Posts Tagged india
This is a post I am writing en route to Delhi. I was on Bangalore airport when I saw the new about blast in Delhi High Court. Was I shocked…No. I am neither surprised nor shocked. Why should I be shocked, it’s almost a monthly routine now. Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad or any big city, which has too many humans and good business, it would have had blast sometime in past 2 years.
I was not shocked, that does not mean I wasn’t sad, I was very sad. More sad on the part that what is happening in the country. Why are we not able to curb this terrorism, which is causing us so much damage? It’s not a new thing for our country to face, we have been facing this for last 20 years at least, so we should be prepared for such things and how to handle them.
What currently happens after a blast is as follows. One team starts investigating, other team overtakes it, our politicians start condemning the attacks, then police (or similar agency) puts in a lot of effort and catches few people, then they are stuck in judicial system awaiting punishment, media finds something new to talk about, people forget, politicians forget and somewhere we have another blast. The cycle goes on.
Why do we do all the actions afterwards? Yes, there is another set of opinion – you don’t know how many attacks our intelligence has saved. I agree with them, that is a fantastic job, but not enough. Not enough considering this has been going on for two decades now. We have too many people in our country does not mean value per life has reduced, its same everywhere in world.
Then there are politicians. Like today Home Minister said –“It was not intelligence failure, we didn’t have intelligence”. Then someone from opposition party said –“no intelligence is intelligence failure only”. I agree nice play of words, but that does not solve the problem. You can condemn attacks, walk out of parliament or do some other political drama but that does not solve the problem. Even Pakistan condemned the attacks, what does that mean, nothing.
And what is happening with the people we are catching? Why are they not getting proper punishment on time. Why is Kasab still is jail and has not been given what he deserves. We have videos of his shooting during Mumai blasts, what more proof do we want to punish him. It’s been two years and he is still in jail and we are spending money on his. Keeping him in there long will again create situation as we had today. Some organization will attack some place and threaten to do the same if we don’t release him. Some other organization might hijack a plane and get him released. Why not punish the guilty and show others that if you choose same path what will be the final destination.
That brings me to the point, why am I writing this blog post? I don’t know why I am writing this. I wrote a post ‘Impact of Blogging’ after Ahmadabad serial blasts, trying to prove that blogging does not do anything to solve the problem. It is my form of “condemning” the attacks. I am kind of helpless here. I don’t know what to do, what can we do to solve this problem. This is just a way for me to vent out my anger.
Tomorrow we play one of the crucial games of the year (yes, this year, not of four years) when we face Sri Lanka in World Cup Finals. I don’t know why this game does not excite me much. May be because we have played Sri Lanka too much in recent time or may be because I feel so many similarities between Indian and Sri Lankan team. May be because I would have supported Sri Lanka for World Cup if India exited earlier. There can be many reasons, but this game does not enthuse me as an India-Australia or India-Pakistan final.
Most of the let down in energy comes from the fact that both teams are similarly placed – heavily dependent on batting line up, masters of spin pitches, donning heavy spin attack spearheaded by one fast bowler. This makes both teams adopt similar strategy and that does not make me happy. I wanted it to be a battle of bat and ball, but it seems like a contest of bat and bat.
But that’s not the biggest thing going on in my head. Sachin Tendulkar is the key, not because he will play a crucial role in game but because this is his final World Cup. We need to win this cup for him. If we succeed, India’s greatest star will get the gift he deserves. If it was just up to his performance we would have secured at least four out of five cups he has played in, but cricket is a team sport and there are too many aspects for a victory or failure than just an individual’s brilliance.
Then is the idea, that it might be the last time we will watch Sachin Tendulkar bat in a One Day International. And if that is going to be the case then I want time to stop now, I don’t want to see what happens tomorrow, I don’t even want to imagine what happens afterwards. World Cup or not, without Sachin Tendulkar, cricket will never be same again.
Today was the day that will go down in golden world in Cricketing history. The mythical 200 run mark in ODI was broken and it was by none other than India’s proudest possession, Sachin Tendulkar. For last 20 years he has given India a consistent performance that is unparallel to any other effort. He has many names – God, Master Blaster, Little Master, Tendya, One man army etc. He has many names and I won’t get into detail which one I like, but what he means to country. He is HOPE, he is the one who can swing the game in India’s favor. Till he is on crease no Indian ever loses hope, opposition fears him more than anything and bowlers have nightmares before and after the game. He has played many great innings – ranging from his ‘Desert Storm’ inning in Sharjah to ‘cut shot’ in 2003 world cup which sent Pakistan back home.
He not only survives the tremendous pressure put by opposition but also the enormous amount of expectations from more than a billion people. When he walks onto the filed every fans wants a century from him and nothing less. To meet those levels of expectations constantly for twenty years is phenomenal.
He has literally almost all the batting records to his name, but the one he created today has eluded him few times. Why is this great (if not greatest) inning? why does it carry more weight than anything when it is just six run ahead of previous record? What makes this the one to remember for life? Here are my reasons:
‘Carry the bat’ is not an easy thing to achieve. It takes immense concentration, stamina, patience and requires perfection of the incomparable level. It takes just one mistake – a slight miscalculation, loss of concentration or something minute and you are sent back to pavilion. To perform such task in changing conditions and distractions all around is huge task. In not only requires patience but also controlling the emotions. One cannot achieve such perfection without hard work, dedication or letting success get into head. Even one survives those five grueling hours on pitch, it takes enormous effort to scores runs consistently at such high rate. One is not just concentrating on batting but also running, keep the score ticking and attacking the opposition mentally. To achieve such a feat at age of 37 in itself is amazing. He not only has stamina to survive, which he has developed over years of rigorous training and immense discipline, but also cunningness to adapt to situation. The way he switched from hitting shots to using bowler’s pace was marvelous. To end this argument, I would say, he does not have the body structure of modern day players who believe in power hitting. Sachin Tendulkar is not six foot tall with broad shoulders to attack all the balls, he is a class act – a mix of brilliance, elegance and ability to innovate shots. All these things make this one of the greatest innings of Cricket.
What now? Sachin Tendulkar has one more dream, to win the World Cup for India. We know he is going to do his best and he will have more than a billion fans to support from him. If he continues this form, I have no qualms in proclaiming that India will not fail to win the World Cup. What could be a better gift than winning the World Cup on home turf. We all LOVE you Sachin! You are Cricket to me and I don’t want to imagine…
Today I watched Food, Inc. and that triggered this post. Coming from India I see food in a different perspective, a nation where poverty is the main problem and almost half of the population struggles to get both meals a day. A country which has the highest malnutrition (215+ million people) in world, food to all seems to be the biggest challenge. Then we have another set of problems related to food – adulteration and excessive usage of chemicals in farming.
When I came to US, the first thing I noticed was the prosperity and then in few days I was introduced to Wal Mart. This gave me an impression that at least this country doesn’t have problems in this area. Then I met few friends who introduced me to different set of issues that most people are unaware of. They gave me a comprehensive idea of how most of the food is prepared. At first I did not see it as problem, I thought of it as efficient use of technology. When they explained all the aspects I was surprised to find out about cruelty to animals and other ways in which food was prepared. This was not end of story, this form of preparation promoted unhealthy eating practices. Then the question was why still people don’t change? Answer was simple – lack of awareness and low cost. And here it comes back to similar problem as India- to prepare food at lower costs. In India the problem magnifies as enforcement of food related laws is not proper.
This movie provides the same insight in terms of how technology advancement has solved some temporary issues but can lead to tragic issues later. It talks about how chicken and cow are bred, kind of environment they live in, how they are used in assembly line, how genetic engineering has changed the life cycle of animals and how animals are grown specific to human taste. They further extend this approach to corn, soybean and other agriculture products and its impact on humans. Basic idea of the movie is to show how food is engineered to human needs with maximum efficiency and at lowest cost. Movie also talks about law reform needed to improve conditions and what we can do to help not only ourselves but environment as well. It’s a terrifying expose of food industry but sends a deeper message – how our habits as a consumers have degraded the way we live and that message is more important to me.
This movie is an eye opener for normal people like us who have no idea what goes behind the food counter. This should also be a lesson to developing countries on how to tackle food problems. More than 50% of world population has food related issues, we need to come up with better ways to resolve the problem rather than taking the same approach. I do not know what that approach will be but I like what one of the message from the movie – “Eat at home instead of eating out.” and “Make a point to know where your food comes from—READ LABELS.” I would recommend this movie to everyone, because awareness is the first step and always helps.
On the same topic I have another recommendation, in the form of book this time – Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health.
Update: I received many queries about me being still vegetarian and if yes, how does it impact me? I am still a vegetarian. It impacts me because I look this from perspective of consumer. How our behavior as consumer has changed over years and how that drives the corporations to change their policies. My perspective was to increase awareness among all, to understand what corporate social responsibility is and how organizations we deal with fare in it.
Disclaimer: This post is just about observations, not to judge any person, place or country. Its just my curious nature that is making me write the post, no other intention. These are personal observations, your experience may vary.
When I moved to US for my MBA, I could feel a lot of difference in every way I could think of. I saw a lot of improvement over what I have seen back in India and few times other way around too, but this post is not about those. Its about small observations that I found interesting, human behaviors mostly from cultural perspective.
Biggest difference was regarding ‘assignments’. The emphasis given on assignments was overwhelming, in India this kind of emphasis is given on exams only. Practical nature of assignments combined with team work helps you to learn a lot and reduce pressure from exams. May be practical nature of MBA has a part to play in it. This should be part of ‘education system analysis’ post that I would be publishing soon. Here my point was to drive towards issue of plagiarism. In most of Indian colleges plagiarism is not as strictly monitored as it is in US because of that some Indian students take time to understand the implications. Many learn in first month and few people take few semesters to get used to this idea. This leads to a lot of differences while working in teams and lead to rework.
Second difference I found was in newspapers. As I love reading I would go to library and check newspapers, the famous ones that I had only heard about and seen only electronic versions. It was a surprise for me that I did not find much international news. Many a times I noticed 8 page newspaper with 5 pages of sports and 1/4 page of international news. But thankfully in today’s Internet world I get all the news I wanted.
Socializing was another big difference. Classmates usually know about each other, form friends circles before or after class. Here I noticed that very less communication takes place after class, most of socialization happen in bar over drinks. For a teetotaler like me it was hard to adjust to but other form of socializing takes place at sports events. Here my knowledge and appreciation of sports came in handy.
Then there are smaller differences. For example a small help such as sharing book for few hours is considered ‘nothing’ in India, but I learned here its a ‘favor’. Now this changes a lot of things for me, even when it was considered ‘nothing’, I would ask for help rarely but when a big word like ‘favor’ is put in front of it, this shuts down the path for me to ask for any help.
Another example would be the way people say NO. In India we are not used to here ‘no’ if we ask for help, the other person will say ‘no’ in different way, the British way. I remember once I asked a friend for something small and when I got a blunt ‘no’ it came as shock to me. On the other hand Indian ‘Yes’ is different too. I learned this while working with US clients. Indian ‘yes’ refers to ‘honest effort in completing task’ not a commitment to complete.
Similarly, I do not understand the difference between definition of ‘inconvenience’ in these two countries – In India coming 10 minutes late is not inconvenience while here it is, walking 200 feet extra has different meaning too, privacy level in two countries vary tremendously. In India we rarely address people (other than friends and in Infy) by their first name where here it is considered must.
There are a lot of small observation that I have experienced and learned a lot from it. Always trying to gather best of both worlds and that’s why I am here (one of the many reasons). No book or any amount of reading would give me such a rich experience. In this globalized economy this kind of understanding is must for success.
Hofstede quotes – “Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster”. I agree with him completely, few times I had disagreement with a friend over small things because of these differences. But this is the way to learn and I am glad I am here.
This paper discuses the IT industry in India and exchange rate risks. Starting with the history of the Indian IT Industry, the paper talks about change in government policies and how it impacted the growth of the industry. After devaluation of the Indian currency in 1991, the Indian government changed to a liberal policy and it helped the growth of the IT industry. The government also established Special Economic Zones to boost the growth of the Indian IT Industry.
India does not have a high domestic IT market, so most of the growth involves export to the US and European countries. Indian currency is volatile and businesses are exposed to exchange rate risks. This paper discusses different hedging techniques and finds out why options and futures are the best options for the Indian IT Industry.
China is a fast growing economy and is challenging the Indian IT industry because of advantages similar to India. This paper discusses advantages and disadvantages with both the economies. It discusses options such as joint ventures and establishing development centers in China for Indian IT companies to penetrate into the Chinese market.
The third section of the paper deals with differences in exchange rate systems between India and China. China follows a pegged system while India has a managed float system. This section discusses the differences and impact of exchange rates on international trade.
Congratulation Sachin for another milestone in your kitty. We have been waiting for you to surpass Brian Lara for highest run scorer in Test Cricket, but due to injuries and being ‘out of form’ we have to wait for long. But this innings at Mohali was superb and whole nation along with cricket lovers from all over the world will remember it for long.
There are stones thrown at you and you turn it in to milestones.
Yes, for last 19 years (since I started watching cricket) you have been doing so and I wish you could do this for next 20 years too. Sadly, we know this is not possible. [ I do not want to think of that day, have not yet recovered from Ganguly's announcement to retire.]
I was not that excited to be honest.
-Sachin in an interview after breaking the record.
This is the main reason for your success besides the talent. Over many years many talented cricketers have come and gone and none have left an impact or could not last long because they could handle the success. He has not only made this country proud but lived to expectations of billion people, that itself is the biggest achievement of life. He is not just a great cricketer but the greatest sportsman this country has every seen. We are proud of you.
Abinav Bindra recieving Gold Meal
Indian Nation Anthem @ Abhinav’s gold medal podium
KV: @ddeeps what will blogging do? We will blog and few ppl will read and agree n nothing will change.
Ddeeps: @kv Oh never despair. We talk, we discuss, we think, re reflect, we are spurred to action, we support – all things happen.
Nb42: @kv 98% of the people are decent citizens. 2% are extremely stupid. But it’s us 98% who’s at fault for electing the other 2%.
KV: @nb42 exactly, but do you think we 98pc ppl can blog n change those 2% ppl?
Its almost 5 years since I have been blogging, but still I am not clear about the impact of blogging on general people, or how we can change the opinion about certain things?
I am not talking about the tech people, the people from our gang or bloggers. When we write about technology and tech news/reviews/bug fixes/hacks it is to be accessed by similar minded people and they find solutions online. Or when The Economics describes Robert Scoble as Chief humanising officer and quotes ‘he has made Microsoft, with its history of monopolistic bullying, appear marginally but noticeably less evil to the outside world’ then I completely agree. Because people who had views about MS, hated MS or had no opinion, they all belonged to the tech world, the internet world. That was the place where Scoble was hero and everyone listened to him.
But once we try to apply same things to normal world specially in country like India where most of the people do not have access to internet, where politicians still try to get votes based on caste, region etc rather than what actually people really thinks, the situation is completely different. If we talk about people who blog or we interact on twitter we see most of them have rises above the level of these small issues and cannot be misled by politicians. But those are the people who are our target audiences too, they are already aware of what is happening around, they know problems and solutions too, they do not have power to change it. They can blog about things but who is going to read, not the politicians or general public.
There are these small incidents that happen in our daily life, for example when I went to get a medicine from medical store, most of them did not give me because I wanted to just have one injection. They wanted me to buy a complete pack of 10. These medical store guys act like a mafia and sell medicines in bulk only. Every medical shop I went to I got the same answer ‘buy 10 or don’t buy it’. Where do I raise my voice against it? Who should I complain to? In the end what did I do, I just wrote a blog post. [I never posted that because I knew that post will have no impact]
Push button publishing might have made everyone a journalist, but what good it is when the ideas can’t be propagated into real life. I have another question too, few months back we had a Blogathon India, and it was really a nice effort. I read all the posts and learnt a lot from them, I tried to change few habits too. But I don’t think it caused a lot of impact, its purpose was to increase awareness, but I think it just tried to help those who were already in better shape. We need to reach out to common people and authorities, but blogging isn’t going to help much.
So, I want to ask all the bloggers what is the solution? Do you really think blogs will have impact someday? In a country where 1/3 of population is trying hard to get two meals a day, we can blog and can change perspective of people? I have no clue on this. At this point I was thrown with another question, did you vote? What or how did you decide who to vote for? Maybe answer to this question will lead me somewhere.