Month: May 2009

Election Musings

As I write this, General Election 2009 results are already out. UPA with an unexpected 262 is all set to form the new government. All of a sudden, there is ebullience everywhere. Stock Markets seem to cheer the new government. I am not sure what is so welcoming about the new government. Isn’t it the same as the old one? For the last three months, our office gang’s favourite tea break topic was Election. Election was in the air. Being silent partner of all these debates, I think I have increased my political knowledge by a notch. At least now I can say which parties are in the playground, though in which team they are, is still obscure.
Everyone has some story to say about Election hungama. Generally software engineers, may be because of the easy Internet access, seems to have a decent knowledge about politics. Since they are a moving crowd, I don’t think the percentage of software engineers who vote is an impressive figure. Nevertheless numerous blogs, forums, discussions what else you need about elections, all are available in this small virtual web. In 2004, we saw a small wave of election campaign through Internet and mobile, when our saffron party used a considerable percentage of their election campaign budget for media advertising. Much to my dismay, one of the reasons they dug out for their election debacle that year was this so called ‘excessive and ill-timed’ spending.
For election 2009, most of the parties have spent a lot of amount for e-campaigning and mobile campaigning. How can I forget all the morning-morning hello-vote-for-me messages from the top three parties in Andhra Predesh? It’s completely a matter of propriety that only one of these parties sent me a ‘thank-you’ message after the election. All the big parties do have a website which conveys their election manifesto. Though, these do not provide much insight to the candidate’s info, the numerous blogs by the candidates available on the net cannot escape a frequent browser. With such an importance to e-campaign, no wonder advani’s benign face used to pop-up every now and then in my Orkut profile. Sadly, these omnipresent google ads could not fetch him a Prime ministerial berth.
There is one candidate who took a different and better approach for campaigning than the customary rib-tickling tactics. Shashi tharoor, who won from Thiruvananthapuram, would be the one who reaped the most benefits from e-campaign. Apart from an election campaign site, Face book and Orkut, which are the major hangout places on net, were also used as tools for campaigning. Thiruvananthapuram, an IT hub in Kerala, which always lend its hand to Left, had a different beat for this election. A candidate who can barely speak Malayalam, local language of Kerala, could mark history by wiping the floor with an astounding margin of nearly one lakh. I don’t think it was possible with out the aid of e-media. I am proud that people of Kerala, people of god’s own country decided to elect a person with right qualifications and credibility. I am happy that the so-called ‘hundred percent’ literacy rate is bringing out tangible changes. I really doubted my native place’s so called title, when all the news channels were flashing our Chief Ministers ‘manglish’ blabberings who ran around abusing a brave soldier and his father.
How I can be so oblivious about the people in UP and Bihar, who live a hand-to-mouth life and about the people who are not able to catch up with the rapid growth of economy and those who still live a hard life? All these blogging and twittering in net will not reach them. It is too far. Our politicians, who are not less wise than the brightest business minds in the country, reached them too. Wooing the crowd by taking babies in lap and throwing garlands, bewitch the audience with the presence of film stars who choose to come down to earth for a while are just a few of the many tricks they had up their sleeves. As per a funny forward which I received recently the toppers of buffoonery contest are, A young scion of the oldest party of India carrying around a plastic bucket around UP (Whether it is empty or not is still under contention) and an old veteran in Tamil Naadu whose shortest hunger strike has the chance of getting into Guinness book of world records. This gimmick started after breakfast and ended before lunch lasting four hours that too with an air conditioner just behind his back. I think the youngest one should top this, if you are ready to give a concession for the old age factor.
I think this time India has voted bit more intelligently. May be post Mumbai terror attacks, people really want to make a mark and select their own representative. These remind me of a colleague who was really disappointed about missing the complimentary beer and chicken distribution to people by different political parties. Ironically both the beer and chicken did not convert into votes. A former IAS officer, who claims to have spent only one lakh for his entire campaign, got the hot pie in that location. If politicians are smart, people are becoming smarter. It’s sad that we need to wait for another long five years for these drolleries.
Disclaimer – I am a non-partisan. I definitely do not intend any vilification of any party or person. These are just my views about my world.


Awaiting Doomsday

Apocalypse predictions have always incited an excitement in me. Just to name a few, 1999-666 reverse one, Y2K, and then a recent one 2012, December 21. Doomsday rumours were not rare in our society. Nowadays, corroborated with Global Warning and Environment Issues, these have gotten into another level reasoning in our head. Now that all these warnings and rumours have reached a zenith, or yet to reach it, I thought it is a good time to jot down some old memories. If i am lucky enough, I can come back on December 22, 2012, to read it anew.

During 1998 Xmas time, there was a rumour spreading about a doomsday floating all over in my school. Since 999 is the reverse of 666, God’s term in this vast universe has reached its final stage and it is now the Satan’s turn to rule it. Due to this role reversal, this earth was going to face a definite end. Since my school was a convent school, the news really got momentum. I still vividly remember the walking up on Jan 1st 1999 morning wondering whether i am in hell or heaven. Smiling face of my grandma and my small kitten’s purring told me that i was still in my little heaven. Even though a bit childish, it’s my favorite D-Day experience so far.

After that, there came Y2k. Since the term was more technical, I think people could not exactly grasp what was going on. As an aspiring software engineer, though still a novice in that matter, I was worried about my newly bought computer. First thing I did on 2000 Jan 1st was to switch on my desktop and make sure that all the games and cd drive were working properly. Little did I know about the entire hullabaloo in the software industry all around the world.

After these two furphys, it’s been a long time. Suddenly last week I came across one. One of my teammate, who has got an extra interest in all these mysteries and miracles, posed in front of us a incontestable view of End of World. Out of curiosity, I did some googling and found a site, which details all the scientific and historic aspects of this end-of-the-world theory. In 2012, our all-benevolent sun will be approaching an 11-year solar cycle, which may trigger some solar activities and change in earth’s magnetic field. This can lead to major disruption in communication channels or even power shortage or to the worse some major change in atmosphere, which could extinct mankind from the face of earth. Call it coincidence or whatever, as per Mayan civilization, end of Mayan-calendar is marked on 2012, December 21. Combining these two predictions, a new hypothesis has been developed, siting an exact date on which we all could be roasted alive.

While browsing through all these fundas, I came across a completely new concept and new star ‘Nibiru’. Literally he is a star. It is the name given to a large hypothetical star, thrice the size of Jupiter that is supposed to hit earth in 2012 ensuring the end of mankind. I could not find any specific date related to that. As I was browsing through the pages, all the information was familiar to me in one way or the other. Two Hollywood movies, Armageddon and Deep Impact depicting the end of world scenarios, had the same plot. A large meteoroid, coming to hit our dear earth, causing a great deal of pandemonium in earth, is successfully averted from its path in both the films ensuring minimal catastrophe. I am not sure, whether Nibiru theory is inspired by these Hollywood hits or is it the reverse.

To our solace, the scientific community does not entirely agree on this matter. Most of the scientists say that, such an object of huge mass will be visible to naked eyes in the sky and will have its own magnetic impact on earth’s field by this time if it is approaching earth, which we have not experienced so far. So relax guys, as long as we don’t see any big red object in the sky at nights, we are safe and sound from our little Nibiru.Hope while going though this paragraph, readers will recollect those Rajinikant and Chiranjeevi forwards which had its own rounds in Software industry mailboxes.

This is just a glance at the huge pile of theories floating. Though not famous as above ones, a massive virus attack also is in rounds. The only optimistic looking theory among these is the New Age Concept. Its follower’s believe that world is supposed to undergo a physical and spiritual transformation somewhere around the year 2012. It could be a Powerful renewal, which would change the course of the world. I could imagine a spiritual transformation, but what about physical transformation? May be proliferation of the indigo children, May be some improvement in the way we communicate to each other, May be telepathy, May be some gaint leap in technology which could assess mind and brain. This is all I could discover from the WebPages. To support all these theories, I found a lot of interpretations of Nostradamus predictions, predicting end of world in near future. As per St Malachy, whose predictions about the popes of Vatican became reality with near accuracy; the second last pope is ruling Vatican right now. Lets read his prophecy about the final pope “During the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, the seat will be occupied by Peter the Roman, who will feed his sheep in many tribulations; and when these things are finished, the seven-hilled city will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people.The End.”

I found these really interesting enough to kill a weekend on googling. Anyway believe it or not, It seems that world is almost sure, a change is around the corner. Change is the fad nowadays. Though it’s never my character to believe all these hoax-or-may-be-not, theories, it made me think. Even deep inside, I need a change, everyone needs a change. Though my rational mind never concedes to all these duperies, I wish something would happen, something that could change the way we live, the way we behave, the way we perceive. It really does not matter how it happens. We just need a change.