Jaundiced Views

Location: Mumbai, India

Monday, May 23, 2005

Tiger, Tiger - Burning Bright ! !

Apathy resides in our collective national conscience. That it also extends to our Wildlife is hardly surprising. India the 'Land of the Tigers' is on the path to literally become a paper tiger (Read: Tiger just on the papers)

Tigers have always attracted the curiosity in us. Both feared and revered, this King of the Jungle, is being poached and hunted mercilessly. It has now become a victim of its own image. The constant demand from the Chinese/Tibetan medicine peddlers, trophy collectors, is leading to its impeding downfall.

Project Tiger (1973) was launched amidsts much funfare with 1800 tigers in 9 protected areas. Now, two decades and 23 protected areas later, there are 1576 tigers left in the wild (2001-02 census ). Therefore the recent news of missing Tigers from Sariska and Ranthambore sanctuaries is a cause of great concern.

The decrease in tiger population is inspite of the flow of funds from the Government and foreign donors to the various NGOs. To thwart the deteriorating condition, the following steps needs to be taken.

1. Set up an autonomous WildLife Protection Force, with the responsibility to monitor and intercede, independent of the current State and Central government forces.

2. Enforce strict demarcation between the civilian and Wildlife protected areas.

3. Make poaching a non-bailable offence .

4. Independent courts, on the line of the POTA courts, can be set to speed up the pending cases.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Marketing Icons

I was recently asked in a discussion to enlist my choices for the Top 5 marketing icons. This set me thinking as I had never bothered to piece together my own list of favourites. Gathering my wits, i quickly chose the following.

1) Mahatma Gandhi : How a person unleashed the potent force behind the ubiquitous - 'Word of Mouth'. Imagine an impoverished, illiterate nation rising up to face the greatest imperial power on earth, all through a few grains of salt. Mahatma cleverly figured out the weapon which even the humblest strata of population could identify with.

2) Steve Jobs : How does a techie almost always stay ahead of the innovation curve. All this while ensuring that his products are the most customer friendly.

3) Madonna : How does a diva change her colors as routinely as the chameleon. In a career ranging from waitress, singer, style icon, bedroom story teller, broadway and screen actor, religious bigot and finally a children author, she has always defied the norm.

4) Amitabh Bachchan : How does a person rise Pheonix like, after being mauled so badly. A superstar appearing on idiot box and then climbing up his way to work with best of the directors.

5) Sunil Lulla : How does a person go againsts the conventional wisdom and customize a medium (MTV), whose founding USP was "teenagers are same everywhere". Later at Sony Entertainment, he cleverly used every tool in the book like product placement, flash mob, co-branding to create a buzz around an imported upstart - Jassi.

The above personalities operate/d in different spheres but one underlying theme unites them - their strong sense of individualism and self-belief.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Cry, the God Forsaken Land.....

You may have heard about the " God's Own Country" - Kerala. Spare a thought or two for the "God's Forsaken Country" - Bihar. The following three recent events have forced me to pen my thoughts on this cursed land..

1. Gautam Goswami, an ex-District Magistrate of Patna was mentioned by the Time Magazine, (in 2004 ) amongsts its List of Asian heroes. He was praised effusively for doing a yoeman's job in coordinating a massive flood relief Operation. This helped Mr Goswami to share the same media space with Shahrukh Khan on the Time Magazine. A year on, Mr Gautam Goswami resigns from the IAS and joins the Sahara Group. Last week, Indian express broke the story about swindling of 17 crores of Flood relief, where Mr Goswami emerges as a chief suspect.....

2. The current Governor of Bihar, Buta Singh's two sons are accused of interfering in the state's affairs.....

3. Just watched a brilliant film called "Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi" by Sudhir Mishra, depicting the tale of horrors conducted during the Emergency period ( 1975-1977)...

After reading about the above two events and watching the movie, one is forced to introspect. It reveals part nervous laughter and part sadness at the state of affairs in this part of the country. Bihar, which churns a host of intelligent people, if one goes by the list of IIT graduates/IAS Officers, is relegated to utter disneglect. Scores of governments( read - politicians of all hues) in the last four decades have bruished and molested this land with the utter connivance of the Government servants. The ordinary people in Bihar are reduced to hapless victims. One felt that the imposition of the President's rule would make the situation better but it is highly unlikely...