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.

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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



In my previous blog just a few days ago on the Manchester Attacks, I had expressed concern regarding the lowering of threat levels from critical to severe, despite the fact that terrorists regularly call for people to launch attacks on innocents in the month of Ramadan.I had also expressed concerns regarding lapses in security and intelligence.Unfortunately, my concerns were correct.

On Saturday, 6th June 2017, shortly after 22:00 (10 p.m.) the UK became victim to a third terror attack in less than three months in which 7 people have been reportedly killed and more than 40 wounded.

A speeding white transit van ploughed into a crowd of people on London Bridge.The van then crashed. 3 people got out of the van and brandishing 12 inch knives stabbed people in Borough Market.The men were wearing “hoax” suicide vests.The 3 attackers have been shot and killed within 8 minutes of having received the first call.

As per reports of eyewitness accounts the men were shouting “This is for Allah” as they indiscriminately stabbed people.

What is indeed perplexing is the urgency of the UK authorities to sort of relax and try to project that everything was back to normal after the 522 Manchester Arena Attack. While it is completely understandable that the intelligence agencies a limited by the enormity of this new type of terrorism where every wannabe Jihadi can suddenly tip over and start attacking without formal training and formal communications / instructions from the professional terror group, what can’t be forgiven is the ridiculously naive belief within the intelligence agencies, the administrators and counter terrorism organizations that the “attacks are over for now”

It appears that the entire set up needs massive overhauling and the definition of the new “normal” needs to be established again. A new “normal” can definitely be more screening, stricter vigilance, restrictions on internet and even higher levels of invasion of privacy. It simply can’t be more innocents being slaughtered on a regular basis in order to justify one’s faith in fairyland.

Even as you are reading this blog, the new harsh and horrifying reality is unfolding before our very eyes.


Manchester Arena Attack – The 522 Conundrum


Counter Terrorism: How do you get every shade in the right place?

Attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesgibbard/4300994347

The recent bombing in Manchester Arena during a concert by Ariana Grande on 22nd May 2017 may ultimately well end up being a statistic for global terrorism activities. But those agencies responsible for waging a war against terror would do well to wake up and smell the coffee and consider this event as a cornerstone for anti terrorism measures. But what is so special about this particular event? Here is what it is:

1. The attack is on the soil of a country which practically wrote the book on intelligence. The MI6 in conjunction with the resources available to them through Five Eyes ,where intelligence is shared between United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand, Australia and Canada is supposed to be able to detect and predict such events. They have access to the most advanced technology and whatever it is that is required to prevent such attacks. Clearly, if they couldn’t prevent it, it’s very unlikely any other country could.

2. The Manchester Arena attack took place at a time when the US, the UK, Russia, Iran, France and a host of other countries are intervening actively against ISIS. Given the past history of ISIS being able to motivate local European people into inflicting small to medium level casualties within their countries, such an attack was to be expected and prevented.

3. It is also well known that every year during Ramadan (usually in May), ISIS regularly calls for attack on “infidels”

4. Given the above fact, and the fact that UK elections were due, it is worrying to note that the threat level had not been raised to “Critical”, before the attack. Further, it is even more concerning that the Manchester Arena Attack took place, given that before the attack the threat level declared was “Severe – An attack is highly likely”.  

As of 27th May 2017, the threat level has been again reduced to “Severe” from “Critical” and the haste for doing so is rather puzzling.

5. It brings forth the embarrassing and depressing question – what more can you do?

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Manchester Arena Attack – 11 things rather odd

Manchester Arena Attack – Are we letting terrorists kill us at the time of their choosing?



At the very onset I would like to clarify 2 things.

(1) I condemn the ghastly attack on innocent people specially children.

(2) The Manchester Arena attack is just one of the many attacks where I am surprised at how Governments act or react.

So through this one attack I am questioning the general inaction and the bizarre reactions of most Governments the world over “combating” terrorism.What was most disappointing for me was the fact that this could happen in the United Kingdom. I mean if this was in some country like Afghanistan or Iraq, where you cant tell a terrorist from a fruit vendor, then those Government’s oversights could probably be understood. This blog has been written to express my sheer frustration and disgust and believe me it only pains me to write this piece.

The latest bomb attack in Manchester Arena (it is said the explosion took place “outside the Venue in a public place”) where Ariana Grande was performing and where 22 have been reported to be killed (mostly youngsters) is outrageous as it is shocking.

Here are some of the things which are shocking me till my eyeballs pop:

  1. People visiting the arena claimed there were inadequate security checks, specially from Victoria station to the surprising extent that even metal detectors were not deployed.
  1. The attack was allegedly carried out by a 22 year old (Salman Ramadan Abedi)- police have named him as a suspect- although (cough) the coroner hasn’t yet identified his body.
  1. Abedi it seems had no problems bringing in  a bomb IED packed with nuts and bolts.
  1. Abedi, could do all of this when the security status of United Kingdom was already declared as “severe” .It’s now been declared as “critical” – whatever that means.
  1. Actually they say “critical” means that soldiers will be deployed in several locations. One media house clarified “several locations” to mean “The military will guard key sites including Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, embassies and the Palace of Westminster.” I could not find any public places frequented by Commoners listed anywhere, but I will assume that there must  surely be extra security for other events and concerts in the future.  But wait,  so you mean to tell me that the army plans to shoot down a person who is already on a deathwish AFTER he detonates a bomb killing many  including himself. Or maybe they plan to shoot him down AFTER he has run a truck over 10 to 20 people in a public place. It must make sense to the Government on some strange manner.
  1. Back to Abedi, they say he was “known to the authorities” and visited Libya regularly  (a country known for ISIS influence).He was also a University dropout.In fact he had just returned from there recently. So is there anybody in the intelligence agencies using their intelligence?? While so many of us are strip searched and questioned, it seems that the actual terrorists can go, receive professional terrorist training and return- a walk in the park thank you very much.
  1. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack online. Wait , so you are telling me , a wanted terrorist organisation which the most powerful countries are hunting and destroying with sophisticated technology costing billions of dollars has the ability to talk to us and claim credit? Please don’t tell me they (ISIS)told us this over a cup of tea.

Read the article here : LINK

Being Smart About Smartphones

Business Communication Beautiful Cute Female Cell

The smart mobile phone is an indispensable part of our lives. Every year, new mobile phones flood the market with new features ranging from the operating system to the hardware, the cameras and even security features. The reasons for buying range from having a status symbol to functionality(battery life, speed) to preventing yourself from being classified as an extinct species. 

pcadvisor.co.uk has classified the best smartphones of 2017 as follows :

  • Apple iPhone 8
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 & Galaxy Note 8
  • Google Pixel 2
  • Xiaomi Mi6 & Mi Mix 2
  • LG G6
  • HTC U11
  • OnePlus 5
  • Nokia 8
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium

These are high end smart phones . But whether you buy high end phones or mid segment phones or even those which are “affordable” , never mind their limited processor speeds or low res cameras, there are a few things which one must never forget :

A. Whatever phone you buy, it will get outdated ultimately and thanks to the rapid developments in technology, it will be sooner rather than later.

B. You will like and get attached to your phone. Maybe because it contains the photographs and videos of your loved ones, maybe because it “landed” you your first date or first job or a new project. Your brain will get addicted to it 

C. Your phone can get damaged. Yes!!, even the costlier ones are not invincible and yes, even though you invested in “protective coverings”

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The Curious Case of Kulbhusham Jadhav ICJ Verdict

Saving a dead man

International Court of Justice where Kulbhushan Jadhav case was pleaded by India to treat him according ot Vienna Convention

The Government of India’s bold manoeuvre to fight Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav’s case in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is laudable. The fact that the ICJ stayed the death sentence of Jadhav has ensured that India has achieved it’s objectives. Not the objectives that the fake media is bragging about such as :

  •        India has defeated Pakistan
  •        Jadhav has been saved
  •       The world courts will punish Pakistan

The above idiotic nonsensical narratives being run perpetually by Indian media have nothing to do with Indian Government’s real achievements namely:

The Government has shown that it cares for the life of it’s citizens – even those accused of allegedly spying are not expendable assets.

It has risked deviating from India’s archaic foreign policy of trying to resolve matters bilaterally with Pakistan and achieved some measure of success at a multilateral forum. It however remains to be seen whether this is a good move or a bad move in future areas of conflict with Pakistan who may now be inclined to pay India back in the same currency. India’s image was further vulnerable on account of the fact that the enforcement of ICJ verdicts on such matters in the past have been very weak.

It has also forced a conflict between the military and executive arms of Pakistan, forcing any further action by Pakistan into a lose lose situation. If Jadhav is executed (some allege he is already dead), Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gets red faced at international forums and may be exposed to sanctions. It will also make it difficult for China to continue offering unquestioning support to it’s all weather ally. If Jadhav’s execution is delayed and India is allowed counsellor access to him , Pakistan’s military courts (the Field General Court Marshall) are snubbed. Pakistan has already issued a statement to the effect that the ICJ verdict is not applicable to them.Predictably, reactions to the ICJ verdict within Pakistan have been ranging from denying the ICJ jurisdiction to expressing disappointment with the Pakistan representation at the ICJ.

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