Diversity & Inclusion


Diversity & Inclusion is one of the most beautiful concepts when it is applied to its real sense. It has a straightforward and unambiguous meaning. An organization, a team or even a civilization can no longer afford to exclude the different voices, different from traditionally theirs. If they do, they compromise on width, depth, efficiency, perspective, and completeness of the state they are trying to achieve.

For example, take a team consisting of a perfectionist and a taskmaster. A taskmaster can complete 95% tasks seldom haphazardly, but with paramount efficiency and productivity. A perfectionist will take it from here. He surely will take his own sweet time. Still, he will ensure that the job is comprehensively and conclusively completed in a form normal human being can comprehend. Imagine a team constituting with only one sort of them? Team taskmaster can deliver tomorrow afternoon with many bugs. A perfectionist will provide you with a perfect solution, but only by the subsequent quarter.

Even with this simple truth is widely misinterpreted, often deliberately.

  1. The ask amazingly simple. Include the diversity into the team and follow a democratic process. It generally gets confused and leads to giving power of veto, virtually an authoritarian decision making.
  2. Most definitions list out the race, gender, religion, and caste etc. All these correct, but this list should only be kept in the appendix. This list will keep in growing and evolving in all its probability. We cannot dilute the spirit of it with specifics.
  3. This goes without saying, freedom of expression holds the paramount value of any teams. There should be a channel for everyone to speak their heart out.

Let us discuss what it’s not.

  1. It is not a vehicle to correct historical injustice. If you give D&I the time to evolve, it will address all your grievances in this regard. Unfortunately, some of the torchbearers use D&I as a tool for overcompensating or even underrepresenting a group of people.
  2. D&I is a progressive concept on itself, but you cannot form a team entirely made of progressives, which fails the entire purpose. This applies to any groups part of a D&I team.

A couple of examples.

Exhibit 1. This is an image of the editorial board of a once-popular online newsmagazine. They often accused of torchbearers of progressiveness in the modern internet world. No wonder their articles are monotonous and predictable.

Source : Mic.com

Exhibit 2. This is an image of Late-night talk show hosts. I have seen episodes of most of them. They all dress, look, talk, laugh, joke and express opinions about if they all came out of a mould. They are irritatingly predictable.

Source www.vanityfair.com

Let me know your thoughts about this, do write your reviews in the comments section.

The great fall of American Liberalism


American liberalism is now officially dead. It was not euthanization, there was no resistance; in fact, it was mauled to a dogs’ death. The more unfortunate news is that the so-called torchbearers and custodians of modern liberalism did not even put up a decent fight, instead chose to sleepwalk into whatever replaced it. While we rest it in peace, we should remember all the good stuff it achieved. It lifted billions of humans from dire poverty, gave voices to the downtrodden and conclusively defeated the theocracies and socialism. Also, let’s take a minute to remember three great wars it won in the previous century. WW1 against imperialism, WW2 against fascist/racist forces and the cold war against communist socialism.

To be honest, we all saw this coming. There were signs written all over the walls – the stories of the decline of true liberalism. For instance, do you remember once-popular bumper sticker we all flaunted? “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it ” – (attributed to Voltaire). We, the liberals, used to sing this hymn in the shower, in the gym and even in birthday parties. Now, try to recall this, when was the last time read it? It’s been a while, isn’t it? That’s because we no longer believe in it. Now, we are, kind of, okay to suppress freedom of expression as long as it is now ours. Voltaire must be turning in his grave.

I am a supermassive fan of few of the greatest humanist, atheistic and liberals of our generation. We should not forget, they all found their voices in the USA. George Carlin, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and so on. For a good part of the last two decades, I had spent hours reading their books, watching their shows and evangelizing their prophecy. I passionately agreed with everything they said, including burps. Then ‘time’ happened, it got to everyone. Carlin and Kitchens are longer serving liberal America. And today, Sam throws a white towel!

Look at his one of his recent tweets! What a degradation of liberal values! Sam is cheering for an action that fundamentally stands against core principles of liberal democracy – the liberty.

Let me provide a little background to those who chose not to follow what is happening in the USA. A Few tech giants such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, who rose to power selling the freedom of expression, chose to close the accounts of sitting precedent the USA – the leader of a sovereign nation. In other words, America and civilized world, still trust this gentleman with nuclear codes of a stockpile which can evaporate the earth tomorrow. Yet, he cannot be trusted with typing a few tweets? It’s immaterial what happened during past week or year; freedom of expression is a bare minimum prerequisite of a functional democracy. If you have doubts with that, just scroll up and see what Voltaire said, again.

We should remember Social media is ala carte meal. You subscribe only with your free will. If you no longer agree with a view of someone, you are free to unsubscribe, unfollow, you mute. You can even block an account. Now, Sam could have appealed his followers to do that. Even the bosses of Tech Giants, Mark and Jack, could have done the same in their personal capacity. Instead, they chose to deprive the freedom of expression of a section of users and their leader. This happens, even when many of the supremacist bigots worldwide can still freely express their dangerous views such as calling for harm to a section of our society.

Anyways, I wish good luck for Jack, Mark, Sam and other ex-liberals with their new membership in moral accountability council, which apparently going to take over our thought process. They will be our custodians to have the right thoughts and rights of expression and protect us from wrong ideas.

Here is why I support the farmers protest!!!


Ever since once supposed India against corruption movement was hijacked by a future political party in making, I do not trust the motive behind most protests happened or happening in India. I had fallen for it once, and I am not gonna repeat the mistake. On the surface, it would appear as a genuine instrument and orchestrate by aggrieved parties. Still, sooner or later it would get hijacked by elements with their interest to blackmail the decisions of the democratically elected government, that too in consultation with constitutional artefacts.

I would not have penned it better than a fellow blogger Anant who is spot on with the current discussion and more… Please read through his complete article in his blog.

Starting with the agriculture income. As per section 10(1) of Income Tax Act 1961, agriculture income is exempt from tax. As per the section 2(1A), any income generated from farmhouses, or any rent or revenue derived from land which is situated in India and is used for agricultural purposes is counted as agriculture income. As an example, if I have 25 acres of land available and I rent it to a farmer at INR 50,000 (average market rent in Punjab) per acre to him, the total 12.5 lacs that I receive as total rent would be tax free. However, if I would have rented it for something else (other than for farming) I would have paid INR 2,00,000 as tax on the exact same income. So, it is quite possible that my knowledge about agriculture says that potato is a fruit and grows on a tree but I will still be counted as a “farmer” because I make agriculture income by renting the property to farmers. That’s why India has more than 55% of the population involved in agricultural and yet agriculture contributes to just 15% of the GDP. Point to be noted here is that I am not even talking about money laundering in the name of agriculture income. You must have heard some politician growing cauliflower in pots on the terrace and making millions out of that. Every other politician is a farmer these days. Some day I will write a separate article, how, people are washing money from black to white using agriculture income. But for now it also gives a hint as to who might be protesting and why. First thing first, define a farmer!

Here is why I support the farmers protest!!!

Scam 1992 and OTT platform debate


Online streaming platforms (OTT) had a good run of generating quality products, which is almost over now. After producing gems of original content for about half a decade, they are giving up now. They, inevitably have opened the doors to production houses of both Hollywood and Bollywood to crap all over them. To be brutally honest, we saw this coming. Why wouldn’t powerful and nepotistic mafias, which are fueled by political propaganda, not claim of the pie of profit? They certainly would not want to sit behind and watch the lockdown to be lifted and the cinemas to open again.

Take these for example; we get to see Bobby Deol on Netflix, Yay ! remember him? The actor with three wholesome expressions in total!. Abhishekh Bachchan is coming in Series called ‘Scam’; calling him an actor itself is a scam! Netflix thought that we are missing them. The Princess Sonam Kapoor is also making a comeback. We all have seen this trailer of AK vs AK. She is apparently a hostage to Anurag Kashyap in some parallel universe. Her father, with his evolutionary advantage that is only relevant for a 15th-century pirate, runs around the city badmouthing which has already spilt over on my Twitter feed!. Soon we will have rest of the Kapoors and Khans and adopted families of Johar unloading buttload of stuff on an unsuspecting audience. In fact, We already have a show by king Karan based on mundane life events of Bollywood wives of yesteryear non-actors.

Hollywood is not much behind. During this December the Disney spoiled your childhood favorite movie ‘Mulan’ for good. What a BS reproduction of 90’s gem!. The Borat sequel was probably the most disappointing one. Borat was one of my favorite characters in this century. They’ve spent an entire move on political propaganda with the sole intention to contribute to the US election. Now, we’ll see Netflix and Amazon prime religiously bending over backwards to fulfil the socio-political fantasies and ideologies of a spectrum. E.g. Jack Ryan saves Venezuela from capitalism

This is very depressing. Many of TV viewers, such as me, had cancelled their DTH connection with the hope of weekend entertainment needs by OTT, only to find the history repeating itself.

While all these, few exceptions like Sony LIV are operating slightly differently. That, at least for now. They have released a couple of guiltfree, binge-worthy original content. One of such I am a big fan of is the “Scam 1992 – the Harshad Mehta story”. It’s a 10 episode short series, based on the book of Sucheta Dalal & Debashis Basu and directed by Jay and Hansal Mehta and steaming on Sony live.

I would recommend you stop doing whatever you are doing this Sunday afternoon and grab a popcorn bucket and binge this show. It’s that worth your time. This, especially if you have watched and loved two great movies, “the wolf of wall street” and “the big short”, although they are not prerequisites. This has a flavour of the game of throne as well, a pinch of it.

I will not spoil the plot for you. Still, the basic premise of the Series is a ‘rags to riches’ of Harshad Meta who was famously known as the Amitabh Bachchan of the stock market. He goes on to manipulating the equity market through the money market if India. The story covers a wide array of topics, including but not limited to: the loopholes of markets, regulatory shortcomings, political corruption, monopoly of big foreign players and in short ‘way things ran’ back then.

Trust me, you will enjoy it thoroughly. It’s probably the best OTT series since Chernobyl on Disney platform.

What went well

  1. The Story. If you did not live under the rock during the ’90s, you already know what the story is. If you were tasked by your parent to go through specific stock prices and business news of the dailies, you will 100% relate to this. Even if you did not know the back story, Series is presented in a manner that anyone can comprehend it without the knowhow of the stock or money market.
  2. The Casting. “Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.” – Food critic Anton Ego, Ratatouille. Most actors who cast in this Series came from a modest background but known to put heart into their performance. Let me take an example, Anjali Barot, who plays Mrs. Mehta, was known for the advertisement of vacuum cleaner, mattresses. I am not undermining them. It’s just that Hansal did cast her here, the nepotism infested industry would continue to cast her in the advertisements of 30 sec. There are 100s such characters in the Series, all of them have brought A level artistry as actors.
  3. Pratik Gandhi is the star of the show, I do now know anyone else could pull this off. I must confess that I do not have sufficient words to explain him.
  4. Direction, attention of details, narrations, period part of period drama, the design of characters. All spot on!
  5. Historical accuracy. The story had sent shock waves across the nation, was talk of the town and it even shattered glasses all the way till Delhi. The historical events, the depiction of big shots, characterization all depicted spectacularly. BTW, I still remember some of the scams authored by then government, the Hawala scam, St Kitts scam and this, are its myriad achievements. In fact, you must wait to fit another two decades for UPA2 to come back to power to have such a list of scams.
  6. The Script: the dialogues are so excellent and witty you will continue to think about it for a while. The dialogue delivery is even brilliant. Written brilliantly, delivered even more spectacularly.

They have designed an almost perfect OTT series – a hands-down winner.

As you know me, I cannot help but nit-pick some of the shortcomings. There were few.

  1. Due to the obligation to dumbing down the technicalities of the scan, Sucheta role takes a hit. For or most episodes Sucheta Dalal is portrayed as a glorified stenographer. For most of the discoveries, all she has to do is wait for that phone call or wait for a file to fall into her laps. I do not think that was the case in reality.
  2. One of the critical indicators of period drama is the altitude of the belt buckle and side slit of salwar kameez. If you get that right, you do not even need to indicate the era/year you are narrating. In 80s belt buckle was on diaphragm and slit of sales was on a knee. Over the decades, one descended and other ascended. I think the movie got it wrong.
  3. Mrs Mehta and Sucheta and few more characters did not age through the episodes.
  4. One of the most concerning fact is, did this Series whitewash the scam-ster? Agree that the show does call the spade as a spade for political, regulatory and banks and other government bodies. But when it comes to Harshad, they are a little less harsh.

Here’s the trailer for you.

How to survive Arnab Goswami through logical fallacies


As you already might have guessed, I am a regular viewer of the Newshour by Arnab Goswami and a big fan. It is a ‘complete’ show. There are multiple reasons why I choose to watch him. The show provides good entertainment, in comparison, the alternatives are poorly scripted; also in a weird sense, this is a kind of adventure sport, for panellists.

Surprisingly though, there is not even a single guide available on how to survive his show. I expected at least a book in the market, something like “Arnab for dummies”, nope! So I thought I’ll write one, not book, a post. If you happened to be invited to his show, please feel free to use any of these.

BTW, if you do not know Arnab Goswami, please go back into your cave and close the rock door properly. I heard spiders are adequate protein. For others, let’s start.

Right, the Thumb rule is, there is no correct way of doing it. However, there are several wrong ways.

Arnab Goswami
Arnab Goswami
  1. You can never win an argument, you can only survive it. So stop trying to convince and embrace the inevitable.
  2. Do not practice! In fact, you don’t even need to know what the discussion is all about. He will set the premise, then he will ask what “nation needs to know”.
  3. Never ever ask for proof. If it exists, Arnab has seen it. As it was famously described before by media crooks – every piece of document, including your bus ticket, will have to go through his desk. Stamped and signed.
  4. Use the words he uses, he may show mercy on you. ‘National’ television, you’re ‘exclusive’, etc. While there, don’t use the words ‘paid’ and ‘media’, or ‘you’ and ‘PR agent’ in the same sentence. Prostate exams seem better than what follows.
  5. Use this as a final resort, only if you are cornered. Close your ears and eyes and sing a song, need not be a patriotic song, even Sheela Ki Jawani should work.
  6. If that doesn’t work, use your rugby skills.

I will update the list as and when I find more, but as of now above should help you through half an hour of his show.

On a different note, below are some rhetological fallacies I noted. This is in general, rather than Arnab’s show. These are real fallacies, I did not make any of these.

  1. The burden of proof – It’s not my job to find evidence, it’s yours. E.g. Give me a piece of evidence for something I claimed
  2. Special pleading – pleading for exemption without justifying the exemption. E.g. Give them time, they will prove eventually, so don’t scrutinize.
  3. Insufficient sample – broad conclusion on a tiny piece, E.g. The latest ‘ground-breaking’ survey had “..about 2000 people – was small and was concentrated on the 18-45 age group.”
  4. Relative privation – argument on the existence of severe, but unrelated, problems. E.g. How can Madhuri Dikshit and Salman Khan can attend a show while people don’t have a blanket in a refugee camp.
  5. Appeal to accomplishment – because of his credentials! E.g. have you ever read Arvind Kejriwal’s Resume?
  6. Nazi card – simple branding. e.g. we are liberals, by definition, we are open to all ideas except anything remotely right.
  7. Appeal to ridicule – E.g. Idea of abolishing income tax is ridiculous, we don’t even need to talk about it.
  8. Appeal to nature – argument solely dependent on the topic being ‘natural’ or ‘unnatural’. E.g. Homosexuality is unnatural.
  9. Appeal to novelty – better because it is modern. E.g. since it is written in books before
  10. Appeal to fear – fear towards the opposing idea, e.g. FDI in retail will bring a devastating impact in the economic fabric
  11. Appeal to the majority – Since the majority seems to think so, must be true, E.g.majority is gullible.
  12. Cherry-picking. Celebrating on a few features of achievement, while ignoring important information of related cases or data that may contradict that position. For example, Delhi water problem solved!
  13. Appeal to ignorance – because it is not proven false; so right. e.g. You did not give him a chance yet, he can do wonders.
  14. Appeal to common sense – I cannot imagine how this could be true. Therefore it must be false. E.g. I can’t imagine how such a big actor can drive over people sleeping on the footpath.
  15. Hedging – using words with ambiguous meanings, then changing the meaning of them later. E.g. we said we will live like common man alright, we also agreed to end VIP culture. But that simply means we won’t use beacons, but gas-guzzling SUVs stay. Apparently practising austerity is not for the common man.
  16. More will be added here.