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[agathiyar] Pursuing Transparency Relentlessly

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  • Bala Pillai
    Anbulla Innaiya Nanbargale, Another result of our transparency pursuit (thanks to LA Swaminathan s humour that broke the camel s back of my mind to declare
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 31, 1999
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      Anbulla Innaiya Nanbargale,

      Another result of our transparency pursuit (thanks to LA Swaminathan's humour
      that broke the camel's back of my mind to declare "Enough is Enough" and the
      other straws from many Tamil Innaiyam members prior to that), was us finding
      out that Prakash and Prof Anandakrishnan were to be in LA to pitch to
      investors
      on Sunday Aug 29 (invitation notice attached).

      I took the opportunity to ask some questions through an old-time Thamil
      Innaiyam envoy. I understand that an answer to questions below is on its
      way. I
      very much appreciate Prof Anandakrishnan and Prakash's detachedness from pain
      and pleasure in being man enough to answer the questions that count. Their
      inclination in this instance, to be in concord with fundamental Thamil
      panpaadu, deserves respect.

      Awaiting your promised response, Prakash and Prof Anandakrishnan. If we
      work in
      transparency together we will reign supreme and we will be a model for
      Asia. If
      opacity is imposed upon us, we will still reign supreme in the end. I have no
      doubt that the neelam of truth that Thamil Innaiyam, like a pearl in an oyster
      essences, will, through the laws of osmosis prevail through this borderless
      mind beaker. As opiating as opacity is, truth, once one has tasted enough of
      it, is orgasmic and the pursuit of it even more so. If the cholesterol of
      opacity is imposed upon our minds, our destiny will take heaps longer, cost
      heaps more and have our paths to be paved with lots more thorns - that's all.

      anbudan../bala
      bala@...
      sydney, australia


      >
      > Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 01:45:27 +1000
      > To: <deleted>
      > From: Bala Pillai
      > Subject: Questions For Prakash/Anandakrishnan Tomorrow
      >
      > Anbulla <deleted>
      >
      > Please ask the questions as verbatim as possible after stating that you are
      > asking on my behalf. Incidentally if I was attending a press conference on
      > behalf of Reuters, these are the questions I'd ask too. Took me a good long
      > while to phrase this as they are, so please don't let me down. Don't worry
      > about their reputations being tarnished etc - truth is truth. Dawn ONLY
      comes
      > after dark. Avoid the dark, and we are avoiding organically preordained dawn
      > as well. Confront the dark and dawn will come automatically.
      >
      > Thanks in advance.
      >
      > anbudan../bala
      >
      >
      > Questions on behalf of Bala Pillai, Founder Thamil Innaiyam (since 1995) &
      > Chairman, The Asia Pacific Internet Company, Sydney, Australia 
      > <bala@...> <<http://www.apic.net/>http://www.apic.net>
      >
      > Questions for Prakash and/or Prof Anandakrishnan
      >
      > 1) Silicon Valley is successful because compared to Tamilnadu, the Internet
      > culture is entrenched. Decisions are made faster. Business enterprise
      > infrastructure components like:-
      >
      > a) Company Registration Companies
      > b) Credit Reference Providors
      > c) Head-Hunting Companies
      > d) Financial Institutions
      > e) Stock Brokers/Venture Capitalists
      > f) and many more
      >
      > respond to email requests for information quickly. As well many take
      steps to
      > preempt email inquiries by having websites where Public & Customer Relations
      > experts are the direction setters instead of computer technicians.
      >
      > We do not see an acknowledgement that Internet culture exists by bodies such
      > as yourself in Tamilnadu. We notice even a resistance to work with foreign
      > Tamils who are immersed in the Internet culture. Even with some whom are
      > recognised and applauded as pioneers in the Asian and global Internet
      > community. Most emails sent to bodies in your purview are ignored. Given
      this
      > background:-
      >
      > Questions:
      >
      > 1) Do you believe in the power of email?
      >
      > 2) Do you believe in active Internet communications with public stakeholders
      > and prospective stakeholders?
      >
      > 3) What steps are you taking to have emails responded to within 24 hours? 
      >
      > 4) Would you agree that the biggest impediment to answering emails
      quickly is
      > the absence of an organisational climate that encourages transparency? A
      > climate that empowers staff to take risks and improve their interpersonal
      > communication skills. That it is these unlearning and learning to learn
      > skills NOT tools that are paramount? What specific steps,if any, is the
      > Tamilnadu government and the relevant parties that affect venture
      > capitalists, doing to address the A-Z of transparency?
      >
      > 5) According to Transparency International, India is rated 66th out of 85
      > countries below countries like China, Zambia and Botswana in the
      Transparency
      > Index. When is it your target to have Tamilnadu to be equivalent to the Top
      > 20 in the Transparency Index?
      >
      > 6)  What guarantees can the government give that commercial-in-confidence
      > ideas and consulting provided by prospective stakeholders will not be stolen
      > and used by others? Will it sign legally binding non-disclosure agreements?
      > Is the government willing to pay for consulting services to prepare itself
      > fully for investors? If it can't pay, how does the government intend to
      cross
      > the learning hurdle?
      >
      > Questions for Prof Anandakrishnan
      >
      > 7) Can you give us some specifics on Tamilnadu's plans for a Tamil Virtual
      > University?
      >
      > i) Do you have a fact sheet for the project?
      >
      > ii) We understand from reliable sources in Tamilnadu, that the main initial
      > target is Diaspora Tamils. Can you confirm this?
      >
      > iii)Has the government consulted with the leading Tamil online communities
      > like Thamil Innaiyam in putting together a mandate or a Request For
      Proposal?
      > If yes, who specifically and if no, why not? Does the government believe in
      > online communities enough to use them or not? Can you provide specific proof
      > of your usage of online communities?
      >
      > iv) What specific $ and other resources has the Tamilnadu government
      > allocated for this project for Year One and consequent years?
      >
      > v) How cognisant is the Tamil Virtual University committee, of the range of
      > interactive and community Internet resources available on the Internet? We
      > understand that you are not. Given that, are you going to engage Tamil
      > experts who may be able to help you? Or will you be continuing  what you did
      > with the Tamil font encoding standard fiasco which is an open secret in the 
      > Tamil Internet community? You refuse to take good consensuses since they are
      > not made in Tamilnadu and you do token appeasement of Diaspora Tamils for
      > Public Relations reasons. What steps are you going to take to get back to
      > Square Zero from minus ground in the Credibility arena with the Diaspora
      > Tamil community? Or do you care?



      >Dear Friend:
      >
      >I would like to cordially invite you to a meeting with two distinguished
      >individuals who are visiting the Bay area during the end of this month.
      >
      >Mr. Prakash Damodaran, the IT Secretary to the TamilNadu Government, will
      >discuss  "Opportunities for IT investments in TamilNadu ".
      >
      >Dr. M. Anandakrishnan, Vice-Chairman, State Council for Higher Education,
      >will talk about "Indian languages in Computers and Internet".
      >
      >This meeting is targeted at IT Professionals and entrepreneurs in the Bay
      >Area who are interested in IT related activities in TamilNadu and those who
      >may wish to know the current scope of investments and collaborations there.
      >The speakers  will be available for further individual discussions.
      >
      >
      >Date:    August 29,1999. (Sunday)
      >Time:    3:30 - 5:30 P.M.
      >Venue:  Embassy Suites Milpitas
      >            901 E Calaveras Blvd
      >            Milpitas, CA 95035 US
      >            Ph: 408-942-0400
      >(There is a cover charge of $5.00)
      >
      >Please forward this message to other individuals who you think may be
      >interested in this meeting.

      Note: Timezone differences between Sydney and LA has the date of my email to
      appear to be after the meeting. In reality it was obviously sent before the
      meeting.
    • Bala Pillai
      Anbulla Innaiya Nanbargale, Below is Prof Anandakrishnan s response to my questions. The clued-on amongst us -- and like in Copernican flat-earth times, it may
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 1, 1999
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        Anbulla Innaiya Nanbargale,

        Below is Prof Anandakrishnan's response to my questions. The clued-on amongst
        us -- and like in Copernican flat-earth times, it may or may not be the
        majority -- will realise that against thunuchaaraigal, the paaluti way, is the
        way to go.

        Thanks for responding Prof Anandakrishnan. From your responses and Patrick's
        responses and in the breast of George Bernard Shaw's "he who knows not what he
        knows not....." maxim, there is much more clarity now as to which horse we
        should allocate what mind resources to. Thathuvarayan's Free Tamil University
        here I come!! TVU - less from me but still lots more than what Thamil Innaiyam
        gets from you folks.

        anbudan../bala
        bala@...

        Prof Anandakrishnan:

        I wish to respond as frankly as possible to the points raised by Mr.Bala
        Pillai
        in his communication to you. As you know that having spent half my
        professional
        life of 50 years in USA and for United Nations I understand fully the value of
        free exchange of views and thoughts on public issues. Sometimes one has to
        live
        with filippant comments. Since I respect the spirit and intent of
        Mr.Balapillai
        I wish to give my comments purely in my personal capacity.

        <<Questions for Prakash and/or Prof Anandakrishnan

        1) Silicon Valley is successful because compared to Tamilnadu, the Internet
        culture is entrenched. Decisions are made faster. Business enterprise
        infrastructure components like:-

        a) Company Registration Companies
        b) Credit Reference Providors
        c) Head-Hunting Companies
        d) Financial Institutions
        e) Stock Brokers/Venture Capital
        f) and many more

        respond to email requests for information quickly. As well many take steps to
        preempt email inquiries by having websites where Public & Customer Relations
        experts are the direction setters instead of computer technicians.

        We do not see an acknowledgement that Internet culture exists by bodies
        such as yourself in Tamilnadu. We notice even a resistance to work with
        foreign
        Tamils who are immersed in the Internet culture. Even with some whom are
        recognised and applauded as pioneers in the Asian and global Internet
        community. Most emails sent to bodies in your purview are ignored. >>

        The assumptions underlying the above statement is unfortunately not valid at
        least as far as the persons who have been involved in recent efforts relating
        to Tamil and and internet including Tamil Virtual University. In fact the
        Internet Culture has spread at a far greater speed in Tamil Nadu than it is
        understood by the above assumptions. This is in spite of great many technical
        handicaps in accessing and use internet facilities in India. People in Western
        Countries do not seem to understand this. We will overcome this sooner or
        later. But for now the tardiness in internet behaviour is not cultural but
        technical. I do not discount the fact that there are persons in every part of
        the world who show resistance to to communicate with persons whom they have
        not
        known in some way or the other. This again is basic human trait in some and
        not
        cultural. The fact that so many Web Journals have appeared in Tamil and so
        many
        web sites have come out for communication is a testimony to this. Otherwise I
        will not be writing to you now.

        <<Questions for Prof Anandakrishnan

        7) Can you give us some specifics on Tamilnadu's plans for a Tamil Virtual
        University?

        i) Do you have a fact sheet for the project?

        ii) We understand from reliable sources in Tamilnadu, that the main initial
        target is Diaspora Tamils. Can you confirm this?

        iii)Has the government consulted with the leading Tamil online communities
        like Thamil Innaiyam in putting together a mandate or a Request For Proposal?
        If
        yes, who specifically and if no, why not? Does the government believe in
        online communities enought to use them or not? Can you provide specific proof
        of your usage of online communities?

        iv) What specific $ and other resources has the Tamilnadu government allocated
        for this project for Year One and consequent years?

        v) How cognisant is the Tamil Virtual University committee, of the range of
        interactive and community Internet resources available on the Internet? We
        understand that you are not. Given that, are you going to engage Tamil experts
        who may be able to help you? Or will you be continuing what you did with the
        Tamil font encoding standard fiasco which is an open secret in the Tamil
        Internet community. You refuse to take good ideas since they are not made in
        Tamilnadu and you do token appeasement of Diaspora Tamils for Public Relations
        reasons? What steps are you going to take to get back to Square Zero from
        minus
        ground in the Credibility arena with the Diaspora Tamil Internet community? Or
        do you care?>>

        I have sent you a small note on TVU. It is not meant only for Diaspora.
        Nothing
        on Internet can be only for anybody. The contents may have some orientation
        towards the demand structure that will again be evolving.

        Regarding on line consultations, it is best done when some basic document is
        ready in a forum where constructive and structured discussions can take place.
        I find in my long experience that discussions based on catch words can damage
        even the best idea.

        The resources to be made available by Govt. of Tamil Nadu will depend upon
        what
        the VCK committee comes out with the capital and operating expenses. It is not
        going to be govt. activity. They will perhaps support any convincing proposal.

        I do not wish to comment on the last para except to state that the very
        premises of the question is unfair to say the least. I only wish to point out
        that because one had the benefit of comfort and convenience of western world
        that they are the masters of all the wisdom in relation to their poor cousins
        who struggle it out in their homeland and that their point of view should be
        ignored. But I only wish to sate that I do care; but do not know for how long
        since my age is showing up.

        Best Regards

        M.Anandakrishnan.
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