Archive for January 9th, 2008

Blame it on Gandhi (the M K, that is)

January 9, 2008

This is not the first time that I see Gandhi being blamed for the ills of present day India. The most surreal one was when I saw him being blamed for Gujarat riots in 2002; I forget the arguments; all I remember was that is was stupid and mindless.

Here is another one to add to the list — Jaithirth Rao in Indian Express:

The beginning of the end of inner-party democracy in the Congress must squarely be placed as Mahatma Gandhi’s doing. When Subhash Chandra Bose defeated the Mahatma’s candidate, Dr Pattabhi Sitaramayya, in a fairly fought election for the Tripuri session, Bose was simply “not allowed” to operate and he subsequently resigned. It was clear to all observers that only Gandhi’s nominee could lead the Congress irrespective of the views of the rank and file party members.

It is easy to see that, isn’t it? Congress party (as well as all the parties in India and Pakistan, since they all are but derivatives of Congress) runs just like Gandhi taught it to run. If only he was a bit more democratic, we could have avoided all these problems 😦

Churmuri, from whom I got the link, not only calls it a fine piece but goes on to quote the Gandhi part of the piece (with several commentors joining the Gandhi/Nehru bashing):

Jaithirth Rao in The Indian Express has a fine piece on the contrast between the subcontinent—19-year-old Bilawal Zardari Bhutto being asked to assume his mother’s mantle—and two individuals without any inheritance (financial or otherwise), without any aristocratic connections—Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee—emerging as front-runners for the leadership of two of the oldest political parties in the oldest continuous constitutional republic in the world.

Take a look!

PS: I do not know if I have mentioned it in this blog earlier; I have found Reba Som’s book Gandhi, Bose, Nehru and the making of the modern mind is a good place to learn about the interactions between these three.

A calorie comparison!

January 9, 2008

D Balasubramanian, in his Speaking of Science piece this week, compares the calorie content of some Indian snacks and tiffin with some of the fast food:

A hamburger with toppings yields 300 calories (cal) and 10 grams (g) total fat. A slice of pepperoni pizza has 180 cal and 7 g fat.

A 12-oz (340 ml) can of Coca Cola yields 155 cal, and a small portion of McDonald’s French fries has 210 cal, and as much as 15g total fat (and the bad ones, the trans fats, form 4g of this amount).

Compare these with Indian snacks and ‘tiffin’. One midsize idli offers 70 cal and 0.2 grams fat, a sada dosa 140 cal and 5 grams fat (hence a set dosa or steamed dosa is better), and a samosa packs 370 cal and 18 grams fat (matching a pizza slice or a plate of fries).

A glass of lassi (200 g) gives you 140 cal and 2 grams fat (only if it is not ‘malai dal ke’). In the list of fattening dishes of India, korma and biryani stand on top, while ‘tikka’ items cooked in dry oven are low fat.

The only data I would have loved to see is the calorie content of a midsize vada and a typical helping of Upma!

Take a look!