Friday, September 24, 2010

From divide and rule to divide and sell

Whenever I read news stories saying that the US has struck a deal to sell so many fighter jets to a country, because of apparent threat to that country (from its neighbors, etc.), I feel sad. Because in many of such cases, the so-called threat has been created by the US itself.

(source: Emirates 24|7)

The brilliant strategy followed by "America" can be summarized as follows: Create widespread belief that a particular nation is rogue and thus too dangerous, and then sell tens of billions worth of military equipment to that nation's neighbors. It's in the interest of the US to create controlled tension between different nations of the world, because it gets strong pretext to sell military equipment to the threatened nations. It's annoying to see the US express its desire to see issues between India and Pakistan get resolved, and then see it sell or attempt to sell military equipment to both the nations, further escalating the tension between the nations (culminating in an arms race, fueled both by one-upmanship and by "America").

It looks like a modern form of divide and rule - I call it divide and sell.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Institutions that work - Supreme Court of India

I've been keenly reading judgments given by Supreme Court of India for many years now. A little bit surprisingly, I've almost always agreed with its rulings (except on the matter of reservation in education and employment opportunities). I like that the Court thinks sensibly. Its observations and informed, rational and wise. It is one of the few institutions in India to be proud of.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My feelings on transporting an accident victim to a hospital (2)

After over a year, tonight I got the third opportunity to help an accident-victim. It's past midnight now, and about half hour back I was in my car with my buddy Vinayak, driving on the Ferozepur Road in Ludhiana. We were heading back home, the weather was good and the drive was smooth when Vinayak - who was probably looking at the right half of the road - suddenly uttered "Gaya! Gaya!" and within a second there were sparks on the road in front of us. A speeding car had rammed into a scooter, on which a boy and his mother were going back to their home (this car fled the scene).

Sensing that a serious accident had happened, we wasted no time and stopped my car right next to the semi-conscious lady. She had injuries on her face, nose, neck and chest, was bleeding profusely and seemed to have great difficulty breathing (blood was flowing out of her nose). With the help of some people who had stopped at the scene, we quickly loaded the victim on the back seat of the car, jumped in, and rushed to the nearby Raghunath Hospital (as requested by the lady's son). After handing over the victim to the emergency services personnel at the hospital, we left the scene.

Although what happened is unfortunate, I have satisfaction that I contributed to save a life, again. My plan of going where I (and Vinayak) had gone was unconfirmed initially, but it seems like it's fortunate that we went (although the Butterfly Effect says that if I had not gone to that place, the configuration of the road would have probably been very different, and the accident might not have happened at all).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Contra - my all-time favorite video game!

It's surprising that even though video games have advanced so much in the last 20 years, Contra continues to rule my mind, as ever :)

Contra promotional flyer

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Defence spending vs. healthcare/medical spending

On the nights of 30th and 31st August, 2010, I spent a few hours at the Apollo hospital in Ludhiana, as a close relative who, unfortunately, is gravely ill, is admitted there.

I've been to hospitals many times, and a thought that invariably comes to my mind whenever I'm inside a hospital is that it's very, very important to make disproportionately large investments to enable research that leads humans to advancements in health-related diagnosis and treatment.

So when I read statements such as these:

"Even in an age of austerity America still towers above all-comers in military power, as well it should given its annual defence spending of $700 billion, almost as much as the rest of the world put together..." - After Iraq, The Economist, Aug'10

I feel sad. The world needs to spend the most on issues that help us all, and less on human-obliterating bombspain rays and other "futuristic" weapons.