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Archive for November, 2009

MARKETING “TRUTHS”!!!


Lies, damned lies, and statistics” is the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments, and the tendency of people to disparage statistics that do not support their positions.

The term is part of a phrase attributed to the 19th Century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, among others, and later popularized in the United States by, among others, Mark Twain: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” The phrase is not found in Disraeli’s works nor is it known within his lifetime and for years afterward. Many coiners have been proposed. The most plausible, on current evidence, is Charles Wentworth Dilke (1843-1911).

In the business of marketing, the first stage is to look for data that would be in alignment with the PURPOSE. It is not an effort at ascertain the “FACTS”, for the sake of  arriving at the “TRUTH”. The purpose colours one’s collection of data, interpretation and the formulation of the hypothesis and final presentation as the TRUTH. Many business consulting agencies have cropped up proffering advice to its clients, and such “Advice”  becomes the bedrock of the Company’s strategy. The latest assault carried out by Gillette in the marketing of its shaving products follows the above mentioned path. TIMES OF INDIA, dated 25/11/09 (Bangalore Edition) has front-paged the following news item.

A survey was carried out by AC Nielsen and Gillette Mach III and it was reported that Indian women in the metro cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Lucknow, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkatta and Patna praised actors Shah Rukh Khan and Shahid Kapoor in clean shaved faced looks. Only 8 % of the women said that they loved Shah Rukh Khan’s unshaven look in “Chak De India.”

In the report, Patna has been included in the list of METRO CITIES of India. This is the first time that i am intimated that Patna has become a METROPOLITAN city!!! Besides this glaring non-factual assertion, the report generalizes the “PREFERENCE OF INDIAN WOMEN.”  If they had left out Madras, i’d have been happy. I know for a fact that Shah Rukh Khan is not a celebrity in Chennai as much as even the second grade Actors and Actresses of the Thamizh cinema,  leave alone the big names like Rajnikanth , Kamal Haasan, Surya, Dhanush, Simbu etc. In the list mentioned above except for Surya and Dhanush all the other  actors sport a moustache. To bring in Shah Rukh Khan into the assessment in Chennai is ill-fitting to the core.

WHAT WOMEN WANT, is a package deal. Women using their influence subsequent to the acquisition of a boy-friend/husband could always influence the man to doff or don a mooch. It is not that important, that the mooch is an integrally inalienable part of the chosen  man. It is AT WILL that it could be removed or sported.

I see this whole exercise by AC Nielsen and Gillette Mach III as nothing but CHERRY PICKING of the sampling lot by AC NIELSEN to support the business of its client Gillette! I reproduce herebelow the stated objectives of AC NIELSEN from its own company profile available in the internet:-

Our full range of modelling & analytical services integrate information from multiple sources and transform data into strategic insights and tactical recommendations. Data sources include detailed retail measurement information, consumer purchasing information, media measurement information, customised research and virtually any other source that can be quantified from a client’s own or other external sources.

These recommendations given to their clients get bandied about as TRUTHS, and even become the pillars of the arguments of some half-baked TRUTH SEEKERS.

The statistical data collected, collated, analyzed and disseminated as TRUTHS are nothing but the lowest  for of LIES, as DISRAELI had so rightly said more than a century back. Only a JEW could have said that. A Mark Twain could have popularized it, in the American tradition, but it is the JEW who himself is surrounded by the LIE MANUFACTURING Caiaphases who could have been this perceptive in distilling the essential TRUTH.

Let us look at the whole assertion logically. Would GILLETTE have gained if AC NIELSEN had come up with a report that bearded and moustached individuals fared better with the fair sex? I suppose not. Therefore buttress a pre-desired objective with half-baked REPORTS and use the money muscle to get them published in the Newspapers.

TRUE EDUCATION IS ALSO TO DISTINGUISH FACTS FROM DATA, AND SEE THE MIND OF THE HANDS THAT FEED THE CONSULTING AGENCIES!!

INDIA, A MULTI-NATION STATE.


Historically it is very easy to prove that India is a State consisting of many Nations. A state is an unified presentation, politically and geographically, to States which are outside itself. But a State has to have a well integrated culture to call itself a NATION-STATE.

In WE THE PEOPLE (a programme moderated by Barkha Dutt in the NDTV channel) discussion on HINDI AS THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE, Kanimozhi presently a Member of Parliament and daughter to Dr.M.Karunanidhi (Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu) stated that it has been the consistent policy of TamilNadu that it shall follow the two language formula and Hindi has no place in the scheme of things in Tamil Nadu. In effect what was stated was that there are NATIONAL LANGUAGES, but no single NATIONAL LANGUAGE. Even if we go through the Constitution of India and the Official languages Act, Hindi has been accorded the status of an OFFICIAL LANGUAGE. There is no mention of National Language. As an average Indian i know of no NATIONAL LANGUAGE. If at all one has to have a national language, then it has to be debated and settled in the Parliament and not in the debates of TV channels. However the masses have been fed with an impression that HINDI is the National Language.

The second issue is the VANDE MATARAM, which some section of Indians have been calling it the NATIONAL SONG (contrasted with the National Anthem). If one wants to have a deglottalized version of the National Anthem, one has to just listen to the Anthem being sung by a typical Thamizh school in its school “Assembly”. Every “hai” becomes “kay”- so much for the sounds of the National Anthem being sung by some Indian children. It is not their fault, it is just that they do not have the glottalized sounds that are plenty in Hindi/Bengali. To insist on according status to a song that inspired generations of Indians in their freedom struggle is a noble deed, but when it brings into conflict a section of the Indian society, it is time to sift FACTS from FICTION.

The third instance is the explosive statement made by SACHIN TENDULKAR, where he had stated that he is firstly an INDIAN, but proud to be a MARATHI. The Shiv Sena takes offence at that statement and in its editorial of  SAAMNA, excoriates SACHIN TENDULKAR and tells him not to indulge in politically explosive statement. The interesting part is that Sachin is a hero to many cricket lovers all over the country and the world and therefore his popularity and pelf accrue from devotees who are dispersed not only in Maharashtra but also beyond the geographical limits of Maharashtra. Whereas, outside Maharashtra it would not be possible for Mr.Bal Thackeray to extend his sphere of influence, therefore he is interested in every Marathi being proud of being a Marathi first and then an Indian. So ECONOMICS dictates the IDEOLOGY so far as both Tendulkar and the Shiv Sena are concerned.

Each state of India has its own distinct culture. There are states that share a common language, yet the cultural differences are apparent but also deep-rooted. Language can at best make people understand each other faster, but never BETTER. For example, there are many countries which share a single language (eg. Pakistan), yet that has not made them a cohesive NATION-STATE.  Likewise, soon after the French Revolution of 1789, the percentage of French speaking people was merely 15%, yet over a period of time the whole state evolved into a NATION STATE with French as their primary language. The process was not thru coercion or governmental status according exercises, the language had  in it to grow and people were convinced about its adaptability and usefulness and therefore FRENCH became their National language.

But an attempt to duplicate that process would be futile, as our Indian languages are all outgrowths of the land to which they belong. And one cannot bring a language alien to the land and make it thrive. It would be an attempt to grow Shimla Apple trees in Arasaradi. Madurai. May the apple trees grow in the land where they are best suited and let the trees that are acclimatized to the torrid climate grow where they are best suited.

Further, let us not burden the natives of a state to emulate excellence in a language, which is not their mother tongue.

When John Milton was asked by a friend if he was getting his daughters EDUCATED in  Latin, he is supposed to have responded, “ ONE TONGUE IS ENOUGH FOR A WOMAN!” Without the sexist slant, it must be uttered in all fairness for an Indian, ONE INDIAN TONGUE IS ENOUGH. Merely because he is born in an area that is not Hindi speaking, he need not be burdened to learn another language just for making himself understood to a person who does not put in an effort to learn English!!

DIVERSITY is the greatest protection against any foreign cultural incursions. Protecting the diversity may delay the path that we have embarked upon, but in the delay is the safety of multifarious thoughts of diverse cultures. Let me tell how a multi-nation state is better. Soon after the escape of Charles Shobraj from the Tihar Jail in New Delhi, the authorities discovered that there had been a collusion big time between the manning cops and the inmates of the jail. The solution was interesting- they installed TAMIL NADU SPECIAL POLICE to man the jail. Does anyone know the reason? Interesting- BECAUSE THE TAMIL NADU POLICEMEN DO NOT UNDERSTAND HINDI!!(even not knowing Hindi is an asset in this beautiful country!!)

HAS ANYONE GIVEN A THOUGHT AS TO WHY POLAND HAS BEEN OVERRUN AT LEAST TEN TIMES BY THE EUROPEAN POWERS, AT WILL? THE REASON IS SIMPLE- IF YOU KNOW ONE POLE, YOU HAVE KNOWN ALL THE POLES!! AND THE POLISH CULTURE OF UNIPOLARITY MADE IT EASIER FOR THE AGGRESSORS TO OVERRUN POLAND. BEWARE OF CULTURAL AND LINGUISTIC UNIPOLARITY.

Let us be a MULTI-NATION STATE instead of a NATION STATE.



DESPERATION Vs. CYNICISM!


I used to wonder often why Porus the defeated King of Punjab, in the Battle of Hydaspes, was not only forgiven by the victor Alexander the Great, but also given some of the territories captured by Alexander himself. In the meeting between the victor and the vanquished immediately after the Battle at Hydaspes, when Alexander the Great is supposed to have asked King Porus how he’d like to be treated, Porus is stated to have said, “Like a King!”

Alexander the Great had granted his wish. It was not the granting of the wish, that had amazed me but the very answer given by the defeated Porus. Was it out of desperation? Was it because he had already known of Alexander’s generosity and gambled on it? Only Porus could answer that, we can speculate. But the fact is that Porus asked and it was granted.  My speculation is that Porus had not much options left to RULE a kingdom, and therefore must have decided to go down with arrogance oozing, than to surrender meekly merely to save his life. So the response was nothing but out of DESPERATION.

But how does DESPERATION differ from CYNICISM?

In CYNICISM, the person who is cynical cannot have the history of having fought for the same thing that he is cynical about. Otherwise it is merely a “grapes are sour” story. The CYNIC has to hold in contempt the very thing that somebody else relies on as INVALUABLE. The following description by PLUTARCH’S “LIVES”:-

While Alexander was at Corinth, politicians and philosophers came to congratulate him, but he noticed that the famous philosopher Diogenes, who lived there in Corinth, did not come. So Alexander went to visit Diogenes at his home and found him lying down, sun-bathing. Diogenes raised himself up a little when he heard the crowd approaching, and Alexander asked the philosopher very courteously if there was any favor a king could do for him. Diogenes only said: “Yes, please take your shadow off me.” Alexander’s companions, on the way back, were making fun of the simple-minded old man, but Alexander told them: “Laugh if you must, but if I were not Alexander I would choose to be Diogenes.”

That is CYNICISM. Diogenes just did not RECOGNIZE the very things which were the basis of the greatness of ALEXANDER. Porus’ response was a desperate attempt, that went RIGHT, but Diogenes’ response was something that did not go WRONG!!

LONG LIVE CYNICISM- after all everyone cannot become an ALEXANDER!!!

KAREENA KAPOOR’S BARE BACK!!


In the Hindi movie, KURBAAN, directed by Karan Johar, the posters put up for publicity has the bare-backed Kareena Kapoor standing in front of the hero Saif Ali Khan. This still showing the bare back of Kareena has stirred quite a lot of controversy by “offending” the sensibilities of the touchy Indians- or so the Shiv Sainiks say!!

Visual impression is such a thing that it is nothing but magic. I have seen many a bare backed posters that had sprung  from time to time to elicit the curiosity of the average movie goer. The youth are more susceptible to such gimmicks. But the beauty of this poster needs a better analysis. If one hasn’t had the opportunity of seeing the poster, one could have a peek at it from the following link:-

http://wallpapers.oneindia.in/v/album18-Bollywood-Movies/2009/kurbaan/kurbaan.jpg.html

Please have a look at the poster again and it apparently is not any different from many other posters which we, as Indians, have been exposed to. But there are ASSOCIATIVE DIFFERENCES which attack our sensibilities subliminally. The hero and the heroine viz. Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor are in a RELATIONSHIP. It is visually assumed that she is in all probability BARE FRONTED too, giving the benefit of the view to her present boy friend, Saif Ali Khan. There are no noodle straps, or cups visible that could have concealed the front of Kareena Kapoor. Further look at the EYES of  Saif Ali Khan, they seem riveted just below the clavicle of the bare backed(for us!!) Kareena, who has a helplessly surrendered dead-panned look!!

Post Shahid Kapoor, this is the still publicity that brings out the total capitulation by Kareena before the rippling manliness (atleast physique wise!) of Saif. It seems like a statement from Kareena that THIS IS IT & IT IS FOR KEEPS. Further this still drowns all those kissing smses, clippings that have been doing the circulation both in the net and the mobiles, involving Kareena and Shahid.

By Kareena showing her back to the crowd and the nude front (as could be assumed from the poster!) to Saif, KAREENA and SAIF have made us all the WITNESSES to the commitment they both have made to each other.

Shiv Sena has taken objection to this poster on the grounds of sensibilities. There has to be a voice that should represent even such thoughts. As long as the Shiv Sainiks play that role, without resorting to vandalism and hooliganism, i welcome it to be a registration of a democratic protest.

But to tell the truth, I wish i  had just seen what Saif must have seen(during the shoot of that still/scene)- just to assess if, what i had imagined (like most other prurient Indians) matches REALITY!!

Our IMAGINATIVE MIND LEAPS AHEAD OF OUR EYES, after all.

WEEPING CHIEF MINISTER!


I hate men who weep in public. Even if one is in weepable circumstances, as a man  he should either seek privacy to compose himself or stifle it at all costs. I appreciate the Late Rajiv Gandhi for this trait that he showed at the cremation time of Mrs.Indira Gandhi. One could sense the impending lachrymal explosion kept under control.

I recently saw the Chief Minister of Karnataka weeping in front of the camera and i should say, it did not look good at all on him. It did not have the vulnerability of a woman or a child, nor did it have the self-righteous shedding of tears of an innocent man. I remember Kapil Dev the cricketer shedding copious tears in front of the camera. The cricket lovers of the country were divided- some said that he had expressed his feminine side when accused falsely. Others, had a different take on it. Some even attributed a serious fraud being enacted for eliciting undeserved sympathy! Be that as it may, i was not in the least impressed. A man who had shown aggression against the Pakistanis in Pakistan soil, merely for earning the sympathy of the viewers had to weep is unbelievable. In any case he CRIED and fell off the pedestal. For what reason, is IMMATERIAL. He was not in such a helpless state (after all Azharuddin maintained his poise!!), as we could gather from hindsight.

But the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr.Yediurappa crying puts the whole state in bad light. The circumstances that led him to cry, makes it worse still. A few good men with whose aid he had stitched up a stable government cannot become self-righteous all of a sudden and shed tears when they betray him. That should have been taken in his stride. But we have the MOTHER OF ALL WEEPING which was performed by another Kannadiga Mr. Deve Gowda, in the parliament as if he had become the Prime Minister of India on his own MERIT and POLITICAL support and that the poor farmer was back stabbed!!! He had failed to read that his position was similar to that of Charan Singh and Chandrashekar. So when the support goes, the incumbent goes.

The worse part of the whole weeping episode is the denouement, when after a few days he lifts his hand in solidarity with the same Reddy brothers whom Mr.Yediurappa had accused of back stabbing. Like Mrs.Gandhi is supposed to have said, “IT HELPS TO HAVE A THICK SKIN IN POLITICS.” But as an Indian i have the weeping chief minister etched in my memory, with such a vivid memory, how can i respect Mr.Yediurappa?

NEO-COLONIALISM!


Colonizing was rampant from the 15th century onwards. What started off as sourcing of produce abroad, ended up as COLONIZATION. To secure the PRODUCE of the land and the labour of the inhabitants of the place, political power became essential. So the traders, shipping company owners, bankers and their ilk supported the STABILITY that the political power brought. So the primary activity persons like the farmer, the weaver and the mason were paid for their produce and labour, whereas the TRADER delivered the produce to the places in demand and made exorbitant profits.

Making profits is a legitimate exercise, but when MONEY accumulates in the hands of the few secondary activity persons and devised all means to keep a tight control on the money in the hands of the PRIMARY ACTIVITY guys, it became a pernicious habit. This led to impoverished circumstances. It is like the seller of sweets who could produce sweets, hold it in his hands, sniff it, see it but can NEVER CONSUME IT. Because if he consumed the sweets, his capital would be lost without returns!!

His own produce became so expensive that he started living off the crumbs of his own produce! That is the ultimate plight of the PRIMARY WORKER. This is true in many countries, where they would not be able to pay for the goods they produce- because they do not have the purchasing power to buy it. For example, a fisherman may be able to catch an expensive fish like seer (king fish), but he would rather sell it and make money than eat it. A goldsmith may fashion the best jewelery but he cannot afford to keep it for adorning his wife. The only exception is the FLOWER GIRL who could wear some, before selling flowers to others. The FLOWER SELLER is the only breed that partakes in her own produce.

The age of colonization had ravaged nations, as their natural growth rate had been stunted by the rapacity of the colonizing nations. The colonization in the traditional sense had ended. But a new method of colonization is dawning on humanity. That is what makes the US President Obama make the statement, ” SAY NO TO BANGALORE AND YES TO BUFFALO“.

The developed nations had been used to plundering the weaker nations and making secondary rules to ensure that they are kept tied under a relentless hierarchy within an iron cast structure. With the fall of the old order and in the rising of the NEW, anxiety  is being spread. In all fairness, the USA had not indulged in blatant colonization like the Europeans. The USA had only built a security wall around themselves thru their PATRONIZING attitude with its neighbours.

But with the advent of cheap labour, the populous countries have galvanized themselves into skill building, sourcing the produce for better paying markets, highly skilled personnel trained to meet specific high end solutions and participating in International conventions and treaties  even before they crystallize into global agendas. This has upset the “Developed Nations”, merely because they would not be able to match the numbers so galvanized into purposive action.

This is where BANGALORE comes in and BUFFALO goes out. Bangalore attracts the brainy Tamilian, the feisty Northern Indian, the moneyed Telugu, the marketing savvy Malayali, the Pushy Bihari, the Politically savvy Uttar Pradeshi and the Academically inclined Bengali, which becomes a pan-Indian flavour  finely tuned to  cater to the global needs.  Neither does Buffalo (synecdoche) have the variety nor the high-skills to match this Pan-Indian flavour.

THIS IS THE NEO-COLONIALISM THAT CAUSES ANXIETY TO THE US PRESIDENT.

IN THE BIBLE, AT LUKE CHAPTER 16 VERSE   25 ABRAHAM GIVES A NICE LIL REASON TO THE RICH MAN THUS:-

[25] But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.’

JUST AS ABRAHAM HAD SAID, THE CYCLICAL MOVEMENT OF THE HISTORY OF MANKIND CAN NEVER BE HALTED. LET US BE KIND AND LIBERAL WHEN WE ARE STILL ON TOP.

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