THE GREAT INDIAN BUSINESS RIVALRIES

BUSINESS

It’s a dog eats dog world out there. The competition is stiff and the money involved is big! In the bid to out do their rival and capture the market, companies sometimes get involved in petty drama. Take a look at how big Indian companies or corporate firms took on each other because of fierce market competition.

Times Now versus CNN-News18

Couple of years back, CNN-News18 called themselves the numero uno of Indian news but India’s self proclaimed number 1 channel Times Now took major offense to it. They released data (36 weeks of it, mind you) from BARC and even went on take their rivals head on by asking questions like, “What’s the desperation CNN?” and “Release the real numbers”. But sadly, the nation did not want to know the answer!

Pepsi versus Coca-Cola

When asked about, who they thought their real competition was, Coca-Cola India had this to say….

“Our real competition is water, tea, nimbupani and Pepsi… in that order.”

For these two American companies, battle fields have been many and India was one among them. This corporate war reached its crescendo in the late 90s when the two indulged in a bitter ad war. This went on for years before both sides realised how silly the entire fight was.

The Hindu versus Times of India

Known for its no-nonsense approach to news, The Hindu, is popular among the older readers. But the Chennai edition of TOI used this as a ploy to attack the Hindu, and they asked The Hindu readers “Stuck with news that puts you to sleep?”. Staying true to their classy self, The Hindu simply released a full front page ad saying, “Stay ahead of the Times”

Colgate versus Pepsodent

After Pepsodent claimed that they were 130% superior than Colgate, the latter dragged the former to the court. “India’s most recommended brand by a dentist” was upset with Pepsodent and asked the court to intervene. Colgate’s claims were set aside by the Delhi High Court. But Pepsodent was panned for using Colgate’s name in the ad. Who knew those pearly whites would cause so much drama.

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LET’S BEAT THE GIANT KILLER: DIABETES

Health Care

World Health Organisation is gearing up to tackle a disease most commonly known as the ‘silent killer’ … Diabetes.

The WHO’s Global Report on Diabetes released in 2016 reveals how the number of diabetes patients around the world has quadrupled from 108 million in 1980 to a whopping 422 million in 2014.

WHO also dispels the myth that diabetes is only seen in individuals with an affluent lifestyle. The report reveals that more number of diabetic patients are emerging from poor and developing countries such as India. India is infamously known as the diabetic capital of the world and by the year 2030, India will be home to 79,441,000 diabetic patients.

But what exactly is Diabetes and how does WHO aim to tackle this global pandemic?

Not so sweet!

Diabetes is a medical condition where the levels of blood sugar levels are higher than normal due to low production or ineffective use of a hormone named Insulin. Insulin regulates blood sugar and low levels of Insulin can lead to can lead to Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar.

If blood sugar levels are not controlled then a diabetic patient can suffer from complications like poor wound healing and stroke. Diabetes also affects organs like eye, kidneys, nerves and the heart.

  • Type 2 diabetes is the most common variant, here the body becomes resistant to insulin.
  • On the other hand Type 1 diabetes is a type of diabetes where pancreas produces very little or no insulin.
  • The third variant is Gestational diabetes where hyperglycaemia is seen only during pregnancy leading complications during delivery.

Such mothers and their offsprings are at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Women with gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of complications during pregnancy and at delivery. They and their children are also at increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the future.

According to World Health Organisation, In 2016, diabetes was the direct cause of 1.6 million deaths and in 2012 high blood glucose lead to 2.2 million deaths.

The Blueprint

Governments around the world have committed to 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and aim to reduce preventable deaths from diseases like diabetes.

WHO aims to assists all nations by ensuring that all countries have access to low cost diagnostic equipment, cheaper anti-diabetic drugs & insulin vials. WHO will also aim to raise awareness levels of the disease and it’s management among general public.

Management:

Diabetes is a preventable disease and simple lifestyle changes can prevent the onset of the disease.

1)Healthy Diet:
A low carbohydrate diet accompanied with plenty of fruits and green leafy vegetables is best recommended.

2) Don’t be a couch potato:
Adopt a healthy lifestyle, work out for at least 30 mins daily. An overweight individual is more suspectable to turn diabetic

3) Quit the habits:
While smoking can aggravate complications associated with diabetes, drinking alcohol can surge blood sugar levels.

4) Keep a tab:
Regular visit your physician regularly to get your sugar level tested and avoid self medication.

UNITED NATIONS: A GRAND SUCCESS OR A HISTORIC FAILURE?

World Affairs

At a time when Hong Kong is seeking Independence from China, when Gun violence is at its peak in America,when Inflation is soaring in France, when Britain’s future is uncertain due to Brexit, when Ukraine is protesting against Russia, the 5 ‘super powers’ chose to ignore their own problems & discussed the Kashmir crisis at the behest of Pakistan’s all weather friend China.

United Nations Security Council discussed the Kashmir Issue behind closed doors, and as expected, Pakistan & China failed miserably as the 4 other countries backed India. But the question is what gives the international body the legitimacy to interfere in India’s internal matter & secondly, why do they selectively choose matters? Why didn’t they discuss issues plaguing their own country?

Historic Spillover

The year was 1945 and the world had just witnessed the Second World War. The destruction caused by the war was massive. 85 million lives were lost and close to $1.6 trillion was gutted in the war.

The world had never witnessed a tragedy of this scale. The existing ‘League of Nations’ had failed to check the ambitions of Hitler and Mussolini. 50 countries lead by the USA then decided to form a body that could maintain peace and harmony in the world.

On June 26, 1945 these 50 countries ratified a new inter-govermental body which came into existence months later in October 1945. United Nations was created heralding a new era in the world history.

Today United Nations is considered as the most successful trans-national body but its critics think otherwise. Let’s take a look if the body has lived up to its motive of securing international security.

A Success Story or a massive failure?

The biggest impact UN has had is in the sector of healthcare. WHO successfully eradicated Small Pox and the UN health care agency also successfully removed the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. In the last 70 years health care indicators like Maternal Mortality Rate and Infant Mortality Rate has drastically reduced all thanks to the persistent efforts of WHO.

In the field of Culture, UNESCO World Heritage Sites have helped in the preservation and protection of unique culture and natural heritage of various countries.

Many however consider the United Nations a monumental failure. Apart from failing to tackle the Kashmir and the Palestine issue. The peace keeping force of the United Nations failed to prevent the Srebrenica Massacre and the 1994 Rwanda Massacre. Despite allegedly having prior information, UN was unable to stop the killings.

The Oil for Food program was meant to help the cash strapped Iraq, but soon UN officials were accused of bribery and till date the United Nations has refused to make the internal audits public

The failure to check the growth of terrorism in countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan is also considered as UN’s biggest failure.

United Nations Security Council has been accused of creating a new world power. China, US, UK, France and Russia being the permanent members have been accused of meddling in the functioning of other countries. They have blocked the entry of new permanent members, plus Arab and African countries have been poorly represented in the council.

INDIA, THE LAND OF COUNTLESS WONDERS

TRAVEL

One of many things that makes me a proud Indian is our amazing culture. While the world has always looked down on India as a country full of snake charmers and elephants, India has much more to offer than what meets the eye. Here are a few reasons why India is the cultural capital of the world.

Rust free since 912 BC!

The grandeur and the calligraphy of the world’s largest brick minaret Qutub Minar is certainly breathtaking. But what really intrigues me is the Loha Stambh or the Iron Pillar located in the Qutub Complex .

The iron pillar was built in 912 BC and suprisingly has not rusted till date. While stainless steel was discovered in the 20th century by the Western scientists, Indian metallurgists had already perfected their art more than 2000 years ago.

The floating pillar

Photo credits: unknown

A pillar that stands firm and yet doesn’t touch the ground? Yes, you read that right. The Lepakshi temple at Andhra Pradesh is an architectural wonder, the skill and the exemplary talent of Indian craftsman is evident from this stoned marvel.

A pillar located in the temple premises appears to float midair. While several theories exist till date scientist and architects from around the country have no explanation as to how this is even possible.

Ellora Caves

Ever wondered why these 34 caves ever made it to UNESCO World Heritage site list?

Well the answer is simple. These caves are neither natural nor a structure built with bricks. But these caves were CHISELED out from a mountain range.

Chandagiri mountain range was converted into a group of cave temples over a course of 500 years.
The caves temples houses both Hindu gods and Jain symbols.

Rani ki ‘wow’

At Patan, Gujarat exists a ‘temple’ like no other. Rani ki vav or the Queens step-well is a marvel.

From the beautiful apsaras to Vishnu sleeping underneath the thousand hooded serpents this seven floor step-well is indeed a treasure trove

While the list of monumental wonders in India are countless, one can only help but wondered how advanced our ancestors were in the field of art and science to produce these marvels.

CAN PEACE EVER PREVAIL IN THE KASHMIR VALLEY?

National News

When Mughal emperor Jahangir visited the famed Shalimar Bagh located in Kashmir, it is said that he recited this famous Persian couplet written by Amir Khusrau.

“Agar firdaus bar rōy-e zamin ast, hamin ast-o hamin ast-o, hamin ast.”

Meaning

“If there is a paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this.”

But had Jahangir witnessed the state of affairs in Kashmir today, he most certainly would have taken his words back.

Kashmir, today is a pale shadow of her glorious past. The valley is amidst a major turmoil, both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir as it’s own and several Kashmiri’s are demanding an “Azad Kashmir” or Independent Kashmir.

But what led to this situation, what really plagues Kashmir today and most importantly does the Kashmir problem have any solution?

Birth pangs

To understand the present, one needs to understand the past and to understand Kashmir’s problem, we will have to go back in time.

In 1947, British crown wound up its rule in India. British India would would soon become India and Pakistan.

British India was at that point in time divided into Princely Provinces and British States. Princely provinces had the option of either joining India or Pakistan or the ruler could choose to remain independent.

As the map of both the countries were being formed, Muslim majority provinces and states chose sides with Pakistan, Hindu majority with India, but a very unique problem arose in Kashmir.

Kashmir, a princely province was ruled by a Hindu ruler Maharaja Hari Singh, but the majority of his subjects were Muslims.
Maharaja neither chose Pakistan nor India.

Both Sardar Vallahbhai Patel and Mohammed Ali Jinnah tried to woo Hari Singh to change his stand but he didn’t. Hari Singh indecisiveness and his failure to interpret the implications of his decision continues to haunt many Kashmiri’s.

On October 24, 1947 insurgents from Pakistan terrorised the Valley and the panic stricken King signed an ‘Instrument of Accession’ with Government of India. The war ended in 1948 after a cease-fire was laid out by United Nations. During the war Pakistan gained unauthorized control over 34% of Kashmir’s territory and has been controlling this region ever since.

The Hate Politics

For Kashmir however, the biggest problem is the politics it’s leaders played to remain in limelight. Be it the Abdullah family or the Mufti’s, politicians always ensured the flame of hatred remained alive among the public. No leader till date has anything concrete to solve the power, water and unemployment crisis in the state and in turn blame Indian government for the problems existent in the state.

Plus Pakistan which is unable to maintain its own state of affairs has always meddled in Kashmir’s politics. Pakistan has always encouraged the opinion of separatists and suppressed the real opinion of the residents of Kashmir.

Insurgency and the Exodus

The result of Pakistan’s support to the separatists voices was the rise in insurgency in 1989 -1990. Kashmiri Hindus( also known as Kashmiri Pandits) were targeted by the militants. Pandit women were raped, young children tortured and men killed in the most brutal manner all in the guise of ‘azadi’. Nearly 1,00,000 KP families left the valley and were made refugees in their own motherland. Families were forced to leave behind everything and start life from scratch in places distant from their homeland.

Does the Kashmir problem have any solution? Of course, yes!

However the answer is not so simple.

On the international arena, India must amp up support against Pakistan. Every cease-fire violation , every attempt to undermine peace in the valley must be taken up seriously. Be it the United Nations or any international forum, India must make it clear that any dialogue with Pakistan is not possible without peace.

As Pakistan controls a vast territory of Kashmir it would not be wise to disband talks with it, but clever use of pressure tactics by senior diplomat holds the key for Kashmir’s future.

On the national front, Kashmir can no longer remain aloof. Now hat Article 370 has been abolished, The government must take initiative and build better infrastructure in the union territory. Industry must be established to ensure job opportunities arise. Skills of the youth must be developed to prevent them from going astray and joining militancy.

Thirdly the government needs to incorporate the real voice of Kashmir. Several politicians and separatist ‘leaders’ have hijacked the Kashmir issue. India is still unaware of aspirations of Kashmiris and the real voice is still suppressed. All the communities from the valley be it Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or Christians must be treated as equal stakeholder. Their opinion and their demands must be taken into account before any decision is taken.

It’s been over 70 years since India’s independence and it’s about time normalcy and peace returns to Kashmir and the Paradise has witnessed enough and it’s residents have suffered enough!