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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

SWOT analysis? Go figure.

SWOT analysis to an MBA type is like gossip to old women and maids. Anyway, came across a fantastic new definition of SWOT analysis from Mercatus:

Prof: What is SWOT?

Student: ?

Prof: Strength is your wife; Weakness if neighbor's wife; Opportunity is when your neighbor is away; Threat is when you are away!

An unsung hero of India and disgust with India media

I just received an email forward about a Major Manish Pitambare who was killed fighting terrorists in south Kashmir's Bejibehara town on Nov 28th, 2006. The young officer showed courage and bravery beyond the call of duty and killed Ashraf Shah, alias Suhail Faisal, a top militant of Hizbul Mujahideen.

While it is grossly unfortunate that this brave army officer died, what is even more unfortunate and disgusting is that the mass media in India did not pick up and publicize this news. I do not remember reading about it in the newspaper or hearing about in on TV. Read the email on B Shantanu's posting, Of Stars and Martyrs, Munnabhai vs Manish Pitambare.

Could the email be a hoax? A search on the Internet turned up a bunch of blogs talking about it. After a bit of a search, I managed to get some actual news clips about the event. One is Army major, Hizb terrorist killed in Kashmir encounter on Rediff, another Intrepid Major kills top militant on The Tribune and another Braveheart major dies fighting terror on NDTV. So, the news is very much true.

An old friend of the Major has written a touching obituary for him on An obituary for Major Manish Pitambare.

Not to be callous, but lets go beyond this particular death. Major Manish is not the first and sadly, neither will he be the last in a long series of deaths of Indian army officers KIA in J&K. Just a few weeks after his death, on 23rd Dec, 2006, a Lt. Col. G. S. Sarna was killed in a similar counter insurgency operation. Again a search on the Internet turned up some news items about his death. But similarly, this news was not picked up by the mass media.

A bit of reading (Soldiers' lives are precious) threw up another fact: Since 1990, 117 officers have been fatal - and 282 non-fatal - casualties in similar skirmishes with terrorists in J&K. These figures do not include jawans and JCOs on the Kargil martyrs' list. The Indian Army has lost more lives in J&K than all the wars and counterinsurgency operations elsewhere in the country.

Has the media gotten used to these deaths that they don't get covered anymore? Are the deaths of such brave soldiers who are fighting for the security of the country just statistics? Are we to be fed for ever on a ghastly mixture of news about ridiculous bollywood actors and even more ridiculous politicians? Silly nonsense about Abhishek-Aiswarya temple visits, KBC and Shilpa Shetty "doing India proud" by winning Big Brother, some pimply asshole from some god forsaken village from the back of beyond making it to the latest Indian Idol or whatever, who slept with whom and who crawled into whose ass. Most Indian newspapers are no better than tabloids, and the lesser said about the trite and crass Indian news channels, the better. If this is really what India wants, then stop the bus. I think I want to get off here.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Long time no write

Haven't posted anything for a while. Been bored of blogging and been too busy besides. Life has been on a roll. Got married the last week of December. Had a great Indian wedding, punjaabi eshtyle, with full honours. Many ceremonies, barat dancing on the streets, firecrackers, late night ceremony with a funny pandit who kept everybody awake with his jokes, had my jootis stolen and had to shell out money to get them back, hordes of dancing relatives to the latest bhangra beats. And I actually enjoyed my marriage. Wonders of wonders.

Was in London last week. It was gloomy, rainy and not so cold. Didnt get a chance to see anything, had a short, busy trip. Dropped into Mumbai on my way back to B'lore to be at the premiere of my wife's first play on 21st at the famous Prithvi Theater. And now back to work in Bangalore.