Saturday, 23 July 2011

Arindam Chaudhuri -india-today-tomorrow

[June, 2011] 
The modern day Jalianwala Bagh at Ramlila Grounds shows the demonic attitude of the government, the weak spine of the opposition and the hypocrisy of the media towards Bharat!

My question is, are we living in a democracy or in a shamelessly unapologetic dictatorial regime? Has the government finally lost it totally? Or do they believe that the people of the country are so foolish that they will quietly accept any amount of dictatorship and vote them to power again in 2014? Is there absolutely no learning from DMK’s huge loss in Tamil Nadu where it virtually controlled the media and yet people kicked them out? What happened on June 4th, 2011, is an absolute blot on the Indian democracy. There is absolutely no exaggeration when people compare the incidents of the day to Emergency or the Jalianwala Bagh Massacre. June 4th is the 2011 equivalent of both. Today, one doesn’t need to shove people inside a well and fire. Going in the midst of sleeping protesters – men, women and children – beating them up and taking the huge risk of a possible stampede and fire that could have killed thousands, is Jalianwala Bagh. And this stinks of the thought process that went behind the Emergency.

Baba Ramdev has mostly raised very, very pertinent issues of national concern. From asking the government to ban the thousand rupee note (since that makes it ten times easier to hoard black money than hundred rupee notes; a reason why countries like the USA or UK have the hundred dollar bill as the highest denominator for their currency) to asking the government to bring back the 1.4 trillion dollars stashed away in Swiss banks (India is the country with the largest pile of black money stashed abroad, the second being Russia with $400 billion, followed by UK, Ukraine and China at the fifth place with $96 billion), the man is perhaps the only mass leader of the nation with a nationwide followership and someone whose remedies have benefited millions of Indians for real – and they literally swear by him. There have also been murmurs about RSS’ growing proximity with the Baba in the wake of its dissatisfaction with the BJP. Naturally, the government had reasons to be scared. Mighty scared; especially with the civil societies around the world in a mood for uprisings. So, to crush the mass movement that he was creating, they did what was unthinkable in Indian democracy, and that too in the capital of the country. The government actions are now a clear indication that this government has turned demonic and is losing legitimacy to run the country with every passing day.

The incident also proves how spineless the opposition parties, especially the BJP, has become. A strong opposition would have and should have brought this country to a standstill till the Prime Minister tendered his resignation on moral grounds or at the least apologized for his demonic actions. A strong opposition would not have allowed the PM to say shamelessly that the police action was inevitable, or allowed Rahul Gandhi to make statements that the Congress would not allow such protests! What a joke in the world’s so called largest democracy. It is time that BJP leaders stop the infighting and show the government its place. Had they seized this or the countless other opportunities this government has been providing systematically, they would have been assured of a return to power. Not that it won’t happen, but it looks now that if such a return to power happens, it wouldn’t be so much because of the BJP but more despite the BJP.

It is sad and shameful that the Supreme Court of India, instead of giving a 24 hour notice to the government to explain its actions against Baba Ramdev, and taking a stern action thereafter, gave a shocking 14 day notice to the government to file a reply on the happenings. The government got enough time for manipulations and passing the buck! But worse perhaps is the clear divide between ‘Bharat’ and ‘India’ that came across during this event. The government wouldn’t have dared to take such an action as they did had the crowd consisted of middle class and upper middle class people. They had this audacity because the people who were there with Baba Ramdev represented the hapless and poorer sections of the country. Even the media followed the same thought process, despite the fact that a majority in the media are from the so called Bharat. When the Anna Hazare movement happened. there were designer dress-clad Delhites out there to support him; and the media was going gaga. When the same common man, the man who represents Bharat, took to the streets for the sake of Baba Ramdev, the same media was looking at the movement with suspicion and question marks.

Finally, I just want to say that we live in a country that is proud – and often criticized – to have inherited its Constitution, laws and democratic framework from the British; yet, it’s astonishing that one of the greatest virtues of the British democracy is missing! You enter London’s Hyde Park and the Parliament area and you see all kinds of protesters sitting all around doing all kinds of demonstrations! In New Delhi today, if one wants to protest, he is being denied a place! This is unbelievable! In the land of Gandhi, people who want to protest peacefully are being thrashed mercilessly and made ‘tadipaars’! This is not the democracy that Gandhi dreamt of. In simple words, it is the shameful and unapologetic dictatorship of the sycophants. And it must end. 
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Arindam Chaudhuri - Management Guru

Management education as a term has been defined, redefined and today it is being ill-defined. It's common knowledge that management education can be imparted after doing graduation in any stream, be it history, geography, economics, biology, engineering etc. The most important aspect of the above fact is that management is not that well developed a stream for which one has to spend years of education (5 years or more). What I mean is if one wants to do Masters in Geography, he necessary has to have a bachelors Degree in Geography and the same is with physics, economics, and all other streams of higher education. This is so as all these streams are very well developed and therefore to understand a Masters level theory for micro biology for example requires a perfect understanding of all the  graduation level theories of the same subject. All the other fields of post graduate studies are post graduate in nature because of the higher level of technicalities and theories in them.

What I am trying to drive towards is the non challengeable fact that management as a stream of studies is more hype than content. Infact, after a certain point its actually not possible to develop it any further. That is why today, famous management experts, international management gurus as well as the top management consulting firms in a last ditch effort are trying to come out with newer models which at best border between being silly and at worst being ridiculous. The same theories are today being reformulated with different and more complicated jargons and new circles, triangles, and rectangles added in the same model. English is a beautiful language. From Hallmark to Archies, they all make millions out of this language by putting the same words like "I love you" in millions of different ways in their cards in an effort to produce emotions in their printing factories. Today's management consulting firms and experts are trying to use the same to keep their profession alive.

Anyway coming back to where we were, the fact is management is no nuclear physics for which a very high IQ is required nor is it so technical that only IIT and other top engineering graduates can only understand it. This time I am trying to drive towards the fact that the enormously tough entrance tests for MBA education is absolutely unwarranted and unnecessary. Neither has the level of input imparted got anything to do with it (my point about history to engineering students being offered MBA) nor has the nature of application of the subject. Infact the realization today is that people with more EQ (Emotional Quotient) are definitely better material for a successful manager than those with higher IQ who could definitely do the country some good working in the R&D labs for which the government invests so much on them rather than nurturing ambitions of becoming MBAs and then eventually leaving the country as well.....
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Thursday, November 18, 2010
Of course some realise their mistake and attempt mid-course correction – Mercedes (now following lower price high volume strategy), Star bouquet of channels (which is regaining its number one position through revamped programming and positioning, after it had lost to Colors), Coke (which realised that every experiment to undermine Thums Up was actually benefiting Pepsi more than Coke), and many others.

So, let complacency not consume your brand. You may not get a second chance to regain lost ground.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

We had reached Venice. From Venice’s Marco Polo airport, we hopped into a water taxi that wound its way towards the Venetian lagoon and as the arches and canals of Venice drew closer, I went and stood by boat’s and prow, soaking in the spray and taking in the vistas. As the famed canals and villas of Venice closed in, I glanced to my left and saw a lonely island drifting by. Tall cypresses stood silently, imprisoned by a boundary-wall that surrounded the island. I asked the boatman, a young man in a baseball cap, about the island but he did not respond. I thought he hadn’t heard me over the din of the motor-boat engine but before I could complete the question a second time, he replied “Cemetery! The dead of Venice are here.” Separated from the bright lights of Venezia by a tongue of water, this island, like a bolt of lightning on a dark night, illuminated a terrible legend that was lost in the recesses of my mind - a forgotten tale of another Venetian island where horrible things had happened. It was the dark side of Venice that I’d forgotten about…“Is this… er… the haunted island?” I asked. The boatman turned, looked at me, blinked and said,“ No… it’s the cemetery.” Then he was quiet. A few awkward minutes passed and then as he navigated the boat into a canal that ran into the city, he said “Poveglia! …That’s haunted!”

Can we see it? Is it nearby? But Pierro, our boatman, shook his head. “No one’s allowed there… not us, not tourists…”. We reached the hotel. My friends picked up our bags and got off the boat. As I too was about to get on to the pier, he motioned for me to stop and moved the boat into open waters. We headed south, south-west, alongside the setting sun, glowing like a portal into another world. The boat stopped.

“Can’t go closer…”He pointed towards the horizon… “There’s Poveglia!” I strained at the horizon but couldn’t see........

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

If, for some masochistic reason, you happen to have read more than one of these weekly columns I drag and wrench out of my reluctant laptop, you’d know that I’m an absolute sucker for miracle-tales. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years in dusty libraries pouring over crumbly sepia-tinged, dog-eared pages and websites that promise to reveal ‘the secrets of energy and ecstasy’, loo King for tangible evidence of a claimed miracle. And I’ve seen glimpses… a shadow here, a silhouette there, but nothing more that I could touch, tell and know. I’ve trudged through the proverbial deserts and valleys, and desolate forts, and waited by the banks of unnamed rivers in forgotten forests in search of a promised sign or a whispered legend, and heard a lot, but saw very little.
But this story is about a man who, it is said, performed a miracle a day. I’d hoped to learn from him someday, for it is also said, that all who’ve learnt from him are often good enough to repeat his miracles. But this meeting will have to wait for another time and world for he breathed his last two months ago, on the 19th of May. He was 91. Many were surprised that he died so early, for those who knew him believed he would only die when he grew tired of living, and he didn’t seem tired at all. But it wasn’t to be. He wasn’t a God… just a super man. His name was Koichi Tohei and this is not his obituary. Well, for starters, it’s a little too late to pen one, but more importantly, this ought to be a celebration of the life he lived, the examples he set and the path he blazed…..

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ESO - eso1125 - A Cosmic Superbubble

20 July 2011

ESO’s Very Large Telescope captured this striking view of the nebula around the star cluster NGC 1929 within the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way. A colossal example of what astronomers call a superbubble dominates this stellar nursery. It is being carved by the winds from bright young stars and the shockwaves from supernova explosions.

The Large Magellanic Cloud is a small neighbouring galaxy to the Milky Way. It contains many regions where clouds of gas and dust are forming new stars. One such region, surrounding the star cluster NGC 1929, is shown in close-up in this new image from ESO’s Very Large Telescope. This nebula is officially known as LHA 120–N 44, or just N 44 for short. Hot young stars in NGC 1929 are emitting intense ultraviolet light and causing the gas to glow. This effect highlights the aptly-named superbubble, a vast shell of material around 325 by 250 light-years across. For comparison, the nearest star to our Sun is just over four light-years distant.

The N 44 superbubble has been produced by the combination of two processes. Firstly, stellar winds — streams of charged particles from the very hot and massive stars in the central cluster — cleared out the central region. Then massive cluster stars exploded as supernovae creating shockwaves and pushing the gas out further to form the glowing bubble.

Although the superbubble is shaped by destructive forces, new stars are forming around the edges where the gas is being compressed. Like recycling on a cosmic scale, this next generation of stars will breathe fresh life into NGC 1929.

The image was created by ESO from observational data identified by Manu Mejias, from Argentina , who participated in ESO’s Hidden Treasures 2010 astrophotography competition. The competition was organised by ESO in October–November 2010, for everyone who enjoys making beautiful images of the night sky using astronomical data obtained using professional telescopes.

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