Notes to Myself


Notes to Myself

Twitter Art

I like Art. Be it music, or dance, or photography, or sculpture or painting/sketching. I consider myself a curator of Art…in fact curator of good ideas and thoughts (refer Thought of The Day initiative) and good things in general.

I like to explore the art material on internet, particularly Twitter.

Here is a collection of Paintings/Sketches on Twitter.


Namaskar, Secularism and Hindu Pakistan

My sage-like friend, who I respect not just because of his age, but experience and wisdom, sent me below video highlighting the importance of Namaskar (नमस्कार:) in Hindu culture.

While I understood and liked the video in principle, I found it flawed at multiple levels, and thought of writing my views because it serves as a perfect example of what I find wrong about the Right Wing ideology.

I’m not going to talk about far-fetched analogy between name of athelete (Hima) and snow (what would have happened if her name was Mary Kom?)

I will highlight two specific areas I find objectionable and elaborate on them.

The first objection is this:

The person says that if celebrities and youth show in public these identities (such as Namaskar with folded arms) of Indian culture (भारतीय संस्क्रुती) it will be great encouragement for all other youth.So very cleverly the person has mixed Hindu culture with Indian culture and made it synonymous. They are NOT. The right wing in subtle manner want to emphasize that everything Indian is Hindu.

Most common people use these words interchangeably because they do not notice the subtle difference. RW people do it with specific intention. They want to establish that India belongs to Hindus and other religions, other ethnic minorities can live here peacefully provided they accept that this is a Hindu nation.

This is not the idea of India our forefathers thought of, or majority of people identify with. And that’s why there is a secret mission to change the Constitution.Pakistan was born on two-nation theory and it’s a Muslim country by design. We (India) did not choose that route. We chose to remain a multi-religion, multi-culture, pluralist society – a secular state (which was added in the Constitution later, however the ethos was the same right from beginning).That brings me to the second flaw in the video:The person says: Today the environment is such that one should not identify with any culture or religion. This is what is called as secularism. This is not Bharatiya (Indian) culture.This is completely false and the RW harps on this version because it suits their agenda.Here is a note on Secularism from Wikipedia page:

Secularism is the principle of the separation of government institutions and persons mandated to represent the state from religious institution and religious dignitaries (the attainment of such is termed secularity). One manifestation of secularism is asserting the right to be free from religious rule and teachings, or, in a state declared to be neutral on matters of belief, from the imposition by government of religion or religious practices upon its people. Another manifestation of secularism is the view that public activities and decisions, especially political ones, should be uninfluenced by religious beliefs or practices

Note two important aspects above. State should be separate from persons. Secularism DOES NOT mean that “one should not identify with any culture or religion” as the person in video was asserting. It only says that the state, the government institutions should not identify with any particular culture or religion. Otherwise, we may have Muslim religion/culture in states where Muslim political parties are in power and Christian where Christian are in power and so on. And this may keep changing as power shifts hands from one tenure to the other. That is not good for democracy and stability. The state should be neutral to all religions and cultures…neutral does not mean insensitive or disrespectful. State should not impose religion or religious practices on people.

Second aspect is that Hindu is not same as India. If traditional Hindu practices, rituals are constantly referred to as “Bharatiya”/Indian, slowly the two get equated. That is what has happened in India. We consider the two as synonymous. They are not. RW wants them to be synonymous – and this goes back to their hidden agenda of “India belongs to Hindus and other religions, other ethnic minorities can live here peacefully provided they accept that this is a Hindu nation.”.

My economics Professor at IIM-A, who is a Christian, debated this point openly, and at length. He said that installing a Saraswati idol in a Government run institute (because Saraswati is Goddess of Education and Wisdom as per Indian culture) is wrong and subtle oppression. Some students argued, what’s wrong in that? It is commonly accepted local symbolism which goes beyond religion. Well, imagine having a tall statue of Jesus or Paigambar or some other saint from other religion in such institutes – not in place of Saraswati, but along side. Most people would find it difficult to digest.

Professor said that if people of other religion keep their religious idols in their cubicle or confined workspace, that would be “allowed” (some may have objection even with that). But having such idols at prominent public place is difficult to digest – let’s accept it.

Professors’ point was, religion and rituals are strictly private and personal and should not be brought in public domain. I agree with him completely.

As I am writing this blog, heavy sounds (actually noise) of Dhol and Taasha are disturbing me. The noise is from the practice sessions of troupes from Ganesh Festival, which is still 2 months away. These goons and rowdy people start their “practice” two months in advance, break all rules related to noise levels, deadline of 10 PM and yet nobody feels that there is anything wrong. They call is as their “cultural right”.

Imagine a Muslim or a Christian group doing such thing everyday for two months and it would be considered as an act of inciting or causing trouble intentionally. But when a Hindu group does that in the name of “culture” it is legitimate and “expression of sentiments of majority”.

That’s a good example why many say that RW’s agenda is to create a Hindu Pakistan (most recently reiterated by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and Ashutosh). All it means is to establish India as country based on religious identity (Hindu in our case) just as Pakistan was born on basis of a religious identity.

The fear is that the next logical extension of Hindu Pakistan would be conversion into Hindu Taliban – if (actually not if, but once) Hindu fanatics take over the control of Hindu Pakistan. Some may argue that the process has already started and there is enough substance in that argument – lynchings, attacks by Gau Rakshak, brutalities against minorities, threats to and murders or prominent thinkers from other ideologies, rape threats by trolls (even IT Cell members), abusive and demeaning quips by Union ministers and key leaders and above all – top leaders patronizing these incidents and supporting silently.

I have argued vociferously with many of my friends and almost all of them (after enough rounds of mental gymnastics and verbal diarrhea from both sides) have  conceded that they would like to see “Hindu” India. They would like to be known as Hindustan, where other minorities can live peacefully. And this is the true face of Hindutva – not Hinduism, which is totally different and sacred.

And we, I and people who believe in “idea of secular India”, oppose this idea of Hindutva and continue to fight it in our own capacity, across different forum! Hindutva is not Indianness (भारतीयता). Indianness is more plural,  all-inclusive and respectful of other religions and cultures. Let’s not allow a bunch of people to hijack the idea of India and impose rule of Hindu Taliban…


Thought on New Generation!

Read this quote in Forbes India magazine…impressed by the term “little barbarians”! 😇☺️

Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger’s Funniest & Wittiest Moments

This is far from the complete compilation of the funniest and wittiest moments of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger – not even 1% of what the duo have given over their combined life of 182 years!

But it is a good place to begin exploring…


Google Doodle on Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis and S. Swamy’s Combative Spirit


Today is 125th birth anniversary of Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis – noted applied statistician and scientist. Google has posted a doodle honoring PCM’s contribution in the field of Statistics and Mathematics.

Google Doodle - PCM

He is considered as the father of Indian statistical research.

Here is a brief biography of PC Mahalanobis:

Mahalanobis was born on 29th June 1893 in West Bengal and graduated from King’s College, Cambridge. He is known for his pioneering work in statistics and is most often remembered by the “Mahalanobis distance”, a way of measurement used in population studies and was one of the members of the first Planning Commission of India.

He was also awarded one of the highest civilian awards, the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India.

India’s second five year plan (1956-1961) which laid heavy emphasis on the development of the public sector and rapid industrialization also followed the Mr Mahalanobis model which emphasizes the importance of building a strong domestic consumption goods sector, which was crucial to the nascent Indian economy and had a lasting impact on the nation’s development.

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis also taught at Presidency College (Kolkata) where, in 1931, he was responsible for founding the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI).

He further laid the foundations of Indian statistical system through the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) and the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO)

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, a man of diverse scientific interests combined other disciplines like anthropology, economics, physics to develop better approaches in the field of population studies, consumption and crop yields. Later on, he collaborated with both top economists and mathematicians from around the world.

He died on June 28, 1972, just a day ahead of his 79th birthday.

Interesting information…showing PCM in good light! Isn’t it?

But then I read a tweet by Anand Ranganathan – author and Right Wing proponent where he posted an extract of article written by Subramanian Swamy – the controversial politician, Ph D in Economics from Harvard, and later Professor at Harvard, and the man who is known to have fought with almost everybody. Swamy is known for his grudges and his philosophy, in his own words, has been – “I give as good as I get”.

And what Swamy has written about PCM puts things in totally different perspective. Here is the extract:

It has been my lot throughout my life to be confronted and to confront the corrupt and powerful. As a student of my Masters degree in the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Calcutta, the then Chairman P. C. Mahalanobis took a dislike to me because he and my father were rivals in the government statistical organisation. Mahalanobis was a corrupt leftist. I had come to the ISI as an innocent student with a brilliant first class B.A. Honors degree in mathematics. But Mahalanobis’ dislike of me filtered down to the professors. For no reason except to please him, they began failing me in every subject. A ruined career stared me in the face. So I decided to retaliate (a foolish resolve on first thought, since I was then a 19 year old student facing the darling of the Left, USSR, and Nehru: P. C. Mahalanobis). But I dropped everything, parked myself in the library, and read whatever Mahalanobis had written as a scholar. I found that his celebrated Second Five Year Plan model, the so-called Mahalanobis model, was actually stolen from M. A. Fiedman, an obscure Soviet economist of the 1930s. This discovery I could not use against Mahalanobis however, because neither the USSR nor the then docile Indian press would take notice. But I discovered that Mahalanobis’ magnum opus something called “Fractile Analysis”, had recently been published in a scholarly international journal. That research was, I found worthless when scrutinized under the modern microscope of modern mathematics. It was, literally, well-known earlier research re-hashed.

Mathematics laid bare the plagiarism. Mahalanobis was too big to be challenged by other Indian scholars. But I had nothing to lose.

Naturally when I wrote out my critique and sent it to the journal, it was hot stuff. The journal published it and asked Mahalanobis for a rejoinder. He had none. His reputation abroad was therefore in tatters. He never recovered from it. A 19 year old writing out complex mathematical equations was a novelty for Harvard’s Economics Department to whose notice the journal article came. They offered me a scholarship for a Ph. D. course. My ruined career prospects did a 180 degree turn! I never looked back thereafter. Had I not been cornered like a cat, I would never have ventured to demolish Mahalanobis.



So the roots of Swamy’s fiercely combative approach and legacy of taking of fights with everybody lie in his encounter with PCM! Quite a trivia…


Berkshire Hathaway Annual General Meeting Videos – 1994-2018

Few weeks ago I posted a blog on CNBC’s Warren Buffett Archive. I recently saw that Berkshire Hathaway Annual General Meeting videos of years 1994-2018 have been uploaded on Youtube.

It is such a wonderful experience to see more of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, especially in their prime (though they were 60+/70+ then). Hope to see more such videos uploaded on Youtube. Meanwhile do watch these AGMs:



Said No Soulmate…Ever!

Said no Soulmate…ever!

Our Education System Is Broken…

I read this news yesterday and wanted to write a blog.

Today I read about the Maharashtra state board’s 10th standard exam results and wrote this piece:

I feel our education system is in shambles. Something is seriously wrong.

Yesterday Maharashtra State Board’s 10th exam results were announced.

125 students got 100% marks (last year 193 students had secured 100% marks).

Read the finer details. Now there is “Best of Five” system i.e. only top 5 subjects are considered, not all 7 (so first language routinely gets excluded as noone scores 100 in that subjct).

For many 100% scorers, the “best of 5” was 95-96%. Then you add extra marks (max of 5%) for extra-curricular activities in sports, arts. A state level (U-16) badminton player got 95% in best of 5 and 5% for Sports and scored 100%.

In spite of all this, a recent survey found that 94% of Engg grads are not employable.


The situation would be worse for other streams of education.

Education system should be a quality gate and by allowing ridiculously low standards of exam/marking system we are damaging young minds – who would feel devastaed after knowing that their 90-95-100% is also not good enough.

But I don’t think the education ministry and the officials care enough; and private tuitions and institutes have a vested interest in maintaining status quo.

At minimum we can create public awareness about the pathetic education system; maybe the “Butterfly Effect” will lead to something meaningful and positive.

5th June 2018: 80 Borrowed emotions and thoughts

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