Friday, 24 October 2014

Oops ... Drivers Beware Mumbai Cops -

Message on a Helmet from Mumbai Cops -

Oops ...  Mumbai Cop has a message on his helmet for a driver being stopped

Copyright CooperJal Ltd 2014 All rights reserved

Digital India in a State of Flux

The boom in India's e-commerce sector is creating a huge amount of jobs, particularly temporary jobs. With so many e-commerce companies starting up, salaries are also on the rise and this is creating problems for startups in getting and retaining the right talent. 

Modi's dream of a Digital India is slowly taking shape but is also having its fair share of teething troubles. Also several e-tail companies are securing large amounts of funding from investors eager to get in on the act. 

It is likely that there will be some consolidation in the future when investors will take their profits. I am sure several startups are there simply for the founders hope cash in when their startup is bought over after they have spent huge amounts on advertising creating buzz around their business initially.

Digital India is in a state of flux at the moment and will take a while for the larger e-commerce companies to get into profits. 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Ghost of Bal Thackeray Still Haunts the Shiv Sena: The Exorcist

Uddhav Thackeray and the Shiv Sena are suffering without Balasaheb Thackeray around. The BJP with Modi and Amit Shah seem to be able to deal with both the Shiv Sena and Raj Thackeray's MNS party in Maharashtra. 

The Shiv Sena is not what is used to be without Balasaheb and does not have the leverage without him. Should the Uddhav and Raj consider putting their disagreements behind them and join forces to deal with a BJP that has a charismatic leader in Modi and a strategist in Amit Shah? Shiv Sena and MNS will have to go through a similar process as the BJP went through when they selected Modi as their PM candidate. Shiv Sena will have to exorcise the ghost of Balasaheb if they want to progress. At present Matoshree is a mausoleum to Balasaheb rather than a centre for a thriving progressive party.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Stacking the Odds at Tesco

BBC News reports on the dire situation at Tesco. BBC says the cause may be down to ‘aggressive accounting’ – something like booking profits before costs which enhances the bottom line.  Again accounting practices at a large company such as Tesco have come under the spotlight and brings back memories of Enron and Arthur Andersen. This is a culture of profits at all and any cost.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Doing a Deal with the Devil for Europe: Far Right Politics

The Guardian reports that Ukip has struck a deal with a Polish MEP whose far-right party leader casually uses racial slurs and questions the Holocaust following fears that its grouping in Europe would lose millions of pounds in taxpayers’ funds. Nigel Farage’s Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group recruited an MEP from the Congress of the New Right with the blessing of its controversial leader Janusz Korwin-Mikke, according to reports from Poland. The Polish MEP Robert Iwaszkiewicz is to join the EFDD’s ranks as an individual, which will restore the group, a Ukip spokesman said. The deal means that the EFDD group, set up by Farage, has 25 MEPs from seven countries, which should guarantee that Ukip will maintain about £1m a year in funding. The group received €2.6m (£2.1m) in 2013. Ukip accounts for 53.3% of the group.

European Taxpayers are paying for British politicians to do deals with far right parties in Europe. Far right politics is again on the rise in Europe.

SJP @DigitalAsian

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Vigilante Police Force: Miscarriages of Justice-R-Us

The Guardian reports that Police forces are quietly taking on unpaid volunteers as scene of crime investigators, forensic experts and emergency planning officers as 20% budget cuts bite, it can be revealed. Forces across the country have been taking on volunteers to fill some of the most sensitive police staff roles and some are seeking to escalate their recruitment drives. There are now 9,000 police support volunteers replacing 15,000 staff jobs lost since 2010. Some forces report plans to double or triple their voluntary staff in the next year.

As usual, the CPS and more particularly the judges will cover up the cracks in improper investigations at the expense of the accused resulting in miscarriages of justice. The Police unfortunately are moving backwards and it may not be wholly their own fault. MoJ: Miscarriages of Justice-R-Us!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Future Workers on Ice?

Media reports that companies like Facebook and Apple will pay for female employees to have their eggs (ova) frozen so that they can then have a career first and children later. Similar deals may be there for male employees to have their sperm frozen so they can have a family later in life. 

But the employees are obviously recruited in the first place having gone through the companies' recruitment and selection process and the companies will presumably only employ people who fit their criteria. By freezing their employees' eggs and sperm are they simply perpetuating a similar type of person suitable for them to employ? Sounds a bit spooky?

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Public Officials Who Get too Close to the Sun Get Burnt

The Guardian reports that 6 journalists and executives at the Sun conducted “corruption on a grand scale” during almost a decade of paying cash to public officials for confidential information, a court heard. Information was bought on “the famous, not so famous and the infamous”, from police officers, members of the Armed Forces, prison officials and staff at Broadmoor hospital, a jury heard. The confidential information included celebrity arrests as well as on “notorious” inmates including the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, and Soham murderer Ian Huntley, and leaks on the hunt for missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler. Peter Wright, QC, prosecuting, told Kingston Crown Court: “This trial is about a series of corrupt agreements between staff and journalists at the Sun newspaper on the one hand, and various public officials on the other.”.

Making headlines at the Sun newspaper has a different meaning now. Public officials who got too close to the Sun have now fallen back to earth.

SJP @DigitalAsian

Monday, 13 October 2014

Money in Sports: Follow the Greenback Road

Indian Super League got off to a flying start. It will be a while before the quality of football matches that of the English Premier League but I am sure within 3-4 years the team valuations will match those in Britain. In the IPL the team values are similar to those of top European soccer teams. At present the money in Soccer is in the EPL and other European leagues but I imagine ISL will overtake Europe in terms of transfer fees in a few years. The money in sports is shifting East.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Indo-Pak Digital War: In cyberspace no one can see you attack

Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian activist have won the Nobel Peace Prize this year. Also Times of India reports that even as gunfire continues to be traded across the Indo-Pak border in Kashmir, a full-blown hacking and defacement war has erupted in cyberspace. On Thursday, over a dozen Indian and Pakistani websites were defaced by hackers from either side of the fence. The website of the Press Club of India (PCI) in the capital was hacked and defaced, with the hackers' message on the website's home page claiming Pakistani origin. A hacker group calling itself "Indian Hackers Online Squad" hacked and defaced the website of the Pakistan's main opposition party, Pakistan People's Party (PPP), on Wednesday, with one "Bl@k Dr@gon" claiming credit. On Thursday, the Pakistan railways website was hacked as well, the second time this year, with the same name appearing on the defaced page.

This year's Nobel Peace Prize has put the international focus on Kashmir. Along with Vishal Bhardwaj's new film Haider which is based in Kashmir and is an adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, Kashmir will hopefully get the political attention it deserves.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Satanic Verses in Northern Ireland's Sectarian Divide

The Guardian reports that British military intelligence agents in Northern Ireland used fears about demonic possessions, black masses and witchcraft as part of a psychological war against emerging armed groups in the Troubles in the 1970s, a study says. Prof Richard Jenkins, from Sheffield University, spoke to military intelligence officers, including the head of the army’s “black operations” in Northern Ireland, Captain Colin Wallace. Wallace told Jenkins that they deliberately stoked up a satanic panic from 1972 to 1974, even placing black candles and upside-down crucifixes in derelict buildings in some of Belfast’s war zones. Then, army press officers leaked stories to newspapers about black masses and satanic rituals taking place from republican Ardoyne in north Belfast to the loyalist-dominated east of the city. In Jenkins’s book, Black Magic and Bogeymen, Wallace admitted that the “psych-ops” branch of military intelligence exploited public fear of satanism stoked by films such as The Exorcist and The Devil Rides Out.

In Iran, Britain is referred to as Little Satan. The Troubles in Northern Ireland are far from over with the 'on-the-runs' controversy and bombs still being found there.

SJP @DigitalAsian

Sanctions Don't Affect the Rich?

The Guardian reports that Iran has blocked access to an Instagram page devoted to the lifestyle of Tehran’s young elite that stirred indignation and spawned a rival site on how the majority live. Richkidsoftehran, created in September on the photo-sharing service, attracted almost 100,000 followers, with its contributors saying they wanted to show a different image of Iran from the stereotypes in the west. Its photo gallery was filled with Ferraris, Maseratis, luxury watches, expensive homes in upmarket northern Tehran – “all the accessories a Persian boy needs”. It also showed parties and women in western dress, despite the ban on alcohol in Iran, where women are obliged to wear headscarves. The Instagram page was blocked because of its “vulgar” content, according to, a news site considered close to Islamic conservatives in the sanctions-hit country. “These kinds of shows are for the people who are empty inside and now they want to fill that emptiness by showing off,” read one negative comment on the Instagram page.

Whether its right or not to block this page can be argued but it shows that despite crippling sanctions by the West, some people in Iran still manage to live relatively well.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Pushing the Boundaries of Reform in Iran?

BBC News reports that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called for greater academic freedom in Iran's universities. Speaking to students at Tehran university on Tuesday, the reformist leader said restrictions limited innovation. "Irrelevant restrictions will lead to lack of tolerance [and] the departure of honest, competent individuals," he added. Mr Rouhani has met with opposition from those in Iran who oppose reform. During his speech, which was broadcast on state television, Mr Rouhani urged against creating "a climate of flattery in the university". He added: "We should not be concerned about the expression of diverse views by university professors." The president also dismissed concerns that foreign professors might be spies, calling such statements "excuses".

Such statements are needed from those in high places in Iran but the imprisonment of Ghoncheh Ghavami shows the work that still needs to be done to change the mindset of the few that hold the reigns of power. But more educational freedom in Iran would be a good start. Is it that Rouhani is trying to push the boundaries of reform little by little?

The Lazy Dog Chases Nothing Except ....

Tsar: Chased Nothing Except Cats, Balls and Love. Spread Happiness 11.10.01 - Forever

Plaque to Dog in TLD Bar in Fort, Mumbai - formerly known as The Lazy Dog bar

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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Love is Sweet Poison in Mumbai - IdeaIndia.Com

Love is Sweet Poison in Mumbai - IdeaIndia.Com

Love is Sweet Poison in Mumbai

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Bombay Tease - IdeaIndia.Com

Tease Mee, Mumbai - IdeaIndia.Com

Tease Mee, Mumbai

Copyright CooperJal Ltd 2014 All rights reserved

To Charge or Not to Charge: RIGGed Decisions by CPS?

The Guardian reports that 2 police officers whose evidence on oath about the death of Sean Rigg in police custody was contradicted by CCTV evidence will not face criminal charges, prosecutors have said. The officers were investigated following the death of Sean Rigg, a musician who died in 2008 after being arrested and restrained by police in South London. Sgt Paul White and PC Mark Harratt were arrested on suspicion of lying at an inquest into the death of Rigg, and during interviews with investigators from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). An inquest jury in 2012 found police actions had contributed to Rigg’s death, after he was held down in a V shape in a prone position for eight minutes. The inquest verdict followed a flawed first IPCC investigation, which exonerated officers. Sgt. White claimed at the inquest to have checked on Rigg while he was detained in a police van on arrival at Brixton police station - but CCTV evidence showed he made no such visit and the officer later admitted what he said was not true. Harratt had supported the sergeant’s account.

In its published reasoning, the Crown Prosecution Service, CPS, said the prosecution would have to prove the officers were lying and not simply mistaken. Their review of the material concluded there would be insufficient evidence to prove a case against the officers for perjury or conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

CPS decisions like these and others like the case of Robert Sayer, formerly of the Law Society, (See Prosecuting People with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) leave a bad taste in the mouth. CCTV is a double-edged sword for the Police - it may catch criminals but can just as easily catch Police misconduct.

SJP @DigitalAsian