Archive for March, 2010

Mayawati: Love her or Hate her, but you can not ignore her!

Now a days, there has been a lot of fuss about none other than the honourable Chief Minister of UP, Behen Mayawati. A lot of bad mouthing about Kumari Mayawati is doing rounds in the social media. According to Behenji, this is the handiwork of people with ‘manuwadi’ mentality. But see, these manuwadi people never mention about Behenji’s achievements. There are so many of them that I don’t know where to start with. She has authored two books which are available in both Hindi as well as English editions. May be these books have grown so much in popularity that the profits earned from these books have been used in part to make a currency garland reportedly worth Rs. 5 Crore to welcome Behenji in Maha rally to mark the BSP’s 25th anniversary celebrations.

But let me remind you, writing books is not her key skill.  Her key skill lies in organising mammoth rallies. It is this very skill only which has made her enter into Limca Book of Records. In 2006, Behenji brought BSP into Limca Book of Records for organising largest political rally comprising of over 5.76 lakh people! I wonder if she has so good human mobilization skills, why doesn’t ISB, XLRI and IIMs invite her for guest lectures in subjects like HR. May be she is so much pre-occupied that even these B-Schools recognise it. What I feel is that when there are lakhs of people to listen to Mayawati in her rallies, why should she go for a guest lecture in ISB, XLRI or IIMs where there will be an audience of at most a few hundred people.

One shouldn’t get complacent with one’s success. Perhaps, it is this very mantra only which has kept Behenji going. That is why she wanted to outdo her past record of organising gathering of over 5.76 lakh people, by planning a Maha rally with an expected turnout of 20 lakh people on March 15, 2010. The UP government had declared March 15 a public holiday in view of this expected turnout. But much to everyone’s surprise, only two lakh people turned up, if media reports are to be believed. May be weather conditions were not that suitable for a rally at this juncture, otherwise, she would have made BSP enter into Limca Book of Records again by outdoing her own past record. But mind it, this figure of 2 lakhs doesn’t include the swarm of bees that kept hovering around Behenji’s rally! We could see the inconvenience caused by their unexpected arrival as due arrangements were not made for them. May be from next time, functionaries of Mayawati’s party will make arrangements for bees also.

But probably, this time she made another record of being the only Indian politician to be welcomed with a garland of currency notes reportedly worth Rs. 5 Crore (Who knows, the garland may be worth more than Rs.5 Crore also!). Instead of making entry to Limca Book of Records, Behenji’s BSP made an entry to the books of the Income Tax department this time. I think it’s only a matter of time before Mayawati enters into Guinness Book of World Records. I wish Behenji good luck in all her future endeavours and sincerely hope that she will not disappoint her followers as well as detractors with manuwadi mentality!

Love Behenji or Hate Behenji , but you can not Ignore Behenji !

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Getting Placed: Was it Hard-Work or Mere Luck?

Before the placement season started at Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management (SIOM), Nashik, I had decided that I’ll apply only to firms operating in the services sector and I won’t keep my expectations too high. Each one of us used to eagerly wait for the mail from the placements mail id. One day we got in our mailboxes a mail asking the interested students having more than 2 years of experience to apply for KPIT Cummins Infosystems, Pune for roles of Project Lead & Operations Manager. I being having 21 months of work-experience was not eligible to apply as per the required work-experience criterion. However, going by this condition, a large chunk of people falling in the bracket of 20 to 23 months experience were not eligible. I amongst many others requested our placement team to insist the KPIT Cummins to relax their condition of work-experience. After talking to KPIT Cummins, finally this condition was relaxed and students with more than 20 months of work-experience were allowed to apply for the company. With around 84% of my fellow class-mates being having prior work-experience, I thought I had bleak chances of getting short listed in the company.

It was on December 18, 2009, when KPIT Cummins visited our campus. They had a shortlist of just 7 students for the role of Operations Manager. I was pleasantly surprised to find my name at Sr. No. 2 of the shortlist. I had not prepared anything for the selection process. I quickly went to my hostel room and picked my file having all the academic & extra-curricular certificates. I asked one of my friends to take the print-out of my resume and in the mean-time I quickly had my lunch. After that I immediately rushed towards the interview room. Interviews were about to begin and my turn was immediately after the first candidate.

During the interview I was bombarded with many questions. I would like to share one question for which I gave a very funny answer. I was asked by interviewers to choose any one of the two subjects viz. History & Geography. After thinking for a while, I chose Geography. Interviewer asked me to explain the reason. Here goes my funny answer:

“It’s because History keeps on repeating itself and I’ll get to learn history one way or the other from the future happenings. But Geography I’ll have to explore on my own!”

Finally, when the interviews got over, out placement co-ordinator announced my name and asked me to meet the interviewers. This was primarily a negotiation round wherein I was supposed to divulge my expectations. I was unable to control my happiness and I was ready to accept any reasonable package for the position of Operations Manager and that too for a place like Pune. They offered me X.XX LPA and without even a sign of reluctance, I readily accepted their offer. I couldn’t believe that I got placed and that too in a company for which I was initially not eligible! This is what destiny had for me. Today when I look back, I realise that chance attributed more to my placement than my hard-work.

Identity Theft: Are We Aware of Consequences?

Now a days, social networking has become buzz of the day. People continue to throng social networking sites in more and more numbers every day. There is nothing wrong with social networking as long as it is used for the purpose it is meant for. The problem creeps when one tries to befool others by pretending as someone else after stealing that person’s identity.

I’ll tell you an interesting piece of story on Twitter to which I was myself a witness. A girl named Ritu Walia (name changed to protect identity), a 19-year old teenager from Haryana, created a Twitter account with the name of Nareshgoyal9w, mentioned profile name as Naresh Goyal, wrote in the Bio as Chairman of Jet Airways, uploaded a background design featuring exclusively Naresh Goyal and also used his photograph as profile photo. Since, Mr. Naresh Goyal in reality had no existing account on Twitter at that point of time, anyone could easily leverage it to one’s advantage. Probably, Ritu’s intentions were not in that line and may be she wanted to just exploit it for entertainment purpose.

Gradually, she started tweeting many famous personalities posing as Mr. Naresh Goyal. One amongst them was our dear Mr. Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra Group. Posing as Naresh Goyal, she tweeted Mr. Mahindra, “I am following you”. Mr. Mahindra reciprocated by mentioning, “And i shall follow u back, Nareshji!” (See the actual snapshot below)

From here started the tussle. After corporate big shots themselves started following Nareshgoyal9w, many ordinary people like us also fell in line with them and as a result, the followers of the user Nareshgoyal9w started increasing exponentially. However, a judicious user named Mr. Kumara Guru (kumaraguru), Associate Director – Dean’s Office at Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, preferred to confirm with Jet Airways if Nareshgoyal9w was the official Twitter handle of Mr. Goyal. JetAirways tweeted Mr. Guru with the following message:

Mr. Guru was quick to retweet it to Mr. Mahindra to bring it to his knowledge that NareshGoyal9w was a fake user posing as Mr. Goyal. Realising this, Mr. Mahindra in turn retweeted this to all his followers to spread the word:

Only after Jet Airways, threatened to sue Ritu for impersonation and reported the matter to Twitter, she realised that she had committed a blunder and the only way to escape was to disclose the full identity and seek apology publicly. She then changed the profile name to mention her name explicitly and mentioned the Twitter account Bio as Fan Club of Naresh Goyal. She also tweeted Mr. Mahindra that she never stated that the account belonged to Mr. Naresh Goyal. Then Mr. Mahindra retweeted this to all his followers taking the sympathetic view.

The problems didn’t end here. How can such an issue remain away from the glare of media? Ritu started getting the tweets from Surender Sharma, a Delhi based journalist. He continuously tweeted Ritu and insisted her to give her phone number or else make a call on his number. Ritu was so afraid by this point of time that she was not in a position to take any step without the guidance of her parents. The journalist was continuously insisting Ritu (through tweets) to share her side of the story. Ritu didn’t call the journalist. But, the next day, she could see her actions becoming news in some of the web media and this was reported by the same journalist – Surender Sharma.

See, how an act, though committed unintentionally, may lead to serious consequences and one may end up not only getting defamed but also find him/her behind the bars within no time. 19-year student old Ritu Walia was a real-life example.

Some people may be lucky enough to not get the attention of their Identity Theft efforts. One amongst them is Mr. Jaydip Parikh who seemingly ran a parallel Twitter account of Mr. Narendra Modi, Gujrat CM by the name thenarendramodi. From first look, the foremost purpose of his creating the account seemed to be directing the traffic to his website from the links posted in Tweets from this account. I was well aware of the official account of Mr. Modi because I was following and was also being followed by Mr. Modi on Twitter. It was only after my tweets to Jaydip that he changed the Twitter Name from “Narendra Modi” to “Narendra Modi Blog” and mentioned in the Bio that the account was an unofficial blog and not real twitter account of Mr. Modi. Otherwise, his case could have been even more complicated than that of Ritu Walia.

Under Indian Cyber Law, Identity Theft on social networking sites is a crime and as such the person committing this act is punishable under the law. It’s high time we understood the consequences of Identity Theft on social networking sites.

Remember that Social Media should improve your life, not cost you your life!!!

What Motivated me to Blog?

To start with, let me tell you about the motivation behind my first blog post. It’s not that I had plans to write a blog from a long time or that I wanted to start my blog just for the heck of showing off to the world.  Then, what motivated me to blog?

Although, I am an Internet savvy person and love to engage in social networking in whatever possible and meaningful way, yet I had no plans to write on anything till recently. It was on March 1,  when I read the tweet of Mrs. Rashmi Bansal (Author of the last year’s Best Seller – Stay Hungry Stay Foolish) asking for sharing placement experience on which is going to be based her next blog. In order to get featured in her blog, I quickly started my Microsoft Word and started writing my experience. Within an hour’s time, I was able to finish up writing my experience and immediately after I mailed her the document describing my experience. A day after, I received her reply:

“Wonderful – well written – and congratulations”

This was motivating enough to make me start a blog. I always thought that I was not a good writer and as such writing a blog was never something serious stuff for me. But now having started, I’ll try my best to do justice to my blog.

I would love to receive your comments on my posts because it’s only the readers who can do justice to a piece of writing. I hope you won’t mind if I make use of my art, so-called Poor Jokes by almost everybody, to make my blogs more interesting! With this short post, I would mark the beginning of my blog!

Caution: Reading my blogs can be injurious to people who get irritated by Poor Jokes (PJs). Due diligence has been taken to inform such readers beforehand!