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Internet Top 25 & Indian absence

Pushkar Sane Wednesday, 19th October, 2011 Tags: , , , , Technology No comments

Earlier today I read Mary Meeker’s latest presentation on Internet Trends. It has lots of interesting data and analysis. One slide particular caught my attention as it highlighted top 25 Internet/tech companies.


I was happy to see several of Chinese companies climbing up that chart and challenging the US dominance in this area. On the other hand I was very disappointed to see absence of any Indian companies in that list. Its been more than 15 years since the commercial introduction of the Internet in India but we’re yet to produce a single company that can take a seat on top 25 table. It is rather unfortunate given the technical expertise and talent in India. Are we too busy fighting internally and happy about winning against our internal competition? Or are we satisfied with the fact that Google, Facebook, Yahoo etc have their development centers in India?

It surely got me thinking – specifically around what will it take for an Indian Internet company to earn a seat in global top 25. Wonder how many other people are thinking about it and is there a way to collaborate.

Wake up Mr. Advani

Pushkar Sane Friday, 18th February, 2011 Tags: , , , , , , Observations 1 comment

Mr. Advani has done it again. Gained some publicity at the expense of India. Recently BJP published a report on ‘Indian black money abroad in secret banks and tax heavens‘. It was prepared by S Gurumurthy, former IB director Ajit Doval, Professor R Vadiyanathan and advocate Mahesh Jethmalani. Today Indian media was flooded with headlines that read like below:

Times of India: Advani says sorry to Sonia on Swiss bank account issue

NDTV: Advani apologises to Sonia for black money allegations

Hindustan Times: Advani says sorry to Sonia on black money allegations

All of three provided PTI as a source and here is a report from TOI.

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NEW DELHI: Senior BJP leader L K Advani has apologised to Congress President Sonia Gandhi for a party-appointed task force report, which had alleged that she and her late husband Rajiv had accounts in Swiss banks. BJP had appointed the task force on unravelling the amount of black money stashed by Indians in foreign banks and ways to bring it back. The report had alleged that Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi were among Indians who held Swiss bank accounts. This had led Sonia Gandhi to write a letter to Advani denying the allegation. Sources said in the letter, Gandhi had said that neither she nor her husband held Swiss bank accounts. In his reply to the Congress President’s letter, Advani expressed regret of her name and that of her late husband being mentioned in the task force report.

However, Advani also stated in his reply that the Gandhis should have denied this publicly when there were murmurs that names of her family members could figure in the report. Advani said had she done so, the name of her family members would not have figured in the task force.

The four-member task force comprising S Gurumurthy, former IB director Ajit Doval, Professor R Vadiyanathan and advocate Mahesh Jethmalani has put the figure of money stashed in safe havens to be 25 lakh crore. On February 1, NDA leaders had released a booklet ‘Indian Black Money Abroad in Secret Banks and Tax Havens’, the second report of the task force appointed by the BJP.
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I don’t know the content of these letters and purely basing my opinion on what is reported in Media.

For a moment let us assume that this story is wrong and Mr. Advani never wrote such a letter or the content was different. In that case I think either Mr. Advani or BJP should come out in open and publish the letters.

But what if the story is right and Mr. Advani did write what is reported above. In that case I would say both him and Mrs. Gandhi are collectively taking India for a ride. Going by the reports it looks like  Mr. Advani saying ‘Dear Mrs. Gandhi you should have denied allegations publicly when there were murmurs that names of your family members could figure in the report and we would not have put them there.’

It is casual and careless. The report was published by BJP and it is not his personal property. Black money is a national concern and not simply a political agenda. If one were to apply Mr. Advani’s logic to several other corruption cases then all corrupt people can publicly deny any wrong doing and CBI can drop their names from FIRs. Simple solution to removing corruption from India.

I’m sure Raja, Kalmadi and Chavan are busy writing letters to Advani to inform that they already denied the allegations in public and Advani can then do some lobbying with CBI/Supreme Court to drop names of Raja, Kalmadi and Chavan from the FIR.

I think the time has come for Mr. Advani to wake up and smell the coffee. And get out of public life.