May 2006

Ease of Entertainment compromising Security

For a few days I have been observing a lot of my friends trying to use a local web-based movie reservation website called TheCinema. The website seems to be very impressive with jazzy flash, attractive animations, seducive e-posters and ease of ticket reservation using online payment gateways.

But I have been having this in mind regarding how secure is this website and would like to share with other readers:

  1. The website is fully loaded with flash only including the page that communicates to the payment gateway. This brings us to a problem where we can not ascertain where actually the credit card information are passed. Ethically, any website should facilitate submission directly to the Payment Gateway and only retrieve the results from the Payment Gateway. Thus we are confronted with a piquant situation of whether the credit card information is maliciously held by this website.
  2. [SSL Discrepancy]When we first load the website, a SSL certificate discrepancy is presented. This again raised our eyebrow regarding the authencity or credibility of the website.
  3. We have personally written about a couple of emails regarding this to the developers of the website but have’nt even recieved any responsible response hitherto, which again makes us feel suspicious whether these would be one another fly-by-night operator, amassing credit card information from the people.

It is high time that financial institutions and administration wake up from the slumber to watch what is going on behind the scenes. While it is easy and flexible entertainment at the click of the mouse, the same compromising the financial security of the people and hence the nation can not be tolerated.

Street Fights in Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly 

[Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly]The Thank you note to the Governor Surjit Barnala’s speech in Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, as part of the starting up of the new government’s sessions post elections witnessed a large scale unruly scenes in the Assembly.The most comical part being AIADMK and Congressmen literally coming to blows in front of the Speaker. Taking the most out of the situation, the AIADMK MLA, Sekhar Babu, marched with his sinister motive of attacking the Chief Minister but fortunately, the incident was called off by timely shielding of CM by other ministerial colleagues and Sekhar Babu thrown out of the Assembly by the marshals.

And most interestingly, we call these creatures as People’s Representatives in the assembly. Now both the leaders of Ruling and Opposition seemed to have realised the true colors of the MLA figures that they have chosen and sent to the assembly, as is visible from the various speeches that they are giving. The mike which is provided for the members to air thier opionions to represent people’s concerns was in fact aired at one another as a weapon.

While accepting the defective talks by his aide, Karunanidhi has asked his man to correct whatever was spoken regarding the opposition and the former government. The opposition party is still in the process of defending the attacks but yet to substantiate the unprofessional behavior of thier MLA Sekar Babu. On two fronts, Karunanidhi has chosen to stage a diplomatic stand in the assembly yesterday:

  1. Interrupt and correct his party man in not unduly commenting on the previous government without proper facts and figures.
  2. Inspite of the purported attacks on him, recommended to the Speaker that if the opposition party could submit a ‘Regret Letter’ to the speaker, they can be considered for a pardon.

Now the opposition party has chosen to exercise attendance of its session by having J Jayalalitha for rest of the sessions. 61 of the members have been debarred from attending the sessions unless they express regrettal. Jayalalitha being 62nd can attend the same.

In the past DMK regime, there had been a heinous attacks on Jayalalitha by including Karunanidhi and now with the AIADMK decision of having Jayalalitha attending the assembly as a sole representative, whether there would be enough security for a free and fair conduct of the assembly, disciplinary conduct of sessions — We need to wait and watch the interesting scenes.

Stay Tuned!

Today being Sunday, I was leisurely flipping through the pages of ‘The Hindu’ both in the Online and Offline version. It is really making us to feel ‘fed up’ with the way the various state governments, spearheaded by the Apex Government of India, in treating the masses on the basis of caste system and the most disgustingly, destroy the finer fabric of Indian constitution — the mantra soveriegn secular democratic republic.

One is really concerned, whether because of all these, would there be any foriegn invasion making us a colony once again like it happened by East India Company. 

Currently the straw that broke the camel’s back seems to be the increase in the reservation quotas of OBCs.

Looking Back >> Over centuries, people from lower castes have been heavily sidelined and there have been so much worse situations for them to make even both ends meet in thier day-to-day activities. The British India government too iniatiated several welfare measures for the oppressed communities of people. Since the day of Independance, there were a number of leaders from these backward community and on the pretext of working for thier community welfare, they really amassed a lot of fortune, making even thier kith and kin very rich and affluent. There were several concessions too for these people. Take the example of Anna University Entrance Examination Application form. You would find scores of caste names being mentioned there. Even the number of pages that mention the caste alone makes it appear like a stout booklet.

Sometime back, about 5 to 6 years, VP Singh Government brought in Mandal Commission to inquire about the backward community upliftment. The report and recommendations of the commission that suggested 50 percent reservation for the oppressed classes was really disastrous for the economic and secular perspective of the country.  One should really think whether such reservations are really needed on the long run.

For sometime, till the oppressed community limps back to normalcy, these are tolerable, as ‘restoration procedures’. But if the OBCs are constantly spoon-fed by the government on anything and everything, when the kid would ever learn to walk. Would it be crawling for ever and ever through out its lifetime?

OBCs, nowadays, are no more poor, on a majority of cases. Here are few features to prove and substantiate it:

  1. Most of these OBC candidates to colleges/workplaces only come on latest vehicles in the market, ultra modern mobile phones with camera, walkman etc. to showoff the power of thier wallets.
  2. Besides this, they also indulge in cases of lot of anti-lawful measures:
    1. Eve-Teasing: Be it a workplace/college, the backward community fellow is only focussed to catch the attention of a girl working with him.
    2. Traffic Law Breaking: With powerful political powers with them, they throw all traffic rules to air. One can find scores of accidents happening because of such reckless bike riders in ECR road.

With all powers in hand, still they enjoy all subsidies and concession from the government at the cost of open competition and forward community people. I am reminded of the game called Paramabhadham that is translated as Snake and Ladder. The snake stands for vice and ladder stands for virtues. In this dice game, if you stump upon the column with a snake, you would be dragged down. If you encounter a ladder, that would pull you higher. I think, the reservations are making OBCs currently finding ladders but in the game of Paramabhadham there is a big snake awaiting to take the player to square number 1, without much difficulty and/or ado.

The state of Tamil Nadu, which has been silent till now, I percieve, has started to feel that it had to join the bandwagon. The newly elected Government seems to have brought into the implementation the law which permits any Hindu, with enough qualifications and necessary prerequisite training to become priests in the temples affiliated to the HR & CE department of the Government of India. Actually, this legislation seems to have been brought in 1972 but was held back due to an interim stay by the Apex Court of the nation. Now, the government seems to be keen in bringing this back, perhaps to satisfy the masses and strengthen its vote bank.

But on the reality, would the following questions be satisfied by the Government or the HR & CE department:

  1. The temples depend upon Sanskrit as a mother of all languages and almost all literature are there in Sanskrit. Would the government show magnanimity in supporting Sanskrit or would there be a myopic view of having all translated into Tamil. The latter myopic view would be catastropic for the development of the society as well.
  2. The archakas of the temple are expected to ensure extreme purity, both in psychological and physiological forms. I guess, the reader understands what I mean by the two forms of purity, since he would have read the earlier sections of this post.
  3. Would the government try to extend this into the following, which is more acute catastrophy to the development of society?
    1. Support of anyone (even non-Hindus) as priests in the temple.
    2. Women reservation system into temple, to facilitate women as priests.
    3. Neuter reseravation system — The current election had a couple of constituencies with neuters contesting the polls.

The government claims that it has removed the thorn in Thanthai Periyar’s heart by implementing this. The thorn was the stay order on the implementation. While that Thanthai Periyar was an athiest, he would’nt have much idea about temple internals. His service to abolish untouchability like in Vaikkam is really appreciated but when a custom is being implemented, it needs analysis from a different number of sectors.

Readers: Please share your views. Let us join together in voicing our opinion to the Government of India in having the secular fabric preserved.

WordPress drove me mad…

WordPress is an excellent blog software. With excellent themes and this blog is powered by WordPress. But I think it was ‘angry’ with me or it was feeling bit tired and the long informative post and discussion that I was typing and when I clicked ‘Publish’, it fully went for sleep and I was presented with ‘Can not find server or DNS error’.

WordPress and for that matter other blog/email software too, should emulate the behavior of GMail Autodrafting to keep saving for the convenience of users.

WordPress: You are so excellent and innovative in everything. It would be great, if you could support this too.

Social Responsibilities of “The Fourth Estate”

It is the media or the public communications systems that is often referred to as The Fourth Estate. It is an invaluable asset and a resource in nations development as it has the greatest onus to keep the citizens of the country informed about the various developments.

[Doordarshan]After a long time, on Friday, I was flipping through and watching a programme on Doordarshan, the state-owned television channel. It was once upon time the only channel of entertainment in India. Also, it was also the news source for government regulations and press releases to the nation.  As a matter of fact, all public service ads would be telecast at regular intervals. By public service ads, I mean the following:

  1. ‘Missing Persons’ — free announcement
  2. ‘Blood Donation Seekings’
  3. Pulse Polio Immunisation Campaign.

More than the emphasis for commercial advertisement slots, more emphasis is given to these social concerns.  But the sad state of affairs is that the number of viewers has drastically come down for Doordarshan and a majority has been drifted away to privately owned and politically backed up affluent satellite television channels. There are also so-called TV-Wars between the politically parties.

Instances of Sun TV (backed up by DMK) and Jaya TV (backed up AIADMK) fighting each other over the way a news is presented, is never isolated. I am not against the proliferation of private television channels. No doubt, they provide rich advertisement revenue and add to the central exchequer by way of sales tax generation. But the only thing is that official press releases of the government, which are DD’s rights are diverted to the appropriate private television channel, whichever is in power.  There is a proverb called ‘Robbing Peter to pay Paul’ and the current administration seems to rob Doordarshan of its belongings to reinforce the private entrepreneurs.

Readers: Do you have any other views on this to supplement? Feel free to share and let the Government of India try to understand the step-motherly treatment that is being meted out Doordarshan.

Television is an excellent information service complimented by satellite communication technologies. Let not the political vendetta spoil the fabric and reinstitute the name Stupid Box for the television.

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