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Random Posts on Islamic Nations and Muslims May 3, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Blogging, Islam , add a comment

These are essentially cut and paste from my FB discussions. They may get a shape as proper articles, they may not. Here they are, as of now, the way they were written, almost.

 

  1. That is indeed very tragic. Staying on course, between 4 to 5 million German’s were killed, majorly at the behest of France, which is now “sister-country” to Germany and anywhere between 2 to 3 million in Japan at the behest of the US which is now a partner in progress with special status. Yes if France and Germany can come together and the US and Japan can come together, what is stopping India and Pakistan. They came together and their economies benefited. India and Pakistan continue buying 10s of billions of dollars of arms from western powers and keep their economy growing and Indo-Pak people impoverished. PPP per-capita income of both India and Pakistan are in the range of USD 5,000 +/- 10%. Pakistan below 5 and India above. If 20we just stop burning our money within 20 years both India and Pakistan would be around USD 30,000 per-capita. Unfortunately good economics is bad politics in the Indian-subcontinent.
  2. Bring in any qualifiers, Rajan, facts would remain facts…. I suggest you read about 1,000 – 1,500 articles on Countries with majority Muslim population, go beyond Indian Subcontinent, focus on North Asian countries, Central African countries and Indonesia smile.
  3. Question? Which country which has more than 50 percent of population has equal religious rights and freedoms for Minorities and Minorities have blossomed.

    Answer: Have you heard of Indonesia, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan? I can go on and on……
  4. What are the overall stats? Overall stats are that upwards almost 70% Muslims live in Secular world. If for us, world is only India-Pak-Bangladesh, too bad. World is much beyond Indian subcontinent. Even for the subcontinent 66% of Muslims live in countries which are secular. These are facts, my dear friend.
  5. What are we trying to prove here? Know that the number of Muslim majority countries which don’t have a State religion is more than those which have one. Know that Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world – 12-13% of World population and it doesn’t have Islam as an official religion? Know that Bangladesh was born as a Secular country and moved to become an Islamic Country but moved back to calling itself Secular, though it still maintains an official religion. Know that the Bangladeshi fundamentalists don’t differentiate between Hindu Secular and Muslim Secular, they kill both.
  6. Observation: I am not saying that all Muslims are such. Far from it. The issue is the extreme elements seem to dictate the rest of the community n no one can challenge them. Comment: Not true, there are millions who challenge them. For all we know, the way Bangladesh is challenging them, it may once again become a Secular country.How Kamaal Ata Turk handled them was exemplary and I am sure there would be more…. Islam Karimov is doing a great job and so are leaders of so many other countries, look at the way Bashar al Assad has taken it head on.
    I just refreshed my knowledge, Bangladesh did become secular in 2010, but continues having Islam as national religion. There is a debate on to even remove that.

At some stage, this is goona be an article and an interesting map.

 

 

Budget 2016 – BJP/NDA Present First Socialist Budget February 29, 2016

Posted by simarp in : India , add a comment

Unless there are zillions of fine lines in the budget document, this budget is the best which Congress, UPA and other Socialists would have put together in a non-election year. In an election year, they would have definitely gone overboard with Socialistic zeal. It looks like last year’s drubbing and a flat year has left BJP thinking. Sensex remained flat, Rupee depreciated, lots of money was not spent, the promise of Achche Din never happened, and on top of it the tag of ‘Suit Boot Ki Sarkar’ got very closely linked to the way the government functioned. This budget aims at moving away from Suit Boot Ki Sarkar to Kissan aur Gareeb Ki Sarkar. This budget has a clear pro-poor and pro-farmer stance to it, which is very good news for India. Making cars and cigarettes expensive is always good. The benefit which car companies and cigarette companies give to the country is diminished by several times because of the burden it puts on Infrastructure and Health Care.

This budget signals acceptance that hype and dreams require a base which India still does not have. I am not sure whether this budget would contain inflation. My first reaction was that it would actually fuel inflation. Most economists’ early comments say that this is going to reduce inflation and help middle class, I doubt.

It is high time that government looked at Public Sector banks and gave them support,  this budget tries to do that to a considerable extent. For this to work,  it would be important to ensure that the NPAs do not start piling up again for which government must seriously run after entrepreneurs who have defaulted in hundreds of crores but still live lavish life and own assets under dubious companies and names. Government must also penalize and arrest those MDs of Public Sector Banks under whose regime NPAs grew maximum.

Those in opposition, who are claiming this budget to be pro-rich, probably feel that they have nothing else to say.  I don’t see how this budget is pro-rich as it has no such symptoms and it doesn’t apparently favor them any way. It essentially makes everything they love more expensive, whether it is dividend income or eating out in restaurants or buying luxury cars or traveling.

Government’s proposal of taxing black money by 45% and converting it into white is not very attractive because Black money generators, in any case, @35% could have managed to have it white. However, if the government aggressively chases black money then this could be a good proposal.

This budget, if executed properly, would help Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, UP, Orissa and Rajasthan most and farmers of Punjab, AP & Haryana to a great extent, too.

Two things which surely need some explanation from FM are, why the tribal sub-clans budget has been reduced by half despite planning commission’s stipulation  and why do we not find  any visible nuggets about reducing current account deficit.

Getting every poor to a health cover scheme is a good step and also Rs. 30,000 one-time grant to poor Senior Citizens is a step in the right direction. Jan Aushadhi Yojna or in other words Public Pharmacy Stores are like Fair Price shops for medicines. They would work if they are stocked. Though the number of 3,000 stores looks extremely inadequate but this is a good step in revamping and making Public Distribution System an inclusive affair.

An amount of Rs.15,000 crore has been kept for interest subvention for farmers. It looks to me that it is too little and too late. When farmers were committing suicide, just keeping interest for subvention may not make much difference.

Budget 2016 proposals have brought a degree of optimism in me. However, I remain skeptical as I do not see any landmark proposals in education and skill development sectors.

Amitabh Bachchan as Incredible India Ambassador is Unacceptable January 8, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Bollywood , add a comment

Dear Mr. Amitabh Bachchan,

Please do not become brand ambassador of Incredible India. Yes, you are a great actor and a even a better manipulator, but you are definitely not a good human being. You are always on the side of power and you truly believe in going with the flow. You were with the Gandhis when they called the shots, you were great pals with Amar Singh, Anil Ambani and Mulayam Singh when you were deep in the dumps and they were flavor of the day and now you are with Modi Ji. Of course everyone knows how you royally dumped Amar Singh when he lost Mulayam Singh’s confidence despite accepting Rolls or was it Bentley from him so famously.

Millions of people saw you on television and remember you shouting action against Sikhs in the wake of Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s assisnation, yes your dramatics were well received and thousands of Sikhs were massacred in their own country and your war cry did contribute significantly to it.  In your heart you don’t belong to any party, you don’t belong to any religion, you don’t belong to any family, you didn’t even belong to your parents. You just belong to yourself and someone who has always lived for himself over others even over his immediate family can’t be a brand ambassador for India, so please don’t fix it. Everyone knows how you played a dominating role in life of Praveen Babi and Rekha and how you didn’t marry either of the two and left them both absolutely high and dry.

You are not apolitical having successfully contested on a Congress ticket and you left that party when financial disputes surfaced between your friend’s widow Sonia Gandhi and you.

It will make me very sad if you are made India’s brand ambassador, you precisely stand for values which India can do without. You’ve manipulated your way to it, but please don’t accept it, it will be a great favor to India.

Thank You.

 

Simarprit Singh

Whose National Anthem Is It Anyway? January 7, 2016

Posted by simarp in : India , 2comments

If you are thinking whether to stand during National Anthem or whether to sing along or not while the National Anthem is being played, you have a challenge of patriotism anyway.  Definitely you are not secular in your mindset and definitely you have some lack of clarity about where your responsibilities to your religion and your nation overlap. Your religion has to be independent of your National responsibilities or duties and vice-versa.

If you don’t get pride by singing National Anthem, it is time for you to move to a country whose anthem inspires you. To me India’s National Anthem has played a key role in shaping my patriotism and love for my nation. It tells me that we are a historically connected and culturally co-joined nation. It tells me that as a nation we walk together and succeed together.  It also tells me how it is possible to write in a language which is largely made up of common words in all languages of India.  National Anthem is in  Bangla and Sanskrit and the words stitched together have the same meaning across our nation.

In my humble opinion. There is nothing in National Anthem which can offend anybody’s religious beliefs, however if someone really feels that the Anthem does, he or she must look for a country whose Anthem is in sync  with their religious priorities. Till they find a country to call their own, they  can continue respecting their host country’s Anthem and standing for it. They mustn’t oppose it, disrupt it or walk-out. That is a big no and that hurts those to the core who are one with the nation and its Anthem.

My India My Life March 15, 2015

Posted by simarp in : India , add a comment

My India and my life are intertwined together with some mystique and a little naughtiness. When my India thinks, my life chooses to sleep and when my India sleeps, my life throws a tantrum like a four year old in  a candy shop, hands fluttering and holding air and feet stomping and attempting an agitated symphony. Long and short of it is, that my India and my life have evolved a crazy relationship and I have fallen in love with the weirdness of the twists and turns it never misses to take. Needless to say my life and my India never sleep with each other, sadly so.

India and I are together in this journey, I haven’t stopped looking up to it. I not only look-up to it for an inspiration, I also look up to it inform India on how I am fairing in doing my part of the deal. All journeys are not beautiful and no journey can be beautiful all the time, having said that, India opens its arms for all those who believe in it. India, in its good, bad and ugly form is there in totality, at every corner at every crossroad. We live and enjoy our corrupt and some more, politicians. We live and enjoy acts of our cricketers off field, at times, more off-field than on-field and when it comes to our film stars, they are our new life which we seldom stop chasing. Our lives are so confined to daily rigmarole that we feel that our entertainers have that ability to infuse their good life into ours and it is just a matter of time before we see ourselves wearing Oakley glasses, holding a glass of wine in our one hand and waist of our midnight fantasy in the other. Of course, our lips locked in a tribute to thousands of years of India’s romantic heritage.

At times I am compelled to feel that we Indians are destined to demolish India’s greatness brick by brick. The institutions we inherited are severely crippled and compromised. We have had abuses hurled and fist fights inside Parliament House, we have seen Prime Minister of India declaring a state of emergency to stay in power, we have seen External Affairs Minister of India escorting convicted terrorists as a surrender to free our citizens. We have seen a lot and we are bound to see some more with a former PM being summoned on corruption charges and a former CM accused of inapt handling of bloody riots against minorities in his state as the PM. I am sure my India is indeed breaking down one brick at a time and if this doesn’t stop, in 20-30 years we may not have any more bricks to bring down.

Corruption and nepotism have been silent epidemics which have been killing our country and taking more and more citizens under its spate. Every morning India finds itself more corrupt. I am not sure whether I should feel good that we have a fairly clean e-auction of our coal reserves at the behest of Supreme Court of India directive dutifully carried out by current government, or I should feel sad that tens of thousands of crores of tainted money brought about this political change. Once in a while, I hear shrill noise about corruption, but it is nothing more than regular pain which any epidemic inflicts, and some painkillers and the epidemic is back at spreading itself. To me it is not just about my personal suffering, to me and to many like me it is about costs which subsequent generation pay for one generations acceptance of this malice.

Time and again I pray for a happy and healthy family, when I am praying I tell myself that it is tough to keep my family happy and healthy in this India, I tell myself just loving my India is not helping, India has to love me back too. Then a hope comes in form of a landslide victory for those who are against corruption, but then this is my India, perpetually at crossroads, that hope is challenged and guess what, it is challenged for its own outlook towards corruption. I go back to my prayers.

 

 

 

In Bad Taste – I am not loving this India March 12, 2015

Posted by simarp in : Blogging, India , add a comment

Yes, I am not loving this India. This is definitely not an India I was raised in. This is not my India which I would proudly call my home. This India is too noisy, it has erratic seasons, it is polluted and worst is, for none of these statements you need a proof.

Why is today’s India attempting to be glossy, where is that India’s characteristic subtle approach? This India lives between glamor and gutter, it doesn’t live between grit and glory and that is from where my dislike stems from. I need an India which provides me with space to be myself. I need an India which is not just my abode but is also an awesome comfort zone for the world. That is what the world always looked up to India for, India was a dream and not an enigma to many which walked its path, unpaved, thorny and rough  at times. India was always the journey of the spirited and the saints.

India needs to know, India needs people at the helm of affairs who know what India needs and are motivated to leave their personal agenda behind and work for the nation. There are many amongst us who really know how India can be revived, we need to encourage them to take center stage, we need to let them know we believe in them. India can happen and it is very much in our hands to make India happen. As a nation, we have made strides in field of technology, we have kind of established our credentials, we need to build on that, and unfortunately, this is where we fail. Politics takes over, opportunism calls shorts, personal agendas and vested interests clash with self serving objectives and nation goes out for a walk, on an unpaved, thorny and rough road. Compromises are considered as an option, a firm NO is not considered as one. When compromises start breathing, it is heart and mind which go through spasms and eventually die. That’s the death we need to avert. We need to build in every Indian a mindset of no compromise on fundamental issues and no compromises on spur of the moment. We have a promise to fulfill to our generations to come, we have to present to them an India which is more agile, happening and earnest than what we inherited, this India is not.

We all know what is to be done, if we just start doing our part, signals would start traveling, someone would start paving the path, someone would start removing the thorns and someone would start flattening the rocks and blunting the rough edges. Life would be good, and it would begin from us.

Let us make India happen. Let us start our journey without waiting for anyone and without waiting for any specific time.

 

 

Looking for Political Analyst October 2, 2012

Posted by simarprit in : Uncategorized , 3comments

We at Mapsofindia.com have been covering elections in India since 1998. Later we started covering them in HeadlinesIndia.com a website promoted to cover news by Mapsofindia and now a sub-domain with it. As elections started becoming bigger and bigger we started exploring ideas to cover more of elections without diluting core of either Mapsofindia.com or HeadlinesIndia.com, thus was born concept of a dedicated site to cover elections for MoI part of our business. We didn’t want to do a halfhearted attempt and really wanted to commit ourselves to doing a quality work and realized that quality work can only thrive under a quality domain name. We needed a domain name which was easy to remember and conveyed its existence upfront like most of our projects do. Our search and willingness to pay the asking price got us http://Elections.In – this was our first choice. We have made the domain name live and have been working on back-end technologies for the same.

To experiment with formats we decided to work a bit more on US elections this year. Doing quality infographics and creating a series of news updates with a robust technology at back-end. Results have been encouraging. Having tied domain name, technology and format now we need a right person to carry the project for next 18 months. Individuals who can relate to the following would find this project a perfect fit for their careers.

  1. Love India
  2. Understand Indian politics
  3. Worked as political correspondent
  4. Traveled extensively across length and breadth of our nation
  5. Can sense a story
  6. Have a flair for writing
  7. Can manage to reach out to key politicians for exclusive soundbites
  8. Has an open mind
  9. Understand merits of an editorial and understand merits of news
  10. Can number crunch

We can sit and develop profile together. Essentially we have a budget of Rs 18,00,000/- for this profile spread over next 18 months. Initially project would require 2-3 stories a day with one editorial every week, closer to election date it would definitely require 24×7 approach and a back-end team of 6-7 junior analysts (for which our budget would be in addition to this)

Those who are interested can call me or text me at my India number – nine nine one double zero five three five thirty eight, it is a Delhi number. One from our team has already started shooting India, we would have extensive footage in place other than the one already with our project PicturesIndia.com

We would prefer someone working from home, however we can offer an office space in Delhi too.

Please pass a word around.

 

 

Anna Movement – Putting the cart before the horse? August 21, 2011

Posted by simarprit in : India , 8comments

Are we putting the cart before the horse?

My thoughts without any filters about Corruption and India

All of us who have ever given any bribe are part of the problem.

I know only two people who have most likely never ever given any bribe. One of them is our colleague – Rajiv Gupta Ji and the other probably, going by the spirit,  would be Shri Anna Hazare.

How do you define bribe – bribe is not only to government employees, it is also tax evasion, it is also in private sector as “familiarization tours” and it comes in 100 different ways or favors.

OK,  is Kiran Bedi clean, by what definition?

Why she did not resign from IPS when thousands of Sikhs were massacred in Delhi? Was she not aware what had happened, was she never in a position to get those who were guilty to books? Don’t tell me she never used any home-guard or a constable for her own personal use? She was part of this system for thirty years which she is calling corrupt. I am sure if Ms. Bedi was Commissioner of Police for Delhi and the Anna Movement was happening, she would have been the one to ensure that “lathi charge” and everything else happened.

The first real bribe transacted in this country was even before this country was “born again” as an independent country- when “Mahatama Gandhi” agreed to handover Congress President-ship from Moti Lal Nehru to Jawahar Lal Nehru and created India’s first political dynasty. It happened again, when Congress agreed to pay bribe to British in form of acceptance of two nation theory in lieu of Indian Independence.

If every one of us pay our taxes correctly, our moral right would shout at top of our voices, we will not need an Anna Hazare to pick our cause, the heat of our eyes will not allow any corrupt politician to exist, we will not need any lokpal bills or janlokpal bills.

Solutions are within us, let me ask:

Can we suffer for few more hours and not give those extra Rs 100.00 to submit that passport form out of queue?

Can we sacrifice a second or third or a fourth car and pay our full income tax?

Can we sit and burn midnight oil and submit all documents which are asked by government authorities for electricity, water and other utilities?

Can we stop filling fake reimbursement vouchers and deflated income tax returns?

Can we delay our journey by two days and not pay that 500 Rs to TT?

We understand that every time we don’t take a bill from a chemist shop we add to corruption, a corruption which we know costs life, can we wait for that additional five minutes for him to make that bill?

To me the problem begins from me, I am the spoke in the wheel of corruption, till I don’t resolve to take minor suffering in my stride, I will suffer majorly by this curse of corruption.

Bharat Benz February 21, 2011

Posted by simarprit in : Uncategorized , 2comments

My eyes opened to a new name “Bharat Benz” – is it real? Yes, rubbed my eyes and read the whole advertisement/ announcement and my smile kept on getting bigger. We all know and have heard it time and again that “India has arrived’ this time the smile was for a new fact,  the big and mighty like Daimler/ Mercedes have taken a bow. Thank you Daimler for recognizing and public display of your acceptance that you need India more than India needs you. I as an Indian thank you from my heart for going public with that.

Way back in 1977 multinationals in India were forced to dilute their equity holdings and change their names, it was an order by the Janta Party Government in power, Coca Cola left India, so did IBM and hundreds of others. Mercedes Benz trucks in India made in collaboration with Tata’s came to be known as only Tata Trucks and I am not sure how much but Mercedes did reduce their equity in Telco as Tata Motors was called then. What a turn around, a 100% or whatever is the max possible susbsidiary of Daimler decides to name their entry level vehicle as Bharat Benz.

I am proud, very proud of what India has achieved and would achieve in next couple of decades.  It will-  be pure delight to see Bharat Benz running on German Autobahnens and maybe the picturesque houses of Microsoft honchos on Mercer Islands (Seattle) using “Bharat Soft” made BharatOffice. Times are changing and I am loving it, which began with McDonald launching Aloo Tikki Burger has got much bigger and would even get more.

I can say without sarcasm  Mera Bharat Mahan – My India is Great.

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Maps of India is Getting Younger April 22, 2010

Posted by simarprit in : Uncategorized , 2comments

I am flying MapsofIndia.com has got a new homepage. New homepage in itself is a reason enough to fly but this time it is not just a new homepage it is an all new approach to website homepages. Some random thoughts/ steps as we moved towards the new homepage are shared in next few points.

  1. Do we need a new identity? The answer was yes. We moved and created a new identity for Mapsofindia.com. It took lot of resources as initially we were not sure what we wanted. As things progressed we knew we wanted a younger identity which covered much bigger space than our existing identity did and addressed a larger, much younger audience.
  2. Do we plan simultaneous launch of new identity and new homepage? The answer was an emphatic NO. We decided to close and push the new identity first. It was a tough challenge and as we got going it brought its own issues and challenges. It took us time in addressing them. Patience and persistence worked together to achieve over 90% penetration of new identity within 30 days of its launch.
  3. What is wrong with the existing homepage/ why do we need a new homepage? We accepted that the existing homepage was an evolving one with bells and whistles being added year after year, an update after an update. We understood that our audience was getting younger and the expectations were rising. We acknowledged the fact that Mapsofindia.com was now way beyond maps, we wanted to be a complete information site on India and our user wanted just about everything we could offer. We honored the fact that we were now a repository and there was a need for a more advanced but simple navigation engine.

More to come…