Chew your News: Popular Misconceptions in India

Many times as children, we were reminded to eat slowly and chew one’s food. This also applies to all the news and information being thrust on us continuously. The main consequence of 24*7 media, twitter and facebook is the gulping of news and the inability to digest it all. There are lot of vested interest who start using the media to generate red herrings and present what is not true. These vested interests never get questioned because the majority have just enough time to read the news, no time to analyze, nor revisit their opinions, each time there is an update. This phenomena has led to some very popular perceptions which are indeed misconceptions. I would like to dedicate this post to some very popular misconceptions.

misconception 1: Manmohan Singh is a very honest man: He was the unimaginative door man who was asked to open the door by Narsimha Rao and the IMF. More on his honesty (via Shrikant Patil) Rethink >>> He is not only dishonest but epitomizes evil (via Atanu Dey) >>>

misconception 2: Vijay Bhatkar is the father of India’s super computer: I have met Vijay Bhatkar on a number of occasions. He is a popular figure in Pune and is generally invited to many functions as a chief guest. By the way he was a political appointee of CDAC, neither designed the computer, and the computer that was designed did India no good. If the computer he designed was any good then we would have predicted our rains better and managed our crops better. Again it is a herd mentality, no one who invites him to be a chief guest does an in depth analysis of what he has really achieved. They believe they would actually err by not inviting him or quoting him. What is even more scary is that there is no one better alternative to invite, a case of the best of the worst.

misconception 3: Vin Dham (VD) is the father of the Pentium Processor: I was part of the first Pentium chipset design team. Vin Dham was the then General Manager of the Pentium Design team. Pentium was also the first major advertising campaign where Intel invested 100s of million of dollars, a significant amount in the 90s. The Pentium Microprocessor was made possible by thousands of engineers and employees across design, planning, marketing, manufacturing and quality. Vin Dham was know to be a credit snatcher by many of his colleagues. He used the recall of the Pentium brand to his advantage by calling himself the “father of the Pentium”, a term he used even more after his unceremonious exit. This phrase was repeated so many times that Airtel included him in an ad along with the greats of Aryabhatta, Sushruta, Jagdish Bose and Mahatma Gandhi. Airtel did a major disservice to the 4 great individuals to be highlighted along with VD. Many of his former colleagues and associates were livid on watching the ad. At a recent VC conference the pompous VD was heard saying that he started a fund in India to create many more VDs.

misconception 4: I cannot finish this post without the mention of Rahul Gandhi believed by many to be the future of this country, a to be super power. The future of this country is indeed dark and scary. For those who do not know Rahul Gandhi was pushed into St Stephens via the sports quota in rifle shooting. Not sure he knew how to lift a rifle at that time. He also claims to have attended Harvard University. He could be a late bloomer but even this theory is proved wrong, he has never given an unassisted interview, has closed room discussions with students with media not allowed to be present, his speeches are boring. Rahul has never led a debate in Parliament or else where. The one thing I must admit and admire is that he knows he is incompetent, fills that gap astutely, uses a team of competent managers and the most modern tools including the media, to project an image otherwise.

If you know of any popular misconceptions please let me know, I would be grateful.

2 thoughts on “Chew your News: Popular Misconceptions in India”

  1. That:

    1. PICT is a good *engineering* school in that it gives its students a comprehensive education in general engineering sciences, and teaches its students how to respect engineers from the “hard-core” disciplines such as mechanical, civil, etc.

    2. Indian engineers who work(ed) in the S.F. Bay Area are geniuses.

    3. Indian engineers who write about India’s development sitting in the S. F. Bay Area are: (i) consistent, (ii) have an ultimate basis in reality to all their opinions, (iii) carry no hidden insular political agendas, (iv) don’t have large money supporting them, (v) have/will not turn the Nelson’s eye to men of other political or cultural pursuations (e.g. me) who have been/will be made to suffer when the political party of their choice was/will be in the power at the center.

    4. Indian engineers who returned to India after working in the S.F. Bay Area did so out of a love for this country.

    Enough for the time being (and perhaps also for the future), what say?



  2. One of the most popular Misconceptions – Indian Young Turks.

    “Young Turks” was the phrase defined for the revolution against Ottoman empire in favour of the reforms in the administration during that period. Young Turks referred to the members who were progressive, modernist and opposed to the status quo.

    While Indian Young Turks are second and third generation hereditary politicains who are devoid of experience of real India and far away from the reality of Indian problems. The India media labelled them Young Turk without realizing that they would never challenge the status quo, as that is what has ensured them a position in political fraternity. Hopefully with a minimal role in two continuous stints in the parliament will clear that misconception.

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