"A prediction that the sun will rise is no more rational than a prediction the sun won't rise...don't blame nature because you are too daft to understand it"
Baye's simple description of the world is rich with philosophical implications. If you believe something 100%, no amount of evidence can convince you otherwise.
While trip to Burhanpur is on hold, looking forward to a 12-hour stay in Mumbai.
This time again, we visited Starkey, a friend dropped out being out of Nagpur, another two joined and we also took our kids with us to enjoy the evening. We left again at 3pm and left Starkey at 6. It rained heavily while we were on the highway, which city showed no signs of rains at all. Interesting trip once again.
Next ? May be after monsoon now.
This piece by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair just gets under my skin. The argument is that there is a problem ‘within’ Islam: modern pluralistic societies are per se incompatible with the Islamic faith. Islam, as it is practiced now, can never lead to tolerant pluralistic societies.
But don’t worry about finding a reason for this black and white portrayal of the faith of billions: there’s no reason given by Mr. Blair for this view. It’s not explained why theologically, culturally or dogmatically Islam (whatever monolithic Islam that Mr. Blair is writing about: I can’t tell) is incompatible with pluralistic societies. Even though you might think some few words of explanation could be spared for such a sweeping generalisation.
In Blair’s view, the fundamental incompatibility does not leave room for a solution. There is no scope for this problem – this irreconcilable difference – to be resolved by addressing the underlying issues of youthful populations, lack of opportunity, unemployment, under-development and a lack of access to education.
Never mind that everyone regards these as the potent driving forces of the Arab Spring – the most significant transformation of the Arab world – the heartland of the Islamic world – that we have seen in the last 50 years. Never mind that functioning Muslim majority democracies have existed in Malaysia and Indonesia. Or that nearly 300 million Indian Muslims have the right to vote. Their actions can never bridge the theoretical divide
Instead, in the Blairite world, there is a (clearly Western) mandate to ‘help sow the seeds of reconciliation and peace’ through the use of military intervention. The intervention is needed to clear the fields so that peace can once again be found. Examples of these fields look like Iraq and Afghanistan.
Blair says that we shouldn’t be misled by the apparent misfiring of the western plow in those countries: we have to remember that these conflicts happened because we allowed failed states to come into being. To cleanse these failed states, dramatic decisive intervention was needed. A price to be paid for years of neglect.
But why then, Mr. Blair, did we have failed states there in the first place? Why had these fields been abandoned to raise their poisonous harvests?
Should we not see Afghanistan as radicalised Islamists armed by the Western powers when it suited their needs to keep a dangerous Soviet Union invasion in check? A country abandoned to its own fate when the Western geopolitical goal was accomplished? It’s not impossible to find a rich vibrant Afghan society before the Soviet invasion if one goes looking for it. Heck go watch the Kite Runner.
And then there’s Iraq. Should we not see Iraq as the country where Rumsfeld shook hands with the dictator, a bulwark backed by Western might against Iranian power in the Middle East? Where your special relationship, Mr. Blair, with the Americans resulted in an illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq? Where not one WMD was found despite your promises of a rich harvest? Should we not regard this as an utterly tragic misstep that destroyed the country and turned it into fertile ground for extremists to nurture their talents and cultivate their networks? Yes fields were cleared. But weeds proliferated Mr. Blair.
Should we not see Iran as the country where the Western powers decapitated a democratically elected government to impose a tyrannical despot? Should we not see it as the direct target of a pre-revolutionary post-Mossadeq attempt to cleanse a failed state and harvest a rich crop of economic opportunism for the Western world?
And why – no really why – should we forget that the predominant exporter of intolerant Islam is the Wahhabist strain of Islam primarily supported by the Saudi Arabian theocracy. A country that seems so beloved by the Western world? The great exporter of oil and stability. The lead exporter of intolerance is the one country that Mr. Blair sees no flaws with in his sweeping world tour citing variety of examples of instability and despondency.
At every turn, this attempt at opinion, this phony attempt at articulating a divide that echoes (poorly) the clash of civilizations thesis without even the courtesy of offering a reason that stands up to the barest scrutiny. Shame on your Mr. Blair for printing such drivel. For shame.
Three things strike me as being embedded into the common law.
The first is its commitment to the past. The common law answers every question with an answer based on what it has done before. The magic of precedent is that it looks out to the past to provide a starting point to answer a present question.
The second is its aversion to replicating the past mechanically. Even when given the answer as to what has happened in the past, the common law does not regard that answer as set in stone. It asks instead whether and what principles – what general rule – can be extrapolated from the past rather than any particular answer. The common law, even when it looks at a particular example, treats all such examples as something to be abstracted into a common general rule that is synthesized from all the prior cases.
The third is its caution at applying the past to the present even when the general rule seems apt to the case before it. The common law is always alive to the possibility that an old rule is no longer a good rule. It tests such questions by reference to modern circumstances, societal norms, cultural values and local circumstances. Every general principle can be modified and every such modification finds itself into the next application of the general principle.
In contrast, the poverty of statutory law is that it fails all three tests. It is neither based on past experience (unless there is that rare thing the codifying statute) nor does it identify the key principles that ought to apply by reference to a variety of circumstances and ultimately a statutory rule cannot be changed by contemporary experience. It has to rely on politics and that fickle beast the legislative process to turn an old rule into a good rule.
To all these three deficiencies of statutory law, the common law applies its limited remedial touch through the principles of statutory interpretation. The magic of the common law is that it corrects some of the principal flaws of the system that is superior to it though its own virtues.
The trip to Burhanpur has been postponed.. Very soon will be there, once again, Inshallah.
Once again, after a long time, friends visited Starkey Resort on Amravati Road, about 6 years later. Nothing has changed, even the charges are same.
Looking forward to go there again and again and again and …..
The best joke was: 700 ke snacks, 600 ka khana.
After an online booking at Ginger hotel through Makemytrip.com, when I called up in morning to confirm the booking, there was an confusion and they refused that they have any booking, which they sorted out in an hour or two later and called back to confirm it.
The address written on website needs to be edited to include a more prominent place, like Near Police Station, which is always easily searchable rather than any club or community hall.
The staff was courteous and the wifi password came directly on the mobile as an sms without any need to ask for it. Cozy rooms, nice amenities provided.
The hotel needs to provide food at night for those coming late — having already told we shall be late. We had to travel to “Twenty four seven” about 4-5 kms by auto in the night at midnight to get some food to eat.
Overall a good experience.
In Delhi, one of the colleague suggested we eat at Barbeque Nation instead of going to Chandni Chowk and having our dinner there. We all agreed, as it was just besides our hotel also and we would save on time travelling to and fro.
Loved the theme, concept, food at Barbeque Nation. Its basically eat-all-you-can in Barbeque offers provided by them. Unlimited Starters, followed by main course and sweets and the most important and the best part was having a live charcoals placed on our table to keep the starters hot!!!
Had a great weekend… which began with a flight to New Delhi for business works. Then went to Indore, then to Ujjain, Shajahpur, Indore again as there was a accident on the ghat on Indore Burhanpur road and then again to Burhanpur reaching Monday morning to Nagpur.
The journey began with me going to Delhi for an expo. From there I went to Indore and joined my family and friends in Ujjain. From there we went ahead to Shajapur and left evening to Burhanpur.
On the way there was an accident on the ghat just about 1.5 kms to 2 kms down in the evening. The traffic got jammed as the vehicle was not removed or even moved out of the road till late evening so we decided to go to Indore for night stay. We were lucky to get an cheap accommodation at Musafirkhana in Siyaganj Indore. Anyways we left in morning for Burhanpur. The vehicle was still left there on the road, but the traffic had started moving with one vehicle at a time on that patch of the road. We stayed for the day in Burhanpur and left for Nagpur in the night and reached home early morning.
A well organized travel, which was cost effective also.
A brief mention of two books that I’ve been reading over the month of April. The first is Team of Rivals which is a biography of Abraham Lincoln. The second is Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. These are two American lives that have fascinated me. Two lives destined to belong to the ages.
Lincoln is arresting the moment you enter the Lincoln Memorial. Inscribed there, on the wall in giant letters, you can read the Gettysburg Address. In Lincoln’s brief words you can feel a great deal. You have a sense of the majesty of his character and the vision of his quest in reuniting a fractured American union into a sustained whole during the midst of the civil war.
That sense is immeasurably magnified when you read Team of Rivals. Lincoln seems an impossibility. He came from nowhere, had nothing, failed repeatedly in seeking election and yet found his way to the presidential nomination as everyone’s second choice.
And yet even that is an understatement of the highest order. Lincoln had enormous vision. His hard won gifts of charm, public speaking, man management, and a talent for harnessing the energy of others to pull them in the right direction – which Lincoln always managed to make align with the direction that he wanted affairs to go. All united to deliver an America that seemed only sustained by Lincoln’s vision.
Lincoln had a remarkable capacity to lead. To stand far ahead of everyone else and bring them slowly and surely to where Lincoln wanted them to be. This shines out in how he managed his cabinet: which included four of his rivals for the presidential nomination who was each in the end a true convert to the preeminence of Lincoln.
For Franklin, there is the imperceptible gleam that shines through of him when you read his autobiography. A mix of deliberate autobiography, myth making, values program and draft outline of the American dream, his auto biography remakes Franklin into a human demi-god. And of course you have to remember that this was the story that Franklin wanted to tell about himself.
Isaacson’s biography, although it feels in part a character sketch or a short portrait, does help to realize Franklin in three dimensions. His life seems part moral code, part belief in the salvation offered by good works, part supreme scientific endeavor and part extreme political gamesmanship. You do get the impression that Franklin was an incredible chameleon able to find a way to work with people within the context of the society that he found himself. A Frenchman in France. An American in Philadelphia. An Englishman in England. And at the same time able to understand his role in each society and dress and act as needed to carry out his business as needed.
You also get a resounding sense of his immense scientific success. Hearing others describe Franklin as akin in his achievements in electricity as Newton’s were in gravity makes his famous experiment with the kite have a far greater resonance. That Franklin was the greatest scientist of his age – without perhaps the systematic codifying drive that distinguished Galileo or Newton in their specialties – was thought provoking.
At the same time, you can’t feel a degree of delight in his thoroughly middle class values and his commitment to them in the face of offers of privilege and preference. Franklin is an outstanding exponent of the formation of middle class America.
There is a great deal to take away from Lincoln and Franklin. Some of it is hard to capture. They had a unique ability to bind people together. Lincoln through his stories. Franklin through his ability to be charismatic and congenial. Both had a tremendous talent in leading through service. Lincoln managed to tie his rivals together into his ardent supporters. Franklin mastered the gap between achieving and taking credit for it early in his life and never let the second get in the way of the first.
These are two American lives that I won’t easily leave behind.
The following is a guest post, script written by Mr Himanshu Agarwal. The views expressed are his own.
Freecultr vs. Fashionara – Which Is Better And Why?
There are various advantages of buying from online stores. Apart from the comfort of shopping from home, online stores provide you with wide range of options and attractive discounts. With internet bringing global business to local areas, it is essential for online stores to offer international standard for local prices. Hence, in the online business, to attract viewers, online stores put in their best efforts at performance to outshine each other. Where Freecultr and Fashionara are concerned, we need to see who outperforms other.
Both Freecultr and Fashionara entered online business in the year 2011. While Freecultr deals with fashion apparels, accessories and footwear for women and men, Fashionara offers apparels, accessories and footwear for kids, women and men.
Kids Apparels – Fashionara Targets Entire Families
Fashionara’s collections include apparels and footwear for children as well and hence it addresses the needs of entire family under one roof. As Freecultr does not have collections for children, Fashionara gets past Freecultr in the first round with convincing victory.
Range Of Collections – Fashionara Excels
Compared to Freecultr, Fashionara has a wide range of collections in all categories. Apart from the numbers in categories, it could be said that Fashionara has more classifications of products as well. Moreover, it offers lingerie for women, which is not found in Freecultr. When you search for your needs, you would naturally want to have all your needs purchased in one go. Even if you are not shopping outside, where it gets tiresome to reach multiple stores for different needs, having everything in one online store makes it easy as you need to fill in the essential details only once.
Competitive Prices – Freecultr Competes Well
With regard to prices, Freecultr offers various products for lesser price. Though it does not have a wide a collection as Fashionara has, its products are priced low. However, it does not offer the same quality for low price. It has products that are priced low and this would benefit wide audience who are looking to spend moderate amount on purchases. However, both the online stores aim to attract customers by offering Freecultr coupons and Fashionara coupons. Although, the coupons offered by Freecultr are more attractive than the coupons offered by Fashionara; the pricing of Fashionara does the work for its customers here. Using these coupons would enable customers to enjoy great discounts.
Delivery Schedule – None Rings The Bell On Time
As far as delivery is concerned, both the stores share the same platform. There are unfavorable reviews about both the online stores with regard to delay in delivery. Though Fashionara has a wide range of collections, some opine that certain products, which show on stock while ordering, go out of stock during delivery causing delayed delivery. This serious matter has to be addressed by the company as it would lose its credibility eventually.
Customer Service – No One At The Counter
Both the online stores lack commitment here. There are many complaints about their not responding to enquiries on time with regard to refund and delay in delivery. Though the online stores sound that they are easy on return of goods, in reality, it seems the opposite.
Final Verdict Adjourned
In comparison, it may seem that Fashionara has quite a few advantages over Freecultr. However, these aspects are not sufficient to pass the verdict in favor of Fashionara. They do have kids’ collections, which are not found in Freecultr, but the collections for kids need improvement and inclusion so that it could be called versatile. In range of collections, of course Fashionara does well in men and women section. Still, it has been complained about this site about non-availability of products after ordering. Hence, it has to look into this area. For beginners, both the stores could be said to have started well. They both have areas to improve and they both need to improve on their efficiency in customer service. As far as user experience and product classifications are concerned, both the sites have done well. Hence, let us give them some time to get better and stronger.
my grandsons did not get to see the TIGER
but I did manage to surprise them on the trek
with a tiger roar !!
|On the Trek with Mani our guide|
we were made to wear leech socks,
although there were no leeches on the
trek. Leech socks made us look like
serious forest trekkers.
|Boat ride on the serene|