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October 2005 — Monthly Archive

It took a Tropical Storm to shut down Chennai

Satellite photo of tropical storm Most Chennaites will not be coming to work today; the rains preceding this tropical storm have made travel within the city virtually impossible. That would mean today would be the first time (since I moved to Chennai in June 2000) that the city has lost a day of work for any reason. In a country known for frequent strikes — Bangalore was shut down for a day in 2000 when the actor Rajkumar was kidnapped, Hyderabad had its day when police fired on a mob, Calcutta shuts down because of strikes so often it isn’t even funny — this says something about the work ethic of the city.

Here’s hoping the storm misses, and they get back on their feet soon!

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27 October 2005 3:48 pm

Indian Blogosphere == Bitchy Wannabes, says Outlook Magazine

Outlook magazine has a rather astonishing aside in a story covering IIPM: TR Vivek writes (screenshot)

The Indian blogging community (or blogosphere, as it likes to call itself) is essentially a bitchy, self-indulgent and an almost incestuous network comprising journalists, wannabe-writers and a massive army of geeks who give vent to their creative ambitions on the internet. Given that the average blogger-age is 25 years, it’s clear bloggers love to indulge in hearty name-calling and taking college-style potshots at others. This is probably why some of them get into trouble.

Of course, Outlook would never indulge in self-indulgent cheap potshots. Oh no.

Thankfully for Outlook, the average Indian is still far too deferential to authority and India far too unwired for it to really get hit where it hurts — on the bottom line — the way the US media is. However the gratuitous name calling is likely to do Outlook little good because ultimately the vocal, articulate, well-to-do urbanites who comprise India’s blogosphere are ultimately its best customers, and instead of working with them it is clear some writers within the magazine have chosen to take an adversarial, condescending stance.

The outcome of that — a battle between a weekly magazine versus an always-on network increasingly reaching the most well-heeled of that magazine’s customers in an increasingly wired country — is foregone; it is a question of when not if. And given Mr Vivek’s snarkiness, I am not sure many would shed tears for him and the magazine he writes for.


23 October 2005 6:29 pm

India in Regress

JK over at varnam.org has