Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Vikram Akula and Micro Finance

Vikram Akula of SKS Microfinance on NDTV's Walk The Talk. Watch here.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Mumbai Infrastructure

I found a post on a blog describing some of the infrastructure projects in Mumbai. Truly impressive and a MUST SEE.

Read here.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

India's first Communist?

Ever wondered who was India's first Communist? Or the first leader to be influenced by it and practicing and publicly endorsing it?

The answer surprisingly, is Bhagat Singh.

Bhagat Singh came from a patriotic sikh family. One of his uncles was incarcerated by the British, and another fled to Iran to escape punishment. BS was a huge fan og Gandhiji's non-cooperation movement as a kid, and burnt his school books and boycotted government schools. He later studied at National College in Lahore. Here he was acquainted with Marxist philosophy. Before he was to be hanged in Saunders Murder case, in jail, he used to read books about Lenin.

I absolutely loved the movie 'The Legend of Bhagat Singh' when I first saw it in 2003. Back then I was unaware of these facts. Last week I saw the movie again. This time I knew about his Communist connections, and it was hard to miss out of these indications in the movie.

The movie depicts-

* BS saying "azadi to sirf shuruvat hain, hamein azadi ke baad bhi desh banana hain. Aameer aur aameer hota jaayega aur gareeb aur gareeb". Or something to that effect.

* His joins the party Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), founded by Chandrashekhar Azad. Later, on his suggestion, the name is changed to Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA).

* When the police invade their hide out, the movie shows the communist red hammer and sickle logo on their walls. It also shows him reading a book about Lenin before he is hanged.

--Although I had loved the movie before, I thought it would have been fictionalized to certain extend to make it more entertaining. However it is amazingly accurate. Like the thing, BS uses his trial in courts to send his message to the awaam. It did happen in actual.

The CPI(M) acknowledges the fact, about BS being one of India's First communist on their website.

Earlier I hated the communists. But now after talking to few guys who know about the naxalites in India, I think although what they are doing is wrong it is not entirely unjustified. The movie Hazaroon Khwaaishe Aisi, also has a small role in this change. As far as the Left parties are concerned I still think their mindset and policies are completely outdated.


I was waiting for this channel to be available for a long time. It finally can be viewed here.
The evening and night shows (india time) are really very good.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Richest man in the world?

Q. Who is the richest man in the world?

A. Bill Gates- Wrong
Warren Buffet- Wrong

The right answer is the Mexican, Carlos Slim.
A few months back according to Forbes magazine he had pipped Warren Buffet to be the second richest, but according to some sources he may have now gone past Bill Gates too.

Report from Mint-

Mexico City: Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim is the world’s richest man, worth an estimated $67.8 billion, after overtaking Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates, according to a respected tracker of Mexican financial wealth on 2 July.
Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim
Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim
A 27% surge in the share price of America Movil, Latin America’s largest cell phone operator controlled by Slim, from March to June made him close to $8.6 billion wealthier than Gates, said Eduardo Garcia in Sentido Comun, the online financial publication he founded.
Garcia estimated that Gates was worth $59.2 billion.
Forbes magazine reported in April that Slim had overtaken billionaire investor Warren Buffett for the No. 2 spot in the world’s richest stakes but was still behind Gates.
Mexico has a huge rich-poor divide, with a tiny elite holding most of the country’s wealth and around half the population living on less than $5 a day.
Forbes bumped up Slim because gains from his holding company Carso and fixed-line telecom Telmex added to the Mexican’s fortune while shares of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. fell in the same period.
Three months ago, Sentido Comun’s Garcia begged to differ with Forbes and calculated Slim’s wealth as more than Gates’ -- but only by a whisker. Now he says there is no doubt whose fortune is bigger at current share values.
“When I put Slim ahead three months ago Forbes bumped him up to second place (in world rankings) a few days later,” Garcia, also the publication’s editor-in-chief, told Reuters. “Let’s see if the same happens again.”
Spokespeople at Forbes magazine were not immediately available for comment.
Garcia, who uses Forbes’ calculations for US billionaires’ wealth, says the 5.7% increase in Microsoft share prices in the second quarter is no match for the sharp rise in valuations of Slim’s companies.
Shares of Telmex in the second quarter rose 11% and Slim’s bank, Inbursa, saw its stock advance 20%.
Garcia’s Sentido Comun, which translates as “common sense,” reckons Slim and his amily own a fortune equivalent to 8 percent of Mexico’s gross domestic product.
For Gates to be worth 8% of the US economy, his fortune would have to grow to more than $13 trillion, 17 times his current wealth, according to Sentido Comun.
Slim, known for his Midas touch in turning around struggling businesses and turning them into profit-making machines, told Reuters in an interview this year he was not in the habit of calculating his fortune on a regular basis.
Slim and his chief spokesman Arturo Elias Ayub were not immediately available for comment.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Indian Railways

Think of Indian Railways and I am sure all Indians will have a sense of nostalgia. As a kid traveling in trains was fun for me. However think of railway stations and you think of crowded market like places with a lot of filth around. But if things proceed correctly this could change. The Indian Railways is considering upgrading all major railway stations in India, and make them airport like. I hope it happens soon. Read here.