Monday, January 23, 2017

To Jallikattu or not

Are age old traditions always a social evil or do they carry some hidden message ?

Born in a country with vivid cultures and 23 constitutionally recognized languages you will find a different tradition every 50 mile you travel. But one intriguing question is whether these traditions were merely introduced for fun or do they have some deeper message. During the early 1800 there have been multiple peoples movement that aimed at abolishing few of these traditions as it was more considered as blind beliefs. Mostly fueled by western influence that knew that our culture is our identity and in order to defeat us these traditions have to be demolished. This continued into 1900 as it united people against the then British government. Post independence people realized that these traditions were part of their culture and their identity and it was not a good thing to forget.

One such tradition being "Jallikattu" or eru thazhuvuthal or manju virattu practiced in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebration. It is a traditional sport in which a specific breed of bull is released into a crowd which tries to grab the hump of the bull with both arms and hands while the bull attempts to escape.  Jallikattu event symbolizes how ancient Tamils tamed the bull and introduced them to farming. There are evidences that Jallikattu has been practiced even before 400 BC.

In 2014 the supreme court banned this sport in response to a petition from Peta and some animal welfare organizations that claimed it was cruelty to animals and a threat to public safety. Its important to note that bulls never get killed during the Jallikattu  but people participating do get hurt and killed. There has been a wider faction of people who consider that this tradition was in place to protect the indigenous breed and ensure the lineage of the Kangeyam bulls and that the effort of Peta is actually with ulterior motive of introducing western breeds.

People of Tamil Nadu united for this cause and protested in 2016 right after the Pongal being denied the celebration of Jallikattu. The protest continued for more than a week peacefully and finally TN government passed an ordinance that allows Jallikattu now. Even though the crowd of students without a leadership clashed with the police when asked to disperse after successfully achieving the intention of the protest.

There are many such traditions that have been in practice but now forgotten in the busy schedule of people.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Balls of Steel

There is lot of commotion and people have been put to some awkward situation following the announcement from our Honorable Prime Minister Modi last week regarding the demonitizing of 1000 Rs and 500 Rs notes.

I have been hearing about the sudden disruption and discomfort caused to the unsuspecting law abiding citizens. Unfortunately I cannot give the first hand experience being an expat working out of India , however I have been talking with relatives , friends and colleague in India about the situation and if at all they are facing any serious issues. Most of them reported that there are some minor issues however nothing that cannot be handled. I am sure this might not be the case with everyone as situations vary with people and location.

There are a variety of reactions from people

  • Some laud the PMs strong action however also accepting that it could be more streamlined.
  • Some feel this is a bad move and could cause more issues than benefits.
  • Some are totally against it and have been sharing their concerns.
  • Some are questioning the motive and alleging foul play as well for personal mileage. (no prize for guessing ... )
  • And there are people who are really affected the ones who have lots of undeclared money and now feel that their lifetime savings are at risk.
I am sure people out there can relate themselves in one of the above category. India is huge country and any such change has a large impact. To decide something of such a mamothness and still be able to maintain the secrecy to ensure that those culprits could not get any information is something which is so commendable from all those involved including the PM.  One important role of the people in this great decision of the PM is electing him with the clear majority and thereby allowing him to do what will benefit people. Its a well known fact how a few people have been able to manage to bend/break rules to their benefits in the last few decades and thereby able to accumulate money.

One thing the country had been lacking in the recent past is a leader who could make strong decisions and own it. I personally feel that it needs balls of steel to take such decisions and PM Modi has shown his mettle. 


Friday, May 20, 2016

Nimbu Paani

Google I/O 2016, the annual developers conference for Google, introduced a plethora of new goodness. Google also announced improvements to Android — though N, out of beta this summer, still needs to be named. 

You can participate too by visiting this page .



I personally would like the name "NimbuPaani". Its high time Google gives India some importance now that we have Sunder Pichai there for support.

Out of all the major improvements to the new OS , in Andoid N you will be able to run android application without the need to download it.

Some more exciting things that you may see coming soon are Allo, Duo, Daydream, 


Things I Miss

Just after seeing an article "Giving up my iPod for a Walkman" I realized there are lot many things in the world which we sparingly use now a days. Certain things which were a must have and hard to live without  have vanished from the face of earth now. Technology took a drastic turn in the last decade and its worth noting that few things we were used to in our earlier childhood will never exist and the generations coming might never have heard or experienced them.

Talk about calculators and kids now a days would really be amazed to know that they actually had a device for calculator while its an application in their smartphone or tablet.

Pay phones are slowly becoming obsolete, can't remember when I used one to call someone.

Postbox - Remember the red shiny box that stood in street corners where you would drop your letters which you intend to send to some friend or distant relative. Rightly called as snail mail it has been replaced by faster means of communication like mobile phones , chat apps and emails. Written communication no more runs into pages but hardly 140 characters long.

Stamps - Something related to the above. The only stamp I've recently used would be a revenue stamp.

Televisions antenna on which the telecast will get disturbed if a tired crow planned to rest on it for a while.

Desktop Personal Computer It wont be long before the Desktop Personal Computer or PC as we all call it would be a history and only seen in museum. We already know that PC sales have started declining the last few years as people tend to by smartphones/tablets which more powerful than these PCs.

Does anyone still use a fountain pen , I am sure in some some years from now people will even forget the pen. I know some schools who ask students to do online homework and get printout out of assignments.

Monday, May 20, 2013

vtrravikumar's photostream

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Like the new look of Flickr and guess what you get 1Tb of storage now... The photostream comes to life with the new look and feels great.

Before Google+ or 500px came flickr was the site where photographers could share their shots with everyone but in between it had lost its charm and was ignored, now with the revamped design and additional storage space I am sure it is going to wipe the dust off and kickstart again. This move by yahoo sure to kindle the interest again with the photographer community.

One more addition to the already exciting change is the android app for flickr now made available in google play. (http://goo.gl/fiY8h )

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