Ego cogito, ergo sum

A compodium of my published aritcles, features, etc. on technology, IT and everything else; sourced from CyberMedia publications, Financial Express, Free Press Journal, Nazara.com, etc……

Posts Tagged ‘BJP

A :( yet :) Communalist

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Communalists like me in India are a wee bit dazed at the moment by the way the election results have unfolded in India. While, victory by NDA (led by a communal BJP) seemed improbable; the contrary (victory of UPA) did not seem a possibility either. To that end, I had stuck out my neck last time (http://shashwatdc.com/2009/04/who-will-be-the-18th-pm/) and declared that Congress will lose the hustings and so will BJP, and we will be see the emergence of a prime minister from one of the numerous fronts. May 16th proved me, and so many more like me, to be wrong and I stand corrected now. I had completely underestimated the intelligence of Indian voters (though I still quite doubt its existence) and had gone ahead and predicted the future as perceived from my rather urbanised mind. I had forgotten that India lives in the villages, thus the issues that were relevant to me were not the same with that of say a Shankar in Azamgarh. 

To be honest, I have never really been able to fathom as to what makes the Indian masses tick; is it a mere battle of survival, so that anyone who gives them the maximum freebie wins or is it caste/religious identity? Considering the way Indians politicians pander and beguile the populace year after year, it is hard to expect them to be sane and rational. Either my fellow countrymen, that number well over a billion, are very intelligent can segregate the wheat from the chaff or are complete idiots who can be easily taken for a ride by wily politicos. Looking at the results of the 15th Lok Sabha elections from this prism, I am a bit more inclined towards believing that Indian voters are more sensible than they are thought to be. And, before all the Congressi start jumping with ‘we told you so’. Let me clarify my statement.

The reason why I detest Congress more from an ideological point-of-view than from a logical one. For me the Gandhi-worship is akin to the dynastical worship of the past; recall how the zamindar babu’s son would be another zamindar himself, similarly, a Gandhi scion has no need to prove himself before being vaulted into the stratosphere of Indian politics. All that is required is a mere name that can be earned by birth or by marriage. This herd mentality, rather common trait among Indians who have been accustomed to be ruled for ages, pisses me no end. And that is the primary reason why I want the callous Gandhi party to be decimated. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shashwat D.C.

May 23, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Who will be the 18th PM?

Look at any newspaper, magazine, news channel, online media, just about anything, the hot discussion or rather the only discussion that is taking place these days is as to what will happen to the 15th Loksabha, who will win, who will lose and who will stay put. The best brains of this nation are trying to come out with the answers, right from the grey-haired political analysts to the scores of psephologists who have made a well paid business out of predictions.

And yet, as in the past, all these opinion polls and surveys fail to reveal the story, election after election. The reason is simple, the inherent bias. All Indians are political, whether they agree or not. Hence, when they are asked to make the choices they do so based on their desires and hopes (which by the way are shaped by their biases). It is very hard for any analyst, reporter, or even a psephologist to get rid of that bias. And yet, they pretend valiantly to do so. Thus, before every election there are these predictions that are built upwards and then fall flat like a house of cards.

Being a political Indian myself, I strongly feel the urge to add to the cacophony of these predictions. I think can foretell the future based on my ‘gut feel’ and am quite sure how things will turn out. And since, I am aware of my limitations (rather my communal bias), I feel the best thing to do will be to find a few more political Indians like me who feel strongly on the issue and have biases that are not quite like mine. So, while I am tainted in the communal colour of Saffron, I have asked my friend or rather comrade Abhijit Deb who is dipped in Red to make his predictions, and finally to balance the 2nd and the 3rd front, we have a supporter of the Gandhian family Akhilesh Shukla pitching in for Congress I.

Among us, we are making predictions on how things will turn out in the days to come. And all this at a fraction of the cost of all those psephologists and analysts, just a couple of ‘cutting chai’. At the end of the political tamasha, we very much intend to return to this post, and am sure one of us would be grinning to himself patting his own back, while the rest will be terming this to be a rather childish and immature exercise or just that Indian politics is beyond the range of any rational analysis based prediction, it is game of tart, for the tart-headed.

So, mere pyaare desh vasiyon. Here are the 3 scenarios from three biased journalists, please take them with a pinch of salt and a tequila too (if you can afford one, that is). Here it goes:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shashwat D.C.

April 17, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Online Netajis……

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Political parties of all hues and contours are jumping on to the online bandwagon in pursuit of the Indian voter. Will they succeed or not is the big question on everyone’s mind. Here is a primer.

“Power comes from the barrel of a gun,” is what Chinese dictator Mao Tse Tung had proclaimed many decades back. The Chinese revolution in the 1950s, became the sort of template for almost all the revolutionaries across the globe, be it Fidel Castro in Cuba to Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, from Saparmurat Niyazov in Turkmenistan to Prachanda in Nepal. Despotic governments propped up by Kalashnikovs popped up across different continents and regions. Apparently, gun and government complimented each other beatifically.

Then in 2009, to be precise, another revolution took shape, a black man with mixed heritage ascended the most powerful position in the world by being elected as President of the United States beating all the odds. A year earlier, no one would have given Barrack Obama even a sniffing chance of winning the election but that is what he did in a manner that took most of the world by surprise. His strategy was similar to the ones used by all the dictators (a promise of change that roused the populace) except for one crucial difference: instead of gun, Obama relied on copper wire. His message of change was not spread by gunshots but by telephone and cable lines across the 50 states of the US.

Medium became almost as powerful as the message itself. By winning over the White House, black Obama engendered a new template for all the politicians (usually the democratic ones) to follow, namely the use of Internet and Telephony to spread the message.

Come May 2009, this Obama template will be put to its most rigorous test in the largest democratic election of the world: when the 15th Lok Sabha elections take place. With over 8,00,000 polling stations and nearly 700 million people eligible to cast their votes the battle royale for the PM’s seat has begun for the various political parties.

The coming of Cyber Politics

Since, this election promises to be a closely fought one, no party is leaving any stone unturned in its pursuit of the voter, with much attention and time being given to the first-time voters and the tech-savvy middle class. Impressed by the way Obama spread the message of change, political parties are using every means at their disposal to spread their word, be it television, print or hoardings. From roadside walls plastered with posters to fancy adverts on television. The battle for the ballot has now spilled on to the cyberspace, with each party looking at making gains by hosting websites, blogs, or sending emails.

It is not as if that political parties have suddenly discovered the Internet as a medium, both the Congress and the BJP have had online presence for a long time. For instance, years back Congress Leader Jagdish Tytler had launched an online forum while for BJP it was their tech savvy leader Pramod Mahajan. In fact, BJP had launched its own website and formed an IT cell way back in 1997. The rest, like the Communist Party of India (CPI), Telugu Desam party, Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and the rest, all have a web presence.

Nonetheless, the parties are now moving to the next stage, from static website to interactive Internet strategies. Again, the Obama template comes into play. According to reports, the biggest game changer for Obama was his community building exercise, which included an impressive 13 million e-mail addresses and some 2 million friends on his social networking site. Not surprisingly, parties are trying to emulate the same in India by actively using technology to reach out to the electorate.

The Saffron winner Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shashwat D.C.

April 6, 2009 at 9:01 pm