Friday, June 13, 2008

Whodunit? Arushi Case: Part-2 Krishna's narco-test

This posting is further to the Part-1 on this case.

As the first report from hit the Internet on the results of Krishna's narco-test conducted yesterday at Bengaluru", the only conclusion one can draw is that the identity of the murderer(s) still remain a mystery while the case has become political.

The report talks about the second murderer but does not say whether Krishna has confessed to be the first.

More significantly, no light is being thrown on the location of two pieces of crucial evidences; the murder weapon & Arushi's mobile phone.

If Krishna talked about the murder during his narco-test, surely he would have led to the location of the murder weapon.

All that the narco-test has succeeded in concluding are that
1) The UP police has wrongly assassinated the characters of Arushi & Hemraj (of them having been found "in objectionable position" by Dr. Talwar on the night of murder)
2) The UP police has assigned wrong motives to Dr. Talwar (of the case being " a crime of passion").

It is important to know that the UP police's arrest of Dr. Talwar was largely dependent on Krishna's statement about Dr. Talwar .

So, by conducting the narco-test on Krishna, CBI has only rebuffed UP police's claims and nothing else. The only party to gain from such a conclusion is the Congress party in the center who have an axe to grind with Mayawati in UP.
This is clearly a small political victory for the Congress .

If the weapon & the cell phone remain elusive, it is just a matter of time by when the case file would be closed for lack of evidences and the arrested suspects released by the court. Hopefully the evidences would be found. Otherwise, what can the CBI do after having arrived almost a fortnight later at the scene of the crime?

Is this "CBI" hype all ado about nothing ? I do not know but having closely followed the media circus on Rizwanur Rahman case in West Bengal, I am reminded of the same four things that went together: CBI,political brownie points,lack of evidences & primary suspects who were rich & moneyed.

What do you think ?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) - technical engineers under attack by social engineers in India

A cruel joke used to float around in IITs during our student days. That there are three sexes in the world. Male, Female & IIT female. Although the barb was directed at the “quality of prettiness” of IIT girl students; the bigger frustration of the male students lay with the quantity. In our batch of 300, there were hardly 10 girl students (that’s about 3% ) who had courageously decided to study engineering and as perks would get free treats almost daily from the male students. Recent reports suggest that the figure has gone up to only 10% .

With such poor numbers to show , it is inconceivable as to how the present UPA government & its aged HRD minister can even think of starting an all-girl IIT. Its reported that the new President of India, the first female to be one, is behind such a move. If this move is to correct the low representation of women in IIT, then surely it smacks of another case of thoughtless “social engineering” and adding to reservation numbers through the back door. What then stops the government from opening up IITs for vastly unrepresented minority communities like Muslims, Gujjars, Parsis, Jains & others?

Both the central government and the IIT administration seem to think that IITs have become a global brand largely due to their efforts. When , on the contrary, the fact remains that it is the meritorious (top 1 % of the applicants) students who have worked hard to get a recognition for their talent & achievements as engineering professionals, academicians & entrepreneurs in a foreign country of their dreams. Most of them will confide privately that they learned their engineering during their Masters degree in top universities of USA. Neither the Indian industry required IITians at one point of time nor did the faculty have any notable work in their credentials to ignite interests in cutting-edge engineering among the students in IIT. The Indian industry in fact used IITians for marketing their products and others were left to do brainless maintenance work in remote locations of the country. The salary was pitiably low. Sadly the situation has not changed significantly today. Engineers remain one of the worst paid professionals in the country while glib-talking advertising professionals with a MBA earn three times their salary.

Curiously IIT Mumbai has gone ahead this year to ban foreign internships for their students.IIT Mumbai wants it students to get excited about engineering happenings in the domestic companies. Why can’t the IIT administration create academic excitement in the class-rooms? Why is it that students of all engineering streams continue to focus only on software companies for their placements? Why is it that they do not get excited by mechanical, electrical, aeronautical , civil engineering companies ?

Presently there are seven IITs and the plan is to add 9 more including an all-girl IIT. If the idea is to increase the numbers of available engineers in the country surely the government could have created a completely new brand of 9 engineering colleges with excellence as the motto instead of just branding them as IITs. This new brand could have studied the shortcomings of the existing IITs , assessed the model of the globally successful engineering colleges ( ones which have top-rated prize-winning faculty) and then come out with its own model. At least the new brand would then have a chance of bettering the IIT brand, if not anything else.

But conventional thinking dictated by social engineering still continue to influence the woes of these few institutions of excellence while the IIT brand gets diluted every passing year.

Whodunit: -Arushi Talwar murder case

One summer morning a month back, Arushi Talwar -a 14 year old mobile carrying schoolgirl living with her doctor parents in Noida was found murdered in her room. Her skull was fractured & her throat skillfully slit. Arushi lived in a room next to her parents and the only other person living in the house happened to be a middle aged, male domestic worker, whose corpse incidentally was discovered next day in the terrace.

As the national media screamed murder & unverified, sizzling stories of extra-marital affairs (of the father) , wife swapping , illicit affairs, high connections etc. etc. started appearing in the media channels; the Noida police swiftly took Arushi's father , Dr. Rajesh Talwar, in police custody based on the statements of a young male compounder , Krishna , who used to work in Dr. Talwar's clinic.

As it turns out now, after the CBI took over the case, Krishna may be a possible culprit of a premeditated murder. Krishna had easy access to the Talwar household , used to call Arushi pretty often and reportedly forensic evidences ( his fingerprints) have been found in the house. The motive, although, is not very clear based on the information released.

The nation was intrigued after Dr. Talwar was arrested by the Noida police ( in fact he is still under the custody but of CBI). How could a father kill his loving daughter ? Shrinks wrote their two cents in national dailies explaining to the lay reader the "psychology" behind such possible killings by the parents. But the motive , as usual, wasn't clear to anybody.

The CBI hasn't yet disclosed the murderer(s) or the motive but the breakthrough remains very close. It largely depends on finding the murder weapon as well as Arushi's mobile phone.

And if Krishna happens to be the culprit, then this case will join countless other murders being committed by support staff in the big cities of India. Male domestic helps, compounders, drivers etc. appear to be on a quick murder-loot-and-flee spree all over the places while female domestic maids are on the same line excepting the murder part.High time, the shrinks concentrate on the "psychology" behind such killings by the support staff but more importantly the cops must use their sources to track down the organised criminal gangs that appear to operate freely in the background while using the domestic support staff to infiltrate vulnerable houses holds in the big cities.

Super 30 multiplies

Actually the news flowing in is that Super 30 has split. The two founders , Anand Kumar & Abhayanand, have decided to go separate ways with the latter leaving Super 30. Success like misery breeds its own internal distrust, probably.

But I hope like a splitting protozoa cell , Super 30 multiplies faster to bring more meritorious but underprivileged students under its fold.

2009 JEE entrance could then see 75-100 similar students in IIT as a result of individual efforts of the two able founders.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fourth of June : A rotten day in history

19 years ago, Chinese authorities on this day killed hundreds of pro-democracy student demonstrators outside Tiananmen square, Beijing. (Incidentally on the same day ; I broke my right ankle , dislocated a finger & twisted another in my right hand in a freak mobike accident inside the IIM Bangalore campus. )

Fourth of June continues to repeat history. The leftists, the ideological brokers of the Chinese, have decided to call a bandh in Bengal & Tripura protesting against the price hike in petroleum products that were announced by the Central government, today.

While politics takes centre stage triggered by economical uncertainties, one can only laugh at the farcical situation being played out by the Indian political parties. Everybody mouths platitudes about the common man . The PM comes on air, the left spokesperson spits out his “anti-establishment” opinions on the camera , the right wing opposition appears angry at the press conferences while the business panels on television channels complete their quota on time-bound discussions with a never-seen vengeance.

The rise in global oil prices have once again given an opportunity to the elected members of the Indian parliament to ring the bell for new elections, to be funded by Indian business houses.

So, the citizens will have to prepare themselves for more speeches , spits on the cameras, panel discussions, bandhs, more inflation , a rise in interest rate , a politically hijacked slowdown of the economy and possibly an early election . Which will of course mean more costs to the exchequer.

I told you it’s a rotten day in history and if you also consider Barak Obama having emerged as the victorious democratic candidate in USA today , you will be convinced. For when it comes to the crunch , USA will vote a white candidate (republican in this year) to power and that only implies more trouble for the sovereign developing countries in the rest of the world.

If I sound like a doomsday theorist, go and drink a glass of chilled beer and be happy that the Arab countries of OPEC , who control the world oil production, have only increased oil prices instead of blasting the rest of the oil-consuming world with religious terrorism.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Super Pawar in 2020 : The secret story behind IPL

When Abdul Kalam , the last President of India narrated his vision that India will become a superpower in 2020; Sarat Powar , the minister for agriculture, was having his lunch at Nagpur with the onions that the farmers threw at his dais during a rally. The farmers were angry because the “sarkar (meaning government)” had failed to raise the minimum support price for a bumper production in that year. There were tears in their eyes. Tears also were in Powar’s eyes as he sliced the raw onions before eating them free.
When Kalam’s statement was narrated to him by one of his numerous aids, he leaned closer to verify whether what he heard was right.

“Super Powar in 2020!”

Why hadn’t this idea come to him before ?

Immediately he had 4 of his aids dial 4 numbers on 4 different cell phones to 4 different cities calling IS Bindaas, Laleet Moody, N. Srinivision & Ratnakar Shedtea.

“I want to stand for BCCI President this year”, he barked to each one of them , 2 at a time holding 2 phones to his ears.

“But , why sir ?

“Haven’t you heard of Kaala-aam’s vision : Super Powar in 2020?”

“We have , Sir. But what’s that got to do with BCCI?”

“Will explain to you once I become President!”

The minister switched off the phones. This time, all 4 together .

He picked up one large-sized onion from his plate , walked two steps outside and ran towards the gathering of farmers. He swung his right arm round and hurled the onion at the turbaned leader of the farmers. Before the leader could react, the onion bounced on the ground in front , kicked up lots of dust and hit him smack in the face. The leader and his followers beat a hasty retreat.
That was some bouncer!
As the minister’s face twitched and broke into a now-permanent smile , the concept of Twenty-twenty cricket league in India was born

The rest is history.

As Sharad Pawar presides over the IPLT20 final tonight at the DY Patil Stadiun, Mumbai , he will be pleased as BCCI President to have successfully unfurled a new form of cricket entertainment to cricket fans not only in India but all over the world.

The IPLT20 have had viewers glued to their television sets leaving aside all serials & news channels for the last 45 days and the viewers will have to undergo withdrawal symptoms from tomorrow.

The games were good, fast & slam-bang-thank you ma’am kind. There were hardly any moments of boredom as the balls flew all over the ground and the bells flew frequently, too. Commentators had little time to discuss silly points over fine legs of the cheerleaders. Some of them reportedly had stiff necks watching the ball fly frequently outside the stadium.

Bollywood shootings took a back seat as Sharukh Khan & Preity Zinta, two of the eight franchise owners , decided to hug & kiss everybody on sight at the grounds they visited. Shahrukh even looked very happy & gay when he climbed on to Shoaib Akhtar’s lap. Vijay Mallaya , another franchise owner, had a hangover plastered on his face perpetually as his team happily lost one match after another, till there were none to loose.

Tonight as Rajasthan Royals led by Warnie , the captain that never was (for Australia), take on Chennai Super Kings led by Dhoni , the present Indian captain; everybody in the stadium (including Dhoni himself ) will wonder what made Deepika Padukone ditch MS Dhoni when Bollywood and BCCI gelled so well together in this new form of cricket entertainment.

Shed a tear for Dhoni. And that’s not because he doesn’t start as favourite in today’s match . If tears are in scarcity, take the help of some onions and remember it was the onions in a farmer rally that started it all & fulfilled Kalam’s long cherished vision , twelve years in advance.

For once, BCCI led by Sharad Pawar gets both the commercial and critical acclaims.