Saturday, April 29, 2006

Applying band-aid when surgery is required.

President Bush's recent pronouncements regarding the need to conserve Oil and general concern about gas prices have to be taken with a pinch of salt.
I know the late night comdedians and Senator Chuck Schumer have been holding Oil companies accountable for the spike in Oil prices , but the facts tell another story. Its simple demand supply economics were the same oil companies price gouging when Oil was less than $20 a barrel?
Well the one thing somebody coming in from abroad into the states notices, is the profusion of cars, as a boss of mine said "Only poor people take the bus". And since the republicans keep winning i am forced to think there are more rich than poor in the states. When gas was cheap, the SUV's did roaring business, supporting the American way of life, ie a huge house(meaning place are more far-flung) , life in the suburbs, 2 car families and soccer mom's putting in more miles than a union truck driver.
You can't lay all the blame on the suburbs , true. The political instability amongst the major Oil producer's has played a starring hand as well. I remember reading a national geographic article more than a year back about wether this was the peak Oil production that the earth was capable of. Well thats a hard question and natuarally there will be extremely intelligent people arguing oon both sides. Given the circumstances currently, we will be remiss in our responsibilities if we do not consider that possibility.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Reservations the topic of the moment

This is a topic that is stirring up debate in all speheres of life in India at the moment. The crux of the matter is notifcation issued by the Government of India allocating 27% for the Other Backward Castes(OBC's) in educational central(federal) educational institututions.
As Usual I am running short on time and need to rush thru such a complex issue simply because I have read way too many one sided and quite frankly poorly written pieces.
Going back, way back the hindu caste system was broadly classified as Brahmin, Ksyatria, Vaishya's and Shudra with Shudras being the bottom of the barrel. Power has shifted between the others while Shudra's (dalits) were widely acknowledges to have been oppressed and ill treated for centuries. Not much has changed over the centuries for this deprived lot. At the time of independence it was decided by the framers of the constitution to allocate quotas that were to lead to their social upliftment. However what was not wittten, rather implied was that these quotas should have some time frame, otherwise they would just create a new breed of privileged citizenery.
What the framers of the constitution did'nt realise was that mere laws in the books was going to do nothing for the uplift of the masses, instead they had set a dangerous precedent where political parties would grant reservations for all and sundry in order to corner votes. Nearly 60 years after Indian independence thats exactly whats happening.
Now infact we have a left leaning government that sees no harm in allocating resources to communities based on there proportion of the overall population. Wether they intend to or not, the message they are sending the people of India is that the only way to corner more resources is to grow your numbers. A decent education, hardwork , innovation are all passe. Everything flows from the numbers of your commmunity, the worst manifestation of democracy possible.
I have to add here that I am a bramhin, I have already been through our education system and I wont be working in a government organzation any time soon.
And yet what angers me is that the poeple behind this move to hike reservations don't give a damn about the people its supposed to benefit, and by extension the country. These are the very same people who would like the indian government to have a stake in every aspect of Indian life so that their patronage dispensing network is strengthened. Alll this vitriol is not going to change anything. Once the genie has been let out of the bottle, no political party can take a stand against reservations and risk losing the OBC vote.
So ladies and gentlemen this flight was good while it lasted , kindly fasten your seat belts , we shall be landing shortly.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

What is a worthwile cause?

Of all things , a late night show on television provoked me into writing this particular post. the show in question detailed the various charitable pursuits of Hollywood celebrities. One particular segment was on a boy suffering from a rare form of cancer. His mother thanked the said celebrities for their support and stated matter of factly that her biy was being kept alive by the generous donations of many. Nobody talked figures and I found myself considering how many lives the same money would have saved in some god forsaken part of a third world country.
Which brings us to the question , Is it wrong to Use resources to save one life, when the same resource could have saved maybe a hundred lives somewhere else? Is one cause more worthy than another? Morally I am not sure. I know that you can't put off all other causes in the real world till the most important ones have been addressed. And yet I can't accept that one life can be conidered more important than a hundred.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Three Days of Rain

I had the pleasure of seeing Three Days of Rain yesterday, for a company sponsored charity event. My first Broadway Show and it was a good experience overall. I was 10 rows away from the stage. I guess whenever a major Hollywood Star such as Julia Roberts stars in a play there is bound to be a lot of buzz. So when she made her entrance the air of expectation was almost palpable. To an untrained eye she began rather nervously but got into it as the play rolled on.
But the performance that was designed to be a crowd pleaser was that of Bradley Cooper. He was funny and connected instantly with an audeience that could afford the Opening week tickets. And I know its a sports cliche, but he looked like he was having fun out there. What struck me the most about the dialouge was how choice of words were not the kind one uses while talking. More like while writing. The magnitude odf it all hit me when I stepped out and there was a throng of people waiting outside to catch a glimpse of Julia Roberts.