Saturday, September 24, 2011

Get an Additional 10 Hours Each Day

Seth Godin in an interview published in problogger
 I guess you make decisions about how you want to spend your time. What you didn’t mention is that I’m America’s worst watcher of television, cause I don’t spend any time doing that, zero. And I’m America’s worst attender of meetings, cause I don’t do any of that, zero. So I know people who do five hours of each every day. So right there I save myself ten hours a day.

Though ten hours seems too many, not watching TV and avoiding meetings should save at least save 5 hours for each of us.  

It happens Only in India

A toll plaza attendant is shot dead by a car owner since he was ready to pay the toll tax of Rs. 27/- (Around 0.6 USD). You can call it road rage or drunken driving. But this happens only in India. And the culprit is still free after committing  such a brazen crime. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Google takes a crack at Online Movie Distribution in India

Majority of successful start-ups in India are focussed on adapting a foreign idea to Indian environment. And sometimes, these start-ups do so a good job that foreign company can never enter India. e.g. SnapDeal & Groupon.., etc.. 

So it is rather interesting when Google India tries to do the same. Its entry to online movie distribution through is one of the shrewdest moves by the company in recent times. As US statistics show, movie rentals contribute a significant amount to internet data traffic.  And in India, a paid model will never work. So Google is killing two birds - by taking a leadership role in online movie distribution through its youtube and this also helps it to position itself along with India TV Channels in the minds of the advertisers. 

Launched three months back,  YouTube Box Office channel has already got over 11.5 million views in India and is the #20 most subscribed (all time) channel in India. And they have recently started telecasting 2 box office movies

  1. Shaitan
  2. Pyaar Ka Punchnama
Please note that both these movies are being telecasted ahead of their TV release. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What is Communal Violence Bill? And Its Implications

"Prevention of Communal & Targeted Violence Bill 2011" introduced by National Integration Council has caused serious disagreements among various parties in India.So a blog post on my understanding of the bill.You can read the entire bill @ (67 page document)

Primary Objectives of the bill
  1. Prevention of State Sponsored Communal Violence and Ensuring a creation of system/mechanism to handle communal violence
  2. Creation of National & State authority for communal harmony, justice and reparation. 
Communal & Targeted violence tears apart the fabric of a nation and ultimately creates an unstable nation. So a bill created to specifically target this menace is always welcome. 

Some New Things
  1. "Hate Propaganda" is also recognized a crime
  2. Recognition on creation of a hostile environement against a religious or linguistic minority, in any State in the Union of India, or Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as a crime. 
Major Objections Against the Bill
  1. Trinamool Congress and a few other parties point out the anti-feudal nature of the bill. 
    1. Personally, i always support increased autonomy for the state. So my natural tendency is to oppose the bill in this issue. 
    2. But our history suggests that vote-seeking politicians will always use the targeted violence to appease the majority.  So a bill of this nature can be passed only by the centre. If Lokpal bill can be anti-feudal and still be right, why can't Communal Violence Bill be right?
  2. While BJP would like to point out that this is an anti-Hindu bill. Considering the definition of the group as " religious or linguistic minority, in any State in the Union of India, or Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes"
    1. Again past Indian history suggests that the major state sponsored violence (remember the bill primarily handles state sponsored violence) have always happened against the minority only - e.g. Kashmir pandits, Gujarat violence, Orissa Christian Attacks, Anti-Sikh Riots of 1984.
My Objections:
  1. While I am happy that SC & ST are being covered as a part of this bill, it might be better to cover other caste-based violence also as a part of the bill. 

Fight Against Corruption should be from the bottom

Though I liked what i saw on TV about Anna's fast (i.e. Civil Society winning a battle against the political class), I am not a big fan of Lokpal bill. So in that context, I found this article - It shouldn't pay to pay bribes to be good & a must read. My 2 cents

  1. Corruption should be fought from the bottom. i.e. We as a group do things the hard way rather than getting things done easily (but illegally). i.e passing a exam for driving license by studying rather than paying money.  
  2. Incentive for an individual to catch corruption should be higher than the value of the corruption itself. Otherwise, the corruption would never be caught. For e.g. if a traffic police gets 100% of the fine laid by him on the violating professional, Actual traffic violations in India would come down drastically. 

Not Guilty does not mean Innocence

It has become a habit among Indian Politicians to interpret "Not Guilty" Verdicts as "Innocent" Verdicts. "Not Guilty" verdict simply means that crime was not proven without any reasonable doubt. So it really irritates me to see Narendra Modi & BJP Team showcasing the Supreme Court verdict on Gulberg Society Riot case as a victory of innocence for Narendra Modi. 

It is and will always be plain to everybody in Gujarat & in India that Narendra Modi went against the secular fabric of our nation when the state & its machinery(police) remained inactive & mere spectators during the the riots (Ref: NYTimes Article). If anybody wants any proof on the impact of the riots on the secular fabric of the nation, hear to any intelligence officer pointing to the increase of the terrorist recruits in India after Gujarat riots. So whatever the verdict comes from the court, Narendra Modi & BJP would always be "guilty" in my eyes. Until BJP accepts responsibility and take just action against the miscreants, fasts and speeches would not win the votes of the minority. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hindi Diwas

Some days should not forgotten! And Today (Hindi Diwas Day) is one of them! The sad day when Indian parliament (the 'supposed' pinnacle of its democracy) decide to pick the language of the majority over others as the single official language of the nation. If you don't know me, my views are

  1. We all have to recognize that India is actually a 'nation of nations' - which united for the first time on August 15, 1947. Thanks to its policy of princely states, even the British did not completely control the Indian sub-continent. 
  2. Personally, my 'tamil' culture & my 'religion' are the two things that contribute to my identity. And culture is maintained and a lot of times synonymous to the language. So in my dictionary, enforcing the language of the majority is the same as enforcing the religion of the majority on me. Leninist China can do it with its mandarin but not a democratic India. (Even you think all people in China speak Mandarin, please google)
  3. Not all the languages of India are mutually intelligble
15 years later, 70(official estimates)  - 500 (other estimates) tamils lost their lives to fight-off against this Hindi. You can read more about it @ Thanks to it, other languages can be used as the official language by other states. (Point to Note: Not even half the states have Hindi as their official language)

On a side-note, the anti-Hindi agitation of 1965 was led by another 'Anna' who fought against the majority Congress in the state. And the new "Raja" belongs to Anna's DMK Party. To prevent more Rajas rising up, sadly another 'Anna' has to rise up.. :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

War For Talent - Does A War has to be vaged for Talent?

Read a very nice article about "The Talent Myth" written by Malcolm Gladwell. A Must Read Article for all who believe that superior talent & star-power alone are the reasons for a success in an organization.

Though the author primarily establishes his thesis through a single company (Enron), I do believe the principles (to a certain degree) applies for the most companies. Some points that i liked and are relevant too.
  • Some organizations have started believing more in stars rather than the system. But the organizations that are most successful at that task are the ones where the system is the star. (e.g. SouthWest Airlines where the people do tend to give raises based on seniority)
  • In today's world, asking people to think outside the box has become a fad statement.  But if everyone had to think outside the box, maybe it was the box that needed fixing. 
Do read the article.