Friday, December 17, 2010

An Idea

today, when I was just scanning the papers and fruitlessly trying to remember exactly how many dozen multi-thousand crore scams were uncovered in the past few weeks, this idea struck me. I don't know whether someone has already though of this and is already being implemented, but i thought it worth to put in down in writing before it slips my mind.

It is no secret that RTI queries is one of the important reasons for uncovering scams. However, I constantly see news where people complain that RTI awareness is still abysmally low in India ( 23% according to one report, if I remember correctly). We can easily blame the government and people for not being "aware" and let the matter at rest. But then I thought, "how many times have I used RTI?" , the answer, a paltry two times since that act was passed in 2005. You see, its very easy to blame others. Then I thought, if I have this power of asking questions and demanding information, why don't I use it more often? the answer is because, I DON'T KNOW WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK!. As a common man, what are my needs to fight corruption? I should at least have knowledge where the corruption is going on, if I am to think of fighting it.In India, only handful activists and/or NGOs know how to use RTI as a weapon.

The idea which struck me is based upon the model of outsourcing which is currently followed by most companies. You break your job into small pieces and assign each piece to a diffeerent entity or individual. Currently, these NGOs are working as islands against corruption.The idea is to connect them, starting from a city, a state and then the country. What these NGOs would do is put up a list of RTI queries they want to make on a website. Any common man could have a look, choose any one question file an RTI application and submit the answer to the NGO which would analyze it and put a new question, based upon the answer it receives. So the intention is to make all people RTI activists, may be only one day a month..

This could also be useful for preventing the attack on RTI activists. With so many people filing queries, it would be a tough task to hunt them all down, and no party or organization can silence people on such a large scale. This could possibly create a sort of Open source RTI application website, where you can choose to plug a gap in information at your own convenience and citizens across the country would know what questions to ask, keeping a constant tab on shady areas, for example real estate allocation. This site could also encourage whistleblowers within the government to anonymously bring a matter to notice, so that people can start filing RTI applications to dig out the truth..

This is obviously a half-baked idea, with many factors unconsidered, but I though it was worth to share...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

a cop

there is a country called India
who had a good cop,
constantly at work,
coz the attacks won't stop!

Once came these bad guys,
on the date 26/11,
and started killing people
hoping they'd go to heaven

this cop had real guts,
and he was very brave,
he caught on of them
in the face of his grave

he caught the man alive,
but he himself died,
saluting his valour,
a whole nation cried

exactly one year later,
he looked down from the heavens,
to find his dear country,
still in sixes and sevens

we got nothing but words,
action only in name,
'if I had known this' , he said,
I would've died anyway of shame!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

the interview

The candidate was a touch nervous. So were all the thirty other competitors. On second thought, those were the reason he was nervous in the first place. he couldn't stop fidgeting. Well, neither would you, if this was an interview for an admission to the top institutions in the country.

he walked in.
"hi. please have a seat." one of interviewers blurted out. He had a copy of the exam paper the candidate had given earlier that day. That surely helped. I mean the "have a seat" thing, not the "exam paper" thing. "It would have been even better, if he had said it looking at me", thought the candidate.
"So, what's your name?" another one said, this time, with a face that resembled a smile.
" Sir, I am XYZ".
The candidate had taken feedback from earlier students and he was relived that all them were being asked only technical questions. that was his only forte, if he had any.
" well, why have you applied to this branch?"
Oh hell! he had heard the phrase "to feel your insides churning". "my insides", he thought, " are caught in a vortex, more likely".
Telling the truth always helps, they say. Well , certainly not in this case. how could he tell them that he had applied there only because he had a lower score in the entrance exam ?
" Sir, this is a research oriented branch and I want to pursue my Ph.D. , so I chose to apply for this branch. "Hmpf! As if you cannot carry out research in other fields" said a little voice in his brain. These little voices have the most annoying habit of saying things, when you least expect them to. "The greatest battle lies.... within" says spiderman 3. How irritatingly true!
But the interviewers seemed to buy that one.
" so tell us", said one of them " Do you know any uses of lasers?" That's what the branch was all about, so this one was seen coming.
Now, most would tell the answer "eye surgery" in a flash, but then, most of them don't get selected, do they? The trick is not to be "most". Well, get on, think of something different!

" Laser guided bombs" He said, trying to look satisfied with his reply. A moment later, sense dawned upon him.
"What the hell! have you gone completely insane? what kind of an answer was that?"
"Well you said think of something different. So I did."
The battle within raged on..

"I see." said one of the interviewers. the "interviewee" ,if I may call him so, suspected the former was trying hard to suppress a smile.
"can you explain in more detail?"
"Well sir, the bomber plane guides the bomb as it falls by a laser beam, which increases its accuracy greatly."
"I see. So the laser destroys the target?"
"No sir, the bomb does."
slowly but steadily, the interview came near its conclusion
" OK. you may go now."
Just as he was about to leave,
" if we offer you an admission for Masters, would you pursue your Ph.D. here?"
The candidate turned around, almost dazed. He couldn't believe his ears.
All the interviewers were staring at him, smiling.
I smiled back , for the first time during the entire interview. I proceeded with the answer, which I need not state explicitly, do I?