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Aam Admi Party & The Battle Of Perception

When the Indian oral hygiene products company Balsara launched its Promise toothpaste in 1978, it had to contend with entrenched multinational brands like Colgate. In those days, multinational companies had an aura and it was difficult for Indian companies to take them on. The aura is a certain perception in the mind of the consumer – that multinational companies offered better quality. Indian industry in its infancy, struggling to stay afloat might have willy-nilly contributed to the perception. But the issue is perception. Brands have to win the battle of perception to win in the market place. In order to gain a foothold in the competitive market, Balsara had to strategize its launch by offering a differential advantage. It positioned its brand as a toothpaste containing clove oil. In marketing parlance, this is known as claiming first mover advantage. However, industry watchers at the time pointed out that Promise was really not the … Read entire article »

Filed under: India, Politics

Reviving Dharma- Part 3- Eleven Points on Dharma

 Nithin Sridhar 1. Much of the ills of the present society can be solved if people simply start adhering to the tenets of Dharma. 2.The problems of corruption,black-money, illegal mining,scams would not have happened if people had followed Asteya-Non Stealing. 3.The caste discrimination, Dowry burning,religious riots, Honour killings would not have happened if people adhered to Ahimsa-Non Violence. 4. The condition of Ganges, the problems of toilet, sanitation,pollution etc are due to non adherence to Shaucha- Cleanliness. 5. Rape, Murder, Family Dispute, Property Dispute etc are due to Non-adherance to Ahimsa, Asteya & Indriya Nigraha. 6. Ahimsa includes not causing harm through mind, words or actions. Hence, all such incidents of violence could be avoided. 7. Indriya Nigraha- by controlling one’s mind & senses- greed, lust etc can be suppressed avoiding rape, sexual assault, etc 8. The rape … Read entire article »

Filed under: Hinduism, India

Random Reflections On The Karnataka Election 2013

If one were to name a singular failure of the intelligentsia, the politicians, the sociologists and finally the sanctimonious, ‘know-all’ media that comprise the opinion-shaping organs of the world’s largest democracy, it is its failure to build a cohesive national spirit. For, sixty five years after becoming a democratic polity, we still vote as castes and communities; ethnic and religious groups. Unlike the Americans, Brits, Chinese, French or Russians we do not think, act or behave as a nation, like Indians. We think as vokkaligas, and lingayats; forward castes and backward castes; Hindus and Muslims; Bengalese and Biharis; Kanndigas and Marathis but certainly not as Indians. Compared to these considerations, probity in public life or its converse, corruption appears to be a non-issue in Indian elections. This was earlier observed in AP in 2009 when the then YSR government accused of corruption on a gigantic scale not only … Read entire article »

Filed under: Corruption, India, Media, Politics

Corruption and Social Order in South Asia

The media often presents a variety of views from seasoned journalists, bloggers, and aam admi (common man) discussions on corruption in South Asia; the tone and substance of the discussions generally have left me more confused than enlightened. We understand that corruption is not unique to South Asia; it is all across globe but at different levels. In the WASP* (#1) culture dominated nations the social order has moved on from that developed by ‘the old boy’s network’ of elites representing the traditional upper crust of society. The new elite meritocracy took over about a couple of decades after the WWII (1970 onwards). The subject was discussed by David Brooks* (#2). Brooks had based his arguments after reviewing a book by Christopher Hayes* (#3). Both author’s arguments reflected the US and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Corruption, Economy, India

Reviewing The Reviewers

“Well, I certainly did not think that I could do worse.” —D.W. Griffith   (Swans – March 9, 2009)   Most of us are critics in life, but cannot take criticism at any level — we become defensive. It seems to leave a dour and sour taste in our contemporary American culture with typical reactions like “Oh, don’t be so critical.” Let us examine the morphology of criticism. Critic is derived from the Greek word Krino, which means “to judge.” It is a noun that emanates from the verb Krites, which refers to a person who makes judgments. Judge is another word that engenders a certain amount of resistance and resentment like “who are you to judge?” or “I don’t want to be judgmental, but…” Since the ancient times, a judge, a critic, or a reviewer could be … Read entire article »

Filed under: Feature, General, Media, World

Anna Hazare’s Jan Lokpal – a puppet on a string?

Like most Indians, I have been following the anti-corruption movement that has taken center stage in India over the past few months. Anna Hazare and his Friends have been staging protests seeking a tough anti-corruption law. I must confess that the attention that this movement has commanded is indeed remarkable – I would say too remarkable for comfort to be a spontaneous venting we are used to seeing all these years in India. The speed and professionalism with which Anna Fast I and Anna Fast II have been organized has not missed anyone’s notice. Further, many have also noticed the ultra-professionalism with which the media has been handled. Contrast this with Baba Ramdev’s fast at Ramlila maidan and the chaos that descended there when police sought to disperse the gathering. Given … Read entire article »

Filed under: Corruption, India, Media, Politics

Congress’s own “Gott Strafe India”- Baba Ramdev – Ramlila Debate

The media have not yet got around to denouncing UPA, but that will come soon, no doubt, since the bonafide Citizens are already bringing out billingsgate attack on Congress ,UPA and the Delhi Sarkar, in their emails, blogs, & tweets, for Truncating the Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev’s anti-corruption movement. The precariously perched UPA, lead by a factious congress party, and the loathsome attack on Baba Ramdev was reminiscent of pre 1947 independence resistance against the imperial British. Taking an inventory of sorts, where Baba went wrong is now unforgivable, as he escaped by a hair’s breadth. The largest democracy, had instantaneously become the largest dictator for nearly eight hours to begin with, with the omnipresent section 144, a draconian formulate, imposed arbitrarily by the British, before 1947, when ever their authority was … Read entire article »

Filed under: Corruption, India, Media, Politics

India Corruption: Anna Hazare and Indians Against Corruption

EPIC BATTLE AT JANTAR MANTAR Anna Hazare’s hunger strike, reminiscent of Mahatma Gandhi’s mass Satyagrahas, has truly awakened the citizenry of this country. A moribund citizenry has at last come alive to fight corruption and venality in public life. The groundswell of public anger against corruption that fueled the movement ensured Hazare’s self-less Satyagraha has not gone in vain. At first the ruling dispensation tried to deflect the issue hoping public attention would move on to other issues. The ‘Adarsh Society’ 2G, CWG et al. don’t evoke the kind of emotional responses now as they did only a few months ago. Who remembers Bofors’? It was anyway minuscule in scale compared to the twenty-first century scams. The spokes-persons of UPA were so cock-sure of the ‘public-memory-is-short’ dictum, that they now claim they have … Read entire article »

Filed under: Corruption, India

India: Anti-corruption Drive by Shanti Bhushan

SUPPORT SHANTI BHUSHAN AND HIS TEAM IT IS EITHER NOW OR NEVER 85 years ago, Shanti Bhushan was born in the home of an eminent Public Prosecutor of the British Raj. Little did anyone imagine that one day this man would shake the corrupt foundations of independent India from its very roots. Shanti Bhushan became a lawyer much against the wishes of his father, and eventually went on to become the Law Minister of India. Shanti Bhushan’s son Prashant Bhushan, who left IIT Madras and Princeton to pursue law from Allahabad University, chose the most un-travelled path for an eminent Indian lawyer. As a son of a former law minister, Prashant Bhushan could have hobnobbed with the high and mighty like most other luminaries in the legal profession. But instead of representing the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Corruption, India, NRI

Conversion, Corruption, Congress and bloody Indians

Recently, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured a Christian delegation that he was trying to evolve a consensus on granting Scheduled Caste status to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims. This is interesting since just a few days ago; the Gujarat High Court has rejected a plea filed by a converted Christian seeking access to benefits extended to him earlier as a Scheduled Caste Hindu. In addition the Prime Minister reportedly promised “to act on the Saldanha report on violence against minorities in Karnataka”. This is in reference to the independent inquiry report of Michael Saldanha, of The Catholic-Christian Secular Forum (Catholic but Secular? Hmm!), a retired judge of the Bombay and Karnataka High Courts, (and just happen to be the President of the Catholic Association of South Kanara or Dakshina Kannada, the place where violent incidents had … Read entire article »

Filed under: Christianity, Corruption, NRI, Politics