Friday, December 18, 2015

Arvind Kejriwal Exposed...!!!

This blog is based on common sense observations and perspectives of a common man who feels cheated and fooled by a seemingly inexperienced but in reality an extremely smart politician (can't forget that he is an IITian mind after all). Yes, none other than the great Arvind Kejriwal.

He started off as a crusader against corruption along with Anna Hazare. He used this opportunity to first gain nation-wide visibility with the help of media and social media. He galvanized the youth and became a popular name in every house. Later, he cunningly used the popularity he had gained to start a party. The 2013 Delhi elections were nearing and he focused most of his efforts around corruption in Delhi. Needless to say, the strong party at that time was the Congress and the chief minister was Sheila Dikshit. It would be foolish to assume that no corruption in other parts of the country took place during the few months before Delhi elections. However, almost all of the efforts of Kejriwal and his party were focused on exposing scams of Sheila Dikshit. He questioned the Delhi Electricity Boards, named large companies like Reliance in a smart effort to sound like a messiah of poor people.

So to conclude, during his early days, he had his short term goals of gaining the seat of CM of Delhi and hence he focused mainly on Sheila Dikshit. However, after getting re-elected as CM of Delhi with clear majority in the beginning of 2015, he did not pursue the case with the same vigor. The question that AAP party and CM should answer is, if his real intention was to fight corruption, then even when the year 2015 has nearly ended, why has he not been able to prove his case even when he claimed to have a 370 page document with all required evidence to bring her to justice? The answer is simple... His battle was already won when Sheila Dikshit had lost the CM seat and moved to a faraway state Kerala as Governor. What would Kejriwal have gained by focusing his energy on her?

Now going back to 2014 general elections. What really seems to have happened here was Kejriwal seems to have become a little over-confident due to his party winning 2013 Delhi elections. He started dreaming big. He misjudged the support he had and thought that he had been successful in creating a wave across the country. He dreamt that he would be successful in hopping from the CM seat to PM seat. With this overconfidence he resigned as the Delhi CM. His heads-on collision with Narendra Modi at Varanasi turned out quite expensive for him. 

Nevertheless, focusing on his strategy of exposing corrupt politicians for now. In order to win national elections, he had to focus on all the states equally. So he prepared a list of over 20 most corrupt politicians that includes big names like the Gandhis of Congress, Nitin Gadkari, P Chidambaram, Sharad Pawar, Suresh Kalmadi, BSP chief Mayawati, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, to name a few. This was in Jan'2014 and the national elections were to be held from Apr'2014. Unfortunately for him, he lost the elections due to various reasons. 

He then came out of his world of reverie. He realized he had tried to hop too fast. He had to go back and beg to the people of Delhi to reelect him as the CM. Surprisingly, he has really good oratory skills and convincing power, for which he deserves credit. He was able to fool the people of Delhi once again. And this time, he won with a clear majority. However, he was not happy being the CM. The defeat against Narendra Modi at Varanasi was a bitter pill for him to swallow.

Fast forwarding to the Bihar elections. By this time, Arvind Kejriwal had understood that to become the next PM of India in 2019, he would have to use a different strategy. He would have to work much harder, may even have to form a few alliances. He kept aside his list of 20+ corrupt politicians and never pursued them. In fact, he joined hands with the same politicians who are well known for corruption. This was a clear proof of his political vendetta. His single goal became - to attack the politician who is occupying the seat, which he wants next. Thus for every simple reason he began to criticize Modi and ministers close to him. This is the why he has been targeting Arun Jaitley. One of the charges that Kejriwal has accused Arun Jaitley involves spend to the tune of 114 crore when the approved budget was 24 crore (i.e. accusation worth 90 crore).

However, also in the news is the corruption charges in the National Herald case where the Gandhis are accused of taking over the assets of the defunct print media outlet in a “malicious” manner to gain profit and assets worth over Rs 2,000 crore. Has Arvind Kejriwal raised his voice against this? Congress on one hand has been stalling the Parliament session and important bills are not being passed. Because the juvenile justice bill 2014 is still pending in the Parliament, the Nirbhaya accused was set free. This is a bigger concern for India as a whole. But is Arvind Kejriwal really concerned? He has been successful in taking the entire focus of the media towards his accusations against Jaitley, which also he is not very likely to be able to prove in court. Arvind Kejriwal has had a history of targeting only politicians who hold power or the seat that he is next targeting. The numerous U-turns that Kejriwal has taken also reinforce this perspective that he is doing anything and everything he can do to only use "anti-corruption" as a weapon to gain political mileage.

Arvind Kejriwal is really good in using following skills:
1) Gaining attention of media by creating big headlines/ sensations - like attacking PM directly by using foul words on Twitter
2) Victim playing- This is a well established strategy for gaining public support, which is in the blood of Arvind Kejriwal

Highlighted in red color are the names whom Kejriwal had once targeted for corruption but never really pursued till the end after his purpose was achieved. If he truly believed that any of these politicians were corrupt, then he should have brought them to justice irrespective of whether he would face them in the next elections or not. It is time we understand these tricks of Kejriwal and stop being fooled.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

How TOI bullshitted the polls and twisted the headlines with random conclusions

It is really sad to see how the country has overreacted over Aamir Khan's comments in an interview. It is even worse that much of this is propelled by an irresponsible media and journalists who are not qualified enough to be called "Journalists" (salesmen would rather be the right word).

This is what Aamir Khan said, "When I chat with Kiran at home, she says, ‘Should we move out of India?’ That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make. She fears for her child. She fears what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day.”

I fully agree with the opinion expressed in this open letter. It says-

Kiran, Aamir's wife, a mother who is worried about her son’s future and safety said that. Aamir Khan himself finds it a disastrous and big statement for his wife to make. But that’s what the happenings in the country has brought them down to. We are human beings after all. You, me, him, his wife, his kids. We all think about survival. Mr. Khan just had the balls to say it on public media where thousands of citizens are watching him.

But now coming back to what media has reported it as- "Aamir Khan fears rising intolerance, raises hackles" And over the next two days what this has led to is a very hot debate thanks to social media whether India is tolerant or not and even to the extent that some say Aamir must be slapped for voicing his opinions. This I would say is really sad and wasteful debate propelled by an irresponsible media that only cares about increasing its TRP. They don't really care provided they have something to talk about and fuel the debate even further turning a blind eye to the consequences of the words they speak.

Today I saw this article of TOI. Now I can understand that a poll was conducted with a very vague statement. It's highly probable that a vast majority who answered "Agree" would have indeed agreed that India has religious tolerance. There's no mention in the poll statement about Aamir Khan. But the headlines is slightly twisted as: "TOI poll: More than 85% back BJP over Aamir Khan". This is how the debate has been propagated by media and fueled further by social media.

It is sad that it takes just 5 seconds for us to form an opinion and media exploits it every-time by doing what it does best! Giving sensitive headlines and blowing Aamir Khan's statements out of proportion, making everybody take sides while many who voiced their opinion haven't seen the original video of Aamir before forming their opinion. Which ever side u choose is immaterial for media. Media always wins. TRP always increases.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ever needed blood during an emergency? There may be an easy way to find it...

How many times have you come across people faced with a situation where they need a few blood units of a particular blood group for an emergency medical procedure and they are left with no option but to call up all their relatives and check for availability?

There were probably days when someone in the joint family would rise to the occasion, but today's nuclear families stay far away from their hometown in pursuit of career or any other reason. Friends and neighbors would often come to the rescue but how often do we know their blood groups? Much time would be wasted in brute force method of contacting as many acquaintances as possible. 

Social media has come to the rescue and there are many Facebook and Google Groups (and several others) dedicated to the cause. These work on the principle of broadcasting the message for emergency requirement of blood with the specifics like blood group and contact information provided. Further the receivers of this information are likely to propagate the information to a larger crowd by sharing the posts or forwarding the emails. Manual intervention is a must for this to work. Also, with Facebook and Gmail flooded with other posts and emails, it is very likely that a prospective donor might not see the message in time. This channel is also not capable of selectively sending out the information to the relevant population, i.e. people with the required blood group only.

In an era of smartphones and connected devices, a more disruptive way of solving the problem would be to design a simple App. With a plethora of Aggregator Apps being launched in the last few years for booking cabs, delivering groceries and other applications, the problem at hand also resembles one that can be addressed with a similar App. The acceptance of such Apps by smartphone users at large, at least in metropolitan cities of India where such aggregators majorly operate, promises success of such an App. 

Phase I

The App would need to have the following features:
  1. It would allow the interested blood donors to create their profile and store their contact information, blood group and last date of donation. Using the analogy of Cab aggregators, the blood donor would function similar to a Cab driver.
  2. The App would also allow requests for specific blood group to be placed by either blood banks or hospitals or individuals, who would need to register their contact information on the App too. Using the analogy of Cab aggregators, the requester would function similar to a passenger. 
  3. A list of all authorized hospitals and blood banks for blood collection in the vicinity along with address would be stored in the App and in case the requester is an individual, he/she would have to choose one amongst them. This would mean that blood collection can happen only at approved and safe collection centers and it would prevent illegal blood business, which thrives in some pockets in India. 
  4. Just like in the case of Cab aggregators, geographic location using Google Map would be used to broadcast the requirement only to active blood donors of the required blood group who are within close proximity of the requester. Donors who have donated within past 90 days would be inactive and would not receive the request, as criteria for donation is at least a gap of 90 days from the date of last donation. 
  5. By default, a notification would pop up even when the App is not running. Based on the number of units requested (buffer can be considered by the requester to be safe), the App would allow those many Blood donors to confirm their acceptance to donate. Once a blood donor accepts the request, the contact information would be exchanged by the App similar to contact information of cab driver provided to the passenger and vice versa by the App. 
  6. Before the prospective donor accepts a request, he/she would be asked to confirm other requirements for a successful donation, e.g. that he/she has not consumed alcohol in the last 24 hours, not suffering from any disease, etc. 
  7. Further a tie-up with cab aggregators could be possible wherein they could act as sponsors and provide a free ride to the hospital to the blood donor. This could act as CSR activity of cab aggregators like Ola thus creating a positive brand image, or it could be funded by the blood unit requester. 
  8. The App could also be used for informing about Blood Donation camps and events in the city. 


Phase II

Such an App could be the initial step towards sourcing blood during an emergency. In Phase II, the functionality of the App could be improved if all the blood banks could share information in real-time with it. In such cases, when the blood of a particular group falls below safety stock level, automatic requests would be sent to the prospective blood donors in the vicinity. Further if Government regulation would allow this information to be shared publicly, regular voluntary blood donors could check the stock of remaining blood units in various blood banks and choose to donate at one that has minimum stock, thus increasing the chances that it would be used for a patient immediately. Other advantages would be possibility to plan better and reduce wastage of blood units.


Phase III

All this could be taken to the next level in years to come with the advent of Internet of Things (IoT). Wearable devices like like fitness trackers, wearable cameras, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices are slowly penetrating the market. With a huge boom of such devices expected in future, the App could be triggered by the wearable device and by tracing which hospital the victim is being taken to, it could connect with the blood bank of the hospital and check the possibility of blood shortage. It could even send alerts based on an emergency situation automatically requesting for blood. This could save precious time in emergency situation as the blood donor might reach the hospital much earlier. Until wearable devices gain popularity, a substitute feature in the App could be a one-push emergency button to perform the same function of automatically tracing which hospital the victim is being taken to and further steps explained above.


Countering fake requests

Needless to say, if the App is free to use, it could lead to a lot of fake requests. Cab aggregators avoid this situation by charging a minimal cancellation fee. In the case of the blood donation App, this situation can be countered in the following way:
1) For authorized hospitals and blood banks, which are the more trusted partners, there would be no charges.
2) For individuals placing requests, a nominal fee would be charged, not with the primary intent of revenue generation but for the sake of avoiding fake requests.
3) Just like Cab aggregators allow feedback collection by passengers for cab drivers, blacklisting profiles that were created for fake requests by collecting feedback from blood donors would be another feature that the App can provide in its base version itself.

The success of such an App would require joint efforts from all healthcare players and promotion from the Government as it is most likely to be successful as a non-profit based App. However, in case of private parties interested to work on such an App, large-scale revenue generation can be thought of at a later stage through other means not interfering with the Govt. regulations pertaining to free and voluntary blood donation. This may include nominal and fixed yearly contract fees from registered hospitals or blood banks or even crowd sourcing to raise funds like Wikipedia