monkeyshine nutworks

India’s iSideWith Political Quiz released

Who should the Indian netziens vote for?  Finally, the iSideWith type of Political Quiz to elucidate, educate, and enable the voters has been unleashed.

For reasons enumerated yesterday, it is in MS Word format.  It is a simple form made up in MS Word 2003 format for the majority of interested citizens to peruse.  The results of the questionnaire and how for a user to vote is explained in the last page.

Suffice to say, I regret not putting up a revealing questionnaire before now.  This is version 1.0. And I assure you that further versions would be put out, every 6 months or so for you, as citizens to evaluate your government’s performance.

Again, I apologize for not thinking of such an initiative - 10 or 20 days before - or even to my eternal regret 2 years before.


For now, the link to download and use, decide at your merry.

India’s 1st ‘Isidewith’ political quiz

As a political analyst, the current India General Elections 2014, must be the most exciting time to observe, analyze and learn lessons.  I’ve been waiting for all of these 2 months for a media house to come out with a political quiz, like (the ones I personally envy in the US/UK) the isidewith or other thoughtful insights on the issues.

Unfortunately, none have lived up to the expectations.  So, tomorrow I will put up a political quiz which would, might, perhaps, consolidate the various issues that, as a nation, we Indians, would face.

In putting up the political quiz, aping isidewith, I have endeavoured it to be 'the' neutral.  The questions I have come up with are broad ranging, but at the same time, specific - 2 different approaches which took so much of thinking - so they are comprehensive but yet to the point.

To make the quiz as neutral as possible, I have actually given the copies of the quiz to ADMK, DMK, Congress, BJP, Communist ‘sympathizers’, within ‘my’ reach, and all have termed the quiz as 'Fair' - without a slant towards any one.

As part of fairness, I wanted to design a quiz which was anonymous.  At first, and till today, I oriented towards a Google Forms quiz.  Then I realized that even that would entail an amount of tracking the ‘views’.

So today, finally, I decided that the best option is to release the isidewith type of India Elections 2014 quiz, is to put out in MS Word, PDF and possibly HTML formats, for you to download (or read online) and make up your minds.

The Quiz is comprehensive, and covers 10 headings from 'Freedom of Expression' to 'Environment' to 'Education', 'Economy' and the 'World'.  Each heading would have ~4 questions, and each question would have 4 multiple choice answers.

The 4 answers would tell you, the voter, where your thoughts lie - which button you probably could ‘press’ on voting day. 

The 4 answers, tallied, would tell you whether you have to vote
  • NOTA (a disgruntled voter) or 
  • for the BJP or 
  • for the Congress or 
  • for the Regional Party (of whichever state you belong to).
I regret I do not have the time or endurance to identify the exact regional (or even Communist) party you should vote for.  The error is mine, I should have started to work on it as soon I had the idea.


IceRocket Tags: isidewith,india-elections

Who will bag 40 seats in Tamil Nadu Lok Sabha elections

Just as I wrote on 22 Feb 2014, - read post here - Jayalalithaa’s dreams of becoming Prime Minister after the General Elections have disappeared.  The reasons are many and would require an elaborate article on its own, but over next 3 days, let us see who has the chances of bagging the 40 seats in TN & Pondicherry.

Personally, I think 5 seats are goner for the ADMK led by Jayalalithaa.  The hopes of ADMK are in tatters in the 3 Metro seats of North, Central and South Chennai.  The decision to field a North Chennai candidate in South Chennai, has damaged both the constituencies.  In North Chennai, the breakup with communists sealed the fate, especially if we recall that ADMK has never represented this seat in the Parliament, ever.  Thirumavalavan is a sure fire winner in Chidambaram (Reserved), while in Pondicherry it is a toss up between NR Congress and V. Narayanaswami of the INC.

Again, my prediction in the remaining 35 seats is 23 wins at the minimum for Jayalalithaa’s ADMK, and the majority of the rest to the DMK, with half a dozen seats hanging in the balance.  The Congress would be happy to show a vote percentage of 10% and if they can secure deposit (16.66% of total votes polled) in half the seats, they would be in seventh heaven.  The BJP’s Rainbow alliance, for all the song-dance-and-fury would not win a single seat, and should be happy to secure deposits in half the number of seats.

But experience has shown that predicting the results in Tamil Nadu is the most tricky job in the world.  No one gets it right (including me) as the series of articles exposed during the Assembly Elections 2011.

Let us take a look at the rumored Police Reports, and the preliminary guesstimates in the Tamil weekly Junior Vikatan around 13th April. 

The first relevant column (C) marks the constituencies where the state police allegedly said the ADMK is weak (ADMK -) 19 seats.  The next one (D) marks the seats where Jayalalithaa reportedly felt weak (ADMK -) 10 seats.  The next one (E) mark the seats where Stalin reportedly felt the DMK was doing good (DMK +) 14 seats.  The next 2 are where the BJP and Congress are said to be showing a strong presence.

Theoretically, the constituencies marked ADMK- and DMK+ should be the same or at least the spread should be tightly grouped.  But look at the spread we have.  Disregarding the 4 seats where PMK/BJP/Congress were running good (6. Arani, 21.Mayiladuthurai, 29.Ramnad & 31.Tirunelveli), we have 28, yes, twenty eight constituency spread, where ADMK reportedly is weak and DMK strong.

That, to me, is neither an intelligence report nor a measure of mood of the electorate.  IMHO, it is not even a forecast, just wishful thinking.

Screenshot for pinning :-)


Cats and a rat on hot Chennai roof

If the mornings till 7 O'clock are the time for a lie in, - read earlier post - the next hour and half is time to play.  Not the usual romping around, crashing into each other or playing catch with each other and mom’s tail, but a different kind of play.

Mommy cat had caught a mouse, killed it and brought it around for the kittens to play around with.  The youngest kitten, the black one on the far left of the photo, is too timid and never ventured near the mouse.

The spotted smoky gray soon lost interest and slunk off to slake its thirst with the drip from a leaky pipe.  The eldest of the lot, another jet black, was left to worry the dead rat to his heart's content.

Often the most playful, curious and ebullient the elder black is a pleasure to watch.  So says my mom, who over the past week has fallen into the habit of watching the cats romp around for half and hour or so every morning and evening.


As it happens, a frisky neighborhood boy, who watches too many nature shows in the National Geographic and Animal Planet, happened along in the afternoon.  Though he was considerate, and only stroked, or petted the mother cat and the bolder black kitten, there is not a doubt that the cats were disturbed.

This morning saw them hiding behind the plants in the backyard of my apartment complex.  Unwilling to disturb them further, I put off watering the plants for the day.  Let us see how the story unfolds over the next few days.

IceRocket Tags: cat,kitten

Can truant voters be debarred as Advani wants

Just when left-of-center liberals start to warm up to the idea of L.K. Advani as an alternate to hard core Hindu right-wing politicians, he shoots his mouth off proving that a leopard can never change its spots.

Out comes L.K. Advani with the brainwave that voters who do not vote in an election should be debarred from voting in the next election.  In one swoop, he wants to disenfranchise anywhere between 20% (in Tamil Nadu) to 40% (in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh) of the eligible electorate on the flimsy excuse of voter apathy.

Apart from the thinking and intention behind such an idea, the question is whether he is willing to adopt the same standard for the political class Advani belongs to?

We have all been spectators over the last year or so of disruption of the Parliament for many reasons.  The record speaks for itself.

The 15th Lok Sabha (2009-14) met for 357 days and 1,338 hours against an average of 600 days and 3,700 hours for the first three Lok Sabhas (1952-67).  But that is only the first half of the story.

Not only the 15th Lok Sabha assembled for only half time of the first 3 Lok Sabhas, the productivity was almost half - at 61%.  Here are the figures.

The 15th Lok Sabha has been the most disrupted ever with overall productivity being 61%.  Only 13% of the time was spent on legislative business.

The MPs did not or could not vote on 74 major bills and 20 laws were passed within 5 minutes of being introduced.  L.K. Advani (and his political cohorts) were not willing to vote on 74 bills, at the least, for whatever reason, but have no compunctions about asking for the public to vote for him (them) - to go back to the next Lok Sabha.  Presumably they want to catch up with those 74 bills.

To add insult to the injury, his party colleague, Sushma Swaraj, who was the Leader of Opposition in the same Lok Sabha, said this on 22 Feb 2014, ‘BJP and its allies disrupted Parliament to expose the scams of government.  The government wanted us to set them aside and let the Parliament go on, but we had to stall the Parliament.’

So the politicians can avoid voting for whatever reason they feel like, but the common citizen should be disenfranchised if he does not feel like voting for these self-serving hypocrites in an election.

Hey Ram!

(image courtesy Satish Acharya @

The statistics regarding 15th Lok Sabha and Sushma Swaraj quoted from ToI article at:

IceRocket Tags: L.K. Advani,india-elections

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