Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Why UPA will WIN again

In the English media and in social media there is a lot of hoopla on the rampant corruption and abuse of power in the UPA government. Some mainstream news outfits read by India’s elite  including the Economist and the Economic Times have gone so far as to declare that Congress will lose in the next Lok Sabha elections in 2014. However I’m not that sure and I have my reasons.

India’s literacy rate is 74% at the outset this might not look so bad for a democracy to function effectively. Don’t be fooled look deeper. Firstly literacy rate is measured crudely as the ability to read and write in anyone language and do basic arithmetic. The ability to make a well thought out decision isn’t a criterion as it is far more difficult to measure.

70% of India’s population lives in rural areas.  The rural literacy rate is 58% most of these literates fall in the above said criterion on just being able to read and write. The well-educated are all concentrated in urban pockets.

Even with the averagely literate the information one could obtain from the media is not entirely unbiased or for that matter is rarely so. There are 1000s of newspapers and TV channels in the country. Most of them are run by political parties or their affiliates.

This documentary will give you an idea on why it is not so difficult to make the media talk what you want to. Most of our literates hence have little ability to find the sensible correct information from the clutter.

Now let’s look at how an average Indian makes an electoral decision on whom to vote for:

India is a land of diverse cultures and castes. This also makes it the land of reservations. If you look at most people who enjoy the benefits of reservations in this century are the ones whose dads and granddads were recipients of those benefits.

Any sensible patriotic Indian would want these benefits to reach the right people. However these well-educated and wealthy lot who were the forerunners in obtaining the reservation benefits don’t want that to happen. They want their sons and grandsons to continue enjoying those benefits. So it’s only natural that they want to continue with the community based reservations. Now who will tell the truly under privileged in these communities that their benefits are being over utilized by the elite in their communities? Whom will they believe? An outsider or someone from their own community?

Naturally the under privileged communities will continue to listen to the elite in their own communities who would continue preaching support for the political outfit which would not change the status quo. Thus a lot of communities are being handled by the self-centered opportunistic community leaders.

If you also observe election nominations you would see a lot of random candidates who won’t even get their deposits even in their wildest dreams. Then why do they nominate for elections? Anybody with any amount of influence in a constituency wouldn’t want to miss a chance to profit from this influence. Hence these candidates who command influence over a few hundred votes sell out their influence to the highest bidder. So it boils down to buying votes. Even if someone wins the winner can then be bought with enough money. Everyone has a price. It’s only a question of who could afford that price.

In both the above cases the community leaders and the influentials there does occur once in a while that someone is honest and a true well-wisher of followers. Here comes the muscle power to silence these true leaders and nipping them off in the bud.

Scams Vs Schemes:
Congress even if tainted by scams always has some populist schemes up its sleeve. It was MNREGA then the Food security bill now. There is a popular dialogue in a Telugu movie ‘Leader’. “People were happily consuming chicken biriyani. First you make the chicken inaccessibly then they will eat just the biriyani. Then you make the biriyani inaccessible they will eat rice with pulses. Then you make the pulses inaccessible they will eat just the rice. When you make the rice inaccessible they would start fearing survival. Now you announce free rice, you will become their God.”

On a final note there is this factor of brand loyalty. Haven’t you come across brands advertise themselves as ‘since 18XY’. It’s imperative that the older a brand the more brand loyalty it commands. This is even prevalent with educated consumers.

Congress with the first mover advantage and the getting used to or for that matter even creating the system of Indian politics always commands a much higher edge over anyone else in the country. Moreover it has in the process made enough money that none could match. If you look at the states in which Congress has traditionally been in power like UP or Rajasthan all the above symptoms are evident. So with its long lasting power the party has cultivated the flaws in the system to its advantage.

For all these reasons Congress is invincible. If you look at the only two instances of Congress losing power they were because of a severe leadership crisis. Nobody can beat congress but for itself. Unless there is divide or chaos within the party there is little chance that it will lose. Now with Madameji firmly in command I see no weakness/chaos in the party to lose the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Please read this once before you criticize the cops

Since the time when I was three and till recently I have known my dad working for over 10 hours a day and 7 days a week. He would have been on leave for not more than 15days a year in any of those 20yrs I’m talking about. Especially during times of unrest when most people would huddle themselves in the safety of their homes I have seen my mom worried about my dad who would be in the middle of all the trouble, handling it.

When my friends and neighbors are having fun enjoying festivals, me and my family would be waiting for my dad to come home. We would be praying that there shouldn't be any troubles in his jurisdiction so that he can spend at least a couple of hours celebrating the occasion with us.

I still remember the day in which he came home with blood strained clothes and multiple stitches on his hand. People who would happily take a week long sick leave won’t understand the pain of my dad who went to work the very next day else the already thinly spread and widely stretched colleagues would find it impossible to contain the situation. 

Police officials face every form of stress you would have read in a whole book on work related stress. They are not treated politely by anyone who they come in contact with be it their superiors, politicians, other government officials or the general public.

In cases of riots half a dozen police personal are sent to contain an angry mob of over a 100. What’s worse is that the mob would pelt stones, glass bottles and in some cases petrol bombs. The police is only equipped with lathis and sometimes they would fortunate enough to use their age old British era guns. Despite the limited equipment they are also limited by the usage or the amount of damage they could inflict.

One arrest of or a charge sheet on a powerful politician’s relative’s son’s friend could land the officials involved in a lot of trouble. You might be thinking that the general public is fearful of the law enforcement officials but in reality they are more afraid of executing their normal duties properly.

One police constable patrols a kilometer square of residential area armed only with his whistle and lathi. If a robbery happens in that locality the constable will be suspended for a month or more.

When there is a murder or suicide the police officials involved are expected to pay for the formalities out of their pockets. When there is broken equipment they are again supposed to mend it or pay for it all by themselves. Their travel and other clearly documentable expenses are reimbursed to the bare minimum.

For all this they are paid a pittance and are one of the lowly paid state government employees. Their health care insurances are not honored by any hospital for the payments against them from the respective government bodies would never arrive.

Police officials in our country have to live with nil self-respect and have to kill their conscience over and over again. Beyond this if they happen to once in a while behave like humans and succumb to their emotions please understand that they can’t completely become emotionless machines.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Euphoria of killing a Mosquito - Ajmal Kasab

Mosquitoes certainly are very annoying and ya the killing of one does cheer you a bit. However how ridiculous does this sound that you catch a mosquito put it in a box for days and kill it finally and whats more celebrate it!!!

Day in and day out there are soldiers dying in Siachen without even putting a fight. There is an entire state in the country which has a 1:7 soldier to civilian ratio and shits it's pants at every loud noise.

What does this Kasab episode indicate apart from being as ridiculous as killing an imprisoned mosquito...

1. People in India's most populated city and it's commercial capital continue to be as insecure as ever.
2. Indian legal system as international rankings indicate is as bad as ever.
3. Indian people can be made euphoric and forget the real issues by killing an imprisoned mosquito.
4. Despite a million strong army 10 men can manage to kill 168 Indians. So much for our size and strength.

I'm certainly clear that he deserves death but what's there to celebrate!!!
He is not Osama. He is not even the squad leader of sorts on that attack.
He is a mere pawn. Like those 9 other friends of his he could have as well been killed on that day.
He should have been killed right after his final interrogation or for that matter does killing him even matter anymore?

Shame on you guys to even acknowledge killing a mosquito let alone feeling euphoric about it.

"The problem is much beyond 1 man and the solution is much much beyond just hanging 1 man"

Thursday, September 27, 2012

2020 One morning in the Life of BillKeth

I get up in the morning from my super-naturally intelligent  bed, that exerts pressure in different points and has other cool features for an exciting, energetic and energizing night. “Good morning Sweetie” 

“Good morning darling” sweetie’s voice subdues the dozy good morning of the gal in the bed.

The moment I start peeing, it’s analyzed for my latest health update. The data collected is matched with past data by a mainframe computer. The analysis data are then sent to sweetie. 

Sweetie analyses my physical and mental health condition of the day, and my schedule for the day. Based on all this analysis sweetie instructs SuperChef who can cook every cuisine on the solar system (including the dishes cooked with volcanic ash obtained from Mar's North Pole prepared only in my hotel chain 'The Exotic'). Superchef cooks a sample serving based on the data (Eg: if I have an important meeting that day, food should be less spicy to keep my temper down.) 

The sample serving is tasted by a team of chefs for modifications and suggestions. The proper serving is cooked after 3 sample serving & feedback cycles. 

Meanwhile in my gym, “Sweetie how are my 8 packs coming up.”

“Darl your abdomen is cooler than half of Hollywood 8pack celebs. I suggest that 6 packs looks cooler on you. 67% of current day cool heroes are with 6 packs, as against 14% with 8”

“But shouldn’t I be different?”

“But most gals are too used to 6 and for them 6 would be more turning on than 8. To add to it, 74% of your current dates are fans of 6pack celebs.”

“Oh forget it sweetie. Now just tell me what I should do to make it better than every one of the 14%.”

After workouts, I would be having a massage bath in a temperature, soap, foam, perfume, pressure, et al controlled pool. 
“I have suggested less proteins as you have strategies meet today so that you can be more active.”
“Fuck the meet sweetie, 8packs is more important. Recall the suggestion”
“The first swear word of the day. Your swear word count is still alarmingly high darl.”
‘Fuck the count.”
“SWC increased to 2” 
Sweetie keeps me updated on my days schedule and fills me with the data required for the day’s tasks. 
(Note: flimsy activities like brushing sh**ing are ignored. Not in my routine but here in the description)

"BTW darl our mainframe is getting overloaded these days with increasing data. The response time has gone up from 2nanoseconds to 2.003nanoseconds. It would be good to have a dozen more hectacores"
"Come on sweetie should you ask me. Just get them."
"They would cost 2.34million USD i.e. 1784K-bills. I am supposed to ask you before making purchases that are worth more than 1000K bills.(Currency of my business empire)"

Wardrobe walks into the bathroom. 
“Why are today’s suggestions too dull? And worst why they are yellow!!!”

“Today you might have to make the decision to decrease this year’s salary increment for trainees by 50 basis points. So it would be inappropriate to look bright. Your today’s date Amy loves yellow. She was a fan of Jim Carry when she was 15.”

“Oh God, Sweetie no one is gonna complain for their increment being reduced to 49.5% from 50%. And for god’s sake order some daffodils and give me something decent to wear.”

In my dining table, “Why are there no eggs in my breakfast? I said physic is more important than my meeting.”

“It’s according to that priority dear. If you have eggs now, you are most likely not to do your best in today’s meeting. Which in-turn would result in you feeling bad for 1.4hrs, which might result in a loss of 11.2gms of muscle, which is less than 7.2gms of muscle you gain from egg protein.”

“Did that stupid mainframe give you all these data!” 

“Should I get you the yellow Ferrari based on your date’s fav color or your Lotus of the month? And if I may suggest you the new Bentley sport would make an impression when you meet your client for lunch.”

“Which one is more likely that she will like?”

“So as always you don’t mind the client. Well then, it’s a 50-50 She will love the color as well be enticed by the looks of the Lotus.”

“Well then paint my Lotus yellow, and send it to my office before I start for the date, and get the Bentley to the doors now. Isn't the client rep that wharton MBA chic with whom we had the last meeting. Well she has got a classy taste.”

Monday, July 16, 2012

Why did I join XIMAHR?

It’s some question that kept coming back to me from both outsiders and even from some fellow XIMAHRians. I have never been candid in my answers. Not that I have something to hide just that it’s complicated to explain. Anyway felt it’s time I shared the answer. Here goes…

I aspire to be a business owner someday. Hence I choose to start my career with marketing as it gives a holistic approach to management experience. A marketing manager manages the finances (budgets), decides the compensation and incentives to his team, handles the operations of distribution, inventory management etc. Hence as a marketing manager I would gain experience to run a near autonomous independent business.

Now comes the question of why XIMAHR?

Once my business is established I can appoint a CMO to handle all marketing activities, a CTO for IT, a CFO for finances and a COO for operations. I certainly can appoint a CHRO for HR. However who will handle all these C(X)Os. In a fancy dignified way we can call them collectively as executives or top management. In hindsight they are after all my human resources. They have to be handled pretty much like any other employee in the organization. They have to be appraised, their compensation negotiated etc etc

I firmly believe in this management philosophy of people first. A boss can delegate managing every function but can never run away from the HR function. The term 'manager' first implies someone who manages people then comes managing everything else.

Getting to learn the HR aspects and processes from the future HR experts working alongside; the hands on experience is a valuable take away for which I joined XIMAHR.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The 1st best day as an XIMBian

Intended or unintended our Director has made an awesome thing for us. We compulsorily have to make a 3day village trip. We were a little apprehensive on what it would be like. We reached here in our college sponsored tavera to this place Khandapada in Nayagarh taluk of Orissa.

We had a warm welcome from the NGO person who made us feel at home. A traditional big house the office of the NGO has become our own palace. A couple of bedrooms, a kitchen completely at the disposal of we five guys. Our stay started with an awesome tea followed by a traditional roadside village restaurant.

Our village exposure of the day is to visit the nearby elementary school and get a mini tour of the school for an hour. That’s it. We are back in our palace playing 29, cooking maggi & making coffee. The climate is as cool for us to have a warm feeling in us in months amidst our B-school bullying with assignments, quizzes etc.

The coolest thing is the evening walk after the power cut. The total darkness walking clueless of where to go what to do is actually like flying feeling light of unloading all MBA worries. Sitting in the stands of the upcoming sports ground close to the forest is simply mesmerizing. The look of clear flowery sky, the feel of being embraced by Mother Nature virtually far from civilization makes the evening of our lives.

It’s not that we are totally free now. We have 3 quizzes and 2 presentations this week. Nevertheless we are determined not to be cowed down by these dementors. We are all set to take the day to the next level by making some revenue to the hurt airline tycoon.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It’s Our Culture PERIOD

Well long time, and yeah I hate to come back with a serious post. Nevertheless this is something that’s nagging me for quite sometime. Now in the wake of Carnivel De Vogue and blind date as part of Xpressions'11 it makes more sense for me to write it.

The primary cause for this post is ‘Conclave’, the opening event of XPressions’11. The topic of discussion was ‘Is Gen Y as broad minded as it proclaims to be?’ One a veteran marketer consultant and the other the head of Nasscom it was the best talk session I attended in XIMB till date. Conclave has stimulated a lot of things that were dormant in the back of my mind. The primary one as you would have guessed the culture factor.

The definition that was said about broad mindedness is ‘Accepting it when others are right’. The one I understood from the talk is adapt to the right things in others. There was also stress on preserving our cultural practices that are good and have a good understanding of why we follow certain practices.

Well to come to the point. I have often been into this argument especially with my roommate and a couple of other friends here. Dates, live-ins the way people dress, he always has something to complain that things are not right. When I get pissed I get into the argument saying what’s wrong dude? The first thing is that’s not our culture.

I had tried in vain to reason with him only to be snubbed at with the line, ‘That’s not our culture Period’. Hmmm… well I must honestly admit that I have no clear idea of what one means by the word ‘Culture’. With my understanding of culture it’s the way of life that has been devised with certain values as believed by a majority or the powerful elite of the society.

If I may say so, I believe ‘Sati’ system was once part of our culture, so is untouchability. So, now my dear friend(s) do you want your girlfriend/wife to die with you? And girls, those of you who proclaim to be the last guardians of our culture, are you ready?

To add to it, will you ask your friends who are of culturally inferior castes not to eat from your plate, let alone not to touch you. Firstly, can you make out the difference?

Over the years the right kind of questions asked, the reasoning and broad mindedness of great people have brought in a change in the society for the greater good. It is the reasoning of what’s good and what’s bad makes us humans the most intelligent of all species (supposedly :p). Hence I suggest you remain human and accept change for good.

Now with genetics, we are in a world where even things made by God are bound to change. Culture is after all man made, it’s neither sanctimonious nor is solid.