The People’s Pal, Lokpal

It’s the year 2013. A top Union Minister is at his secret farm house, sipping scotch on the rocks and smoking a Cuban cigar, while his men stealthily shunt bags full of currency notes. Suddenly, the door swings wide open and a man barges in, walking with a noticeable swagger, sporting dark glasses despite the night lights, and wearing a sleek leather jacket. He jumps and seats himself onto the table in front of the Minister in a jiffy.

“Mera naam hai Pal; Log mujhe pyar se Lokpal kahte hain,”(“Yen peyer Pal, Lokpal! Peyer kaeta summa addiruthilla,” — in the Tamil version) he says, followed by a long, seemingly incessant, mean-sounding laughter. Instantly, the Minister’s goons set aside their booty and charge towards the man with mega-sized sticks. The super hero grabs the sticks in the nick of time, almost like he had an extra pair of eyes at the back of his head.

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Debunking Popular Myths About the Lokpal Bill

“The civil society members are an inflexible bunch. They have their set ways as far as their draft bill is concerned and are unwilling to compromise. They want their draft to be accepted in toto or they will resort to fasting. The government, on the other hand, is comprised of seasoned law makers. They might be corrupt, but they know what it takes to pass laws. They are familiar with the ins and outs of law making. They understand the give and take involved.” — These opinions seem to be gaining momentum among the educated class.

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Google plays catchup with Google Plus

I have been a very active user of many Google products and services over the years and I must caution you that it’s a lot like being on drugs. It grows on you. The more you have, the more you want. Some form of a Google fix several times each day is now part of my everyday routine. The good news for Google is that there are many millions around the globe like me. Yet, Google is threatened by a business started by a college kid who supposedly created a service to help “nerds pick-up chicks” — Facebook.

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Jayalalitha 3.0: The Media grants Amma a Free Hit

A friend of mine said to me at a social gathering recently that Jayalalitha would have learned her lesson from her past defeats, and so this time around, he thinks that she will change for good. His comment, coupled with recent events, led me to explore two related issues — a failure on the part of the media and the possibility of “Jayalalitha 3.0” being different from its previous incarnations.

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Civil Society is a blessing not a threat

One of the common refrains echoed by those who are ambivalent of the anti-corruption movement is about the legitimacy of the civil society members on the joint draft committee. They are not elected representatives, so what gives them the legitimacy to represent civil society or demand laws? A follow-on comment is that these civil society members must contest elections if they want to make their voices heard.

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