Thursday, December 30, 2010

Is Saleh an option to Karzai?

I accidentally watched Amrullah Saleh's talk on C-span and suddenly I see new hopes emerging in Afghanistan. I was impressed so much so that I googled him and read a few articles. What I decipher is he is neither a Madarsa going blind jihadi type nor is he an absolute pro-US face. He is an educated person and has a high understanding of Afghan problem and seem to have clear view of its solution. At least he says true things as they are. No politics no gimmicks. That said where is he going? US is utterly unhappy about Karzai. Karzai's recent pro-Pak decisions has alienated Indian interests and an increasingly powerful Taliban is crying for a change. A change that is deep rooted. In Saleh I see a Man who is intelligent and a leader with followings in grassroots. He seems to understand the problem better than US and NATO. With US (In Obama) and Europe now beginning to acknowledge its displeasure with Pakistani efforts they need a tough actor in its backyard. Someone who could also be a face saver for western powers upon their exit. With Saleh's experience being a Spy-master he is not one who would be as concerned about his survivability as Karzai is today. So I don't know what the big game would be but I am pleased to see new young and confident leaders emerging in Afghanistan.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Best and worst of e-newspapers

I read a few news papers and here is my list of my reading pleasure ranking:

Rank (1): - Simple and easy. News are mostly latest. Even though it does have a tendency to lean towards RSS/BJP ideologies but the newspapers simplicity is its greatest strengths. Providing yahoo like email service is an icing on the cake.

Rank (2): - One place to find the latest relevant happenings around the world. News you can call impartial and believable filled with quality English. News are easy to traverse through. A site I can trust with authentic news.

Rank (3): - Believe it or not, yahoo provides better news reading experience than many news channels and it is not even a news channel.

Rank (4): - If you have to check the hottest news flash it is difficult to beat CNN.

Rank (5): - I wanted to rank this last because of its poor reading experience. Unwanted advertisement flashing up over the news you are just starting to read is such an annoyance. It is the worst e-newspaper down right. Whoever leads it has made sure it looks totally non-professional some cheap ad-driven channel. That said still not ranked last because its better news coverage of India and Indian cities. City news are easy to find and can be reached without scrolling the page.

Rank (6): - Definitely a better reading experience than timesofindia but still the way news are arranged makes it difficult to traverse through what I am looking for. Many good news articles can not be reached without scrolling down. News content is not remarkable but does stay latest and literary articles are mostly worthless.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wifey in the front row of a music concert

As she continues to be a classical music fanatic (only if you could recognize her):

Monday, December 13, 2010

Migrants cause increase in crime. Hold on!

My dream to work in a research organization took me to a job in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. I never felt more UPian than when I used to catch a train back to Lucknow. I still remember horrific scenes at railway platforms. Direct trains from Ahmedabad to UP neither got any respect nor did its passengers. I used to rent a place in Gandhinagar - a relatively clean and an organized city. I once heard someone complain of increase in theft since the influx of migrant laborers from UP and Bihar. No it was not a Police report but one native's perceptions. BTW, during those days we also used to see roadside colonies of native tribes that even some of my Gujarati friends were skeptical of. Safety is a major social concern and migrants often bear the brunt. All my friends from UP and Bihar were Engineers and Scientists some with degrees from USA. I could have trusted them with my wallet full of cash. As I could not afford flight tickets I traveled by trains where I met regular hard working families. People who were more concerned of the money they saved and taking it back than stealing someone else's. Even though I did not travel in general compartments but the train itself used to make me feel a migrant laborer. I have never stolen a thing.
Then one day I decided to migrate again. Mumbai consulate had a huge line waiting to get Visas to US. I was astonished to find that the majority names ended up in Patels. Gujarati is a hard working community and mostly business owners in United States. Likewise laborers from UP and Bihar is a hard working lot. Migrants chase a better life. A life that is safer and prosperous for their children. Be it leaving stark poverty of eastern UP or a dream to own a motel and restaurants in United States. There are and will always be gray elements in any part of the world. The recent economic depression has proved bigger thieves in white collars than those sweaty laborers. Migrants don't increase crime, they increase competition.

PS: The blog is in response to Chidambaram's derogatory remarks against migrant workers in Delhi. I used Gujaratis to showcase a trend and my experiences from the days I worked in Ahmedabad.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

पीने वालों के लिए इक शेर

लगी है लत यूँ शराब पीने की,
मौत भी लग रही तम्मना मुझे जीने की।
क्या गिला जो गलता शरीर इसे पीने से?
बढ़ाये धड़कने जब ये हमारे सीने की।

Monday, December 06, 2010

WikiLeaks - Is it worth the commotion

There are certain things that get more attention and importance more you give it to them. Is wikileaks telling whats "aha new"? Oh no! Pakistan is an arch enemy of India and Chinese are covertly using it against India - Is this a revelation needed from wikileaks? Biggest fundings for Taliban and Qaeda comes from Saudi Arabia - hmm! Where were those 19 hijackers came from, does anyone remember? Even many Iranians don't like the Ahmedinazad's regime - what would be new if Saudis don't either? Extrajudicial killings in Iraq - sad and needed to be stopped but who would have not thought it happens when armies are engaged. Karzai's government is corrupt the elections were rigged. So? Is US going to leave Afghanistan over it? Is there a credible alternative to that? What wikileaks is telling the world that any astute political analyst would already know or have guessed. Yeah the leaks would have been if US helping Iran to counter Israel! Yeah that would be a real shattering leak. So if you don't have anything that is not already kind of known then change its name to wikireminders.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Internet vs Book

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Program on BalKrishna Sharma Naveen

So if you happen to listen to All India Radio, Lucknow station do not forget to listen to on Dec'8th 2010.