Monday, March 29, 2010

India's nuclear policy

It has been more than a decade since India tested its nuclear capabilities and let the world know that of its desire to enter the elite club of the Nuclear Weapons States. India is still unwelcome there. Not surprisingly, Pakistan immediately imported a nuclear bomb from China and conducted a "test" of its own less than a week later. So there you go, two of the most quarrelsome neighbours in world were armed with nuclear arsenal in a matter of a few days. Not a welcome development for world peace.

However, my point is -- was India's move to go nuclear a strategic blunder?

Well, that's left to one's own opinion. But, in hindsight, I think what India did was indeed a strategic blunder. Till the day India tested those nuclear weapons (the yield is still disputed, another issue), India had a very significant upper hand over Pakistan in the conventional armament department. With an air force (sans Pakis' f16s), army (more than double theirs) and navy (though we have a ten times larger coast to guard), so advanced, everyone in the world would say then that we can run over Pakistan multiple times in no time. But then what happened when we tested and they "tested in response"? It was back to square one. India undid its hard work that it had put in in the conventional armaments department for the previous 5 decades, in one shot. Blown to bits. Now, both were nuclear armed nations. Would you strike a nuclear armed nation and risk being blown by another nuclear bomb yourselves? Can there be a war between India and Pakistan now? Who would win, who would lose? Both would lose. We might annihilate Pakistan, but if they succeed in dropping an A-bomb on say a couple of western Indian cities, can we afford that? Perhaps Bombay is more valued than the whole of Pakistan. So, with this logic, we would still lose even with a completely ravaged Pakistan.

Now, it's back to square one. No matter how strong our military is, we will still lose a war if there's one between us and the Pakis. If we had maintained a covert or no nuclear weapons at all, we would still be a nation one up on the conventional front.

It's all history now. But while I write this, I think going nuclear has advantaged us on another front. While we lost ground to Pak, we've gained the same with China. They were to us what we were to Pak on the conventional plane. Now, we are same. We both are nuclear. Can they afford a bomb on Shanghai? Nope. It's back to square one there too !! Wow !!

Well, there were some good brains working out India's strategic policy during those times, perhaps. I think Pak was a decoy while our main target was China. Masterstroke, if it actually is what I think it is. Don't know.

Good day !!


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy new year

Hi Guys,

Here we stand at the threshold of another year. One that's about the end the first decade of this new millennium. As we say good bye to 2009 and welcome 2010, it's for me to retrospect and introspect. I thank God for the good that 2009 brought to me and blame myself for the bad, because God did not bring it to me. I created them myself !!

Well, what would be one thing that I would remember 2009 for? Hmmm... among many things not so great, certain things will be remembered forever. It was a year of gadgets, of sorts. First, I got myself a good Sennheiser ear bud, in anticipation of an iPod Touch, which my brother was to get for me from USA. That's another thing. My first iPod and a fantastic one. I'm loving it. After that came my first laptop. It was a crazy decision. I didn't have the money. The only reason I bought my laptop was because my almost decade old PC in Tumkur gave up and I knew I would not have access to the virtual world that weekend in Tumkur. So, early in the week, I decided to get a laptop. I gave my dealer one day to figure out what's best for me. He failed to convince me. I got Shwetha's credit card (she didn't know why I wanted that for) and swiped a full 38k with Dell on phone. Got the laptop a few days later. It didn't come intime for my weekend in Tumkur :-( Anyway, I got one. Felt it was a bit heavy, but had to justify my hasty decision :-) Frankly, though, I'm happy with it.

Then came the big one. My first car. It has an interesting story behind it too. It was going on in the back of my mind for quite sometime. But the real trigger was when I left my good old Splendor at Shwetha's home, too lazy to pick it up late at night after a weekend with my office mates at Wayanad. I thought I'd go "tomorrow". That tomorrow ultimately happened some 3 months later. I walked, took buses, got ride from colleagues, to and from the office for all those three months. That's when I started thinking of buying a car. I went ahead with th eplan even though I got my bike back eventually. I wanted a diesel one. I knew I was going to use it a lot, for my weekend dash to Tumkur. Swift was the people's choice. But I had seen enough of those cars to be any interested in buying the one millionth piece. No, I was determined to go for a car that was not common but still very good. I concluded on the Ford Ikon, again, apparently. We already had one. So that led everyone ask me the inevitable, the question that I hated so much -- Why Ikon again? Hell, it's my money, it's my car, even if you ask, I won't give you a ride. But I knew I had made the right decision. It returns me a min of 17kmpl. I'm more than satisfied. Got to have two quick weekends, one to TN with Rohith and Pavan and the other to Amboli and Goa with Sachin and Sachin. Enjoyed a lot.

Finally, to end the year, have bought an SLR, Canon EOS 500d. It's still to reach me, but I'm it's owner already, nonetheless.

Apart from these tech stuff I had an uneventful 2009. On the work front though, this was my most hectic by a long way.

Whatever came my way, I've welcomed it. Whatever comes my way hereon in 2010, I'll welcome it. Bye bye 2009 and welcome 2010. Wish you a very happy new year friends !!

Monday, July 13, 2009

I hate you but can't ignore you. Grow up Indian media

Another weekend gone. Another tragedy witnessed. Not one but many. Two most significant - 1) around 35 policemen killed in a naxal attack in Chhattisgarh, 2) 6 metro workers die in a bridge collapse in Delhi. Observe the order in which I've put it. I have lots of respect to the metro bridge collapse dead. But which is more important? According to me, it is the naxal menace which is posing a threat to the very democratic polity that India stands for and the very principal that won us freedom - non-violence.

Why do some people think that a metro incident is more important than the tragic incident that happened in Chhattisgarh. We lost so many policemen in the tragedy. Aren't their lives valuable. To be frank, the media hasn't told me yet the final figure. I don't know if it is 35 or if it is 36 or whatever. The media doesn't care. But the death toll in Delhi "rose to 6", according to the reports that I last heard. May be the media is accurate when the toll is in single digits and it "doesn't matter" to make a few this way or that way when the death toll is in its double or triple digits.

India is the international terrorism's worst affected nations or so does one Mr. John Kerry in USA feels. But we do not seem to care much. Body bags don't affect us much. Perhaps because we are a billion strong nation and can spare a few thousands of these innocent police and army personnel to terrorism. But when the "Metro Man", E.Sreedharan resigns, that makes news. For godssake, show some sympathy to the valiant policemen that risked their lives to save other lives in Rajnandangaon (did we even know where it was before this incident?) including a brave young IPS officer, Vinod Choubey. He, like others, might have studied hard, slogging days and nights for months for his UPSC exams. He might have celebrated when he got 100 or so ranking and went into IPS. He like many others might have tried in vain not to be recruited to the police under the Chhattisgarh cadre. He was there, as an SP only to die, ignored. I am not telling that an IPS officer's life is special. I feel very bad especially when I see bodies of jawans lying in a pool of blood. Indian blood, probably, leaves no stains. That's how we forget our dead so easily and move on.


I see another incident at the same Metro site. This time cranes giving up. The media was there to cover this live. Standing there watching the drama unfold, like curious kids. Now this incident is making news. The Chhattisgarh story still hasn't got its share of the headlines yet. And by the time the media flash us their "breaking stories" till the last debris is dusted off, everyone would have forgotten about Chhattisgarh adn "moved on".

This is us. Welcome.

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Friday, January 23, 2009


After a long time, I watched a fantastic movie about India by a Britisher. It's strange how we only appreciate things written, made about us by foreigners. "Gandhi" too was made by a Britisher and we liked it more than any of the films that we did on any of our founding fathers. That's how it is. We like foreigners talking about us.

Let's come back to Slumdog Millionaire. It exposed the darker side of India, India's underbelly. We always wish to show our glittery side, the tech parks, New Delhi, nowadays Bombay's Taj. Danny Boyle exposed the other side and he didn't seem to have even a hint of hesitancy while he did that. If you watch this movie with a foreigner and if you had painted a very rosy picture about India in his mind, you would stand exposed. I bet you can't see him eye to eye. Because he will know you lied or you did not tell him about India's underbelly, deliberately.

The film shows people stand in queue to shit, the place a makeshift wooden platform with a hole. It shows orphans lured with false promises, and gruesomely blinded by crudely scooping their eyeballs with a spoon. It shows small girls dragged into prostitution.   It shows communal violence. But I, personally, did not feel bad about any of these things that the film showed, because I cannot deny any of these. All these things happen in India.  I cannot do anything but feel sorry at what is happening, to say the least. One side of India is rotting. But we successfully hide it from the world like the other side of the moon that we never get to see.

Nothing that reflects truth can offend a reasonable thinking mind. All the above instances are true, so if you get offended, you are unreasonable. You are a pseudo-reasonable. You are cheating yourselves.

However, I did not like one particular thing in the movie. It made me reconsider my decision to watch the movie. I felt like walking out of the hall. I hated the director. For I thought it was the age old British thinking molded by their observation of the behavior of their Indian coterie, their chelas. World, real India is not bad as Danny Boyle portrayed it, atleast not bad at its heart like shown in the movie.  Wondering what I'm talking about?  It's that part of the movie, the often repeated ridiculing of the "Chaiwallah".  If it was shown as someone's personal comment, I would ignore it. But the way was shown - the host of the show ridiculing Jamal because he was a "chaiwallah" and the whole audience expressing its consent by a killing giggle, is something that I couldn't accept.  On screen, it translates as something reflecting the sentiment of the public, in the movie. Well, if Boyle intended that, he's not exposing but lying. This is not India and you shouldn't amuse the world by ridiculing a nation.  When the audience and the show host laughed at the "Chaiwallah", I coudl hear the whole world laughing at India.

Apart from this, as I told you earlier, I liked everything.  The casting was apt. Dev Patel was a refreshing face.  Freida Pinto's suddenly a star.  Irrfan Khan is now the official Indian face for Hollywood.   Rahman's "Jai ho" can make the whole world dance. 

I saw a white man sitting across the aisle watching this song not even blinking his eyelids even once and with an unintended, involuntary smile on his face.  The world likes India.  Irony is, if you show the glittery side of India, its malls, metros, expressways, tech parks, the world isn't interested. It has seen better such things in the West. The world, unfortunately, seems to like to see India's underbelly, our darker side. Let's see how things change.


Sunday, January 04, 2009


Imagine a guy sitting next to you in this situation - he's just pricking you with pin, nothing major, just a pin.  You're not seriously injured nor too bruised.  It just left you with a microscopic scar.  Imagine the guy continues doing it.  Keeps on doing it.  What do you do?  You take a pin and go on pricking the guy so that he understands the agony you were undergoing?  Or do you slap him hard so that he'd never dare to prick you again?  Wouldn't the majority agree that the second is the right thing to do?  But what if you are accused of using force against him that's disproportionate to what he did to you?

This, I think, is precisely what Israel is being accused of.  Well, ok, Hamas fires crude rockets blindly across the border towards Israel, most of the times they land in empty spaces, but every now and then, they strike the homes of unwary settlers and a few of them get killed.  Well only a few, may be 4-5 a month but isn't killing 400 in a week disproportionate to having 4-5 casualities each month?  What should Israel do?

For people calling for a ceasefire and people accusing Israel of atrocities, tell me, who is to blame for what's happening?  Israel or Hamas?

Isn't it prudent to expect collateral damage if a modern army with its advanced choppers tries to attack one of the most densely populated areas in the world?  A town like Gaza?  Should Israel keep quiet fearing collateral damage?  Should Hamas consider this or try desperately to maintain its macho image?  For Hamas, backtracking would mean demeaning itself in the eyes of its supporters.  Where's the end then?  Why are Hamas and its supporters under an impression that they can defeat the mighty Israel by burning a few -little more than-crackers here and there?

Hmm... well, I do not have an answer.  I spent my weekend thinking about this and watching CNN and BBC have a busy weekend covering the story for us.  For a change, I turned to our "news channels".  Yes, they deserve to be put under quotes, I hate all of them.  They were carrying out stories on the Pashupathinath temple row (an important story, really, I'll write about it later), India crying like a baby and accusing Pak for everything, seemingly threatening posture taken by our spineless government, etc, etc, the same old boring stuff.  Indian channels do not show us international news.  The only thing that I liked in what the Indian channels were showing was the repeatedly aired ad of L'oreal hair colour featuring Penelope Cruz.  Well, it made worth my visiting these channels once in a while.  She's so cute.

Back to BBC and CNN, the "carnage" continues, UNSC fails to reach a consensus, Libya criticizes, France criticizes and aah !! guess what, even India criticizes, a point which only our channels told us, BBC or CNN wouldn't bother to even know what India's stand on the issue would be.  India is too immature and self-centered when it comes to world affairs.  We're not heard.

Hope sense prevails and Hamas's voice is subdued by the more moderate and reasonable Arab voices and an end is put to this provoked violence.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Conspiracy Theory

I think I don't believe in reality. I sometimes think reality is conspiracy. Someone is conspiring. My imagination takes me to such levels... strange. For example, today I thought Lewis was made to lose. F1 wanted to make the championship more interesting so they thought of dragging it on to the final race (however I think Lewis would eventually be made to win).

Last week I thought Indians winning the 20-20 was no performance. It was again, conspiracy. Conspiracy to win the hearts of Indians (the biggist market for cricket). To make 20-20 popular in India. (many would agree with me on this).

I think, a top person in our present government is an American mole - a US conspiracy, a ten year plan, which I think has succeeded. I feel that the US now knows in and out of India. Nuclear capabilities, military strategies, weaponaries and from now on, it'll covertly control India. Moles are strategically placed.

A decade ago as a kid, I thought Sen, Rai, Hayden becoming beauty queens was a conspiracy by western cosmetic giants. If they hadn't been beauty queens then... I dont' think l'oreal or garnier or even any fashion brands would be making millions here in India. The conspiracy was made to coincide with the "IT revolution". The west was prepared to put money in India and inturn prepared the Indians to pump money back into the west. It's all CONSPIRACY.

If its a conspiracy by god, I will take it. But it is seeming not. I won't take conspiracy by humans.

If someone can conspire, why can't I? I can. By dreaming. By working hard. Can change the world. Reminds me of Paulo Coelho. Our lives has purpose. You dream, you desire, you wish, you work hard. The whole of the universe will 'conspire' to turn it into reality.

Again, it's CONSPIRACY !!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Worst movie ever made

This one's for the worst film i've seen... for once i'm loving what rajeev masand's saying -