Friday, October 02, 2009


Sunil Mittal. I have written about him on my blog before too. His last quote at the end of this interview is very very inspiring.

My previous posts on him:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Improved DL system.

I had to take a challenging course this semester called 'Advanced Math Modeling'. I have a programming/modeling phobia. Mainly because I thought I would have to do this for my PhD, when I wanted to pursue something completely different. This morning I was reading a paper on modeling water loss in farms due to evaporation, for a quiz in this class. The paper was very helpful since it gave me an idea on the semester project. At the same time the Champions Trophy India-Australia match was getting washed-out. While folks at Cricinfo were speculating about D-L targets for India, it struck me. Can fuzzy logic inference systems be used for predicting totals in case of a rain affected cricket match? There is loads and loads of data to model the 'fuzzy part' on. Also it can be compared to the Duckworth-Lewis and other algorithms for unaffected full 50 over matches and see which one does a better job.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Words of Atalji in 2002. Introspection.

As quoted by PTI.
“In a clear disapproval of the recent actions of the so-called practitioners of Hindutva, the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, tonight said it would be better to ‘keep a distance’ from the kind of Hindutva being practised by some now. Speaking at a book release function here, he said when Swami Vivekananda spoke of Hinduism, nobody called him communal. ‘But now, some people have defined Hindutva in such a manner that it is better to keep a distance from it.’ He said Hindutva should not be equated with religion as it was ‘a way of life’. We should keep away from such Hindutva which is stagnant.”

Thursday, June 11, 2009

History of Shard Pawar by Kumar Ketkar

I think Kumar Ketkar is one of the most knowledgeable political journalist in India. Read here, his article in IE about Shard Pawar's political ambition.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Bang on target

Sudheerendra Kulkarni's editorial in Tehelka. Read Here.


1. Why did the BJP invite this weakness upon itself? The reason has to do with the widespread ideological confusion within the party over what the BJP’s advocacy of Hindutva actually means. The confusion has persisted for a long time, but it intensified after the defeat of the BJP/NDA in 2004.

2.At a broader level, it is high time the BJP seriously debated and decided what it means by ‘Hindutva’, and also what formulations of ‘Hindutva’ are not acceptable to it. True, the BJP must remain an ideology-driven party. But without clarity on what the BJP’s ideology is, the party cannot win the support of more Hindus, let alone the support of Muslims and Christians. Understood as ‘Cultural Nationalism’ in an inclusive, integrative and noncommunal sense, Hindutva indeed defines the organizing and sustaining principle of the Indian Nation.
v.v.good point

3. Never in the history of the Jana Sangh or the BJP was the party enfeebled by so much disarray at the top.

4.Where does the BJP go from here? The answer depends on how honest and widespread the introspection about the past and the future is within the BJP, and how thorough the corrective action in the near future will be. For this to happen, the party should encourage free debate, based on constructive criticism and self-criticism.

BJP leaders have, in their reaction to this column, already ignored the constructive honest introspection part mentioned in 4.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Racism related attacks on Indians down under.

In January of 2008, during the test match played at Sydney, Aussies threw a tantrum about Harbhajan's alleged calling Symonds a monkey. Why are the so called righteous men, who claim are intolerant of racism silent now when Indian students in Australia are being attacked by petrol bombs and being stabbed by screwdrivers?

A few months back after similar attacks on Indian students in Australia, authorities there advised Indians against being very exhibitionists and not show off their i-pods and laptops, and hence attract attention. Do only Indian students carry i-pods and laptops and not others in Australia? Even now, authorities in Australia are calling these crime related incidents and not racist. If these are just criminal and not racism related incidents why are only Indians at the receiving end of them? Why are the authorities still in denial?

Anyone who knows about the money gate episode and Australian behavior then, I am sure, would be totally infuriated by this.

My earlier post on this.

Also this is what the Police reportedly did to one of the protesters.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thoughts on where BJP lost it.....

A comment on the Friends of BJP blog/website. I agree with all of this. Its like I wanted to say all of this, but couldn't have said it better by myself.

"What is the diffrence between Nationalism and Hindu nationalism? Is there such an entity as hindu nationalism? Nationalism can not be HINDU or any other religeon . I always thought nationalism meant indianism. That is the first mistake …. Nationalism must be about Indianism. Hindutva there fore is not about hinduism as a religeon but about india or hindustan as our ancient land is called due to being land of SINDHU and and Not hindu ( every body by now knows that in persian sindhu is hindu as there is no s defining sound there …… should ask a linguist how this has been derived)So hindus live in land of sindhu and their dharma is hinduism please note dharma not religeon. Kindly define this carefully and do not get confuse the two. follow dharma what ever relgieon you belong to.
Yet do not be soft on enemies of India (hindus included), that means fight with mind and brain and not sword and voilence. Voilence only begets more voilence and hate more hatered. Define your goals and reach them. Define hinduism in a modern way so young can identify. Do not alienate them but include them by change in a modern way. You do need young India with you. remeber Vivekananda suceeded by inclusion of all kinds of people and not by exclusion of large chunks of them. Let us have a reality check.
1. Hindus are a progressive society - they will adopt any thing which is of benefit to the society by weighing it carefully. There are no dictats in Hindu society. You may not believe at all in god and still you can call yourself as a hindu.
2. Westernisation is a reality. Accept it and assimilate it
3. Do not dig the past and glorify it - it will be of no use to any one.It only brings out contradictions in our society. Just be proud of your land and keep all the good things from past reject all baggage.
3. Yes prejudice against BJP is deep seated but take stock whether we have done any thing to remove that at all? Have we taken stock of situation and ground realities in our society? Have we formulated any concrete plans?
4. Yes in politics perception matters as much as reality. It doesn’t matter whether BJP is communal or not, as long as it is perceived to be communal…… i totally agree. But preceptions are also based on some kind of reality. ( Til hai to pahar hai) Define why this preception is following us like a dog. Define how it should be countered - not by arguing but by doing. Show by concrete evidence.Put some work where your mouth is. start a massive rehab program in communally sensitive areas specially where congress has probelms in this sphere. work constructively for upliftment of dalit population and all poor in that area. Generate rural employement by party work and teach people not to be dependant on governmental schemes alone. Reduce dependancy on mai bap sarkar. In other words define your programmes and place them throgh NGOS just like minority communities do.
5. Social change can occur only by changing society in preceptible ways but these are often ill defined factors. Greatness is to understand them and implement agenda in subtle ways. Counter issues like conversions, minority appeasement etc. in correct ways and not by being shrill about them. Do not shout from roof tops regarding these issues, counter them by deeds like reconversion drives, hindu NGO support and propaganda , and not voilence as in kandhmahal. Please realise bad press is indeed very bad.
6. Start some TV chanels that are supported by RSS and BJP and are managed by reporters who are pro BJP. Right now there is no body in any media that supports BJP. having your own network will help but the management should be left to juornos alone. Above all these jurnos must be of good credentials and must be percieved by public as being above board and impartial.
7. DO NOT BE APOLOGETIC. No need for that. Well this is our ideology and we will stick by it … should be our creed. BJP spokepeople on TV are always sounding apologetic. They can not counter the bad press BJP gets. They can not encash the situation as well as their conterparts.
8. Be very vocal and condemn statements from opposition like minorities have the first right to India etc made by Mr. M MM. yesterday in AP so many statements by YSR Reddy were very comunal, but have you even heard a murmur from BJP in state and outside it? Where are you Mr. Venkayya Naidu? Where is your press team ? Does it exist at all?
Enough for now
I have to now run some urgent work …."

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala blog

Yes here is a blog in Rk's name. I presume it is his blog and not just someone using his name. Authenticity of the blog is trivial. The blog posts are entertaining in a unique way while at the same time they comment on serious issues. Read here. Do read it, you will enjoy.

RK also posts Chaitanya Kunte's post on Barkha Dutt which he removed after NDTV exerted pressure. He challenges NDTV to take him on.

Down with Barkha. Am I in trouble now?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lok Sabha 2009

Singh is King again as Congress wins over 200 seats. Not even the congress expected this kind of mandate. Congress allies also did well, especially Trinamool Congress which won the Battle of Bengal against the Left Front. NCP and DMK the other UPA allies did pretty good as well.

BJP did worse than 2004. In 2004 difference between BJP and Congress was about 6 seats. This time around it is 80 due to a much better result for the Congress in Rajasthan, Andhra, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarkhand and most importantly UP.

My 2 cents of analysis on the BJP defeat. It seems that the BJP never did come out of their denial after the 2004 polls. Creating and exploiting short term volatile religious situations in Kandhmal, Amarnath, Pilibhit and Ram Setu did not seem to have gone well with the polity. They really lacked a sincere approach and a clear way forward. They never looked like the party with a differnce as in 1998. As the opposition party their flip-flop on the nuclear deal and their hotch potch stance cost them a lot of credibility in the minds of the people.

So what about multi sector reforms in the new UPA government? Kamal Nath said that he prefers calling it streamlining of issues and not reforms. His ally DMK member Maran said this is not a good time for privatization because of diminished market value. Is this an indication of things to come? Vir Sanghvi said on NDTV that R&S do not believe in the trickle down effect of the growth resulting from market reforms and that this is government is no agent of the CII. Shekhar Gupta seemingly summed it by saying that no government is 100% while giving a Don Bradman analogy. However Dalal street seems to be content with the fact that the verdict is not fractured.

One final comment. It seems Barkha Dutt is getting increasingly annoying on NDTV. One gets a feeling she has become a limelight hogger than a serious journalistic analyzer. She seems to bask in glory when some senior politician calls her Barkhaji. The constant interrupting of guest speakers is something else that needs to be pointed out to her. Perhaps she could learn a thing or two from Prannoy Roy and Vikram Chandra.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Mythical science of predicting elections

Good article from IE. Read here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

IPL Mania!!

India's Congress party is reported to be distributing pocket-sized IPL schedules in parts of Gujarat, featuring photographs of the local candidates and the likes of Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi in addition to the times of the games. "Generally, people don't read the details in leaflets, but they will love to keep the IPL schedule and will go through the details of the candidates whenever they get time," the Vadodara city president of the party said, overjoyed at the cunning scheme.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Very Fascinating Talk

The way, which Elizabeth Gilbert describes, one should live his creative life applies to a general person too. Very similar to what is said in the 'Bhagawad Gita', Karm kiye ja phal ki aapeksha mat kar.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How would Obama do in an Indian office?

Read here.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Suhel Seth on Narendra Modi

Read Here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Shivraj Patil what are you doing? When will the indiscriminate killings stop? You are an incompetent man. PLEASE QUIT.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Aussies are Hypocrites....

"theres no way I grounded the ball"- Ricky Pointing.

Aussies are Hypocrites and Cry Babies.

Jai Hanuman !!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Very true video about India by Amitabh

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.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Heard of a building called Antilia being built in Mumbai with six floors of parking, mini theatre, two floors for terrace gardens, a floor with swimming pool and health club, four floors of apartments and three helipads and all that for a single family?
Yeah thats true. Who else but MK could do that. Read here.

Friday, June 22, 2007

2nd GR (part 2)

In my previous post on GR, some wondered whether the entry of corporates will really better farmers lives and benefit the consumers as well.

Heres what Gurcharan Das says about it in his blog.

The price of potatoes, November 19, 2006

I sometimes wonder why I pay Rs 10 per kilo for potatoes when the farmer receives only Rs 3. My potatoes travel some distance, I realise, from the farm to the mandi to my bania, and each person in the chain must get his cut. Still, the gap of Rs 7 seems excessive, especially when the American farmer receives Rs 4 to 5. This gap varies, of course, depending on the commodity and the season, but studies by agricultural economists show that farmers in the developed countries do get a bigger share of the consumer price because their distribution chain is shorter.

Reliance opened seven supermarkets in Hyderabad last month and my friend bought potatoes there for Rs 10 per kilo compared to Rs 18 at his bania’s shop. Another friend who works with an NGO in rural Andhra reported that farmers, who had supplied potatoes to Reliance, reported receiving higher than the mandi price. How could Reliance pay a higher price to farmers and charge a lower price to consumers? Simple--it had eliminated middlemen in the chain. Thus, we should welcome the entry of large retailers. They will bring logistics efficiencies and competition between them will lower consumer prices and raise farmers’ incomes. We shouldn’t wait too long to open this sector to foreign retailers like Walmart and Tesco lest Reliance become a monopoly.

A typical farmer harvests his crop, loads it on his bullock cart, travels30 km to the mandi, where he is forced to sell often at distress prices. Once at the mandi, he cannot return without disposing his produce. He needs the money and the trader knows it. Had he known the price before he left, he might have waited a few days. Where E chaupals have arrived farmers are happy because they get to know mandi prices via the Internet. The national commodities exchange (NCDEX) is setting up electronic tickers announcing spot and future prices in local languages at mandis and bus stands in some states. Eventually, the mobile phone will be the farmer’s best source of information. All these developments make traders unhappy.

Since his crop is perishable, the farmer needs a warehouse to enhance his staying power. NCDEX is putting up a thousand cold storages with world class grading facilities, but large retailers will also bring air-conditioned warehouses and trucks, and this will save India’s huge post harvest losses, as high as 40% for some crops. Banks ought to lend money to farmers against warehouse receipts, but the Reserve Bank refuses to allow them to hedge against future prices. This is a pity for bank loans would mitigate the farmer’s risk and improve his holding power. In fact, banks should also sell crop insurance. It is amazing that RBI should view futures trading as speculation. If the farmer knows the price of potatoes, he might plant onions instead.

Old habits of the mind die slowly. When you have been a stagnant, peasant agriculture for hundreds of years, it is difficult to grasp how Reliance, commodity exchanges, futures trading, and contract farming will quietly bring a second green revolution and liberate farmers from the clutches of the old mandi system, which is at the heart of rural political patronage. Activists oppose the entry of global retailers like Walmart on ideological grounds. Talk of farmer suicides is cheap. Politician-traders on Agricultural Marketing Committees play on these insecurities. No wonder it takes so long to reform in a democracy.