Monday, April 27, 2009

Missing Raj Thackeray's main message

Everytime the media reports about Raj Thackeray's speeches, it doesn't forget to highlight his "tirade" against the UPites and Biharis. Everybody, whether they are print, news, or other electronic ones. The other parties, like the Congress, RJD, SP, BSP, etc. too point out at the "danger" Raj Thackeray poses and asks the UPites and Biharis to unite against him. Congress goes a step ahead and asks the nation to unite against his "regionalism".

What nobody tries to address is the serious issues that he has raised. One is about bogus ration cards. He displayed those in Pune, and again in Mumbai. Yet, no party is saying anything about tackling this issue seriously. In Pune, he reeled off statistics obtained from the employment exchange, from where less than 10% of the applicants had got jobs during the period 2006-2008. This was a period of economic boom. What was the employment exchange doing? Most of those who apply to the employment exchange are locals. Why didn't they get jobs? I'm not asking for a success rate of 90% for the employment exchange, but isn't < 10% an abysmal figure? Why has nobody in the media given this any importance? He is taking the governments of the day and previous ones to task with data obtained from government sources and what is available in public domain. Yet, this received nothing more than a passing mention.

About his tirade against UPites and Biharis. Please give it a thought. Mulayam Singh, Mayawati and Amar Singh come down to Maharshtra and say that they will fight it out for the "north-Indians". Laloo says some arbit stuff against the people of Maharashtra. But back home, in their state, they do nothing to generate employment for these people. Mayawati, instead of spearheading industrial development, proposes reservation in the private sector too. She goes on building some parks with giant sized statues of Ambedkar, Kanshiram and herself. She blocks the rail-coach factory, just because it is located in Rae-Bareli, a rival's constituency. Laloo Yadav has been of no good for Bihar. 15 years of his misrule has brought Bihar down to its knees. It is only with Nitish Kumar that Bihar is slowly recovering. So, this asymmetrical development has led to large scale urban migration. This is the hidden message that Raj is trying to give. And we are missing it and getting lost in his theatrics.
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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Modern day Tanaji Malusare

Everyone of us (in India, especially those in Maharashtra) have heard about Tanaji Malusare. Tanaji was in the midst of his son's wedding Raiba, when Shivaji Maharaj called him to lead the forces to capture the fort Kondana. While his guests and family members persuaded him from not going and enjoy the festivities, Tanaji decided against it and said the now famous dialogue- "आधी लगीन कोंडाण्याचे, मग रायबाचे", meaning capturing the fort Kondana is more important than Raiba's wedding. This just gives us a feeling of the sense of duty that Tanaji had. Where his duty towards the nation, his king takes priority over everything else.

Cut to 2009. Election season in India. Central and state government officers and staff are summoned for election duty. Of those, many try to excuse themselves from the duty by giving some reason or the other. However, Deputy Collector N. P. Jadhav of the suburban collectorate, is an exception. He not only took up the duty, but also postponed his son's wedding, which was scheduled on 22nd April to 3rd May, so that it doesn't clash with his election duty. Of course, his family isn't too happy with his decision, but then Shri Jadhav says "Duty comes first". Too many similarities between Tanaji Malusare and N.P. Jadhav. Of course, Shri Jadhav doesn't have to fight a battle, but then sense of duty towards the nation overrides everything else. Shri Jadhav is today's Tanaji in many senses. A welcome news and probably signs of change, in times where elections are looked upon as a burden by both the officers, as well as eligible voters. A pity that the other newspapers haven't published this story, at a time when locked up dogs take up half-a-page of main stream newspapers.

To those who read this blog: Please spread this story as it demonstrates that there are officers who still value their duty towards the nation.
Modern day Tanaji MalusareSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Samajwadi Party Manifesto: A joke or opportunity

I haven't been able to read the Samajwadi Party's manifesto. Whatever I could gather is from reading about it on various news websites. What I gather from there, is that they are against use of English language, machines and computers. With an after thought, Mulayam Singh added that the party will push for use of regional language in education, administration and judiciary.

It is nice to know if they are going to seriously try to do that. We need to promote use of regional languages in education atleast at primary level. Even administrative and government activities should make use of functional regional language. I mean, if words need to be borrowed from English, do that, but write those in regional script. We tend to idealise the West in everything. Even there, their primary and secondary education is in the native language. Germans, French, Italians, Spaniards, they all take their primary education in their native language. Towards the east, Japanese and Koreans to learn their elementary science in their native language. Nothing has stopped them from becoming scientific and engineering superpowers. The Japanese cars and electronics, German engineering and efficiency, Italian designs, Korean electronics are admired world over, even as they fumble with their English language.

Some other parts of the manifesto (e.g. avoiding mechanisation, removing computers) are objectionable, but this one is surely worth giving a try.

As I said, I have not read the manifesto and I wrote this article based on what was available in the media. Now, Indian media is definitely not famous for its neutral reporting!
The Samajwadi Party Manifesto: A joke or opportunitySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A funny scaleup

Today, I felt like having Bourbon biscuits along with tea in the afternoon. Four of us, Arun, Abhijit, Jalesh and myself bought tea and a pack of Britannia Bourbon. Britannia have come up with a new mini-pack of Bourbon biscuits, which is priced at Rs.5 and contains 4 biscuits. This pack wasn't available with the canteen vendor, so we had to buy the bigger pack that is priced at Rs. 10. I reasoned that since the mini-pack has four biscuits, this pack would have eight biscuits, thus giving each of us two pieces to relish. But lo! after the first round of four biscuits, we realised that the pack had only three more left. So, the pack we bought had only seven biscuits.

This puzzled us and bamboozled us. I mean, a pack of Rs.5 has four biscuits, while a pack of Rs. 10 has seven! If those mini-packs were available in the canteen, nobody would buy the normal pack. I can buy two mini-packs and have eight biscuits. This is a funny situation. I do not know how many people have thought about this. Does Britannia itself realise the situation. Now that this is in public domain, smart people would resort buying the mini-packs, thus pushing down the sale of regular packs. Bulk buyers would of course buy it on a per kilo basis, but then picnickers, casual eaters, impulse buyers would now (possibly) change their strategy. This actually leaves no incentive to buy the bigger pack. Normally, a pack selling a larger quantity in one go is priced at a little less than twice the cost of a pack selling half the quantity. For e.g. if a 100gm toothpaste costs Rs. 20, but a 200gm toothpaste will cost Rs. 38 (something less than Rs. 40). But this is one of the funniest scale-up I have ever seen.
A funny scaleupSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend