Author: rottenmangoman


The recent controversy ove


r Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming movie has raised an important question of how India’s past is being defined. The heroic event of a proud queen chosing to sacrifice her life instead of being captured by the enemy has been inspiring awe amongst millions of people worldwide. But what is unfortunate is that in order to avoid any responsibility the makers of the movie sometimes seek to portray(through media and “experts”) Queen Padmavati as a fictional character, while at the same time imparting impeccable authenticity to the movie withpainfully realistic and authentic costumes[i] and sets. What is also intriguing is that while applying to the Censor Board of Film Certification approval, Bhansali and his team chose to conveniently leave out the mandatory declaration of whether the movie was a work offiction or historical[ii], thereby making their documentation incomplete.

I have found records from most media[iii], with the notable exception of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, where it is claimed that the movie is based on the poem Padmavat,[iv](1540), by Malik Muhammad Jayassi[v] – written almost 200 years after the event of the siege of Chittor byAllauddin Khalji[vi] in 1303.

Ali Gurshasp, a.k.a. Allauddin Khalji, the second ruler from the Delhi Sultanate of the Khalji Dynasty, of Turko-Afghan origin known for itsfaithlessness and ferocity[vii] came to power after eliminating his uncle and father-in-law Jalal-ud-din Khalji. Several renowned Hindu dynasties were wiped out during his reign, including the Paramaras, the Vaghelas and the Chahamanas, leaving their wealth and history completely plundered. This included the seizure of the world famous Kohinoor diamond from the Kakatiya Dynasty in Warangal.[viii]Interestingly the brutal campaigns in South India were led by his trusted general Malik Kafur – apparently, a converted African and a eunuch slave[ix] from Gujarat. Some historians like Ruth Vanita and Salim Kidwai, also claim that Malik Kafur and Alauddin Khilji were in a homosexual relationship.(Same Sex Love in India- Reading In Indian Literature- Page 132)The notable historians quote the writings of chronicler Barani of that period(1285-1357),”the Sultan was loosing his memory and his senses, he had fallen deeply in love with the Malik Naib.”

Why has Alauddin Khilji’s proven homosexual affinity to Malik Kafur been omitted from Bhansali’s movie

While historians appear fairly confident about the chronicles of Allaudin Khilji, many appear to be equally confident that Padmini was nothing more than a figment of the imagination. They argue that her name is never mentioned by any historian or poet during her time (13-14thCentury) and that Jayassi’s poem, where historians find her earliest mention involves too many elements of fantasy. As per Padmavat, Rani Padmini hailed from Sri Lanka(Ceylon, Singhal Kingdom). Stories of her legendary beauty were conveyed to King Rattan Sen of Chittor by a parrot named Hiraman.

[i]│Padmavati:200 Craftsmen.. ││

[ii] NDTV│Makers Knew Paperwork Was Incomplete│IANS││


Business Today│Padmavati Trailer│BT Online│ │

[iv]  Wikipedia│Padmavat││

[v]   Wikipedia│Malik Muhammad Jayasi││

[vi]  Wikipedia│Alauddin Khalji││

[vii]  Encyclopaedia Britannica│Khalji Dynasty││

[viii]    A History of India-Page160│Hermann Kulke, Dietmar Rothermund││ 

[ix]   The Hindus:An alternative History-Page 420│Wendy Doniger││


 Thereafter, in 1589,,,,READ THE REST OF THE BLOG HERE

Delhi’s Pollutants

Delhi’s Pollutants


Delhi has been grappling with pollution for the longest time ever it seems. In 1998, after the Supreme Court verdict[i] ordering all buses, 3-wheelers and cabs to convert to CNG, Delhi-ites thought the worst was over.In the years to come, what was once considered sporadic fog or smog, slowly turned into an annual suffocating ritual.

This year the problem of poor air quality is being experienced in a large part of Northern India and not just confined to the National Capital Region. Schools in Delhi and Gurugram were also shut for a week-10 days during November.

But how is possible that all the custodians of our policy makers and enforcers are helpless in tackling this menace despite so much public, media and social media pressure and despite the fact that a drop in air quality has been regularly occurring each winter ? In order for the PM 2.5 and PM 10 pollution be tackled, there appears to be other types of pollution peculiar only to India which must be first cleared.


Unfortunately Delhi also suffers from a polluted political atmosphere as well, as murky as the suffocating smog that has engulfed it. After the Aam Aadmi Party came to power, the Bhartiya Janata Party as well as the Indian National Congress are still nursing the wounds of a humiliating defeat [ii] during the Delhi elections in 2015. The AAP carries a similar feeling of resentment at the loss of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi [iii] [iv]elections.With Multiple authorities and political parties governing various departments within Delhi as well as different parties ruling the adjacent states of Haryana and Punjab surrounding Delhi, there appears to be a vindictiveness amongst the various Chief Ministers and Central Ministers where the administrators appear to choose to allow the condition in Delhi to deteriorate. The worse the conditions, the more political fodder it provides to the parties in opposition.

Coupled with this is the dilemma and reluctance of all political parties to stop farmers from crop burning-currently being blamed as the main causative factor[v] (also read Lancet Journal..[vi]) for the situation in Delhi. Farmers are an important vote-bank. Crop burning [vii] is a cheaper alternative for the farmers to dispose off the harvested paddy to allow for the next plantation of wheat. While technological solutions exist, cost factor as well as knowledge transfer of using machines to tackle this problem would take time. There has been some progress reported from Punjab, where the instances of crop burning are reportedly lesser as compared to last year, but still a long way to go. Till the time the solutions are successfully implemented on the scale required, political parties continue to play the blame game. The dilemma is most apparent with the AAP which is ruling in Delhi but is the major opposition party in neighbouring state of Punjab. So while it supports crop burning in Punjab, the Delhi Government opposes the move.


While it’s not surprising, that the Courts have to often take matters into their own hands, the poor implementation ensures that there is no change in the status quo. The Supreme Court verdict to ban the sale of fire crackers during Diwali, the main Hindu festival everyone looks forward to, was another such example. No Government in India would be willing to implement or enforce


[i] Interview with Anumita Roychaudhary, CES ^

[ii] AAP storms to power in Delhi BS Reporter│^

[iii] BJP sweeps MCD polls..Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar^

[iv] Why MCD election results.. │ RottenMangoMan^

[v] Top 8 Main Causes for pollution in DelhiTNN^

[vi] Lancet Journal-Pollution the Global Burden of Guilt RottenMangoMan^

[vii] Delhi Air Pollution:A Crop (Burning) Issue.. │ Harish Damodaran^



The last couple of years, “surgical penance” seems to be the buzzword which has captured the psyche of India. The term I have coined vaguely refers to a sudden, unexpected, shocking, swift brutal action, which may have severe, even painful repercussions, but which needs to be done so as “correct” the “malaise”, while brazening out the harsh side effects.

I have tried to compile a list of a few of such “surgeries” so that the reader may get an idea of the numerous such operations India has undergone.


Date        : June 10th 2015

Surgeon :

Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Defence


On 4 June 2015, the Indian Army convoy of the 6th Dogra Regiment was ambushed by the insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) faction, in Chandel district of Manipur. 18 soldiers of Indian Army were martyred. The Government wanted to drive home the message that there was a new sheriff in town.


As per reports [2] 70 Commandos from the 21 Para of the Indian Army carried out the attack from DhruvHelicopters.Mi-17 Helicopters from the Indian Army were on standby. They are said to have inflicted heavy casualties.


Myanmar denied [3] that the militants were killed inside it’s territory and the Indian Army preferred to call it “Hot Pursuit” instead of cross border surgical strike[4]


Date      : 29th September 2016

Surgeon :

Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Defence

Reason :

On 18th September 2016, 4 heavily armed terrorists had attacked an Indian Army [6] Brigade Headquarters in Uri, near the line of control martyring approximately 17 Indian soldiers. The Indian Government wanted to convey a “message” to the terrorists based in Pakistan[7] India blamed terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammad [8] for the attacks.

Surgery :

According to Indian media [9], Indian forces provided cover fire across the LOC [10] (Line of Control)  for three to four teams of 70–80 commandos from the 4th and 9th battalions of the Parachute Regiment [11] (part of Para (Special Forces)[12] to cross the LoC at several separate points, travelled 1–3 km on foot, destroyed terrorist bases with hand-held grenade and 84 mm rocket launchers before returning back. It claimed only one soldier was injured due to a land mine.


Pakistan downplayed the incident and denied the occurrence [13] of any surgical strikes or cross border infiltration, but acknowledged some cross border firing by Indian forces and claimed to have captured [14] one Indian soldier.

The United Nations mission monitoring the ceasefire said it  “has not directly observed” [15] any firing along the Line of Control (LoC), which the Indian side snubbed.

Members of India’s opposition party the Indian National Congress, stated there was nothing new in the surgical strikes and demanded proof [16].


Date      : 8th November 2016

Surgeon :

Ministry of Finance

Reason :

This surgical strike was primarily to combat corruption, black money, fake currency and terrorism[18]Subsequently it was announced that it was also to promote digital transactions. It was estimated that approximately Rs. 2-3 lakh crore [19] [20] was being circulated as black money (undeclared or forged) in India. To recover that amount the Government of India had launched the Income Declaration Scheme [21] 2016 from 1st June to 30thSeptember, but it yielded only approximately Rs. 30000 Crore [22] in taxes to the Government.

Surgery :

On November 8th at 8:00 pm, the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narender Modi announced [23] that currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations (86% of the currency in circulation) will not be legal tender from midnight of November 8th. New notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 denominations would be made available soon.
The people were allowed to deposit the old notes at post offices and banks without any charge till December 30 and/or exchange them for new notes. Cashless fund transfers were unaffected.

Controversy :

The move received both praise and criticism.

The Supreme Court of India commented[24] “Discontinuing of higher denomination notes appears to be carpet bombing and not surgical strike,” while at the same time refusing to impose a stay on the decision of the Government.

While many people appreciated the step they were also inconvenienced greatly on account of the poor planning and implementation[25]especially, since it was reported that almost 100 people died standing in lines to deposit the old notes or to withdraw cash.

Many critics also pointed out…. Read the full blog here

Lancet Journal – Pollution the Global Burden of Guilt

Lancet Journal – Pollution the Global Burden of Guilt

Who has to bear the Global Burden Of Disease ?

This year the annual festival of Diwali in India is influencing the country’s social and geological climate long after it’s actual date of 19th  October 2017. After the Supreme Court of India had banned the sale of Diwali Crackers[1] [2] in the National Capital Region of Delhi, the topic was the subject of a lot of debate in India coupled with curiosity regarding the impact of the ban on the ambient air quality.

TV grab of Indian Media highlighting the pollution levels on the day after sale of Diwali Crackers were banned in New Delhi and National Capital Region, part of the blog of
TV Grab of Media Highlighting the Pollution Levels in Delhi after Diwali

Shortly after Diwali, the media started reporting some reduction in levels as compared to 2016, but cautioned that the levels were still high. The fact that the high pollutions levels were also attributable to the still weather, was not adequately highlighted [3]. In fact when the region started experiencing favorable weather conditions, the air quality improved. At the same time the Center for Science and Environment[4] argued that the situation could have been worse without the Diwali crackers ban.

“There was a definite decline in burning of firecrackers because of the ban. But the high moisture content and calm winds on Friday (the day after Diwali) trapped pollutants, making some parts of Delhi more polluted than others,” – Central Pollution Control Board member-secretary A Sudhakar.

As if to reprimand the people in Delhi (NCR) of their obstinate behavior, news of a “study published in the Lancet Journal” was reported by most media houses [5][6]. By clubbing it in context of the rise in pollution levels after Diwali, it was indirectly implied that bursting Diwali Crackers may cause the death of millions of people in India.

This prompted me to actually read the Lancet Report so as to understand what the study was really all about.

The report of the Lancet Commission on pollution and health comments on data in 2015. It is a two-year project .More than 40 international health and environmental authors led by environmental scientist Philip Landrigan [7] were involved. Prominent authors from India include:

  •    Member of Parliament, Economist and politician (Indian National Congress), former Minister of State for Environment, Mr. Jairam Ramesh [8]
  •  Prof. Mukesh Khare [9], IIT Delhi, Chairman of State Environment Impact Assessment Authority.

Interestingly, Prof.Khare was also part of the following study  [10] regarding the influence of odd–even car trial on fine and coarse particles in Delhi, which concluded:

Any further trial will need to be planned very carefully if an effect due to traffic alone is to be differentiated from the larger effect caused by changes in meteorology and especially wind direction.”















The truly rotten facets of the AIB’s offensive post

The question is not whether AIB had the courage to keep the post live, but whether the Government has the courage to act against AIB

All India Bakchod (AIB)  an Indian comedy group, is known to court controversy over the crass and morbid statements, posts and videos they(and their members) regularly upload on social media. I have written extensively exposing the rotten truth and malicious and malafide intentions behind the group and the plethora of powerful organisations who back this group.

It’s founders (Tanmay Bhat, Gursimran Khamba,  Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya) consist of innocent looking people, who tweet, instagram or snapchat content under the garb of humor/sattire, but which directly attacks the sensibilities and social etiquette of a large section of the population. 

The ploy is usually to post the offensive content, create an uproar and then simply delete it, knowing full well that by that time, several websites would have re-posted the offensive content. The large number of likes/ follows or comments are used by them to show advertisers their brand domination. Thereafter, they simply sit back and enjoy the windfall gains, while powerful media news channels go through outstanding pains and dedicate gigabytes of web space and weeks of precious airtime to defend the group.

Offensive morphed image of PM Narendra Modi Tweeted by AIB and later removed.

In line with this Standard Operating Procedure, AIB chose to post a morphed picture of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a snapchat dog filter, making it look offensive and vulgar.

As a result, the real life drama is currently playing out and may continue to play out exactly as per the AIB script:

HERE is the link to the rest of the blog

NDTV Nidhi Razdan – intolerant anchor?

When news anchors with a partisan agenda take things too far

Screenshot Nidhi Razdan

NDTV‘s known dislike for the Indian political party currently in power – the Bhartiya Janata Party, is known even to novice or occasional news watchers. Through firebrand anchors like Barkha Dutt, Shekhar Gupta, Nidhi Razdan and many others, the news channel works overtime as spin doctors, nitpicking everything the current dispensation does.

But the reason why Nidhi is able to stand out from the rest is her sheer shallow and incompetent role as an anchor. While Headlines Today had recruited and promoted ruthlessly biased, anti BJP anchors like Rajdeep Sardesai and Karan Thapar, the anchors were able to display at least a hint of professionalism, objectivity and neutrality by either granting the BJP representatives at least 10-15 seconds of uninterrupted air time (Karan allowed even more) or by asking, intelligently masked insinuating questions.Occasionally they even came up with somewhat brilliant comebacks to the responses by the BJP members. Similarly anti Trump CNN news anchors like Don Lemon, neither shout over, nor interrupt, nor reduce air time of the Trump supporters. Whenever they want to criticize the Government, they do so with some basis(factual or otherwise) and are never hesitant to allow the Government spokespersons to express themselves clearly. 

Nidhi is apparently unable to do so, not because she doesn’t want to but apparently because she can’t. Her whole concept of the requirement of being an anchor appears to be the  ability to express herself in limited English and her hair style, while at the same time constantly interrupting and badgering BJP spokespersons.After watching the show for numerous years, it is apparent to me, that appointing such a mediocre anchor for such an important show has been NDTV’s unfortunate mistake. The show in itself, appears to raise important issues, but is sunk like the Titanic every night Nidhi Razdan is at the helm.

Arnab Goswami has already murdered panel discussions and debates and Nidhi Razdan is closely following his footsteps. Arnab however, at least betrays some sense of intelligence in the few seconds that we are able to hear what’s going on. Herein lies the problem. People switch over to NDTV in the hope of being able to get away from the cacophony and expect to hear at least some words of intelligence. Some of us even want to use our own intelligence by being able to hear and judge for ourselves whether the person speaking is validating his arguments with facts. We don’t need an ill informed self gloated Nidhi Razdan, interrupting every word in the desperate hope of hogging all the air time. 

Nidhi joined NDTV in 1999 . Her claim to fame however appears to be her ” alleged” affair with former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah . It is alleged that this was the reason for Nidhi Razdan to divorce Neelesh Mishra in 2007. 

Her association as program anchor of Left Right and Center seems to have started in 2012, but this may need correction. The search for earliest videos of the program on NDTV website lists 2013 and 2014.

She has been awarded Teacher’s achievement award for communication(2011); Ramnath Goenka award for Excellence in Journalism for reporting from Jammu and Kashmir and North East India(2013);The Jammu and Kashmir State government award for excellence in journalism(2013) – No prizes for guessing how that happened.

Read the rest of the blog HERE

Right to Privacy- Who is really tracking me ?

Has our privacy already been “invaded”? Who is the invader?

Who is really spying on me?

The Right to Privacy is considered by some to be as important as the Right to Live. A nine judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of  India is contemplating it’s importance – as to whether the Right to Privacy is a fundamental right. In the past, 2 constitution bench of judges have ruled that Right to Privacy is not a fundamental right. Today’s ruling will have a bearing on the larger debate of the Government of India’s push to link Aadhar numbers   (numbers assigned to Indians based on their biometric and demographic data) with various services and schemes such a mobile numbers, filing of income tax returns (PAN) etc. But what’s the fuss about?

Big data is now big business. Without getting too technical, it is the process of collecting, storing and analyzing huge amounts of data (related to human behavior, processes, events etc.) to predict certain outcomes. It helps businesses beat competitions, prevent diseases, Governments frame policies and even help predict and identity potential frauds or terrorists. It’s also a brutal invasion of privacy. In the hands of the powerful, it has the potential to be an invaluable tool. But in order for it to do so, the agency needs data in the first place. This data collection can be done probably in 3 ways :

  •       With your knowledge and consent – You register your personal mobile number and address while applying for a credit card
  •       With your knowledge but without your consent – You are asked to provide your personal details while applying for a loan. You don’t want to provide them, but have to in order for the process to be completed.
  •       Without your knowledge and consent – This is a grey area and what is discussed in this blog. It’s a grey area, because the data collectors do intimate you that they are collecting your data, but in a surreptitious/ discreet manner.
Visualization created by IBM of daily Wikipedia edits . At multipleterabytes in size, the text and images of Wikipedia are an example of big data.Courtesy : Wikipedia/Author:Fernanda B.Viegas

Big data is said to have helped large organizations achieve outstanding results. As per information in the public domain :

  1. Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign was a success        largely on account of Big Data Analysis.
  2. Big Data analysis also gave the Bhartiya Janata Party an edge in winning the 2014 elections in India.
  3. The Indian Government is also said to utilize Big Data to understand the electorates’ response to it’s policies and modify them accordingly.

Various sectors worldwide rely on Big Data analysis such as manufacturing, healthcare, education, internet of yhings,technology, banking, real estate, sports, research and media. The point is , your “privacy” (depending on which aspects of your life and interactions you consider private) has apparently already been compromised. Here is a list of your very own personal potential “invaders”:


The Media it appears uses extensive data mining and personalized tracking not just for marketing and distribution but also for creating and shaping content. Since it is commerce driven, it appears to be one of the largest trackers of your personal information. These may include not just your address and email, but also your browsing habits, likes and dislikes as well. Imagine an artificial super intelligence, which is mapping your every move on the internet. What you click on, what time you logon to the internet, which articles you read, which movies you watch, which music you heard, which posts you liked. Your entire behavior is being mapped and then conveyed to strategists who target what kind of products you may buy based on your behavior.
What is interesting is that a lot of such trackers are apparently embedded along with news sites. Yes, the same news media channel which raises privacy concerns for you when the Government wants to link your PAN number with your AADHAR Card Number. So it appears that in all their hypocrisy, they will make you paranoid about letting the Government associate your bio-metric data with your financial details, but are happy to smugly siphon off your personal and most intimate details.

After installing anti tracking extensions and ad blockers on a few web browsers, here are some results : – READ THE REST OF THE BLOG HERE