Friday, August 25, 2006

Going To West- Do's and Don't (OR View of a Great Western Circus)

Following is the list of things which you should follow, if you don't want to get labelled as a TE-RRRO-RRIST! (This applies especially to those having non-white skins)

1. Don't drink water. Water carried by an Easterner may be explosive. So avoid taking plastic water bottles also.

2. Don't carry lipsticks or other make-up material. It may be explosive.

3. Don't talk to each other. It may be explosive.

4. Don't carry plastic bags or for that matter any bags. They may be explosive.

5. Don't eat. It may be explosive.

6. If you are a muslim then damn you. You are explosive.

7. If you are a Sikh then also you are a Muslim because every beard on a non-white face belongs to Osama bin Laden. It may be explosive.

8. If you are in Amsterdam and your granma calls you and also wants to talk to your brother then don't exchange cellphones. It may explosive.

9. Don't walk. It may be explosive.

10. Don't . You are explosive.

11. If you get killed by some dumbest policeman (as all of them are) because of anything from 1 to 10, then don't complain. Situations are explosive and this is a war on Terror.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Vande Mataram! But who are you, to make me sing it?

I once said to my friend that playing National anthem in cinema halls before each show is useless. My friend actually could not understand what I said. This is for him.

Farce Of Anthem in Cinema Halls: People deliberately come late to avoid standing silent during the play of national anthem, making a ridicule of the whole affair. Again, why the heck should I stand while the national anthem is played? Do I need to prove my love for my country by (just) standing up? Common folks! A human loves anything that is his! And by the way, is this supposed to be some kind of test for testing one's patriotism? Then I may say this is a damn foolish test. (I hate this word patriotism which has been hijacked by some perverted Political minds, who actually don't contribute a dime towards the country.)

Here is an editorial in Times Of India on 23 August, 2006. I do not agree to each point in this article, but it echoes my feelings to some extent. Here we go-

"The HRD ministry was wrong, in the first place, to issue a directive that all students must sing Vande Mataram on September 7 to commemorate 100 years of India's national song. Wearing one's patriotism on one's sleeve, and introducing compulsory rituals in its name, serves little purpose. When Arjun Singh later retracted to say that singing Vande Mataram on September 7 was voluntary, not compulsory, it wasn't out of a newly discovered respect for liberal principles, but because of a counter-blast coming from Imam Syed Bukhari. According to Bukhari, Indian Muslims ought to love the nation enough to lay down their lives for it, but it doesn't follow that they should worship the nation, as Vande Mataram enjoins them to do. Bukhari may reprise another oft-played tune — that of Muslim victimization — and his claim to speak on behalf of all Indian Muslims may be questioned.

But shorn of that there is something in his objection to Vande Mataram that Muslims as well as non-Muslims can sympathize with. ( I disagree with this. There is nothing objectionable in Vande Mataram. I, however, object to making it compulsory.)

Worshipping the nation is going to solve few contemporary problems — in fact a narrow view of national interests compounds many of today's crises. Twentieth century nationalism could be out of sync with the requirements of a globalized 21st century. Take greenhouse gases and other forms of environmental pollution, which, by their very nature, transcend national boundaries. Fixing them will require international agreements, but the US bucked the Kyoto Protocol regulating greenhouse gases. The result may be runaway climate change that will affect all countries, the US included. Washington displays similar unilateral inclinations in the war against terror, leading to better coordination between terrorists than the democracies they attack. The WTO cannot take trade liberalization forward due to domestic farmers' lobbies in rich countries. BPOs face similar obstacles. Asia is supposed to be resurgent, but different nationalisms are coming into conflict over Japanese premier Junichiro Koizumi's frequent visits to the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, commemorating Japan's war dead, never mind that they include some war criminals. While Tokyo takes a hard line on North Korea, Beijing says that any declaration of independence by Taiwan's parliament will trigger an invasion of that country. If conflict breaks out on any of these fronts Asia's resurgence would be over — although the hopeful thing is that the economies of China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are so interdependent as to preclude conflict.

Such interdependence looks threatening to many in India, who evoke an unreflective and overly emotional nationalism as a charm to ward it off.

If we are moved by them India will fail to capitalize on the manifold opportunities that globalization offers, while its destabilizing effects will still be with us.

Friday, August 4, 2006

Pirates Of Carrebian- Dead Man's Dogma.

I can imagine a day, not too distant in the future, when we will say that IPR was a good idea which died before it took roots. Yeah. I am pretty sure about the demise of IPR in its current form.

IPR was institutionalised in the 1995 Doha agreement, when the countries agreed for a uniform regime of Product Patent. Under this patent regime, the products and not processes were covered under the patent regime.

Now, what this IPR regime did not consider is 1. Situation in the third world countries, where singular proprietorship is not an ancient idea. Community, as a whole shared benefits of many of the inventions in these societies, for long. 2. IPR did not take cognizance of the ensuing regime of a Free Information World. This will be the major factor for demise of IPR.

On the virtual web, it is next to impossible to establish identity of an IPR culprit and equally impossible will be to stop the rise such culprits in any obscure part of the wired world. With increasing competition and ever increasing opportunities to communicate, it will be erroneous, at least impossible to prevent some people from doing what they can do. Creative Commons, Google tools and other infinite entities on web prove this point day after day. They represent an alternative model to the revenue based on 'All Rights Reserved' policy.

The effects, socio-economic and cultural, of these changes, however will be for time to tell.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

International Relations Community

(On discussion about religions and inter-religious conflicts etc. See the discussion at

Hinduism is more a way of life. Religon in English is not the same as Dharma in Sanskrit. And Hinduism is not a Religion in true English sense of term, but it is a Dharma. Hinduism is therefore most tolerent and accomodating of all religions. Or in better words, Hindu people are more tolerent and accomodating. From ancient past, Shakas, Kushanas, Greeks(who stayed back after Alexander returned),Muslims, Turks, Mongols, Parshis, Jews(never persecuted in India) came to India and were wholeheartedly accepted. They in turn enriched Indian culture making it a Composite Culture. You may term it a Melting Pot or Salad Bowl but India is one glaring example of how humanity, love and peace can be lived on ground and that too for so many years.

More interesting however, is to examine the links between Geography-Resources and the inter-religious interactions. We see that India, with her abundant resources and very favourable climate has long been a magnet for people from all over the world. And the resources- water, sunlight, rich soils and climate meant that more and more people could be accomodated without any need for conflict. with the development of transportation and communication, this attraction about India is naturally lowered, because resources can be transferred for the people. Now again world is fihting for Oil, which is again scarce. Besides there is the gap between standards of living and level of development also.

Thus I think that today's fights are not between Christiens and Mislims or Jews and Muslims. These are conflicts for resources. Such conflicts are often magnified by the egoes and insecurities of the people who take decisions for their followers.