Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Diwali

Greetings! Wishing all a very happy Diwali!

दिवाली अच्छा जाली करो!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Language issue

Does language alone, enough to attach against someone? what kind of mindset it this?

read this plz.

Note - I am a born Marati, brought up Bengali and lived as Tamilian for 13+ years ( also married one ) and now residing in Kannada land.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009


From an INFOSCION to a எ POLITICIAN - Nandan's Chronicles

in his new avatar as a Cabinet Minister, here is what he had penned
after his first day in the Parliament.

The last entry stopped when the House was just about to begin. Let's see what happened thereafter....

The House was in pin drop silence. I was brimming with anticipation and excitement!!!! Manmohan had informed me that my introduction was one of the important points of the agenda. I hoped that I will be able to make my speech properly. After so many interviews and conferences, I was nervous today!!!! After the Speaker indicated that the proceedings of the House could begin, Manmohan formally introduced me to the entire House. He mentioned that as the head of the Unique Identification Authority of India, I was responsible to ensure that each and every Indian had a digital smart card as a proof of his existence.

Manmohan spoke about why I was selected and also some references to the various projects executed by me in Infosys were mentioned. The House listened with rapt attention. I was asked to say a few words and I did exactly the same!!! I thanked the Government of India for having given me this opportunity and I assured the House that I would strive to successfully deliver this project. The Speaker then formally inducted me into the House and before the proceedings could move any forward, there was a small commotion on the other side of the hall.

It was Minister of Textiles who had a comment to make before the next point on the agenda. He made a request that I should be attired in a more austere way instead of a flashy suit. It did not go well with the image of a minister who should live to serve the common man and should be less ostentatious in his habits. I stood up to reply. I offered my apologies to the Honourable Minister and assured that I shall be in a more acceptable dress next time. I felt that he was right. We also used to have corporate dress code in Infosys. So it's here as well!!!!

I sat down and felt somebody nudging me. I turned around and to my
surprise; it was the former Indian skipper and one of my favourite
batsman Mohd. Azharuddin. I remembered that he had recently won the
elections. I smiled at him and mentioned to him that I used to like his game very much, shaking his hand. No Rolex, I noticed. Azhar told me that he would "fix" me an appointment with an Italian designer who had designed his dapper Kurta suit. An Italian designer in Milan doing Kurtas!!!!! I made a note of this and reminded myself to give this example to Friedman for his next book," The World Markets are flattened".

Since there was no doubt about the "Fixational" capacities of Azhar, I told him to give me the details and I would consider. The proceedings of the House went on with numerous bills being debated and passed as I sat as a passive audience waiting for my project's turn to come up. After the lunch break, it was the moment for me!!!!


I was at sea. My laptop did not have any reserve power. I went to
Manmohan and apprised him of the situation. I was sweating. He calmly replied that this would not be a cause of concern. I was flummoxed!!!!
The Speaker asked me to explain to the House on what were my plans for the Unique Identity Project. I replied that I have a plan prepared for 30-60-90-120 days' milestones and I have presentation to make for which I need a power socket, a projector and a screen. I had no idea what was going to happen after this.

The next couple of minutes were a complete jolt for me. I was completely in a tizzy. Let me just summarize what happened. A Joint Cabinet Secretary Committee was set up to judge the feasibility of my request. The Under Secretaries for the Ministries of Power, IT and Broadcasting will prepare a Viability Report after scrutinizing National Security threats to my request. This was because the power socket comes under Power, laptop comes under IT and projector comes under Broadcasting. I have also been told to reconsider my timelines of 30-60-90 days and start thinking in terms of years. Probably, they are right. I did not
have the foresight in this matter.

The summary of the issue is that I need to come up with a more
inclusive, democratic, comprehensive long term plan for this project to be executed over the next five years. I have also been given a presentation slot 3 months from now (by which the issues related to the power cord etc will also be resolved). I am filled with mixed reactions. I was planning for a quick resolution; the management wants a strategic solution. I come out of the House and text Murthy.

"You won't believe it but these guys work just like us. I am on a
NATIONAL BENCH for the next three months!!!!!!!!"


What a lovely email *spam* forward! NICE!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

50th Post - Wockhardt and related

I was astonished and taken aback while reading this article.

All about Wockhardt, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore

There is even a reply for this...

A reply from Wockhardt, Bangalore


I have to post on them, on robbing me of Rs 64,000/- on wrong diagnosis of "Angina" while it was just gas.... ( not about maligning their name but their culture of swindling... )

Long time ago, when I quit my govt. job and moved into Bangalore, I started the habit of staying at home and eating only home cooked food and occasional junk food.

I also went to "Isha Yoga" training given by a lady, through a friend of Divya. One of the item suggested as consumable was eat Neem leeves ground with Turmeric every day!

I started the habit of morning walk, as in Chennai # 6 AM.

After few months, I started having chest congestion. I had tried all the house remedies and the pain in the chest area ( under 40 was I ) made me visit a famous cardiologist (name withheld! as he quit to move elsewhere!) at Wockhardt and related tests were conducted. One thing they told me on dangerous side was my 100+ kg body.... I put on weight, in the sedentary govt. job. ;-)

So for a week, when these tests, 64 bit slice heart image was being conducted, I gave up on neem+ and walks. So the lungs congestion had cleared and I was back to normal.

Note - I did not take any medicine during this time, other than the usual, hypertension tablets.

They concluded it was mild angina, and the anginoplasty was to be done! But I took a second opinion, from my sisters friend ( sending all records ) and figured out what was the problem. Even my BIL, helped out, talking to the concerned. Final diagnosis - Gas Trouble!

The bill Rs 64,000/- was total rip off. All for what? Gas.

( After this time only, the same doctor operated ( or assisted ) upon ex Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy )


Thanks for all the readers....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My tweets and India Elections 2009

  1. #Indiavotes09 #Tamilnadu #Women 5 women candidates from Major parties & only 1 won! Of course a know person Sivagami of BSP too lost! :-(
  2. #Indiavotes09 DMK was p'd off with some sections of Cinema industry waving black flags against Congress Parivar. So DMK producers shut shop?
  3. #Tamilnadu #Indiavotes09 Kongu party contested in 12 seats and made Cong + DMK to loose in 6. Need to get details of votes polled. Any idea?
  4. #Indiavotes09 Karnataka - Bangalore North C K Jaffer Sherief lost as he didn't campaign due 2 death of his son. BLR Sth - Ananth Kumar, won!
  5. #Indiavotes09 Why the loss in Karur? DMK candidate KCP - ex ADMK unhappy - no ministry last time after switch! Tiruchi - L Ganesan MDMK :-(
  6. #Indiavotes09 DMK contest against ADMK in 11 and lost in 4. Shocker - Chennai South and Tiruvallur. Expected - Karur and Pollachi. ;-)
  7. #Indiavotes09 Now Narayanasamy of Pondi wants a ministry. Representing the French Colony. ;-) Manmohan will hv tough job to allot 80 (30+50)
  8. #Indiavotes09 DMK has won 18 seats, Congress 8, VCK 1, ADMK 9, MDMK - 1, CPI -1 , CPM - 1 + Puduchery by Cong. So 28: 12 good score? ;-)
  9. Congress lost Renuka Chowdhury JAC as a minister, she lost in Khammam 2 TDP. Poor record as Human Rights Welfare minister. :-( #Indiavotes09
  10. @vjshankar TN: Congress Ministers from TN - Chidambaram - Home, Krishnasamy - State, Aaron - State, G K Vasan (State/Cab). Chittan 2 shud be
  11. #Indiavotes09 TN: TRBaalu for Shipping & Surface Transport (Cab). A Raja - Forests (Cab) Palanimanikam, Venugopal (State) 10% of 80 Cent.Min
  12. #Indiavotes09 Kanimozhi - Information & Broadcasting Min, Alagiri - Urban Dev and Dayanidhi - Telecom - All Cabinet Rank. 4 more State Min.!
  13. #indiavotes09 TN:Congress lost 4 seats to ADMK, 1 each to CPI, CPM, MDMK. Contested 15/39 Clever seat allocation by DMK. Pondy is diff. ;-)
  14. @vjshankar PC won. 3554 votes lead. fixed. ;-)
  15. #Indiavotes09 wherez the site of detailed election results, with votes polled by all concerned. :-( Too much of match fixing. Advaniji stay!
  16. @vijaysankaran such dm's do come to everyone who seriously tweet. But they never credit names. British Attitude! ;-) #IndiaVotes09 US is OK
  17. #Indiavotes09 What is the cost of P Chidambaram's win? Vaiko to win in Viruthunagar? Trade Off gossip! :-(
  18. #Indiavotes09 you all shud read it http://pchidambaram.engagev...
  19. British Queen with American Presidents.
  20. #Indiavotes09 Mallikarjun Kharge KPCC leader of Congress in Karnataka wants to be the India Home Min. Grapevine. ;-) Moily as Parl Affairs.
  21. #Indiavotes09 Indeed some match fixing going on from instructions at higher level. Sivaganga seat might be given to Congress for a trade in!
  22. #Indiavotes09 Out of 42 MP seats in AP Praja Rajyam Party came second in only 5. Too bad Chiranjeevi. :-( Hype by media. 160 MLAs + 15 MPs.
  23. #Indiavotes09 People understood that Cinema Glamour is not OK. Vijayakanth faced music. Now Chiranjeevi. :-( Join a major party! Ambareesh X
  24. #Indiavotes09 Asaduddin Owaisi of AIMIM's margin is shrinking. Hyderabad. Only 74507! It used to be 2 lakh votes plus by his father. ;-)
  25. #Indiavotes09 With all the NUDE photos/CD issue, cries on TV, still Jayaprada wins by 12K votes at Rampur, UP. Poor Begam Noor Bano. :-(
  26. #Indiavotes09 Helen Davidson J is the only female to have won MP seat in Tamilnadu. Kanyakumari. Bet Radhakrishnan P of BJP by 63826 votes!
  27. Bogus news by supporter of PC. Results declared as 490 votes loss! #Indiavotes09
  28. #Indiavotes09 Theni equation has changed. ( I was working there for 1 year) ADMK folks need 2 work hard. Congress wins. Opp retains RS seat.
  29. #Indiavotes09 News from Sivaganga (insider) abnormal voting patterns in 2 booths w 3065 votes. All for PC. So held back. Loss by 490 votes!
  30. #Indiavotes09 But still PM has the prerogative to induct Anbumani, if they switch sides, being the best Minister. Holds good for Paswan too!
  31. @vijaysankaran thats a fake one created few hours ago. @ndtv email to
  32. @spinesurgeon People dont like (even caste based) to switch parties like this, on a drop of the hat. Also money was a major factor all along
  33. #Indiavotes09 Just with 6% votes share in TN PMK has played havoc in many ways to run a govt. Lesson taught? They will re-strategise. Guru X
  34. #Indiavotes09 PMK draws blank. That's ZERO out of SEVEN. If they had won even 1, Anbumani would have become Health Minister. Hard luck dude!
  35. #Indiavotes09 Dayanidhi Maran wins by a margin of 24K. Should have been 1 lakh :-( The next Telecom Min. A Raja won Nilgiris - Forests Min.
  36. #Indiavotes09 Cricketer Sidhu wins Amritsar by only 9057 votes. Bad! Last time he won by 1.5 lakh votes margin. A cock became a bull & back!
  37. #Indiavotes09 Communists have held fort in only blue collar workers dominated industrial towns.
  38. #Indiavotes09 NCP did not do well in MAH. Lost to Shiv Sena / BJP in many seats. :-( Family wins in Baramati and Madha. State Elec in 6 mths
  39. #Indiavotes09 Shashi Tharoor's victory margin was 1 Lakh, while poll pundits predicted a loss by 50K votes. He will be Ext Aff Minister! ;-)
  40. #Indiavotes09 Kerala Congres (Mani ) wins as usual. In all waves. Last time too? ;-)
  41. #Indiavotes09 CPM backed IND candidate looses in Ponnani to IUML by 85K votes, which was the votes he was to bring in from Muslims :-( Left?
  42. #Indiavotes09 Karnataka BJP candidate - Chikodi - Katti Ramesh Vishwanath. Note: he just landed few months ago from USA after 10 years in PR
  43. #Indiavotes09 Advani wins by 1.35 Lakh votes. Mallika at 3rd.
  45. #Indiavotes09 Lalu wins from Saran and loses Pataliputra. Great! RJD gets only 3 seats. So no Railways? Not in limelight for few years ;-)
  46. #Indiavotes09 Vijayashanthi wins from Medak. Great! TRS gets only 3 seats. So no Telangana. Planets dont point it for another few years (5).
  47. #Indiavotes09 any site that gives fast election results with votes polled? not accessible! :-( Govt. do something.
  48. #Indiavotes09 தேர்தல் நிலவரம் posted yesterday! My contest entry @ 80% correct!
  49. #Indiavotes09 P Chidambaram will be the Home minister again and get elected to Rajya Sabha, from some vacancies in next 6 months. l;-)
  50. #Indiavotes09 BJD clearly states no support to UPA. Abstention. They have their won govt in Orissa. So its Mulayam + Amar to support with 23
  51. End of the day, Tamilnadu Politics won the heart of Indians. P Chidambaram, good luck in 2014. ;-) Some gimik on arms to SL wd hv helpd Cong
  52. @spinesurgeon EVMs have a 30 sec delay to get activation from Control Unit. Approx 2 votes in a min. So 1 hour gives only 120 votes. No game
  53. #IndiaVotes As predicted UPA is going to win. DMK stays with them. Poor Laalu + Paswan, might be back to Ministry. ;-)
  54. With immense pleasure complete Team invites you to join and be a part of our upcoming website
  55. Here is a site to try your luck of Astrology!
  56. Vince Lombardi - "We dont loose games, just ran out of options!"
  57. Karnataka - JDS wants Mines ministry in any govt. Cool. Reddy brothers wud switch sides (10 MLAs) & Congress will come to power in KAR. ;-)
  58. Tamilnaadu elections, more votes polled for DMDK would mean that UPA wud get more seats! I might stand corrected at 11AM on May 16th. ;-)
  59. AIADMK will claim to form TN govt with COng + PMK support, after Congress withdraws. Headlines Today! ;-) 66 + 33 + 18 = 117?
  60. Hoping works well Sat 7 AM onwards. My friends in EC say that postal ballots count @ 11AM ;-) So all clear then!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Astrological Challenge on Indian Polls 2009

Here is a site that promises a prize of 10 lakh rupees even with 80% correct entries.

One Million Rupees Election Results Prediction Challenge to Astrologers


1. Who will be the next prime minister of India?

Manmohan Singh

2. Which party, combination of parties will come to power? The name of the single party should be clearly specified. If a combination of Parties is mentioned each one should be named.

UPA - lead by Congress

3. How many seats will each of the parties win? The answers should be in units- Ranges are not acceptable- correct to the nearest unit in case of single digit and ±10% if the number is more than single digit.

a. Indian National Congress 163

b. Bharathiya Janatha Party 150

c. Communist party of India(Marxist) 35

d. Communist party of India 11

e. Samajwadi party 32

f. Rashtriya Janatha Dal 5

g. Janatha Dal (secular) 3

h. Janatha Dal United 11

i. Dravida Munnetra Kalagham 15

j. All India Dravida Munnetra Kalagham 7

k. Trinamool Congress 12

l.Bahujan Samjawadi Party 34

m. Bharathiya Samajwadi Party. 1

4. The votes polled by each of the following candidates to the nearest ten thousand ±10% error are to be specified- range is not acceptable:

a. Sonia Gandhi at Rae Bareily 464,000

b. Shashi Tharoor at Trivandrum 234,000

c. Varun Gandhi at Pilhibit 367,000

d. J.P.Hegde at Udupi- Chikmaglur

e. S.Bangarappat Shimoga 411,500

f. B.Y.Raghavendra at Shimoga 272,000

g. Sheena Rai at Kasargod. 178,200

h. George Fernandes at Muzaffapur 175,600

i. Lal Krishna Advani at Gandhi nagar. 311,200

J. Janardhan Poojary at Mangalore. 354,100

k. Murali Manohar Joshi at Varanasi 413,000

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Achievements of Congress

This is what I found on the net from a staunch BJP supporter....

Achievements of Congress

Even after more than 50 years of Congress rule 70% Indian are poor and do not have social security.
Biggest Defence scam - Bofors by Gandhi family.
Cash for Vote in Parliament – Shame on Congresss
Check the food prices at present in compare to 3 years back, common man is finding problem for day to day living.
Congress is not secular because of it's minority appeasement programs.
Congress is soft on Terrorists, Price Rise and Corruption.

Following are few of the biggest scams in India, that have taken place when Manmohan Singh was in charge:
1- Latest in the news is Satyam Scam which is touted to be the biggest corporate scam of India when Dr. Manmohan Singh is Prime Minister as well as finance Minister.
2- Harshad Mehta Scam of 1992 which was touted to be the first ever scam of this magnitude and in fact aam aadmi of India came to know about this great word SCAM only after that.
3- Ketan Parikh Scam of 1992.
4- C. R. Bhansali Scam between 1992 to 1996.
5- Cobbler Scam of 1995 where Shiv Daya was the main player.
6- I.P.O. Scam of 2004-05 which is considered to be the biggest scam of its type.
7- Dinesh Dalmia of DSQ Scam in 2000-01.
8- A. K. Telgi's Stamp Paper Scam considered to be the biggest and most widely spread scam. The scam started in 1994 and was unearthed in 2000.
9- Virender Rastogi Scam in the year 1995-96.
10- UTI Scam in year 2000.
11- Uday Goyal's Plantation Scam started in 1995 and was revealed in 1998.


As long as politicians are able to make money, our democracy will suck!

  • Bring in accountability!
  • Make sure people from the same constituency gets to contest.
  • Allow people to vote from anywhere....(internet votes, postal from within city, any booth, with one single national id )
  • Make the recall of elected reps ( a la USA ) a mandatory thing, with a percentage of voters signing for it..
  • Provide changes in the constitution to enable parties to get representative seats... for example, if BJP get 30% national votes, they should get 30% of 543 MPs, i.e., 163 MPs ( an pick them from the contested candidates, who are eligible as per votes polled in ascending order > 20% and did not forfeit deposit)...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Venture Capital in India

I was reading this article and couldnt resist to comment. (one sided)

VC investments falling off cliff in the US

I have a feeling that in India VCs will never succeed as there is greed in the promoters as well as investors.

With VC's it is always one way street, they get a plenty and if the concept is hit, they make a killing before IPO.

Also same idea presented by 2 different people of similar kind, gets valued differently.

If you have the right contact, you might get the "next best idea" for you to develop (your skill) usurping from the actual owner...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai give the finger

What has happened to these election officials in Maharastra?

Inking on the middle finger and making the world see it "differently".

Behold in their eyes?

This happened yesterday.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Free shares (not my advt.)

I saw this link on my friend Vijay's blog for free shares in a UK based co.

Free shares on

Why not give a try?

So I joined and now have joined and I have like 2100 shares.

So why don't you try your luck?

Click my specified link here...

100 shares on

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Eve teasing and Molestation

Recently a person had approached me, asking, "I am a bit worried about police case against my daughter and I am trying for a compromise... She had been molested (... incident....), and she, with her friends had beaten up the boy at his residence. And he had gone in for police case..."

I gave my inputs to help out the mental state of the girl. There is some story from both sides.

Even when I met her, she was not properly (socially acceptable) dressed. That is the culture in Bangalore. It was triggered, with a bunch of girls making some casual funny remarks on a normal office going person. He in turn got agitated, being raised so religiously, got hold of her dress and slapped her.

Solution was ....

I think a simple sorry from both sides (Sorry I know it is hard for a girl, would bring down the ill effects of media attention).

Still that guy has not withdrawn the case of trespassing. The girls side, is yet to accept facts.

Things are different in Kolkata, where in 80's my sister slapped a person, who made lewd comments in a bus stop and lots of comrades together trashed that person. No police case.

Thursday, April 16, 2009



Courtesy: The Hindustan Times, Manas Chankravarty.

By all accounts, Satyam ex-chairman Ramalinga Raju is having a rollicking time in Chanchalguda jail. His popularity among the inmates, all of whom are in awe of a man who can make Rs 7,000 crore disappear, knows no bounds. "Some of us affectionately call him by his nickname Scamalinga," said a petty thief, "But most just call him Gurudev."

Reports have come in that Raju had 20 idlis for breakfast, five plates of rice and a bucket of rasam for lunch and 25 chapatis with two chickens for dinner. But the jail superintendent says these numbers are inflated. "You see, the habit is so deeply ingrained in Raju that he automatically inflates all figures," he added. Incidentally, his cellmate Srinivas Vadlamani, Satyam's ex-chief financial officer who has denied all knowledge of wrongdoing, said he didn't know whether he had any meals. "I am not aware whether I had breakfast, lunch or dinner," he said. "Am I in jail?" he asked.

Meanwhile, insiders say that Raju has decided to teach accountancy in order to impart his skills to a receptive audience. "I'm really excited at the prospect of being taught by such a master," said a murderer serving a life sentence. "My problem has been that I don't know where to hide the bodies," he explained, "I'm sure that a guy who can hide Rs 7,000 crore for so many years can easily hide a score of bodies."

A stream of visitors has also been arriving at the jail, all wanting to meet Srinivas Vadlamani. Inquiries revealed they were promoters of companies, eager to have him on their boards. "Where will I get such an ideal chief financial officer?" asked a person who said he was CEO of a company called Black Hole Ltd.

Even the jail superintendent says he is extremely happy with Raju. "He is a financial genius," he exclaimed. He said Raju had outlined a scheme that could save the jail a huge amount of money. "Raju explained that all I needed to do was to allow the inmates to choose their own guards. He said these guards would cost a fraction of the current salary being paid to jail warders. I was a little hesitant about prisoners choosing their own jailers at first, but relented when Raju said that it was exactly the same thing with companies - they all appoint their own auditors and nobody complains."

Incidentally, even the Naxalite prisoners lodged in the jail are very happy with Raju. "We have been working for decades to overthrow capitalism, with no effect," said their ringleader. "And then Comrade Raju comes along and wrecks the system from within, giving Indian capitalism a resounding blow." "We're electing him to the party's central committee," he added.

But Raju is unlikely to take up the offer. He has a job offer from Nigeria to run the huge network that sends scam emails to people promising to transfer billions of dollars lying in unclaimed money to them once they give their bank account numbers and a small advance payment. Unconfirmed reports say that to make the schemes look authentic they're thinking of asking accounting firm Pricewaterhouse to certify them.

Others say Raju is exploring a lucrative option in a related field. "He's thinking of becoming a godman," said a source, "Which is why he is reading religious books." Some also say that Raju is being paid a fat advance for a novel based on his Satyam swindle. "It's clear he has plenty of experience of writing fiction," pointed out a publisher.

And lastly, in a curious but related incident, teachers at a prestigious private school in Hyderabad were shocked when young Bunty Reddy of class 5B told his class-teacher that his father was a male bar dancer. Investigations revealed, however, that his dad was actually an independent director on the boards of several companies. "In the circumstances, it's natural for the child to be ashamed of his parent," said the principal, "And that's why he tried to pass his dad off as a male stripper."


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Jayalalitha and Prime Ministership of India

India as a country has been having Gandhi family at the helm of Prime Ministership.

Lately Except the forcibly withdrawal of Sonia Gandhi.... When Manmohan Singh became PM, other have been purely accidental.

Morarji Desai was a proper change, but Chandrasekhar changed the game plan. Then came VP Singh, Vajpayee, IK Gujral and Deve Gowda.

But P V Narasimha Rao was the best in 1991.


OK the big question, will the Third front form the government at the center?

With the onset of the new lunar year and the effects of Shani, most likely it would call for a Women PM only. Or else there would be another election in 2011 where P Chidambaram will surely become a PM.

So 3 options are there now.
  1. Sonia taking the reigns, nothing stops it.
  2. Mayawati with about 42 MPs, and the Third Front Kichdi does the pride of Dalit.
  3. Jayalalitha (ADMK) wins the 26 seats and stakes a formidable claim for Non congress, BJP govt.
Also let us not rule of the possibility of BJP backing her as PM, remote chance, but she can become the deputy PM, if all goes well for the alliance and it hinges on DMDK and Vijayakanth and the support of DMK towards the split of ADMK votes.

So as per the above analysis, nothing is sure till the midnight of May 16th, 2009.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Roundup of election predictions 2009

Here is a quick roundup of the pre-election predictions and the discussion around them in the Indian blogosphere. I have also written in my blog in Tamil Pathivubothai a lot recently.

According to the second Star-Nielsen poll, the Congress will win 155 seats (203 with UPA allies), while the BJP will win 147 seats (191 with NDA allies) (via TOI).

Arun Nehru at the Deccan Chronicle predicts that the Congress will win 157 seats (193 with UPA allies), compared to the 132 seats for the BJP (177 with NDA allies).

The Times of India predicts that the Congress will win 154 seats (198 with UPA allies), while the BJP will win 135 seats (176 with NDA allies).

According to The Week, the Congress will win 144 seats (198 with UPA allies), while the BJP will have to settle at 140 seats (186 with NDA allies).

India Today expects the UPA to win 196-205 seats, far ahead of the 172-181 seats for the NDA.

According to Reuters, the Congress with 139 seats will form the government, beating the BJP, which will win only 129 seats.

DNA predicts that the Congress-led UPA will win 184 seats, against the 177 seats for the BJP-led NDA.

Shreekant Sambrani at Business Standard predicts that BJP will emerge as the biggest party with 137 seats (184 seats with NDA allies), ahead of the Congress, which will win 119 seats (176 seats with UPA allies, including LJP/ RJD).

India TV also predicts that the BJP will emerge as the largest single party with 144 seats (187 seats with NDA allies), ahead of the Congress, which will win 133 seats (178 seats with UPA allies).

According to BJP’s own survey, conducted by G V L Narasimha Rao, the BJP will win 160 seats (217 with NDA allies) compared to 135 seats for the Congress (180 with UPA allies) (via TOI).

The numbers for the UPA have come down in recent predictions as analysts aren’t counting the numbers for Lalu Prasad’s RJD, Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP or Mulayam Singh’s SP as part of the alliance anymore.

Earlier, in March, the Star-Nielsen poll had predicted that Congress will win 144 seats (257 with UPA allies, including 47 for SP/ RJP/ LJP), compared to the 137 seats for the BJP (184 with NDA allies) (via Reuters).

The CNN-IBN poll had predicted that the Congress-led UPA will win 215-235 seats (including SP/ RJP/ LJP), compared to 165-185 seats for the BJP-led NDA (via Reuters).

In 2004, the UPA had won 234 seats (with 145 seats for the Congress) and the NDA had won 184 seats (with 138 seats for the BJP).

The Outlook Blog written by Sandeep Dougal, by the way, has emerged as my single most useful source of news and opinion on the Indian Lok Sabha elections. This is a great example of the value a traditional news organization can add by linking out to others.

Several Indian bloggers are also posting their own predictions.

Vijay at OffStumped, an overtly pro-BJP blog, predicts that NDA will win 184 seats compared to 108 for UPA.

Blogger Arvind Katoch predicts that UPA will win 230-240 seats where NDA can win 180-200 seats.

Promise of Reason is also doing a series of state-wise pre-poll predictions for the Indian elections.

Rajesh Jain, who is also a part of the Friends of BJP group, has also been sharing his assessment of how the elections might turn out and believes that we will see another election in two years.

It seems that the consensus opinion is that the Congress will emerge as the largest party with 150-160 seats, while the BJP will win 130-140 seats.

In any case, fewer parties will ally with the BJP, and it will need 175+ seats to have a stab at building a majority coalition, so we can safely assume that the Congress will be a part of the coalition government. Most observers are predicting that a Congress-led UPA-Left coalition will form the government.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

NRI kills self and five family members

See the state of USA relatives. Something is really wrong. Why this is happening?

Divya has written a post on this....

Six Tamils shot dead at Santa Clara

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Children and Good Touch, Bad Touch

Read one good post in Tamil on children and molestors...

"குட் டச், பேட் டச்"

Here is my comment...

Nice post... Very much needed for kids from 8 up to Age 15. Above that, talk should do, particularly girls... we are very careful with my kids.. how their teachers at shcool (male) behave etc.

Also the regular visitor relatives to your home (males) should be made to stay away from kids, after few minutes.

A relative who is a doctor told me.. if the kids can keep their privates clean (and well taught), they wouldn't touch it on irritation. That is the starting point on exploration.

Teaching is important. Good Touch.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hotel Kerala

Recently landed on this page, using the twitter page of my friend Vijay.

Right click and download for the mp3.

And such fabulous lyrics. Some brilliant lines…

On the road to Trivandrum / Coconut oil in my hair
Warm smell of avial
Rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance
I saw a bright pink tube-light
My tummy rumbled, I felt weak and thin
I had to stop for a bite
There he stood in the doorway
Flicked his mundu in style
And I was thinking to myself

I don’t like the look of his sinister smile
Then he lit up a petromax
Muttering “No power today”
More Mallus down the corridor
I thought I heard them say


His finger’s stuck up his nostril
He’s got a big, thick mustache
He makes an ugly, ugly noise
But that’s just his laugh
Buxom girls clad in pavada

Eating banana chips
Some roll their eyes, and
Some roll their hips
I said to the manager
My room’s full of mice
He said,
Don’t worry, saar,I sending you
meen karri, brandy and ice
And still those voices were crying from far away
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them pray

The blind man was pouring
Stale sambar on rice
And he said
We are all just actors here
In Silk Smitha-disguise

Last thing I remember
I was writhing on the floor
That cockroach in my appam-stew was the culprit,
I am sure
Relax, said the watchman

This enema will make you well
And his friends laughed as they held me down
God’s Own Country? Oh, Hell!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

TIME and Srilanka

The Tigers' Last Days
By Jyoti Thottam / Sri Lanka

In tiny blue chairs set up in rows, a group of young children begin their lessons at a makeshift preschool in northern Sri Lanka. They listen to stories, learn their colors, giggle, fidget and cry. The children are among thousands of Tamils who have fled their homes in the past 12 months, as the Sri Lankan army has surged toward the end of a 25-year war against an armed separatist movement, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Government officials and the aid agencies that help maintain the camp where these children live call them "internally displaced persons" (IDPs).

Their parents call them prisoners.

"We ask, but they don't release us," says a resident of this camp, in the Mannar district on the northwest coast. His family left their home by boat, only to be intercepted by the Sri Lankan navy and then handed over to the army, which brought them to one of several "welfare centers" set up to house Tamils fleeing the Vanni, the jungle areas at the heart of Tiger territory. "We were told, 'Two or three months, and then you can go,'" he says. "But now it's almost one year." There are about 450 people in this camp, including 39 children under the age of 5. The families live in shelters made of palmyra thatch and corrugated iron, while single folk make do with tents. They are kept behind barbed wire near a road lined with baobab trees and bunkers and are under the constant guard of soldiers. "They are suspected because they come from the Vanni," says an aid official. "They could be LTTE."

The Politics of Refugees

Sri Lanka's civil war began in July 1983, when more than 1,000 Tamils were killed in Colombo after a Tiger ambush of 13 army soldiers--though the LTTE's grievances go back much further, to what it says were decades of discrimination against ethnic Tamils, who are mainly Hindu or Christian, by the Sinhalese Buddhist majority. Few families in the island nation have been untouched by the violence--more than 70,000 people have died since the war began--yet Sri Lanka has managed to preserve its stunning beaches and lush hills, as well as a cosmopolitan outlook dating back to its history as a stop along the Spice Route.

In the past few weeks, hundreds of civilians have been killed in the fighting, according to the Red Cross, during an assault by the army, which is determined to finish off the Tigers once and for all. An estimated 250,000 civilians are still trapped inside a rapidly shrinking war zone--the last remaining 40 sq. mi. (103 sq km) held by the Tigers--and the army is preparing to expand the camps to house them. The Defense Ministry says more than 6,000 new IDPs crossed into army-held territory in just a few days in mid-February.

Journalists are not officially permitted into the camps, but TIME obtained firsthand information about them from organizations alarmed by the internment of civilians, a practice that violates internationally accepted conventions on the rules of war. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Human Rights Watch and several other local and international groups have been pushing Sri Lankan authorities for months to open up access. On Jan. 10, the Sri Lankan government instead turned several of the camps into "high-security zones," off limits to everyone except the U.N. and the Red Cross. A recently disclosed proposal to set up "welfare villages" where up to 200,000 IDPs could be kept for as long as three years was condemned by human-rights groups and opposition leaders; but this kind of treatment is a reality for the 13,000 people already in the camps. A Jan. 21 memo by UNHCR states that the restrictions on movement in these camps do not meet humanitarian standards, so the agency is trying to negotiate with the government to improve conditions. Neither the U.N. nor other groups want to help run the internment camps, but they feel they have little choice. "It's a service that has to be done," says a humanitarian official. "If we don't do it, then the people suffer."

They are already suffering; the long war has seen to that. "When the dust settles, we may see countless victims and a terrible humanitarian situation," says Jacques de Maio, head of Red Cross operations for South Asia. Hospitals, ambulances and even the so-called safe zones set up so civilians can escape the fighting have been hit. The government insists that it is doing everything possible to protect civilians and blames the LTTE for using civilians as human shields. But international observers are worried. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a joint statement Feb. 3 with the British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, expressing "serious concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in northern Sri Lanka" and calling on both sides to allow civilians to leave the front lines.

But if they leave, what will happen to them? The fate of Sri Lanka's IDPs is the central political issue that will face the nation when the army claims victory. "It's how the whole world will look at the country," says an official with an international aid agency. In the best case, the camps, under the monitoring eye of U.N. agencies, will be used as holding stations where the army can weed out any LTTE fighters who remain in hiding, before allowing civilians to return to the Vanni to rebuild the north. "In the worst-case scenario, they establish concentration camps for Tamils," the official says. There have been no reports of mass killings, but aid groups and human-rights workers say that they are troubled by reports of disappearances and that they cannot monitor the safety of detainees without full access to them.

Locked In--and Out

Most people detained in the welfare centers had no intention of becoming refugees. They all have their documents, families willing to take them in and the means to support themselves. The men worked as fishermen or shopkeepers, and those who fled the fighting by boat paid at least 100,000 Sri Lankan rupees per person (about $876) to escape. "We told all these things to the army commander," says a detainee, who also describes losing count of the number of letters he has written asking to be released. Fearing reprisals by the army, those in the camp ask to remain anonymous. They say they have enough to eat, clean water and latrines, but they just want to leave. "I feel like I'm going crazy," says another detainee. "I want to tell people that we are being kept without any reason."

The Sri Lankan government insists that its human-rights record is excellent compared with that of the Tigers. "In a war situation, you can't stop violating human rights in small ways," says Lakshman Hulugalle, a spokesman for the Sri Lankan Defense Ministry. "In Iraq, how many innocent people were killed?" Hulugalle says any concerns raised about the army's practices should also acknowledge the abuses of the LTTE and that there are many. Indeed there are. People from the Vanni say they left home not just to escape the fighting but also to get away from the forced recruitment of their children and from forced labor, which the Tigers used to build a massive, booby-trapped trench around parts of their stronghold in the jungle.

The detention of civilians serves a strategic purpose for the army as well. In the past, the Tigers were often able to recapture territory by sending guerrilla fighters into the general population. That's still a potent tactic. On Feb. 9, a female suicide bomber killed 28 people, including 20 soldiers, at a screening point for IDPs. This kind of asymmetrical warfare--the LTTE was the global pioneer in the use of suicide bombers--allowed a few thousand fighters to hold their own for decades against the Sri Lankan army's 50,000 soldiers. So the most recent army offensive uses a new strategy. The military clears people from every stretch of territory it captures. Those displaced must either seek shelter deeper in Tiger territory or surrender to government forces, which move them into camps. The result is a sort of scorched-earth policy that has helped the army capture and keep control of territory that the Tigers have held for more than a decade.

Facing the Gauntlet

Keeping those areas may prove more complicated. In the district of Mannar, for example, which the army has considered "liberated" since last July, people live under an unofficial curfew that turns the end of every workday into a race to get home before dark. Checkpoints are everywhere--in some cases within 165 ft. (50 m) of each other--and can turn a 15-minute trip into an hour-long ordeal, as soldiers question anyone whose identification papers mark him or her as an outsider or a possible LTTE member. Few people outside Mannar are aware of the extent of the militarization. Journalists are not allowed free access, and it is forbidden to take pictures of any military personnel or installation--not even the 16th century Portuguese fort at the tip of Mannar Island, which is used as an army camp.

Such security measures, like the detention camps, have so far prevented the Tigers from taking back Mannar. But this strategy may not be sustainable throughout the Tamil-majority areas of the north and east. The Sri Lankan government holds up the eastern province of the nation as a model of postconflict governance; the army took control of the area in 2007, and the government held local elections last year. But even in the east, 50 civilians were killed in November alone, according to local media, in violence involving two former Tiger factions as well as military and paramilitary forces. This growing insecurity, says Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, executive director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, a public-policy institute based in Colombo, is a result of the government's failure to think beyond its military strategy. "You can snatch a political defeat from the jaws of military victory," Saravanamuttu says.

Going for Broke

Though many outside Sri Lanka have called for a political settlement, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has staked his leadership on a military defeat of the LTTE. Since taking office in 2005, he has redefined the conflict as a "war on terrorism" and cast himself as a son of the soil, a loyal defender of the Sinhalese Buddhist majority. "The average Sinhalese person trusts him," says Saravanamuttu. "He's seen very much as a man of the people." The war has the overwhelming support of Sri Lanka's rural heartland in the south, and Rajapaksa is unlikely to seek a truce when triumph is finally within sight. All that remains is to find Velupillai Prabhakaran, the Tiger commander who has outlasted five Sri Lankan Presidents and is wanted for ordering the assassination of an Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi.

If Rajapaksa can vanquish Prabhakaran, he will have just one foe left: the economy. The cost of the war may be more than the country can afford, with the defense budget far exceeding the government's revenue after servicing of the national debt. "It just doesn't work," says Harsha da Silva, an economist and consultant to the Asian Development Bank. A victory would reduce that spending but might also bring down with it a rural economy propped up by soldiers' salaries and pensions. In many villages, the army is the main employer, and without it, families will begin to feel the full effect of the global recession in the garment, tourism and tea industries--the three pillars of Sri Lanka's economy. The government's only response so far has been to tighten import controls and promote local agriculture.

For now, Rajapaksa looks like a man vindicated. If the LTTE is indeed defeated, a generation of Sri Lankans--including the children held in the camps of Mannar--will, for the first time, begin to live in a country that is not at war.

What will that country look like? It will still have its legendary natural beauty. Mannar's isolation has made it a paradise for birds such as the brilliant blue Indian rollers that skim over the salt marshes. And some are hopeful that with the end of the Tigers, there will be room for a new dialogue between Tamils and Sinhalese, says Ahilan Kadirgamar of the Sri Lanka Democracy Forum, an advocacy group. But for Tamils from LTTE territory, Kadirgamar notes, "their sense of citizenship will be determined by how they are treated." They may re-enter Sri Lankan society only to find themselves subject to security measures that fulfill the worst predictions of the Tigers' relentless propaganda about the persecution of Tamils. Rajapaksa's muscular, nationalist ideology appears to be winning the war. But it may be at the cost of the open, outward-looking, multiethnic character of the nation that Sri Lanka once tried to be.

Thanks: TIME(Feb, 09)