Okay, let's put it straight. This latest 2010 installment of the Prince of Persia franchise boils down to this one word for the gamers: Nostalgia.
If you have played the first three games of the PoP trilogy, you'll know what I am talking about. With the 2008 PoP game just after the trilogy, we had lost many wonderful characteristics of the prince, who himself was traded off for a thief of the deserts. Gamers all over the world were sick of the flirting jerk and wanted the old prince back.
People who were looking forward to watch it have already done so, and people who are not interested in such genres of movies have forgotten its existence all together. What this post aims at is somewhat different.
Peepli Live is not a normal masala movie of Bollywood. It ain’t an art film either. There are some movies which can not be stereotyped into any categorization. It’s one of those.
‘Bhojpur, Bihar: A 16-year-old girl, Imrana, is set on fire inside her house in a case of what the police call ‘moral vigilantism’. The victim screams for help for about 20 minutes before neighbors arrive, only to find her still smoldering. She is admitted to a local hospital, where she later succumbs to her burns.’
‘The Times of India Report: More than 1,000 young people in India have been done to death every year owing to 'Honour Killings' linked to marriages and love affairs that do not get acceptance from the society.’
“Every independent country is independent in one way however, every independent country is a slave in more than one way.”
Its 64th Indian Independence Day tomorrow, I am sitting in front of my desktop in the office and sulking. I am trying to concentrate and my inbox is getting filled with patriotic forwards. Neither can I ignore the vibration of my mobile nor can I get my bugging boss out of my mind. It is true that tomorrow is an important day but how many of us really think of independence as a gift? Being born as a free Indian with a plenty of fundamental rights in a platter and the fundamental duties on the backburner, we take our independence for granted. We were born in free India, introduced to Maruti 800 and humara bajaj at the age of 3-4, given a treat in Mc Donalds at an age of 15, encouraged to blog our views and vote our favourite politician at the age of 18- why would not we take our independence for granted just like we take the oxygen we inhale, the water we drink for granted?
( I wonder what Einstein must have to say about regional patriotism: the worst putrefaction a pure feeling can ever suffer from.)
Hello my Indian friends. Within an hour, our country, India will have completed its 63 year of being Independent. This must have been a long journey (given, I joined only 21 years ago.) We, the children of free India, are often accused of having taken the independence for granted.
We have been accused of having the privilege of being born in a free India.
So this one day when I was wandering around in hostel,I found the book with one of my friends.Already fed with too much of hue and cry about this classic called “Shantaram” from the VA faculty at my CAT prep insti,involuntarily I went through the epilogue of the book and this is what I read.
Time comes to full circle, with an N.G.O. named GO INDIA FOUNDATION taking the initiative to set nationwide blood donation camps, on the very red letter day of India: 15th August.
The target: 63,000 units of safe blood from all over the country, to meet the ever increasing blood needs in case of medical emergencies and other medical cases.
Epic, based on Mozilla platform, comes bundled with a bunch of India centric features and is available for a free download here. After testing it for continuous 4 hours on 8 tabs together and without any crash, We are impressed.
The Looks and Features:
It is light, spacious and neat. By default, comes with a peacock background which may not be too soothing to eyes but you can always choose the background according to your whim from a range of 1500 creative themes related to India at the launch itself.
There is a 3D-capable monitor manufacturer called iZ3D and their drivers are available for free download here. The console of the driver has an option to turn on anaglyph, which converts all your games to 3D. The driver renders two separate frames, from two slightly different perspectives just like Nvidia offers with '3D Vision Discover', but those drivers limit you to an Nvidia graphics card, and moreover, the latest drivers are not supported on laptops. iZ3D surprisingly runs on any system, and supports both Nvidia and ATI 3D cards.
I’ll tell you why. My village, Nandan Bigha can be any other village of rural India. It has no unique personality of its own. Or, if you allow me the liberty to say this, it enjoys the personality of every typical small village of the rural India.
And hence, I wanted to display a rural side of India. Much beautiful than the urban one, to say the least.
This is gonna be a photoblog, thanks to my Sony H Series DSI camera, and I will try to show you my village through my eyes. (Or my camera’s. :D)
3D movies have become the buzzword now. Of course, after the huge success of Avatar, all over the world.
But can high tech 3D effects hide a lame story treatment? All of us know the answer, I guess.
Yesterday saw me watching the movie ‘The Clash of the Titans 3D’ in PVR Select City mall, Delhi. And I came out disappointed.
Partly because most of the frames in the movie were out of focus (the reason might be faulty 3D specs provided, or more probably, the visual clutter in every single action frame to such a degree that you end up not being able to decide which portion of the screen you should be watching, and which one should be left unattended…)
I understand that this movie is a remake of the 1981 flick with the same name. But I fail to understand why it continues to make the same mistake that the last one did. A misnomer titling of an otherwise good story.
Clash of the titans. Hmmm. As far as I know, Titans were the elder greek Gods. And the battle of the Titans is actually used to refer to the battle between the Titans and the Olympians (The newer Gods, led by Zeus). Zeus won, and overpowered the Titans, hence establishing a paradigm shift in the greek theology.
That’s what the facts say. Now, this movie is all about the fight of Persius (who likes to call himself a man, but actually is a demi-God) and the Olympian God of the Underworld, Hades ( the brother of Zeus). There are no titans in distant sight, leave alone a ‘clash’ of them. Then why the title? :P
Coming to the treatment of the story, well, Sabotage with the scriptures is the first thing that comes to my mind. The characters of ancient greek mythology have been heavily played with.Ancient story intentionally meandered to suit the cinematic twists and turns.
Here are some examples:
Zeus’s statue at Olympia: Zeus as seen in Clash of the Titans ‘10
I mean, seriously, what’s with all this metal 12 pack abs?? Zeus’s character looks the funniest in the entire movie. Not only appearances, even facts have been tampered with. The father of one character in the actual story is shown as the husband of the same in the movie. The witches forecast excitingly in the movie about the death of the protagonist, while in the end he being given a girl all reincarnated just to make out with, and no effort whatsoever made to show how or why he was able to change his destiny…
We being Indians, should not complain at all, given the bottomline of the Indian cinema: Anything can happen, dude; Its a movie afterall.
But Hollywood going the Bollywood way? That sucked. Indeed.
The visual effects are good at some places. The fight sequences with the scorpions are captivating. And Io (Gemma Arterton) has a divine beauty. ( On an entirely different note, Gemma is gonna play the role of Princess Tamina, the Love interest of Prince Dastan in the upcoming movie, Prince of Persia… Can’t wait to see that flick :D )
Coming back to TCOTT, the worst part was the end, when Zeus, laughing sheepishly, reincarnates Io and gifts her to Persius, saying, “You are a God, afterall!” And Perseus can do nothing but grin in return.
That made the entire movie look like a spoof to me. Wait, even the spoof of 300 (Meet the spartans) was wayyyyy wayyyyy better than this boring clash of the self proclaimed titans.
I regret my bucks spent in the theatre. 3/10. Disappointingly Ungodly movie. Watch it only if you have nothing better to do this summer.
Or save your money for Kites. The english one. Barbara looks better in that. :)
For those who love FOSS(Free and Open Source Software), I am bringing some reasons to rejoice. I have shortlisted a bunch of my favorite freewares which, according to me, will increase your accessibility on a computer.
Those already rejoicing can carry on their good work; and those who like the gates and windows in their houses/offices; you have few reasons to rejoice.
Suggestions and demands for software, other than those listed are most welcome.
- K-Lite Codec Pack (Plays all kindda media using Media player classic, after you program it.)
- VLC Player
- Media Coder
- Super/Any/Total (All in one video, audio converter)
- Daemon Tools Lite
- Isobuster Free
- FastStone Capture v5.3 (last free version)
- Google Chrome (Oh yes!)
- Free Download Manager
- Download Accelerator Plus
- SYSTEM UTILITIES/TWEAKING
- Glary Utilities Lite/XDN Tweaker
- Revo Uninstaller (Basically unnecessary)
- Treesize Free(a free disk space manager for Windows)
- Avira Antivir Personal
- Comodo Firewall Free
- Spybot Search & Destroy
- WinRar Free
- Foxit Reader(Pdf viewer)
- Adobe Reader(always keep around)
- IOBit Gamebooster(fixes lagging of high end games by closing all unnecessary apps to focus all PC resources on the game)
And now, the shocker
Five free software from Microsoft :
According to natyashastra, the midriff is left bare while wearing a saree because the naval area is supposed to be source of life, creativity and positive energy. Hence follows the silhouette.
Every Indian has seen women in their family gracefully attiring themselves in Saree. The world of wefts, folds, patterns, texture and wearing styles which is 108 to be precise is a splendid thing to know. The modern ‘urban’ style of draping the garment was first adopted and popularised by Rabindranath Tagore’s sister-in-law. Saree has given a niche' identity to Indian fashion industry from the times immemorial. While traditionally Indian saree is worn on all formal and special occasions,the wearer finds a unique glory in wrapping up in it.
Their are innumerable types of it popularized according to various regions where they are made-
Paithani – Maharashtra , Bandhani – Gujarat and Rajasthan .The bandhani print is now famous world wide , Kota doria Rajasthan, Lugade – Maharashtra ,Patola – Gujarat
Central stylesChanderi – Madhya Pradesh,Maheshwari – Madhya Pradesh, Kosa silk – Chattisgarh
Tussar Silk – Bhagalpur area in Bihar is a hub of fine soft silk higly acclaimed all over ,Tangail cotton – Bangladesh,Jamdani – Bangladesh,Dhakai Benarasi –Bangladesh,Rajshahi Silk – Bangladesh,Mooga silk – Assam,Tant famous Bengali cotton – Shantipur. The village Shantipur is also a cradle of learning due to Shantiniketan-vishwabharti university in West Bengal,Dhaniakhali cotton – West Bengal,Murshidabad silk – West Bengal
Baluchari silk – West Bengal,Sambalpuri silk – Orissa ,Kotki (from Cuttack) – Orissa
Ikkat (from Orissa)
Kanchipuram (locally called Kanjivaram) – Tamil Nadu ,Coimbatore – Tamil Nadu,Chinnalapatti – Tamil Nadu,Chettinad – Tamil Nadu,Madurai – Tamil Nadu ,Arani – Tamil Nadu,Pochampally – Andhra Pradesh ,Venkatagiri – Andhra Pradesh,Gadwal – Andhra Pradesh,Guntur – Andhra Pradesh,Narayanpet – Andhra Pradesh,Mangalagiri – Andhra Pradesh,Balarampuram – KeralaMysore Silk – Karnataka,Ilkal saree – Karnataka .
Here’s the bottom line: whether you are an everyday wearer or a special-occasion wearer, or even someone who sees the sari as a work of tactile art, It is special for all!
It is something that India has given as an input to the world in terms of fashion. Where else will you find so much emotions,drama, flow, gracefulness and sophistication all entwined into one piece of garment simultaneously?
Coming back again to the denim outfitters, Jeans that was a casual clothing for daily wear is made to look extra ordinary and exaggerated by tattering it.
So the next time you see a torn pair of jeans don't start looking for sewing needle and thread to stitch it back. Instead, include one in your summer wardrobe . Go shopping! :)
Windows Live Writer 2009, yes, this application had everything to seek my attention the last week, when I
accidentally ended up to the writer’s zone of Windows Live. Don’t read this if you are on a platform other than windows, it will waste your time. Windows users like me, generally don’t care to use applications provided by Microsoft. Reason-- Money, honey; I am quite a fan of FOSS. We easily get similar identical software over the net for free. I just don’t get Microsoft’s policy of pirated license. Okay, enough bragging. Lets get to the point.
In case you are unfamiliar with Writer
of which the chances are quite high, allow me to do a little introduction. As the name suggests, it is a writing tool for windows users and unlike other Microsoft products, it’s free. Writing tool? No, I don’t mean Word! Writer provides you a platform to writer over your blogs/websites, offline--Windows Live, Wordpress, Blogger, Live Journal, TypePad, and many more. The 2008 edition had minimal functionalities but the 2009 release is cool, in every sense of word. You write from your desktop offline and publish to your blog on one push of button; of course after connecting to the internet. Not just that, you can add photos/albums, hyperlink, table, maps, and video(s) on just one push. And it has more. You can set/add categories, time and date, add tags, save draft and what not! Yes, no need to go to your dashboard. All you have to do is, to set up your blog in writer by entering your username, password, blog url and you are done. It downloads the theme of your blog in no time and you start blogging straight from your desktop. So, it simplifies blogging.
Full Feature List
- New border treatments (including Instant Photo)
- Crop and tilt photos
- Insert multiple photos
- Toolbar alignment commands enabled for images
- Insert and upload Windows Live photo albums
- Insert and publish video to YouTube
- Additional spell checking languages: Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, English (Australia), Estonian, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Turkish, and Ukrainian
- Server-side tagging (for supported blogs)
- Type-down filtering in the Open dialog
- Twitter, Digg and Flickr Plug-ins
- Improved blog account setup
- Lightbox and Windows Live Spaces inline preview support
- Improved category control: adding categories, type-down filtering
- Tabbed view switching
- AutoLink glossary
- Smart quotes/typographic characters
- Word count
- Support for bidirectional languages (like Hebrew and Arabic)
- Tabs for view switching
- Beautiful look and feel
Let me tell you what I like most about this tool. I have been using Wordpress since long
forget that I am writing on blogger now and I always wanted to customize my font style at my blog, but wordpress allows you limited customizations. Again, Money, Honey. But guess what, Writer provides you all the fonts that you have installed on your computer to use on your blog and infinite number of customizations. Unlike the boring dash boards of blogs, where you are bound to write in a visual box, Writer downloads the layout of your blog and you actually write on your blog page, plus you can always see the instant preview of your post which is integrated in an inline tab; again the one push thing comes into action and, and, and, for those who like html editing while writing, there is a ‘source’ tab also integrated inline and shows your html in twinkling of eyes. It also gives you an option to publish your post as a draft to your blog and do online editing.
The killer feature of this tool is that, you can add as many blogs as you want, write on them at the same time by instant switching from one to another.
Like every Microsoft product, it’s quite user friendly. In one window, you have every tab to comfort you, and also, it allows you to opt for multiple windows for different blogs. It’s very light. There is a side bar, which is basically useless, because the utilities on the sidebar are also present on the task pane. You can always remove the side bar. The feel is awesome. The light blue menu bar is nice and you can always change it’s color according to your mood. You can add plug-ins from windows gallery to suit your needs but that might ruin the light experience.
The major drawback of Writer is that you can not add pages to your blog using writer, it only gives you an option to create new posts. Repetitive menus in the interface irritate. I mean, the menu options on the menu bar under different menus are the same ones on the task pane and the side bar. As you publish your post, it doesn’t appear publicly until you update it on your blog; this happens with Wordpress. Though works flawless with Live space. On other blogs, I am yet to figure. Another thing that is bothering me is the preview with blogger, it’s showing a comment and Shivi’s name as the author of this post. Though preview works fine with all other blogs.
I will give a Seven out of Ten to this product. Try it and tell me what do you think of it. You can download it here
for free. For my Linux and Mac friends, I will find something like this for you and review it, not accidently though.
Anyway, talking so much about windows and Microsoft reminds me of Office. Did you guys try MS Office Beta 2010? Found anything new? Okay, I am not a MS fan
- How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanquish so quickly?
- Sometimes you get no second chance and that it’s best to accept the gifts the world offers you.
- If I must be faithful, I have first of all, to be faithful to myself.
- Fashion is as integrated and blended into the cup of social circumstances that any trivial fact also, gains a sporadic momentum to influence creators, appreciators, and shoppers at once.
- Young Fashion today is governed by functionality adding touch to the luxury par excellence value.
- Present season can witness some noticeable changes. With global economy tumbling down, the clothing styles have also sashayed to bare minimalism and simple straight lines. The preppy youth fashion moves away from the ubiquitous romanticism of last few seasons.
- Silhouettes are simple , straight cut, hemlines have decreased more, minis have become the next ‘it’ thing. The layering and buoyancy have been replaced with neat-tailored structured clothing. More innovative yet creative direction deepens its interest for round yet tapered shapes for comfort, using high performance fabrics.
- The color trends have also been averted to evergreen pastels, muted shades and neutrals and deliberate negligence of bold outlandish shades.
- It’s the reviving time, announcing the ethno- street transversalities, extra sueded softness or black-electric shine. Movement is the key concept, full of nostalgic and visionary élans.
- Classics are given a fresh spin with natural sophistication that flaunts sobriety and simplicity, with the re-vitalizing boost to the basics.
- The revival of old decades like 80’s, 70’s is clearly evident in power dressing suits, archaic inspiration, diligently combined with chaotic flow.
- The 3-d effect is all over the paradox with, precision as the key ‘mantra’
- The melodramatically exaggerated looks have been cut down to a personalized version with a space of one’s own. In a way this paves way for greater scope of creative innovation.
Presenting before you, the fifth contributor to our blog. Mohi Narayan.
This girl of words is a very active twitterati and facebooker. Is literally expressive on her wordpress blog http://charmcaester.wordpress.com/ and has a sharp eye to notice and document the finer details of life. The arbit speculations team hopes that she will be able to add some new colors of enthusiasm to our lazy old blog. :D
So, Mohi... Welcome to the clan of the arbit speculators. Rules, you know. People, you will get to know. All you have to do is to add the fifth dimension. And that takes nothing more than your words and thoughts arranged arbitrarily.
Over to you.
Feb 27, 2010
Ummm. Well, I didn't watch movies on their release dates. But now I do, thanks to this girl.
So, Karthik calling Karthik was the movie that we went to see today in cannaught place of Delhi. I normally don't have much expectation from Deepika Padukone's acting skills, ( Who notices that anyways :P), but I admire Farhan a lot. He belongs o that genre of movie watchers who get irritated everytime some Sunny Deol uproots a handpump or some Shahrukh Khan commits suicide for a less interested Paro.
And yeah. KCK did not disappoint me. Its one of those movie which will be liked more by the boys than the girls. There were times when I was on the edge of my seat, amused by the perfect thrill of the plot, while she was literally yawning away the frames whispering into my ears that it had started to get boring.
Read the reviews in the newspapers, and you'll find that she holds the majority when she found it boring.
Any person who has been a loner in his life would be definitely connecting with Farhan's character in the movie. I, for one, can. I know how it feels like when you are all alone and the world is out to fuck with you.
Developing schizophrenia in that lonely condition is perfectly plausible and so is having multiple personality disorder. As a matter of fact, I had noticed it many times that when I was in the lonely phase of my life, I had got so much time at my hands that I used to look at every issue from different perspectives, many times arguing with myself about the nuances of the problems and their solutions. Now, MPD is just an exaggerated version of this multi-perspective analysing ability of a loner.
Technically, the movie is 100% correct, which is very rare in Bollywood, and hence, should be cherished. Deepika is dumb on the acting front as always, but man, she has looked so gorgeous in the movie that I literally could not keep my eyes off her throughout the show, though I had an equally cute girl, sitting right beside me. :)The music was awesome and so was the picturization and script.
Though repetitiveness might be the groan-word for many disappointed viewers, I actually feel that it actually added to the psychic character of the movie. It felt that I was watching a regularly occuring dream.
8/10 to movie all in all. The climax, definitely could have been better.
On an entirely different note, I appreciated the fact that we take it for granted that our own brain will never betray us. But I wonder what it would do if gets a little awry, towards myself.
What would I do if I got hellbent to destroy myself?
Sending abuses and insulting mails to my dear ones in the online world would be the first thing to be done by my comp savvy chunk of brain gone bad. Then I will delete my gmail and facebook accounts, post some pornography (with friends tagged in them) on my blog, change the PIN of my atm card to an arbit number, burn away all my academic certificates, delete all the pics and design projects from my laptop...
Or better, I can try corporal mortification. :P
Boy. I can bring havoc in Alok's life! Sounds cheesy but I wonder why we take it for granted that we will always be on our own side.
But we better be. Wassay?
Last week I got to watch the movie '3 Idiots' in Satyam. Had skyhigh hopes. After all, 5 point someone is very dear to me. I had read FPS just after clearing iit, and it indeed amused me a lot.
Now the question was whether a movie which was openly declared as being "loosely based on FPS", was gonna strike the same chords or not.
Well, for me, It did.
Aamir, a ghost director he is, took FPS to a new level, from being a fun tale of some talented youth with deranged priorities to the story of chasing one's dreams and living life on one's own terms.
He actually taught us what engineering is all about after using the vaccuum cleaner and car batteries for delivering a baby.
All these frames when rest of the audience was busy cheering Aamir for doing that out of the box stuff, I couldn't resist thinking tht okay, this is what engineering is actually. You gotta solve real life problems with machines as tools.
We at IITs, I mean most of us, are busy either watching movies, sitcoms or 'peacing around', or craming up notes right before the exam to get good grades so that we end up with a job with a better package.
But I doubt how many of us have actually thought of making a new machine. A machine that does something new. Anything new. I think hard to locate the time when we architecture guys looked up to a building seriously, examined its functionality and tried to think about some ideas that can enhance the same.
In the movie, Madhavan says.. "aur main agar engineer ban bhi gaya na abba, to main bahut kharaab engineer banoonga".
Some people would say that the morale is impractical.
"Kisi cheez mein interest hona achhchi baat hai, par jab ghar k baahar aate daal ka bhaav maloom chalega to saari interest dhari ki dhari reh jaaaegi."
Well, they are wrong in identifying the holistic span of the message. We have a range of interests. Somethings we like, and somethings we don't. How about choosing something as a career that can strike a balance between our career needs, our parents' expectations ans well as our personal interests.
" Paise thode kam honge, Gaadi thodi chhoti hogi... aur kya"
But the satisfaction would supercede everything. And thats what matters. Right Idiots?
Ummm... Delhi... mast jagah hai, if you have got some friend with you. Alone, it might get boring just ogling nice models (Cars, I meant :P) No, seriously, I actually saw more BMW's than mercedes models in my stretch of the city.
And it feels great.
Even otherwise, life is fun. Delhi food tastes good. The chill is a killer; but I ain't complaining coz' I love winters. Office's good. People are nice. (I seem to have sported some kind of positive specs these days; everything looks just fine.)
Have embarked upon a long journey. Let's see how far can I get.
19th Jan 2010.
India achieved record annual GDP growth, averaging 8.45%, in the five years, 2004-05 to 2008-09. But was this inclusive, and did it benefit the poor masses?
We have no data on poverty beyond 2004-05. But the CSO has current data on the economic growth of the states. Historically, the chronically poor states were Orissa plus the BIMARU quartet (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh), of which three have been sub-divided. Have these eight poor states participated in India’s boom?
Yes, absolutely. Indeed, five of India’s eight ultra-poor states have become miracle economies, defined internationally as those with over 7% growth. The best news comes from Bihar, historically the biggest failure. From 2004-05 to2008-09, Bihar averaged 11.03% growth annually. It was virtually India’s fastest growing state, on par with Gujarat (11.05%). That represents a sensational turnaround. Nitish Kumar deserves an award for the most inclusive revolution of the decade.
Other poor states have done very well too. Uttrakhand (9.31%), Orissa (8.74%), Jharkhand (8.45%) and Chhattisgarh (7.35%), have all grown faster than the standard miracle benchmark of 7%.
Orissa’s performance is remarkable, since 10 years ago it had the worst fiscal indicators among all states. Naveen Patnaik has been a major force in accelerating growth and stabilizing state finances. His image as a clean politician has been tarnished recently by reports of widespread corruption. Land acquisition problems and Maoist violence have highlighted continuing tribal travails, and the murder of Christians is a blot on his secular record. Yet, he deserves kudos for making Orissa stage a huge turnaround.
The elephant in the room has always been Uttar Pradesh, a huge, poor state of almost 200 million people. The excellent news is that UP’s growth rate has risen impressively to 6.29% annually. This falls short of the miracle benchmark of 7%, but not by much. UP has benefitted from overall buoyancy in the Indian economy. In NOIDA, it has created a major services production and export hub, and an auto hub, too. Sugar factories have expanded fast. Growth seems to have accelerated a bit after Mayawati came to power, but it is too early to credit her with a paradigm shift. Something similar can be said of Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh. Rajasthan, which grew fast earlier, has slipped down a bit, to 6.25%. The most disappointing performance comes from Madhya Pradesh (4.89 %). So, not all poor states have joined India’s growth bonanza.
But the overall picture is very heartening. Of the eight historically poor states, four -Bihar, Uttrakhand, Orissa and Jharkhand - have grown as fast as or faster than the all-India average of 8.49%.
We must qualify this story. Fast growth in poor states does not automatically mean that growth has reached all poor people. Major beneficiaries include a creamy layer of politically well-connected people, exemplified by the Koda scandal in Jharkhand. The spread of Maoism suggests widespread tribal distress.
However, agricultural growth in 2004-09 averaged 4.4% per year, the highest in any five-year period, benefiting the rural masses. The minimum wage was raised in most states, and doubled by Mayawati to Rs 100/day in UP. Rural employment and infrastructure schemes, plus the telecom revolution, added to rural dynamism.
After two decades when incumbent governments were regularly voted out at elections, several incumbents have recently been re-elected. This suggests mass-based satisfaction in place of the earlier dissatisfaction.
Rainfed states experience enormous swings in growth depending on the monsoon, and can swing to negative rates in a bad year. So, averaging growth rates over five years is sometimes not enough to establish a trend. In Bihar, GDP actually declined by 5.15% in 2003-04. So, if we average its data over the last six years rather than five years, its growth rate drops to 8.33%. This is still a stellar performance, but no longer on par with Gujarat’s.
At the other end of the spectrum, Rajasthan had a spectacular 28.67% growth in 2003-04. So, if we average data over six years instead of five, Rajasthan’s growth rate gets revised massively to 9.99%, an excellent performance.
The poor states remain far behind the rest of India. Maoism, terrorism and corruption are growing. Yet, the economic gap between some poor and rich states is shrinking dramatically. Let us celebrate the emergence of Bihar and other poor states as miracle economies. This is surely one of the biggest achievements of the decade.