Monday, December 24, 2007

God Save Tirunelveli CSI Diocess

CSI Church of South India Tirunelveli Diocese CrestWhen a police Jeep is required for the peaceful conduct of a Church Service in Tirunelveli, you know that something is horribly wrong. It is not (the regular) RSS and Sangh Parivar, who are the culprits but the internal politics of Tirunelveli CSI Diocese. The intricacies of the politics witnessed during the recent elections showed the stuff that Tirunelveli CSI Diocese is really made up of. The recent elections got everything from double crossing, 'bunkee' jumping and even the occasional violence. (Surely would make a very good thriller movie). Read the story - 'Nellai Diocesan fight turns ugly'

But for someone who loves the church and diocese, it is the sign of a doom bell ringing aloud. A Case Study of what would happen when power is given to religious authorities. [CSI Tirunelveli Diocese controls around 360 institutions and has 85,000+ students under its various institutions]. Was really heart wrenching to see a diocese which has produced national christian leaders going downhill.

God Save Tirunelveli CSI Diocese.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Orkut Vs Facebook In India

Facebook logo IndiaOrkut with its simple design and non-American focus, is the leading Social networking site in India. But with the Facebook craze slowly starting in India, there are a whole bunch of people who have started jumping from Orkut to Facebook. Students, for whom orkutting and scrapping was the next most important thing to food & shelter, are not even logging onto orkut these days- thanks to their new found love - facebook. Everybody loves the cool look, applications, privacy in facebook while they hate the fact that anybody can see their scraps, profile,etc in orkut.

Orkut logo IndiaBut Orkut is not lying down - waiting to be overtaken by facebook. It is correcting its weak points and simultaneously acquiring the strengths of its major competitor. Recently, orkut gave its users to make their contents - profile, scraps, feeds, videos, photos private. [News via Orkut Blog - Keep your contents private]. With this move, Orkut satisfies a whole group of people who were cribbing about privacy in orkut. Now we have to wait for OpenSocial applications so that Orkut could give that final blow to facebook in India.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Speedlinking - Rajinikanth's B'day & Modi

Rajinikanth SivajiAs December 12 passes by, another year is added to already old 'Superstar' of Tamilnadu - Rajinikanth. To commemorate the birthday Balaji is listing out his '10 favorite song sequences of Rajinikanth'. His Blog - - is a Must Visit if you are a Rajini fan enthralled by the birthday of 'thalaivar'.

It is not only the Indian media that could not get enough of Narenda Modi, the incumbent Chief Minister of Gujarat[rightly called by 'someone'[:)]as a merchant of death]. Even US media could not stop reporting about him amidst the intense political campaign going for the election for Presidential nominations. Read the NewYork Times reporting that 'Bloodshed in '02 Shadows Indian Politician in Race that Tests Nationalist Party'.

Rahul Gandhi! Start a Blog!

Rahul GandhiToday I came across an article in New York Times - 'From Iran's Fiery Leader, a Slightly Tamer Blog' that informed the readers about the blog maintained by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran. Was really surprised on hearing that.

If the fiery leader of Iran could maintain a blog, what prevents any of our Indian political leaders to do the same thing? It would provide each of them an opportunity/platform to interact with the public and discuss the rational for their various policies. Also the person's popularity among the youth and IT crowd would go up one or two notches.

It is even acceptable that we can not expect these things from the oldies like Advani(Presidential Candidate, BJP) or Mr. M Karunadhi(CM, Tamilnadu). But what prevents the younger generation leaders like Maran, Rahul Gandhi, etc to use the web/blogging as a medium to interact with the general public. Hope it happens soon.

P.S: Link to Mahoumd Ahmadinejad' Blog -

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

News - Nice Steps in the Right Direction

Found two interesting news from the blogs i follow in Google reader.

MapmyIndia GPS Navigator - If any of us has traveled in a developed nation, one thing that entered our "must buy" list would have been a GPS navigator. Today, read from Vicky's Blog - Navigation Made Simple that a GPS navigator has been introduced by MapmyIndia recently. Though the services is available only in major cities and the design looks pretty rudimentary, it is surely a nice step in the right direction. [Will buy a GPS navigator only if my home shows up on it.. :)]

Ergo - A Free all-colour tabloid from the publication house of "The Hindu" targeting the young salaried professionals(IT industry) of Chennai. Another nice step in the right direction. (Though i have to wait till January 1, for the website - Ergo to be completely up). Thanks Metroblogging-Chennai for the news.

Indians are Hypocrites

If Leader Page article in 'The Hindu'(Tuesday, December 11) - "India in the World - How we see ourself" has to be believed, we, the Indians are hypocrites and that too the worst. According to the survey, on which the article was based, 93 percent of Indians agree that our culture was superior to others (we topped the list). But still... we believe we need special protection against foreign influence. [Since it is the rule of the game that inferior product or service wins the battle against superior product or service... :D]. Until here, the author - Meera Nanda was doing o.k., then she started jumping to show figures to substantiate her own hypothesis rather than talking about the trends from the survey.

For example, according to the author, Materialism = Free markets . (Meera, Can you show me a economy book that explains this?] Also according to the author, the separation between religion and state means the political leaders should never bow before sadhus or saints or there should not be any idols in government buildings. Sorry, until now i was thinking that separation between religion and state means that religion plays no role in the decision of the state. (Though i would prefer any government property to be free of idols or pictures of gods or goddess as a mark of a secularity)

But the worst part of the article was that the author never points that the sample size was just 2043 people(who represent a billion!!!) and that it was disproportionately urban(as stated in the report). Also because of the cultural differences, different terms would mean different things to different people. For example, free market would mean liberalization in India, while it may mean free market in health sector for Americans. An article that shows that writer bent on shouting/deriding India does not need a reason to do so.

P.S: Last Sentence - Exaggerated
If you want to read the report - read 47 Nation Pew Global Attitude Survey & Trends Topline.

Friday, December 07, 2007

New Heroes - Social Entrepreneurs

Whom do you think is best positioned to solve the ills of the society?
1. Government
2. NGOs
3. Business.

Most of us think it is the government or the NGOs who could effectively solve the problems of the society like poverty, illiteracy, etc. But a new wave of people are changing that belief by showing that business could solve these social problems in a much more effective manner. They are united by their belief that there is a fortune at the bottom of the pyramid.

When a Social Entrepreneur recognizes a social problem, he uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. Whereas business entrepreneurs typically measure performance in profit and return, social entrepreneurs assess their success in terms of the impact they have on society.

I came to know about 'Social Entrepreneurship' through my course in Northeastern University and it was interesting to learn about various Social Entrepreneurs like Dr V. (Aravind Hospitals), Muhammad Yunus(Grameen Bank) and how they used their unique business models to change the society.

And the most interesting part of the course was the live projects we were asked to do... Yeah! there were some interesting projects:-
P.S:- Our Group Idea - Creating a Business Plan for Lending to Poor Students without collateral(similar to Microfinance).

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Indian Postal Service - Shame on You!

While we are always happy to proclaim about our Indian Postal office as the most widely distributed post office system in the world, it makes us feel ashamed when things like this happen.
"Amit Agarwal's (India's first professional blogger and IIT-ian)Google Adsense Christmas gift was opened in transit and USB Memory card was removed. "