Monday, July 28, 2008

Why India attracts Terror attacks

Last weekend was the one of the saddest chapter in India's tryst with terrorist with serial balsts happening in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. How many to count ? Mumbai ( thrice ) , Delhi , Hyderabad , Bengaluru , Jaipur and Ahmedabad and not to forget Kashmir ( almost on a daily basis) . It seems that India is attracting terrorists more than any country in the world ( US Counting) . You can watch the history at

It is high time all of us should spare a moment on pondering on this thought " Why us ? " I have following thoughts . Viewers are welcome to add in their comments / views

1. Pakistan - The number 1 reason why we have this issue across India. The deep hatred in Indo Pak relationship over the last 60 + years is the root cause of so many LeT , SIMI et als getting the funding and support from ther across the border. Why we an not do anything about it ? Two reasons - First , we were always pretended to be on the wrong side of the fence with US with our foreign policy. None of the political parties have the will to take hard ball stance with Pakis and kill the weed before it starts weekning your national fabric. We only share the evidence that ISI runs terrorist training camps with US , we only share that terror networks are funded by Pakis. If we have crushed this with a swift military action @ 10 years back , this day would not have been there. Every body now belives that India is a soft target and can not hit back even if 1000 lives are lost. We idiots will waste enough steam on Nuclear power deal and horse trading? Have we ever convened a special session of parliament to discuss National safefy and security? Have we ever taken a across party decision to hit hard at terrorists ?

Does any body remember the attack on parliament ? The son of bitch who did it is still alive and making political statements and our government is waiting for an auspicious day to hang the bastard. Kill him now.

2. Jammu and Kashmir - a Policy gone wrong for last 60 years . Get the poor Kashimiris in the main stream quick and fast . Scrap Article 370 and allow investments in the valley. I wonder why the local Kashmiri politicians understand the simple economic truth - Investement brings in growth and growth generates more jobs. Try this route at least and see if it solves the Kashnir problem. In stead of listening the Gen Mush's out of box solution , try this out once and see the difference. Get US a base in J&K to act as a wedge with Pakis , Afganis and Chinese

3. Act swiftly in states - Changes laws to prosecute terror acts more swiftly.

4. Value human lives more than the PM fund of 1 lac for vicitims. It is so shameful that after every tragic incident such as bomb blast , train accident , the first government statement is to announce a compenstaion to the kins of the victims. Does Government have to value each live at Rs. 100,000 ? Stop this non sense and take steps that no lives are lost at any cost. Does US government or UK government pay money to their victims ? forget US or UK , does Sri lanka do it? No way ..

5. Check Media right now - Media reporting of such events is often in correct. Do we have to show gory images of the poor souls who lost their lives on the TV or in newspapers? Cant media act responsibly and avoid to show all the blood and gore. Please understand the terrorists want free publicity and Media companies are playing in their hands. Why the emails from Indian Mujahidin lands to a media house and not to the PM's office or to a Police station. Stop publicizing the incidents and you will kill the motivation to strike.

6. Politicizing religion - enough has been written on this topic and nobody seems to realize the gravity of the situation. Us Vs them (with religion ) is the easiest way to instigate a human being and terrorist are trying to use this fullest.

I only hope India changes its " soft target " image quickly and act as a tough no nonsense NATION in the near future else we will be always called a land of " Chutiyas " ( pardon for the offensive word)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Profile of an Indian MP


After the yesterday's Trust Vote 'TAMASHA" , I feel it is a time to review our MP' capabilities more closely.  I personally think 75% of the MPs are not capable to do the work they have been elected for. 54 of them at least can not press two buttons in sequence .

Is this a parliamentary system which we want ? Do we have a right to get a qualified MP who can understand the Socio Political issues in front of the nation ? After the big Hu HA on the confidence vote and withdrawal of the support by the Left parties , I have an open challenge to these learned MPs to answer 3 questions on this subject on their own. I can bet 75% of MPs can not answer these question. My questions are.

  1. What are the benefits of the Nuclear deal to India ?
  2. What are the drawback of this deal to India?
  3. Do you have any alternative plan to keep India well placed in the Nuclear era?

BTW , I read this article by Bibek Debroy talking about profiles of our MPs

" With the UPA having fundamentally become UP Agenda, the alliance has switched horses, and perhaps even riders, four-fifths of the way through. Politicians are a convenient scapegoat for everything that goes wrong and inevitably, ensuing horse-trading will vindicate this belief. However, we should spare a thought for Prakash Karat and the Left. In a system where politicians are perceived to be an unprincipled lot, the Left has at least stood up for what it believes to be its principles, though ruffled egos have also contributed. It is a separate matter that most of us don’t agree with those principles. Every country gets the government it deserves. Contrary to impression, this expression didn’t originate with Aristotle, or assorted US presidents. It’s a quote from Joseph Marie De Maistre (1811). Under the Constitution, the government has different strands. While lambasting politicians, let’s remember legislatures are elected. Unlike other organs of government, politicians (at least elected ones) are accountable to citizens once every five years, if not with greater frequency. If we have a mess today, we collectively have ourselves to blame for choices exercised in 2004. These are choices we will again have to exercise not in 2008, but certainly in 2009. Sensible choice requires information.

For some time, robust information didn’t exist. Thanks to the Election Commission’s insistence on affidavits from candidates, for the 2004 elections to Lok Sabha, we have data and these were analysed for 541 (not 543) winning MPs. Unfortunately, this analysis by the Public Affairs Centre (PAC), Bangalore, has not been disseminated sufficiently. Understandably, information is constrained by questions asked through those affidavits. Subject to this, we know the following.

First, despite India being a young country, the average age of MPs is 53; 14 per cent are above 65 and only 6.5 per cent are under 35. On an average, the oldest MPs are in the CPI, CPM and DMK and the youngest MPs are in the BSP, Shiv Sena and RJD. Neither the Congress nor the BJP has that many young MPs. Assam, Karnataka, Punjab, West Bengal and Uttarakhand generally contribute to the gerontocracy and the younger ones come from Haryana, J&K and UP.

Second, almost 75 per cent of MPs possess graduate or post-graduate degrees, with a strong preference for law degrees. Six per cent do not have matriculate degrees. On an average, educational standards are far superior for the RJD, BJD and CPI and worst for the Shiv Sena and BSP. Educational standards are superior for Himachal, Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and worst for Haryana and Uttarakhand. Not surprisingly, younger MPs are better educated. Women MPs are younger and better educated than their male counterparts.

Third, the average MP is worth Rs 1.64 crore. But the average non-SC/ST MP is worth Rs 2 crore. These assets are mostly houses and agricultural land and the more educated an MP, the lower the asset value. On an average, the richest MPs are from the Congress; 10 per cent of Congress MPs have assets worth more than Rs 10 crore. However, agricultural assets tend to be more in the RJD and BSP. Poorest MPs are in the CPM, BJD, BSP and CPI. The richer MPs come from Punjab, Andhra and Maharashtra while the poorer ones come from West Bengal, Orissa and Kerala.

Fourth, a large number of MPs have criminal cases pending against them, reflecting criminalisation of politics, or perhaps more accurately, politicisation of criminals. The uneducated have more criminal cases against them, as do those who are in the 36-45 age group. MPs with criminal links are concentrated in Bihar, UP, MP and Jharkhand while MPs from Himachal, Delhi, Uttarakhand and J&K are clean. MPs with criminal cases are most among the RJD, BSP and SP. It is fashionable to deride politicisation of criminals, especially when correlations (which don’t necessarily indicate causation) suggest that to be successfully elected as an MP, one should have criminal connections and money, with education perhaps a disadvantage.

However, caveats are necessary. There are diverse crimes and within the IPC (Indian Penal Code) definition of crime, there are minor and innocuous crimes. The PAC gets around this by only classifying major crimes, defined as those leading to imprisonments of five years or more. Nevertheless, these people have only been accused, not convicted. Once convicted, they can be barred from candidature as long as they serve out their sentences. To debar them once they have served out their sentences is to turn natural justice on its head. More commonly, they are accused and not convicted because of warts in the criminal justice system. That’s an indictment of justice delivery. A citizen can choose not to vote for a candidate with a criminal case pending. But debarring such candidates is also tantamount to indicting those who are presumed innocent and upsets all principles of jurisprudence. As is to be expected, concentration of such MPs is in geographical areas where the criminal justice system doesn’t particularly deliver. The armchair solution of excluding such candidates is probably non-sequitur. Improving delivery of criminal justice is the critical argument.

To get back to the point, 2004 Lok Sabha doesn’t present a pretty picture. Will 2009 be different? That’s a function of collective citizen choice and information dissemination and use. For Parliament, we don’t have a time-series on whether voting patterns have become more informed and demanding. However, we have begun to have it for states, courtesy compilation of affidavits by the Delhi-based Liberty Institute. These are yet incomplete and we will get a time-series only when states go through elections in 2008 and beyond. Consequently, an interesting question like criminal antecedents can’t yet be probed, not until we have data for states like Bihar, UP, MP and Jharkhand.

However, consider the 2008 Karnataka elections. The richest MLA, M. Krishnappa, was elected from Vijay Nagar constituency on a Congress ticket and had assets worth Rs 129 crore. Twenty-five out of 218 MLAs had assets worth more than Rs 10 crore. In 2004 in Karnataka, the richest MLA, J. Krishna Palemar, was elected from Surathkal constituency on a BJP ticket and had assets worth Rs 34.6 crore. Forty-five out of 211 MLAs had assets worth more than Rs 10 crore. While it is difficult to control for other variables, there is no evidence to suggest that the importance of money in fighting elections is becoming less.

In comparison, the average Delhi MLA (2003) is quite poor. Vijay Singh Lochav, the richest, was elected on a Congress ticket from Mahipalpur and had assets worth only Rs 2.8 crore. A pity, one can’t track the financial enrichment of candidates as they become legislators and ministers :: Profile of an Indian MP

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ten faces of innovation

Some years back , I read a wonderful book called " Ten faces of Innovation " by Tom Kelly which talks about different roles and faces one need to adopt to effect the innovation which you are trying to bring in. Here is a quick summary of Ten roles as defined by Tom Kelly . Wonderful read.. More about it you can get in the book or at

The Learning Personas

Individuals and organizations need to constantly gather new sources of information in order to expand their knowledge and grow, so the first three personas are learning roles. These personas are driven by the idea that no matter how successful a company currently is, no one can afford to be complacent. The world is changing at an accelerated pace, and today's great idea may be tomorrow's anachronism. The learning roles help keep your team from becoming too internally focused, and remind the organization not to be so smug about what you “know”. People who adopt the learning roles are humble enough to question their own worldview, and in doing so they remain open to new insights every day.

The Anthropologist is rarely stationary. Rather, this is the person who ventures into the field to observe how people interact with products, services, and experiences in order to come up with new innovations. The Anthropologist is extremely good at reframing a problem in a new way, humanizing the scientific method to apply it to daily life. Anthropologists share such distinguishing characteristics as the wisdom to observe with a truly open mind; empathy; intuition; the ability to "see" things that have gone unnoticed; a tendency to keep running lists of innovative concepts worth emulating and problems that need solving; and a way of seeking inspiration in unusual places.

The Experimenter celebrates the process, not the tool, testing and retesting potential scenarios to make ideas tangible. A calculated risk-taker, this person models everything from products to services to proposals in order to efficiently reach a solution. To share the fun of discovery, the Experimenter invites others to collaborate, while making sure that the entire process is saving time and money.

The Cross-Pollinator draws associations and connections between seemingly unrelated ideas or concepts to break new ground. Armed with a wide set of interests, an avid curiosity, and an aptitude for learning and teaching, the Cross-Pollinator brings in big ideas from the outside world to enliven their organization. People in this role can often be identified by their open mindedness, diligent note-taking, tendency to think in metaphors, and ability to reap inspiration from constraints.

The Organizing Personas

The next three personas are organizing roles, played by individuals who are savvy about the often counter-intuitive process of how organizations move ideas forward. At IDEO, we used to believe that the ideas should speak for themselves. Now we understand what the Hurdler, the Collaborator, and the Director have known all along: that even the best ideas must continuously compete for time, attention, and resources. Those who adopt these organizing roles don't dismiss the process of budget and resource allocation as “politics” or “red tape.” They recognize it as a complex game of chess, and they play to win.

The Hurdler is a tireless problem-solver who gets a charge out of tackling something that's never been done before. When confronted with a challenge, the Hurdler gracefully sidesteps the obstacle while maintaining a quiet, positive determination. This optimism and perseverance can help big ideas upend the status quo as well as turn setbacks into an organization's greatest successes—despite doomsday forecasting by shortsighted experts.

The Collaborator is the rare person who truly values the team over the individual. In the interest of getting things done, the Collaborator coaxes people out of their work silos to form multidisciplinary teams. In doing so, the person in this role dissolves traditional boundaries within organizations and creates opportunities for team members to assume new roles. More of a coach than a boss, the Collaborator instills their team with the confidence and skills needed to complete the shared journey.

The Director has an acute understanding of the bigger picture, with a firm grasp on the pulse of their organization. Subsequently, the Director is talented at setting the stage, targeting opportunities, bringing out the best in their players, and getting things done. Through empowerment and inspiration, the person in this role motivates those around them to take center stage and embrace the unexpected.

The Building Personas

The four remaining personas are building roles that apply insights from the learning roles and channel the empowerment from the organizing roles to make innovation happen. When people adopt the building personas, they stamp their mark on your organization. People in these roles are highly visible, so you’ll often find them right at the heart of the action.

The Experience Architect is that person relentlessly focused on creating remarkable individual experiences. This person facilitates positive encounters with your organization through products, services, digital interactions, spaces, or events. Whether an architect or a sushi chef, the Experience Architect maps out how to turn something ordinary into something distinctive—even delightful—every chance they get.

The Set Designer looks at every day as a chance to liven up their workspace. They promote energetic, inspired cultures by creating work environments that celebrate the individual and stimulate creativity. To keep up with shifting needs and foster continuous innovation, the Set Designer makes adjustments to a physical space to balance private and collaborative work opportunities. In doing so, this person makes space itself one of an organization's most versatile and powerful tools.

The Storyteller captures our imagination with compelling narratives of initiative, hard work, and innovation. This person goes beyond oral tradition to work in whatever medium best fits their skills and message: video, narrative, animation, even comic strips. By rooting their stories in authenticity, the Storyteller can spark emotion and action, transmit values and objectives, foster collaboration, create heroes, and lead people and organizations into the future.

The Caregiver is the foundation of human-powered innovation. Through empathy, they work to understand each individual customer and create a relationship. Whether a nurse in a hospital, a salesperson in a retail shop, or a teller at an international financial institution, the Caregiver guides the client through the process to provide them with a comfortable, human-centered experience.

Monday, July 14, 2008

QR Code


You may be wondering what is this ? This is a type of code used to store information -- just like bar code. This code is called QR Code . You can generate your own QR code at

The Code image above represents the url of my blog.

Thanks to labnol where i found this.


A cool demo of Deep Zoom using Silverlight

I am sure many of us have been to a hard rock cafe and seen the amazing collection of cool memorabilia which they have in each cafe. Now there is a chance to see all the pieces in their amazing collection with a great detail. Thankx to deep zoom technology used in Silverlight on the HRC website. I saw a demo of this and loved the concept of zooming in and out to see very fine details of a hi res image. May be this can be used in may other applications.

Also see the amazing zoom in effect in this video which I have captured using an open source tool called Camvideo.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

How Web Savvy Parents Can Help Kids Learn The English Alphabet


I happened to check this chart with my 3 year old and guess what he knew 7 of them in this fashion - A , G , I , L , O , V X and Y .... welcome to the new world.. sachin

teaching abc

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Need a liitle shark around you

Read this nice story about how to work on your motivation to stay in the winning race ( or should we call the survival race..)A good read…

The Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But the water close to Japan has not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever. The farther the fisher men went, the longer it took to bring the fish. If the return trip took more time, the fish were not fresh.

To solve this problem, fish companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer.

However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen fish. And they did not like the taste of frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price. So, fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, they were tired, dull, and lost their fresh-fish taste. The fishing industry faced an impending crisis! But today, they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan . How did they manage? To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks but with a small shark. The fish are challenged and hence are constantly on the move. The challenge they face keeps them alive and fresh!

Have you realized that some of us are also living in a pond but most of the time tired and dull? Basically in our lives, sharks are new challenges to keep us active. If you are steadily conquering challenges, you are happy.

"Your challenges keep you energized. Don't create success and revel in it in a state of inertia. You have the resources, skills and abilities to make a difference. Put a shark in your tank and see how far you can really go..! "

Top Intellectuals

I saw this article yesterday andi was wondering to express happiness or to ponder over the feeling that why cant we have somebody who is 100% Indian in this list. without any hard feelings towards Amartya Sen and Fareed Zakaria who no doubt have made their mark , it was saddening to see no India resident Indian featuring in this list.

To think of few names - Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam can be one of the candidates and many others ..

Add names in the comments which you may feel apt for this list.

- sachin

New York, July 4 (IANS) Two Indians now settled in the US - Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen and acclaimed journalist Fareed Zakaria - are among the top 20 intellectuals in the world today, according to a poll conducted by a US magazine.

Sen and Zakaria, Newsweek International's editor, are at No. 16 and No. 17 respectively in the list published by Foreign Policy magazine in its July/August issue.

The top 20 names were picked by about 500,000 online votes cast by the magazine's readers from among an initial list of the world's top 100 public intellectuals published by the bimonthly in its last issue.

Fethullah Gullen, an Islamic scholar from Turkey with a global network of millions of followers, is at No.1 on the list and Nobel Prize-winning microfinancier Muhammad Yunus from Bangladesh is at No 2.

Aitzaz Ahsan, president of Pakistan's Supreme Court Bar Association and a vocal opponent of President Pervez Musharraf's rule, is at No 5., while Mahmood Mamdani, a cultural anthropologist born in Uganda to South Asian parents and familiar to Indians as filmmaker Mira Nair's husband, is also on the list at No 9.

Other well-known names are former US vice president Al Gore (No 12), Noam Chomsky (11), and chess grandmaster and Russian democracy activist Garry Kasparov (18).

Amartya Sen, the magazine says, witnessed the devastating 1943 Bengal famine as a young boy.

'Decades later, Sen's investigations of the political and economic underpinnings of famines established him as the premier welfare economist of the 20th century. In addition to his famous assertion that famines do not occur in democracies, Sen was one of the first economists to empirically examine gender disparities in Asia,' the citation reads.

The citation for Zakaria on the magazine's website reads: 'Zakaria is one of the most influential and respected commentators on international affairs. His article 'Why Do They Hate Us?' a Newsweek cover story in the weeks after the Sep 11 attacks, upended the conventional explanations of the day for a nuanced discussion of the economic, political, and social forces pulling Islamic societies apart.'

The magazine had selected the initial 100 because of the influence of their ideas.

'But part of being a 'public intellectual' is also having a talent for communicating with a wide and diverse public. This skill is certainly an asset for some who find themselves in the list's top ranks. For example, a number of intellectuals - including Aitzaz Ahsan, Noam Chomsky, Michael Ignatieff, and Amr Khaled - mounted voting drives by promoting the list on their websites,' the magazine said.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

So long .. Bill Gates

Bill Gates says so long to Microsoft

I have the honour of attending the farewell of two greats of computing . Bill gates and Andy Grove. I was there in flesh and blood when Andy and Bill got a thunderous farewell from the employees of Intel and Microsoft respectively during the annual sales conferences of these companies in 2005 and 2007. Officialy Bill stepped down on 29th June as the Chairman. here is a quick snap shot of the event on 29th.

--- Sachin

Bill Gates and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer both fought back tears as they concluded a farewell event for the Microsoft co-founder on the company's Redmond campus this morning. Ballmer presented Gates with a bound scrapbook of photos and memories -- acknowledging that no mere parting gift could do justice to the moment. Then Gates addressed Microsoft's employees for the last time in his full-time role. Here's what he said.

Microsoft hold a town hall meeting in Redmond to send Bill Gates off into the new era of his life. It was clearly a big moment for people at the company -- including Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, More than 800 employees were present in a big conference room, and more will be watching on a webcast.

Notes and quotes from the event:

Gates on Microsoft's growth: The idea isn't to be big, but to be lean and agile, while still in a position to tackle tough challenges: "I don't think we'll double (in size) again, but you know, I've been wrong before."

In Microsoft's early days, Gates explained, one reason to bring Ballmer aboard was to help with recruiting: "I hired my friends, which was a small set, and that wasn't going to get us there," he said, to laughter.

Asked about his biggest mistake, Gates said the key thing in software is to accurately anticipate new bends in the road. He said Microsoft was ahead of the curve in areas like the graphical user interface, but he also acknowledged that it has been behind in other areas, such as Internet search and advertising: "When we miss a big change and we don't get great people on it, that is the most dangerous thing for us," Gates said. "It's happened many times. It's OK, but the less the better."

Gates said he has been asked how he can leave when Microsoft is facing such big challenges: "Well, there's always intense competition. I think the company is stronger today than it's ever been," Gates said. "That's very clear to me. The depth of IQ in this company is phenomenal. Now, we don't always get it to add up. We get a tiny bit of subtraction sometimes, and that's one of our challenges."

Gates: "To steal a sentence from Steve: I love this company."

Ballmer cited the challenges Microsoft and Gates have tackled in the past in a manner that seemed designed to embolden the company's employees for the ones they're facing now:
"It's actually more fun to come from behind. For us, that's more fun. That's when you really surprise people. It's actually harder. And a lot of the people who work for the company now have never done it, but we had to do it in some of those cases. We went toe-to-toe with the biggest, most powerful computer company in the world ... Windows vs. OS/2. And we beat 'em. (Applause.) When we look at the challenges that we have today, we'll have our professional accomplishments. And we'll have a chance to come from behind, and we'll have a chance to surprise people -- and we'll have a chance to do it all over again."