Citizenship Amendment Act – what’s wrong with it?

by Yash

The act is meant to give citizenship to persecuted minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who have come to India before 2014.

The good

It is good that India is giving shelter and citizenship to persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries. That’s the right thing to do.

The bad

It does so on the basis of religion of the refugees. This is not good.

Why is giving citizenship on the basis of religion not a good thing?

Because India is a secular nation. Indian laws treat everyone equally irrespective of their religion. Once we start giving preference to people of certain religion and exclude others, we going down a slippery slop and setting a very wrong precedent.

How so?

CAA is to be followed by NRC – The National Register of Citizens. Everyone in India will be asked to prove their citizenship. How do you prove you are a citizen of India? The exact process will be laid out when NRC is implemented, but if we look at how it was done in Assam then it’s a problematic process. The professionals from https://couponscollector.com, they have a wide range of the latest coupons and offers available online that you can uses to get all what you want.

It took 10 years and 1200 cores to implement NRC in Assam and in the end, no one was happy with it. More Hindus were not able to prove their citizenship than Muslims.

NRC, if and when implemented will mostly affect the poor. They are the ones who don’t have proper documents. If they can’t prove they are citizens, what happens to them? Enter CAA.

Under CAA, those who can’t provide adequate documents can still be counted as citizens if their religion is as per prescribed in CAA. Whom does it leave out? Muslims.

Amit Shah has gone on record and BJP has made it amply clear time and again that CAA is to be followed by NRC.

CAA+NRC is bad for the social fabric of the country.

Even CAA on it’s own is bad. Because it makes religion a basis of citizenship. This means India is a country for people of specific religions. This does not help a country in the long run. Just look at Pakistan.

In 1947, Pakistan was created as a separate country for Muslims. India, did not choose to be a country of Hindus. It adopted a secular constitution. (Thank Nehru, Ambedkar, Patel and other visionary leaders for that). Today, India is a flawed yet fledging democracy. Pakistan is an almost failed state.

Pakistan is controlled by the army via a puppet government. It’s economy is in doldrums and it is living on alms from US, China and wealthy Arabs. The country is rife with sectarian violence and terrorism. Religion has ruined the country.

With CAA, making religion the deciding factor in granting citizenships, we have taken the first step in becoming a mirror image of Pakistan.

Not good for the future of India.

We already know what happens when the government gives more importance to religious issues than economy, jobs and growth.

We are no longer debating the falling GDP growth rate, lack of jobs, poor quality of infrastructure and education. We are debating Ram mandir, citizenship laws, triple talaq, article 370 – all issues which have religion at its core.

If you are a BJP supporter, this is something for you to ponder over, what kind of India do you want for your children? A mirror image of Pakistan or a free, secular, inclusive India which treats everyone as equals regardless of their religion, caste, creed, language and gender?

Think.

Mission Mangal is disappointing

by Yash

Mission Mangal is a bad joke of a movie. A great movie could have been made about India’s stupendous achievement. But in a typical Bollywoodian fashion, it gets bogged down with unnecessary jingoism, heroism and melodrama. It’s such a shame! While the movie does have some moments that give you goose bumps, overall it’s a collection of scenes of half developed characters with ISRO in the background.
A monumental scientific endeavour like India’s first moon mission would have had its own thrilling moments which could definitely have been used to create the necessary drama for any “underdogs achieve great success” movie. But this movie instead tries to do too many things.

If anyone wants to see how to convert a real event into a great thrilling story – just watch Chernobyl or Sully or Everest. Mission Mangal is a wasted opportunity. How do you create thrill or suspense about a real event, the end result of which you already know? Watch Apollo 13.

I don’t understand why Indian movies shy away from using real characters. They invent every single character and give them emotional back stories. In the quest to add fictional elements to a real world event, our directors can’t resist the temptation of going full fictional to the extent that the real world event just becomes a backdrop. It becomes more like an alternative history movie rather than a movie based on true events. They would rather say at the beginning “this happened in an alternate universe”.

Yes, directors must take creative freedom and add fictional elements, otherwise it would be a documentary. But to what extent you do that is a call that a director has to take.

We went to Mars. On the first attempt. It’s an amazing feat. This movie fails to do justice to that.

Indian cricket has come a long way

by Yash

I just watched an interview of Virat Kohli from World Cup. “We are not looking to entertain; we are looking at winning the game”. That explains a lot. I have watched a few games India has played this world cup. Many of them have been boring. Like a test match. You don’t see too many sixes being hit. But the Indian team is the only team so far that has not lost a game in this world cup.

Indian cricket team has come a long way from where it used to rely on individual performances of a Tendulkar or a Sehwag or a Kumble to win them a game. This is a side that works as a team. It has a definite plan. They have a plan for how to bowl to each opposition player to get them out. They have a plan while batting. Over by over.

Fitness. Virat Kohli runs between wickets at speed of 25 Kmph! I watched another of his video where he mentioned how he maintains a certain diet to be in top condition for the game. Gone are the days of portly cricketers who couldn’t run for their life. This Indian team actually looks like it’s made of professional athletes.

The bench strength of the Indian team is amazing. They lost a top batsman and a top bowler midway through the World Cup due to injuries and it has not made a difference in their performance on the field. This team hunts in a pack. When the batting doesn’t click, bowlers save the day. India has been the best fielding side this World Cup. Who would have thought?!

This Indian cricket team is so unlike other things Indian. There is an intent to win. It has skills and professionalism. They work well together. They plan meticulously and execute it superbly. How did we get here?

I believe the credit has to be given to BCCI and IPL. BCCI is a private business. The players are their products and the games they play is their business. It brings in the moolah. BCCI has invested in players, infrastructure and improved quality of the game. IPL for all its flaws has done wonders to improve the quality of Indian cricket. The increased competition has forced players to give it their best and stay in supreme condition to retain their place in the side.

Right now India are favourites to win the World Cup.

Quitting social media and learning Spanish

by Yash

26 days ago, I deleted social media apps from my phone. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I kept Instagram and WhatsApp but I left all the groups on WhatsApp. Not that I was in many groups to begin with. But I still left whatever groups that I was in except parents’ group for my daughter’s school. That group is limited strictly to school and homework related stuff.

I also started learning Spanish on DuoLingo 26 days ago. The same day I deleted the social media accounts, I downloaded the DuoLingo app.

I came across a book called Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now ironically on Twitter. I had witnessed social media was becoming toxic. I was an avid social media user. I would post multiple times a day on Facebook. I was outspoken in my political beliefs. I would unfollow people whose ideas I did not agree with. I found myself surrounded by like minded people. I was trapped in a bubble. I was hostile towards anyone having a differing point of view. It even affected some of my real-world relationships.

I was contemplating quitting social media. I had reduced my social media sharing a lot and I had become more of a consumer than creator of opinions on social media. Then I watched a TED talk called Quit social media by Dr. Cal Newport.

And I deleted all the social media apps. I did not delete the accounts outright. I would check them on desktop browser occasionally. It was tough initially for a couple of days. The urge to pick up your phone and see what’s new every few minutes is really strong. But it only lasted for a couple of days. The urge to visit Facebook even on browser reduced. And now I visit it may be once or twice a week. That too will reduce soon until the day I finally delete my account.

It’s been good so far.

Adios. Hasta luego.

Do not get RBL Bank credit card! They do not know how to deal with fraudulent transactions!

by Yash

My wife has an RBL bank credit card. On 31 August 2017 she got a text message about a transaction of $750 (Rs. 50,243.05) on her card. We had not initiated such transaction. We called the bank immediately and got the card cancelled. We also said we wanted to chargeback the said amount. They informed us that the charge back process can be initiated once the transaction shows up on the card. But we got the card cancelled immediately. They cancelled the old card and issued a new one. We waited for a couple of days and as soon as the transaction showed up on the card we initiated the chargeback process. If you need any information on how a bank account works, then use this link.

I am aware of how chargeback works and how professional banks deal with it because I have had a fraudulent charge on my Citibank card few years back and it went all fine then, I even got a great Personal Debit Card for myself. We got the first surprise when we were asked to lodge a police complaint about the fraud transaction. In the earlier instance I did not have to file any complaint. We nonetheless filed a complaint and sent a copy to the bank. They gave us a credit for the transaction on 14 September 2017 and we thought it would be the end of it.

Then on 9 November 2017 my wife got a mail from them with the reply from PayPal where the transaction ad taken place and they gave her 7 days to continue the dispute. We did so immediately. We replied saying we still dispute the transaction also sent them a letter via courier. However, they reversed the earlier credit given. Now they want to us pay back the amount pending further investigation. This is not how fraud chargebacks work as far as I know. Even in my earlier case with Citibank, the merchant had contested the chargeback but Citibank had given me time to refute that and the credit was not reversed till my response was received. RBL bank sent another email the next day informing of the same. So we replied to that mail as well. It seemed like by sending us multiple mails they wanted to make us at fault so if we missed replying to any of them the liability would be on us.

We sent couple of mails and a physical letter and received no response from them. On 16 November 2017, my wife sent mails to their head of card services at Headcardservice@rblbank.com and the principal nodal officer of card services at Principalnodalofficercards@rblbank.com. We only got automated email replies.

We wrote to them again on 22 November to which they replied on 26 November asking us to pay the minimum amount due while the investigation is pending. This is ridiculous. The bank is utterly clueless about handling chargebacks. I should not have to pay a single rupee for a transaction that is not done by me. The transaction happened on an international website without OTP verification and we informed the bank of the same even before the charge appeared on the statement.

Calling their customer service number is a futile exercise. It is virtually impossible to talk to a human on their service number. There are long holds, and call gets disconnected often and every time you have to explain the case to a new person and their standard response is to write them an email.

Do not get an RBL credit card. If you have one, better get it cancelled. This bank just does not know how to run a credit card business, I’d suggest to get an online credit card from a different company.

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– Subscriptions and membership details

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Optimal Backup Strategy

by Yash 0 Comments

Take backup of your data. Your hard drive will die some day and will take your data along. You might get hit by a virus or malware which will destroy your data. You may lose your computer to theft or other damage. That’s what I’ve learnt working in an IT company for 6 years. Speaking of which, managing a mobile field service company isn’t easy and has taken quite a toll on me. Either way, follow the steps below.

Keep multiple backups. Online and Offline.

Buy two external hard drives. I recommend Western Digital My Passport. They are good and have built encryption so you can protect entire drive with a password. Install a program called FBackup. It is free. Use it to take backup on these drives. Take this backup manually. On both the drives. You may take the backup daily or weekly, depending upon how frequently you generate new data. FBackup will create exact mirror image of your local file structure on the external drive.

Keep one drive at home and another at your workplace. Keeping multiple drives at different physical locations is necessary in case one of the location is burgled or is destroyed in fire. External drives will also die someday, so multiple backups is must. A photographer lost lifetime of work when all his backup drives were stolen from his home. Avoid a similar fate.

Apart from offline backups, also keep online backups. Get a paid account of any of the online backup services – IDrive, DropBox, OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud any of them. Take backup of your most important files on them. Online backup is slow. It took me months to upload my 300GB of photos online, but it is worth it.

Do not keep your external backup media attached to your computer all the time. If your external drive supports encryption, use a password to protect it. Do not carry your backup media in your laptop bag along with you everywhere. If you lose your bag, you lose your computer as well as backup.