About the Blog

This is my diary....what I make sense of, around me. You'll find short prose on contemporary topics that interest me. What can you expect - Best adjectives? …. hmm occasionally, tossed around flowery verbs ?…. Nope, haiku-like super-brevity? … I try to. Thanks for dropping by & hope to see you again

November 16, 2016

TArTAr


One of the most respected business conglomerate in this country is embroiled in a bitter battle at the very top. Accusations and counter allegations between Ratan Tata and Cyrus Mistry is flying thick and fast. Cyrus's ignominious exit from the chairmanship of the group (under dubious circumstances) has now spilled in a turf war on the boards of TATA group companies. All this points to one thing - the sparkling white image of the TATA's is now stained beyond repair...TATA has become TARTAR. The public spat has become a sorry tale of one upmanship of Ratan Tata who was long expected to ride in the sunset. His prodigy was non other than a clansman ( parsi) who was anointed after much fanfare (global executive search is what the TATA's would like to call it).

Then

Tata identity before

Now

TATA identity after the fiasco

 

Like Tartar (dental terminology for yellow color on Teeth) this unsavory spat threatens to tarnish the image of Tata with sordid allegations of mismanagement, misappropriation, dismantling of organizational structure, betrayal etc.

September 25, 2016

Cauvery Water Dispute: Heart of the Matter

Much has been said and written about the Cauvery Water Dispute and much water has flowed down KRS & Mettur dams since the British colonial era when the first water sharing understanding was reached formally between the two parties. Since Water is the fundamental resource and  stands at the center of everything we humans do,  it is the source of increasing conflicts all over the world particularly over its rights, sharing and usage protocol.  Cauvery dispute is the most prominent in India and is a historical one with a turbulent past. Much has been written about it but since it has failed the legal litmus test, it is necessary to examine the core issue and question the entire premise of its credibility

The legal basis to the Cauvery water dispute: Who is right?

 

If Cauvery was to be seen as a ‘property’ who could claim ownership? Because ‘entitlement’ then decides ‘rights’ over property which would then define principles of water allocations. This seems to be at the heart of the dispute and there are 3 doctrines that come into picture
  1. Harmon – as per harmon doctrine the primary rights of water are bestowed on those who own the land at the source of water. It is a fairly simple and straightforward logic – you own the water and the well in your own backyard even if the neighbors come daily to draw water from it.
  2. History – this confers primary rights to historical uses of water irrespective of geographical location. In simple terms it means if your neighbor has been using water from your well since ages and is dependent on it, then he has the right over water even though the well is in your property. This ‘deemed’ right has uncanny semblance to the ’Tenancy Act’  (which was amended subsequently by SC) which entitled the tenant to be owner of the property if he occupied it for  12 years or more.
  3. Hobbes - this doctrine identifies right obtained through negotiations and agreement between disputing parties through a intermediary. The Water Tribunals were constituted to solve the problem based on this principle. But there is a caveat here - if both parties sat and agreed to sharing water earlier (say 100 years back) do both parties still ‘honour’ it, even of ground situation has changed now?
Tamil Nadu has been able to get a favorable judgment over Cauvery river water rights in the dispute by arguing its case on points 2 & 3.  On point 2 it says it is entitled to ‘principle of prescriptive rights’ on the basis of the 1924 agreement (entered between the princely state of Mysore & madras presidency). Simply put TN enjoys easement (a right to enjoy property) that it has ‘earned’ by regular use irrespective of whether it purchased, negotiated or granted by opposite party. In other words TN feels that given the long history of river water use , farmers in Cauvery delta (majority of which lies in that state) irrigating and producing paddy and ragi should not be denied water.
Karnataka on its part says that its neighbor should not raise a claim whenever there is deficit of water due to poor monsoon.

Social equity of water use?

 

The global standard for water allocation  which is  the water footprint assessment should have ideally been applied by the tribunal before awarding the quantum of water in the Cauvery Water Dispute.  It did not because  such a scrutiny would have taken into account whether water use for crop grown in the delta region was  environmentally sustainable and resource efficient. Hard questions would have been raised like - Has the Tamil Nadu water footprint come down due to any measure of resource efficiency (like the cubic meters  of water required to produce a ton of paddy or ragi) by which it can claim its historical right of water in changed situation?  If you grow water guzzling crop and still demand water irrespective of availability how can it be equitably allocated is the moot point

It is clear that the Hobbes (Pt. 3) model of negotiations is failing in the Cauvery Water Dispute because Karnataka is not ready to accept historical models and outdated doctrines when it  is facing a harsh reality on ground. If  Karnataka was a late starter in  irrigation development of its area of the Cauvery basin does it have to be at a disadvantage in appropriating water  because the neighbor has historically used more water due to better irrigation in its territory? Is  the Tribunal justified in awarding a simple average based allocation (arithmetic hydrology as it is called)  or is it simply a disaster waiting to happen (as evident from the imminent clash between legislature and judiciary)

Is fair play involved?

 

One of the Judges in the recent SC order had a ‘conflict of interest’ and should have recused from the Cauvery Water Dispute case, a precedent set by other SC judges earlier but did not. This means that the judge who had represented TN chief minister Jayalaltha earlier as advocate  could have been swayed by other considerations while passing the order
The Tribunal (CWDT) was itself in conflict without a unanimous decision on the verdict. It is reported that there was a division among the 2 members and chairman before awarding 27 tmcft of water. It also counts 1/3rd of Bangalore to fall in the Cauvery basin and drinking water to be allocated only to that area!


July 29, 2016

Benji Frenji


I am adding a new word to the lexicon


Behenji Frenzy, (variant) Var:Benji Frenji, (part of speech) Verb., (meaning) - verbal idiosyncrasies filled with squalid language


As in speak your mind aloud in an unguarded fashion and foment the sort of trouble that can ruin your career prospects, make you an outlaw and be on the run for touching the hornets nest.


(example) - Dayashankar Singh was arrested today in Bihar after being on the run after his recent Benji Frenji act

June 25, 2016

Brexit - eyes wide shut (atlas view)

The Brexit poll shows how the split went right down the middle, the funny thing was that the head (Scotland) wanted to stay while the Body (England) wanted to leave. Now the Scots are referring (though in whisper) to a possible referendum about whether to stay as part of the union (will the Union get Jacked the second time around?).


If that happens the UK will be like the proverbial 'headless chicken' or rather 'Turkey' (the way i see the atlas now). One thing the Brexit shows, the forward march of the once imperious nation (whose Sun never set) with its head turned in the exactly opposite direction...




Brexit opinion - the way the world sees UK now



May 1, 2016

dr rajkumar, naadamaya song, raaga todi and the grand cosmic theory

Dr Rajkumar, the versatile Kannada film thespian has sung many memorable songs, the one which stands out most in my mind is this song from Jeevana Chaitra. The lyrics goes “The entire universe is one great symphony” (Naadamaya ee lokavella…)



About the settings: Set in the cosmic surroundings of the Himalayas, the echoes of Dr.Rajkumar’s melancholic voice set to Raga Todi reverberating in the Himalayas is simply mesmerizing. The harmonic tune sets the tone to the song that implies everything in the universe is a grand symphony of divine celestial music. Himalaya is always the abode of the gods for Hindus, and referred as god-souled or devatma. Great Indian souls like Sri Shanakaracharya or Swami Vivekananda found their calling here. The Himalayas are a symbol of the heights that the human soul can attain, its pristine vastness represent the human consciousness.

About the Raga : Todi raga has phrases of notes and intonation which is considered a difficult raaga to perform owing to its complexity in prayoga. This song has complex graces since it progresses with other ragas as can be found in the latter part.

About the Singer: This song proves Dr.Rajkumar’s versatility as singer with a broad range (semi-classical, devotional, sentimental and romantic songs).  He won the national award for best playback singing for this song, the only film artist to have won the National award in both acting & singing. Incidentally
dr rajkumar has also propounded the Einstein’s duality of time (its uncertainty) in this song, (if you come todayla desi James bond style, full length English song in a Kannada movie!!)

About the lyricist: Chi Udayshankar, another legend in the sandalwood pantheon has nicely combined all the theories of the universe in this one immersive song. He foresees all the prevalent energies as a symphony, a unified force emerging in one super symmetry that various science theories strive to explain (wave theory, string theory & so on).

Something like putting all the four forces of nature and the two particle types found in the universe in a mixer blender into one homogeneous mixture. (The four forces in the universe are electromagnetic force, the weak nuclear force and the strong nuclear force, and gravity. All universal particles can be divided into two types: fermions and bosons)

When the song hits its ending note, one can see Dr. Rajkumar in a different state altogether, his acting is in perfect sync with his inner feelings. Only an accomplished actor who is a singer can attain this elevated state

March 27, 2016

eCommerce - Happiness in a Box

Ecommerce industry jingles with online deals and brings the new santa to town. The ubiquitous door delivery boy is the poster boy of this revolution sweeping the Indian consumer market. You simply cant miss out on the slew of ads on televisions these days; a patient to his doctor and a subordinate to his Boss are all egging them on to buy online. Even this morning NEWS headline talks about how the Bansal of flipkart and Bahl of Snapdeal are slugging at each other on twitter. Hilarious as it were, when the smoking chimneys (where tones of money is being burnt) points to both their concerns.

Actually ecommerce is a god send for the 'right-here-want-now generation' and the shopping cart their new quick-getaway.. The surge of shopaholic adrenaline with the eye popping online offers and portals blaring out ‘return return…apni dukan’ is simply irresistible. The SHOP NOW click is the new nirvana to a better life and the door delivery man with the box in hand is its harbinger.

The backpack boy (usually carrying a huge bag) is the new ‘daakia’ (postman) in town with the ‘sign here please’ slogan. They are an army even in tier-3 cities, scanning out offices and building in their two wheelers and delivering parcels. While some belong to in-house teams of large ecommerce companies like Amazon, many others to courier companies like Delhivery, First Flight, Aramex etc

Ask any eCommerce bloke and he will point that delivery part is getting to be the expensive, least efficient (in India), and most problematic part of the overall customer fulfillment process. Millions of packages exchange hands every day, cash gets transferred from one pocket to another. And these guys are racing against time to ensure deliveries much like the pizza delivery boys.


The Indian consumer is not only value conscious (looking for better deals) but also valuing convenience i.e, the ease of getting the products home delivered. So when the door bells rings , the delivery boy is nothing but a Santa bringing home the goodies. It brings smiles, excitement, and a hope for a better tomorrow. Our new marketing campaign at homeomart.com captures this new spirit of ecommerce. 


ecommerce Happiness in a box

February 12, 2016

aam aadmi party news front: 1 year in office

cartoon image showing aam aadmi party being attacked by BJP news


The current NEWS on the aam aadmi party (AAP) front is rather sober; about its performance on the eve of its 1st year in office. Something that should be seen in the backdrop of the BJP’s destabilizing influence in the national capital. Because the saffron party on its part has left no stone unturned, after its humiliating performance at the Poll hustles where it could manage only 3 measly seats. 


With overwhelming mandate from the people of Delhi, it did not have any democratic space even as an opposition in the assembly. The 3 MLA’s on their part were only like a fig leaf in a unprecedented AAP whirlwind that swept Delhi elections last year. Poll success apart, the aam aadmi party was stuck in a peculiar set up where constitutionally it does not have all the powers like other states to exercise control over the executive. Moreover APP in the past 1 year had to ride the roughshod of political turbulence created by its adversary to disturb its normal functioning and discredit its performance in various ways
  •  Lt. Governor of Delhi who has extra ordinary constitutional powers is thrown in to become a major spanner in the wheels of the Govt. Egged and supported by the Union Govt , he has created an administrative quagmire where officials are confused about the real authority governing them - appointments & transfers were stopped, jurisdiction questioned, legislation opposed etc. Even the white elephant brigade (the IAS cadre) was emboldened to stage a mini coup against the AAP Govt
  • The Delhi Police, steeped in corruption, found itself mugged by a clean & transparent aam aadmi party govt that went hard on corruption (its watering hole). So the Delhi police was more than eager to bark and bite for the centre, and the brutality and hostility it unleashed on the Govt was unparalleled in the country. AAP MLA’s apart even ordinary protesters are being roughed by these uniformed brutes as evident in NEWS recently
  • The courts had to step in matters like Govt files being taken away in CBI raids and the crisis like situation created by worker unions of MCD (that were tacitly supported by the BJP) that left Delhi stinking
There are many undercurrents of Sabotage and subterfuge that may go unnoticed but AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal is resolute, at times he is exasperated (which came out as a vitriolic outburst against the Prime Minister) recently. The BJP has not exactly covered itself in glory with its relationship with other parties or allies either; PDP is miffed, TMC is furious, AIADMK is sulking, Mulayam is blowing hot & cold and so on.

As far as the performance of AAP 2.0 goes, check out what unbiased and informed citizens have to say about how the aam aadmi party govt fared, here in a leading online forum for opinions.

January 24, 2016

War Criminal

The Govt recently declassified papers of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the greatest unsung hero and leader who took on the British during Freedom struggle, sadly points to a history of lies, deceit and abuse (as it now appears) from those in power.

While the country was being fed a candyfloss of Socialism, Panchasheel and Non-alignment, history was also being nicely abrogated to suit the interests of one party which usurped the freedom movement by its successor. Whether someone referred him as a 'War Criminal' is not the moot point (that by the by raises my angst about this whole topic) and here's why
 


The concept of pacifist freedom struggle and the belief that taking a slap on another cheek would win over the enemy ingrained in most of the Congress flock was a joke to Bose. He knew that the only realist way to kick the Britishers out was using force even if it meant collaborating with the Axis forces. Thus one saw Bose active in the pacific theater of war with his Indian National Army.

The Brits had the gumption to call Bose a quisling (a traitor who joins the enemy) but it is also quite possible that those in power here (after they vacated) also had their own axe to grind against Bose. Why?

·     He had a very different and radical idea of nation building and knew that the Congress thugs were no good at it. If he were alive, he presented a clear and present danger to Nehru who had consolidated his hold by now and was perpetuating his grandiose but hollow ideas that were harming the nation (the Chinese debacle was a good proof)

Congis were shit scared of him as they knew him as a man of real action. If he were alive, a possibility that he could have plotted another comeback and created a major upheaval with force in hand could have given them the gitters. Hence Nehru went that extra mile to keep a close tab on Netaji’s relatives, it is also possible that he wanted foreign powers to nab him if were alive and keep him confined away from Indian shores. Hence all these theories about his hiding as a holy man, his detention in a Rusiian prison etc

But why did they keep his ‘end’ under wraps for so long?  Political machination or bureaucratic ineptitude is no excuse for a ungrateful nation .

As Henri Louis Bergson puts it 'The present contains nothing more than the past, and what is found in the effect is already in the cause"


Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and war criminal charge

January 10, 2016

Star Wars - The Force Awakens: film review

Star Wars - The force awakens’ plot is a grand running continuum, in this episode Luke Skywalker, the last of the Jedi has gone into hibernation. He is ostensibly devastated by the back stabbing done by one of his protege-in-resistance. Meanwhile his bête noire, the evil first order has risen from total destruction of the empire and will not stop until it gets him.

In his absence his sister,General Leia Organa leads a brave resistance with the help of the republic. She needs to find Luke (her brother) and help restore peace and justice to the galaxy. She begins the search at planet called Jakku through an old supporter who has some clue to Luke's hiding place.And thus begins a grand adventure, with the evil empire led by Kylo Ren close on their heels.


star wars - the force awakens sketch for blog review



Star Wars - The force awakens is a movie set on a inter galactic scale, a creative potboiler that seems to have drawn from Star Trek, Men in Black and Avatar . Its about the good vs the evil fight in a far off Galaxy, and the pursuit of order and justice spearheaded by Luke Skywalker, the Jedi and the fight with dark forces led by the first order. This sequel (which is a running franchise) is probably a staging event for the return of the Jedi in the next installment (he appears in only one singular frame reserved in the end).
 

Why you must see the movie, Star Wars -The force awakens?

1. The size and scale of imagination is awesome, right from the space junkyard with massive space ship debris to the intergalactic gun (the fierce machine) which obliterates planets in one swoop

2. The pace is riveting. One big chase between the resistance and the first order henchmen for the micro chip that will lead to the missing Jedi

3. The next-gen Hollywood talent is in the offing. With people like Harrison aging (he barely seemed to hold himself together in the movie, i mean physically though) other leading characters actors (newbies) remind me of actors like Denzil Washington, Al Pacino.

4. The thrill of space ships zooming-in 3D at fourteen parsecs, and the life size scale of the space stations are breath taking.


Despite all the space razzmatazz the human element in Star Wars - The force awakens makes it so engaging;
a son (kylo Ren) who has drifted into darkness (evil ) because he believes his father (Hans Solo) was weak and foolish,
an ordinary space junk collector (Ray) discovers her true potential in pursuit of the good



The dialogues are crackling too, sample this
Kylo Ren: Look how old you've become.
Lor San Tekka: Something far worse has happened to you.


Kylo Ren ( who looks like the evil Bane from The Dark Knight Rises with a costume that resembles a Nazi Black Helmet and a cloak is not dead, it remains to be seen what supreme leader Snoke trains him up to in the next episode. But the old fox Han Solo sadly will be missed as the space smuggler meets a tragic end in the memorable father-son encounter

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