Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lessons from the 65th Republic Day celebrations

The immensely successful celebrations on 26th Jan 2014 brought with it some clear lessons, and hidden messages. Here is an analysis of the same.

  1. India and Japan are drawing closer than ever : The common irritant China is bringing the two giants close enough to warrant global attention. Exactly the same story is with Indonesia as well (1950 and 2011). 
  2. A clear message to China : Past few months have been acrimonious between China and Japan, with Mr Abe's nationalistic fervour (post the ADIZ of China) rubbing the Chinese wrongly. India seems to have seized the moment well. 
  3. Women are marching ahead : The presence of lady officers throughout the parade, including at IAF's lead position, is an unmistakable message to India. Way to go ladies! 
  4. We are one, the system is such : Despite intense rivalry bordering, at times, on the ridiculous, all political leaders were present as part of one big system. The system is above all. A healthy sign. Not all nations enjoy this privilege. 
  5. Shinzo knows no English, Japan won't become undeveloped : Mr Abe was being helped throughout by his translators in understanding the commentary. So the top guy at the top economy knows little English, but he is neither ashamed of it, nor is Japan affected by it. Food for thought for Indians. 
  6. A wide spectrum of competencies : Much to everyone's surprise, the proud display of mighty Agni V was replaced by a scaled down version of the Arihant sub. While this reflects India's respect for Japanese sensitivity towards nuclear missile displays (remember 1945), it shows we have enough in our arsenal to not miss the overall opportunity. 
  7. What a diverse nation we are : Yes, we know it already, but when the colours run riot on Rajpath on the 26th, it can bring tears of happiness to all Indians' eyes! There surely would be very few in the world that can claim a matching pedigree.
With 81 crore voters - that's 81,00,00,000 individuals! - we are entering into a totally new level of political game in India. The next 10 years will change everything. And rest assured, no single man or party will come to dominate the system, given our diversity and constitutional structures. So good for us.

Jai Hind!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Dear Arvind Kejriwal

Dear Arvind Kejriwal,

I am your admirer. Partly because you are an IITian like me, partly because of the RTI thing you got done, but largely because you've displayed courage to do things on ground to change India that I have secretly aspired to, and failed, for years.

Don't let your beautiful AAP experiment fail so soon, as is becoming faintly evident with each passing day. Some unsought advice.

  1. Don't expand too fast : Reckless physical expansion without systems backup has proven to be a recipe for disaster for organisations always. Avoid it. There's no hurry buddy. Select 4-5 states for 2014 LS elections, and don't go beyond. Then work on solid issues, get results, and jump in fray for 2019.
  2. Don't let dissenters stay : Your party is too young to have dissenters! And people like Capt.Gopinath (sorry for naming) whose contribution to AAP so far is zilch have no right to say anything. So avoid such people.
  3. Be careful of Kashmir and Naxalism : Till Nov 2013, you and team were activists, and thus enjoyed freedom not possible for elected reps. But now, don't make the mistake of talking bullshit on Kashmir and Naxalism. Referendums are a NO-NO. India's sovereignty and undisputed integrity is beyond debate. This one mistake will undo AAP forever.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mankind's basic questions

Why is there so much friction in the world today, when we have so much technology and thousands of years of wisdom behind us?

A friend's FB question (on a different line) prompted this content.

When man started off, he lived in small groups, not more than 150 when they tended to drift away. We can safely assume that this was his 'natural' state of being, as nature made the first version of man thus. All property was shared. The cave, the stones, the tools, the bones (of animals killed), the animal fur used as clothing, everything. No husbands, no wives. Only a community. Some natural affinity must have existed between specific pairs, otherwise raising kids would have been a problem. But that was it. Since food was always a problem to find, man had no time to think of anything else. (Reflections of these situations are found in today's world problems).

This went on for tens of thousands of years. Man was perfectly well suited to it, and then came development!

Monday, January 6, 2014

What India has become now

After 65 years of independence, this is what India has become now:
  1. One of the topmost satellite technology powers in the world : The success of recent GSLV launch has catapulted India to the top of the world league of satellite launch powers. We can now launch heaviest of satellites from biggest of launchers, and commercialise it. This, despite all technology bans on India regarding cryogenic engines. ISRO scientists developed the cryo engine in-house, and it worked! Manned missions, here we come!
  2. One of the most powerful missile powers in the world : Our Agni V (still being improved) can hit targets, with multiple warheads, 7500 kms and beyond. Enough to scare the biggest bullies of them. And Agni V is but just one of the huge arsenal we possess.
  3. The fastest attack missile in the world : Our Brahmos (made in collaboration with old friend Russia) is the FASTEST missile in the world, with speeds approaching 3 Machs! And it is being upgraded by a factor of 2. 
  4. One of the largest standing non-political militaries in the world : Indian military is one of the largest, non-political professional armies in the world, with a record of never interfering in domestic politics, or international affairs without an explicit request from political executives.
  5. One of the few to have a nuclear triad : It means we can attack (in reply) from land, air as well as sea, in case some fool decides to test our patience with a nuclear device. Only 2 or 3 nations in the world have this strength.
  6. Most well desinged nuclear energy programme : With facilities spread across the length and breadth of the nation, our nuclear research programme (NRP) is one of the most integrated, advanced and well-designed. Given the right political leadership, it can actually make us energy independent in another 25 years.
  7. Third biggest economy PPP wise : Not a mean achievement at all. We are the third biggest on purchasing power parity basis, only after US and China. Way to go.
  8. One of the strongest soft-powers in the world : The depth and richness of 5000 years of tradition and history cannot be wiped away by anyone. The philosophical thoughts of the Vedas, Upanishads, Vedantas, and Puranas remain the guiding light for any soul searching for peace and liberation.
And all this while we remained chaotically democratic, diverse, different and argumentative, holding elections frequently, changing governments, shuffling bureaucrats, fighting corruption, and battling traitors!

Yes we still remain a work-in-progress society. But we are getting there. 

Let's all be positive and contribute to Mother India's forward march, in our own small ways, instead of mocking, ridiculing and berating the system.