ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘america

Hillary vs Obama

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hillary_obama.jpgNow that it is evident that Hillary and Trump will clash off this Nov to be the leader of the free world, the analysis have started. With #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary doing rounds and un-favorability ratings of both candidates huge, this is going to be an election beyond compare. Today I want to concentrate on Hillary. Let’s try and see how 2008 and 2016 are different for Democrats.

Just like 2016, 2008 too was an uprising against the status quo. Higher unemployment, never ending wars and crippled economy motivated voters to choose an outsider. While Obama was the disruptor, McCain represented the continuum.

Coming to the 2008 Democrat primaries, initially the super delegates were with the Hillary, just like this time. Obama channeled the young voters and forced the party to toe the line. Eventually his 4% margin in primaries forced super delegates to jump the ship.

This time round the youth is with Bernie. Hillary has benefitted with initial momentum and lack of early awareness about Bernie. As months have passed more and more people have come to know Bernie and things have changed for him. However Hillary has been supported by African Americans and Latinos big time. But the main problem is youth. They are not with Hillary.

This is what makes 2008 different from 2016. Last time young voters propelled Obama and party fell in line. This time party has propelled Hillary and it wants young voters to fall in line. I am not trying to take away anything from the lead Clinton has across other voter categories. It’s just that youth represent the future of any movement. Also youth are the ones which resulted in huge voter turnout in 2008. Going by Democrat primaries, there is a question mark over quantum of Democrat voter participation in Nov 2016.

While Trump is plagued with issues of his own making, Hillary is plagued with the magic of Bernie. How the General Election pans out is anybody’s guess. One thing is clear, Hillary is no Obama.

Written by arpitgarg

May 4, 2016 at 5:31 pm

Posted in Political

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India likes Modi, Diaspora hates him?

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A lot of has been written about Modi over the last decade or so. A decade which has been one of the most exciting of recent times! It is not just mere coincidence that Modi has grown over the Urban India over the decade which has witnessed humongous growth rate. Given the pan-India appeal that Modi enjoys, it has always been a mystery to me why he has not been able to win over Indian Americans?

Why is the Indian American lobby so strong against Modi that he is not even allowed entry to US? Given that nothing moves in US sans lobby-ism, I am forced to take this giant leap in assumption that most of (if not all), affluent American Indian diaspora is anti-Modi (Or pretends to be).

Urban India stands shoulder to shoulder with Indian Diaspora on most topics. Then why this divide? My reasoning might not cut corners with many, but let me lay it out.

Urban India is full of aspiration and high hopes. People want Modi coz he has come up as a symbol of good administration. People feel he can relieve them of corruption and inflation.

Indian Diaspora, especially Indian Americans, is already living the Great India Dream. Their life is more or less shielded from corruption and inflation in India. Thus Modi’s appeal to them is limited. The sins of Godhra seem more prominent. They might feel at loss of words when civilized world questions them about the carnage. They feel better to go with the flow and side with the other and criticize him.

They are virtually forced to go hammer and tongs after him. Who cares about India’s development? Indian Diaspora is affluent, has lots of properties across India and is full stomach.

I am no Modi fan, but have to acknowledge that Urban/Semi-urban and of-late even Rural India has taken a liking to him. They think he can put some more food on their plate. They are ready to forget his old sins for their betterment.

Both sides can be called selfish. Well maybe that’s the common ground amidst the divide!

Written by arpitgarg

December 13, 2013 at 12:29 am

Posted in Political

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Reincarnations of the Modern Kind

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When a Rajinikant movie is released, there are poojans and processions all around. The fans have relegated a mere human to the status of God. In fact over the period of history, there have been several such cases when humans have performed such feats that the followers became worshippers.

They say there is God in all of us. Let’s consider it true for a while. Let’s try and identify the almighty who walk among us and whose reincarnation are they.

1. Shiva America
Partition The Destroyer. A handsome young man, meditating and minding his own business, when disturbed unnecessarily, opens his third eye and wreaks havoc on the world.Who more similar than America, A place for opportunities, an inviting habitat. But when Japan carried out an unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor, retaliation was swift and deadly. Even Taliban would agree! Revered and Feared Partition
2. Rama Sachin Tendulkar
Partition The Maryada Purshottama. Unswerving self control and virtue. The composure and patience never wore out. Perfect adherence to dharma.The choice is unanimous. Sachin Tendulkar. An ideal man and a perfect human. Need I say more? Partition
3. Ganesha Pranab Mukherjee
Partition Vighnharta. This son of Shiva, hailed as the Remover of Obstacles.For the past 7 years of UPA rule, Pranab Mukherjee is the one to whom Congress run in dire situations, he is Vighnharta for sure. Partition
4. Hanuman Manmohan Singh
Partition The devotee. Served Rama from the heart. Manmohan Singh was the right hand man of Sonia Gandhi when she was bidding for PM post. Once she decided to sacrifice, her ardent devotee was rewarded. Ever since 7, Race Course has hardly disobeyed 10, Janpath. Partition
5. Durga Mamta Banerjee
Partition Feminine Force. The Devi riding a lion with a smile. Fearless.Mamta Banerjee has fought against the system for last 35 years in West Bengal single handedly. Her only weapon being her fearless and killer attitude. Durga came into full force in 2011 assembly elections when she ran over her opponents. Partition
6. Lakshmi Jayalalita
Partition The goddess of wealth, wisdom, prosperity. Sheer good luck and wealth to all the devotees.When IT dept. raided Jayalalita’s premsies, everyone was astounded to see the wealth. She promises her voters cash and kind if they bring her to power. Partition
7. Krishna Akshay Kumar
Partition The prankster. The raas-leela. An ideal lover. The Supreme Being. The Gyaan of Geeta.Akshay Kumar has always been known to be a ladies’ man. The pranks played by him on his co-stars are a part of a legend. The wit and humor is unquestionable. Partition
8. Annapurna Big Bazaar
Partition Goddess of food. Supplies food to people.In today’s world its Big Bazaar which fills the hungry stomach. From food to fruit, everything you get by making a wish to Big Bazaar. Partition
9. Vishnu Common Man
Partition The preserver and protector of creation. Mercy and goodness. It’s a self-existent entity.The Common Man by R K Laxman has been the face of aam aadmi since eternity. As witty as Vishnu and representing the facets of humanity akin to various avatars. Partition

Walking Genius

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There are times in life when we end up making fool of ourselves. One such incident happened to me lately. Made an a** of myself. I realized I am not alone. People like me walk among us. I would like to pay my respects to some such pals of mine.

PSO Padam Singh
Personal Security Officer of UP CM Mayawati, Padam Singh, bent down and wiped her dusty shoes. “I just noticed the dust on her shoes. I follow Clean India Green India campaign and wiped of the dust. What wrong have I done?”

Padam Singh

Muammar Gaddafi
“They love me. All my people are with me. They love me all. They would die to protect me”, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi gloated, laughing off international pressure to step down. When questioned as to how can he laugh it of, while he is slaughtering his own people, Gaddafi said, “I am just a happy person. I laugh all the time. More so since I started watching FRIENDS. Long live America!”.

Gaddafi

S M Krishna
External Affairs Minister SM Krishna accidentally read out the Portuguese Foreign Minister’s speech at the UN.
“There was nothing wrong in it, I was just trying to learn some Portuguese”, clarified Krishna. A headline read, “Dear Krishna, all is forgiven. Don’t catch the wrong flight.”

Krishna

Ratnakar Shetty
When asked whether it was unfair that only 4000 tickets would be sold to public for a game as important as the World Cup final, Shetty said the members of the clubs are also part of the “public” and so he disagrees that public is not getting any tickets.

Speechless! Well species like these are found in trio’s, lest they hurt themselves.

Shetty

Haroon Lorgat
Some miscreants stoned WI team bus after Bangladesh’s shameful defeat. ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat played down the incident, calling it ‘minor’, pointing out that few individuals had thrown pebbles at the bus. This left WI team manager furious.

Bangladesh’s Cricket Board left the world further puzzled when it added that people mistook WI team bus to be Bangladesh team bus. They walk among us!

Haroon

Hillary Clinton/Obama
US President Barack Obama pressurized Pakistan to treat Raymond Davis, who allegedly shot dead two men in Lahore, as a diplomat and release him. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly “forced” Pakistan to confirm the diplomatic immunity for Davis while threatening to withdraw the $1.5 billion aid.

“Life of a US citizen with per capita $48000 is way more than that of two Pakistanis with per capita $1000. It’s pure statistics”, asserted Hilary while greeting Davis back home.

Obama

Manoj Tiwari BB
Fuming over his eviction from the ‘Bigg Boss’ house, Bhojpuri star Manoj Tiwari hit back at Salman Khan and his brother Arbaaz Khan for ‘scripting’ his eviction from the controversial reality show as a part of larger ‘conspiracy’ against Bhojpuri actors

Manoj Tiwari Fan Club president Manish Kumar, along with a bunch of followers protested against Tiwari’s eviction, claiming that ‘Bigg Boss’ ‘insulted’ the 26-crore Bhojpuri community.

Tiwari

Your’s Truly
Incident With-hold

Study in US: A new Reality

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I was talking to few of my friends who are pursuing Phd from US or have applied this year. The number of calls has become less with surprising number of rejects coming in. The situation seems grim.

Let me explain a bit. Every year Indian students apply for MS (Masters)/Phd in foreign universities (prominently US). Seats are offered to select students, often with scholarships. In case of IIT students, mostly, entire tuition fees is remitted. They are also paid stipend based on TA (Teaching Assistant) and RA (Research Assistant) work they do.

Due to the recession in recent times, universities have to cope up with reduced federal and private funding. They are no longer able to support large number of scholarship students. Coupled with the new protectionist approach of US, immigrant students feel no longer welcome, the way they were some time back.

Students need to submit a SOP (Statement Of Purpose) letter along with their admission form. They explain their education, expertise, research preference and the need for scholarship. I have seen a number of SOP’s and the end paragraph is full of blatant begs. “Coming from a poor country…I don’t have means to sustain the education fees…I am from an underdeveloped part of the world”, and more such lines.

For those who might consider me a skeptic, I want to stress that its not like a one way street. Universities also get to choose brilliant students who do research work ample times more than the money invested in. There is another side to it too. A bit harsh though.

The funda of scholarships was based on uplifting the poor. India was always perceived as full of talent. “The students don’t have money but they are brilliant, let’s help them and our research will prosper in return.” During last 25 years or so we have seen some path breaking work done by Indians in the US.

Past 5-10 years or so have seen an unparalleled growth in India. A new kind of generation has arrived which takes a new sense of pride in its country. No ruing the administration but striving towards change. This generation is Globally aware. Studying in US or going to London for a holiday is no longer the ultimate dream. The quantum of this generation is less but the impact is huge. This generation has IPL, the multi billion dollar cricket league, it stands up against racism in Australia, it voices against Ganesha on Chappals.

Here comes the catch. We no longer consider ourselves inferior. We have bred an arrogance on the likes of US, UK and Aus. Still we continue with the same set of SOP’s. How long can this work?

Lets see from the point of view of US citizens. They see Mumbai. They see Indians standing up for themselves. It is difficult for their Govt to explain spending money on students from such  a rapidly growing economy. There is also a lesser moral satisfaction to this philanthropic deed. Would be logical if they moved to poorer countries of Africa. Indians are also waking up to this new reality. I have seen a lot of people now applying for MS/Phd procuring bank loans.

Growth is restrained by this logical tool. The more you grow, the lesser is the growth rate, coz the competition is higher at the top, where the charity stops.

Deja vu: Life a universal struggle

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An American resident and an Indian taxi-driver in US.

American: Where are you from?
Indian: India.

American: Oh! India, I have heard a lot about it.
Indian: Really, what?

American: It has a great cultural heritage and history.
Indian: Yes, true.

American: I have also heard there is rampant poverty there.
Indian: Well, it’s not exactly so.

American: You are saying there is no poverty?
Indian: It’s not what I said. The things have improved.

American: Why were you forced to move out of your country to work here?
Indian: I was not forced. There are greater opportunities here.

American: You lack opportunities in your country?
Indian: A lot new opportunities have come up now.

American: What is the reason for poor state of affairs in India?
Indian: Oh it’s all because of corrupt politicians.

American: Why do you guys vote for such leaders?
Indian: People are illiterate and are duped on the basis of caste and religion.

American: It sounds too bad.
Indian: Not so, as I said the things have improved a lot.

American: Tell me.
Indian: Our economy is improving day by day. We have multi-stories, malls, discos and per capita has improved a lot.

American: I heard that you guys have very high crime rate and officials too corrupt.
Indian: No it’s not so. As I said, its improving as country is developing.

American: You guys work for cheap here, don’t you think you are exploited?
Indian: I save enough to send back home. It is enough for my family there.

American: Don’t you miss your family?
Indian: I miss them dearly.

American: Why don’t you bring them here then?
Indian: I won’t be able to afford it. I go and meet them once a year.

American: It all made me sad but I really like your spirit. Bye
Indian: Good Bye Sir.

Just change American by someone from say Mumbai/Delhi and Indian by someone say from UP/Bihar and the question/answers remains the same. Is struggle the essence of life? I fail to find an answer. All I can do is vow to work harder than ever to erase the need for such questions, the need for such answers and the existence of such differences.

Written by arpitgarg

April 9, 2009 at 7:01 am

Why fear when Obama is here

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Obama! Obama! Obama! This man has been all over for a good two years now. Be it television, news papers or just the talk round the corner. It seems as if no one has anything better to do. Obama keeps a Hanuman with him, Obama lived in Pakistan, Obama has a brother in Africa. Obama this, Obama that. I am simply fed up.

Our national news channels have portrayed Obama as the savior of mankind. As if he is not just the President of United States but of the entire world. Everyone loves Obama talk, his vision, his speech and his charisma. Obama is being seen as once and for all solution to the problems of one and all. So much so that a kid in my locality is quite sure of getting good marks in exams this year now that Obama is the President of US. My colleagues at office, who till now were weary of the financial depression, are looking up. Its like, “Why fear when Obama is here”.

A news channel went as far as comparing Dhoni with Obama. Apparently they both share a desire to win, flamboyancy and a never say die attitude. It went further to comment that both Dhoni and Obama looked similar when in white clothes. It looks as if everyone is enjoying his own bit of Obama. There was a discussion that the “New Leader”, predicted by Nostradamus, has arrived in the name of Obama. I have had it from this Nostradamus guy. Every year the book fattens. Can somebody please decipher what he predicted earlier than when it actually happens?

I sincerely hope, now that he has become the President, he would be busier in running the nation and we would be spared, him all the time on television. I read his book, “The Audacity of Hope”. Regardless of my being fed up with his face, I really liked the guy. I mean it really require some guts to joke about the rhyming of one’s name with Osama. He himself writes that people considered his political career all but over when the two planes crashed into the twin towers. Let me add something to all the hoopla surrounding Obama. I really admired the honesty in his writings, just like the one which was found in My Experiments with Truth and one which seemed missing in the recent writings from senior political leaders.

Written by arpitgarg

January 22, 2009 at 11:49 am

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