 minutes to go home and return which even on sundays is at least 15 minutes drive (one way).Anyway my capacities as a driver were overestimated and i left office to encounter a bottleneck at Nehru Place.After taking some risks and driving over potholes i reached home at 5pm,I rang the bell once,there was no response,i rang the bell again and again and started to walk back to get the keys.Just then the doors opened and our sleepy domestic help was at the door rubbing his eyes.I got my pen drive and rushed back ,the drive back was a much smoother affair and at 5:20 i presented the pen drive to Mr.Wahi and prayed ...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Catch 22 ...

Of all the novels I have read so far,Catch 22 remains very dear to my heart.It is one hilariously funny book.It tells about the travails of a pilot 'Yossarian" who wants to live but he feels ,and rightly so, that all (including his own bosses who keep sending him on mission after mission) are conspiring to have him killed.Here is an excerpt from the book that gave us the phrase "Catch 22" ...

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr(a pilot) was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
"That's some catch, that Catch-22," Yossarian observed.
"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.

Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961 and the novel, set during the later stages of World War II from 1943 onwards,is a must read.Enjoy !!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Switching Jobs ...

Everyone is talking of recession, right from top honchos to the person at the bottom of the pyramid. But ,I have my doubts as to how much of what we are seeing is the effect of recession in reality. Everything is being blamed on recession , in fact companies are cutting down on expenses and some of these expenses were frivolous to begin with. This is probably the worst time to think of a job-switch, but then sometimes one has to do it.But it always pays to do some groundwork before joining any company.What a company may project might not be the real picture. For instance one of my friend left GSK(Glaxosmithkline) to join Nokia , a good move everyone thought but soon he found that the job-profile was not what he was looking for and within a few months he had to quit Nokia and join another company.
I came across this new site "" which offers something which any employee would like to know about a company he/she wishes to join.The information is as authentic as it gets as it is based on reviews done by employees already working in those organisations.Well,there is always an element of risk while switching jobs but if one can get some reliable information as to how is the work culture, performance appraisal criterions,compensation packages etc. from an insider ,then nothing like it.This is where this site "" plans to help the job-seekers in finding a good match.In case you are not planning for a job-switch ,still you can make a positive contribution by disclosing some information about your company and work conditions and equations with superiors.It goes without saying that all this can be done in the comfort of anonymity.Log in to find out :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mumbai Terror Attack : Revisited

More than a month has passed since the dastardly attack on Mumbai and the life seems to have returned to normal (though the news channels and politicians on both sides of the border continue their endless tirade to whip-up mass hysteria).The Indian govt. has been repeatedly telling their Pakistan counterparts that the terrorists had come from Pakistan and have ample proofs to back their claims.The Pakistani side, for very obvious reasons, is displaying an ostrich like behavior where they are thinking that just by denying existence of facts ,facts would cease to exist.Pakistan has sponsored terrorism for so long and so extensively that now terrorists are more in control of Pakistan than the elected representatives.Yes,Pakistan also is a victim of terrorism ,but it is self-inflicted victim-hood.In fact Pakistan today is a shining (for all the wrong reasons)example of what happens when you dig a hole for others.My point here is not to engage in Pakistan bashing,on the contrary India would be better placed with a stable,democratic Pakistan instead of a banana republic as its neighbour.
India has to learn its lessons, some of which are :
1.It does not make sense to keep blaming Pakistan for all our ills.Yes,these terror groups operate with support from across the border but a Mumbai like attack is simply not possible without local complicity.How did the terrorists manage to enter with such huge cache of arms and ammunition without anyone raising an eyebrow ?
Rather than just focusing on Pakistan,Indian agencies would do well to find and bring to justice everyone who has knowingly or unknowingly abetted this terrorist act.
2.NSG operation simply took too long.Yes,the terrorists were very well trained and armed to the teeth,plus they also had taken hostages.But even then the NSG operation should have been much more swift.There cannot be room for any bureaucratic delay in NSG operations .In fact ,officers in Army also do not consider NSG operation an unqualified success as it stretched for too long,far too many people were killed and terrorists achieved almost all their aims.It sounds bitter ,but it is true unfortunately.
3.Intrusive media coverage, which aided the terrorists and impaired the NSG commandos,was another factor which i felt put additional pressure on NSG to be extra careful and hence the delay.The media, and it includes Miss Barkha Dutt's NDTV, played into the hands of terrorists by giving them not just round the clock non-stop coverage but also gave them all information concerning movement of Indian security forces as has been established by transcripts released by intelligence agencies.
4.Finally,people of India as well as Pakistan need to understand that war is not a solution.Lets try and co-exist rather than co-destruct.Pakistan has to curb the jihadi elements and put their house in order, as for India,we are better placed but there are glaring inequalities ,mass poverty,deprivation etc. ,all of which need persistent efforts.Internal security has to be a priority ,but surely it cannot take precedence over providing basic necessities of life.I rest my case.