Farmers’ Suicides – A new point of view

Sid’s Blog: P. Sainath and Farmers’ Suicides in India

Siddhartha Shome has written this insightful article regarding P Sainath and how his view on farmers’ suicides in India is extremely skewed. Brilliant read this one!!!



Since it’s been a while since I have found time to update the blog (due to official and unofficial reasons), just thought I’d give some food for thought for readers who like browsing news websites –

The first link is a Times Online link for an interview with Mark Otty, new CEO of Ernst & Young worldwide. Interesting insights into the man’s personality and his way of thinking. This interview holds a special place for me as my first job was with Arthur Andersen, and I guess somewhere deep down in my heart, I will always remain an accountant/consultant. The interview deals with the changes that Otty has in store for E&Y and the probably challenges he will face.

The second link is an awesome column by the evergreen Thomas L Friedman in the New York Times regarding the vastly different paths that the Chinese Govt and the US Govt have led their respective economies down over the last seven years. He starts off with how just a few days before the 9/11 incident Beijing won the Olympics bid and how 9/11 changed the entire focus of the US Govt. Since then China has gone from strength to strength in infrastructure development and image-building while the US has focused on maintaining its security and economic interests over the world with military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. This article provides us with a reasonably unique perspective of a majority of the last decade for these two countries and economies.

The third and probably the most interesting link is that of the official Google comic released just one day before they made the new browser Google Chrome available for download by users. Touted by industry analysts to be the Internet Explorer killer, this piece of marketing by Google for their new browser is simply awesome. For someone like me who doesn’t understand as much technology as techies do, this comic presents the new features of Chrome in an extremely easy to understand format.

Until the next post, cheers, goodbye…………Jam

Kashmir Agitation – 3 viewpoints

I just read these three interesting articles about the entire Kashmir agitation issue and was a little taken back by the almost extremist stance taken by at least two of these articles.

While Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar has always been known for his crisp and candid comments in his famous “Swaminomics” weekly column in the Times of India, this particular article of his is a little radical in suggesting that the Indian Govt. go ahead and give the Kashmiris a plebiscite where they could decide between (a) independence (b) union with Pakistan (c) union with India. He cites history wherein the Kashmiris were denied their promised plebiscite in 1947 when the Union Govt of India wrongly denied these people their basic right of choice regarding their alignment and secessionism.

While this particular article does delve into history and talk about how India used force to secede the princely state of Junagadh (which had a Hindu majority but was ruled by a Muslim Nawab) and draws parallels with Kashmir (which had a Muslim majority but a Hindu ruler), the sheer audacity with which Swaminathan Aiyar seems to suggest a plebiscite and letting the voice of people win reeks of ‘blissful ignorance’ or ‘sheer innocence’ or a bit of both. And either of these traits coming from someone like him is a little disturbing.

The other article by Vir Sanghvi (who for some particular reason keeps shifting his loyalties in and out of the Star Group and the Hindustan Times, as well as between Television and Print as media-of-choice), is way more radical in suggesting that based on a pure cost-benefit analysis the only thing that makes sense in this whole chaotic Kashmir situation is a referendum. Although the choices offered to the people are the same as Swami Aiyar’s (for obvious reasons), the logic offered by Vir Sanghvi is reasonably different.

He seems to suggest that Kashmir or Kashmiris are taking too much advantage of the fact that they enjoy the privileges that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution offers them, and at the same time are utterly thankless to the rest of the Indian taxpayers who are pretty much subsidising every Kashmiri’s life today. His reasonably angry article (well, he uses the words “Damn all”) is peppered with facts and figures which seem to suggest that Kashmir gets over ten times more Govt. Grant than Bihar does, and that too in the form of money rather than grants or subsidies, but is absolutely thankless.

I then read the original post from The Acorn by Nitin which pointed me to both these articles in the first place. And I completely agree with him when he says that plebiscite is probably not the right way to go in a situation such as this where a majority of the people will vote purely based on current sentiment and historical reasons rather than looking forward to a better future. Nitin’s suggestion that “To ensure the well-being of people in the region, including those of its neighbours, India as a whole, and not just Jammu & Kashmir, needs to place a premium on individual freedoms on the one hand, and on tolerance on the other” is probably one of the better constructed sentences in all three articles.

I personally have no answers to this tricky question, but then somebody has to ask them and ask them loud enough so that the people who can look for answers hear them.


Related links –
Desipundit link which led me to The Acorn
The Acorn post which led me to the two articles
Swaminathan Aiyar’s column in the Times of India
Vir Sanghvi’s column in the Hindustan Times

Nandan Nilekani – LiveMint article

Shoba Narayan (columnist in LiveMint) has this wonderful article about Nandan Nilekani, Infosys co-founder. Although a bit long, this is a brilliant article if you want a comprehensive well-researched and well-written proxy mini biography of the man himself.

Interesting read this article, as it gives readers an insight into the personality that Nandan is and covers various aspects such as Nandan as the Infy CEO, Nandan the voracious reader, Nandan the ideator, Nandan the impatient innovator, Nandan the parent, and various other aspects of his personality.

Related Links –
The LiveMint article by Shoba Narayan