Reem With A View

"Names and attributes must be accommodated to the essence of things, and not the essence to the names, since things come first and names afterwards." – Galileo

India become World Champions in Cricket after 28 years!

The shot that will remain etched in the memory of the 70 Million Live TV viewers in India on 2nd April 2011.

Winning shot by Dhoni in 2011 World Cup Final

Dhoni hits a 6 to win the ICC 2011 Cricket World Cup for India

Every Indian cricket fan would want to watch the India-Australia, India-Pak & the Final vs SL again and again! I searched around and found that the  official highlights are already available! Check it out at Flipkart: ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 – Official Highlights.

Full credit not just to the current Indian team led by M.S.Dhoni but to Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman and Kumble who laid the winning foundation for the current team by consistently winning test matches  home and away.

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What do we want in 2009?

2008 is over… finally. One of the worst years in terms of the economy, terrorism and environmental pollution.

What shall we look forward to in 2009?

The pessimist will say 2008 Reloaded.

But I feel 2009 will be a the year which will decide the fate of the economy for the next decade.

The key is the U.S. Economy and how it plays out. 2008 has shown that what happens in U.S. now affects the world in much more severity than previously thought simply because of the dependency of both manufacturing and services export led nations like EU, China, Japan and India to the consumption hungry Americans.  Add Brazil, South Korea and energy exporters, and the American drama looks worse.

Americans have too much debt to “borrow” their way out of this mess.  What they need is:

Another  economic boom led by some industry sector. (Silicon Valley tech boom in the 90s followed 80s recession, and then the real-estate boom followed dotcom crash.) This time it must be more of  an tech-energy revolution, an engineering- tech innovation leading to drastically low dollar spending on imported middle-eastern oil and keeping those dollars in U.S.  which can create consumption (and more exports and so on). U.S. will gain at the cost of  terrorsim sponsoring middle-eastern oil havens which is good news for the whole world especially India, currently the no. 1 victim of terrorism.

Some more things to look forward in 2009 is the release of Windows 7.  Have great expectations from it and might kick-start a new cycle in I.T. spending.

What should India do?

Start a Wireless broadband revolution. Use tax payer money. Heck broadband will pay for itself more than building a dam does! We can live with a bad road, but cannot live with a bad net connection. Not anymore. Internet can fuel its own economy around it in India as the domain expertise is there amongst Indians and the cost savings for this country are massive. Where wires are defeated (landline phones), wireless ahs won (mobiles). Same logic for internet. Wireless broadband can lead to online innovation in servcies from banking, finance to even education.

Another “must do” for India is simple Tax Reform. Make Income tax FLAT 10% for ALL income groups, salaried, corporate, business. Whatever your salary, 10% is tax on it.  Remove all excise duties, octroi, import duties and instead levy a flat 2% Sales Tax on all goods  & services. Thats it. This will lead to a boom in consumer spending and unlock loads of money from the black markets to the open economy. After all, the effort to hide that 10% tax is more than simply paying that tax. This makes tax planning easy and the Govt. collects more in taxes this way. 

A third “must do” is opening up the Education sector. Allow foreign universities to freely start in India. No need for “government recognition” as industry recognition of recognized US, UK, Australian and European educational institutions is enough.

Is asking for 3 measly reforms too much? I think not. Lets see what 2009 brings in.

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South Africa is the No. 1 Test Team in world cricket

India is a close no. 2 and these two  teams look set to dominate the next decade in cricket. Both have recently defeated Australia in a test series 2-0.

In winning the Test in MCG, Graeme Smith’s men become the first South African side ever to win a series in Australia, dating back to Percy Sherwell’s 1910/11 tourists. It’s been a long wait – and was thrillingly set up by their remarkable six-wicket win in the first Test in Perth last week.

I think Symonds and Hayden can go on a permanent fishing trip now. Ponting now learns that he isn’t a great captain but a mediocre one who had great players like Warne, McGrath and Gilchrist.  To be a great captain you need to mould your mediocre side into world beaters – something Border and Taylor did for Australia and Shane Warne did for the Rajasthan Royals. Steve Waugh too simply inherited a great team from Mark Taylor.

Ponting is over-rated. The best captain for Australia would have been Shane Warne and its a shame Cricket Australia refused to make him captain. Now they are paying the price.

Australia also benefited hugely from 50-50 umpiing decisions going 9 to 1 in their favour in recent years, and the moment those decisions started going 5-5 (which is the right thing), they started losing. They should have never won the SCG test against India and would have lost that series too had umpires been fair.

Shane Warne, Gilchrist and McGrath didn’t need umpiring help to win as Ponting does, and that is the difference between the great Australian side of the last decade and this bunch of pretenders.  One shudders to think that after Ponting, the captaincy will go to the immature Michael Clarke….and the slide will get worse. It is time to make Huseey vice-captain now and bring youngsters like David Hussey, Shaun Marsh into the side intead of the inept Symonds and out of touch Hayden. And the Bowling? sorry…no talent there anymore. Max they can do is bring Nathan Bracken back and hope Watson recovers from injury.

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How India must fight back.

First, the 3 day attack on India’s financial capital – Mumbai on Nov 26-29, was not just a terrorist strike.

This was an act of WAR.

Anyone who saw the events captured on TV and heard the interviews with NSG commandos, knows by now that these militants were no run of the mill suicide bombers who have been plaguing India for years. They were not even “fidayeen” suicide squads. These militants seem to be highly trained “military commando” type who were actually thinking of escaping BACK to “wherever they came from” instead of “dying” for their stupid cause.  As the NSG commandos said, it is not easy to manage grenades and Ak-47s/56s with such precision. And they knew the layouts of the Taj Mahal Hotel like the back of their hands, which requires sophisticated planning.  Taking the marine route is the height of their audacity. These militants are ruthless, psychotic, serial killers.

The country which harbors such militants and openly allows their training must be made to pay.

And they will pay.

But attacking the terrorist camps in Pakistan and PoK is the easy part. Using the IMF loan to Pakistan as a carrot for Paki Military & their evil ISI to stop infiltration is also easy. US/UK/Israel/India bombing terrorist camps all across Pak and PoK is also easy. All of this will be done and must be done.

But India needs to do something else to ensure these terrorist strikes never happen.

And this is the hard part.

India needs to overhaul the electoral process to ensure the same old politicians and political parties NEVER AGAIN come to power. EVER.

No more BJP, CONGRESS, SP, BSP, CPI, RSS, SIMI, BAJRANG DAL, MUSLIM VOTE BANK, JANATA DAL, TRINAMOOL etc type of crap ever.

To do so, India first needs to ensure a level playing field for honest, dedicated, educated, visionary young politicians to STAND for elections and more important: CAMPAIGN to the masses with their ideas. Secondly, India needs to ensure EVERYONE can easily register and vote.

This is because the bigger political parties use thugs and laundered money to campaign and campaigning in such a huge country is so EXPENSIVE that not many can afford it. And due to miles- long lengthy queues not many educated people vote.

What can India do?

India needs to ensure CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM and a PRESIDENTIAL form of Democracy.

1. ONLY individuals can DONATE to political parties. No company or business must be allowed to donate.

2. The MAXIMUM an individual can donate is Rs 5000 for Federal Elections and Rs 2000 for State Elections.

3. EVERY candidate needs to submit audited files showing the total sum collected and no. of individuals (and their Pan Card ID) along with bills for expenses during the campaign.

4. ANY Indian citizen with a passport is AUTOMATICALLY allowed to vote in ANY city he lives. No more “constituency electoral rolls”.

5. Internet voting will be allowed for Passport holders as every passport has a unique ID. People can vote form the comfort of their homes, offices or browsing centers. Families can organize “mini” voting booths to ensure all relatives are voting. This will also ensure Indians apply and get their passports (many don’t due to laziness).

6. Federal elections will no longer be based on the “constituency” part. The President will be elected directly by the public.  All elective and executive powers of the PM is transferred to the President. This ensures all the crappy constituency vote bank politics ends.  The “Parliamentary” system is a proven failure, and the US Presidential system a proven success (not surprising since the Founding Fathers of the US were a product of European Enlightenment).The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha simply change into the Senate and Congress. The world’s largest democracy desperately needs the model of the world’s OLDEST and MOST SUCCESSFUL democracy (proof: liberal democrat Barack Obama, the son of a black immigrant from Sub-Saharan African  descent wins in a “conservative white” majority nation where even elite “liberal whites” like John Kerry find it hard to win). While its difficult for a “presidential” system to change to a “parliamentary” form, the reverse is pretty easy.

7. Parallel to online voting, the Indian govt. must ensure low priced, wireless broadband connections of 100mbps speed to the public from BSNL/MTNL. Currently, broadband is “artificially priced” highly. Internet and information empowers a nation like no other. Ensures individuals can campaign during an election at significantly low costs and even raise funds via the medium. This will completely change the political landscape and throw up highly educated leaders.

Once Indian electoral process is reformed, the rest like economic, labour, law and most important -DEFENSE and INTERNAL SECURITY reform will easily follow as the root cause of all evils is the corrupt political cartel. India is simply too populous for a “parliamentary” form of governance as accountability is lost. And without accountability there will NEVER be reform.

This is the HARD way in which India needs to fight back. And this will guarentee peace & security. All the tools are there: free press, media, public mood for change. Radical political reform can happen with sustained pressure, and a 2/3rd vote in parliament. Public can force the issue with their “MPs” to vote for Presidential form of democracy and Electoral reform.

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Abhinav Bindra wins India’s FIRST INDIVIDUAL OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL IN HISTORY

Today was a watershed day in the history of Indian sport as Abhinav Bindra won India’s first ever individual Olympic gold medal with a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the Men’s 10 metres Air Rifle event. This is India’s first Olympic Gold Medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and hopefully will inspire Indians to take up individual sports big time. For some strange reason, the only non-team sport taken up by Indians seriously on a world level are Chess, Billiards and Snooker. We have won world championships regularly there. Push them a bit further and they may play Tennis or Badminton…but thats it. There are dozens of sports like shooting (we have 2 olympic medals now, Gold & Silver in Athens 2004), squash, swimming, track &field, gymnastics…where Indians can surely excel. Maybe today’s win might inspire more youngsters to take up these individual sports instead of cricket & hockey (usual suspects).

Abhinav Bindra

Abhinav Bindra

Anyways, super show by Abhinav! Great job..hope you keep going!

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