Random Thoughts of Trib

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SME, RISK AND TRADING SYSTEMS, PhD [Operations Research]. I had interesting journey from small pahadi town in Uttrakhand to today (probably inspired by Phanisher Nath “Renu”’s Atho Ghumkaddo zigyasa), both in space and in time. The journey has made me a queer mix of contradictory extremes (points). I am caught up between and swing from one extreme to other, striking balance between Small town values and Big City Values, between experiences of bought up in socialistic environment and working in capitalistic environment (reaping benefits of!!), between Hindi medium schooling and English medium higher studies, between ease in connecting to small town values and issues and big city mores and list goes on…

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lotus Lantern Festival, Seoul

Every city has ability to surprise you and endear itself. My stay in Seoul ends this week. After a Harsh winter, Seoul, the soul of Asia, presents Lotus lantern festival. Some Snaps...

I was surprised at finding Dr Ambedkar in one of the lanterns !!! Check out which one

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I have access to 3 Hindi channels in my hotel room in Seoul, Z Music, Z Smile, and Sahara Uttar Pradesh(UP) Uttrakhand(UK). Being born and brought up in UK(UP in our days), I watch Sahara(Hindi) to catch up with local news in UP and UK. As a north Indian worth my salt, I am catching up with election news by watching English news channels as well as Sahara. Sahara doest not match English language channels either in sophistication or in articulation. But what Sahara succeeds is in connecting to real India. The media in India has clear division between real India(call it Hindustan) and India of people living in big and modern cities. The Hindustan, representing 70% of Indians, lives in small towns and villages, while India, representing 30% of Indians lives in cities. Lets us face it, in spite of buzz around India growing 70% of the Indians lack basic amenities. So, as you watch the debates and discussion in sophisticated media and compare it with naked realities of Hindustatan, you perceive disconnect. The one media seems hell-bent on passing their views (or bytes) while what we should be interested in is their news. One can see complete disregard for the issues pertaining Hindustan. Also, expert comments on candidates and politics of Hindustan, which given disconnect, doest make sense. Some of them have hard time swallowing many candidates, as they don’t match their expectations of sophistication. But logically 80% of the parliament should be represented by people from small towns and villages. Unlike sophisticated media, Sahara and BBC connect to 80% of population so they are more popular and trusted in Hindustan. Both reach out to Hindustan, I see debates organized by Sahara in towns like Hardoi, Sitapur, and Robarts Ganj (most of us in city don’t know these places exist!!). These debates may seem average in presentation and articulation but they are heavy on content. They touch on real issues and give the common man a platform to voice his opinion. Unfortunately articulation is taken as a measure of ability in India.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Why we need Mayawati to do well in this Election

Surprised by the title? Bound to be, I was myself surprised before the idea really sank in my head. It came as a flash and once I started analyzing it, I thought why not it makes perfect sense and it’s logical. Let’s analyze it critically. Bahujan Samaj Party started as savior of downtrodden people. It mobilized, organized and united the bahujan samaj under one umbrella of blue elephant and eventually became a power to reckon with. But like every idea or product it hit the barrier where each idea and product has to reinvent itself to grow. Mayawati became a powerful leader in UP but not powerful enough to run the state alone, she always needed support. So, what ensues is, often termed as social reengineering, she joined hands with upper caste Brahmins to take absolute majority in UP. It’s ironic that Mayawati eventually became leader of bahu jan samaj rather than bahujan (low caste) samaj, but its perfectly logical. Now how it is logical? If we look back and analyze our evolution we always choose the rational option in a situation [game] (preferably a choice that ends in the NASH equilibrium (assuming it exists)) which was economically beneficial to us. Yeah it can be argued that moral, social, and political bents influenced the choices in short run but in the long run we returned to the mean (i.e. choose economically beneficial options). The eye popping or hard do digest part is some times these choices can be out of characteristic to how world around the decision maker perceives decision maker ( now this explains the surprise at title)

How the rise of Mayawati is beneficial to us? Mayawati’s ambition, like every politician worth his salt, is to become Prime Minister of India. Next road block she faces in pursuit of her ambition is, how with a party who has base in handful of states she can become a prime minister. She has two options: one, start working in the direction of increasing the base of her party; other, become very strong in hindi speaking states and wait for hung parliament. In both options she will have to choose the options which will make her more accommodating and cosmopolitan. Therein lies good news for us; by growing as a politician she offers a real third front to India which is neither too leftist nor too rightist. We need someone at top who acts like baniya, free of historical baggage, free of feudal mindset, and who has worked her/his way up. I can see questions regarding her credentials for the post of PM. I think as long as she is able to build a good team she would do all right. Prime example is Lalu; Lalu is only Indian politician invited by Ivy league Management Schools for management lessons. The real guy behind turnaround of Indian railway is one smart bureaucrat with a bit of Revenue Management. Other example is from my personal experience. I hail form a rural Himalyan village in Kumaon hills. In my village we had a primary school founded in year 1885. We were fighting to make it a high school for 50 years after independence. In two months of her reign as CM Maywati made it a Inter College. My point here is if you are free of baggage decision making is quick and that’s what we need.