Friday, March 31, 2006

Sikkim to become another Switzerland'

Sikkim to become another Switzerland

Sikkim.. Wow what a place. I visited there in 2001 and was deeply exalted with the landscape there. I found it even better than what I saw in Kashmir when I went there in 2000. But since I went to both place in different seasons, a comparison would be unfair and unnecessary.

But what made me feel Sikkim better than Kashmir ? Probably one of the reason is that since I went to Kashmir just after the Kargil war, I was frightened to my guts. And in that insecurity complex, I did not interacted much with locals there and preferred to stay always in eyesight of BSF or army's patrol. Also as out tour guide told me that as an environmental effect of Kargil war, the snowfall was less and at places it even had a black snowfall.

Anyway.. Coming to Sikkim, wonderful people, and since the place is not very commercially (wrt tourist) developed, the locals treated us more like guests rather than commercial opportunity. Also the most beautiful sight was the houses of locals. They were build on hilly terrain and ever house had a cute window with curtains. Probably that's their way to keep their house warm but that was awesome to see.

The ride from gangtok to Tsangu lake was a true delight. Since it was also the way to Nathula mountain Pass which is our border with China, there were many military camps scattered on the way in between the green clad mountains. Also there was fresh snowfall the night before, which augmented the beauty. And was the Tsangu lake. What treat was it, the last surrounded by two hills, one fully snow clad and other fully green. The sun was the architect of this colorful landscape.

Other than it there were lot of Buddhist monasteries adding spirituality in the mountains. It provided a inner clam when in one of the monastery with lots of flags written with some religious script.

Sikkim is my favorite place on earth among all I have seen. Let me check out the Lord Of the Rings mountains of New Zealand and the Swiss Alps and I will update my list.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Tendulkar booed out at homeground

Tendulkar booed out at homeground

Does it mean the end of Sachin Tendulkar ?

He is the only one who has to make the choice or go down in history through the painful Ganguly street.

We have all seen Sachin as (6+4)Dulkar but he is no more that and he should acknowledge it. When the lion is old and loose his teeth, what he do ? Wait for death or make a glory for fighting it? I would choose second. What would Sachin choose?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Times of Mind - Open The Borders

Times of Mind - Open The Borders

I very much agree with views of Subroto Bagchi that India should open its borders for talented people from neighboring countries. Apart from supplying a good talent, this step will work more towards making India as a regional power. Our neighbors would be lured to be a part of our success story rather than envy it and try to sabotage it.

Though critics may talk about Indians who are un-employed and foreign nationals taking away their jobs, but I think this fears are not profound with reality. Actually there is a big shortage of talented people in IT / ITES sector and this change would be welcomed by whole Indian industry. Also a confluence of regional talent would do more good for our industry to climb up the global value chain.

Another opposition to this idea may come from the argument that we would be raising competition for ourselves as the foreign nationals will return back to their countries and start out on their own taking away our business. Well this is a fact of life. Why do we crib to US to increase their visa quotas. But I think competition is always beneficial to bring out best in us. And such a productive competition should be very much encouraged than a arms or nuclear weapons race. Its a race to top and not to bottom.

Any fears on national security to allow professionals from neighboring countries should not be great concern as there are already a large number of illegal occupants. Those are the people who stay in India with no official record while professionals would be coming in with proven credentials which could be easily verified and checked. Also the professionals would themselves be careful so as to not brush up on the wrong side of the Indian laws. It would be in better interest of national security to curb illegal immigrants and welcome legitimate and talented ones.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Outsourcing the Big Kahuna

WorldNetDaily: Outsourcing the Big Kahuna

Wow it was fun reading. Do read the link. It is an article by Craige McMillan (No not the New Zealand cricketer!). He is advocating to outsource least efficient and most expensive American Industry, "Government". He seems quite amused by the idea of 1/8th of cost which outsourcing to India offer. He says that since India has culturally sensitive bureaucracy so the government can be outsourced easily. Beyond government he also wants to outsource military because India has nukes and also the internal revenue service because India can get him away with only 1/8 of his present tax.

Good going Mr. McMillan, I am sure Indians will exceed your expectations for efficiently running your "outsourced" government. But just do not ask us credentials of running our own government.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Best Bakery: 1-yr jail term for Zaheera

I don't know why seeing this news remind me of the the Sidney Sheldon's novel "If Tomorrow Comes", where the lead character gets onto wrong side of bigger politics and gets advised that she will be acquitted if she confess a crime which she has not done. This trap gets her into the jail.

Even a Hindi movie has been made on same lines. It was Urmila Matondkar and Saif Ali Khan movie "Ek Hasina Thi". Both in movie and novel, our heroine gets even with the culprits by taking "kanoon in her own hands", but that was fiction.

What is truth?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

India, US seal N-deal: Has Delhi given away a lot?

India, US seal N-deal: Has Delhi given away a lot?

Lets see it objectively:

what's it is all about?
- All Indian current and future "civilian" nuclear plants will now be put under permanent international safeguards
- In return, US assures India of uninterrupted supply of nuclear fuel
- The world market will be accessible to India for nuclear fuel once it joins the loop
- India will be free to continue its nuclear programme - be it development of new reactors of military programme
- 14 of India's 22 reactors will now come under international scanner

Now what is that India gain's?
- Costs of uranium will go down.
- Deal will open the door to nuclear power suppliers from Russia and France to set up plants in India
- These countries will take back the spent fuel (greenpeace pay attn)
- India can get international nuclear technology for its reactors

What will India giveup?
-- All these facilities will be open to inspections by the IAEA
- India won't be allowed to trade in military part of nuclear sphere

Now analyses time:-

No sensible person can deny the benefits from what India is gaining. At a time when India has huge power shortage which is also mother of all infrastructure related crisis, nuclear power is welcome. We can put a safe bet on India's future with nuclear power. No doubt that it is risky proposition in terms of hazards or environmental issues, but I firmly believe these are problems which have solution. The solution are easy if we put our brains in engineering our reactors well and when we are disciplined on usage, waste disposal and in general safety and security. It a small price to feed, grow and prosper nearly 1.1 billion Indians.

On the other hand, looking at what India might has to give up the most concern that people are having is having an IAEA watchdog on our reactors. Mind you we already have them on 6 of the proposed 14. We will still have 8 marked as military including fast breeders. The concern is that our nuclear capability will be capped.
We already have some nuclear capability and if govt is to be believed then we will have sufficient strike back capability to meet our current "demands" from China, Pak etc.

Infact I do not think as a nation any of these would ever dare to launch nuclear war as a nuclear war has only losers and no winners. What must concern us is that the nukes of Pak are open for sale to terrorists. It is that shop which we need to shut as that is the most realistic threat to us in current scenario. And the only diplomatic way to do that would be to show it ourselves and get Pak do it too. It will ensure that our capability is not capped because practically we would have increased our capability by relatively decreasing our "enemy's" capability.

India not being able to trade in military nuclear area looks irrelevant to me as Dr. A Q Khan who was born in Bhopal has already moved his shop to Pakistan. We have got no more nuke traders. Add to that our brilliant scientist are confident that we have got a good deal by ensuring perennial supply of cheaper uranium.

In conclusion, I do not think that New Delhi has given away something big unless there is no conspiracy theory behind and what we are seeing is more or less truth.

I would extend this blog with this White House link India Civil Nuclear Cooperation: Responding to Critics. This information very much supports my assumptions and analysis .

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Beating around the Bush!

Hey Leftists,

You guys have lost your credibility by protesting everything under the sun. It now seems that you do not protest for genuine things but only for attracting attention. What will you achieve by so called "democratic" protest of Bush? In the first place are you guys democratic? And secondly all the people for whom it matters and are in a position to decide are dominantly pro US in their economic and political orientation. They don't care about you. Why are you wasting precious time of poor people who could otherwise work and earn or instead go to some school to prepare for this capitalist world.

As it goes, communism makes people equally poor while capitalism unequally rich. If not a Rolls Royce, let a comman man drive a maruti.

As a African story goes:
Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up and knows that it will have to outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed.
And, every morning in Africa a lion wakes up and knows that it will have to outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
So, in Africa, it doesn't matter if you are the lion or the gazelle. When that sun comes up, you had better be running.

So people understand this, all the wards of these communists are in US of A (not then USSR or China mind you) and they have sufficient money to live happily. Then why are you not seeing them using you to gain their political mileage. India can do without these perennial protesters.. Get some novelty in your protests. At least people would be amused if not inspired by your ideas.