Saturday, February 28, 2004

The debate on outsourcing

I guess "liberal writers" r trying to come up with new arguments for outsourcing. I dont know if they are really convinced of the soundness of these arguments, or if they are trying to act like cranes that buries itz face!

This is what Lou Dobbs had to say on this article:

In his column, "What Goes Around," Friedman says, "Although the United States has lost some service jobs to India, total exports from U.S. companies to India have grown to $4.1 billion in 2002."

Get it? We send them jobs and they buy our products. But what Thomas Friedman failed to point out to his readers, I'm sure it's just a simple lapse, is that our trade deficit with India at the same time has soared to $8 billion.

Globalization is going to act as an equalizer......just like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka have to pay for the backwardness of Bihar, J&K, UP, etc....the developed countries have to take a hit at the cost of developing countries. Period.

Fools appreciate, men of sense approve.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Mahatma Gandhi

Noticed a strong discussion in the Infosys BB on the Mahatma on his death anniversary. Itz unfortunate that Einstein's words have come true.....ppl not just cannot believe that such a person lived, but also cannot recognise his greatness :-(

The greatness of Gandhiji was not in the fact that he was instrumental in India obtaining freedom. It was the way he lead his life. It was in the way he moulded his life - from the same beginings same as of billions of us - into one that showed the world a new way to lead life, a new way towards true civilization. It was in his conviction to the absolute truth (satya-agraha) that provided him the courage to stick to his principles even under enormous pressure. It was in the way he lead by example in all aspects of his life - from freedom struggle to service towards humanity, from satya-agraha to propagation of hygiene, from vegetarianism to ahimsa, from running charitable institutions to leading of 300 million ppl in their pursuit for freedom.

The greatness of Gandhiji was that he followed the dictum "means are more important than the end". Whether it be cancelling the non-cooperation movement, or it be his dispute with Subhash Chadra Bose, or it be his insistence on making the payment to Pak.....this trait is something which very few ppl could (and still dont) appreciate....certainly not the Godses and the Boses. Imagine the pressure on the Mahatma when he had to call-off the non-cooperation movement.....any lesser mortal could have been tempted to keep the momentum going and compromise on his principles.

If America had followed the dictum "means are more important than the end", it would not have had to endure the "war against terror' today....after all weren't Saddam Hussein and Taliban the creation of America itself? If Israel had followed the dictum "means are more important than the end", it would not have had to endure the Hamas! Can somebody confidently deny that Bose's support to the fascist forces would not have troubled India later? I have read writings by Bose's close confidents and they assure that Bose was no sympathiser of the Nazi cause. But, neither was Reagan a sympathiser of fudamentalist Islamic movement!

And if (as mentioned in another post) Godse was not driven to kill Gandhiji after partition, if Godse was not driven to kill Gandhiji after he over-rode popular support to install Nehru as the PM, but was driven to assassinate Gandhiji because he asked for the payment to be made to Pak, that shows the short-sightedness of Godse and his coterie.

On should read the autobiography of the Mahatma to appreciate his greatness. One little appreciated aspect of the Mahatma was his demands on the same ppl he was fighting for. I strongly believe that for any fight (social/political) to be successful, not just should you demand your rights, you also need to do self-introspection to correct your own shortcomings. Mahatma was one (and in my knowledge only one) who recognised this. This was something Gandhiji demanded from the Indians in South Africa during his fight for their rights, from Indians in India during the freedom movement, during his work with the depressed classes, and finally during his movement to heal the wounds of partition. What a difference from the politicians of today and their vote bank politics. (This is another big difference I find in the fight of Martin Luther King for the rights of blacks in US)

To say that India's freedom was totally due to British compulsions after WW-II is belittling the efforts of not just Gandhiji, but of all freedom fighters since 1857. Agreed tons of other countries recieved independence about the same time as India, agreed WW-II advanced the inevitable. But then, wasnt the 1935 elections the first step towards freedom??? Did the British experience such pressure from any other country? Pls do not fall to this simplistic theory that the freedom was due to British compulsions. World war or no world war, freedom to India was in the making. Also, it would be interesting to read the plight today of several countries that recieved freedom along with India with no strong freedom movement!

If you are not convinced of the relevance of ahimsa in the modern context, you need not look beyond the Israel-Palestine struggle. Do you think the agressive policies of either is helping the cause of peace? In fact Gandhiji had the strength and conviction to preach non-violence to Jews at a time when they were presecuted by Hitler in one of the most heinous carnages of history.

We had patriots like Godse, we had leaders of men like Bose, we had thinkers like Savarkar, we had visionaries like Patel, we had intellectuals like Nehru......and then there was the Mahatma. I alwayz felt that the best appreciation of the Mahatma was in that statement by Einstein.....he - considered the most intelligent person of that century - described the Mahatma in the most beautiful, apt and appropriate words one could ever get. "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood."!!!
-----Original Message-----
Sent: Fri 1/30/2004 4:56 PM
Posted To: KEC General
Conversation: ***Will we observe 2 minutes of silence today ?***
Subject: ***Will we observe 2 minutes of silence today ?***


War is fought for establishment of justice.
Violence is an expression of hate in any form that causes any injury to the receiver.
-----Original Message-----
From: joye_r
Posted At: Friday, January 30, 2004 4:43 PM
Posted To: KEC General
Conversation: ***Will we observe 2 minutes of silence today ?***
Subject: Violent examples

I guess there is a differnce between War and violence!

-----Original Message-----
From: Puspendra Kumar
Posted At: Friday, January 30, 2004 4:33 PM
Posted To: KEC General
Conversation: ***Will we observe 2 minutes of silence today ?***
Subject: Violent examples

Violence fetched results in American war of independence,french revolution,World War,gulf war,indo-pak war,kargil war,ramayana & mahabharata.....
list continues.....
pls give one example in history..."On the other hand, non-violence has fetched
results consistently!" which prooves ur point...(pls exclude the famous example of our independence,give some other example...)

-----Original Message-----
From: joye_r
Posted At: Friday, January 30, 2004 4:11 PM
Posted To: KEC General
Conversation: ***Will we observe 2 minutes of silence today ?***
Subject: so called father of nation

Ghandhi is the father of the nation and there was/is no one near his level.

Some people think that violence can fetch results. If that is the case, then LTTE would have got a seperate
country by now or soon they will be getting... Same applies to Palestine, Kashimir etc. If violence can fetch
results, why there is talking in kashmir now?

Again and again it is proved that violence can not fetch results. On the other hand, non-violence has fetched
results consistently!

Ghandhi is the greatest leader who brought together different cultures and languages (people belonging to
different kingdoms before British rule) and created a united India. Nobody else did that! That is why Ghandhi is the
father of the nation.

The pakistan split could not be avoided by Ghandhi. No body else could avoid that too! So do not blame Gandhi
for the split. There could have been more violence created by some (again violence!) if there was no split! Think
of the situation where the whole of Pakistan is with India and it is acting like today's Kashmir. You can compare
that situation with todays Srilanka and LTTE.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
-Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, February 23, 2004

Pseudo-secularism, and now "Secular fundamentalism"

Swapan Dasgupta has come up with a new term for the pseudo-secular activists in the country - "secular fundamentalism"!!! Very apt term!!!

Not that I have very high regard for the author. He seems to another bootlicker of BJP, sometimes coming with irrational arguments in itz defense.

As for Mulayam, I had alwayz regarded that guy as a behind-the-scenes friend of BJP. This may sound stupid, and it may turn out I'm wrong, but looking at the kind of backing he has from corporates, there seems to be something fishy!

The one who yawns gets the bed!
-Kannada proverb

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Islamic fundamentalism

Pakistan Christian Post has an editorial on Islamic fudamentalism in the Indian sub-continent. Sometimes, it pays to hear to ur enemy's enemy! If anybody still has hopes of "moderate Islam", he shud either be a hardcore optimist or a fool!

Tell me what you need, and I'll tell you how to get along without it.

Itz rainy times now!

Yesterday, it rained here!!!! As against snow, rains indicate that temperature has finally managed to climb out of the freezing threshold! Warmer temperatures r finally here, and weather can only get better from here.


I love deadlines. I especially the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by.

Who is the "First lady"???!!!

It had beat me till now that both the PrimeMinitster and President of India r bachelor's!!!! Isnt that some coincidence!!!! So when there is a summit of "First ladies", what does the Govt do??? Send the next avlbl person in the pecking order.....and in this case it is Najma Heptullah, the Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha!!!!

Anywayz, in my opinion, this lady is one of the biggest bootlickers in the country. Alwayz on the side of the ruling formation, trying to be as non-controversial as possible, not wanting to be on anybody's bad books, trying to have freinds not just in govt, but also abroad......I guess her one-point mission in life is to become the Secretary-General of UN....and looking at her ability to win friends all over the world, I wud definitely bet my money on it!

They say love hides behind every corner, then I must be walking around in circles.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Saeed Naqvi on Samskrt

Saw this article on IE by Saeed Naqvi - Our triple S matrix - Refreshing to see a Muslim appealing for reviving Samskrt language.

Each friend represents a world in us; a world probably not born until they arrive.
-Anais Nin

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Tackling corruption, the Chinese way

Saw this news in rediff abt China executing a ex-vice-governor for corruption. I believe this is the best way to tackle corruption. esp corruption at higher echelons and involving higher amounts. If tomorrow the govt decides to serve death penalty to all convicted of corruption involving amount more than Rs. 1 lac, believe me corruption will fall down drastically.

Corruption by the elite, rich, well-educated ppl must in no way be tolerated.

Kisi ko mukammal jahan nahin milta; kisi ko zameen ya aasman nahin milta [No one gets the entire world; some get neither the land or the sky].
-Again Sidhu's quote in rediff!

All roads lead to SFO???

Since last Saturday, there has been a bee-line of ppl at marriage registration offices in San Francisco.......all gays, who r making the most of the SFO mayor allowing gay marriages! Since the Californian law does not recognise same-sex marriage, this ruling by the SFO mayor is going to be a short-lived law.

And taking full advantage of this are gays - not just from all over California, not just from all over US, but from all over the world! The way the mayor planned his ruling is very much despicable. He gave this directive on Sat, and the courts are to work only on Tuesday - after a 3-day weekend due to President's Day yesterday. What is more amazing is the number of ppl flocking to get married. As NYTimes reports, about 2.5k gay couple have married in the last 3 dayz! As Jay leno said, at this rate the day is not far away when ur friend says "I'm engaged" and u will ask him "Wow, great! Is it a boy or a girl"!!! ;-)

The swan and crane both live in the pond. While the former looks for jewels, the latter looks for fish.
-Sidhu, quoted in today's rediff interview

Monday, February 09, 2004

South Asain Union???

An interesting article by Dr. A Ravindra, retired IAS officer, on the growth of EU, and lessons to be learnt from it for South Asia. It wud be a dream scenario if South Asia cud come together, like EU did. I echo Dr. Ravindra that the two biggest hurdles r the over-bearing strength of India in the region, and "political differences", in other words Islamic fundamentalism. Looking at the kind of hatred propagated in Pak and Bangladesh against India, it wud require a herculean effort from leaders of these countries. If this does become an impediment, then India shud also explore the possibility of an union excluding these countries.

The person who said its not important whether you win or lose, probably lost.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Producing engineers, Indian style

Atlast somebody has dared to point out that India is producing more engineers than normal! And also more engineers than required. In itz report, the UR Rao committie has suggested to cut down the no of engg seats in the country from 350k to 50k per yr.

Finally somebody has dared to comment outside the regular hype of India's "vast" higher education system, producing thousands of "high-skilled" graduates every yr, blah blah. As the committee has pointed out, and from my own personal experience, there r hundreds of unemployed enggs and thousands more who r under-employed. In Karnataka itself, abt 30-40k ppl graduate as engineers every yr.

But I'm not sure if the pegging the no to 50k is correct! Compare this to 65k who graduate as enggs in USA every yr. With India's population been 3 times that of USA, and considering that India anticipates a higher growth in the next yrs/decades, may be 50k wud be too small a number! However, itz imperative that India gets some control over the ever-increasing number of engg colleges, most of them with abysmal quality and infrastrucure.

Dogs come when they are called; cats take a message and get back to you!

The Rogue Nuclear State

The reaction of intl community (and when I say intl community I mean America, because unfortunately we r today living in a unipolar world where America is virtually the imperial power) to Pak's role in nuclear proliferation is shocking. India, because of all noise of friendship with Pak, is has also mellowed itz voice! Any other time, India wud've been the biggest cribber, with demands of inspectors in Pak, demands of stripping it off the nuclear weapons, et al. With the "feel good factor" b/w the two countries, India is also reluctant to make much noise, as was seen by Yashwant Sinha's comments.

If Indian and American reactions r pathetic, more pathetic is the reaction within Pak. Although a lot of newspapers have accepted the fact that the this wud not have occured w/o the govt and military's support, there r still ppl who support AQ Khan. In an article in The Nation, this writer defends Khan for rendering "services of the highest order to his nation". No word on the illegal wealth he had amassed....was that also part of his service to the nation???

I'm amazed how Pakistan has survived decades of roguish behavior by been at the right place in the right time. If during cold war times, American needed it to combat Russia, now it needs its' assitance in Afghanistan. If 9/11 was a price America had to pay for itz support to Pak and Taliban, looks like it has still not learnt from it. I will not be surprised if America's turning a blind eye to Pak support to terrorism and nuclear proliferation will turn against it again later. As said, if you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting! And Pak must also realise that their luck will run out some time and when it does, it may just leave it totally deserted. Any other country, like Japan, wud learn from itz mistakes and drive themselves into the right direction. If 9/11 was that opportunity for Pak, they have dropped with with both the hands!

But then, what can u expect from a country where fundamemtalism is taking such deep roots with yrs of official nourishments. I have alwayz said that for peace in India, Pak shud cease to exist. There is no way building ppl-to-ppl realtions with a bunch of fundamentalists going to bring peace. Inshallah, one day we will have peace in south Asia!

History must repeat itself because we pay so little attention to it the first time

Wednesday, February 04, 2004


It snowed the whole of weekend and yesterday, and then today the temperature dipped so low that all the snow turned into ice. And I found this ice-sculpture right outside my window!

Order is for idiots, genius can handle chaos!

Super Bowl

This Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday here in US. Super Bowl - which is th finals of the American Football League - is the most watched, most awaited and most hyped annual event in America. This is the most outstanding example of the genius of American marketing. A match b/w two local teams - the equivalent of Ranji Trophy in Indian cricket ;-) - is watched by 130 million ppl in US. If Indian context this doesnt look that big a figure, then consider this - this is abt 1/3rd of American population!!!! A 30-sec commercial spot on TV cost $2.3million this yr! And the ads beamed during Super Bowl r as much hyped as the game itself.

And boy, didnt this yr's Super Bowl live upto itz hype! Last yr's Super Bowl XXXVII was played b/w two uneventful teams and was won by Buccaneers (what a name, quite apt for this game, I guess) from Tampa. However this yr's Super Bowl XXXVIII made up for it ;-) If the match ended as a thriller, more news was generated by the half-time show.

Half-time entertainment is considered an integral part of Super Bowl and generates a lot of interest. Every yr, there will be a surprise celebrity who graces the show, along with numerous other celebrities. This yr's surprise was Justin Timberlake (yup, Brtiney Spears'-ex!) and what a surpise his presence turned out to be. The half-time show ended with Justin stripping-off Janet Jackson's bra, in what he later tried to explain as "wardrobe malfunctioning"!!! For me, who saw this spectacle with disbelief, it was all clear this cannot be an accident. There is no way one wud dress herself so "loosely" and dance that she will be exposed by a simple flick of the arms! And after I heard the news that Janet Jackson has a new album coming up, it just put everything into place. I find it simply pathetic that this 40-yr old lady needed a 20-something guy to strip her off in front of one of the biggest TV audiences ever, all for some publicity for her latest album.

The game of football is by itself quite interesting - managed to hold the interest of this die-hard cricket fan for some time! A very phisical game, with a bit of strategy going around - this cud be a typical American game, one that brings out - as my roomie Amit says - "the animal instinct in you".

Cancer cures smoking.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

US foreign policy

Found an interesting article from an insider on Washington's policy towards Ind-Pak in the 80's. Shows the hypocrisy and short-sightedness of American policy makers. Itz unfortunate that even today no country (save some noises from countries like Brazil and Venezuela) is ready to questions this bully. Hoping for a world with no imperialist power......

Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity

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