Archive for 06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012

6 Reasons Why Mamta Banerjee OF India Will Support Pranab Mukherjee For President.

The election for the next president of India is over even before it is due to be held next month. The result is already known. India's Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will be the next President.

In the Indian democratic system the President is a mereconstitutional head of the country like the Queen of Great Britain and is often unanimously nominated. Only the elected representatives, who are obliged to go by their party's choice, have the power to vote if an election is required. All major parties, except the Trinmool Congress of the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee, have declared their support for the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee who is clearly is headed for victory.
Why is then the vote of Mamta, who has so far opposed Pranab Mukherjee, a fellow Bengalee, is important to the UPA and why she will eventually support his Presidency? There are plenty of reasons.

1 Mamta Banerjee is No Body's Fool.

Despite the sycophantic coterie of men without brains Mamta seems to surround herself with, Mamta Banerjee is a lady of substance. Her courage of conviction to fight for her ideals and her ability to not lose those on the way, like Mayavati of Uttar Pradesh, are reasons why Mamta is her own boss. Mamta and the political coalition of UPA she supports surely knows how far she can take her populism without testing the patience or insulting the intelligence of the rest of the country.

2 Mamta Banerjee Is Right about the Prime Minister and the PM Knows It.

In fact, the nomination by Mamta Banerjee of Man Mohan Singh, the current Prime Minister for the post of president, though met with universal ridicule, is the right solution for India. The P.M., in stature and the view of the world, will no doubt be a better a president of India.
Taking a cue from the world cup, Pranab Mukherjee, a political veteran of the congress party, would be a better "defensive" Prime Minister to take the UPA to the next elections and possibly win it; a crucial political decision the manager in Sonia Gandhi missed but what Mamta has inadvertently suggested, in her fury against Pranab Mukherjee.
There is no doubt her respect for the PM was behind her suggestion which many couldn't see but not missed by the P.M himself as is clear from his accommodating gestures towards her party. Mamta must be glad about the growing mutual respect and can't ignore.

3 Mamta Banerjee Knows West Bengal is the 'Greece' of the Indian Union.

Mamta is well aware of the political "hot Potato" of a financially broke West Bengal she is holding and can't drop. She tried her best to get a fellow Bengalee finance Minister to help her juggle around and can't be blamed for being miffed when no help came forth. But Mamta knows Man Mohan Singh's financial wizardry, which he can render without incurring the blemish of favouritism, is her last hope. Mamta Banerjee is intelligent enough to realise why she still needs to politically support the UPA which is the only way forward.

4 Mamta Banerjee Knows Throwing Tantrums Can't Work All the Time.

Mamta sure knows how to throw a tantrum, which may be out of her control. Mamta also knows how to turn those in to political drama to her advantage. But like children learn soon, tantrums have a perishable nature and can be overdone. So Mamta shuts up and sulks like everyone else, which is good because now Mamta and others can talk business and find some realistic solutions.

5 Mamta Banerjee Knows Political Alienation is a Painful Business.

India which is so prone for opportunistic politics without principles is growing politically intolerant to such vagaries of its politicians. A mandate for performance and governance is becoming more and more the pattern. With her ill conceived efforts to forge a new regional power base falling flat on its face, Mamta Banerjee is brutally reminded of the need to keep friends in politics, a lesson why she can't afford to leave the UPA.

6 Mamta Banerjee Knows How To Make and Serve Rasgollas.

Rasgollas, a local dessert made of milk and sugar, is the sweet spot and national weakness of Bengal. Mamta Banerjee surely knows how to make and dish them out, or at least the political version of it, in large quantities. It is the Bengalee national pride both Mamta and Pranab counts on for political survival.
Can Mamta or any leader for that matter afford to hit her vote bank on a sweet spot? You don't have to remind Mamta of all people, herself an artist and personification of Bengalee pride, that she can come across as a spoil sport and deny the simple joy of having a Bengalee President of the country, at her own peril.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

Is Anyone Missing Muammar Gaddafi? Watch Mamta Banerjee!

Like a school girl pulled up by the Head for throwing wild tantrums, Mamta Banerjee is sulking and has taken her woes to Facebook, of all places. If you miss watching the hysterics of Gaddafi or if you are bored with the damp dander politics of Romney, last week's TV drama of Mamta Banerjee, over the Indian Presidential election, might have been a good diversion. Besides, it could be important for the interests of the U.S.A!

If you wonder who can put up an act more interesting than Gaddafi, it Mamta Banerjee, the Chief Minister of the Indian state of West Bengal, who Hilary Clinton took extra trouble to say Hi to, during her recent visit to the Far East. Hilary and the U.S administration had plenty of reasons to call upon the mercurial leader of 90 million Indians, best described as a bundle of trouble by anyone who has tried to court her, politically.
Mamta Banerjee_Facebook

Mamta Banerjee, affectionately called "Didi", is in fact a true populist leader who has nothing but the misery of the poor and weak at the bottom of her heart, which is reflected in her most Spartan life style and attire not many Indian politicians can honestly claim their own. Some say Mamta Banerjee even fills in for the Late Mother Theresa in her actions and attitude towards the poor, which can bring a drop of tear to her ardent followers.
The root cause of her woes is the inordinately huge financial burden her predecessors, the Communists of India who mismanaged the State affairs for over 34 years had left her to handle and which she has no clue how to solve.
Unfortunately, Mamta Banerjee, as the head of the State Government, wanted and expected the Central Government in Delhi, which is crucially supported by her party's 19 members of parliament, to solve it for her.
Her hope was and now her bitterness is pinned on her fellow Bengalee, Pranab Mukherjee, the finance minister of India, who has consistently refused her demand for obvious financial and political reasons.
For over a year Mamta has tried her best to pressurise the government at the centre, blocking almost every reform, legislation and efforts for dispensing with price control, all of which caused great damage to the Indian economy, bringing down the growth rate.
Manta's last straw was her attempt to block the nomination of Pranab Mukherjee to the post of the President, which she has unwisely opposed, taking a political blow of alienating millions of Bengalees who would be honoured by the ascend of a fellow citizen to the top post of the country.
Mamta has gambled and lost, at least for the time being, and is politically alienated. Now Mamta has turnedto Facebook. However, unlike millions of others who find it as a place to hide and cry over the shoulders of unknown friends, Mamta wants to use it to take her fight rooting for her nominee, Kalam, a past president of India, considered suitable for the post by many people.
The truth is Mamta has only to blame the inept crowd of sycophantic men who surround her, without any knowledge or wisdom to offer practical advice or help in solving real life issues like the financial mess her government has inherited.
The result is the state, like the Ministry of Railways she was heading before, has seen no governance while the Chief Minister was enacting the drama and tantrums elsewhere, to the excitement of everyone.
In fact, by limiting the scope of her visit to niceties and photo shoots rather than addressing real issues where the U.S. could be of real help, Hilary Clinton and Mamta Banerjee have missed a real opportunity.
Hilary Clinton has showered a lot of praise on Mamta for getting rid of a 34 year old communist regime, but some concrete financial measures, behind the scene, could have meant more to Mamta in reality.
For now, "Didi" is plotting her next move and possibly another interesting episode of continuing saga of political shenanigans.

How Long Will You Give GOOGLE Before Everyone A Year, Two, a Decade?

This is not mere Google bashing which has become very fashionable these days. It is not about the deterioratingsearch quality of Google everyone is starting to notice or why Microsoft's Bing is any better.

It is really about how the cyber world is changing and shaping the needs and expectations which have evolved beyond mere key word search and how services will meet those because Google won't. Pretty soon the question will be "have you scooped it?" rather than "Have you Googled it?"

With the exponential growth of speed and capacity of the internet and cloud computing, the cyberspace has witnessed unprecedented creation and sharing of knowledge, especially through Blogging. If we used to search for information by punching in a keyword in to Google 5 years back, now everyone is searching for actionable knowledge and trickles of wisdom they can rely up on.

Mere information or the meaning of or explanation of something one doesn't know no more satisfy human mind. Thanks to the abundance of global information instantly made available through information technology and big strides in education, we are much better tuned to analyse, compare and judge before accepting anything.

In other words, we are likely to be looking for expert advice, guidance, opinion or recommendation we can trust on what we are searching for, even if we have no intention to use it right away. And there are plenty of those in the Cyberspace. Only problem is Google's search juggernaut can't deliver such 'condensed' knowledge. You need to wade through web page after web page, Google's powerful search machine will flash in front of your eyes even before you type in exactly what you are looking for. Who needs such boring and arduous labour anymore?

When it comes to human nature the observation of Bill Gates is so canny.
I will always choose a Lazy person to do a difficult job because definitely he will find an easy way to do it.
Well, in the search for easy grabbing of curated knowledge, that is exactly what the lazy world has done. They have encouraged a host of services like to pop up, which are ready to cull information and dish up curated knowledge on everything you wish to know.

Services like depend on a community of millions of hard working experts who wonder what to do with the wealth of knowledge and wisdom they have accumulated in life and are happy to share it if there is an easy way to make any good of it for fellow humans. Thankfully there is also an army of lazy, time constrained and content hungry, bloggers too to lap up what the experts can share. in fact is a lot of fun. If you have ever cherished being an editor and creating a colourful magazine like Hello everyone will go gaga about, you can do it easily with If you have enjoyed cutting and collating things in to your scrap book in school, you already know how to use and what you can do with it.

In fact the power of is in its capability to pull together visually appealing web pages rather than inanimate links to the urls which hide the information behind them.

The way will help you build your powerful magazine is simple. Once you chose the key words you are interested in and like to curate, and you christen your magazine, will scourge the social web tocollate a list of web pages, tweets and comments etc and will present to you the latest of them every time you visit your dashboard. All you need to do is to literally drag what is relevant in to the column and curate by adding your bit of endorsement, comment of approval, disapproval etc.

It is a win-win situation for everyone. You give extra traction to the publisher of the web property you select to add to your little magazine, you add your stamp of little satisfaction to it and dish it out to someone who trusts your views or expertise. Everyone is happy with

At the end of the day,, which is free, is the right answer for information seekers and providers as well as the experts who like to show off their expertise.

A happy meeting place where the cyber world is fast moving in to at the cost of Google!

Article first published as How Long Before You Will Instead of Google It? on Technorati.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

If Only Barack Obama Could Win The Presidency By Negativity, Like Pranab Mukherjee of India.

Perhaps it is time the Americans considered changing their electoral system for something 'funnier' like the Presidential election of India. In the Indian Presidential election a candidate some parties refuse to declare their support for has more of a chance to be elected as the President of the country than others they chooses to support. It is merely the negative political sentiments which come in to play irrespective of the calibre andsuitability of the individual.
With the trend of latching on to the 'negativity' in every statement, every faux pas the president or his opponents make and blowing it out of proportion, the American democratic process also beckon the question if it is a desirable trait for a free and fair electoral process of a leading democratic nation.
In India everything, especially politics assumes ridiculous and illogical character during the elections. With numerous peculiarities and idiosyncrasies only the Indians can tolerate, like the 'X factor' unique to Indian politics, the Indian democratic process is reduced to a mere democratic mantle.
In terms of political power, the two presidencies have no comparison, except in an emergency when the Indian President can assume unlimited and unprecedented executive powers like those of the US president. Yet,the electoral processes which decides the president by an election or a unanimous choice can reflect the political balance in the Indian context.
By all counts, Pranab Mukherjee, India's finance minister fit the bill to be elected unanimously as the country's president. If Mukherjee, despite his three decades of service to the country as part of various governments including that of Indira Gandhi, is not well known outside India it is his own fault for being a thorough, non controversial and soft spoken gentleman politician, which has made him universally acceptable. Yet In the Indian system even an eminently suitable candidate like Mukherjee has to be propped up by negative and partisan vagaries of the political class.
Four years back, when the congress party president Sonia Gandhi chose to install Pratibha Patil as the first woman President of the country, perhaps with a vision in to the future for herself, it was the refusal of BJP, the main opposition, to support the incumbent President Kalam which led to her success.
Interestingly, an open declaration of support of BJP to Kalam this time has simply precluded his chances of ever becoming the president again, as practically ever party rejected the suggestion.
A few weeks back the Indian communists declared their support for Pranab Mukherjee, a native of West Bengal and India's minister for Finance, as the new president. Though this had increased the support for Pranab, Mamta Banerjee, chief of Thrinamool Congress who rules West Bengal did not support, merely because of her opposition to the communists. Such is the nature of egoistic negative politics of India.
However, the communists now have changed their mind and are clamouring for someone outside the ruling congress party as the new president. This no doubt has increased the fortune of Pranab Mukherjee as Mamta Banerjee now has no excuse but to support him.
What is interesting is the credentials and capability of a person to be the figurehead of the largest democracy of the world has no relevance in this incredibly idiotic process which, every Indian needs to be ashamed of.
These ridiculous vagaries of the Indian politics which several regional players play out, may never infect the American system, clearly established in a two party political debate and balance. However, the bickering and wrangling amplified by the media and social web certainly take the sheen out of a process which may inside and outside the country believe must be a model for the fledging democracies of the world.
Article first published as If Only Barack Obama Could Win The Presidency By Negativity, Like Pranab Mukherjee of India. on Technorati

Is This the Most Romantic Window on the Earth ?

When it comes to the human body and its senses, there is no one who understands more than the French.
The French are indomitable in satisfying the palette with food prepared in the best quisine, vine, cheese and innumerable other things including the French croissant. As for the smell, what smells better than a French perfume? As for the eyes, from Mona Lisa to the high healed shoes of ValérieTrierweiler visual feast is the essence of French Haut Couture to modern French architecture, exemplified by the Eiffel Tower. No wonder why Paris has always attracted the most talented of artists, thinkers and philosophers and is most sought after Romantic destination in the world.

But it is the human body itself the French has an exquisite comprehension about, which is at the core of the Joie de vivre the French live and die with and urge everyone else have in life. The French somehow have a better notion of what the body is about like the Asians in general have an insight in to the spiritual nature of life.
Perhaps this inane appreciation of human body is what has produced the best designers, cooks and hoteliers from among the French.  With all that appreciation of the French psyche, however I was puzzled when I checked in to an ordinary hotel room, a few years back, in a town in France where I had earlier lived and worked for years. I had never seen anything like that!

 A window on the inner wall separating the bedroom from the attached bathroom. At first I was really intrigued. But slowly, as I settled down arranging my wardrobe and setting up my laptop on the table, the ingenuity of the interior designers and architects slowly started to dawn on me.  Of course, I could have asked the receptionist about it, but chose not to in order to hide my lack of culture.  I wasn’t sure if the feature was only for some rooms and I was specially offered one as an added welcome gesture.  Today, I don’t know if the hotel still has those rooms rented out to guests.

I am sure a lot of people will have different ideas about the purpose and utility of such a feature. But for someone who is looking forward to spend an evening with someone with a ‘tete a tete’ with ‘huitre’ and champagne and roses, the room with this romantic window should offer plenty of extended pleasures one can imagine.

Years later, when France has elected a new President and thinks nothing is abnormal or strange about his unmarried companion moving in to the Elysee palace with him, it is a lot more easier to take in the sublime imagination of the French designers who had conceived and incorporated this bizarre feature which appeared to be unique.
Not sure if this is unique at all or there are many other hotels with such exquisite add on facilities to make your stay more memorable and perhaps offered as an incentive for you to come back. It will be good to hear from others.
For anyone who has never come across this wonderful feature and wants to check out, the hotel was a branch of Mercure Hotels in the town of Evry, in the southern outskirts of Paris.

Article first published as What On Earth Is This Window For? on Technorati.
Friday, June 01, 2012
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

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