ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Modi and Kejriwal: A fresh perspective

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kej_modi.jpegGiven that Kejriwal’s image has taken a beating over last few months, not many people would like to take his name in the same vein as Modi’s. This is a far cry from couple of years back. Kejriwal’s supporters have struggled to understand why he is hounded if AAP cozies up with SP and RJD, while Modi is given a free pass when he closes up with same SP and RJD.

Here is where a fresh perspective is required. Modi was chosen to govern by people fed up of policy paralysis. Nothing was moving and Modi promised governance. He never was a messiah of propriety. Unlike Kejriwal who fought on probity and anti-corruption. It was always about governance for one and corruption for the other.

Governance can’t be judged short term and is hard to quantify. Corruption on the other hand is nakedly visible. Hence Kejriwal’s infractions are amplified compared to Modi’s. Modi is not judged if he hugs Lalu or attends marriage at Mulayam’s. But if Kejriwal does the same he is rightly hounded. Similarly, Kejriwal would be given a free pass on governance if only if it were that simple to measure.

Five years of Modi will be up soon and people will start judging governance. Kejriwal can hope for a redemption if Modi slips on that front.


Written by arpitgarg

March 15, 2018 at 9:27 am

Posted in Political

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Why so much attrition in the White House?

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AR-170729920.jpgI am not writing this from a partisan point of view and must be read in that spirit. There have been too many resignations and replacements in current White House administration. Lot has been attributed to President Trump and his reality show mindset. I beg to differ.

In light of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson getting replaced today, let’s try and assess the situation. As per reports Tillerson and Trump didn’t agree on Iran deal. While Trumps’ position on the deal is well known, Tillerson had an opposite view. Similar was the case with handling North Korea. And herein lies the real reason.

Most of the people who have left the White House or have been let go, they differed with President on matters about which Presidents position was widely known. And these people while accepting the job very well knew the policies that Trump campaigned for. Either they misled the President when they accepted the job on their own position or they remained quiet. Or President never asked them clearly.

Maybe they thought Trump will be a typical politician who will throw the campaign promises under the bus once elected.

Maybe it’s the President’s credibility issue. His appointees see him as an opportunist who didn’t mean what he campaigned for. And that they can impose their own ideologies.

With time President Trump will get smart and will appoint people who believe in him and his agenda (Good/Bad/Ugly). Sooner done the better. For so much upheaval does not augur well for the leader of the First World.

Written by arpitgarg

March 14, 2018 at 4:25 am

Posted in Political

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Why Pakoda failed while Chai won

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pakoda_chaiRecent remarks by BJP leaders that Pakoda seller be considered employed caused a stir in political circles. Opposition thought it found its Chaiwallah moment. Ever since Mani Shanker Iyer made the infamous remarks against Modi and his chai seller origins, BJP has been milking the issue (no pun intended) to its maximum. Rather than a CM aspiring to be PM, Modi used the chaiwallah barb and turned into a tea-seller aspiring to be PM. Rest is history.

Opposition latched onto Pakoda remark and thought to stick it to the leading party. But they have failed miserably and how. The sad part is they are still trying pakoda politics, not realizing the failure of the issue. This brings me to the question, Why Pakoda politics failed but Chai politics won?

Well, the answer is very simple. Chaiwallah barb denigrated tea sellers. It meant that chaiwallas can just sell tea and can’t become PM. While with Pakoda remark, leading party in a bid to justify low employment numbers said pakoda sellers should also be considered employed. Opposition retorted by saying BJP is creating pakoda selling jobs. Hence in turn ended up denigrating Pakoda sellers.

Chai wallah remarks hurt the aspirations of tea sellers. Pakoda remarks gave respect to the Pakoda sellers. While the agitation against Pakoda remarks ended up insulting pakoda sellers with modest earnings.
Not every issue is milkable.

Written by arpitgarg

March 7, 2018 at 8:47 am

Posted in Political

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Maldives doing an Indira Gandhi

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prisionerReading today about the emergency declared in Maldives by President Abdulla Yameen was sort of a déjà vu. If you think back to 1970’s, India was a similar country and Indira was a similar leader. She also declared emergency amidst a war on judiciary.

There is a sense of oneness when it comes to such autocratic leaders. They portray themselves to be strong but also as a victim. They claim that world is against them, everyone is conspiring and they alone are standing strong. It’s only they who stand between the glory and the peril of the nation.

To this date sycophants justify the emergency using highly imaginative reasons. I recall one theory. But for emergency, western intelligence agencies would have run riot and destroyed India. We would have been left as a radical land just like our neighbors. To keep the ‘imaginary’ adversaries out, Indira had to declare emergency.

Yameen is doing/will do the same. Opposition and courts are in cahoots with foreign powers who want to destroy the nation. Only he alone can save Maldives and its population. What else is new?

Maldives is a strategic partner to India and given the emergence of highly active China, India is forced not to make too much noise on the developing situation there. Ethical thing is to criticize Yameen’s actions and work with other countries to bring back normalcy in the country. Given that China will then side with Yameen, India seems helpless.

Since we have our own checkered past, who are we to preach anyways?

Written by arpitgarg

February 9, 2018 at 12:43 am

Posted in Political

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The Man from Earth: Holocene: Movie Review

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oldmanWith great expectations, I sat to watch the sequel to 2007 movie, ‘The Man from Earth’. Popcorn and all arranged. The original movie has gone on to attain a cult status. A story of a man who is 14000 years old, who was Jesus, hung out with Buddha and what not. Story told in a fairly scientific manner with proper research. I had many expectations with the sequel.

However, I found the Holocene underwhelming to say the least. First of all, it didn’t add anything to the story. Seemed more like a filler. I understand low budget and all, but the story was missing. Even the first movie was made on 200k budget, but had a solid plot.
Holocene is built upon nothing. 4 students at Johns new college find out his true identity and then he slips away. Writers tried to add a bit of religious discussion to it, but nothing substantial. I so wish they would have left the movie alone and never created this sequel or whatever it was.

Post credit message suggested they want to take it forward as a TV series. But that is no justification to leave the only new plot mystery unexplained. Not only Oldman’s starting to age destroys the soul of the first movie, but not explaining the reasons behind was pure cheating.

If the idea was to explain it in next movie or TV series, it should have been introduced towards the end. You cannot open with him starting to age and then leave it a mystery after 90 mins.

Much as I admire the first movie, I have no feeling towards the sequel. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. I love the character of John Oldman so much, I would have liked even a fan service movie. But this was not even that. This seemed to be a 90 mins long snooze fest which served God knows what purpose.

Written by arpitgarg

January 27, 2018 at 6:37 am

Tea boys in India

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img_7284Tea boys are a common figure in India. Young boys working at a road side hotel and distributing tea to shops and businesses nearby. This phenomenon is so ingrained in the society that no one even cares about the illegality of it. They are under the legal work age.

There are a few reasonings I have heard in support of the tea boy’s being employed. First is that it is a reasonable safe job for the poor kids which at least provide them two square meals. In a society devoid of foster home culture and without working orphanages, these young boys have to provide food for themselves. Most of them are abandoned kids or runaway kids. Instead of working in factories under slave conditions, its better to work out in open.

Another reasoning is for the kids who have to support their families from the very childhood. Either a drunk father or dead parents and number of kid brother and sister. What else will they do but to work. Given the lack of qualification and young age, where else will they get employment?

As I am writing about this topic, I feel miserable as I don’t see any path for them. I remember having a conversation with Mahesh (name changed), a kid in city of Agra, who was a tea-boy. He had no parents and lived on the street. Income from serving tea was keeping him alive.

Unless we get rid of poverty and expand the welfare, more and more children would be deprived of the childhood and forced to be a tea boy. A silver lining is that our PM himself used to be a tea boy in his childhood. The hope is there.

Written by arpitgarg

January 25, 2018 at 5:45 am

Posted in General/Society

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Happy Happy Self

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Happy_catI was feeling it of late, but good that someone pointed it out. There is a kind of negative vibe I have been giving. A bit can be attributed to the novelty wearing off the school experience. But a lot can be attributed to not being intentional. Intentional, a funny but important word.

It’s very important to be clear in outlook in what you want to do. In personal life or career wise. Have something to drive you on. Since I folded up my startup, there was a sort of void that engulfed me. I spend time studying for GMAT, writing B-school essay’s, CFA, FRM etc. But all those were short term. Having finally arrived to school, I never planned what to do next.

I let myself be driven by what others were doing and let myself be herded in. As time went by, it became increasingly hard for me to admit it. And it feels nice to admit it and break the shackles. Feels fresh.

Have finally sat down and started to plan how I want to spend my next 1.5 years at school. Whatever it might be, I have promised myself it will be intentional and something that makes me happy happy.

Written by arpitgarg

January 24, 2018 at 5:01 am

Posted in Personal

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