Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Don't Talk To an Indian Fellow Passenger On a Flight!

An American gets on a plane and finds himself seated next to an Indian. He immediately turns to him and makes his move. "You know," says the American, "I've heard that flights will go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger. So let's talk."

The Indian, who had just opened his book, closes it slowly and says to the American guy, "What would you like to discuss?" "Oh, I don't know," says the guy, smiling. "How about nuclear power?"

"OK," says the Indian. "That could be an interesting topic. But let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff, grass. Yet the deer excretes little pellets, the cow turns out; a flat patty, and the horse produces muffins of dried poop. Why do you suppose that is?"

The American guy is dumbfounded. Finally he replies, "I haven't the slightest idea."

"So tell me," says the Indian, "How is it that you feel qualified to discuss nuclear power when you don't know shit?"

Saturday, May 27, 2006

MDI gets global recognition

My alma mater, MDI Gurgaon, gets global accreditation. An ET report says:

Management Development Institute (MDI), one of the premier B-Schools of India has received the Global Accreditation of AMBA - The Association of MBA. MDI is the first B-School in India and second in Asia to receive this global accreditation.

AMBA is internationally recognized as the quality kite-mark for MBA programmes. It has widened its accreditation portfolio in response to the demands of business schools and corporates - to provide a guarantee of quality as well as clarity on the differences between these degrees.

The UK based Association of MBAs (AMBA) has accredited following programmes in MDI:

1. Post graduate programme in management
2. Post graduate programme in human resource management
3. National management programme
4. Executive management programme

AMBA accreditation has put MDI into the global league of B-Schools. It will help build a network with the best B-Schools in the world for research as well as faculty and student exchange. For potential students, accreditation provides a confirmation of quality of institutions. It gives international credibility to the MBA programmes and gives an overview of their position against international standards.

MDI'S Association with AMBA has positioned MDI as an independent and impartial institute in a complex business environment. Its accreditation philosophy is based on a developmental approach and is designed to meet employers' changing needs.

170 Year Old Case for Property in India

A breathtaking story about an old case can be found here. To put the issue in perspective.....

The property is, on paper, substantial - some seven colonial mansions in north Calcutta, nearly 100,000 acres of land in what is now Bangladesh, large tracts of land in at least three districts of West Bengal state, and half of erstwhile Sutanati, one of the three villages that eventually went on to comprise modern day Calcutta.


BBC Correspondent in SE Asia

An interesting comment from a BBC correspondent in SE Asia can be found here. I particularly liked the one about Radio Pakistan. Read it to understand what I mean!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Stock Market Kya Hoti Hai?

Once upon a time in a village a man appeared who announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for Rs. 10. The villagers seeing that there were many monkeys went out in the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at 10 and as supply started to diminish and villagers started to stop their effort he announced that now he would buy at 20 rupees.

This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms. The offer rate increased to 25 and the supply of monkeys became so that it was an effort to even see a monkey let alone catch it.

The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at 50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business his assistant would now buy on behalf of the man.

In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers, "Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at 35 and when the man comes back you can sell it to him for 50."

The villagers queued up with all their saving to buy the monkeys.

Phir na woh aadmi mila na us ka assistant........... Sirf bandar hee bandar!

Yehi Stock Market Hoti Hai!

Manna from heaven

For someone trying to lose weight, this comes indeed as Manna from heaven!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

To pity the plumage and pity the dying bird

Pratap Bhanu Mehta, member of the National Knowledge Commission, resigned on May 22. This is the full text of his resignation letter to the prime minister, Manmohan Singh

Peril in numbers
May 21, 2006

Dr. Manmohan Singh,
Prime Minister of India,
7, Race Course Road,
New Delhi

Honourable Prime Minister,

I write to resign as Member-Convener of the National Knowledge Commission. I believe the Commission's mandate is extremely important, and I am deeply grateful that you gave me the opportunity to serve on it. But many of the recent announcements made by your government with respect to Higher Education lead me to the conclusion that my continuation on the Commission will serve no useful purpose.

The Knowledge Commission was given an ambitious mandate to strengthen India's knowledge potential at all levels. We had agreed that if all sections of Indian society were to participate in, and make use of the knowledge economy, we would need a radical paradigm shift in the way we thought of the produc- tion, dissemination and use of knowledge. In some ways, this paradigm shift would have to be at least as radical as the economic reforms you helped usher in more than a decade ago. The sense of intellectual excitement that the Commission generated stemmed from the fact that it represented an opportunity to think boldly, honestly and with an eye to posterity. But the government's recent decision (announced by the Honourable Minister of Human Resource Development on the floor of Parliament) to extend quotas for OBCs in Central institutions, the palliative measures the government is contemplating to defuse the resulting agitation, and the process employed to arrive at these measures are steps in the wrong direction. They violate four cardinal principles that institutions in a knowledge-based society will have to follow: they are not based on assessment of effectiveness, they are incompatible with the freedom and diversity of institutions, they more thoroughly politicize the education process, and they inject an insidious poison that will harm the nation's long term interest.

These measures will not achieve social justice. I am as committed as anyone to two propositions. Every student must be enabled to realize their full potential regardless of financial or social circumstances. Achieving this aim requires radical forms of affirmative action. But the numerically mandated quotas your government is proposing are deeply disappointing, for the following reasons:

First, these measures foreclose any possibility of more intelligent targeting that any sensible programme should require. For one thing, the historical claims of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and the nature of the deprivations they face are qualitatively of a different order than those faced by Other Backward Castes, at least in North India. It is plainly disingenuous to lump them together in the same narrative of social injustice and assume that the same instruments should apply to both. It is for this reason that I advocated status quo for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes until such time as better and more effective measures can be found to achieve affirmative action for them.

Some have proposed the inclusion of economic criteria: this is something of an improvement, but does not go far enough. What we needed, Honourable Prime Minister, was space to design more effective mechanisms of targeting groups that need to be targeted for affirmative action. For instance, there are a couple of well designed deprivation indices that do a much better job of targeting the relevant social deprivations and picking out merit. The government's action is disappointing because you have prematurely foreclosed these possibilities. In foreclosing these possibilities the government has revealed that it cares about tokenism more than social justice. It has sent the signal that there is no room for thinking about social justice in a new paradigm.

As a society we focus on reservations largely because it is a way of avoiding doing the things that really create access. Increasing the supply of good quality institutions at all levels (not to be confused with numerical increases), more robust scholarship and support programmes, will go much further than numerically mandated quotas. When you assumed office, you had sketched out a vision of combining economic reform with social justice. Increased public investment is going to be central to creating access opportunities. It would be presumptuous for me to suggest where this increased public investment is going to come from, but there are ample possibilities: for instance, earmarking proceeds from genuine disinvestment for education will do far more for access than quotas. We are not doing enough to genuinely empower marginalized groups, but are offering condescending palliatives like quotas as substitute. All the measures currently under discussion are to defuse the agitation, not to lay the foundations for a vibrant education system. If I may borrow a phrase of Tom Paine's, we pity the plumage, but forget the dying bird.

Second, the measures your government is contemplating violate the diversity principle. Why should all institutions in a country the size of India adopt the same admissions quotas? Is there no room at all for different institutions experimenting with different kinds of affirmative action policies that are most appropriate for their pedagogical mission? How will institutions feel empowered? How will creativity in social justice programmes be fostered, if we continue with a "one size fits all" approach? Could it not be that some state institutions follow numerically mandated quotas, while others are left free to devise their own programmes? The government's announcement is deeply disappointing because it reinforces the cardinal weakness of the Indian system: all institutions have to be reduced to the same level.

Third, and related to diversity, is the question of freedom. As an academic, I find it to be an appalling spectacle when a group of Ministers is empowered to come up with admissions policies, seat formulae for institutions across the country. While institutions have responsibilities and are accountable to society, how will they ever achieve excellence and autonomy if basic decisions like who should they teach, what should they teach, how much should they charge, are uniformly mandated by government diktat? As you know, more than anyone else, the bane of our education institutions is that politicians feel free to hoist any purpose they wish upon them: their favourite ideology, their preferred conception of social justice, their idea of representativeness, or their own men and women. Everything else germane to a healthy academic life and effective pedagogy becomes subordinate to these purposes. Concerned academics risked a good deal battling the previous government's instrumental use of educational institutions for ideological purposes. Though your objectives are different, your government is sending a similar message about our institutions: in the final analysis, they are playthings for politicians to mess around with. Nations are not built by specific programmes, they are built by healthy institutions, and the process by which your government is arriving at its decisions suggests contempt for the autonomy and integrity of academic life. Your government has reinforced the very paradigm of the State's relations with educational institutions that has weakened us.

In this process, the arguments that have been coming from your government are plainly disingenuous. It is true that a constitutional amendment was hastily passed to overturn the effects of the Inamdar decision. At the time I had written that the decision was property rights decision that was trying to unshackle private institutions from an overbearing state. But since the state had already displaced its responsibilities to the private sector, it decided that the ramifications of Inamdar would be too onerous and passed a constitutional amendment. One can quibble over whether this amendment was justified or not. But even in its present form it is only an enabling legislation. It does not require that every public institution have numerically mandated quotas for OBCs. To hear your government consistently hiding behind the pretext of the constitutional amendment is yet another example of how we are foreclosing the fine distinctions that any rigorous approach to access and excellence requires.

Finally, I believe that the proposed measures will harm the nation's vital interests. It is often said that caste is a reality in India. I could not agree more. But your government is in the process of making caste the only reality in India. Instead of finding imaginative solutions to allow us to transcend our own despicable history of inequity, your government is ensuring that we remain entrapped in the caste paradigm. Except that now by talking of OBCs and SC/STs in the same narrative we are licensing new forms of inequity and arbitrariness.

The Knowledge Economy of the twenty-first century will require that participation of all sections of society. When we deprive any single child, of any caste, of relevant opportunities, we mutilate ourselves as a society and diminish our own possibilities. But, as you understand more than most, globalization requires us to think of old objectives in new paradigms: the market and competition for talent is global, institutions need to be more agile and nimble, and there has to be creativity and diversity of institutional forms if a society is to position itself to take advantage of the Knowledge Economy. I believe that the measures your government is proposing will inhibit achieving both social justice and economic well being.

I write this letter with a great deal of regret. In my colleagues on the Knowledge Commission you will find a group that is unrivalled in its dedication, commitment and creativity, and I hope you will back them in full measure so that they can accomplish their mission in other areas. I assure you that the Commission's functioning will suffer no logistical harm on account of my departure.

I recognize that in a democracy, one has to respectfully accede to the decisions of elected representatives. But I also believe that democracies are ill served if individuals do not frankly and publicly point out the perils that certain decisions may pose for posterity. I owe it to public reason to make my reasons for resigning public. I may be wrong in my judgment about the consequences of your government's decisions, but at this juncture I cannot help but concluding that what your government is proposing poses grave dangers for India as a nation. On this occasion I cannot help thinking about the anxieties of a man who knew a thing or two about constitutional values, who was more rooted in politics than any of us can hope to be, and who understood the distinction between statesmanship and mere politics: Jawaharlal Nehru. He wrote, "So these external props, as I may call them, the reservations of seats and the rest may possibly be helpful occasionally, but they produce a false sense of political relation, a false sense of strength, and, ultimately therefore, they are not so nearly important as real educational, cultural and economic advance which gives them inner strength to face any difficulty or opponent." Since your government continues to abet a politics of illusion, I cannot serve any useful purpose by continuing on the Knowledge Commission under such circumstances.

With warmest personal regards,

The author is president, Centre for Policy Research

Nehru on Reservations

Interesting point of view on Reservation from JL Nehru, India's first PM

People with different colored eyes

Reached here today. Click to see a person with a rare medical condition that produces eyes of differnet colors!!

Bookmobiles, the village kitaabwala

A very nice article on spreading books through technological innovation. Click here to read it.

Radio City Delhi on the net

If you wish to listen to Radio City Delhi FM on the net, click here or copy this link, without the quotes "" and play it in Windows Media Player.

Mars on Google

Absolutely mind-blowingly beautiful!

Mars on Google


I am an amateur lover of Shayari, which means I can appreciate simple and meaningful Shers. If they are complex (tough language) I need to understand the language before I can appreciate it. If they are non-meaningful, I fail to appreciate them.

Here are some that I like.

Yeh Khamosh Mizazi Tumhe Jeene Nahin Degi,
Iss Daur Mein Jeena Hai Toh Kohram Macha Do.

One that finds a place of pride on the top of my blog, till such time I decide to replace it with something else!

Kabhi Kabhi Yun Bhi Humnein Apne Dil Ko Bahlaya Hai,
Jin Baaton Ko Khud Nahin Samjhe Auron Ko Samjhayaa Hai.

Mila Koi Toh Haath Milaya, Gaye Kahin Do Baatein Ki,
Ghar Se Bahar Jab Bhi Nikle, Din Bhar Bojh Uthaya Hai.

Another one that is an alltime favourite is

Ek Do Zakhm Nahin Saara Jism Hai Chhalni,
Dard Hai Pareshan Aakhir Kahan Se Uthe.

Yet another one that generally inspires me is

Kyun Aasman Mein Soorakh Nahin Ho Sakta,
Ek Patthar Tabiyat Se Toh Uchhalo Yaaron.

And finally, my own creation. The only Sher that I ever wrote;

Ki Usne Mere Saath Jab Bewafai Yaaron,
Tab Mujhe Uske Dost Hone Ka Guman Hua.

And before you get any thoughts as to what prompted me to write about such treachery, let me clarify that nothing happened :)

Indians spending less on food now

An excellent insight into Indian consumption patterns. Have a dekko.

Fun with words

My job keeps me in touch with lots of words. Here is a nice page on some fun with words. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Funny Flash

This is really cute. Loads of fun watching this clip about the abortive attempts at Olympic Sports by Mr. Otto! Check it out here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Was surfing on Wikipedia, that mother of all encyclopedias, and chanced upon this article. Have a look at Rhinotillexomania, which means, nose-picking!

A really funny quote from the same page is "You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you cannot pick your friend's nose" :-D

Warning, this page is not for the easily grossed out!

Are Brahmins the Dalits of today?

A thought provoking article, Are Brahmins the Dalits of today?, even though it appears slightly biased to me. Slightly. Not much.

Funny Video

Have a look at Mahesh R's creation. Good music, good script, funny video :-D

Random Quotes

Putt's Law: "Rejection of management objectives is undesirable when you are wrong, and unforgivable when you are right."

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are
- Dale Carnegie

Garlic Oil - Lethal

I am a big fan of The Straight Dope. Very nicely researched articles, with a writing style that is downright funny and irreverent!

Have a look at this article on "Is garlic oil lethal if it enters the blood stream?". Funny and irreverent yet well researched!

Dumbledore is not dead!

I recently got a forwarded a link that claimed that Dumbledore is not really dead. He is just masquerading his death. A detailed and blow-by-blow account is at The arguments are fairly logical. However I get a feeling from reading JKR's interview (Part 1 Part 2 Part 3) that he is really dead. May be. May not be!

Anyhow that is for some other time. I spent some time recently re-reading the sixth book for a second time to understand some details and to do some detective work of my own. e.g. Regulus Black (Sirius Black's younger and now-dead brother) is surely the mysterious R.A.B. that makes a grand entry towards the end of the book!

Happy Reading!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Fanna Songs

I am listening to the songs of Fanaa. You can download them here. I really like "Chand Sifaarish" but the real gem in the album is "Mere haath mein tera haath ho". The music is good. Surprisingly, Prasoon Joshi's lyrics are great!

Incidentally, has a fairly bad review. I blasted them at the message board, and posting that message here!

I think Rediff has bad reviewers, who have bad taste in music and films. Over a period of time, I have developed a simple technique that I want to share; read what is termed as bad at Rediff and that is sure to be good! Why do all your reviewrs have a chip in their shoulders? Do they have unresolved childhood trauma that manifests itself in such stupid reviews.

Sure, all the songs in the album are not great. It has its highs and lows, but that does not take away the mellifluity away from some of the best songs I have heard this year! How can you call it "above average" and yet give it only two stars. You are yourself confused!!

Get better reviewers or stop reviewing.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

TV Appearances

I recently made three TV appearances, spread over a period of two weeks. And today I read this.

"The other day a woman came up to me and said, 'Didn't I see you on television?' I said, 'I don't know. You can't see out the other way.'"
- Emo Philips


Thursday, May 11, 2006


I have received very open feedback from many people over the course of my life and career. Both positive and negative; and that has helped me a lot to improve. I am thankful to many people for the same. I have also made it a point to give very clear and open feedback to people; as far palatable as possible. My intention is always the same, improvement.

Anyhow, this post is more about a joke I just here goes!

Cowboy: "Well, I suppose you've been all right. You've been a decent horse, I guess. A bit slow sometimes, but a decent horse, and..."
Horse: "No, you idiot! I didn't ask you for FEEDBACK! I said I wanted my FEEDBAG!"

Monday, May 08, 2006


"Abey Itna Kyun Khush Ho Raha Hai? Tujhe Jhakkas Nahin Jackass Bola Hai!"
-- Anonymous

Terrorism and London Bombings

I read with great disturbance, USA's plans to strike Iran with nuclear weapons. I believe we are certainly headed for "The clash of civilisations and the remaking of the world order" if these are allowed to continue.

I wrote a letter to the editor of "The Guardian" of UK after the 7/7 bombings in London. It never got published - seems like they did not have the guts for it - but I think it can certainly find a place of pride on my blog.

Have a look.

Dear Editor,

The recent bombings in London were a sad moment and I empathise with the people who lost their loved ones. As an Indian, I represent a nation that has faced the consequences of fundamentalism, a deep religious divide and a fissiparous origin in 1947; and continues to face them. However, I feel aggrieved at the deep hypocrisy of the British society and in particular the British establishment in matters of terrorism. There are two primary factors that compel me to conclude such a disturbing notion.

While, I strongly condemn the attacks, I cannot help but pass a wry smile at the deep irony of the bombings. The Frankestenian monster created by America and so carefully nurtured by it, is now dutifully fulfilling the second part of the fable. Britain, who has faithfully served as the lapdog of America is of course in the line of fire.

What purpose was served by the attack on Iraq? Where are the elusive WMDs? Haven't these acts of the Allied forces, served to alienate the already aloof Muslim community across the world? The great yearning for the lost colonial glory which has resurfaced as the neo-imperialistic ambitions of the British will surely be the turning point of modern politco-economic history.

You can chant, maintain vigils and observe silence. But can that bring back the innocent and dead children in Iraq, so impassively designated as "collateral damage"? Why is an Iraqi life less precious than British life? In my eyes, both have the same value, and I feel the same sense of loss at both. Why not the British?

Why did the British vote for Tony Blair again? The British people are themselves responsible for fanning this irresponsible fire. The second factor is, of course, the tremendous double standards on Pakistan. India has been crying hoarse for ages, and pointing it as the fountainhead of global terrorism; a fact that the British have conveniently decided to ignore. I hope that the "realisation" of this fact shall alleviate the British misery.

You are yourselves to be blamed for your troubles. It is still not too late, to change your errant ways. I hope you do that, and India and Britain can fight terrorism jointly.

Warm Regards
Ankur Jain

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Karl Marx said "History is Economics in action." I concur. Have a look at this report that describes English history through an Economics and Darwinian approach!

Did Sonia Gandhi listen to her "inner voice"?

During a discussion today on the word "abdicate" someone asked me whether Sonia Gandhi abdicated the post of PM or not? I told him she did not, since she never was a PM, but that could have been the word to use if she did become the PM and then step down of her volition.

But that question led a great debate, and I thought that people need to know the reality of what happened in 2004. Contrary to the "great sacrifice" as being portrayed, Sonia Gandhi was stopped from becoming the PM.

Here's a blow-by-blow account from "The Pioneer". But before you read this, it is a good idea to click on the law ministry's website and have "The Constitution of India" be ready for quick reference.

Did Sonia Gandhi step down from the race to be Prime Minister because her "inner voice" suddenly told her to do so? Why did this "voice" speak now, despite her being elected Congress Parliamentary Party leader and after obtaining letters of support from all allied parties?

Apparently, it was not the "inner voice" but certain queries that could have been put to her by the President of India, custodian of the Constitution, which caused her to withdraw her name.

Contrary to attempts by Congressmen and Communists to portray her eleventh-hour retreat as a "personal decision" spurred by her children, it could be the clarifications apparently sought by President A P J Abdul Kalam that resulted in the rethink. The President, it is reliably learnt, did not outrightly reject her candidature for the post of the Prime Minister. However, he is believed to have sought certain clarifications on a few points regarding the precise status of her Indian citizenship. In doing so, he may have referred to some pointed queries referred to him by legal luminaries who met him since the declaration of the Lok Sabha election results.

That probably explains why Ms Gandhi's decision to opt out came only after she emerged from the Rashtrapati Bhawan after meeting the President on Tuesday at 12.30 pm. That could also explain why she did not allow the entourage of allied parties to accompany her for the meeting, contrary to custom.

According to highly placed sources, the President may have conveyed to her that in view of the legal and constitutional queries raised, he would need some more time to examine the matter. Accordingly, there could be no swearing-in on Wednesday, May 19 - a date unilaterally announced by Left leaders and enthusiastically endorsed by Congressmen on Monday without consulting the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Highly placed sources in the Government told The Pioneer that on the basis of various petitions submitted to him, the President could have sought to clarify a few issues from Ms Gandhi. He is said to have informally communicated to her on Monday evening that certain queries needed to be answered, even as he invited her to have a discussion on Government formation.

On the basis of pleas submitted to him by people like Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj against any person of foreign origin occupying a top constitutional post, and the legal advice that he had obtained from top constitutional experts, the President could have sought three clarifications from Ms Gandhi. This would be a haunting experience for Ms Gandhi. The BJP leaders had already declared that they would continue to support any form of agitation on the foreign origin issue.

The most damaging clarification that has apparently been sought relates to Article 102 of the Constitution that says: "A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament" on any or more of five possible grounds. Clause(d) of the same Article says "... or is under any acknowledgement of allegiance or adherence to a foreign state".

The term "adherence" had to be clarified specifically as Ms Gandhi in her affidavit before the Returning Officer of the Rai Bareli parliamentary constituency had stated that she owned ancestral property, namely portion of a house, in Orbassano, Italy, the country of her origin. This fact of ownership, legal experts say, makes her subject to Italian law in this matter and could be interpreted as "adherence" to a foreign country. Since this portion of the ancestral property was apparently bequeathed to her by her father in his will, she inherited it only after his death. Consequently, the property was not her's when she filed her 1999 nomination affidavit.

Article 103 states that "if any question arises as to whether a member of either House of Parliament has become subject to disqualification mentioned in Article 102, the question shall be referred for the decision to the President and his decision shall be final". Clause 2 of the Article says: "Before giving any decision on such question, the President shall obtain the opinion of the Election Commission and shall act according to such opinion."

This means that the President is required by the Constitution to undertake an elaborate process of examining the legal and constitutional issues involved. Thus, Ms Gandhi's swearing-in could not happen before the matter was fully clarified and resolved.

Another point that came in the way of Ms Gandhi was Section 5 of the Citizenship Act. Under this, there is a reciprocity provision whereby citizenship granted by India to persons of foreign origin is circumscribed by the rights that particular country confers upon foreigners seeking citizenship there.

The crux of this provision of "reciprocity" is that a person of foreign origin, who has acquired the citizenship of India through registration by virtue of marrying an Indian national, cannot enjoy more rights (like becoming Prime Minister), if the same opportunity is not available to an Indian-born citizen in that particular country.

While it is not known whether the President mentioned this, legal luminaries pointed out there could be a further lacuna over the issue of her surrendering Italian citizenship. It is believed that while acquiring citizenship through registration in 1983, she surrendered her Italian passport to the Italian Ambassador in New Delhi but did not obtain a formal notification from the Italian Government that her citizenship of that country had been cancelled.

This might be only a technicality that could be rectified in a few days, but it would have certainly helped the BJP raise the pitch of the campaign once the citizenship issue returned to the fore.

Another petition submitted to the President on Tuesday by Sushma Swaraj pointed out that as the Supreme Commander of India's Armed Forces, the President should examine a key issue. It referred to the fact that a Defence or Indian Foreign Service official cannot even marry a foreign national without permission, or must quit his post. How could a person of foreign origin be handed over the nuclear button in such circumstances, Ms Swaraj's petition demanded to know.

What could have prevented Sonia?

Article 102 of the Constitution says: "A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament - (d) if he or she is under any acknowledgement of allegiance or adherence to a foreign state." Sonia Gandhi, in her affidavit, had declared she owned a house in Italy and may thus invite, the term "adherence" of the said provision.

Under Article 103, the President is the sole adjudicator on the issue who has to decide on such matter in consultation with the Election Commission.

Section 5 of the Citizenship Act, dealing with the reciprocity clause for a person who registered herself as an Indian citizen, says the said person could not enjoy more rights than those available to an Indian born person in that other country if he/she acquires citizenship of that country, like Italy for instance.

The clauses of the Citizenship Act were apparently not fully met when Ms Gandhi relinquished her Italian citizenship.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Billionaires and Zodiac Signs

I just learnt that Virgos are more likely to be billionaires than any other sunsign, and, Sagittarius are least likely to be billionaires. Being a Sagittarius myself, I treat this piece of news with great consternation :)

Read the whole article here.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Poetic Resignation

Found this floating on the net....pretty nice, eh?

The name is good, the brand is big
But the work I do is that of a pig
The work or the brand; what is my way?
I don't know if I should stay.

To work, they have set their own way
Nobody will care to hear what I say
My will be NULL, they wont change their way
I don't know if I should stay.

The project is in a critical stage
But to do good work, this is the age
This dilemma is killing me day by day
I don't know if I should stay.

The money is good, the place is great
But the development is at a very small rate
Should I go for the work, or wait for pay
I don't know if I should stay!

The managers don't know what they talk
The team doesn't know where they walk
That's a bad situation, what say?
I don't know if I should stay.

I can go to any other place
But what if I get the same disgrace
I can't keep switching day by day
I don't know if I should stay.

The -ves are more, the +ves are less
Then why have this unnecessary mess
No more will I walk their way,
It's all done, I won't stay.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Why did the chicken cross the road?

You must have read endless forwards of American versions of the classic question "Why did the chicken cross the road?".

I once made a long writeup on what would Indians say about this question. Have a dekko.


ATAL BIHARI VAJAPAYEE Chicken ke dwara (long pause) bina ijazat (another long pause) road cross karna (yet another very long pause) achi baat nahin hai.

LALOO PRASAD YADAV Arre, ee sab to bakwas hai. Yeh sampradayik taktein chahti hain to des ko chicken aur non-chicken mein baant diya jaye. Hum ekjut hogar aise chicken ke khilaf ladenge aur kisi ko road cross nahin karne denge. Waise bhi yeh chicken bahut kam chara khate hain aur kamai ka koi mauka nahin hota hai.

SONIA GANDHI Congress party, aise kisi bhi chicken ka samarthan karne ko teyar hai, jo hamare saath milkar, road cross karne to teyar hai. Mere pati aur meri saas ne road cross karne ke liye apni jaan de di, aur hamari party aage bhi road cross karne ki koshish jaari rakhegi.

MAYAWATI Chicken, bahujan samaj ka ek pramukh anga hain. Manuwadi taktein, chicken ka shoshan kar rahi hain. Main sabhi chicken ko bharosa dilati hoon, ki hamari bahujan samaj party, unke saath road cross karna chahti hai. Woh Mulayam Singh kya janta hai chicken ke baare mein??

AAJ TAK Aur aaiye ab aage badhne se pehle nazar dalte hain ab tak ki kuch khas aur Aaj Tak to mili exclusive chicken dwara road crossings ki tasweeron pe (loud music starts, drowning all commentary)

EKTA KAPOOR Kyunki chicken bhi kabhi egg tha.

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF I tell you that we are completely innocent. We are not helping any chickens cross the road into Kashmir. They are crossing on their own. You may not believe that, but that the truth. Why don't the Indians stop the chicken crossings on their own? We will continue to support morally and diplomatically the Indigenous Road Cross Movement of the chickens in Kashmir and raise the issue at the next UN meet.

MUKESH AMBANI Mere pitajee ka sapna tha ki desh ka ek ek chicken saari ki saari roads, apne aap cross kar lega. Main woh sapna saakar karna chahta hoon.

VIRENDER SEHWAG Hello Maa, maine chicken mutthi main kar liya hai!

AZHAR And, you know, that the chicken, is being victimised.

SALMAN KHAN I tell you that it is the media that is trying to project a bad image of mine. The chicken is just a good friend of mine and we were trying to cross the road to meet him, when he started cross too and we collided. I tell you, I was not even driving.

AISHWARYA RAI I am telling you, it is all over between us. Whether the chicken is trying to cross the road or not, is none of my business any longer.

ADNAN SAMI Thodi see to chicken dila de, thodi is toh road cross kara de, thodi si toh lift kara de.