Friday, March 27, 2009

Praja Rajyam Party : Copy Cats or Just Inspired ?

Praja Rajyam political campaign has copied almost entirely the NTR’s Political beginnings of 1983.  Starting with the way party was announced, venues and literally step by step of the election campaign.

They also copied most of the manifesto from Lok Satta’s 50 irrevocable guarantees and applied the ‘Caste’ magic to it in the name of social justice.

Now, most recently,, the official website of Praja Rajyam party tried it best to copy Barack Obama’s website. Starting with the tag line of ‘Change’, it appears they copied the source of the website and just applied new colors to it.

Click on images to see full images or just click on the websites to see for yourself : vs

image image 

The most striking and funniest part is the Online donations page. Where, they even copied the list of Confirmations by a donor. Are there 'Federal' Lobbyists in the state of Andhra Pradesh? This is the original text you will find on Barack Obama’s website.

  1. I am a United States citizen or a lawfully-admitted permanent resident.
  2. I am at least 16 years old.
  3. This contribution is not made from the general treasury funds of a corporation, labor organization or national bank.
  4. This contribution is not made from the funds of a political action committee.
  5. This contribution is not made from the treasury of an entity or person who is a federal contractor.
  6. This contribution is not made from the funds of an individual registered as a federal lobbyist or a foreign agent, or an entity that is a federally registered lobbying firm or foreign agent.
  7. The funds I am donating are not being provided to me by another person or entity for the purpose of making this contribution.

And used their creativity to adapt the text to this on site:

  1. I here by confirm that i am an Indian citizen and contributing the above amount voluntarily to Praja Rajyam Party out of my own resources.
  2. I am at least 18 years old.
  3. This contribution is not made from the general treasury funds of a corporation, labor organization or national bank.
  4. This contribution is not made from the funds of a political action committee. This contribution is not made from the treasury of an entity or person who is a federal contractor.
  5. This contribution is not made from the funds of an individual registered as a federal lobbyist or a foreign agent, or an entity that is a federally registered lobbying firm or foreign agent.
  6. The funds I am donating are not being provided to me by another person or entity for the purpose of making this contribution.

image image

The proponents of change, decided ‘NOT to change’ but copy left and right. Just like the way, Movies are remade in Andhra.

While getting inspired by NTR, LokSatta and Barack Obama is not a bad thing at all, it just shows how superficial and empty the party and its identity is. The worst part, its principles are.

How can a party that just imitate everything, can stand out and be any different than other political parties? The party is collecting party funds just like any other party, spending just like any other party, awarding tickets just like any other party (money) (except the fact it is also championing the exploitation of caste), offering free stuff to woo voters without understanding the cost of such populous stupidity, and shows no signs of dignity just like others; It is acting like any other. Talking like any other. How could the Praja rajyam party any different?  What kind of change the party is talking about? Is the Change is also just an election trick imitating Barack Obama?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tracking Andhra Politics : Think Local. Act Local.

“Think Global and Act Local” is a well known business line, that underline the importance of acting local in order to stretch a business to global levels. Going global has been a dream for many businesses. So it fits in well.

You know lot about State, National and World Politics. But do you know what are the key issues in your City?

Most probably, answer to that question would be, ‘not quite’. When it comes to democracy, we must always think Local and act local. Too often, Politicians blow issues out of proportions and make simple differences large election issues, and many a times, they become deciding factors in elections.  So contrary to principles of Democracy and Swaraj, quite often Politicians set the agenda for you. They define what are your issues. They convince you that you must act on them. Act on them alone. Because, they don’t know what your real issues are.

If you care for Swaraj, you Must act local.

No media (News Papers or TV) or most blogs want to focus on local issues. As they will limit their reach. The new web community at Yes To Politics let you build and organize your community at a level that make sense to you.  It will let you create a community at City, Constituency, District or around a party. If you really not into politics at all, why not fight for a cause that you really believe in. You can create an action group as well.

Build an active local community. To realize the fruit of democracy, we must think local and act local. Build your own community around your own City, Constituency,District, a Political party or fight for a Cause.

Start a local community today and you decide what matters to your community. Track what matters rather than consuming every thing that is thrown at you.

Samajika Vargam – The New name to Caste Factor

Chiranjeevi brought in a new keyword to political fore, ‘Samajika Vargam’ (Social Group) to exploit Caste based politics in Andhra Pradesh, India in the name of social justice. (Read more why this Social justice is really shameless Caste exploitation) The keyword caught on most political parties and media alike.  Now, they no more feel ashamed or embarrassed to exploit ‘Caste’ for votes. They call it ‘Social Justice’.

Now even advertisers caught on to the keyword and of course Caste is a very important matter for most when it comes to marriage, throughout India. See the ad by Telugu Matrimony, a micro site of that is exploiting the latest buzz in the market. Using the kewword, Samajika Vargam, social group, aka Caste.

image image

Well, that is the essence of Marketing, use the buzz to promote. Isn’t it?

Media War in Andhra Politics : Eenadu and Sakshi

Its quite obvious that Media in Andhra is almost totally biased towards one party and promote that party. Eenadu is quite well known to support TDP while Saskhi is literally owned by Congress.  And TV stations are doing the same with Maa TV literally campaigning 24x7 for Chiranjeevi.

The problem is that none of them admit it openly. They try to project them selves as ‘fair media’. And the clash between each other is so obvious then. Most contentious are the fights between Eenadu and Sakshi. They even went a head put a seperate microsites on their websites to extend the war.

Sakshi questions Eenadu reports with ‘Edi Nijam?’ (what is the truth?) while Eenadu setup a ‘Pencounter’ to reject fight back.



Finally, anybody know who is right and fair in reporting? I guess, None.

Scaling Rails Applications in the Amazon Cloud

The application demonstrated in this talk is hardly handling about 500 users, but demonstrate some interesting points about scalability that could be almost taken for granted in Cloud hosting services like Amazon. Also a good introduction to Cloud if you are not already on cloud 9.

Listen to the MP3 of the presentation here.

Watch slide 23, the non-RDBMS bonus carefully. If you have read about my previous post on this topic, moving away from RDBMS/Tables, the point comes home pretty convincingly in this presentation.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

WordPress Login : Rendering in Different Browsers

When it comes to rendering, the world’s fastest browser, my favorite Google Chrome still has some rough edges. I mean, really some rough edges. It has trouble rendering rounded corners on WordPress login page. See how a WordPress login page is rendered on different browsers. I am on Microsoft Vista.

Google Chrome : Not happy with round edges and shadow

Issues: Round corners are not transparent enough and shows thick black edges. And somehow shows a much wider shadow (compared to Apple Safari)


Apple Safari : The Best

Finest and quite crisp when it comes to rendering content. See how the it stands out from the page and just enough shadow.


Firefox : Just Fine

Renders round edges fine but completely misses out on the shadows. So the form looks more like embedded in to the page rather than standing out floated (like in Apple Safari)


Internet Explorer 7 : Completely ignores round edges, but better than Google Chrome

IE completely ignored round edges and has the same problem with shadows (like Firefox). But looks much better than Google Chrome as there are no black edges.


Apple Safari is the best when it comes to rendering. Its even much better (compared to all others) to render indic scripts (like Telugu). See a clipping of the home page of Andhra daily news paper, Eenadu in Apple Safari. Its beautiful. (Google chrome is worst for rendering Telugu)


H1B 2010: Will ‘2007,2008 H1B Rush’ repeat in 2009?

This is the most trickiest and yet the most popular question asked on this blog and in direct emails to me, Will the H1B rush we have witnessed in 2007 and 2008 repeat this year in 2009 as well? The official H1B year 2010 starts from October 1st of 2009. USCIS will accept petitions starting from 1st of April, 2009. Please visit USCIS website for accurate and timely information. Now the answer to that question, without any doubt, a

Big NO.

That's right. As far as I understand, its a BIG NO. Its my gut feeling and I could be totally wrong. It is very unlikely that USCIS will run in to lottery this year. I will be surprised if even the cap is reached this year.

Enough Engineers in US and still searching.

Well there are many reasons for it. First of all, there are more than enough IT consultants and Engineers already in US still searching for a job as I write this post. So, I don’t think there is any reason for companies to look to hire somebody on H1B from a different country and bring them to US.

Now, that is true in case of American firms. What about US based consulting arms of non-American firms? These firms like Infosys, Wipro may still file for the bigger chunks of H1B petitions this year, though those numbers will be lot lower compared to 2008 and 2007.

Very unlikely that H1Bs will be filed/hired by most financial companies.

Firms that received TARP (stimulus/bailout money) from US government are less likely to engage H1B work force due to new restrictions on these firms. In simple terms, if a company that received TARP money and if it laid off in last three months or will lay off next three months an American worker (includes Citizens as well as Permanent Residents), it can not hire a H1B or file petition for a H1B. This rule effectively starts from 17th Feb 2009 and will be effective for two years. Please visit USCIS website for more and accurate information on this. I would assume that many other firms that may not have received TARP money will also follow the suit and try to hire skilled engineers that are already available in the market before thinking about H1B choice.

Dearth of Jobs/Consulting offers in Recession Market

This is the most direct reason. Job Market is badly hit with lay offs and job prospects are quite bleak in almost every functional area. With so much uncertainty in the job market, most consulting firms as well as individuals may not risk trying this route.

Some more reasons I heard recently include ..

  • rumors that Consulates are rejecting work Visas owing to reasons similar to above and
  • rumors that most H1B body shopping firms are under extensive scrutiny and investigation for fraud

This is completely based on my own limited understanding of the whole process and market conditions. Please do not use this opinion for making any sort of decisions.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Undo for Emails : Gmail’s new Lab feature may save your day

Turn on Undo Send in Gmail Labs under Settings, and you’ll see a new “Undo” link on every sent mail confirmation. Click “Undo,” and we’ll grab the message before it’s sent and take you right back to compose.

This feature can't pull back an email that's already gone; it just holds your message for five seconds so you have a chance to hit the panic button. And don't worry – if you close Gmail or your browser crashes in those few seconds, we'll still send your message.


‘Caste’ Grouping is New Social Justice in Andhra Pradesh 2009 Elections

When Chiranjeevi, the leader of 6 month old Praja Rajyam party started with hopes on unconditional support from his Caste group, Kapus, and started openly addressing caste based groups during campaigns, I feared that ‘Caste’ will become a much bigger issue than it already is in this 2009 elections. And unfortunately, I was right.

Caste based polarization has reached the peak in this elections already. And Praja Rajyam gave a new name to this ‘Caste’ based grouping and exploitation; It calls the concept, Samajica Nyayam, or Social justice. Now every party started talking about social justice.

In essence, Caste will be called Social Group or Samajika Vargam. And parties are attempting to allocate seats based on % of people belonging to a specific caste. So in effect, they are envisioning the demographics of population based on Caste will be the demographics of the Assembly too.

In essence, primary qualification to contest in elections through any of these political parties is YOUR CASTE. It is quite unfortunate that we still believe social justice is justice based on Caste groups.

I am not against representational politics. I am 100% against manifesting that representation based on caste or gender. Why not we aim for a representational politics based on what we do. We are 60% agriculture based economy. Why not have 60% of farmers in the Assembly.  If political parties really believe in representational politics, then, more than 50% of the seats must be allocated to Women. How many seats are allocated to Women?

Its pure exploitation and political manipulation to get elected. And Praja Rajyam party is becoming the champion in this new game. And it already became just another corrupt political party,  blurring the line between itself and other alleged corrupt political parties.

Did Mother Theresa served the people based on their caste? Did Gandhiji ever said Social justice is a justice done based on your caste group? Did APJ Kalam stand for Caste based politics as the way Youngsters approach politics? Is this the type of politics that inspire the generations, the formed President was talking about? And Chiranjeevi keeping those great people images behind him, doing what they never would have done. 

Making ‘Caste’ the primary qualification for public service.

Shame on you Chiranjeevi. Shame on you all political parties that are imitating Chiranjeevi and started preaching about social justice in the name of Caste exploitation.

Ambedkar did approach the issue, in essence, in this way almost 60 years ago. Its a living proof that it did not work. Otherwise, we shouldn’t be talking about the same issue today. Its unfortunate, we are trying the same solution again. It will be totally foolish to do the same thing and expect different results.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Started Loving Apple Safari Browser

In the past I used Internet Explorer for most of my browsing. Then came along Firefox, the open source browser with 100s of cool extensions. I immediately switched to Firefox and never looked back. Well, for some time.

A few months back, I have replaced Firefox with the world's fastest browser, Google Chrome. Google chrome even without extensions made browsing lot cooler and quicker.

Recently, I downloaded Apple Safari and I immediately fell in love with the way it renders content. Crisp and so easy on your eyes to read. So, these days, I am spending more time on Safari to read content while still using Chrome for general browsing.

One more feather in the cap for Apple Safari. It renders content in Telugu quite beautifully and it is much more easily readable than other browsers. Google Chrome comes last in rendering Telugu content.

Here are some snapshots of Yes To Politics, taken in different browsers. You can see the much crisper image in Apple safari.


Internet Explorer




Google Chrome


I have almost stopped using both IE and Firefox. I say, almost, because still there are some web applications (particularly coming from Microsoft itself) doesn't work in any other browser yet. And while developing websites, extensions on Firefox make life a lot easier.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Can we make Democracy in India work?

INDIA is the Largest living democracy in the world.  And the growing community at Yes To Politics believe, We Can make it Work.

By no means, Democracy in India is perfect. Indeed, quite far from it. For many of us, the most active participation in Democracy begins and ends with a vote once in 5 years. And contemporary Indian Politics seldom stand for people or principles. 

I believe We Can make it Work rather than continue watching from side lines and crib about how politics went from bad to worse. Enough has been said about politics already, so let us stop whining and say Yes to more meaningful politics that will put democracy at work. That starts with me and you and our active engagement with the political system.

The N.E.W. Way

We must engage in politics in a N.E.W. way. By that I mean organizing ourselves in to smaller and local communities and work from bottom up. I have built a web application Yes To Politics to organize communities around cities, districts, assembly and parliamentary constituencies, parties or based on a social cause. And allow us to identify key issues, discuss solutions and engage both political system and media to achieve the purpose.

We just need to start doing few simple things to make a difference in Politics. As simple as, asking a question to yourself what really matter to you to select a politician or a party. What is one issue that is bothering you or your community. 

I would like to use this forum to share my thoughts on what we can do to make the power of democracy start working for all of us, the (so called) people, rather than select individuals with vested interests. I would invite you all to share your thoughts and ideas on what we can do to change ourselves and the system.

No politics of any time or place could make all equal..

No politics of any time or place could make all people equal. Absolutely no day-dreaming about that. But a good political system will and must provide equal opportunities to all. This is what I have been dreaming about all along. And I have decided to act with a leap of faith that it is indeed possible to achieve such a system.

It won't be easy or quick or straight forward. But isn't it worth taking the journey to somewhere rather than sitting and cursing the fate of the system? I think, it is a worth while dream.

I have built this application with just one thing in mind. Help organize smaller and local communities and help us discuss and share ideas. I have a big dream of our ideas on this community influencing mainstream media to act in support of this movement.  And change at least a few key contemporary political leaders in order to turn the tide for better politics.

Track What Matters

Also, I do not believe in consuming hyped news or arguments. I would like every one to decide what is important and what does matter to them. So you will not see on this web site, any popular stories or most read stories or any of that kind of lists. You choose what matters to you. You discuss about issues that will affect you. And you act on those that make sense to you and your community. Period. 

Will share more shortly. Hope to see you around Yes To Politics. If you like anything on the site, we urge you without shame to promote the site and share with your friends and family.

No need to register. Just share your thoughts with your existing email Id.

I have enabled Google FriendConnect on this web site. So no need to signup for yet another user id on this web site.  If you have Google, Yahoo, AOL accounts or an OpenID, you are ready to go. Just click on Join or Sign in link at the bottom of the screen and join to become the generation  N.E.W. : Fact or Allegation ? Just another twisted title for sensationalism

This is yet another example of’s sensationalism twisted titles. The title says, as if this was a fact, woman made to urinate in pub...