Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Time Complexity

If I am an organizer of Kaun Banega Crorepati, I will ask the following question as the last question.

What is the complexity of this? for(i=1; i<n; i++) print i;
A. Logarithmic
B. Linear
C. Polynomial
D. Exponential

If I am giving input, and you are calculating output, then

Linear - You spend roughly equal amount of time as me
Polynomial - You spend significantly more amount of time than me, but, you will do it.
Exponential - I spend couple of mins, and your whole life is not enough to calculate the output.

My input is 100000000000000000000000000000000000000.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Eating Salt - Bad for Health

Naturopathy doctor Mathena Satyanaraya Raju asked to avoid salt, and following is his comparison of salt with others.

If you take chillies, it may burn your mouth, and heat in your body may increase. Other than that, it does not have any effect on the body.
If you take lot of sugar, then phlegm may be formed, but, it does not have effect on all the cells.
If you take lot of masala, at max intestine and nerves would be irritated. Other than, it does not change the ratio of Sodium and Potassium at all the cells.
If you take oil or ghee, it may accumulate in the blood veins or in liver. But, it does not cause effect on all the cells. Even if you take more, it may form fat. But, it does not accumulate at all the cells.
If you take lot of tamarind, at max your intestine would be damaged. But, it does not damage all the cells in the body.
If you smoke a lot, only your lungs would be damaged or cholesterol would be formed in blood veins. But, it does not effect the trillions of cells in our human body.
If you drink alcohol, then your liver would be damaged. Other than that, it does not have any impact on your body.

But, if you take salt, then it effects all the cells in your body, and it will create many problems.

By the way, those who want to reduce salt, they must take more vegetables, fruits and water. Otherwise, it will create problems.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Global Warming - Non Vegetarian

It is generally believed that cars and trucks and airplanes contribute an ungodly share of greenhouse gases. This has recently led many right-minded people to buy a Prius or other hybrid car. But every time a Prius owner drives to the grocery store, she may be canceling out its emission-reducing benefit, at least if she shops in the meat section.

How so? Because cows - as well as sheep and other cud-chewing animals called ruminants - are wicked polluters. Their exhalation and flatulence and belching and manure emit methane, which by one common measure is about twenty-five times more potent as a greenhouse gas than the carbon dioxide released by cars. The world's ruminants are responsible for about 50 percent more greenhouse gas than the entire transportation sector.

Excerpt from Super Freakonomics by Steven D.Levitt and Stephen J.Dubner

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Morality - Legalizing Abortion

In early 1990s, the crime rate in USA was very high. Then President Bill Clinton said, "We know we've got about six years to turn this juvenile crime thing around, or our country is going to be living with chaos. And my successors will not be giving speeches about the wonderful opportunities of the global economy; they'll be trying to keep body and soul together for people on the streets of these cities".

And then, instead of going up and up and up, crime began to fall. And fall and fall and fall some more. The crime drop was startling in several respects. It was ubiquitous, with every category of crime falling in every part of the country. It was persistent, with incremental decreases year after year. And it was entirely unanticipated - especially by the very experts who had been predicting the opposite.

The magnitude of the reversal was astounding. The teenage murder rate, instead of rising 100 percent or even 15 percent, fell more than 50 percent within five years. By 2000, the overall murder rate in the United States had dropped to its lowest level in thirty-five years. So had the rate of just about every other sort of crime, from assault to car theft.

The reason for the drop of the crime rate was a change in an act more than 20 years back. That was legalizing abortion.

As far as crime is concerned, it turns out that not all children are born equal. Not even close. Decades of studies have shown that a child born into an adverse family environment is far more likely than other children to become a criminal. Poor, unmarried and teenage mothers for whom illegal abortions had been too expensive or too hard to get - were often models of adversity. They were the very women whose children, if born, would have been much more likely than average to become criminals. But because of legalizing abortion, these children weren't being born.

This powerful cause would have a drastic, distant effect: years later, just as these unborn children would have entered their criminal primes, the rate of crime began to plummet.

The above is taken from Freakonomics by Steven D.Levitt and Stephen J.Dubner.

If we want to live happily, we should stop worrying about the morality of other people. If we put restrictions on morality of others for whatever reasons, we should be ready to face the negative consequences. I hope Indian government will soon repeal the acts which worries about the morality of the people, and reduce the crime rate.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

More No.of Ministers in the Government

For those who say that, no.of ministers in the Government should be less,

If you own a company, and if the no.of employees is reduced, do you think the company is going in the right direction?

As long as each employee is providing more value to the company than the total expenditure incurred by him/her, we should always try to increase the no.of employees. If you think, the employees are wasting money, then you should be firing the employees. If all the employees are like that, and if you cannot change the employees, then you should close the company.

India has too many outdated policies/acts, which are blocking the progress of the country. Since we have a long process to change any law, it would be better, if we have more ministers, so that more no.of laws can be changed/repealed sooner. If anyone think, the ministers are not doing their job, then they should be asking to sack the ministers or bring down the government, rather than asking for reducing the number of ministers.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Taking Screenshots From Secure PDF/Adobe Digital E-Books

If you want to take the screenshots of Secure PDF or E-Books that can be opened only in Adobe Digital Editions, you can use the following software. It is very simple to use.

Open your PDF/E-Book and change the size in such a way that, on click of Page Down, it goes to next page.
Run the software
Select the Program (Adobe Reader/Adobe Digital Edition)
Click on Select Area and select the page area which you want to capture.
Select the folder and file name prefix.
Click Take Screenshot button. It takes the screen shot of the selected area and goes to next page.

One disadvantage with this is, if there are 100 pages in the PDF, you need to click Take Screenshot 100 times.

Executable -

Source Code -

Monday, November 10, 2014

One Life is Not Enough by K.Natwar Singh

In 1974, Jayaprakash Narayan's Lok Satta Movement, which exhorted citizens to non-violently transform the nation, caught the imagination of the people.

I felt very happy after reading the above statement in "One Life is Not Enough" by K.Natwar Singh. There are few more places like this, and I felt, the editors could have spent some more effort in editing that book.

In the book, he mentioned that, In 1984 elections, BJP managed only two seats, won by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani. Actually, in that elections, Vajpayee lost and L.K.Advani did not contest. The winners in that election were Janga Reddy from Hanumakonda and A.K.Patel from Gujarat.

Other than these mistakes, the book was good. After completing the book, I felt like, "One book is not enough". He summarized many things, and he could have easily written one book for each of the major sections. (In fact, he had already written few.)

Few interesting things that I did not know before.

NTR was denied Rajya Sabha ticket, and he formed a new political party because of that.

Many people got Padma awards for organizing Asian games. Natwar Singh got Padma Bhushan award for organizing summits for Commonwealth and NAM.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Morality in Public Life

There is no meaning to morality in public life. Morality is an individual affair. In public life, the only thing that matters is, what is the loss or gain by a particular action. Typically, the word morality is used by the people who are incapable of taking proper decisions and want to blame others for their inefficiency.

Few centuries back, selling food was immoral. Now, that is one of the biggest businesses in the world. Two centuries back, if you tell anyone that, whether they want to earn money on the death of their loved ones, you would be seen as a heartless person. Now, if you don't have life insurance, there are many people who would run after you till you take the insurance.

I was told an immoral act of Nita Ambani (Wife of Mukesh Ambani). I don't know the truth of it. She has bought a public flight and got all the tax exemptions. But, she is using it only for her private use. When asked, she says, she buys ticket, whenever she travels by that flight. So, it is a public flight only. This defeats the real purpose for the tax exemption.

I heard that there is an (immoral) insurance for ticket-less travel for Mumbai local trains. You can pay some amount to the insurer, and travel in Mumbai local trains without any ticket. If any TTE checks for the ticket, then you pay the fine and submit the receipt to the insurer and get full refund.

In both the cases, those who are not capable of doing any business or running the government say that, they are immoral. If one is capable, they will do things to fix this. If government imposes rule with the requirement of minimum revenue from a public flight, and if anyone generates less revenue, they have to pay appropriate tax, then this problem will not be there.

In the case of ticket-less travel, if the railways department increases the no.of TTEs and if they verify as many tickets as possible, then the insurer would collapse. If people say that, TTEs joined with insurers in this corruption, it only means, railway department cannot handle the corruption in their own organization and does not know how to run business, but, is blaming the passengers.

In public life, if anybody brings the concept of morality, it only means that, that person is incapable of doing anything and wants to blame others for his/her incapability.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

There cannot be two centres of power

The back cover page of The Accidental Prime Minister by Sanjaya Baru has the following.

'You see, you must understand one thing. I have come to terms with this. There cannot be two centres of power.' - Manmohan Singh

After reading the entire book, I found the following on the last page (excluding epilogue).

'You see, you must understand one thing. I have come to terms with this. There cannot be two centres of power. That creates confusion. I have to accept that the party president is the centre of power. The government is answerable to the party.'

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Employee - Manager Relationship

In mid 2012, when Pranab Mukherjee was contesting for the president, Finance Ministry was taken over by Manmohan Singh. Many business analysts said that, good time for the markets had started, since Finance Ministry was now going to be managed by Manmohan Singh. I could not understand how could things change, since Manmohan Singh was PM and he was anyway superior to the Finance Minister.

Later on I asked myself, how many times, I changed my code just because my manager told me so. Especially, if the manager was the one whom I mentored some time back, but, now became my manager for various different reasons.

The following in the book, The Accidental Prime Minister by Sanjaya Baru, has given me some insight on this.

In March 2012, he (Manmohan Singh) was not even aware till the day before the budget was to be presented that his finance minister Pranab Mukherjee was going to introduce a new corporate tax policy, with retrospective effect, that would have disastrous consequences for investor sentiment.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

P.V.Narasimha Rao Cremation

Excerpt from The Accidental Prime Minister by Sanjaya Baru

After Narasimha Rao died, I had accompanied Dr.Singh to Rao's house on Delhi's Motilal Nehru marg. As the PM entered the house, Patel pulled me aside. Narasimha Rao's children wanted the former PM to be cremated in Delhi, like other Congress prime ministers. Impressive memorials had been built for Nehru, Indira and Rajiv at the places where they had been cremated along the river Yamuna, adjacent to Mahatma Gandhi's memorial. Even former prime minister Charan Singh, who had not belonged to the Congress, and Sanjay Gandhi, who was only an MP, had been cremated and memorialized in the vicinity. However, Patel wanted me to encourage Narasimha Rao's sons, Ranga and Prabhakar, and his daughter, Vani, to take their father's body to Hyderabad for cremation. Clearly, it seemed to me, Sonia did not want a memorial for Rao anywhere in Delhi.

I reflected for a few minutes on Patel's request and felt it would not be appropriate for me to convey this message to the family. They had every right to make the demand they were making. Why should I involve myself in this matter? I kept my counsel and walked away, not saying a word about Patel's suggestion to Rao's children when I met them to express my condolences. Later that evening I was told the Congress Party had got Rao's family to agree to fly his body out to Hyderabad by deploying Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S.Rajashekhara Reddy to persuade them to fall in line. The Congress Party refused to allow Rao's body to be brought into the party's headquarters on its way to the airport, and Sonia chose not to be present at the Hyderabad cremation.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sonia Gandhi - Protocol

In most of the official functions of the government, Sonia Gandhi sits in the first row. An MP cannot sit in the first row. Even as the chairperson of the NAC (National Advisory Council) with Cabinet rank, she can sit only in fourth or fifth row.

Rashtrapati Bhavan had made a minor alteration in the seating procedure during President Shankar Dayal Sharma's time. Sharma, India's President from 1992 to 1997, had authorized that the spouse of a former prime minister would get the same protocol status as a former PM. The reasoning was that if a former PM had been accompanied by his spouse at a Rashtrapati Bhavan event, the two would have been seated together. This issue had not arisen for previous prime ministers because Nehru, Indira, Morarji Desai and Narasimha Rao had all been pre-deceased by their spouses and the spouses of other deceased PMs were clearly not in the habit of attending state functions. Sonia was the first widowed spouse of a PM in public life.

Courtesy: The Accidental Prime Minister by Sanjaya Baru

Sunday, September 07, 2014

P.Chidambaram on Cell Phones in 2004

Cellular mobiles are indeed a sign of progress, but what matters to the poor is a village telephone that works.

- P.Chidambaram on Jan 18th, 2004.

Courtesy: A View from the Outside by P.Chidambaram

Sunday, August 31, 2014

P.Chidambaram on Modi

Excerpt from "A View from the Outside" by P.Chidambaram (On Dec 8, 2002).

As a student, Mr.Modi is reported to have taken lead roles in school plays and once wrote and performed a one-man show. In Gujarat, he seems to be re-enacting that stage of his life. If Mr.Modi succeeds he will, with or without the help of Mr.Advani, take his show to the rest of India.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

P.Chidambaram on District Governments

Excerpt from A View from the Outside by P.Chidambaram (Written on Nov 30, 2003)

If we cannot have smaller states, we could have smaller, and viable, units of administration that are charged with the sole responsibility of delivering these public goods. A mandal or a panchayat samiti is too small for these purposes. A district as the unit seems more viable and governable. Today, at the district level, the entire administration is in the hands of bureaucrats. It is time to ponder over an alternative model - fully elected district administrations, responsible for the delivery of selected public goods and answerable to a district-level assembly of elected representatives. The result is that there will be 5,000 units of administration, but the people may also get water, roads and sanitation.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

P.Chidambaram on Black Money

Excerpt from A View from the Outside by P.Chidambaram

In earlier columns I have argued for rejecting the phobia about 'foreign' money. I wish to make another controversial suggestion. Perhaps, for a certain period of time, we should be colour blind to 'black' money if invested in certain sectors. Consider tourism. That is one sector which has almost infinite potential. Every additional tourist who comes to India has the potential to create at least two additional jobs. Can we not agree on a policy that allows for a period of ten years new investment in the tourism sector - hotels, luxury coaches, spas and treatment centres, sports facilities for skiing, sailing, surfing, hiking, mountaineering and golf - and promises that no questions will be asked about the source of funds? Agreed, there is an element of inequity in this proposal and the means are somewhat dishonest, but this is perhaps one of the better examples where the ends would justify the means.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Complex Solutions for Simple Problems

Von Neumann is a famous Physics Professor. He was a scientist in the first generation of atomic energy. Once in a party, a beautiful lady asked him a difficult question. The following was the question.

Two cyclists are at a distance of 30 Kms from each other. Both are cycling towards other with a speed of 15 kms per hour. After one hour both reach the middle point. When they have started, a fly also started along with the first cyclist at 20 kms per hour, and touched the other cyclist, and returned to the first cyclist and after touching him again went to the second cyclist. It was doing repeatedly till both reach the middle point. How much distance did the fly travel?

This kind of problems are difficult to solve. Since, the distance needs to be traveled by the fly is reducing gradually. This has to be done by using infinite series, and that would take lot of time to solve.

Von Neumann told the answer in half a minute.

There is a trick in this problem. If we think the problem in a different direction, it would be easy to solve. The fly is travelling at a speed of 20 kms per hour. It traveled for one hour (since it took one hour for cyclists to reach the middle point). So, the total distance traveled by the fly is 20 kms.

Then the lady congratulated him and told him that, she thought he would take lot of time in solving the problem by using infinite series, but, he found the trick easily.

Then Von Neumann said, "I solved by using Infinite series only. Is there any simpler method?"

Courtesy: Mohana Makarandam by Mohan Kanda

(By the way, I am also solving problems in the similar way)

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Staying in the Competition With Losses

In 1980, in Andhra Pradesh, the middlemen used to buy fish for very less price from the fishermen. There were no facilities to store or processing the fish. So, the fishermen could not wait till they get better price. So, they did not have any other option other than selling for whatever price was offered by the middlemen.

Since constructing an ice plant would take significant time and money, the Managing Director of fisheries, Mohan Kanda (who later became Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh) proposed to start a small shop to buy the fish from the fishermen for a reasonable price. They have done all the calculations and started the shop and announced a fair price for the fish. Then the middlemen did not make any calculations. They simply offered Re.1 more than the government price per kg fish. Obviously that was a better offer for the fishermen, and they started selling to the middlemen (but, now with higher price). Nobody sold to the government shop, and the shop was idle and it was incurring the cost of running the shop.

The original problem was, giving better price to the fishermen. That problem was solved.

After few months, finance ministry verified all the accounts and checked that, this shop was not getting any profits. It was not doing any sales and not buying anything from fishermen. So, they ordered to close the shop, since there were no profits.

As a result finance ministry saved few thousands of rupees on that shop. The middlemen reduced the prices, since there was no competition. The fishermen's income reduced. Nobody bothered that, running this shop is the least expensive way to improve the life of the fishermen, and welfare schemes are most expensive.

Courtesy: Mohana Makarandam by Mohan Kanda

Monday, July 28, 2014

No money to start business - A famous personality

The following are three different paragraphs written by a famous personality (May be in different contexts). First and third paragraphs are very popular, but not the second.

We were married in his house in Bangalore with only our two families present. I got my first silk sari. The wedding expenses came to only Rs.800 with him and myself pooling in Rs.400 each.

I went to the US with him after marriage. He encouraged me to see America on my own because I loved travelling. I toured America for three months on backpack and had interesting experiences which will remain fresh in my mind forever. Like the time when the New York police took me into custody because they thought I was an Italian trafficking drugs in Harlem. Or the time when I spent the night at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with an old couple. He panicked because he couldn't get a response from my hotel room even at midnight. He thought I was either killed or kidnapped.

In 1981, He wanted to start a business. He had a vision and ZERO capital. Initially I was very apprehensive about him getting into business. We did not have any business background ... Moreover we were living a comfortable life in Bombay with a regular pay check and I didn't want to rock the boat. But he was passionate about creating good quality software. I decided to support him. Typical of him, he just had a dream and no money. So I gave him Rs 10,000 which I had saved for a rainy day, without his knowledge and told him, This is all I have. Take it. I give you three years sabbatical leave. I will take care of the financial needs of our house. You go and chase your dreams without any worry. But you have only three years!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Time Complexity - Linear, Polynomial and Exponential

Whenever I discuss about the complexity of programs, most of the times, I drain all my energy in few minutes (because of talking in very loud voice). The following example is very famous.

Is it linear, polynomial or exponential?

calculate(int c, int n)
   BigInteger x = 1;
   for(int i=0; i<n; i++) {
       x = x*c;
   return x;

If I am giving input, and you are calculating output, then

Linear - You spend roughly equal amount of time as me
Polynomial - You spend significantly more amount of time than me, but, you will do it.
Exponential - I spend couple of mins, and your whole life is not enough to calculate the output.

If anyone says the above program is linear or polynomial, I am ready to spend 10 seconds of my time in giving the input. Are you ready to calculate the output?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Multi Level Marketing

Few days back, I have travelled by Ola Cabs for free.

If an existing customer refers another one, then both gets Rs.300 which can be used when they travel by Ola cabs. Now, they have reduced it to Rs.100 from Rs.300.

If you have not registered with Ola cabs, I am more than happy to refer you. You would get Rs.100 discount, when you travel with Ola cabs. My referral code is H9JH6Q.

--- Ad Ends ---

Giving incentives to the consumers to market, is one of the most efficient ways of marketing. As a consumer, I prefer that kind of marketing than any other marketing, since, instead of spending the money for TV Channels, actors and sports people, they would be spending it on me.

Let's suppose, if Ola cabs introduces an incentive system where for the referrals that I have done, the person who referred me also gets some benefit, then our Indian government may file cases against Ola cabs, and there would be many "so called" social workers, who would pursue cases against Ola cabs, saying, they are cheating people and charging exorbitant prices.

If anyone thinks that, they are charging more money, they do not need to buy services from them. Whoever is buying the services, knows basic mathematics, and can find out which one is cheaper for the quality that they are getting. Most of the people do not need somebody else to come and teach basic mathematics.

In free market economics, there is practically no meaning to fighting against a business in their marketing. If anybody is fighting against any business for their marketing in free market economics, it only means, they have some self motives to destroy the business to reduce the competition or has individual vengeance on the owner of the business. Unfortunately in India, people use the name, "Social work" to kill the competition or to take revenge in these cases.

I am talking about Amway. I got frustrated with the people who file cases against Amway, when they never lost anything or lost because of their incapability in doing the business. I am also frustrated with the people who support these "so called" social workers. If someone does not know how to run the business and start a business, then they are bound to lose the money. And, if they file cases against the producer of the goods for their loss, it is completely ridiculous.

Monday, June 02, 2014

New State

Today, a state expelled one part of it, and started celebrating that they got a new state.

[They have given their name to the expelled area, and they got a new name for themselves. That's why, legally, they are claiming that their state is the new state.]

I wish to see all the accounts to get settled as soon as possible in the best of interests of everyone including mute spectators.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

NOTA (None of the Above) Means

NOTA option practically means,

I am ignorant enough to select a suitable candidate. All the intelligent people out there, please select a suitable candidate on behalf of me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Why people are voting for YSRCP?

One educated fan of YSRCP told me that, from 2000-2004, the rain fall in AP is very less. In his near by village, there was severe water problem. Even drinking water was difficult to get. Every day, one tanker comes to that village, and everyone in that village fights for that water. After YSR became CM, he constructed a pipe from a distant canal/river [Since, there is nothing near by], and constructed two tankers in that village. Since then, that village did not have water problem, and there are no fightings everyday for water. Now, almost entire village votes for YSRCP.

It is very easy to say that, the village people take money and vote for corrupted people. But, if I am fighting for something everyday for 4 years, and suddenly if somebody solves that problem, why will I not vote for the person who solved that?

Eventhough YSR is very corrupted, but, he has given a lot to the people in innumerable ways. Whether it is Arogyasri, Pensions, 1 kg rice for Rs.2, Fee reimbursement for Engineering students, Lunch for students in primary schools, Free electricity, Loan waivers for farmers and so many others.

If a person who is going to die because of some severe disease, and if he is saved due to Arogyasri, will anyone in their family or close relatives would vote for somebody else?

Poor people know the value of fee reimbursement for Engineering students or 1 kg rice for Rs.2.

I heard from someone who takes child labour in their business that, after YSR started providing free lunch at schools, the children are going to schools, and nobody is coming to work in their business.

If my life is at stake, do I worry about India's economy, somebody's corruption, or India-China relationships?

I am not supporting YSR. But, I am reminded once again that, before blaming somebody, we should walk in their shoes for sometime.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Taking Bribe for Losing when I already know I am going to lose

If I am 99.99% sure that I am going to lose (leaving 0.01% for the miracles), and if somebody offers me money for losing, and if I take it, is it corrupt or immoral?

In this specific case, most of the outsiders can predict the probability of win/lose better than the players themselves.

There is a money exchange in the name of bribe. But, it is not going to create any kind of impact whatsoever. Is it not the prerequisite of bribe, to change things in our favor? If there is absolutely no change, can we still call it as bribe?

Is the answer going to change, if I continue to say that, I am going to win and playing for win only?

I do not want to tell anyone that, I am going to lose. I have my own personal reasons for not saying that, there is a high probability that I would lose.

My plan is to take the money, and when I am playing next time, increase my winning chances from 0.01% to 10% with this money.

Media says, "Mr.X has taken a bribe for losing". Till a minute before the media announcement, I was saying, "I am playing to win".

Am I corrupt? Whose responsibility is it to check whether the bribe is going to make any difference or not?

Friday, May 09, 2014

Giving Money for Not Exercising Vote

I got one good suggestion for an electoral reform which can change the politics significantly.

In the EVM, there will be an option, "I do not want to exercise my vote". When anyone selects that option, they would get Rs.100 from the EVM. That vote also would be as private as any other vote. Except the total count, there would be no way of telling who all have selected that option.

In this case, those whoever thinks their vote is more valuable than Rs.100, would vote for their favorite party. Others would take the money and will not exercise their vote power. With that, only good parties would be elected. If the voters are given confidence of privacy in voting, then even if they take Rs.1000 from political parties, still, many of them would try to get Rs.100 extra by not exercising the vote.

This would involve around Rs.10,000 crore for the general elections. By any standard, this is a very small amount, if we can get a good government.

Courtesy: Rajesh Tiruveedula

Friday, May 02, 2014

Election Reforms - NOTA - Mandatory Voting

Except changing from First past the post system to Proportionate system or alternate voting with single transferable vote, there is absolutely no changes required in our election system. Even NOTA (None Of The Above) is also practically of no use. It has only theoretical use.

If you are going to choose NOTA, for all the candidates, do you have one strong reason why you do not want them to be your representative? If you can tell one strong reason for everyone of them, then only you can choose NOTA. Otherwise, you should not choose NOTA. It is your responsibility to find about the candidate before you reject. I can bet that, in that case, nobody would choose NOTA. Those who are intelligent enough to find about the characteristics of all the candidates would choose the best among the worst, and they never choose NOTA.

When would a political party change their candidates? If it realizes that it cannot win the election with that candidate. Till then, it won't change. NOTA will not change the result. So, irrespective of how many ever votes the NOTA gets, there is no reason for the winning party to change its candidate.

Instead of voting for NOTA, if you vote for the best among the worst candidates available, and if majority people vote in the same way, then the best among the worst candidates would win. In that case, since the result is going to be changed, the political parties would try to put better candidate than the other parties. This is the only scenario, where there will be real change in the politics. Anything else will not have any other impact.

I have bought few stocks of few companies. Whenever the company wants to take a major decision, it asks all its shareholders to vote on their decision. I also get mails for voting. But, I never exercised till now. Because, I do not know what is good for the company. I want those who have enough knowledge to exercise their vote properly and take the company forward. Since, I do not know anything, I would like to be neutral and I will not participate in the election. If the company says, if I do not vote, then I will lose my dividend, then I will vote for some random option and that may take the company in negative direction.

I do not see any difference between an election for a company and an election for the government. If my grand mother does not know the difference between Congress and BJP, I would be more happy, if she does not vote, rather than just voting for a random party that is going to disrupt our country and effect my future. Since, I know the value of my vote and I feel, I have enough knowledge on whom to select, I travel a long distance and vote for the candidate that I prefer. If somebody does not have that knowledge, let them not vote.

We should not be forcing anyone to vote. We should be only educating them that, their vote can change their life and only their vote can change their life, and everybody should be voting for the best candidate available (and definitely not NOTA). Once they realize that, automatically we get better representatives.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Interesting Comment on Politics and Democracy

Humans can't be trusted because they're bad... so we need human overlords with concentrated political power to protect humans from other humans.

What about this concentration of power? Isn't that dangerous?

No... we must ensure that only good people get into that position of power.

How will you ensure that?

Through democracy. The majority will decide which overlord gets in a position of power.

But didn't you start with the premise that a majority of humans are bad? So doesn't it follow that the majority will choose someone who'll allow them to further their bad agenda?

Courtesy: Deeksha Gehlot

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Wastage of Vote

The meaning of democracy is, those whoever is supported by the majority would rule everyone.

The meaning of vote is, you like somebody, and you feel, if that person is going to govern you, you would feel happy.

If you are voting for someone, it means, you would feel happy for everything that he/she would do after getting power. Once the person whom you voted wins, you will not have any right to criticize him/her for five years. If that person has done anything wrong, you have to criticize yourself for electing that person. It is your responsibility to take all the precaution to vote for the best candidate next time who will fix all the mistakes that this person has done.

If you are voting for someone, and you are criticizing the same person, it means you are a biggest hypocrite.

If you are not voting for anyone, it means, you don't care about anything. So, you don't have right to criticize anyone for anything.

Many people severely underestimate the power of single vote. There are plenty of instances, where government brings few GOs just before the election, just to get thousand votes. Many political parties worry about other parties which splits their hundred votes. Even if one does not win in the election, but, by the votes they can get, they can bring the change in the system.

Let's suppose, there are two parties A, B. A and B are corrupted parties in different ways. But, educated people prefer A and uneducated people prefer B. Now, a new small party C joined. C proposes all the development and brings awareness in all the educated people. Now, few educated people started moving to party C. At this time, A fears about this, and starts talking about development instead of freebies that it was talking all the while. Eventhough, C is negligible from the statistical perspective in terms of vote share, but, it brought change in A. That is a win for the country. If nobody is going to care for C, and if A does not see any threat from C, then, A may not talk about development. C could bring fear in the existing political parties with that little vote share. But, that little vote share is very important. Without that, there is no change.

Finally, the speech of Dilip Sankarreddy ( on what would he do, if he does not win in the elections should clarify, why that single vote is very important.

I want to make it very expensive for the other political parties to compete. They are right now eating lot of money and also splurging lot of money in campaigning. I want to make them splurge lot more than what they are splurging. I want them to feel the pinch. Even if I don't win, if they win, I will make it very hard for them to make money. So, they will be splurging lot more than what they are doing right now, and in addition to that, they will not be able to make more money than what they are doing right now. That means, the business of politics will not be so opportunistic any more. So, they will have to find out something else to become rich quickly.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Foreign Exchange Before 1991

For nearly four decades, foreign exchange was a taboo subject for most Indians. Governments guarded the foreign exchange reserve as if it was a treasure trove. The office of the chief controller of foreign exchange was a hallowed place and only the privileged few could gain admittance to the sanctum sanctorum. I remember travelling from Chennai to Mumbai to plead with the chief controller my case for an allowance to study abroad and, finally, I got the princely allowance of $7 per day for 10 months in a year!

Mercifully, FERA (Foreign Exchange Regulation Act) was buried finally on May 31, 2002.

Excerpt from "A View from the Outside" by P.Chidambaram.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Quote of the Day - Ignoring Facts

It will be a folly to ignore realities; facts take their revenge if they are not faced squarely and well. - Sardar Vallabhai Patel