What kind of Story do you want? (Indian Journalism - The Real Face)

Earlier today Open Magazine posted audio conversations tapes between Nira Radia (corporate lobbyist ) and Barkha Dutt (NDTV Journalist) on their website. Openmagazine page isn’t accessible due to heavy traffic but somehow DholiBaba managed brief content from their site.

I am not a journalist and neither I have taken the "ठेका" to "सुधार" this country. I have always tried to speak up my mind here (no matter if it matters to anyone) and I stick to that. This is my personal space and only you're responsible for your irresponsible behaviour after reading my posts. 

While reading current affairs on the internet today, I came across this 'emerging story' where the top journalists (or powerbrokers?) are trying to 'fix' things for politicians and corporates. It's interesting to read if you wanna know what kind of people are 'Breaking the News' on TV and everywhere else in India.

Disclaimer: Dholibaba does not claim if the tapes/transcripts are genuine or not & neither he is associated with any political party. I got these transcripts from Open Magazine’s website and some search on the internet with the help of available search tools (I am an IT guy after all!).

If you're from Open Magazine and feel that I should get this post removed, I will be more than happy to do that. I respect your copyrights! Just drop me a mail. 

If you're Barkha Dutt or anyone from NDTV, I am not responsible for anything you read here. I have just tried to share it with fellow Indians as the Open Magazine servers crashed sometime ago. I have nothing to do with these tapes and the transcripts and am not a forensic expert to tell you that the tapes are genuine!

Background of the story:

As talks between the DMK and Indian National Congress (‘them’) broke down over joining the Government in May 2009, Nira Radia (don't know if she is a Ms or Mrs) was actively involved in opening channels between the two parties through, among others, television journalist Barkha Dutt.

Link for Audio Tapes: 

The below conversations (which you can also hear in the above tapes) took place between Nira Radia and Barkha Dutt of NDTV.

Transcripts of the conversations:

DATE 22 May 2009 TIME 09:48:51

RADIA: Hi, did I wake you up?

BARKHA: No, no, no. I’ve been up, ya, most of the night. The stalemate continues, yaa.

RADIA: Yeah. Listen, the thing is that they need to talk to him directly. That is what the problem is.

BARKHA: Haan so, apparently PM’s really pissed off that they went public.

RADIA: But that’s Baalu’s doing, naa… he was not instructed by Karunanidhi to do that.

BARKHA: Oh, he wasn’t?

RADIA: This is not. He was told to come away and tell Congress that.

BARKHA: And he went public

RADIA: Well, the media… media, the media was standing outside.

BARKHA: Oh God. So now what? What should I tell them? Tell me what should I tell them?

RADIA: I’ll tell you what it is—the problem and I have had a long chat with both his wife and with the daughter right

BARKHA: Haan, haan.

RADIA: The problem is if the Congress has a problem with Baalu, if they have no problem with anyone. They need and go talk to Karunanidhi. They have very good relationship with Karunanidhi directly.

BARKHA: Correct, haan.

RADIA: Because you see, in front of Baalu, in front of Maran, they can’t talk.


RADIA: So they have to tell him directly, there [are] enough Congress leaders in Tamil Nadu. They need to go in and tell him exactly—the biggest problem is that the following of Alagiri is saying that you cannot give [inaudible] a cabinet [inaudible] and keep Alagiri in the MoS state.

BARKHA: That’s right. But will Karuna drop Baalu?

RADIA: He… look, if you tell him that Baalu is the only problem. I would imagine, he will drop him.

BARKHA: But you see the problem right now is also over the choice of portfolios, naa…

RADIA: No. They’ve not said anything. The portfolios have not even got discussed.

BARKHA: Congress claims, for whatever it’s worth, that the DMK wanted surface transport, power, IT, telecom, railways and health.

RADIA: You see, you see my honest advice…


RADIA: ..is that you tell them that they need to tell him directly that we are happy because Kani’s [Kanimozhi, DMK Chief Karunanidhi’s daughter] got no issue being about independent. But Alagiri is now telling her that you cannot take an independent charge if Maran remains cabinet minister.

BARKHA: I see.

RADIA: And Congress is sending messages through media and through various sources, saying that. And Maran is telling everyone that he is the only acceptable person.

BARKHA: Person, yeah, yeah, yeah. That I know.

RADIA: But that’s not correct, naa?

BARKHA: No, I know. We’ve taken that off. We’ve taken that off.

BARKHA: Also, but, but the Congress needs to tell Karunanidhi that we have not said anything about Maran.

BARKHA: Okay. Let me talk to them again.

RADIA: Yeah? The choice of candidate we will leave to you. We have some reservation about Baalu. And let them tell the reservation. And we have not said anything about Maran. We are not talking


In another telecon, Barkha Dutt offers Niira Radia the assurance that she is on the job as a reliable go-between

“That’s not a problem, I’ll talk to Azad. I’ll talk to Azad right after I get out of RCR” —BARKHA DUTT

DATE 22 May 2009 TIME 10:47:33

BARKHA: Haan, Niira?

RADIA: Barkha, what I’m told is that the Congress yesterday, apparently, God knows who they are talking to in the DMK.

BARKHA: Haan, well must be Maran…

RADIA: Relayed—no, they relayed that the infrastructure portfolio should not be given to Maran or Baalu.

BARKHA: No, that’s because they want to keep it for themselves.

RADIA: No, they wanted to; they didn’t want any infrastructure, that’s what Prime Minister said, so he said that’s why they give him labour, fertiliser, chemical—and telecom, IT, they said for Raja. So what has happened is, is that message not relayed to Karunanidhi?

BARKHA: Oh I see!

RADIA: They might have told some minion down the line or told Maran who is not relaying the truth.

BARKHA: I think they have told Maran.

RADIA: Yeah, now what they need to do is, they need to speak to Kani so she can set up the discussion with her father, because even the Prime Minister’s discussion was … she was the one who’s translating, and it was a very brief discussion for two minutes.


RADIA: That we’ll try and work it out, and the let’s not you know take it a hasty easy decision. That’s the type of conversation that happened.

BARKHA: No, I’ll set it up as soon as they get out of RCR.

RADIA: What she saying is that, you know, that someone senior like Ghulam [Nabi Azad, senior Congress leader]—because he is the one who is authorised to speak. ….

BARKHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

RADIA: Right? Was to speak to her then she can tell her father that I have got this message from the Congress.

BARKHA: Theek hai, not a problem. That’s not a problem, I’ll talk to Azad—I’ll talk to Azad right after I get out of RCR [Race Course Road, presumably, the PM’s residence].

RADIA: Yeah, and then she said when father lands, I can speak to him.



The two conversationalists touch base again

“I’ve had a long chat, I had a long chat, and they promised me that Azad will speak to her” —BARKHA DUTT

DATE 22 May 2009 TIME 15:31:29

RADIA: They will speak to her?


RADIA: Who? Ghulam?

BARKHA: Ghulam. Yeah.

RADIA: You know, the problem is she’s catching a flight at five haan, going back. Dayanidhi Maran is attending the swearing in when only Raja has been authorised to attend, so he’s gone and told his leader that Ahmed Patel has told me especially to attend the swearing in.

BARKHA: Ahmed says this is rubbish …

RADIA: But I am telling you but this. Karunanidhi’s very confused.

BARKHA: No, but why can’t Kani stay also and attend it?

RADIA: She doesn’t want to attend no because her father told her to come back. She has to follow what she’s father says, no. Call Ghulam then.

BARKHA: Let me call him.

RADIA: She’s leaving at five. She’s catching a flight at five.


Niira Radia and Barkha Dutt discuss cabinet composition possibilities—with Raja’s inclusion or non-inclusion the big question

“I am telling you, nahin hai. Trust me. Nahin hai” —NIIRA RADIA

DATE 22 May 2009 TIME time 18:09:06

BARKHA: No, you see Congress’s condition is Baalu should not get surface transport. Not Baalu, DMK should not get surface transport, beyond individuals right?

RADIA: Correct, correct, and they are not individuals. Let me tell you one thing’s for sure, 3 plus 4 was yesterday; because of Maran, they wanted to make it 4 plus 3.


RADIA: So, now it is back to 3 plus 4 that was already worked on the table?

BARKHA: No, so why does this formula not sound right then?

RADIA: Because of Alagiri naa, if you make Alagiri… not cabinet. No, he’s not got cabinet.

BARKHA: Oh, Alagiri got what, according to these things?

RADIA: You see, according to her, he’s got Health, but he can’t be cabinet. Either Maran is not cabinet, either Raja is not cabinet or Baalu’s not.

BARKHA: Alagiri’s got Health and that’s a big compromise by Congress because they said we won’t give them Health. So that’s their face saver. No, but Alagiri, Health can be cabinet?

RADIA: Agreed, but then Raja is MoS.

BARKHA: Raja is MoS!

RADIA: Then is Baalu MoS?

BARKHA: Nahin ho sakta. Nahin, nahin, nahin, if Baalu gets the Heavy Industries and Alagiri is in the Fertiliser, according to …. Baalu gets Fertilizer; Alagiri gets this thing, Health.

RADIA: Maran gets Telecom and IT.

BARKHA: Maran gets Telecom and IT. Raja gets demoted.

RADIA: Who gets…?

BARKHA: Raja. Nahin hoga?

RADIA: I am telling you nahin hai (laughing). Trust me, nahin hai.

BARKHA: Achcha, theek hai.


In yet another telecon, Barkha Dutt explains her situation to Niira Radia

“Everybody I know in the Congress was at the swearing-in, so I haven’t been able to speak with the top guys, and now I just finished and I am going to make my set of calls” BARKHA DUTT

DATE 22 May 2009 TIME 19:23:57

BARKHA: You see, what happened was everybody I know in the Congress was at the swearing in, so I haven’t been able to speak with the top guys, and now I just finished and I am going to make my set of calls.

RADIA: Kani just landed in Chennai. Just now. I just spoke…

BARKHA: Where is Daya? Where is Maran?

RADIA: Daya didn’t turn up for the swearing in because he was called back, because he went and told Karunanidhi that I have been asked by Ahmed Patel to come for the swearing in. But the leader said then you join the Congress.

BARKHA: (laughs) So now?

RADIA: So Raja was the only one who’s authorised to attend which he’s done and Raja’s catching the 8:40 flight…



You can also read about famous journalist Vir Sanghavi's conversation with Nira Radia at the link below (I hope the Open Magazine site is up by this time).


I tried to check the Open Magazine site but I got the below:

My State Dinner - Part II (Grand Finale)

Now that you know what all happened in the first hour of my stay at the Bhavan, it’s time for me to tell you the remaining part. So here it comes – My State Dinner Part II.

Ok for you all who think that the dinner was just to welcome the US President, hold on! There were a few other reasons to celebrate India on that night. The first one was the successful completion of the Common ‘Wealth’ Games and the second one the successful auction of the 2G Spectrum in India! What more can an Indian ask for? Celebrating two of the most successful events in the history of Independent India. There have been a lot of events in the history of India before this but these two stand out as these events are showcasing India’s power (whatever that means) to the whole world.

( DholiBaba seen here with Mr and Mrs. Obama and Mr. Manmohan Singh )

The Great Kalamadi and The King ‘Raja’ were the center of attention at the dinner table. Oh Yes! The dinner table was a huge one – which could easily accommodate at least 300 guets at one go. Later I came to know that the Presidential Palace had ‘purchased’ it at an auction of the ‘remains’ of the ‘Games Village’! The center table was much talked about at the gathering. Everyone was wondering how Kalmadi and his team ‘imported’ the ‘special’ wood which was used to manufacture the table. Everyone rose to the occasion and a toast was the starting point of the dinner. A successful completion of such a big event without a pinch of corruption was a matter of pride for everyone present there. I could see Mr.Kalmadi laughing (all the way to his bank account) & cheering everyone. I never expected but the cheering was carried out by some ‘cheerleaders’ specially imported from the US. Yes! They were from the ‘Washington Redskins Cheerleaders’ group which was hired by Vijay Mallya for his IPL team a couple of years ago. The cheerleaders got the guests ‘going’ and swing to the latest Bollywood numbers.

One favorite song among the guests was, “Munni Badnaam Hui ….”. It was simple for me to understand the reason behind it. Everyone else (except Kalmadi) were replacing ‘Munni’ with ‘Dilli’ while gyrating their pelvis to the item number. The sheer joy and happiness was sponsored by none other than the King of Good Times – Mallya! I can see the pride in his eyes. First cause the same cheerleaders which enhanced his team’s appeal were gracing the occasion and second, the sheer joy of seeing KingFisher rule everywhere.

While all this was happening, I could see Mr and Mrs Obama having a good time together. And yes, Michelle was the tallest (man) at the gathering! She was wearing some handicrafts she had bought in the afternoon from one of the ‘Handicraft Mela’ organized specially for the Obamas. She loved it and her love for her wardrobe was visible in her sparkling eyes. Barack was also chilled out so I thought why not have a word with him. There was my moment in the history (of my life) – me standing next to Mr. President of the United (48) States of America. America – which was ‘discovered’ by a guy called ‘Columbus’ after he missed his bus and took a boat to roam around the world.

As I went to Mr. Obama, he welcomed me with a smile. I didn’t tell him that I have a history (good one - at least I can say that and a few others say so) in IT Industry, else he would have completely ignored me (for reasons well known). I introduced him myself as – “Anand Dholi: Just another Indian who feels proud of the ‘Adarsh’ with which we successfully completed the Common ‘Wealth’ Games.” I was curious to know how a simple (?) man can be the president of America. I was curious to know his vision about ‘World Peace’ (I knew it was not any Miss World/Universe pageant where all the participants are worried about their makeup and ‘World Peace’). So I asked and apt came the reply “Yes! We can!!!”. To which I said in my mind, कर तो हम भी सकते है!”. When I asked him to explain more about his ‘Can’ word, I guess he was confused with my pronunciation (me being schooled in Marathi medium all my life) and said that ‘Coca-Cola’ was on the right hand side of the dinner table. Without further delay, I said bye to him and moved on.

The surprise of the dinner was Rahul Gandhi sitting next to an old man called L K Advani. I was just wondering what they must be discussing while sitting next to each other. One guess was – How the East meets West? How can they screw up Mayawati’s plan of becoming the next PM of India, considering the old man was never able to fulfill his dream of a lifetime all these 85 years and the younger one hopes to become the PM one day. But I couldn't make any further guesses into their discussion as their age difference was huge!

I could see another old man called Krishna (MEA and not MA as in "Agneepath") making some notes. I think he was preparing himself to talk to the American President about our beloved neighbor. The sheer anger I could see in his eyes was not for the issues with our neighbor but the chicken that had been served to him. I guess he was not happy with the preparation and I saw him calling one of the ‘Chefs’ and explaining how he should make notes before preparing anything. Then there was the King – RAJA! He looked like one. Any ‘G’ (be it ‘Games’ or ‘2G’) is a hot topic at any political gatherings and the sheer joy of being at the center can only be felt by people like Raja. I was very happy to see that Raja was using BSNL movile service. Made me proud cause at least they have one customer who must be happy with the services of BSNL!

Sitting at one of the corners were a lady and a gentleman, named Jaylalitha and Karunanidhi respectively. The lady was wearing one hell of an ensemble and the gentleman was flashing his goggles (you can also Google to find out the man who wears his goggles 24x7) in the dark. I guess Karunanidhi has signed a huge deal as a brand ambassador with Ray-Ban, else he wouldn’t be wearing those 'spectacular' specs all the time – even when he goes to bed! But one thing I didn’t notice was the chair in which the lady was sitting. I realized it a bit later. The chair has some huge wheels so that the guest sitting on it can be moved smoothly from one place to another.

While all this was going on, the guests heard a huge thud – like that of an earthquake. I ran to the nearest pillar hearing the same. After a few moments, we all realized that it was a guy called ‘Gad’kari (‘Gad’ means a ‘Fort’ in Marathi language) who had slipped on the floor. I have seen him slipping his tongue a few times (since he became the president of a party) but this was the first time I saw him slipping literally. The US secret service guys immediately arranged one crane to lift him up from the ground. With that kind of body, one needs a crane to get lifted for sure. The action of the secret service was quick though (I later came to know that the Delhi Police had arrived at the Bhavan next day noon cause some one really panicked after the thud and dialed ‘100’).

With the tuxedos the secret service guys were wearing at the dinner, I could hardly laugh at my ‘Jitendra’ (the Bollywood actor of yester years) getup – a white shirt and a white trouser! But then, I wanted to be just one of ‘them’.

The food was really good and I think (not sure) that the order of the dinner was placed with ‘Karims’ from Chandani Chowk. But one thing got my attention like none other. I saw two women cooking food at one of the corners. They had their ‘choolha’ made up of stoned and wood there. They were preparing some special dish for some special guest. Both the women looked like they were coming from the ‘real’ India, economically weak and deprived. Their clothes were saying that loudly. I was moved. I just went to see what they were cooking and what brought them to this gathering. When I asked them about the special food they were preparing, pat came the reply – “हम राहुलजी के लिए खाना बनावत है. उनको हमरे हाथ का खाना बहुत अच्छा लागत है!(in Obama’s mother tongue it means, “We are preparing the food for Rahil-ji. He loves food cooked by us.”) I had no words to say & seeing Rahul-ji having food at many places on TV, I just had to move to another corner of the dinning room.

I was really amazed by the experiences that night. I got to see the cream of India - one I had never dreamt of ever seeing at one place. I was hungry so I moved to the table where all the preparations were put together. The man that I am, I was happy with my झूनका भाकर (Zoonka Bhakar – A preparation made up of Besan and Bajara Roti). I didn't try the sweets as the memories of that dinner are the sweetest thing that I will have with me forever!!!

P.S.:     There is no 'Part III' of the 'My State Dinner' series as I heard that ‘Rakth Charitra’ has only 2.

My State Dinner - Part I

I generally avoid dinners organized by others because I love to pay for my own dinner. But this was something different. How many times in your life will you be invited to a state dinner by ‘The President of India’?

Well, here I was. I think I was the lucky one chosen from a tough process. The President had ordered inclusion of a few ‘Common Indians’ to the State Dinner she had organized in the honor of the President of USA (अमरीका)– Mr.Barack Obama. The selection process was tough. The Income Tax Dept of India was asked to choose a few people who had struggled to get their IT Refunds back from the Govt. I being harassed by the Dept for 4 yrs suddenly was in the news for I was one of the lucky ones to get selected!

Never in my wildest dreams had I thought that I would go for a state dinner at the “Rashtrapati Bhavan”. It was once in a lifetime opportunity and I never wanted to miss it. It took me a few hours to find a white shirt and a white trouser which I thought of wearing for the dinner. The politicians like to look ‘clean’ with the white colors on and I thought if I wear something else, I would look like the odd one out. I had no other choice but to go for ‘white’. I couldn’t afford to buy a new ‘Ambassador’ car and I drove with my old Honda to the venue.

It was ‘the’ place to be that night. I mean, you guys can’t even imagine. The place, the lights, and the security – everything was like a dream or a Hollywood movie. I was sure, no trespassers would make it to the dinner unlike they do at the ‘Whitehouse’.

I was taken to the ‘Bhavan’ after I somehow managed to park my car. I went alone as I was invited alone. So don’t think that I was with ‘someone’ at the party (sorry ‘Dinner’).

As I walked through the corridor of the Bhavan, I was able to see the pictures of all our ex-Presidents and ex-PMs! What a sight that was. For once I wondered if I was visiting an Old Age Home because all the Presidents looked like they were abandoned by their families in the OLD age and then they came to power (?) as the President of India. Well, the PMs were a good sigh of relief for me. I did see all the PM’s pictures closely and was happy that apart from the gentlemen called ‘Vajpeyi’ and ‘Deve Gowda’, all other PMs were awake while their pictures were taken.

( I clicked this picture with my 'Yashica' camera! )

I was really very happy to be there. I thought I was the luckiest ‘Common’ man to be there. Then there was the moment, I was waiting for - To get introduced to the elite of Indian politics, business and cinema (these cinema buggers always jump in at any event). The person accompanying me took me to the President and proudly introduced me saying, “He wasn’t able to get his IT Refund for 4 years only.” The President smiled back and said, “कमीत-कमी तुला पैसे मिळाले तरी. इथे बर्र्याच लोकांच उभ आयुष्य निघून जात रिफंड ची वाट बघत.” (which in Obama's mothertounge means -"At least you got the money. Most people spend their lifetime waiting for the IT Refund.)

Oh Sorry, I guess you guys know that the President is a Maharashtrian (that doesn’t mean that I was the ‘chosen’ one for the dinner, I qualified cause of my IT Refund criteria only) and hearing my last name (having a look at the proud badge I was wearing – ANAND DHOLI), she could make out that I was either a Maharashtrian or an Alien with that kind of last name!

I was taken aback by the humble President. I can say that cause I had received the ‘menu’ of the dinner along with my invitation letter and it has ‘Misal Pav’ and ‘Vada Pav’ as the main course! A true Maharashtrian in every sense and a humble Indian! When the whole of Bombay lives on ‘Vada Pav’, how can the President ignore it? The ‘Vada Pav’ was from ‘Krishna Vada Pav Center’ at Dadar (West). The packing of the Vada Pav was clearly saying it.

Oh sorry, how can I move to food topic so early in my visit? Ok. Where was I? Yeah! The introduction of mine lasted for a few minutes. I almost met all of the guests. This was on my agenda so that when I go back home, I could tell all my relatives, friends, family members that I had met the who’s who of India! While being introduced to the President of USA, the guy accompanying me said, “He is Anand Dholi and he doesn’t own a flat in Adarsh Society.” The President smiled. I felt a little awkward by this cause everyone standing tall in that hall had a stake in Adarsh Society. What a shame for me! I couldn’t manage a simple flat in this esteemed society and have wasted my life renting a house all my life. I really felt like leaving the party cause I was not in the other people’s league but I couldn't, cause this was once in a lifetime opportunity for me. How could I let you all be deprived of what all I saw that night there? So I decided to stay. Just for you! My blog readers!

(Obama seen here with the 'Chefs' who had prepared the dinner that night - clicked with my 'Yashica' camera)

Ok. Now its time for me to stop and would request you to come back here in some days time. Don’t miss the second part of the series. What all I have written above is just the first 1 hour of my stay at the ‘Rashtrapati Bhavan’! I stayed there for nearly 3 hours and 55 minutes. So if you want to know what all happened later on, do come back here. Good option is to check this site every day!

If ‘Rakht Charitra’ can have a ‘Rakht Charitra-2’ (releasing on December 3rd 2010), why can’t my blog have a post as Part 1 and 2?

Corporate Social Media - The Mistakes You Should Avoid!

While reading some stuff about Corporate Social Media and its influence on today's organizations, I came across the below list of mistakes company's generally do while organizations try to travel the road to Enterprise 2.0.

Mistake 10: Overarchitecting the process. If there is one thing the consumerization of IT has taught us is that simplicity is the key to success. The social media suites are powerful and have lots of bells and whistles. If you try to use them all, the user is faced with an airplane dashboard, which is far from simple. Don't try to define collaboration, offer simple and easy-to-use mechanisms. More ornate structures will emerge if needed. 

Mistake 9: Going it alone. Enterprise 2.0 and social media are hot, hot, hot. IT departments are rightly leading the way in promoting adoption. But when a social media suite gets dumped on business users who have had no input, success rarely follows. The same thing is true when business users attempt to get collaboration going on consumer software without consulting IT. Both IT staff and businesspeople must work together.

Mistake 8: Lack of executive sponsorship. Getting a budget approved is one thing. Getting hundreds or thousands of people to change the way they do their jobs won't happen without a clear message from the top. If adoption of social media is seen as optional, it will not happen. Only executives can make clear that change is required.

Mistake 7: Failing to establish a starting point. Improving business outcomes is the ultimate goal of Enterprise 2.0. To tell whether an internal social media implementation has worked, you must know where you are starting from. How long does it take to do the important tasks? How frustrated are users with internal tools? If you measure at the beginning, you can tell if the implementation worked.

Mistake 6: Failing to establish specific goals. In most companies, key activities such as creating proposals, resolving customer complaints and creating designs for new products all have a collaborative element. Users will wonder why a social media platform is adopted unless you explain that the goal is something they can clearly understand, such as cutting the time and expense of creating a proposal in half or making sure 95 customer complaints are resolved in 24 hours.

Mistake 5: Not communicating with users. Throwing a social media platform at a company is rarely effective. When IT departments go it alone, this often happens. The arrival of new ways of collaboration must be accompanied by detailed explanations of what is expected of everyone involved. The explanations must not just be training but must be part of the user interface so that people can get answers while using the new technology. In addition, users must be able to ask questions, make suggestions and get a response.

Mistake 4: Not setting clear expectations with executives. Senior management may expect 100% adoption of a new platform when 60% adoption might be the most that can be expected given the roles of the company. Adoption goals and other measures of success must be mapped out in advance with executives so that a victory doesn't accidentally look like a defeat.

Mistake 3: Stopping change management too soon. Change management means educating, communicating, recognizing success and promoting cultural change. After implementation, these activities must be part of on-boarding new employees and must be reinforced for existing staff. Too often, companies forget to make use of social media a part of a company's DNA.

Mistake 2: Getting distracted by the shiny new thing. Applying social media and advanced collaboration technology inside a company is exciting. Much is written about the latest developments in both technology and best practices. Enthusiasm for breaking new ground can work against focusing on the application of well-established and less exciting ways of making things work. This is especially true with respect to custom functionality. It is better to walk before running and do the simple useful thing rather than the complex magic trick.

Mistake 1: Not investing in community managers. Change takes energy. When adopting social media, the energy comes from two sources: end-users who are excited about solving long-simmering problems and community managers who are evangelists. End-users have a day job and it is a huge mistake to think that end-users alone can change a company's culture and successfully promote adoption in the long term. The day job of a community manager is making social media succeed, educating users, finding patterns of success, correcting mistakes, and in general, finding ways to expand the use of the platform. Community managers are not site administrators but agents of change. If you are spending money on software, you must spend money on change as well. Think of community managers as insurance that your technology investment will pay off.

A Letter to the President (राष्टपति/राष्ट्रपत्नी) of India!

Dear President of India,

I write to you as a proud citizen of India who is completely supporting the Commonwealth Games!

Being born and brought up in this country, I know that Corruption is our way of life for us Indians. We can't just ignore it. I feel very proud that the world, which earlier had just heard about corruption in India, now has witnessed it clearly. This is a proud moment for all Indians where we have to bribe the moment a child is born (to get his/her birth certificate) till he/she leaves the earth for heavens (to get the death certificate)!

I know that inflation is on the rise and no wonder the games budget increased many folds. I don't want to blame anyone for this. This was bound to happen with the circumstances around. There is no way we could have tacked it and given the priority of the games, am sure that this thing called inflation can 'definitely' wait 'indefinitely'!

The way I have seen Delhi turn into 'Mohenjo-Daro' (मोहन जोदड़ो) is awesome! I don't have any words left to describe the same. I am spellbound and have literally ran out of words. I mean, just think, "यहाँ भी खुदा है, वहाँ भी खुदा है ... दिल्ली में तो हर जगह खुदा है!". Its a spiritual experience for us living in NCR for the last 2 years or so. I am glad that though we won the bid for the games way back in 2003, the Government didn't float the first tender for the work to be completed, before 2008. This has really helped me live in a better way since 2003. Just imagine if we had started the work in 2003, me and millions like me, who came to this city for livelihood would have faced a lot of difficulties for 7 years! But thanks to the procrastination of the Government, we were saved of the trauma for at least 5 years. I am very proud of this!

We see GOD in every child! Though I don't believe in GOD, there are millions in this country, who believe in the almighty. Can you imagine the pleasure of entering the stadiums which were built by GODs? I can!!! Having seen child labor all over the place during the construction of the CWG venues, I am very proud that the venues have been touched and built by GODs! Children as young as three have been seen working in dangerous piles of rubble on a construction project that has already killed at least 45 people, including a two-year-old girl! A fete certainly to be very proud of!

I know we don't have enough funds to compensate the children and families who were exploited building the CWG stadiums, including those who died during its construction. We are a poor country and the very fact that many funds were directed towards the success of the games, I can very well understand your limitations. We can't support the poor. The so called 'National Pride' is at stake and we must make these games successful … we have to!

Today I also heard that there is a debate going on a topic – “Who will declare open the games on October 3rd?” I am surprised to see this kind of debate at this hour. Sorry, I am by now used to see things at the 11.59th hour in India, what I meant is, there is no question about this i.e. who will open the games. It should be you and only you. You are the first citizen of this country and a very proud one, given above all the facts. Please feel very proud when you declare the games open. We all Indians, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christians and every other religion, stand united behind you. We are also used to forget every grave problem that the country has faced in the past and no wonder we will be forgetting CWG by 15th October!

We are a country of snake charmers as most of the western countries believe and I am surprised that these very countries are complaining about snakes in the Games Village. How can they? Knowing that what we are, they holding a snake in hand and crying foul is unacceptable. I know you are deeply hurt by these kinds of events. I am also very happy with the ‘CWG Lanes’ and the Blue and Yellow colors on the roads everywhere in NCR. They make me feel colorful. Not to mention, with the snarling traffic, you get to see more colors of life which would not have been possible without these ‘CWG Lanes’. It’s just awesome! Never before did I spend an hour and thirty minutes to travel the 6 Km stretch to my office from home but with these lanes, I am enjoying the colors of life in the form of traffic jams!

I am also proud about the fact that the village was built on the banks of river Yamuna. What a feeling for those living there. With the scarcity of water in the village, the athletes can just walk to the river and do their things like washing, cleaning etc. This is called world class infrastructure. No western country will every understand this!

Last but not the least; we should also bid for the Olympics! This time we will raise the bar of corruption, one which no one has seen ever before. We have so many targets to achieve after these games. Education, poverty, unemployment, shortage of food grains; all these can wait but we should really focus on global events like the CWG or Olympics. We are a nation of billion dreams and now everyone has a dream, to see India bid and win the hosting of Olympics! With the present achievements at CWG 2010, I am pretty sure we have increased our chances many folds.

Before closing my letter, I would like to thank you for keeping people wait to reach the heaven by holding all the mercy petitions on your table. You're no less than any GOD. You have the complete right to justify your delay in awarding the death penalty to many a criminals and terrorists, who have killed innocent people in our country. I know that your first priority is the opening of the games and you should really stand by it. If India can wait for the stadiums to be ready by 3rd October, why can't some terrorists wait another few years?

Long live India and God (if there's any one) bless the country of billion dreams!

A Proud Citizen of India,


Why would I watch CWG Delhi 2010?

Whatever you think of it, I am surely going to enjoy the CWG this time! Frankly before this year’s event, I thought that the only games on mother earth are the Olympics! But now that I know that there is something called CWG and that Delhi city is hosting it, I am very eager to see the games. Not to mention, the reasons are mentioned in next paragraphs of this post.

It took Leonardo da Vinci at least four years to finish Mona Lisa so what if we couldn’t get Delhi ready for the games in seven years?

During 3rd till 14th of October, I will be in Delhi cheering for Mr. Kalmadi and my country... in that order! So stop being stupid & finding faults every now and then. Yes! A toilet paper can cost INR 4000.00! We have lots (read hell) going for us.  And let's prepare for the CWG. Give up your cars, your homes … Help the city, the nation and the games!!!

Indians politics and bureaucracy is about experience! Sheila Dikshit is the world's oldest aunty running a Government and Mr. Advani, the world's oldest dreamer of being a prime minister (I guess he still does dream). Suresh Kalmadi is the world's longest serving chief of a sports body (apart from Fidel Castro or someone with that name). These are things to be proud of for all of us Indians! After all, we are also proud to have the oldest parliament (in terms of age of the MPs) as well.

Day before yesterday, we people living in NCR felt the tremors of the earthquake. All of Mayawati's statues in NOIDA have survived the earthquake as well. She surely used unadulterated cement, any questions? And for those who don’t know, the earthquake in Delhi was a planned test-case - to see if the stadiums and flyovers will hold to the ground & will not succumb to the quake. Given how bad the traffic in Delhi is, it takes some time even for the tremors to travel from Delhi to NOIDA to Gurgaon to Faridabad to Gaziabad!

For that matter, Delhi citizens needn't be alarmed by tremors that were felt 2 days back. It's just the usual for us living in NCR. Digging roads and building them, again digging them, have some cables lying on the roadside, some cement bags here and there, some iron rods … its really very usual for us. No surprise in that for NCR people.

The CWG has also helped Delhi to be ‘Air Ready’! I mean, just think of the new Airport (or runway, whatever it is). It’s awesome! We should really hope and look forward to no ATC/Radar failure and for sure the guests will be able to land here. Immigration staff at the airport will be working and not chewing paan and will cause less pain the eyes of the visitors.

So what if stars like Usain Bolt are not showing up? (I also heard from sources that Usain Bolt is running his fastest from the CWG 2010 and Mosquitoes) Our own stars will shine! We shall bring in several medals. The stadiums will have tracks which won't be submerged because there are not tracks there! You have to build the ‘lane’ in your head while running! The Games Village, which was unveiled and opened to the guests couple of days ago, will have water in taps and will not be itself in water. The mosquitoes will not be the ones which cause dengue, but the ones which are gentler on human body! Well, the CM of Delhi has already confirmed that ‘Delhi is Dengue Free’. I guess she meant, Dengue is Free in Delhi!

Trust me, I came to Delhi in 2003 and since last two odd years, it’s not the same city that it was! Well, it’s not the same if you visit the city in a week’s time these days. Thanks to CWG! I think, Delhi looks like Mohenjo-Daro (मोहन जोदड़ो) when it (मोहन जोदड़ो) was rediscovered in 1922 by Rakhaldas Bandyopadhyay, an officer of the Archaeological Survey of India. You find more cranes in the city than you will find at any of the archeological survey sites in the universe! The cranes and the operators look like a deadly combo, which is on a mission to ‘re-discover’ Delhi! I think it should be declared heritage city with great walking tours because no cars can move on the roads these days and you have to be superhuman to walk on the Delhi roads.

(मोहन जोदड़ो - Could have been transformed into a CWG City with INR 34,000 Crores i.e.USD 7.5 Billion!)

I also think that Delhi should be declared world's first athletic city now. You have to jump so as to walk & you use all limbs to ward off Mosquitoes and manage the never ending potholes on the roads. The city will also become a heritage city soon (or it had already become one). With those loads of rubble lying everywhere, I think it's a sheer competition to मोहन जोदड़ो in 1922.

Many of the military services can also have Delhi as an ideal training venue. Where on earth a soldier can get more challenges than Delhi? And why you think these games are called ‘Common Wealth Games’? It’s not clear to me after seeing all this mess. When the Government is using ‘Common Man’s Wealth’ how can you NOT name the games ‘Common Wealth Games’? Do you have any answer? Then just shut up!

We are also offering a high speed train for the visitors from all over the world, to take them to Agra. But my only worry is, if they are crossing NOIDA mid-way, they might confuse Mayawati's statue for the Taj!

I think we will also take good care of the CWG athletes. By serving them spicy Indian food!!! It will kill two birds in one stone. First, the guests will enjoy real Indian spicy food and second, by the time they figure out where the latrine is, the games will be over. All the medals will be won by Indians and South Asian countries, which are used to spicy food!

The opening ceremony is going to be a high voltage affair. Now with a 60 Crores Rupees balloon, how can you expect something less? The ceremony will be a good show of our own (and usual) Bollywood stuff (do we care to showcase anything else to the world at such events?). And with the ‘cool’ (or cold?) theme song, we might as well fall asleep at the beginning of the ceremony itself!

ADVISORY FOR DELHI CITIZENS from DholiBaba: Schools are closed during the games, so send your children away. This is the best way to keep them away from mosquitoes (and Dengue) as well. Give up your travel and cars; else you might end up paying heavy fines for travelling on the CWG lanes. We have been used to filth and corruption all these years; don’t yell so much this time. Its national pride after all (read it ‘corruption’ or ‘games’ at your own 'discretion'). Enjoy the games!!!