Posts filed under ‘Deesha’

Veering Away from Politics, Try – Word Play

As a matter of principle and in the interests of keeping my sanity, I tend to veer away from politics, especially India politics, for it is like the fatalistic song of sirens (hey, a nautical reference), or rather the cacophony of ugly fat corrupt neethi jaathi viswaasam leni neech kameene somberi bevarse haraam khor shehzade pigs (sorry, pigs) that many a sailor, or rather the illiterate ignoramuses sad excuse of sheeple called Indians has been lured to waste inexplicable inconceivable unimaginable unrecoverable amounts of time and many a ships have crashed on the never-ending jagged useless rocks of maggot poo that media tends to portrait as democracy, particularly, the cheap nautanki gutter circus called India democracy. According to Wikipedia, the Greek mythology lore on Sirens says that the song of the sirens is irresistible but since they reside beyond unpassable reefs and rocky coasts, shipwreck was a given and the sailors preyed upon by the sirens like cannibals or left on the coast without food and water to rot into stinking corpses. Either way, the allegory has a simile to India politics, or poltics in general, and is it any wonder that I try with all my wee physical and disturbed mental might to veer away?
But I suppose that boat has sailed (hey, another nautical metaphor – my mom is right, I am special and so are my teachers – I am a smart cookie after all) and so, while my boat is crashing into the rocks and am coaxed by the sweeper to MLA/MP/ZP campaigning in a beemer to vote, let me just say that am voting for change and hopefully, progress. It could be any party or candidate. I shudder to advise especially to bonafide idiots who have by and large voted time and again for a dynasty and monarchy to rule for 60+ years directly or indirectly or by proxy of this hopelessly wretched country but while I do not really care if any of you vote or not, but if you do like am going to even if its only because it is fashionable, here is a plea to vote for change and hopefully, progress and while at it, try to veer away from politics whose operative word is ‘tics’ which even animals would attest are blood sucking, disease spreading, scalp itching, skin irritating, ear infecting, greedy bloated parasites. Put any political symbolism like khadi and ticks become politicians. Ipso facto. QED.

7 May, 2014 at 14:39 Leave a comment

Ashok Inner-AAM: Rise Against Corrupt Lawyers

While discussing corruption by government, police, lawyers and courts, Neha Shah of I-Am-Aam came across an Android App for Code-for-Civil-Practice and thought it is an empowering tool when being mistreated by a government official i.e. a cool new-age Inner-AAM solution. I was not sold on it for I tend to buy the story, not the product and wondered about the people behind the app. Call it gut or instinct, but I had a feeling that whoever was behind the apps (there are a bunch by the same development team on IPC (Indian Penal Code), RTI (Right To Information), MVA (Motor Vehicle Act), JJA (Juvenile Justice Act) et al. here) must have an interesting story to tell. Being the resourceful lass that she is, Neha pursued the suggestion, accepted the challenge and dug out the app developer, Ashok Kumar Goli AKA Ashok Felix, a self-confessed patriotic Hyderabadi who is all of 25 years old and is currently the Director of Karlo Transport Private Limited and a member of EcoCabs among other things. Lets get on with the story, shall we, in his own words.

Soon after graduating in 2009, I went to Mysore for participating in the Flight Officer selections at the Air Force Selection Board (AFSB). I met candidates from all over the nation who were entirely different from me but at the same time shared the same passion that I had in our country. I got selected but didn’t join (a whole different story). Noticed that several of the potential Flight Officers were unaware of basic things that a citizen of India is supposed to know such as the Preamble to the Constitution of India, our National Pledge, etc. After returning from my medicals, I started asking my friends, relatives and colleagues if they knew these things and researching on why most of them didn’t even have a nominal idea about such important stuff regarding India. Found out it’s the lack of easily available information. Realized that change always begins from a single step and decided to take it.

Sorry to interrupt but the message here is that Ashok brought out his Inner-AAM and in the classic tradition of the Nataraja thandava, is giving abhayam to seekers of justice and trampling corrupt lawyers. A salute by this nacheez i.e. yours truly –

I immediately started working on an Android App (Note: I had no prior programming experience or knowledge of Law) and launched the very first basic "Constitution of India" android app on the Android Market (Android Play Store now). People really liked it, found it useful and started interacting with me on a daily basis through the feedback system built within the app. Most of the users were either law students, professional lawyers or judges in courts. I started getting suggestions, improvement ideas and the app eventually turned into the final version that is available in the market now. The morphing process was gradual. I started getting more and more requests for law applications as the data for the bare acts is really hard to find and harder still to categorize and understand. Based on the framework that I built for Constitution of India, I started gathering data from various government websites and through RTI. Each act took about a month to develop and publish. Began publishing apps act-wise as it’s easier for people to download, view and search through the apps. Each of these apps has the facility to search the central act library via web. Published about 20 apps and a lot more in queue.
Laws affect us all. And increasingly, bare acts are being searched for, read and used by a broad range of people. Bare acts are no longer confined to professional libraries but are considered intricate and intimidating. The apps empower people to directly access, search for and discuss the law of the land in the most simple way possible – using the smart phone. Given that my apps realize their full potential in the hands of people studying and practicing law, their aim is to provide the common man, the power and resources to look into the rules that define and build India. The main purpose of the law apps is to uncomplicate law, open it up for everyday discussion via the social features in the apps and make the information easily available offline.
Imagine a lawyer in a court being able to present his case without carrying any books and without wasting time to pin point the chapter number and section number. Imagine a judge being able to verify the arguments almost instantaneously by searching for specific content in all the laws of India, saving valuable time and speeding up the decision process. Imagine a client going to the lawyer and being able to discuss his specific issues by completely understanding the sections his issues are related to. Imagine a law student going to college/court with just his smartphone and work on it entirely. Imagine a teenage kid being able to read/watch a civil dispute in the news and cross reference the discussion. Imagine a normal person caught speeding on the road and finding out the exact fine amount when a corrupt police official demands a hefty fine. My apps give Aam-Aadmi the power to access all the information or laws that are related to him and that affect him.

Words to live by, or rather, draw by in this case. Please head over to CWorks for a visual depiction of how Ashok Inner-AAM is helping people rise against the reign of corrupt lawyers. As the old adage goes, information/knowledge is power. Indeed.

3 April, 2014 at 18:31 Leave a comment

Call for Rise of Nation of Inner-AAMs

Whenever it passes muster that I doodle, just about everybody in India or those with roots to India mention the iconic so-called Common-Man character of R.K.Laxman to which Wikipedia has the following to say:

The Common-Man is the creation of author and cartoonist R. K. Laxman. For over a half century, the Common-Man has represented hopes, aspirations, troubles and perhaps even foibles of the average Indian, through a daily comic strip, “You Said It” in The Times of India. The comic was started in 1951.

When Laxman began to draw cartoons in The Times of India, he attempted to represent different states and cultures in India. In the rush to meet deadlines, he began to draw fewer and fewer background characters, until finally he found only one remaining – the now-familiar Common-Man who generally acts as a silent witness to all the action in the comic.

Being the contrarian that I am, just about everybody in India or those with roots to India is taken aback and fall from their smugness cloud when I reveal that I really do not like the so-called Common-Man character and that while I have no reason to disrespect Laxman as a person and even admire him for his art and drawings, I do not actually respect Laxman as an author and cartoonist for he has pissed on a great opportunity and platform. Rather than inspire people by making the recurring character an agent of change, he played his part, however miniscule, making the character hapless and clueless and in so doing, conditioned people to be suffering bovines happily quipping “arre bhai, India mein aisa hi hotha hai” with an annoying and lazy “chalta hai yaar” attitude. Before everybody in India or those with roots to India thinks that this is just my opinion, Laxman has on record parroted the same thing, “The Common-Man symbolises the mute millions of India, or perhaps the whole world, a silent spectator of marching time.”
Now one could say that maybe I am looking too much into some imagery. Could be but iconography is a powerful thing which is seldom acknowledged. Discussing imagery as iconography implies a critical “reading” of imagery that often attempts to explore social and cultural values. Allow me to make an observation. If we study imagery of icons – fictional or real – we can immediately see some patterns. For the sake of simplicity, if we just compare non-religious icons of USA and India, the noticeable icons and paragons of the Western world have been superheroes fighting evil and preserving the American way of life while the icon worthy of mention in India is arguably Common-Man who is a speechless village idiot whose inaction has created a rotting, stinking, corrupt, poor, sickening, diseased, infested, horrible, broken, polluted, communal, violent, uneducated… catch the wave, stench of an excuse of a country called India. Let this vomit throw up in your mouth and sink in.
A wise man once said to me that how we want to be treated by others is dependant on us and our actions and not the largesse and manners of others. I for one feel that the Common-Man has an Inner-AAM (Angry And Mad) that is just wanting to explode and do something about the cacophony around him. Since Laxman will continue to draw the Common-Man as a damsel in distress and sell books, give speeches, get honoured etc. by the bucketload while at it, I am taking the artistic liberty of bursting the bubble and bringing out the Inner-AAM of demure character and fight the evils, worms, leeches, maggots… get the drift, of politicians, businesses, terrorism, policegiri, supersitions, rowdyism et al. in the hope it will inspire others, yes, all of you and you, the 2 readers of this blog who could very well fall under the common-man definition or an attempt towards a definition by Udit Misra, to fight –

Now, by associating myself with I Am Aam (a seller of t-shirts with a twist), I have brought out my Inner-AAM and have joined the fight to do my bit in the way I can by immortalizing the travails and adventures of Inner-AAMs across the length and breadth of India inspired by true stories. I understand that the suspense might be killing you and you want to see what it will be like and when you can see it but the key question, and perhaps the only question that should matter is, are you in? Are you going to bring out your Inner-AAM and join the fight? We’re all waiting!

P.S: Please go here at CWorks for the full-comic

27 February, 2014 at 19:26 Leave a comment

Killer Idea – Word Play

Much has been said by people more influential than your humble servant here about the power of ideas and I quote from a post by my good friend Atanu Dey

“… ideas matter. Ideas are primary. Ideas are the ultimate public good in that they are totally non-rival: my use of an idea does not diminish your capacity to use it as well. Ideas can pass from one mind to another and set up a chain reaction that has the power to transform the world. Everything that you see around you – the good, the bad, the ugly – everything was just an idea …”

But be careful folks for there are ideas and then there are dangerous killer ideas –

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12 August, 2011 at 16:03 Leave a comment

Pakistan Mulls over $5M Flood Relief Aid from India

I have commented elsewhere that India giving aid to other countries is like a leper giving his alms to a beggar who is down on her luck. It is funny and sad at the same time. However, given that the floods in Pakistan is a bonafide natural disaster (from web of course), the $5M relief package that India wants to give to Pakistan is applaudable. This is a tiny pittance compared to the money spent on newspaper ads on the eve of loser dead prime-minister Rajiv Gandhi birthday (or some other major event as per Congress diktat) and generous compared to the package being given to Leh but it is applaudable nonetheless. Now a country that is battered down and a wretched beggar should not be a chooser but that is exactly what Pakistan is doing by declining the aid package on grounds of vanity without consideration that it can be of some small help (negligible really after due corruption and bureaucracy) in saving human lives. Just goes to show how invaluable and insignificant life is in 3rd world countries. Wait, is it the other way around? You are a 3rd world country if you do not diplomatically accept money from another poverty infested country for the sake of some idiotic stupid nationalistic jingoist hate-mongering pride at the cost of lives of your own citizens. That sounds about right and a cartoon is in order –

Yep! India which is itself on a sinking ship is trying to save an adamant Pakistan which is not budging even when its master, the USA has spoken and Obama is urging. Funny thing here is that the really sad thing about all this is inspite of all the silliness, Pakistan as a failed country still performs better than India and others in many UN human development metrics. Here is evidence. Twisted and scary, innit?

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24 August, 2010 at 17:41 Leave a comment

Writing on Wall – Word Play – Hiatus Scusi

Wow! It is almost 6 months since the last post. Trying to bootstrap techno-socio-economic research in agricultural advisory to kindle rural economies, replacing old HP all-in-one with new (well, relatively) Epson printer-scanner-copier etc. Lame excuses really with parade of usual suspects of obvious reasons that any blog reader worth his/her salt sees the writing on the wall for such sporadicity I guess…

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28 June, 2010 at 22:26 Leave a comment

Mistakes in Causal Direction – GDP and Education

Filip Spagnoli on Politics Arts Philosophy (P.A.P) Blog on Human Rights, illustrates “Mistakes in Direction of Causation” with a couple of cartoons and old bunch of intriguing examples that proves lies, damned lies and statistics idiom somewhat.

When you find a correlation between two phenomena, you’re tempted to conclude there’s a causal relation as well. The problem is that this causal relation – if it exists at all – can go either way. It’s a common mistake – or fraud – to choose one direction of causation and forget that the real causal link can go the other way, or both ways at the same time and space. Or not.

    We often think that people who like violent video games are more likely to show violent behavior because they are incited by the games to copy the violence that’s featured in these games. But can it not be that people who are more prone to violence are more fond of violent video games? We choose a direction of causation that fits with our pre-existing beliefs. Another widely shared belief is that uninformed and illiterate voters will destroy democracy, or at least diminish its value. No one seems to ask the question whether it’s not a diminished form of democracy that renders citizens apathetic and uninformed. Maybe a full or deep democracy can encourage citizens to participate and become more knowledgeable through participation. A classic example is the correlation between education levels and GDP. Do countries with higher education levels experience more economic growth because of the education levels of their citizens? Or is it that richer countries can afford to spend more on education and hence have better educated citizens? Maybe both. Or perhaps it is just old boy Pareto Law. Or simply, random twist of fate.

    Bakes your noodles, no? These are chicken-egg problems and hence, solvable.

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    8 December, 2009 at 13:47 Leave a comment

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