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Showing posts from January, 2013

Towards a news website

Nobel laureate Mohammad Yunus, the Grameen Bank man from Bangladesh, believes that information and communication technology (ICT) is going to “change the world in the immediate future far more rapidly and fundamentally than any other technology so far in human history.” Writing in the article “Poverty Free World: How and When”, he says, “Internet … is spreading at an exponential rate. At its present speed, it is doubling its worldwide use every nine months.” An economist of the highest order, he underlines, “The most attractive aspect of this spread of ICT is that it is not in anyone’s control. Neither government, nor big business, nor anyone of any authority can restrict the flow of information through the Internet. The next best aspect of it is that it is becoming cheaper every day.”
Further, he says, “ICT is raising the hope that we are approaching the world which is free from power brokers, and knowledge brokers. Each individual’s likes and dislikes count. Individuals will be in com…

Modi's postal ballot confusion

The Gujarat state assembly elections last month brought back chief minister Narendra Modi to power with a resounding victory. A month has gone by, yet I am left wondering what prompted Modi – in his first speech after the victory, delivered at the BJP headquarters in Ahmedabad – to thank the government staff for overwhelmingly voting for his party. Addressing a jubilant gathering of his supporters, which included a top Congress turncoat, Narhari Amin, Modi dished out a figure of the support he believed he got from the karmacharis – 70 per cent! This was, indeed, quite in contrast to what a few officials in the chief minister’s office (CMO), as also some senior secretaries, had been telling me all along – that the karmacharis had “generally cast their vote against Modi in the postal ballots.” There were even reports that, at some places, the karmacharis, especially cops, were prevented from posting their ballots. They were told to “perform their duty” instead of voting. When I tried in…

Jay Somnath

This is what happened several decades ago, when I was a small school-going child. Every summer, accompanied with my mother, I would come down from Delhi to spend the two-month-long holiday at my maternal uncle’s place in the posh Panchvati area of Ahmedabad. Each weekend, my uncle would take us for a ride in his grand old black car. I think it was Chevrolet. I would wait eagerly for the weekend, as I had virtually nothing to do for the rest of the days. In the evenings, I mostly play in the open ground with the neighbouring children, but for rest of the time, as if, I was under strict, almost loving, control of my grandma, whom all of the children of the family called Baa. Especially after the dinner, which would be pretty early, she would make it a point to entertain us – mainly me and my cousin – by playing bezique.
During one such summer, Baa decided to give us a strong injection of nationalism. She took in her hand Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi’s well-known novel “Jay Somnath” and t…