Climate Change Bollywood ishtyle

Kyoto Protocol
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Let’s use the standard Hindi movie formula of circa 1980 to script our earth’s climate story. Enter Superstar  US. The virtuous, street smart, Robin Hood inspired protagonist of our story, replete with his coterie of jazz dancers. And then there’s the poor guy, India. Always trying to emulate the “hero” and competing with him for the “herione’s” attention in college settings. Let’s throw in some masala – subplots, love triangles and the very popular song and dance sequences – with the extras doing their own thing while they dance in the third row.

Quick Gun Murugan

Now compare this with whatever we’ve been seeing in the Climate Change discussions. See the script accurately playing itself out? (Nobody seems to want to ask mother Earth for her point of view). Call it clairvoyance or just plain sensitivity, some of us have been seeing it coming since the mid nineties. Even we couldn’t have guessed the speed of deterioration, although fully knowing the bounty hunter tendencies of the US, we should have been able to. Easily. Shame on us!

Some simple facts from Prem Shankar Jha’s Tehelka article, An Earth On Edge.

1. Till as recently as five years ago, abrupt climate change was on the unthinkable fringe of possibilities predicted by climate scientists. In March 2009, 2,500 scientists from 80 countries assembled at the International Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen. The congress concluded that the findings of the IPCC were out of date. The evidence collected since its fourth report was compiled showed that global warming was ceasing to be human-induced and was becoming self-reinforcing. Continue reading “Climate Change Bollywood ishtyle”

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A Matter Of Trust

Arun Maira’s dissection of the current economic world state and a clear message to focus on sustainable strategies based on ethical values.

Like Arjun on the battlefield at Kurukshetra who asked Krishna a moral question, not advice on how to fight the battle, business leaders fighting the recession must also ask what they must change in their approach to business to regain society’s trust if they want more freedom in future. Therefore, corporate boards should introspect from time to time about the values that guide their decisions.

via TOP ARTICLE | A Matter Of Trust-Editorial-Opinion-The Times of India.

Cynicism 101 – Does India need Facebook?

I know nothing about sex because I was always married. – Zsa Zsa Gabor

With due respect – and with a slight twist while keeping the flavour: 

We know everything about social networking because we were never social.

I’d like to dedicate my quote to all social networking initiatives, sites, professionals and users. (And by the way, I too have memberships of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn).

First, a bunch of disclaimers:
1. If it creates controversy, great. It is meant to. If it provokes your intelligence and emotions; and punctures your ego, my job is done. It is intended to.
2. I have no intention here to suggest ‘mine-is-better-than-yours’ OR that Indian culture is any better than others.
3. This is not a patriotic or a political rambling. So please read between the lines. (If you read only with your eyes, white space is all you’ll see).
4. This post is an ‘equal opportunity, equal responsibility’ piece. Me included.

My thesis is simple. India does NOT need Facebook.   Continue reading “Cynicism 101 – Does India need Facebook?”

Raju, How could you?

Satyamev Jayate  (Sanskrit: “Truth Alone Triumphs”) is purportedly the foundation stone of India’s value systems. The Indian newspapers have been indulging in wordplay about how Satyam means not ‘truth’ but lies. Like every other scam, this too shall die out of public memory and that’s no surprise. What is surprising is that while we keep touting the need for innovation, we’ll do exactly the opposite in Satyam’s case and in every such future occurence.

First let’s look at some ‘facts’.

1. We are expected to believe (media plays Government spokesperson here) that one man is responsible for the Satyam scam and that he kept at it for 7 years without being found out. Yeah! We believe you!

2. The Indian business environment (read regulatory frameworks) encourages entrepreneurship and officials are above board. Corruption is the fault of the citizen and not the government. Yeah! We’re wet behind our ears. 

3. The 53,000 employees of one of India’s IT powerhouses does not have even 3 employees that can be elevated to the Board and we need the Government to appoint some ‘untainted’ officers. Yeah! See what happened to Colin Powell?

4. If the Indian Government does not follow the leader (read US Government) by bailing out the company, employees will be on the streets. Yeah! Sure, the company was paying its salaries on receipt of monthly payments from their customers.

5. Statutory auditors are supposed to sign on Company results based on the Chairman’s statement and are not meant to independently verify the accounts. Yeah! Capitalistic businesses will protect the interests of the guys who pays most and therefore they would defintely find private players more attractive to side with.

The truth could be that there are several ‘powerful’ vested interests locked into the company. How many hand-in-glovers are involved in the scam is something I think will unfurl in the weeks/months ahead.

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Innovation 101 – How much is too much?

Last night my daughter asked me to get her a new cellphone. I found myself using Oscar Wilde’s cynicism against her – “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” – little realising that I myself had fallen prey to the ‘glamour’ of new technology quite mindlessly over the past few years.

<cut to next thought>————————————————————-

I was drawn to this hilarious quote from the funny guy, Leslie Nielsen, and then started to see it as Continue reading “Innovation 101 – How much is too much?”