Blog Posts by Tisha Srivastav

  • 30 smart ideas from BJP’s manifesto 2014

    Sunny Narang, a New Delhi based entrepreneur-mentor who is invested in sporting talent, craft and design culls out what he calls some ‘smart ideas’ from the BJP manifesto. His core assessment is that they have left no sector or interest group untouched.


    30 smart ideas from BJP’s manifesto 2014


    Why a manifesto makes sense

    Everyone is promising a utopian future on paper, in a text document which can be copy-pasted from anywhere in the world. Many now believe it is anachronistic to talk of manifestos in the digital age. But it still makes sense to get an idea of what is the general and detailed drift of a political party.

    What is its top-line thinking on policy concerning various issues and on sections of the republic? It is also essential now to hold each party to the spirit and letter of its promises nationally, regionally and locally.

    My basis for choosing these 30 ideas as smart

    The manufacturing output declined 0.2 per cent in 2013/2014 compared with 1.1 per cent growth the previous year, dragging down the overall economy. There is a huge youth population that needs employment. There are falling water tables, polluted rivers, land issues, stagnant agriculture, vanishing craftspeople, and loss of cultural diversity.

    Reading through the BJP manifesto actually surprised me

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  • Rs 17,63,000 crore: What this amount has to do with your vote

    Readers respond to Dr. Sastry's blog with shock and surprise.

  • Ab Dilli door nahin?

    A Delhite ruminates on AAP’s victory from far away and reflects on the possibilities it holds for the future.

    Aam Aadmi Party workers celebrate after good result of AAP party in the 2013 Delhi Assembly election at party office Hanuman Road on December 8, 2013 in New Delhi, India. A beaming Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal termed his party's phenomenal success in the Delhi polls as One of the stories of the Tughlaqabad fort is known to many a Delhite. As election results kept coming in on Sunday, this story came back to me - a Delhite now in Bangalore. The story goes - Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq was so furious with the Sufi saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya that he wanted to have him beheaded. When Auliya heard this, his followers wanted him to hide, save himself, but he is said to have uttered, “Hunooz Dilli door ast,” which roughly translates as It’s a long way to Delhi.

    Before Tughlaq could kill him, he himself was dead. The saint lived, the monarch perished. Centuries later, Subhash Chandra Bose rephrased this while taking on the British as ‘Ab Dilli door nahin’

    It came to be used across time, as a positive call, a rallying cry to march on power. To crush any oppressive force  etc. For in the physicality of living in Delhi, you can get different dynasties on

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  • Mandela - An ordinary Indian remembers

    Tisha Srivastav recalls moments where her life has been inspired by Mandela and what he means to her. A personal journey of an ordinary Indian who never met Madiba or stepped under South African skies.

    Some people touch your lives, I think because they have reached out and touched their own depths. Both of suffering and of possibility.

    And brought to light what a human can be.

    Nelson Mandela is one such. As much for his politics, as for his rebellion. As much for his personal strength, as for his leadership-in-exile.

    As a kid in the 70s flying to Africa, (when a large number of Indian Railways folk began to help African countries build their rail systems and that included my dad) I used to look at my diplomatic passport which said ‘All countries except those under the Pretoria regime.’ Now you tell a kid to NOT go somewhere, that is exactly the land which will fascinate. Especially because through the 80s, very little information would get out. But being in Africa, what would reach us Read More »from Mandela - An ordinary Indian remembers
  • Pilgrim’s progress: Insights from a public FB post

    Bridge over the Ganga in Uttarakhand. Credit: Sandeep Somasekharan/ The Green OgreBridge over the Ganga in Uttarakhand. Credit: Sandeep Somasekharan/ The Green Ogre

    New Delhi based entrepreneur Sunny Narang’s public Facebook post on Thursday raised and debated issues concerned with the pilgrimages in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. Sometimes the solutions that even well-meaning people propose battle one another, becoming part of the problem and complicating it.

    In this case, the barrage of opinions comes fast and furious, just like the floods, with insights, suggestions and a richness of human conversation that flows back and forth through time, experience, hope, cynicism and each from its line of vision. This is a wisdom that belongs to the people, but it is a vision that has rarely been realised on the ground. Tune in. Those in power who continue bickering over ‘natural’ and ‘man made’ could pay heed too, and not only when nature comes calling.

    Annotated excerpts:
    Sunny: [The solution is] managed pilgrimages and tourism in all ecologically sensitive zones. Once allowed, no second visit till slots are available – a bit like Bhutan and Arunachal Read More »from Pilgrim’s progress: Insights from a public FB post
  • Notes on a Himalayan flood

    A distant mountain lover struggles to piece together what’s going on exactly in Uttarakhand

    If the extraordinary swell of the Ganges had not mowed down everything that came in its path, be it temple, road, building or bridge, then for Uttarakhand too, this would have been a day of celebration. For Tuesday is Ganga Dussehra, a day when Ganga is said to descend to the earth from her hidden abode. Some say to purge. Not many doubted it with scenes like these washing over Uttarkashi and other places.

    And Uttarkashi is the district take-off point for Gangotri, from where the Ganga descends.
    Less than a week ago the Chief minister of Uttarakhand was in Delhi asking for a review of a recent notification declaring vast stretches between Gaumukh to Uttarkashi in the state as an eco-sensitive zone.

    A PTI report of June 5 says, ‘Citing ongoing protests by locals against the Centre's recent notification declaring the area as eco-sensitive, the Chief Minister said the move will adversely affect the

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  • Brrreaking news from chilled-out North India

    For someone who studied in the mountains, had a psychedelic flash after a whirling windchill at a frozen lake in mountainous Nepal, was stricken with sudden fever on a glacial stretch in Spiti, and spent a winter in London without central heating (by choice), these are happy-learning memories of the cold, in comparison with my brother's horror stories from his first posting at Siachen. Also, in comparison with the immensity of the casually used phrase 'cold wave'.

    For a cold wave is first a biting change in the air and, if you are outside, its teeth will come for you. By definition it is a very sharp drop in temperature in under 24 hours or a very long spell of continuous chilling of air. Both can become so extreme when prolonged or very sudden. So when studio anchors in a centrally heated studio pontificate on the statistics of the sub-zero, can they empathize with their brrroadcasting colleagues standing for hours delivering the weather report? Listen in to the 200 watts of Kashmir's

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  • The Great Indian Jailhouse Rock

    On 21st December 2011, a Delhi based rock band performed a co-concert with the in-house talent at Tihar Jail in Delhi for over two hours. This was the result of a workshop at Tihar with members of the band, Menwhopause and the musical talent of the inmates. This was a first for both Tihar and rock bands in India.Yahoo in an email conversation with members of the band on what has been a life-affirming experience. Here's a look.

    Transcript of email Q & A with Menwhopause

    Q: So what's is the  music room in Tihar like?

    MWP : There are instruments. And there's a curtain to hide the bars.

    Q: Tell us a bit about the in-house talent you found in Tihar?

    MWP: They are people like us. People with ideas and songs. People with nothing left to lose.

    Q: So we take it, you'd gone in to perform there and out came the idea to work with the inmates? How did that happen?

    MWP: Tihar officials have been super supportive. They let us go about it however we wanted it to. Singing our songs would have been

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  • Ordinary voices on the extraordinary Bhupenda

    What made Dr Bhupen Hazarika special in the post-independence set of folksy greats? Seeing the overwhelming numbers that poured in to see Asom's Jajabor (traveler) one last time at Guwahati, the state government had to postpone the cremation. Who were these people and what does Bhupenda mean to them? Here are some voices from Guwahati, of those who made his many songs their own — without experts, reviews or, often, even the written word.

    Bhupen Hazarika, a musician sans frontier. NDTV video


    This is Assam's own heart unplugged.

    "Bhupenda had a song for every occasion"

    - Gayatri, teacher at Asian Institute of Mass Communication

    Einstein had said of Mahatma Gandhi that "generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as he ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth." My feelings for Bhupenda are the same. Never had I imagined that he was so deeply embedded in my psyche until he passed away.

    I learned to be proud of Assam, right from the days I understood music hearing the

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  • Introducing Tomas Tranströmer

    Tomas Tranströmer, Nobel Laureate for literature, 2011. A Swedish poet born to a teacher-journalist couple in 1931, here are ten things you and I may not know about TT. Well known in literary circles to walk the word mile from being deeply alive to nature's hisses and human misses, via the Swedish landscape. Onto a darker void of questioning, a vertigo of 'unsentimental cool'th . Widely traveled, turn of the century man whose first published collection, at the age of 23, was a Swedish hit. He went on to use his academic training as a psychologist, working at a juvenile prison. And write. Meanwhile jugaadu Indians have suitably discovered a connection. (Did you read the one about Steve Job's Apple logo being inspired by an Uttarakhandi baba who gave apples for prasad?) Right.

    Opinions on his body of work and the award vary from private ecstasy of well known contemporary poets writing in English to wait-a-minute-WHO-is-this? Always fun to hear the Nobels go to the Europeans too

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