“Growing intolerance”, and why Congress loves it

Indian National Congress, the grand old party of India, suffered its worst ever electoral defeat in May 2014. Reduced to 44 seats, it was staring at a risk of being pushed to the margins if immediate corrective steps were not taken.

The reasons for its defeat were pretty obvious – corruption charges, anti-incumbency, lackadaisical leadership of Rahul Gandhi, and Modi wave.

However, if you analyze them as a pragmatist, these reasons don’t warrant any “corrective” step. They are transient in nature. For example, Congress could simply shrug them off with the following responses, and the party won’t really be wrong: Continue reading“Growing intolerance”, and why Congress loves it

BJP’s back to back defeats in Delhi and Bihar – no lessons learnt

Bihar assembly election results are out. BJP has lost the second assembly election in a row.

Coincidentally I was in Bihar in February early this year to attend my brother’s wedding when the first defeat – in Delhi assembly elections – had taken place. I had written about BJP losing Delhi elections then.

Based on what I witnessed and experienced during my trip in February, I felt, before the Delhi results were announced, that the BJP was more likely to lose Bihar than Delhi.
Continue readingBJP’s back to back defeats in Delhi and Bihar – no lessons learnt

Reservation for Patels – what it shows about our politics and society

A 21-year-old guy named Hardik Patel hogged headlines in the mainstream media and trended on social media today. He addressed a rally that was reportedly attended by over 4 lakhs Patels – who wanted to be declared “backward”.

This guy is demanding that Patels – who are traditionally considered socially and politically ahead of other castes in Gujarat – should be included in the list of OBCs and given the benefits of the reservation policy.

The demand sounds like trolling, but since it is taking place in the offline world, it’s some serious business. And when it comes to reservations, it’s always serious business in India.

Reservations are about politics and are about society.

Let’s first talk about the politics. Continue readingReservation for Patels – what it shows about our politics and society

A dummy’s guide to understanding Net Neutrality and issues around it

It’s almost certain that most of you have not only heard about the term “Net Neutrality” but also support the cause. Most certainly you have also gone through various articles explaining the issue, including a video by AIB that is being talked about by everyone in the mainstream media.

The video by AIB makes an analogy where a person is asked to pay different prices for different rides in a park. This is termed unfair and akin to violation of network neutrality. However, if you’ve gone to an amusement park, that’s exactly how it operates.

That might make some people wonder if Net Neutrality is unfair to private businesses, for what is already happening in an amusement park is being termed wrong when replicated in the digital world.

To the credit of AIB, it’s never easy to come up with a perfect analogy. They have done enough to spread the awareness, and this article is an attempt to complement their effort by using a different analogy, which I believe is nearer to how it is in the virtual world.
Continue readingA dummy’s guide to understanding Net Neutrality and issues around it

Why journalists hate trolls

At the outset, let me make it clear that I’m making a distinction between what is being labeled as “trolling” and criminal online behavior such as cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, hate-mongering, etc. However, this distinction is NOT made by a league of critics (most of them journalists) who are on a mission to purge the social media by launching a War On Trolling, much like Junior Bush launched War On Terror and declared that “if you are not with us, you are with the terrorists”.

In that case, I’m with the trolls (as defined by them). Continue readingWhy journalists hate trolls