Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Democracy runs on Public Debate - if you're interested to know legally why Censorship is grossly wrong

Excerpts from Subramaniam Swamy's speech on his accusations over Sonia Gandhi

What is this got to do with Freedom of Speech? After all, you did exercise your freedom of speech by putting an Ad and now you have been made accountable for it. How is it freedom of speech gets threatened by someone filing a suit, a question may be asked.

This precise question was raised in 1964 when New York Times published an Ad, about civil rights abuses in Alabama and particularly targeting police commissioner of capital of Alabama. And that Police commissioner filed a suit over New York Times and he claimed a damage of 10 million dollars. Those days 10 million dollars is more than 100 million dollars today. The lowers courts gave in to suit and imposed the cost on New York Times to pay 10 million dollars. NY Times went to state supreme court and state supreme court said, no, you have to pay the amount. So, they went to the Supreme Court finally and it became the most classic and most fundamental case called, “NY Times Vs Sullivan, the police commissioner of Alabama. This case has become the standard for defamation law suits. In that Supreme court said, publishing an advertisement, against public officials is only defamatory if that public official first proves that the advertisement is false, second that Public official also proves that New York Times knew it was false and yet published it and three that the the defendants prove that NY times knew it was false and yet went ahead and published it with reckless disregard for truth. Now, they asked the Police Commissioner, can you prove that? So the case was set aside and they were told to go back and start all over again at lower courts and prove that NY Times was fault on these grounds. Subsequenty, NY Times standard, which is called ‘actual malice’ , which is a technical term and do not confuse with dictionary meaning of malice. “Actual Malice’ means knowing something to be false, in utter disregard to the truth go ahead and publish it, that is actual malice. After the NY Times judgement, the supreme court in number of cases expanded the concept of public officials to public figure, basket ball player, public figure, lawyer appearing in a public case, public figure, you can even slander a lawyer, provided you can show that the case is a public case, so that a number of categories widened and widened.

Why is reversal of burden of proof for Public Figures?

This is what NY Times said, at the pain of litigation, at the pain of being sued for, what you speak, if public figures are allowed to go to court to sue for defamation, then it will have a chilling effect on public debate and democracy runs on public debate. Why are they seeking for a separate category for public officials? In the case of private person, files a defamation lawsuit, the other side (defendant) has to prove, the onus is on the other side (defendant side). In the case of public person, the onus comes on you (plaintiff), why? Why is this reversal of this burden of proof? The reversal is because the public person can call a press conference and say this is a lie and challenge the defendants to prove.

So the connection is if you impose that pain of litigation in a matter in public domain then that has a chilling effect on the debate in the country and therefore it is a violation of freedom of speech, it will let loose a feeling which will chill further incentive to debate and discuss.


Democracy runs on Public Debate

You can accuse a public figure even if you suspect, the proof of burden does not rest on the common man and it actually rests on the Public Figure to prove himself right.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Che Guevara on being a revolutionary

Che's idea of a revolutionary... :)

"Above all, always be capable of feeling deeply any injustice committed against anyone, anywhere in the world. This is the most beautiful quality in a revolutionary." - Che


The quest for knowledge starts as a simple sense of inquisitiveness, learning is just easy but the quest for knowledge leads us to many fortunate and unfortunate inferences of curious minds who lived before us, it rests upon us as men and women to research, re-present and republish the facts with unequivocal bias for the good of not just humans but for all.

The collected knowledge permeates, disturbs and protects you. It constantly focuses you to rebuild your consciousness to better moral standards and to aim for a better quality of life. After a while the consciousness has rebuilt itself many a time over and you get to understand the underlying design of consciousness which has started you towards the quest for knowledge.
At that time the simple sense of inquisitiveness is no more and the underlying pulse to constantly aim for richness of life for yourself and all is revealed.

From this point you start to understand the design of life better and the inherent motives of the designer (creator) who made it, you start to inspect the tool set that has been given to you and you are ready for the proper usage of the tools that has been given by the designer (creator). When this stage is reached, humility is no longer a word but becomes your nature, you start to work with the design and achieve great results for yourself.

As you achieve great results for yourself, you start to wonder about the immense debt that you owe to the knowledge that has been collected, for so many lives have been lost for Sun Tzu to write the "Art of War", so many hours of life was spent by Sushrutha to write down "Sushrutha Samhitha", so many years before Tiruvalluvar could think, ponder and write his treatise on life sciences "Tirukural" and it goes on, looking at the sheer dedication of all these individuals your conscience comes to know of its own indebtedness towards the forerunners who explored the designs of nature and it dawns upon you that you should resolve this debt till you spend your last breath.

As you wonder about your indebtedness you, also seek greater knowledge as to why our ancestors were driven by the same sense of inquisitiveness, finally it dawns upon you that the nature of the game you are playing is to find that life is nothing and you are trapped in this world of sensory perception where the rules of the game are to do what pleases your senses and cause no hurt to anyone in that process.

As you wonder what pleases your senses, you will find that "to fall in your own eyes" is the greatest tragedy of life and the greatest pleasure being "to rise in your own eyes", once you are at this level, no barrier seems hard, no opponent greater and everything and everyone is your friend. If he is against you, it is because he hasn't tuned into this frequency of thinking.

Few thoughts that I would like to mention about the "Greatness of Humanity",

somebody somewhere ate cyanide accidentally before you
so many died of mysterious illnesses before Pencillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming
so many lived barbaric lives before Buddha intervened in Asia, Prophet Mohammed and Jesus in Middle East and Europe.

so many never knew Google till they died and so many will never know, so many worked on the internet and toiled their lives not just to make money but to cater for a purpose above all which they clearly didn't know but knew for sure that this will change the world and make the consciousness of many blossom

and more...
So what should be done with all the knowledge that has been collected and assimilated over the course of years, especially at this point of time where humans virtually have access to infinite wisdom via the internet...

Can we be more responsible and let ourselves blossom?
Can we make more lives blossom by the amount of knowledge we have??

More thoughts are coming...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Steve Jobs - Thoughts on Education

"I'm a very big believer in equal opportunity as opposed to equal outcome. Equal opportunity to me, more than anything, means a great education. Maybe even more important than a great family life. We could make sure that every young child in this country got a great education. We fall far short of that. I know from my own education that if I hadn't encountered two or three individuals that spent extra time with me, I'm sure I would have been in jail."

Clearly, good teachers are vital. But why are they so rare? "The problem there, of course, is the teachers' unions. The unions are the worst thing that ever happened to education because it's not a meritocracy. It turns into a bureaucracy, which is exactly what has happened. Nobody can be fired. It's terrible."

Can the problem be sidestepped by using computers and electronic teaching aids? No, says Jobs. "I've helped with more computers in more schools than anybody else in the world, and I am absolutely convinced that is by no means the most important thing. The most important thing is a person. Computers are very reactive but they're not proactive; they are not agents."

How do we create a system with good, motivated teachers? Jobs has a clear answer: we need competition between schools in attracting students and teachers, not unaccountable government schools with a lockhold on government funding.

Jobs says, "What we need in education is to go to the full voucher system. The customers (in education) are the parents, and the customers went away. Mothers started working and they didn't have time to spend at PTAmeetings and watching their kids' school. Schools became much more institutionalised and parents spent less and less and less time involved in their kids' education.

What happens when a customer goes away and a monopoly gets control, which is what happened in our country, is that the service level almost always goes down. I remember seeing a bumper sticker when the telephone company was all one. I remember seeing a bumper sticker with the Bell Logo on it and it said, "We don't care. We don't have to." And that's what a monopoly is. And that's certainly what the government school system is. They don't have to care."

The economics of state education is crazy, says Jobs. The US government spends lots on education: around $4,400 per child per year. This is double the cost of buying a small car in instalments. But such educational spending isdone by the government, and is not within the power of the household.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition. ~Jacques Barzun

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs

Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple back in August, writing at the time that, “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know,” he wrote.

‎"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life," Jobs said during a Stanford commencement ceremony in 2005

‎"Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure -- these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important."

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

BR Ambedkar Quotes

“Every man must have a philosophy of life, for everyone must have a standard by which to measure his conduct. And philosophy is nothing but a standard by which to measure.” - B.R. Ambedkar

B.R Ambedkar is one great genius whom we have never studied in school, know him from his quotes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

On Tahrir Square

This happened in Tahrir square, Cairo, Egypt:
When Asmaa started the uprising...

"When they got us into the building entrance, the officers began to say: We are as fed up as you, but why didn't you inform us of your demonstration? Asmaa said: What are you talking about? Four people set themselves on fire, and you are asking why we didn't announce the demonstrations?"

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Quest for hormonal concoctions of Adrenaline is motivation... :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mind and Pancreas

I don't have diabetes or will ever have one, but the following quote from a Medic just suggests the mind and body link that is overwhelmingly responsible for obesity... :)

Dr. Robert Young, states, “Excess acidity is a condition that weakens all body systems. The pancreas is one of our body’s organs charged with the awesome responsibility to “alkalinize” us. Can you start to see how our serious acidosis has overwhelmed our pancreas’ ability to operate effectively, which then results in a state called “diabetes?”

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Need to check this

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tax-Man's notice to Shah-Rukh Khan

This was Tax-Man's notice to Shah-Rukh Khan, when he said a company had gifted him a villa in Dubai as a friendly gesture... :)

''The company is an artificial juristic person devoid of any natural senses such as love and affection. This rules out the concept ''natural love and affection'' and ''without any consideration'' which are vital elements to characterize the gift,''