The need for corruption

You know what, I have a huge admiration for Karan Thappar. What makes him different than the rest of interviewers from the Indian television scene is that, he is well-researched and very much up to the point in many of his interviews, rather than throwing some silly questions and being happy and content in just asking some questions.

Here he puts forward a good thought in an interview with Farooq Abdullah while they talk about Shashi Tharoor and the recent IPL controversy:

Farooq Abdullah: I don’t think so, I don’t think he needs to be corrupt

Karan Thapar: He doesn’t need to be?

Farooq Abdullah: No

Karan Thapar: Need doesn’t determine corruption.

Ever since Tharoor was contesting for MP from Trivandrum, the people who were supportive of him was of the opinion that he could not be corrupt like the other politicians because he doesn’t need to be corrupt. Because he gets – and they made up some big figures about this – a large amount of pension from United Nations and runs his own business. Some say it is 40 lakhs per month. Some say its more than that. But I really don’t get that point. Is privately owned wealth a good reason enough to claim that people wouldn’t be or needn’t be corrupt? If so, why isn’t that kind excuse offered to other rich and allegedly-corrupt politicians in India? How is Shashi Tharoor any different?

Kabhi Shashi, Kabhi Game

Now that Modi’s links with IPL team owners of Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab have emerged, the whole IPL controversy is getting more interesting, wide and ugly. I think there is enough material to make a movie out of the whole story. There is glamor, big money and beautiful women involved. What more do you need to make a good story line for a Bollywood movie?

So here is announcing the movie (title suggested by @rameshnair):


Kabhi Shashi, Kabhi Game
The story of an interlocutor and his friends


The movie will have two versions. In South India, Shashi is the hero and Modi is the villain. Up in the North, it is Modi in the lead and Shashi, the villain. Sreesanth will play the role of a crouching tiger in both the versions. Make up and costumes will be handled by Ms. Pushkar.

In the North Indian climax, the other Modi, Modi N, will be seen protecting Modi L and finally securing an IPL team for Ahmedabad and Shashi will be seen being left alone with a beautician in the Chala market in Thiruvananthapuram, looking for land with cheap prices to build IT parks.

In the South Indian climax, Shashi will win over Modi L, securing an IPL team for Kochi and building a cricket stadium near the Smart City project area. Modi L will be seen being left aloneĀ  with a South African model and sniffing 5 grams of Cocaine.

Part of the profits made from the movie will go to Mr. Modi and Twitter. We are looking for prospective producers for the movie, so do start bidding. And yes, multiple stake holders who are family members, friends and acquaintances of yours are welcomed.

Bollywood and Indianness

I have time and again pondered over the pitiful situation that we have as Bollywood as a brand name representing Indian cinema to the world outside (just google with “bollywood+jocalling” to see my posts on this topic). For a long time, it used to be the self-styled ambassadors of Hindi cinema who keeps conducting the “Indian” film award functions outside India who are in a desperate need of selling the Bollywood brand in the name of India and Indian culture. But how would you feel when a Minister of State, who is the newest political messiah (after APJ Abdul Kalam – who also was mostly just hype) of our urban upper-middle-class babies, says this in the TED?

The fact is that Bollywood is now taking a certain aspect of Indianness and Indian culture around the globe.

Now think about the greatness of the times we are in – Bollywood being the face of not just Indian film, but also Indianness and Indian culture.

And what exactly happened to the quality of TED Talks? I think their tag line still says “ideas worth spreading”.

Trivandrum Poll Prediction by an Auto Driver

Today I asked an auto rickshaw driver in Trivandrum about his thoughts on the results of upcoming elections in Trivandrum constituency. It is really amazing to see the common man’s political awareness. This man (who must be in his mid 40s) predicted that Neelalohita Das will win from Trivandrum. He said everyone he talked to also said the same thing. He gave me the following reasons.

Neelan belongs to the Nadar community which is very strong in the rural areas of Trivandrum. Nadars were not given seats by both LDF and UDF. So regardless of their political affinity, this time they will make sure that a Nadar wins and that is going to benefit Neelan.

[ My thought: Seems right. This time Neelalohita Das is contesting from a BSP ticket, so some Dalit votes would also go in favor of him. ]

Trivandrum seat belongs to CPI. CPM has in-house issues with CPI in LDF. This internal split will show up in the voting. So there is a possibility that CPM voters might also vote for Neelan.

[ My thought: It is possible. CPM will not vote for Congress or BJP anyway, but they would need CPI to fail because of the internal conflicts. So the only possible candidate that they can vote for is Neelan as he is now in a different party. Not only that, this will also secure their interests in the national politics as it will ultimately benefit the Third Front where BSP and CPM are allies. ]

BJP will have their votes anyway. Their vote bank won’t split. But they will only come to a fourth position (after BSP, Congress and CPI).

[ My thought: Seems true ]

Shashi Tharoor will come to a close second. He has a great impression on educated people. So the youngsters and the educated urban class would vote for him.

[ My thought: I agree ]

Then I asked him if it matters to him that Mr. Tharoor does not have the local political experience and came all in a sudden from abroad. He answered:

It doesn’t matter whether he is from here or he is aware of the local politics. What have those local politicians done to solve any of the local issues? Nothing much. He is also educated and have international experience which would benefit us if he gets in to the ministry in the center.

[ My thought: I agree with this too ]

The kind of analytics that this person has presented really surprised me. Not only that, he actually spent time to talk to me during this busy evening, which shows how interested he is in the politics. And he did not take any sides too.