Jayalalithaa found guilty in disproportionate assets case – #Jayaverdict trending on twitter

jayalalithaa_PTI

The disproportionate assets case has had an interesting 18 year history. It all started with a complaint filed by Subramanian Swamy (leader of Janata Party at that time) back in 1996. The case was filed after a sudden increase in Jayalalithaa’s assets from Rs 2.01 crores to Rs 66.65 crores between 1991 and 1996 when she was serving as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Dr Swamy has recently joined the BJP which has been an ally of Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK in the past and the two parties are still believed to maintain good relations.

The case was transferred to Bangalore in 2003 by the Supreme Court on a petition filed by DMK. This was supported by Dr Subramanian Swamy, the original complainant.

The verdict seems to have brought back the people’s belief on the country’s judicial system as evident from comments of twitterites. However, a few are concerned about whether the verdict will hold in higher courts in case Jayalalithaa chooses to appeal and whether she will actually serve a sentence for her crime or be set scot-free on bail till the higher courts reach a conclusion. It has taken 18 years for a verdict to come out and a further delay could mean that justice will never be served in this case.

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Future Mars missions to watch out for #NASA #MarsOne

NASA plans to capture an asteroid from space and make it orbit around the moon through a robotic mission. NASA also plans to send a human team to explore the asteroid by 2025. This would be a capability demonstrator for a future manned mission to Mars in the 2030s to study the possibilities of life having existed on the red planet in the past, when conditions were more suitable for life.

From 2018 onwards, such futuristic missions would be made possible by NASA’s powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. NASA also plans to use the Orion spacecraft for both these missions. The Mars mission will use Orion and an evolved SLS that will be the most powerful launch vehicle ever flown.

‘Mars One’ is a non-profit organization with the aim of establishing a permanent human settlement on Mars through a one-way mission. It plans to use readily available components from global suppliers to enable the human race to set foot quickly on Mars.

The Mars One mission would consist of a cargo mission to prepare the planet for human survival followed by human landings. It has already began selecting astronauts for this program from 2013!

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References:

http://www.nasa.gov/content/nasas-human-journey-to-mars/

http://www.mars-one.com/mission

The Xiaomi success story – A unique business model

Xiaomi has been the new buzzword in the mobile industry for quite some time now. Here is a look at the rise of a new brand in an industry which was being dominated primarily by Apple and Samsung among the long list of smartphone manufacturers.

xiaomi mi3

The company was founded in June, 2010. In August, it launched its first Android based firmware MIUI and the Xiaomi Mi1 was released in August 2011. It launched the Mi2 in August 2012, and sold over 10 million devices. The Mi3 which was launched in September, 2013 reportedly shipped more devices than Samsung in Q2 of 2014 with stock outs reported by its exclusive distributor, Flipkart in India in record time (40,000 units in 4 seconds).

Competitive Advantage – High Specs at a low price

Xiaomi Mi3 comes with a 13 megapixel autofocus camera with dual-led flash, face and smile detection, touch focus and geo-tagging. It comes with a Quad-core 2.3 GHz processor, Android OS 4.4.2 (KitKat) and upto 26 hours of battery talk time. It has 16 GB memory that is expandable to 64 GB.

Its price on Flipkart was Rs 13,999. The specs available on the Mi3 along with its sleek design and beautiful display are usually seen in phones priced higher than Rs 25,000.

Marketing

The Xiaomi Mi3 has been positioned as the ‘Iphone among android phones’ through word of mouth and social media with hardly any other form of advertising spend. Lack of advertising and retail stores have helped keep costs low. The customized MIUI and simulation testing for 2 years of usage have attributed positive brand associations such as reliability and ‘value for money’ to Xiaomi.

While it is unlikely that Xiaomi’s Mi3 would eat into the market share of Apple’s iphone, which is positioned as a luxury brand in the smartphone industry, it could take significant amount of market share from other competitors in the low and medium end segments.

Strategy

Xiaomi’s competitive advantage comes from its unique business model. It sells its smartphones over a period of 1.5 years instead of bringing out new models every year or every 6 months like Samsung. This allows Xiaomi to take advantage of the reduced material prices at a later stage even though it initially appears to sell at the cost price.

Furthermore, it also leverages other revenue sources through sale of software and accessories much like Kodak benefited from the sale of films for film based cameras.

#Mangalyaan successfully enters Mars orbit

Twitter overflows with tweets as Mangalyaan successfully enters Mars orbit.The entire nation is rejoicing this moment. This mission should provide high credibility to ISRO. This could mean significant business for ISRO in the near future which would lay to rest the claims of critics that India cannot afford to spend so much money on space research. Moreover, the cost for this mission has been widely publicized to be less than the budget for the Hollywood flick, Gravity.

This most certainly is a moment to cherish.

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Deepika vs TOI story

ScreenHunter_184 Sep. 24 11.31A few days back The Times of India published a video tweet of leading Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone in its online entertainment section. The video highlighted Deepika’s low neck dress and accused her of showing her cleavage. TOI also went ahead to prove its point by drawing a dotted red circle around her cleavage.

Deepika came up with a swift reply to this on Facebook – “A character may demand that I be clothed from head to toe or be completely naked, and it will be my choice as an actor whether or not I take either. Understand that this is a ROLE and not REAL, and it is my job to portray whatever character I choose to play convincingly.’

Following Deepika’s response, TOI came back with a response on its Bollywood page. This time TOI accused Deepika of throwing a publicity stunt before the release of her upcoming movie, ‘Finding Fanny’. TOI also pointed out occasions when Deepika had ‘flaunted’ her cleavage in real life or during photo shoots for various magazines.

Surprisingly, there are a few weak points in TOI’s argument that any reader would notice:

1. Deepika obviously didn’t object to the images posted by TOI as the image in question actually showed very little of her cleavage when compared to her photos in many other magazines, which she has voluntarily posed for. However, TOI seems to have gone overboard by pointing out someone’s body part in public with a red circle over it to shame the person concerned.

2. The way an actress dresses in real life is her own concern and though media can report on her fashion sense, showing off someone’s body parts in a vulgar way is not expected from a leading national daily. These things are better suited to porn magazines. Moreover, it is weird that TOI got back to Deepika after her response by questioning her dressing sense in real life, because all female actors today dress very similarly in public and there is no way that Deepika can be singled out.ScreenHunter_185 Sep. 24 11.50

3. Also, the use of language in TOI’s response was nothing short of absurd: Deepika, who began her career as a ‘calendar girl’ for a liquor brand…. Like it or not, Deepika Padukone is a leading actress in Bollywood today and most of her fans would agree that she doesn’t need to show her cleavage to get fans because she has proven her acting skills and she has got natural good looks.

4. Moreover, the concept of highlighting a cleavage in 21st century India seems weird in the first place. Female actors in Hollywood have started stripping down naked long ago. Some actresses in Bollywood have also tried to emulate them though we have not seen scenes as bold as the ones in Hollywood. Such media censorship will only push back the Indian film industry a step back.

It was good to see Deepika’s colleagues and other independent writers come out in support of Deepika. We at ‘Hind Today’ also stand by her.

Reference:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/Dear-Deepika-our-point-of-view-/articleshow/43084705.cms

Proud to be an ‘Internet Hindu’

Brihadeeswara_temple

While surfing the internet nowadays, it is commonplace to stumble upon articles classifying a growing right-wing in the country as ‘Internet Hindus’. This term was coined by some well-known journalists and writers in the country who themselves are supposedly ‘Hindus’. According to them, the ‘Internet Hindus’ are trying to alter the secular fabric of the pluralistic Indian society by using the internet as a medium to express their political views. Furthermore, these elite few haven’t refrained from raking up this term in snobbish speeches and articles in foreign news channels and magazines to defame the majority in the country to gain publicity in return.

On the other hand, what we ‘Internet Hindus’ have failed to understand is whether there is something wrong in defending our ancient cultural beliefs while we progress as a united nation to become the world’s most responsible democracy. Yes, we have had a more peaceful history than some of the largest democracies in the world today, because our ancient culture has its roots in teachings of peace and non-violence. Many peaceful religions have been born in a cradle of Hindu culture in ancient India. All of these religions have proven to be much more peaceful than most Abrahamic religions. Moreover, we have always respected all religions and we have co-existed peacefully with everyone. Parsis (native Persians from today’s Iran), Jews, Christians and Muslims have all found refuge in India for centuries amongst native Hindus.

It is also worth noting that the word ‘Hinduism’ was hardly used before the 19th century as a religion. The Persians referred to the region beyond the Indus river as ‘Hindus’, the Persian equivalent of the Sanskrit word Sindhu (for the river Indus). Then the Mughals (Turko-Mongols) who invaded India in the 16th century referred to their kingdom, with Delhi as its capital, as ‘Hindustan’ (or land of Hindus) . Subsequently, the native people of Hindustan came to be known as Hindus. Therefore, ‘Hinduism’ is the culture of native Indians and not a religion in the true sense. The Hindu religious text, the Bhagavad Gita, is an extract from the most famous ancient Indian epic, The Mahabharata. The date of origin of The Mahabharata is not even known but it is often estimated to be during the 8th or 9th century B.C.

Hinduism as a religion was never preached or propagated. Yet, people from other cultural backgrounds have been drawn to Hindu teachings of ‘Karma’ and ‘Dharma’. The essence of Hindu culture lies in these two words. These words simply inculcate one universal belief among adherents of the Hindu culture –  ‘What you sow is what you reap’. This means that someone who submits to evil deeds will eventually suffer pain in life or in afterlife while someone who is morally upright with a clear conscience will eventually be rewarded. Nevertheless, the Hindu culture was not free from superstitions and caste systems. But similar superstitions and divisions have been observed in other societies too before the industrial revolutions (for example, the feudal structure prevalent in Europe with kings, nobles, knights, peasants, etc). These have gradually eroded off with technological developments and education.

Today, when we look around our borders, we can see the fate of countries where people have not been able to preserve their own cultural beliefs. Perhaps the two most successful economies in Asia today are China and Japan. National unity could be a key factor behind this. Surprisingly, in China and Japan, a staggering majority of people have held on to their ancient cultural identities instead of taking on divisive identities, irrespective of religion. Nonetheless, China being a large and diverse nation, is also not devoid of separatist movements.

In India, on the other hand, some communities have strictly stuck to intra-religious marriages for girls while Hindus have been more liberal. Some have demanded special quotas in jobs and education sectors on the basis of religion. Pseudo-secular Hindus from political parties have misled the Hindu youth of this country to give in to such demands to gradually increase their own minority vote bank. As a result, some opportunistic political leaders from the minority keep pushing for these extra benefits in the society on the basis of religion at the expense of the liberal Hindu majority. This seems even more unjustified considering that the Hindus haven’t even been a part of the ruling class in India for over 700 years before independence unlike the religions demanding extra benefits. As a result, many Hindus had lost their properties and often succumbed to forced conversions before the formation of India in 1947. Many now live below the poverty line.

The ‘Internet Hindus’ only demand equality in the society and no special benefits for anyone. They only want selections on the basis of merit and oppose political appeasement for the purpose of expanding minority vote banks. It is a well known fact that people from Bangladesh were brought into India illegally and they were helped to get Indian passports on the condition that they would vote for certain political parties. This has changed the demographics in India significantly. This is another thing that ‘Internet Hindus’ have opposed because there aren’t enough jobs for Indian citizens in India today (though Bangladesh is a friendly neighbor with a common language and we have a lot of respect for their people and culture). There is no democracy in the world where a Hindu (or anyone else) would get special concessions for being from a minority religion. At least, in their own country, Hindus do not deserve to be second class citizens.

We are portrayed as extremists just because we want to protect the nation’s secular identity and our own existence before it is too late. But it does not matter how much evidence from history and from today’s global turmoil we put before the pseudo-secular forces, for they will casually say that we are just being paranoid. And then we wonder – ‘Only if our ancestors had been paranoid, then we wouldn’t have to face the tyranny and loot of the likes of Aurangzeb or the British. We would then be a much richer nation today’.

Surprisingly, it is not the ‘Internet Hindus’ who defame Indian minorities or the pseudo-secular groups in front of the international community. It is the other way round! So we would prefer to remain ‘Internet Hindus’ while you carry on your pseudo-secular publicity stunts in the West against the interests of the nation and head on your way to become the Mir Jafars of contemporary India.

Note from the author: This article is not meant to offend anyone. It is meant to be a logical response to critics to explain a growing sentiment within the nation. The author doesn’t endorse those who pose as ‘Internet Hindus’ and use indecent language online instead of presenting a logical argument.

References:
http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/sagarikaghose/223/64767/in-search-of-the-modern-hindu.html
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/social-media-internet-cyber-hindu-twitter-narendra-modi/1/321267.html
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/stoi/all-that-matters/When-Hinduism-meets-the-internet/articleshow/18097148.cms
http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/201207092020-0022274
http://www.outlookindia.com/article/Who-Milks-This-Cow/282904