Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Our Intolerance to Truth - Gandhi Jayanthi Special

Never has the choice of prime ministerial candidate been so much a part of mainstream social discussions like this.

An emigrated Pandit from Kashmir to humble Kumars from Bihar to Chowdarys and Reddys from Andhra Pradesh to art loving Banerjees and Chatterjees   of   Paschim Banga to surname   less   Subramaniams   and Palaniappans of Tamil Nadu, all talk about the repercussions of a specific prime ministerial candidate . The prime ministerial candidate is none other than, Narendra Damodardas Modi or NaMo, who is being hailed as a Messiah of sorts to bring about a change in way, India functions as a nation.

You must be wondering why I haven't added surnames from minority communities in the paragraph above. Because, their views has already been misinterpreted, magnified and colored with a religious fundamentalist view by none other than our so called 'Pseudo-Secularists', who have watched religious   pogroms   right   from   post-independent riots to Sikh   riots   to occasional sectarian violence and had given their valuable arm-chair philosophers  styled  views,  which  just  doesn't  resonate  with  people  from either sides.

So now you would have started to think that, these words are coming from a person who supports Modi secretly and acts like a politically neutral person in outset. I don't blame you for it is a symptom of a disease that is spreading like a viral infection.

With me posting this on a blog, which naturally qualifies as a part of social media, let me talk about the cyber warriors of BJP and Congress. No other election has brought about such a level of clear divide, about how people approach certain issues. No other election has been contested on the basis of economic indicators as this.  In fact, when Raghuram Rajan, Governor of Reserve Bank of India, recently released a ranking for states based on Multi Dimensional Index, there was a furor of activity in social media for it ranked Gujarat as less developed in contrary to the public opinion, that is Gujarat is a state where milk flows in gutters, glittering gold could be found in street sides and power is generated by some unknown Shree chakram of Vishnu.

Thanks to this issue, because it brought out a single factor that unites cyber warriors of BJP and Congress.  That is, they are suffering from a serious disease which makes them immune to 'Hard facts'. A very serious disease which makes them blabber hollow claims , lie with a straight face , make completely   irrelevant   personal   remarks to deride a personality and importantly to enter the discussion thread on Facebook , discussion forums and troll everyone.

It is this disease that makes them quite a difficult group of people to argue with. Argument is defined as an attempt to convince someone of something by presenting them reasons to accept a certain conclusion. But it never works with them because

1. Reasons do contain hard facts and the affected people have deep disregard for anything that is a 'fact'.

2. The moment when they feel the argument supports a conclusion that is against their pre-conceived notion, they hop from one topic to other or accuse us of being a racist, religious fundamentalist, pseudo-secularist, leftists, Hindutva-vadi and to top it all, 'Traitor'.

Before 1990’s everyone watched Doordarshan and  received  similar  news across the country. Then, political parties started their own TV channels to peddle their point of views to public. The extreme example is found in Tamil Nadu, where watching news bulletins from channels of opposing parties would make any sane person to think whether they are living in two alternate universes at a same time. The problem starts there, for the lazy us, stick to a news channel than surfing more than 2 channels to know the truth. The more we hear from a specific news channel, our political stance slowly gets tied to their ideology.

Enter Facebook , twitter and the scene is getting more fragmented. People can choose the news they see and they have started forming a bubble around them. The bubble effectively covers their head which makes it extremely hard for us to take the facts to their well-functioning asset, which is their Brain.

Here, I would like to quote an example. On such a discussion on Gujarat, I stated to a person that Gujarat has a low HDI index.  For information, HDI is Human Development Index, which is globally accepted parameter to understand the social well being of a citizen. The answer which he gave shocked me, for he openly claimed that HDI is based on falsehood and added that it is inhumane, for it reduces people to some numbers. But he was part of a larger band, which plays the same tune for years, that is, their state has higher GDP and hence their citizens are well off. Am still trying to come in terms with how GDP is related to people's well being.

So here is a truth that has emerged.  Even before Lok Sabha polls, the Narendra Modi factor has divided people into two separate groups and I believe that this is to continue further, even if Modi wins these polls or loses it. Modi has already won the mind game for  he and  his public relations machinery has turned the game from BJP vs Congress to Modi vs Congress, in eyes of Anti-Modi fans and Modi vs Ills that haunt this nation, in eyes of Modi fans.

Win or Lose, Narendra Modi has entered the national scene and he is indeed a figure to reckon with. Call it illusion or real, the public relation machinery of his, has captured the imaginations of millions in this nation.

What if Modi loses his 2014 LS Polls?

He will get elected as Chief Minister of Gujarat for the fourth consecutive time and we may get to hear Rahulisms in upcoming Independence day speech like,

“Politics is everywhere. It's in your shirt, your pants”

“You go to a night club somewhere in Spain and there’s Amitabh Bachchan on the screen there, dancing around. That’s the power of India. That’s the power of Indian people”

“These roads can’t have potholes. They can’t break down in six months. They have to be big roads because they are going to carry strong people, strong forces”.

Am sure that would make us all proud and of course it's a point to cheer for many aunties and young girls who wanted him to be Prime Minister for his cute and charming looks, just like his father.

And here  is  a  social  media  alert:  
Brand  Namo  has  entered  smart  phone market too.
To hell with marketing.


Monday, 12 August 2013

Auto - Complete

Never has an option in Google been so human than Auto- Complete. Just like we humans are prejudiced and harbor extreme views about stuffs we have never experienced in reality , Auto-complete can be taken as a sign of prejudice in virtual world. 

For all readers , who wonder what is Auto-Complete, it is a part of Google Instant which completes the query once you start typing the search term.

It was so much fun and surprising for it gave out dominant views as well as stuffs which caught me completely off-guard at certain places. 

So first , as a Cinema crazed Indian , I gave a query of 

" Bollywood is a / Bollywood is " and it completed it as 

Joke , Derogatory bastardization of Hollywood , Copy Cat , Crap , Corrupting Indian Youth , Stupid , Bullshit . 

These are answers which catches anyone completely off-guard , for Bollywood is being promoted as Soft power of India and also as a reflection of Indian Culture. Truly Hilarious indeed . 

So now I wanted to know how Google completes questions about Indian States like " Maharashtra is a / Maharashtra is " 

Maharashtra : Is in North or South ( A classic question that many Maharashtrians face when they are posed a question of whether they are South Indian or North Indian ) .

Punjab : Is a rich state ( Hmm ...not bad ). Thank God it didn't complete the search as drugged state as Rahul Gandhi proclaimed in his speech. Courtesy : His classic analytical skills. 

West Bengal : Is a hotbed of dharnas ( Here I really appreciated Google ) .

Gujarat : Is a dry state , Is a red hot economy ( Wow !!! ) 

Tamil Nadu : Is a separate country ( What the hell moment for a person who is in Chennai for more than 20 years ) 

Bihar : Is a backward state why ? ( A Good question to be answered ) .

Arunachal Pradesh : Is a part of India or China ( A question of International importance ) 

Kerala : Is a state with 100 % literacy ( Hats off !!! ) but the next one was surprising , Is a lunatic Asylum ( A LOL moment , but on careful analysis, it was a reference by Swami Vivekananda seeing the Casteism in Princely states of Kerala ).

Now coming to the Wannabe state

Telengana : Is a mistake ( Only time can answer it ) , Is a state ( forward thinking !! ) , Is a reality ( Yeah it is !! ). 

Then I searched for questions like " Tamils are " , " Bengalis are "

Tamils : Smart ( that's comforting ), Ugly , Bad , Racists ( Not sure what to say ). 

Bengalis : Most Intelligent , Lazy , Cowards , Ugly ( Really ? ) 

Here, search results about Maharashtrians, Punjabis , Biharis are not added for I just don't want to get beaten up . Then it did make me wonder about the biased content on websites and the pattern of search that is going on because the answers of Auto-complete option is just a reflection of above. 

So to sum this game off , I wanted to make one truly inevitable search. In current times when a film with cultural caricatures like Chennai Express amass 100 crores in a matter of week , my search was about the perpetual North- South divide . 

" South Indians are " , " North Indians are " .

South Indians : Are from Africa ( People, no need to get pumped up for it talks about Evolution and Human Migration ) , next was a dominant view which even many South Indians accuse themselves off . That is ' Dark ' . 

North Indians : White ( An another misconception ) , Rude ( yet another misconception ). 

So I ended up the search with " Chennai Express is a " and the answer was , " Chennai Express is a remake of which movie / South Indian movie "

This was hilarious for it ripped off multiple scenes straight off without credits , when it was touted as a Tribute . 

May be this movie is Bollywood's Idea of bridging North- South divide

See you in Auto-Search 2.0 . 

Happy Googling !!!

Link :

Rahul Gandhi on Punjab's drug problem :

Monday, 1 July 2013

Inter- Web : 02

Hi !!!

With Inter-Web : 01 , focusing more on diverse topics, felt it would be better to focus on few issues in each capsule. 

Before we start with the capsule lets pay homage for a second to this futurist who predicted the rise of the Internet we know of. 

James Martin dies at 79; futurist who predicted the rise of the Internet. In 1978's 'The Wired Society,' Martin saw a planet networked by computers. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Since 2005, he donated more than $150 million to the University of Oxford.

Here is a set of articles on issues that is slowly gathering steam in terms of social media discussions. 

 Riots in Brazil : Brazil , when he hear this name, 3 things come into our mind. Football, Football and Football. We have always known it to be a country with insatiable football craze. Could anyone would have imagined that millions would turn up on streets to protest against the World Cup that is going to happen in their own country. 

Millions turned up in every major city of Brazil and the riot wasn't just about World Cup. It was a reason for people to protest against running inflation, lack of public infrastructure and contracting economy. 

Here is a piece by Luiz Felipe Lampreia , a former foreign minister of Brazil (1995-2001) on the background of Brazil riots which is just not about Football World Cup. 

Exhausted Brazil by Luiz Felipe Lampreia

Brazil Protests: The Craziest Photos & Vines (with images, tweet) · thedailybeast

Prime Minister of India : With India, facing a next General election soon, there is a clear divide in public opinion on who should be the next Prime Minister. Though people have been tired of a decade of rule by Congress , there is a clear majority who doesn't want this person to assume the mantle of Prime minister of India. The Man is Mr. Narendra Modi,who has served consecutive three terms as chief minister of Gujarat, an Indian State known for its recent advances in Overall infrastructure and Investment climate. 

So here is a piece by a noted Historian , Ramachandra Guha on this personality , Mr. Narendra Modi.
The man who would rule India

Latest Buzz on Snow Den : A piece on why China and Russia behaved in way that they were never expected to . When the whole world expected China and Russia to give protection to Snow Den , a defector and whistleblower from NSA ( National Security Agency ), they didn't do the same.

Squeal Like a Pig - By James Traub

Is GDP - a real measure : Here is a piece on why GDP isn't a real measure of well being of a country's citizens nor economic growth. The example with which the article started off was interesting . // The 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – with clean-up and damage costs of $90 billion – added about $300 to the average American’s “income.” But it added nothing to our well-being. The world’s most expensive prison system, costing almost $40 billion per year, adds another $125 per person. This doesn’t make us better-off than people living in countries that don’t incarcerate one in every 100 adults. //

Limits to Growth - of What?

Lets finish this capsule with these imposing images on the fast disappearing tribes of the world we are living in by British photographer, Jimmy Nelson. These images are from his latest book ,  Before They Pass Away . 

Before They Pass Away - An FP Slideshow

Wish to hear your views on the content here. Criticism and Debate on the above topics are most welcome.