Stop Lying Mr. Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor, an educated ex-UN ‘almost general secretary’ guy represents the city I live in. When he contested the elections last time, he gave a huge list of promises, including a twin-city project with Barcelona (not sure what that means though), better educational institutions, Vizhinjam port, better waste management facilities and so on.

Five years later, Tharoor, like his predecessors lived up to the expectations that I had. None of his promises were fulfilled. Recently he released a huge list of achievements and a performance report card. The list, shamefully contains things that is to be done by a corporation councilor or an MLA at best – setting up lights, bus shelters, building walls for schools. With the election just a few days away, Tharoor is back in the fray, seeking a second term. However, there are a few questions that I would like to ask Tharoor.

Twin city project
Tharoor, you say that your twin city project did not happen because of Thiruvananthapuram Corporation that is governed by communists and that they played petty politics to stall the project. I fail to see even an iota of honesty in this statement. Are you saying the corporation of a city has the power to stop the dream project of a Member of Parliament? Or is your political acumen so weak that you cannot judge things are not going your way and take remedial steps? How come O. Rajagopal from BJP (panchayath, corporation, nor Kerala state was ever ruled by BJP) could bring in development to the capital city even though he was nominated from Madhya Pradesh?

But what about the deliverables?
For the sake of argument, let us for once believe that the corporation really stalled Tharoor’s dream project. Why did he not go ahead with the ideas he had for this city? Does an elapsed agreement with Barcelona city mean Thiruvananthapuram does not get even a basic waste management system? Tharoor, was your plan to develop this city completely dependent on a possible tie-up with a foreign city?

Education
Tharoor was in charge of HRD ministry that manages premier educational institutions in this country. A huge chunk of youngsters from Kerala’s capital city Thiruvananthapuram study in places like Nagercoil, which is an under developed third grade city in Tamil Nadu. How awkward does it sound if students in Delhi travel to Meerut to attend college? Well, that is what youngsters in Thiruvananthapuram have to go through. Tharoor, you have failed the youngsters of this city too and you owe them an answer.

Sports
On Twitter, Tharoor regularly post photos of him have a field day with kids, playing cricket, encouraging them and what not. A great gesture, I must say; but what happened to Chandrasekharan Nair stadium? Why is it that a stadium in the heart of Kerala’s capital city is dilapidated to such an extend that no one can even step inside it? It is most often rented out to host award shows and political/religious gatherings. Tharoor, do you not believe that in order to build a healthy generation of youngsters, we must provide them basic sporting facilities? Forget Chandrasekharan Nair stadium, did you build/revamp any sporting facility in the city?

Other empty promises
Nemom coach factory?
Development of Kochuveli terminal?
Vizhinjam port?

The point I am making
Tharoor, the man who came to limelight in Kerala by tearing his own paper posters has now plastic banners screaming his achievements pasted all across the city. He maintains an absolute silence over the mysterious death of his wife who spoke against him few days before her unfortunate death and his alleged ISI links. Why is that there is no enquiry into his IPL scam?

The reason for this post is this… I happened to attend Malayala Manorama’s talk show about Thiruvananthapuram politics on March 15, 2014. Along with leaders from other political outfits, Tharoor too was present, representing the Congress. When a young guy asked a few questions to Tharoor related to his unfulfilled promises, IPL scam, alleged ISI links a few thugs in khadar created a scuffle by saying it is his personal matter. Strangely, there was no question about Sunanda anywhere. Tharoor chose to remain silent without answering the question, possibly waiting for his goondas to take over. When a minor scuffle happens, it is natural that even a common man will step in to pacify people. But strangely, he showed absolutely no conviction to control his own supporters (or goons?). I fail to understand how he brands himself as a leader. Malayala Manorama has the clippings, but I think they will live up to their reputation and not air that section.

As a closing note I have to say this, Tharoor, Thiruvananthapuram gave you an opportunity and you failed miserably. Thiruvananthapuram will be better off without you representing us in the next opposition. Nevertheless, in the run up to the elections, I really hope you will stop lying. The best you can do is graciously accept your short comings. The more you lie, the more it exposes the opportunist that you are!

Update:
Thought of capturing as many lies as I can and posting it here. Work in progress…

Lie 1
O. Rajagopal brought only 1 train to Thiruvananthapuram? Whom are you kidding Tharoor? Maybe you were too much of a global citizen to care what happened here in early 2000s.

Privacy and selling a nation

Isn’t it ironic that India, known as a software giant and the second biggest software exporter after US, prefers foreign companies for government projects? Ticket booking on IRCTC is handled by Broadvision since 2003 and now ECI has entered a tie up with Google. I know that the ambitious Aadhar project headed by former Infy chief and developed “in-house” is now a mess but haven’t these guys heard about Snowden, NSA snooping? It is due to absolute ignorance (or lack of interest) of government in cyber security, that hackers got away 50GB of sensitive data from DRDO servers.

I hope someone in the Election Commission of India will realise the folly of handing out voter registration data entirely to Google (a company that is hand in glove with NSA) and will think long term to spend some money and develop world class servers instead of proudly hiring American hosting companies like Akamai to announce the election results.

A media-basher that I am, I cannot miss stating the fact that none of the Barkhas and Rajdeeps have so far not raised their voice against this “clear case of privacy intrusion”. Definitely shows that their previous concern for the girl in Ahmedabad was selective and for political gains.

An Open Letter to Nikesh Kumar

Dear Nikesh Kumar and Rani Varughese,

I happened to see Reporter channel’s “People’s Leader Awards 2013″ on Facebook. I am astonished to see the name of a terrorist as a choice for people’s leader. I am very well aware of the business behind mainstream media and the decision to skip opposition leader V.S. Achuthanandan could be a purely business one. As you might be well aware, Mr. Madani is an accused in Bangalore blasts case, Kalamasseri bus burning case and has ‘alleged’ connections with LeT operative Thadiyantevida Nasir. The honourable high court of Karnataka, the government of Karnataka (under various political parties) have repeatedly rejected his bail application.

I fail to see what soft corner Indian media has towards terrorists. The now sinking ship – Tehelka had earlier last month invited Mulla Abdul Salam Zaeef (co-founder of Taliban) for THiNKFEST 2013. Strangely, Kerala government (Department of Tourism) was one of the two main sponsors of the event. We must keep in mind that Tehelka does not even have a bureau office in Kerala. Reference: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/probe-state-sponsorship-of-thinkfest-bjp-leader/article5410517.ece

National Investigative Agency (NIA) has listed Kerala as a hot-bed of terrorist activity. Your channel’s decision to include Madani in the list will be seen as a token of appreciation for various terror organisations operating in the state. Do you want fundamentalists like Madani to be a role model for children in a state that produced great sons of India like K.R. Narayanan? While it is a norm for various media houses to honour popular leaders and citizens, your channel is involved in an outright betrayal of the law of the land and the people of India as a whole. Madani has been involved in anti-national activities and your channel endorsing him mounts to treason of the highest level. This is an outright disrespect towards the victims, survivors and families of those affected by Madani and his terrorist outfits. I demand that you issue a public apology and remove Abdul Nasser Madani’s name from the list. Failing to do so, will result in this being a clear and possibly the first case of media sponsored terrorism in India.

I hope you will rise above petty business/political interests and act like a responsible media body and do what is best for the citizens of this nation.

(Addressed to the directors of INDO – ASIAN NEWS CHANNEL PRIVATE LIMITED that runs Reporter, a Malayalam news/entertainment television channel)

Update: Mailed to hr.reporter@gmail.com – the only email ID I could find of Nikesh Kumar.

HTML5 form features that makes life easier

Here is a quickie post about a few must-know HTML5 form features. However, do keep in mind that though HTML5 is fast catching up it is still not widely supported on most browsers that users (especially in India) have.

1. Pattern matching – No more pesky jQuery code to check if the user has actually entered an email ID and not some ‘asdfg’ text. Good news, it supports regex. Here is a list of commonly used HTML patterns.

2. Required Input – Accessible, easy to use alerts whenever user skips a required field. See it in action.

3. Speech to text inside input box – Chrome has pretty much perfected the voice recognition engine. It is pretty simple to make your forms voice friendly. Just add “x-webkit-speech” attribute and you are done. See live example below (Chrome only)

I will keep appending this list, so stay tuned!

10 years of WordPress

I got introduced to WordPress when it was in version 0.7 and came with a “classic theme”. After doing a lot of copy-paste theme building jobs, I did develop a lot of themes, plugins and sites that eventually made me more money than anything else (stocks, web apps et al). This is a small note of thanks to the shockingly small but brilliant team at Automattic who have helped me and thousands of people around the world eat food. ;)

A special note of thanks to Jacob, my good friend from school who forced me to give up my plans to build a CMS learn WordPress, way back in 2006 . Thanks mate! :) To the wonderful Adam and Gary at Web Movement, let us continue to build more ecommerce plugins for WordPress and rid the world of garbage websites!

What it takes to start a business

A lot of people ask me this and I am quite not sure why. I am not exceptionally talented nor am I exceptionally successful. But what I do know is that I have taken the plunge. To run a business in India you need high level connections or inherit a lot of wealth or have balls of steel. I can go on forever how business in India works, but let’s keep that for another day. If you are someone who wants a constant source of income and a feeling of security, stop reading now and pick up a job. And for the love of all human beings, if you want to start a company to look cool and have a CXO tag below your name on Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter profile, please die stop reading now and don’t come back.

What it takes.
A good attitude. Everything depends on your attitude towards life.

All that we are is a result of what we have thought.Buddha

There are going to be times when you really wonder if you made a wrong choice. Trust me, every single person I have interacted with have gone through this stage multiple times. Whenever it strikes, the only easy way to get out of it is to think why you started this journey. Running a business as a first generation entrepreneur will not be a life of luxury. Fancy cars and dating hot girls will happen only in Ironman. You are going to be absolutely out of money at some point of time. Actually it is quite possible that you will be out of money multiple times in life. Instead of considering that as a failure, consider that as an experience. If you know what it feels like to be without money, you will appreciate money when you have it.

Making money.
You will not make money filling up forms on the internet or clicking ads nor can you cheat Google. It maybe easier to print counterfeit notes than to make money by clicking links and running adsense on your blog that only your mom reads. Of course, you may make money doing surveys and clicking on links in the short term but you might wonder why you did it, ten years later. Focus on building domain expertise. Take your interest in the subject to its logical extreme. I am not saying that you should be the best in your field, it is almost impossible. You need not know how a bus engine works to be a bus driver, but you definitely need to know the traffic rules!

Be honest.
I know this sounds too cliche, but practicing it is quite challenging. You might be tempted to sway a bit to earn a few thousand rupees. For me, a sound sleep each night is worth risking everything else. If you cannot sleep at night even after you have made crores, it is worth nothing. Richness is a state of mind and money is just one tiny (but important) part of your wealth.

What your friend’s dad thinks.
To reach that stage of ‘it-doesn’t-matter-anyway’ is a long agonizing journey. You are going to be constantly judged, by friends, family, relatives, maybe even your neighbour’s dog. What shoes you wear, what phone you use, how you travel, everything matters the minute you start questioning the conventional. “How can a person who cannot even afford a — insert fancy item here — run a company?” is what people will talk behind your back. You will be constantly bombarded with questions ranging from “What do you actually do?” to “Why are you wasting your time?” Irrespective of the question it will be followed by a free class on how to be a good, responsible individual who eats, works, sleeps, gets married and dies just exists. This is definitely not for the weak hearted people.

Keep out negativity.
Beyond a point, no one can accept negativity. If you know someone who just wants to get personal and ridicule you, just stay away. These people should be wiped out from the face of the earth. Stay away from them, passively.

Watch Guru.
Let’s leave the ethics of the Ambanis for now, but it is a must watch movie for every entrepreneur. Read more on IMDB.

Be awesome.
If there is someone out there who is really desperate and thinking of quitting after you have gone through the tough phase, hang in there. It is the journey that matters, not just the destination. Steve Jobs was not “the Steve Jobs” when he was born. Repeat slowly after me, there is nothing called overnight success. Just remember that in a few years from now, you, me and everyone we see around will go back under the soil. Until then, be awesome!

Stay hungry, stay foolish!

Indian Media

Unfortunately in India, media is used to generate opinion instead of reporting facts. If you take a closer look at the owners of India’s leading media houses, you will figure out why.

1. Hindustan Times – Shobhna Bhartia, owner and editor-in-chief of Hindustan Times is a Congress MP from Rajya Sabha.

2. Vinod Sharma, HT Political Affairs editor, is essentially a Congress spokesman on all TV panel discussions, because once his boss’ term gets over, he will be looking out for her RS seat next.

3. Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi, famous Congress stooges (and intermediaries for UPA allies) who were exposed in the Radiagate scandal, and are virtual Congress spokespersons in their capacities as electronic media personalities, are the ones who write opinion and op-ed columns most frequently (once every week) on the editorial pages of HT. In return, Barkha and Sanghvi are rewarded with Padma Shris and other monetary compensation by the Nehru dynasty or Congress party.

4. NDTV’s promoters are Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy. Radhika’s sister Brinda Karat is a famous CPM leader (well known for anti-Baba Ramdev views) and Brinda’s husband Prakash Karat is the CPM Politburo General Secretary (well known for preferring Congress over BJP). And Prannoy Roy’s first cousin is the famous far-leftist pro-Maoist-Naxalite pro-Kashmiri-terrorists “intellectual” Arundhati Suzanna Roy.

5. NDTV’s Barkha Dutt’s reality has already been exposed by me in above section.

6. NDTV’s Sonia Singh is the wife of Uttar Pradesh Congress MP, Union minister and ex-princely state ruler, Mr. R. P. N. Singh, who is one of the fastest rising stars in the Congress party. If you remember, Sonia Singh is a very high-profile anchor on NDTV whose pro-Congress anti-BJP bias is legendary.

7. NDTV’s Nidhi Razdan (high-profile anchor of Left Right Centre) is the current girlfriend of J&K CM Omar Abdullah (after Omar recently divorced his wife of several years and mother of his two children, Payal). Nidhi Razdan is also famous for her legendary pro-Congress and anti-BJP bias.

8. CNN-IBN: Rajdeep Sardesai’s wife and co-promoter of CNN-IBN, Sagarika Ghose, who anchors Face the Nation and is famous journalist of CNN-IBN (well, her hubby is the owner-editor-in-chief after all) are famous Congress stooges.

9. Sagarika’s father Bhaskar Ghose was a famous sarkari babu and was made the chief of Prasar Bharati (Doordarshan) during Indira and Rajiv regimes. Bhaskar Ghose was well-known for personal loyalty to the Nehru dynasty, and now his daughter and son-in-law are rewarded with their own channel to do Congress propaganda.

10. In fact Sagarika’s extended family even consists of her aunts Ruma Pal (former Supreme Court justice and a close friend of the Nehru family) and Arundhati Ghose (former diplomat and Indian ambassador to various countries, predictably, under Congress regimes).

11. Let’s now come to another famous CNN-IBN media personality who also writes columns frequently for Hindustan Times — Karan Thapar. What you may not know is that the Nehru family itself is related, through blood and marriages, to the high-profile Thapar family. India’s Army chief during the 1962 debacle against China, Gen. P. N. Thapar, is brother-in-law of Nayantara Sehgal, the daughter of Vijaylakshmi Pandit and niece of Jawaharlal Nehru. Gen. Thapar’s son is pro-Congress journalist Karan Thapar. Gen. Thapar’s sister is Romila Thapar, a famous “top” typical JNU Nehruvian communist ideologue historian, who gets to write our textbooks and pollute them with pro-Congress Marxist propaganda.

12. The Hindu – The paper that has “special correspondents” reporting anti-BJP articles – N. Ram, owner and editor-in-chief (till February 2012) of The Hindu, was once a vice president of the Students Federation of India. SFI is the students’ wing of the CPM.

13. P. Sainath of the The Hindu (acclaimed journalist well known for his, again, unsurprisingly, typical left-wing Nehruvian communism ideology), is the nephew of Congress politician V. Shankar Giri and the grandson of V. V. Giri, ex-President of India and famous Congress politician. Giri was especially known to be one of the first few staunch loyalists of Indira, and whom Indira fielded for President elections against her own party’s Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, and who ultimately became the cause of the first high-profile split in the Indian National Congress into Congress (O) and Congress (I) — almost all the pre-independence regional stalwarts split away to join Congress (O) or form their own state parties, and the rest including Giri (all the loyalists of the Nehru family staying on with Indira).

14. Or even what about little known News24 Hindi media channel? Owned by ex-journalist and editor Rajiv Shukla, famous Congress MP in Rajya Sabha, Union minister, industrialist, BCCI vice president and IPL chairman.

15. Or even what about little known Lokmat (and IBN Lokmat) that is Marathi newspaper (and channel) in Maharashtra? Owner and editors-in-chief are the brothers Vijay Darda (Congress MP) and Rajendra Darda (Congress MLA in Maharashtra, and minister in state govt).

16. Or even the other bigger and smaller media houses, such as The Times of India and Indian Express, where the Nehru dynasty has managed to infiltrate its loyalists such as Dileep Padgaonkar and Shekhar Gupta, who are essentially paid stooges of the Congress party.

17. Vinod Mehta – Outlook editor has been well known to take anti BJP stand

The Congress (in fact just the one single family — the Nehru dynasty) has been in power for 56 of the last 65 years of independence. This matters a LOT. Personal relationships have been built, blackmail-worthy secrets have been spied, monumental wealth has been accumulated … all by the one single Nehru dynasty (and its family-business-cum-political-party aka Congress) that helps it maintain its tight irongrip over not just the entire Indian mainstream media, but also deep into our bureaucracy, our governmental institutions, and even our journalism and mass media colleges and grad schools.

We have probably not even scratched the surface of the network of family and personal relationships through which the Nehru dynasty has completely dominated and controlled the entire intellectual, historian and journalist landscape of India. And we haven’t even talked about the monumental wealth or the blackmailing secrets. All because the one single dynasty got to rule over India for 60 years uninterrupted. It matters a LOT.

The typical JNU Nehruvian communist left-libbers ideologues have really perpetrated some kind of stranglehold on India’s journalism, media and intellectual space.

Almost all opposition (or even centre-right ideologues) journalists have been slowly thrown out of their jobs due to pressure from the Congress and the Nehru family.

Even the great venerable Ramnath Goenka, frustrated and broken by repeated I-T raids and ED investigations ultimately had to fire Arun Shourie twice from the Indian Express, which was once the best Indian newspaper in the 1970s and 80s. That was the team — Goenka the owner, Shourie the editor, and S. Gurumurthy the fearless journalist, that brought political heavyweights like Indira Gandhi down on her knees and even took on corporate honchos like Dhirubhai Ambani. (Ramnath Goenka inspired the Mithun Chakraborty character and S. Gurumurthy inspired the R. Madhavan character in the Ambani biopic “Guru”.)

But very few centre-right ideologues are left in India’s media space today, that too in minor publications like The Pioneer. Almost all the mainstream media houses have been thoroughly infiltrated and coerced into towing the Congress’ line, sometimes just through ideology and relationships, and not even money power.

The Congress/Marxist party essentially owns and controls every single mainstream media house in India, including Hindustan Times, The Times of India, NDTV, CNN-IBN, The Hindu, Tehelka, Outlook.

This has been copy pasted from a Facebook post, after verification. However, I do not recollect the original link.

BloodAid

With a good friend of mine, Anoop S Nair and his friends from Delhi, Meeta and Rahul, we started an initiative called BloodAid way back in 2010. After three years of hard work, it is finally bearing fruits.

You and I spend a ton of time on social media cribbing about some actress jumping the queue or why a particular long haired MBA guru should close his school. But unlike those posts BloodAid actually uses social media for social change.

I am glad to join this wonderful team of selfless youngsters supported by a lot of volunteers. Like BloodAid on Facebook or @BloodAid on Twitter. Your tweet/share will actually make a difference.

Psst: Our special heartfelt Nomoshkar flies all the way to Kolkota. Debanjana Saha, a talented and passionate design student from NID put in great effort to create our logo.

Web: http://bloodaid.com/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/bloodaid1
Twitter: http://twitter.com/bloodaid

Do it now!

Do it F***ing Now. Don’t wait. Don’t procrastinate. The winners in this world are not the ones who find the greatest excuses to put off doing what they know will make them more money. The winners are the ones that prioritize and seize the day. Create a list of action items to make sure your important tasks get accomplished. Every project you’re working on should be in action. If you’re not moving, you’re standing still. Your next step towards making money must not be “something I’ll take care of maybe sometime next week.” If it’s going to help make you money: Do it F***ing Now. Some of you may think that you don’t need the “f***ing” in “do it f***ing now”. You do. You need that impact, that force, that call to action, that kick in the ass to get you moving. Otherwise, you’ll end up another loser that had a great idea a long time ago but never did anything about it. Dreamers don’t make money. Doers make money. And doers “Do it F***ing Now.”

Found this on one of the dark internet forums a few years back. Pretty much sums up everything that I have in my mind right now.

Stay hungry, stay foolish!

Communication

This is probably the single most quality that defines how authentic a person is. It is very easy to communicate when things are perfect and extremely simple to get into a cocoon and run away when a problem occurs.

The easiest and fastest way out of a problem is to go through it.

It doesn’t matter whether you have lived up to your commitment, just bloody communicate.