Qualifications for a political leader

This is what is said by a minister, when the king Amarashakthi asked his ministers what to teach to his pranky sons (the beginning of Panchatantra)

“देव द्वादशाभि:वर्षार्व्यकारणम् श्रूयते | ततो धर्मशास्त्राणि मन्वादीनि, अर्थशास्त्राणि चाणक्यादिनि, कामशास्त्राणि वत्स्यायानादिनि | एवं च धर्मार्थशास्त्राणि ज्ञायन्ते | तत: प्रतिभोधनं भवति |”

The first subject (for 12 years) to teach is grammar, then smritis like manu-smriti and then political science and economics, then the study of human behaviour w.r.t love and lust and then focussed studies (प्रतिभोधनं )

One of the major blow of modern education in India is people’s lack of importance to study of humanities. Only when they dont get enough marks in engineering or medical or commerce people do opt for political science or economics or history as subjects.

Comparing this to our oldest universities, political science was a subject in Takshashila university. Rama was taught political science in YogaVasishta, Yudhishtira learnt it from Bhishma.

Some people might inherently have this talent but we cannot take chances. Just like physical exercise and drill is essential for a soldier, a constant study of books on Dharma is essential for a leader.

Thus I think that the study and annual  brainstorming of lessons from Shanthi Parva, Panchatantra, Artha Shastra  by Chanakya, Socrates’s works, H D Thoreau’s Walden, should be primary requirement for all political candidates like MLAs, MPs, and Corporators. In addition to these, study of contemporary development in international relations, banking, current political and economic systems, study of Indian constitution and law also are needed as a secondary requirement.

I dont think I am asking too much.



Setting up VNC on Ubuntu 16.04

This should not be a big task, but I faced some challenges.

I am listing out here for my own reference.

Ubuntu 16.04 server when installed does not by default add support for graphics. But I wanted graphics for a project of mine so I enabled graphics and thought of accessing it from a remote machine.

sudo apt install xinit
sudo apt install ubuntu-desktop

I installed tigervnc server to access it remotely using

sudo apt install tigervnc-standalone-server

The firewall rejected my connection, so I enabled it using IP tables.

sudo iptables -F
sudo iptables -L
sudo iptables -A INPUT -s -j ACCEPT

But packets were still dropped.  To debug this I enabled syslog for IP tables.

sudo iptables -A INPUT -s -j LOG –log-prefix='[netfilter] ‘

But the logs did not appear only in the kernel logs. After some confused state, I realised that ACCEPT is a termination rule and hence my log rule had to be before the accepting rule, like this.

sudo iptables -F
sudo iptables -L
sudo iptables -A INPUT -s -j LOG –log-prefix='[netfilter] ‘
sudo iptables -A INPUT -s -j ACCEPT 

sudo tail /var/log/kern.log

This worked and I found that packets from VNC client were reaching. But I could not see why I was not able to connect via VNC client.

I always find the simplest problem through complex debugging and waste time, This time the VNC server was not running at all

netstat -plan | grep 5091 

Upon searching some forums in net, I found that on Ubuntu 16.04 tigervnc does not work. I should have installed x11vnc, and I installed it.

I installed x11vnc http://c-nergy.be/blog/?p=8984 but even then vnc server could not be launched

Initially x11vnc -auth guess did not work, I had to map the XAuthority  file myself as in  x11vnc -auth /run/user/1001/gdm/Xauthority.  It worked but still I could not connect from VNC client. Later I found that x11vnc cannot be connected from normal remote IP.

I should always establish a SSH tunnel. 

ssh -L 5901: <username>:<server_ip>

And then VNC client could connect to

I also found that Ubuntu 16.04 has a better front end to IPtables called “ufw”. I installed the rules using “ufw”

       ufw  insert 1 allow in on enp11s0 from port 22

Uttarakanda – review

I was always intrigued with S L Bhairappa’s novels. As my mother used to say reading his books is as if “someone is putting their hands in the brain and churning it”. Whether it was Parva or Tantu or Avarana or Kavalu there always was one radically liberal and a strong message nicely conveyed.

With that hope I purchased Uttarakanda too.

In the preface only he had written that he has based it on Valmiki’s Ramayana with some of his own thoughts. But Uttarakanda itself is not by Valmiki. I wondered why he wrote so. As I read through many incidents in the book, they were more of his thoughts than Valmiki Ramayana. I had read Shubha Vilas and Rajendra Tandon’s versions of Ramayana and they were more near to Valmiki Ramayana than SLB’s Uttarakanda.

The narration was good and I appreciated the thoughts but I was wondering what is special in this, it is just another retelling, though he retained the sanctity of characters than in “Asura”, though it had little less extrapolations when compared to Ashok Banker/Amish’s versions, it was just a retelling. I was waiting for the turning point, a message. And it came at the end.

Beautiful conclusion where Seeta quotes from Brihadaranyaka, a very well thought imagination that Seeta was influenced in her inner mind by Yagnyavalkya’s teachings. The book solved the allegory of Seeta going to earth. It upheld the strong character of Seeta. It upheld the independent and strong character of Lakshmana which was always masked in Valmiki’s version. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Only thing is SLB should not have written that it is based on Valmiki’s Ramayana.

I don’t want to delve into more details. Read it without fail if you are fan of Epics and retellings. You will get Sita’s version of the story. The whole book is like a platform to narrate that Shloka from Brihadaranyaka at the end. The message surely will satisfy your intellectual hunger for a long time. Those who think he is misogynyst after reading Kavalu will now see that he is a feminist, but the fact is that he is just a liberal person and a humanist.

My thoughts on Dadri Lynching and Sahitya Academy Protest

Many arguments on the return of Awards by Sahitya Academy winners. I am not sure why they did not return awards and protest during earlier communal incidents but if I place myself in their shoes and return an award now, should my protest be held invalid because I did not protest then? I may have been immature then, or I may have been more optimistic of Govt. then, or I may have ignored it because the murders were not within the Sahitya Academy community and outside my peer group. But really how not protesting in an earlier instance makes this protest invalid? Is it not like a politician arguing, why you are protesting about my corruption when you did not argue about some other’s corruption?Or because you did not argue about somebody else’s corruption, its like your acceptance to that corruption and hence you have to accept my corruption as well?

Basically I protest because I am off-late seeing a trend where free thinkers(whether they are right/wrong) are killed. People are taking law into their hands with pride.Even when what a person did is a crime, murdering the person is wrong.Govt. might also be unhappy about the incident but it should not say writers should not protest quoting a poor reasoning that they did not protest earlier. Every body protests, and protesting by returning awards is in no away illegal.

All these incidents (Dadri Lynching/Murder of Kalburgi etc.) are attack on the integrity of our belief in Hinduism that it is a more liberal religion. I am more concerned and ashamed if the culprit is within a more liberal religion of mine, Hinduism. I would like to share the dialogue of Deewar: “Who was that person who wrote “mera baap chor hain”, koi nahin. But you were mine, why did you go wrong?”.

You belong to hinduism which respects free thinking, And I protest hard if you go wrong.

My take on Beef ban

Somebody asked me, being a strong supporter of liberty how do I approve of beef ban. So though I have not posted anything till now on the beef ban, I am doing it now.
In a liberal economy it does not go well with banning anything which is not a physical/mental harassment. But as long as we are in a country where whole governance is done by banning this or that either completely or based on some license, banning beef is not bad at all when majority of the people feel uncomfortable/harassed with it. But it should be understood that beef banning is because of hindu culture not hindu religion.Also  being a secular country we should not ban something based on religious grounds. Religion based laws incite and provoke those with weak mindset to do exactly what is banned. And this can be a fodder for politics. Then is there any non religious argument for banning beef? Of Course there is.
Cow is more than a pet animal  for millennia, especially for an agrarian society like India. Bulls were used for travel and ploughing. Cows were used for milk and its by-products. Cow dung and cow urine were/are used as disinfectant and house hold fuel and as fertilizer and to prepare compost. Cow is hence revered. Forget religion, just like dog is one among us, cow also is one among us. So when people accept banning dog meat, they should have no qualms with  beef ban.

Further, when christians can stay with wine banning in many countries (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_with_alcohol_prohibition), both hindus and christians can agree to fast (even on a dwadashi) during Ramzan in Dubai (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/20/laws-abroad_n_3466647.html?ir=India&adsSiteOverride=in), why cant Muslims accept that in India they cant eat beef?

However banning beef should come with a corresponding efforts to take care of stray cows. They should not be let on roads, they should not eat garbage and plastic, they should be reared with license to ensure proper care, if anybody violates it he should also be considered a criminal similar to a beef eater. People/Govt. should find an alternative use for Bulls in the age of tractors otherwise it becomes economically unviable to rear them, or they should detect and abort bulls before birth.

Finally,some quotes from Vivekananda and Manu Smriti.

Any fool may abstain from eating this or that; surely that gives him no more distinction than to herbivorous animals. The man who will mercilessly cheat widows and orphans and do the vilest deeds for money is worse than any brute even if he lives entirely on grass. The man whose heart never cherishes even the thought of injury to any one, who rejoices at the prosperity of even his greatest enemy, that man is the Bhakta, he is the Yogi, he is the Guru of all, even though he lives every day of his life on the flesh of swine.

Swami Vivekananda (2013-12-06). Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (Kindle Locations 16780-16784). . Kindle Edition.

There was a time in this very India when, without eating beef, no Brahmin could remain a Brahmin; you read in the Vedas how, when a Sannyasin, a king, or a great man came into a house, the best bullock was killed; how in time it was found that as we were an agricultural race, killing the best bulls meant annihilation of the race. Therefore the practice was stopped, and a voice was raised against the killing of cows. Sometimes we find existing then what we now consider the most horrible customs.

Swami Vivekananda (2013-12-06). Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (Kindle Locations 18161-18164). . Kindle Edition.

The ordinary idea of duty everywhere is that every good man follows the dictates of his conscience. But what is it that makes an act a duty? If a Christian finds a piece of beef before him and does not eat it to save his own life, or will not give it to save the life of another man, he is sure to feel that he has not done his duty. But if a Hindu dares to eat that piece of beef or to give it to another Hindu, he is equally sure to feel that he too has not done his duty; the Hindu’s training and education make him feel that way.

Swami Vivekananda (2013-12-06). Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (Kindle Locations 3073-3076). . Kindle Edition.

You will be astonished if I tell you that, according to the old ceremonials, he is not a good Hindu who does not eat beef. On certain occasions he must sacrifice a bull and eat it. That is disgusting now. However they may differ from each other in India, in that they are all one — they never eat beef. The ancient sacrifices and the ancient gods, they are all gone; modern India belongs to the spiritual part of the Vedas.

Swami Vivekananda (2013-12-06). Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (Kindle Locations 23050-23053). . Kindle Edition.

Every man, in every age, in every country is under peculiar circumstances. If the circumstances change, ideas also must change. Beef-eating was once moral. The climate was cold, and the cereals were not much known. Meat was the chief food available. So in that age and clime, beef was in a manner indispensable. But beef-eating is held to be immoral now.

Swami Vivekananda (2013-12-06). Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (Kindle Locations 38370-38372). . Kindle Edition.

And now some excerpts from Manu Smriti that laid down civic laws for a hindu society.
manu5 manu3 manu2 manu1

Net neutrality and Airtel Zero

Consider a post man who transfers posts from one person (provider) to another (consumer). Whether the postage is paid by provider or consumer is immaterial and perfectly legal as long as
a) both are not charged
b) for the same distance and weight of the parcel different pair of provider-consumer are not charged differently.

Similarly Airtel is ethical, morally and legally correct as long as it gets paid by either the provider (Flipkart) or the consumer (end user). However airtel will be at wrong side if it charges both flipkart and the enduser, or charges amazon differently when compared to flipkart.

Without net neutrality flipkart pays to airtel either for all customer visits, or waives off charges if the customer makes a purchase. In these cases customer is in profit, Airtel is neither in profit or loss because whoever pays it gets paid the same. Flipkart sees this as an investment to increase customer base. This is similar to postage paid by the addressee which you can see in normal postal deliveries.
With net neutrality companies are not allowed to be tied up with telcos (by TRAI regulation) and hence customer has to pay for all visited sites. Customer visits merchant site less often.Merchant site looses customerbase, telco also is at loss, customer is also at loss as he missed out on business. Overall GDP also reduced as there was less business.

Conclusion 1: With intervention everybody is at loss.

Some argue that it would be tough for new players to compete with established companies if telcos get tied up with them. The only answer is free market is tough. We have to be best to win over others. If you want to win by grants or by supressing business opportunities of others then please dont blame reservations and license raj too.

Also the popular analogy of electricity companies is false because, electricity company is a monopoly. If it favours one business, there is no counter mechanism to overcome it. Thankfully telcos are private and the competitions among telcos nullifies the fear of business suppression.

Some other examples for you to compare:
I see this similar to HDFC Bank waiving of transaction fee for fuel purchased through credit card. Eventhough you dont realise HDFC Bank is paying for data transaction of each swipe,not the customer. If the argument for net neutrality is equitable it should apply here also. Why should banks be spared just because they dont use browser but an embedded device.

I also see it similar to companies waiving of parking fee of visited customers, or real estate companies paying or volunteering for transport costs of site visit.

The point I like to make is transaction fee, transport charges, bandwidth consumption of a customer are not of a concern when there are better benefits to companies. Let them pay for it. Why should customers pay for a visit to flipkart even if they dont purchase. Why is it unethical if flipkart offers to pay for visits to its sites by customers?

All these are allowed in free market.

Some more examples for you to consider:

I would like to give some more non internet counter examples that are allowed by law and influence customer behaviour. Why only internet market has to suffer regulations that prevent tie-ups?

* Mc Donalds,offers a combo pack with Coca Cola, we canot request to change it with some other drink, they refuse and tell it is not in Combo Offer.

*Kotak Mahindra offers PVR tickets as a bonus for their Credit Card, would you say they are influencing your movie visiting pattern?

*Fiat Car company voids the warranty if you change your Car Audio, Dont you think they are affecting your free choice?

*Reliance is plannin to tieup with Samsung for its 4G Voice+Data plan. verizon ties up with Apple. Are they not affecting other players?
*Government of India tells to businesses that if you open your company in SEZ you dont have to pay certain tax. Are’nt they against similar businesses in other areas?

Another agument that most people ignore:
In India no revolution happens without a vested business interest. Lets see who gets huge profits with the new “Net Neutrality” filter. Check this link:

Can Reliance’s Jio Chat topple WhatsApp?

Some excerpts from here:

“It also offers 100 free SMS a month (sent on data) ”

How can this be allowed? Is it not against net neutrality.

“The additional features of Jio Chat include a channels section, where it has tied up with a few companies-including HTC, Star TV, Paytm, food ordering app Tiny Owl, Reliance Digital, Reliance Fresh Direct and IPL cricket franchise Mumbai Indians for entertainment and e-commerce content.”

Reliance Jio has tie ups with businesses like Tiny Owl and in house Reliance Digital, Fresh Direct etc. By Reliance favouring Jio Chat instead of Whatsapp, are they not affecting other businesses like flipkart, big-basket dot com ? Just because Jio Chat is inhouse of reliance why do you spare them? To fight against Reliance what is wrong if flipkart ties up with airtel?

Another advantage if we do not have net neutrality:
The competition among telcos gives free access to wikipedia, facebook, whatsapp which is so beneficial to millions of poor customers in India through net penetration, otherwise everybody has to pay.

Conclusion 2:Allow free market a chance, free market follows demand and is always beneficial to end users.

Sanskrit as a compulsory subject

Ref: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/rss-outfit-says-make-sanskrit-compulsory-in-cbse-till-class-12/1/403038.html

I think this idea of mandating a language forcefully is a big failure. Its a waste of tax payers money, and makes more harm to the language than good.

Let me give an example: If you want to make all people like tomato and eat tomato..would you simply grow more tomato and supply to Market?  People will dump unsold tomatoes on roads.

You have to increase demand in Market before increasing the supply of the commodity otherwise the commodity itself will be devalued.

Currently though many people dont study Sanskrit, atleast people who study it out of interest will appreciate it. By forcing it to people who dont want it, I think Govt is doing more harm than good. Sanskrit will loose its credibilty.

What Govt. has to do is create market for it in the people. One way is to make it less cryptic (It is possible) to people and encourage authorship in Sanskrit. Create short films in Sanskrit funded partially through HRD ministry and encourage it in Media.Create curiosity in people. Employ and provide better benefits to people who know Sanskrit, a rare skill should be paid higher. Now Govt pays same salary to a Sanskrit Scholar and an English scholar. There is no incentive to learn Sanskrit in any field.