Monthly Archives: April 2010

Section 5 of the ITA

In a previous article, I had mentioned the irony of keeping the state over its citizens in India. Section 5 of the Indian telegraph act can be considered as another tool in this context. It is effective compared to other surveillance used by the state as it allows the state or the Government to intercept communications and to regulate transmission. Section 5 (2) reads- Continue reading

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We, the people…

The Indian constitution is truly a well written document. What sets it different is the people who wrote it, and the motive behind it. While American Constitution was written by white anglo-saxon farmers, French Constitution was given to it by an oppressed proletariat after a bloody revolution, and the judges of Britain are still figuring out how exactly to make a Constitution, India has a detailed and functional constitution in place! Continue reading

A new plan for the voting mechanism in India

Canadian Nobel Prize winner and economist William Vickery suggests that a tender should be signed with the second highest bidder, and not the highest one. It takes nothing more than common sense to acknowledge that the highest bidder will compromise with quality to keep the cost minimum. Recently my teacher astonished me with a similar theory. He advocated a new plan for the voting mechanism in India. Continue reading

‘Freedom’ is the word!

It has to be understood by the young software developers that for the open source movement, the issue of whether software should be open source is a practical question, not an ethical one. As rms says, “Open source is a development methodology, free software is a social movement.” For the open source movement, non-free software is a suboptimal solution. For the free software movement, non-free software is a social problem and free software is the solution. Continue reading

You talking to me?

Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976) is one of the greatest American tales of human psychology, matched only by the likes of ‘One flew over cuckoo’s nest’. It speaks the alienation of a common man from the ultra urban society and his voluntary involvement to rebel against the underworld. Scorsese is definitely the greatest scene composers alive and a scene from this film is something I can never get my mind off. Continue reading

The parliament, the news, and the nation

The Lok sabha budget session is commencing these days. Recently, our MPs discussed on supply of food grains, promotion of commercial farming, Somali pirates attacking our ships, disappearances of people in police custody, the non-inclusion of Bhojpuri in the official language list, fires in farms because of the heat, water sharing disputes, missing Indian in Afghanistan, declining ground water table, the cyclone in West Bengal and Bihar, a 4 crore scam in Bihar, oil spill’s near our shores affecting the livelihood of fishermen, farm credit, oil and gas blocks and the national green tribunal bill, among several other issues. Continue reading

Right to information

The Right to Information (RTI) Act, that empowers Indians to obtain any information about government functioning, is slowly shaping up to be ‘reactive’ in nature. People looking for information have to ask questions, and wait for answers. This model has failed several times (wiki answers, yahoo answers). Making information ‘proactively’ available (like wikipedia) to people is the only way I can see this idea get implemented. Continue reading