Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How do we value farmer's sweat and blood?

In last 3 years I have come across many papers on development and woes of our villages. To use the broad statistics from different sources, 2/3 of our population is engaged in agriculture/rural sector and the share of this sector in GDP is around 17-18%!!

It makes me wonder as to how do we value the blood and sweat of farmers. What makes agriculture products to be valued so low that output of 60%+ amounts to meager 17% of the economy?

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Beautiful Game

Despite all the drama and fuss of refereeing woes, constant din of vuvuzelas and unpredictable flight of jabulanis, this world cup has gone on predicted lines. Fight between European and South American football, peppered with African and Asian mix here and there.
African teams have shown promise except for Nigeria which really had a poor show. SA, Ivory Coast & Ghana have made themselves count. Asians also have done whatever they can do at this stage.

For Africa and Asia it is still a distant dream to find the best mix of flair and strategy. Africans have plenty of flair but they have lacked quality long term coaches. Asian teams are yet to produce an international star in football which goes to show the flair deficit to a large extent.

Quarterfinal games have shown that in big games execution of strategy and flair bot are needed to seal the games. Brazil faltered on account of strategy against Netherlands and same was the fate of Argentina against Germany.

Germany look like the only team with perfect blend at the moment. Some of the goals against Argentina reminded me of scoring moves in field hockey. The way they took the ball from the flanks to inside of the box without trying to put in high crosses is just a like field hockey move designed to score or atleast create penalty corners. Argentina was not able to close the gaping hole on their right flank through out the game and paid the price with 4 goals.

With the semi final line up of Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Urguay, an all European final is very much on the cards. Germany vs. Netherlands final would be worth watching!!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Class Wars

This morning while driving to office, heard BBC program on Thai Red Shirt protests. The biggest refrain from this protest was about common man's perception of the government and class systems. Be it democracy or monarchy, class system dictates the systems of governance. Even communism has not been spared, its just that tables get turned and oppressed becomes the oppressor.

I couldn't help but draw parallels to Maoism movements of India, Nepal and early Chinese people's revolution. In all cases common man, the poor staged the uprising against the ruling elites of their nations. If you see there is always a very uneasy and tense balance between the elite and commoners and in all this middle class normally sides with elite barring a few exceptions here and there.

I cant say that I have a solution to all this but just the realization of this class war reality can help us look for the solutions. Be it NREGA or any other measures ( which elite immediately pounce on as populist policy) show that it doesn't take much to keep the common man happy... or may I say quiet. In the same BBC program their was a mention of how Takshin Sinawatra also produced his own brand of populist scheme by giving 1 million Baht fund to villages for creating easy loans to poor. I must say, not such a bad scheme. More than the money it is the decision making power which has been given in the hands for those poor people. But going beyond that one needs to look at creating opportunities for common people and equitable justice system to make "everyone" happy and give a lasting solution.

It is interesting to know that poor countries, hotbed of such class wars, stand out with their flawed judicial systems. Judicial systems which come down heavily on poor people.

We can learn a lot from Americans also as to how they have been able to do with their democracy.

Who can bring this change?... I think it would take all of us .. not just the poor common people...!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Are we nation of blind followers?

This latest tamasha in Mumbai is an example of how our countrymen love to follow a leader blindly...!! So much so that simple act of exercising your democratic right becomes act of bravery!!

If Shivsainiks really set aside their blind devotion to supreme leader and try and reason out this latest Fatwa against Shahrukh Khan .. they would realize that how immature this whole thing looks to reasonable people.

Is it the sign of desperation from top leadership of Shiv Sena. In recent past this would be second time they have left themselves looking like fools. When simple act of Rahul travelling in Mumbai was made an issue by them .. they were left with egg on their face and now this movie release has further eroded their reputation.

These small victories may be counter productive for the future of Mumbai as now Sena(s) might get desperate and turn to more violent means to regain their power over people. Lets just hope that Shiv Sainiks realize the futility of following wishes of other people and take their destinies in their own hands by working hard and making productive use of their time.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Living in a world full of batteries..

Was just wondering if batteries were the most influential invention on our lives!!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

five point someone's 70%

Seriously last evening's media overdose has spoilt all the fun of 3 idiots..!! It is such a good package for indian middle classes and could have done without role playing by the people behind the scenes ( victim : CB villain: VVC)
I find it ridiculous that CB is playing victim in this whole thing and playing %age game :) Is he looking for 70% returns from the movie? I guess no.. He is looking for the credits in big bold letters at the beginning of the movie!! but then if he is basing  his claim on so called feedback from his fans, some off the record comments from critics and his family members... arriving at magic figure of 70%... it sounds hollow after having watched the movie myself. I might give benefit of doubt to CB as it has been long time since I read the book. It was enjoyable read back then but I haven't felt like picking up another CB book thereafter.  ( He is no Murakami )

Movie has gags and characters which weren't there in the book ( if my memory serves me right and  if book was that memorable ). Movie hits home a few points better than the book specially for the middle class indians. It brings certain amount of drama ( which incidentally a friend of mine finds disgusting ) which a movie like this needed ... raju hirani and amir combination made sure that there was lot of message in the movie.

It was over the top in few places and some scenes seemed a bit silly ( delivering of baby on TT table scene) but the way it was finally finished with right amount of emotion and comedy made the initial build up bearable. It isnt Rang De Basanti or Taare Zameen Par but it still stays with you much longer than Singh is King or some similar stuff we have been getting out of Bollywood.

I believe CB maybe a victim in all this  ... more because of his own doings :

  • if he was fussy about credit, he should have covered it hammer and tong in the contract
  • if he is miffed about not getting same proportions of returns from the project like the makers and the stars then he should blame his business manager or whoever did the deal for him ( 10 lakhs sound paltry for such a successful book )
Caught this article by Vir Sanghvi on the same issue ..