Monday, April 24, 2006

Trilogy has been Interrupted...

A recent newspaper headline reminded me of this incident...

Year 2005
The usual proceedings , during diwali.. wake up early in the morning... attend the aarti ..and hit the bed, try to force yourself back to sleep but those loud and noisy crackers just wont let you.. drag your lazy ass to the bathroom. Later hog on the diwali delicacies prepared by mum.

Immediately after the sumptuous brunch grab your wallet and keep it on stadby for the deployment of bakshish... a few mins later

Its the milkman..
Wish him happy diwali.. go through the bakshish list ... look for the lowest amount given .. then quickly scan through for the highest amount.. then quickly try and figure out the mode value.. and pay him.. I call this the "standard bakshish giving procedure"... shut the door.. go back to the sofa still clutching on the wallet which is still on stadby for bakshish deployment..

a few mins later...Krrinnng.. its the cleaner, the watchman, the dhobi..

But 2005 was different and special in a way..

Just as I was getting ready for my siesta... the postman comes looking for his share of diwali bakshish..

I walk up to the door...and perform the standard bakshish giving procedure and we exchange diwali greetings and he hands over the mail..... The mail consists the usual .... greeting cards from relatives.. "exciting" citibank offers but a postcard catches my eye... I check it out it... and its turns out it is for me...

A post card written to me by someone.. in 2005...whatever happened to e-mails and sms' did the global e-communication industry just become too erratic and undependable for someone to communicate via postcard... Neways I check it, It is from my cousin....... in goa.. Initially I think he was just being nice and nostalgic , cause when we were kids we used to write to each other quite often...

I read it... "Hi Suhas, we have just finished our exams and when will you been done with yous. We are really looking forward for your trip to Goa. Get Suma along as you had promised in your earlier letter..."

I was like.. WHAT... I glanced back to the top of the post card... It was dated 6/4/94... It took the Indian Postal Department 11 years to deliver a post card. Talk about efficiency....

Now.. with the recent move by the government to sqash the 50% of the 4000 crore private courier business by transfering the sole rights to deliver documents below 500 gms you can expect the unexpected...

An efficient and thriving industry has been stabbed in the back. and the Indian Postal Department gears up to meet this new opportunity with its inefficiency. So if I want to courier any document I will have to walk to the nearest post office.. only to find that the post babu is not on his seat and has gone for his customary tea break or to find that the counter is closed... No more walking to DHL/ARAMEX/Sri Satya Sai couriers at 4:00pm on a sunday to post that all important document....

I guess the courier industry and the stationery industry will get together and invest in inventing a new brand of heavy printing paper so that even a single page document weighs more than 500 gms...!!!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Comeback - Part 1

Okay, I have awakened from my deep slumber of apathy.

I had entered this state where I blamed my laziness to exercise my gray matter on a “writer’s block”. But a discussion on Vibsters blog has tickled those inactive brain cells and to say that they have been forced into overdrive is an understatement.
Some of the topics discussed got me thinking and through this post I wish to add to the discussion.

The Nuclear Arms Race.

A lot has been said and written about why going nuclear is not right and that it propagates an arms race where money is invested in acquiring state of the art arms and researching technology that will equip the warheads of these arms with rare earth radio-active metals.

Well here I will just side step and create a situation at a micro level. Lets then analyze that situation and reach a solution.

Since the average (middle class) Indian and the hapless farmer have been the stake holders in many theories built up around the nuclear arms race, let the situation be based on a not so well off farmer who owns a piece of fertile ground which has (off-late) not been yielding high returns. Much like our country in the early nineties. Now our farmer knows that if he works hard he will be able to achieve a healthy yield and probably afford good education for his children. Ohhh.. and like our country the farmer is harassed by two neighbors.

His farm land is adjacent to a landlord’s farm which is doing well but the evil landlord wants to encroach on our poor farmers land and he does this by cutting the irrigation to the farmers land which is through a canal under his control.

The other end is a colony of monkeys that feast on the crop and destroy them. So now what does this farmer do.

Solution 1
He can agree to give away a piece of land to the landlord and work out an arrangement in which he is assured of conitunous water supply and make peace with the fact that a certain percentage of his yield will be destroyed by the troublesome monkeys. Which would mean living in degraded conditions, which is cowardice and goes against the farmer’s principles of fighting for ones rights.

Solution 2
He borrows money and erects an electric fence to combat the pesky monkeys and invests in an alternative method for irrigation. Now to implement this he must cut into his household expenses like food, clothes etc. But the farmer knows that this investment shall reap healthy benefits albeit a little later.

Now I think that equipping ourselves with arms and hi-tech weapons (which I feel should be indigenously developed rather than imported) is on the same lines as Solution 2. We basically aim to achieve territorial security by investing money in them. So once we have the missiles that have a range of 2500Km and the technology to equip these missiles with rare-earth radioactive metals I say we are fairly well placed w.r.t territorial security. And contradictory to some people’s belief I think this deterrent theory works quite efficiently. Once this basic need of territorial security is sufficed the country then becomes a safe haven for economic growth. A safe country offers more opportunity for investment both domestic and foreign and its no rocket science that capital investment in agriculture, infrastructure and manufacturing sector fuels economic growth. So war torn countries will never grow because no one wants to invest in an economy, which shall be blown into pieces on the advent of another war. So I guess it is pretty evident to any person with an average IQ that socio-economic growth can only take place when a country is secure. Hence the philosophy and ideology of implementing a nation can be put in place when a country is safe.

To assess the success of the deterrent theory let us now look at the Indian Scenario. India has fought three wars. Two with Pakistan and one with the mighty China. Out of which we have lost territory in two wars and it has crippled the once flourishing tourism industry in Jammu and Kashmir. The one war in which we were successful can be attributed to the brilliant strategy implemented by the Indian Navy. It is to be noted that the missile boats used to bomb Karachi weren’t in the best of “health”, and this quote after reading a detailed article about the same at . Now the Indian armed forces have acquired a lot of muscle power since then. The Sukhoi’s, MIGs, AGNI, Dhanush, Prithvi, Brahmos, Barrack and the technology to arm these with a nuclear war head. How many “WARS” has the country experienced since then. ZERO. Now some of you will throw their hands up in disapproval. “KARGIL” will be your reply. Well Kargil was a co-ordinated terrorist insurgency some what similar to the WTC incident its not a War. Many of us south of Srinagar or rather all of us south of Srinagar except those whose relatives were up north battling it out for us were going about our lives with the same routine. No emergency, no trouble. Now, if we were not supreme in land, air and sea Kargil could have been another 1971. Ahh.. yes one more point Indian Army was caught on the wrong foot with lack of technology. Our soldiers were not equipped with night vision and other gadgets which would have made it easy for them to wage war at night, and it could have possibly reduced loss of Indian lives. Again, we need money to invest to buy these gadgets and arms, and I feel that this is money well spent.

It must be pretty evident to everyone that I support the idea of India going nuclear and I feel it was money well spent. Yes money well spent, especially when you have a nuclear power who wants to claim control over Sikkim and has already eaten away the east of Jammu and Kashmir as your next door neighbour.

I am also proud of the fact that unlike the Sukhoi’s MIGs and the Barracks the nuclear program was indigenous and has equipped our scientists with the capability and the confidence to explore the feared… Fast breeder program, which has been abandoned by many developed nations. Now this brings me to my favorite topic ENERGY which will be addressed in Part 2 of the great comeback trilogy… so till then adios