Thursday, 11 November, 2010

An Open Letter to Vineet Jain, The Times Of India

November 11, 2010,

To,
Mr. Vineet Jain,
Managing Director,
The Times Of India,
Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
Mumbai

Congratulations Vineet Jain & The Times Of India for taking the lead...

….the lead in cleaning the corrupt India... Well, India is shining, but behind the glare are a huge number of corrupt individuals who are in a looting spree raping India day by day.... And you and The Times of India have in the recent past shown the courage to bring these demons in public which others have not been able to.

Being born and brought up in Bengal, have been fed by the rich media of The Telegraph and The Statesman, which let me be upfront, had and has much much higher quality of editorial and literature, may be the intellectual Bengal touch... But, even in the communist driven state they could not do what u guys have started....

My compliments once again for shifting your core from being just an “Aggregator of news” to becoming a “Social Change Agent”. I sincerely hope its not just momentary... this is what me or any common Indian has noticed in the past few years only... Be it the 26/11 or the CWG or the recent Adarsh Society Scam, you guys have done a good job and are responsible to get biggies like R.R. Patil, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Suresh Kalmadi and the latest one being CM Ashok Chavan get thrown out of their chairs, which the “Aam Aadmi” only wished, abused over a cutting-chai and forgot !


Some of your critics say that since you and TOI did not get the CWG Business contract, you screwed up the Common Wealth Games. It is not that it is for the first time in India, that some scam happened. But yes, it is definitely for the first time in India, that a Scam of a stature was brought out and people behind the same exposed, and the system pressurized to take a tough call. Some say that Vilasrao Deshmukh or Narayan Rane or the Opposition and others have used you to open up the Adarsh Society matter against Ashok Chavan... But for a commonner like me, it doesnt matter as far as the facts are coming on table and actions are being taken... Tomorrow, there will be another TOI to take care of Vilasrao and others... Some people say that you and your paper write only against a few segment or sect or lobbies of people, but for a commoner it does not matter, as the Awakening you have started, would create some other TOI to expose the segment you may be avoiding, if at all.


So in this Media Awakening, for whatever reasons be it, hope commoners like us are awakened and benefited in whatever ways. Thanks Vineet Jain and Team TOI for giving India the required literacy, being the medium of that lieracy. There are yet many areas that you - TOI initiated for eg. Avinash Bhonsle- Cidco and MKVDC Scam, the Lavasa scam, the Citiscape issues of Mumbai, which are as of now, hope not permanently lying low. Look forward to see them reach the right logical end, courtesy TOI !


Many literates and educated segment like us do mock down your “Aman ki Asha” or “Lead India” or “Teach India” as pure CSR activities which would bring in huge mass visibility and ofcourse the Ad revenues (Come on, lets not shy away from the core of the business we are talking about). I too personally feel the same at times, but well the above activity which you have not branded otherwise is the one which a commoner is appreciating and applauding and wish you the best and hope to see you playing this role of a “Change Agent” and not just a “Commercial Media” !


With Best Regards,
Jalpesh Mehta
Citizen of India
www.jalpeshmehta.blogspot.com

Thursday, 14 October, 2010

The Indo Foodiee - Exploring the Indian Food from the "Heritage" to the "Hole in the Wall" Eateries !


http://www.indofoodiee.blogspot.com/

Born and Broughtup in Calcutta means getting a tastebud extra than others... might seem an exaggeration or a bit blunt statement, and my Northie friends would lay their bets too, but a combination of a Gujarati and a Calcuttan can beat that too.... If I talk about Cal food, it can run into pages, hence saving it for future...


Well, Some eat to live and I live to eat and I dont have any hiccups in confessing that upfront. I have been exploring new places and cuisines to eat - not just in India, but in all my trips abroad also. But being a Veggie, India is a place, take any State of the country, which brings out a superb multidimensional culture and this culture is represented primarily by the people, their art and living and their Food... So, we all agree that Food is a strong representation of the Culture and one may not speak more on the diversified Indian Culture.

I never knew that in Maharashtra - one can have 4 different broad tastes of food - Paschim Maharashtra, Khandesh, Konkan, Vidharbha - they all have their different and unique tastes... Gujarat food is not always sweet - try out the Kaathiawaadi food and for a Urban Mumbaikar, Idli-Dosa means South Indian Food and vice versa... my Mom feels anything below Maharashtra till Kanyakumari is "Madrasi" and maybe in my Childhood I too though so.... but post traveling across the country have explored that Andhra Pradesh, kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka food are as different as Punjabi and Bengali food... so with this blog, would try and explore the Regional and Local Taste/Flavor of the Food and would recommend the place with my Ratings too.... 


I have been visiting the "Famous Joints" - right from the 5 Stars to the "Hole in the Wall Eatery" at any place I travel...any smallest town I go, I have also barged into a tribals house requesting him to make me some food and have also bribed people to make me the best dishes post their closing hours... so, here I go.... have inititiated a separate BLOG for the Food Reviews and Pictures - My blogs come with a lot of pictures, as Food is something you cant just read about - its not "the Touch and feel" but "Look and imagine" item ! Thanks to my Nokia E71 for all those beautiful pictures ! A separate blog, since I dont want to mix it with my core articles on (1) Management (2) Social and Political (3) Strategic Areas and they would still keep coming on www.jalpeshmehta.blogspot.com


This Food Blog is known as www.indofoodiee.blogspot.com - Indo Foodiee is a Foodie with and EXTRA E - which represents (EAT)... thats all bull...actually some one had already blocked the earlier one...and with this, I would atleast attempt at sharing 1 Review a Week.



I have already put in 10 reviews over the weekend covering food across Maharashtra, Gujarat, MP, Kashmir, Kerala...but the USP of the site is Food in and around Mumbai - where most of us live.... there are seriously some great joints in Mumbai and all over and with this platform, I would sincerely try acknowledging the efforts and passion of the food makers - they truly deserve this.... and I truly believe that Good Food can be the most Satisfying element - sometimes more than Money too !!


Radhika (My brothers wife) keeps saying that I might give Mayur from HOMP- Highway on my Plate from NDTV Good Times a good run for his Money..... I sincerely respect the concept of HOMP, but Mayur - Dont Worry Buddy - this is just a Time-Pass for me !!


More on :  
Kathiawadi Food just 20 Kms from Mumbai

www.indofoodiee.blogspot.com  









 



 
   

 
    
South Indian Meal on a Banal leaf 20 mins from BKC


Typical North style Chole Bhature 5 mins from Andheri

 
Kashmiri Cuisine in Mumbai




Gujju's Sunday Breakfast - only a few good places

Spicy Satara (Maharashtrian) Meal

Friday, 10 September, 2010

DABANGG – Positioning, Segmentation and Re-positioning

Some fundamentals first....all products have a certain lifecycle and the same can vary ie increase if re-positioned, re-packaged, else the same would die a natural death. Eg. Pantene, Lux, Pepsi and even Colgate are the brands which had to go through this phase for survival amidst stiff competition from new players in the segment. Even a giant like State Bank of India has to pass through this phase given the stiff competition from young banks like ICICI, HDFC, AXIS etc. You keep seeing Bank of Baroda, Union Bank etc changing their branding, positioning, logos etc. Al Ries and Jack Trout - the management gurus have shared some great cases on Positioning from the international perspective.

Some products do not require the same and are always a hit – eg. Maggi, Thumsup etc. The same yellow package and snacky branding for the former and the same simple black cola drink with a thumsup logo emphasizing on strongness or ‘’dum’’ positioning for the latter which still keeps the same alive and any tweak in the perception or positioning of the same could be fatal.

Now, taking this fundamental to our Bollywood – Not all actors are like Shahrukh Khan or Aamir Khan who could play a college kid as successfully at an age of 40 as successfully at an age of 20. Anil Kapoor still can play a young guy as compared to the old stooping Jackie Shroff. But all are not lucky enough like the Maggi or Thumsup to have a strong intrinsic brand value within. Many actors are smart or foresightful enough to understand their product life cycles and shif their positioning – like Akshay Kumar moving from action towards Comedy, where his peer Sunil Shetty still got tagged as an action hero and died his natural death. Diversification is not an answer, but complete shift in the positioning is. Look at Amitabh Bachchan. He too failed miserably trying to woo actresses post Agneepath in movies like Indrajeet, etc. He died almost a natural death till he repositioned himself as a different product like a senior police inspector in Khakhi or a senior role player in Black etc. And he changed his segmentation from the Big Screen to Television (KBC). Re-positioning and segmentation saved the Big B.

The Biggest example is Rajnikanth. He knew well in advance in his career (post Hum) that he does not want to die a natural death like his counterparts like Mithun, Govinda (He still lived longer, due to his niche), Jackie Shroff or Rishi Kapoor. He made his style a strength and his silly stunts of popping a cigarette, or his sunglasses or similar unhumanly possible stunts became his strengths and the brand relived post repositioning with super hits in the South and even International markets with movies like “Sivaji-the Boss” and now, the forthcoming “Robot’’.

Well, following the same principles of management, here comes Salman Khan with DABANGG ! (*) Sallu knows well that he is almost on the wrong side of the age so he cant do the college kids role.
Sallu knows that he is a little naughty one or not so serious one to get considered as a “cause-for-actor image” like Aamir, Ajay etc.
(*) He has his SWOT analysis in mind, knows his strength and what roles he can do well with.
He has experimented and tasted failures in his recent tries like Yuvraj, Veer, Hello, God Tussi Great Ho and many recent ones.
(*) He knows his competitors like Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan in the young genres and the inevitables like SRK, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn (btw, these also have shelf lives).
(*) And more important, he knows his segment – The rural India…sounds different ? But, that’s the fact. Not just youngistan and young girls crazy after his body and attitude are his audience. This will be proved with Dabangg with a release around the eid and the rural segment targeted.

Well, quickly on the movie DABANGGwell since theres not much to write – Dabangg is a good movie for Salman Fans and gives you a treat of a Rajnikant flick. First, the meaning of Dabangg - Dabangg means someone who’s power is dominated on everything. Most of the time, this term is used in UP, Bihar. Eg. “Raja Bhaiyya ek Dabang neta hain”. This way people in the area show respect for the person. Its like “Todu aadmi, Pahuncha hua khiladi or Stud-Champ” etc. Those who are Dabangg are never afraid of anything/anybody. They do whatever they want to do.

Keeping your brain aside, it is a generic time-pass with some Rajni & Matrix like fight stunts, a couple of good scores, some good dialogues and a fresh Sonakshi Sinha who seems promising (a good launch pad with Salman and with more efforts could be a good competition to the young genere' like Sonam Kapoor, Genelia DSouza etc). With almost no storyline at all and complete wastage of talents like Arbaaz Khan, Vinod Khanna, Dimple Kapadia, Anupam Kher, Mahesh Manjrekar and even Om Puri, Dabangg is a story of a corrupt cop Chulbul Pandey and his tiff with the local politician-gunda Chhedilal played well by Sonu Sood. Good and honest efforts by Salman Khan, Sonu Sood and a refreshing Sonakshi. For a change a Cop wins against the Politician in UP scenario (though must be close to Gangajals, Omakaras and Gulals of the world…but no closeby…actually a different product altogether with not much UPism in it)

The movie would do good given (1) the Segment (Rural markets; Tere Naam was a Super hit), (2) the timing (Eid, Ganeshotsav, Weekend) and (3) even in the Metros the game of first 3 days especially Holidays will help gain the scores for the movie with the first show at 10 in the morning houseful ! The attitude would be “3 days holiday – atleast lets go and watch the Salman flick !” Don’t go by any great ratings as Taran Adarsh and Masands of the worlds are all fixed. From a movie perspective (story, screenplay, direction etc) its 2/5 and from just entertainment perspective 3.5/5 !

Nothing to take away from the movie - a time pass Masala movie - equal to Singh is King, Hey Baby and much better than Khatta Meetha, Tashan…..Am sure this will be a better performer at the Box office than the recent flops of Salman like Yuvraj, Wanted, Veer, Hello, God Tussi Great Ho …. It’s a good decision Salman, to go on Ranji track and repositioning your brand and segment rather than choosing a dead end like Sunny Deols and Sunil Shettys of the world…
and thanks for making me revisit the strategic fundamentals of Positioning, Segmentation and Re-positioning !

Friday, 13 August, 2010

Kalmadi should be sacked and Indians should note 3 points !

As the CAG report emerges this evening, Suresh Kalmadi’s crime gets formally endorsed (Don’t understand why the F*#$ were we waiting for this, when every day we are seeing multiple proofs of frauds and scams worth Rs 2000 Crs in the Commonwealth Games (CWG) which are of huge budgets of Rs 11494 Crs (ref TOI headlines dtd. August 10, 2010) which is Public money – your and mine tax money (I just paid some more tax on July 30, 2010! And it pinches !)

TOI carried Headlines news in its Front pages for a week as below :

August 6, 2010 – Despite denials of shady Games contracts, heads begin to roll. Flower pots worth Rs 30 crs…
August 7, 2010 – OC had hand in all big deals
August 8, 2010- Kalmadi says – ready for judicial probe and would not quit as 40 days left for the game.
August 9, 2010- Kalmadi cleared payment for AM deal which he claimed he had never heard of. (Documents exposed)
August 10, 2010- Indian Medalists at CWG to get raw deal
August 11, 2010 – TOI forgot the issue in awe of the full page BigBazaar Ad;)
August 12, 2010- Key investors in top CWG supplier have fictitious village addresses. Got hockey turf contract at twice the market rate, lawn bowls at 8 times.

Despite all this, do not understand the heights of shamefulness of Kalmadi that he is still having balls to stand up and not resign and the as usual gayish stand of Manmohan Singh’s government to sit silent on this matter for so long !
This evening, post the CAG report, Arnab in Times Now was triggering the issue of Kalmadi to be sacked or stepping down..seconded by all the panelists from Sitaram Yechuri, Vinod Mehta, Kirti Azad etc. But, when I look at one resigning or being sacked, it gives me a feel of ridiculousness and mockery as the same joker lies underground for a while and springs back equally or more powerful…forgot Chhagan Bhujbal & the Telgi scam ? and today Bhujbal is the king once again, forgot RR Patil and his stupid comment on 26/11 ? and today he is back into the chair…its mockery and lets not discuss sacking or resigning for that matter ! There are many such examples….

I ridicule Subrata Roy Sahara (don’t say that he too has some hand or involvement, but he is not a patriot for sure to think about the country and advice the citizen and media to hold back the issue till the games are over.) I ridicule Sahara for even bothering to waste time convincing media and people.

Let us understand 3 things now :

Point 1 : PROTECT THE IMAGE OF INDIA : Whenever I have kept meeting investors abroad, they have been showing immense confidence in India, more than that of China or any other BRIC Country…primarily because of our demographics, DNAs and stable and better image of the government. Else India always had a reputation of being a corrupt country (Lets us accept the fact that we are…. I don’t want to go negative on the branding of the country as the readers of this blog belong to various countries and origins, but since majority of you are Indians, don’t mind sharing that its still easy in the country to do any level and intensity of crime and roam free and even win an election post that and rule the country too…..look at Satyam and Ramalingam Raju for an instance…

So coming back to the point, since only 40 days are left and the whole world is coming to India for CWG, it is important to sack Kalmadi and all relevant officials involved and revamp the whole board else the focus of Media would be more on the scam, scamsters rather than the game as each day a new skeleton would pop out of the box and the world would carry back the wrong image of India and because of handful of corrupts we all would suffer, right from entering another country to doing business with them, all would see us with a sight of suspicion. Media has done its job and no one (Subrata Roy or others) can stop them as they are bringing out facts, but dammage control is required with revamping the whole administration and the government giving confidence to us and the world that no one is indispensible and irreplacable and India has more qualified and experience people to run the show much well and much clean...net net, without Kalamadi and team... the show can go on..

Point 2 :
ITS TIME WE WAKE UP AND LEARN TO REACT IN OUR OWN WAYS : India is one of the most literate country – I agree to it and the figures say so….but there is a difference between Literate and Literacy….We are literate but lack literacy….complicated ? Let me put a perspective….We are literate means educated and academically strong, but when it comes to literacy, we lack literacy ….literacy of what is happening around, what has happened and what are our duties….Indian memory is short and we believe in Chalta hai attitude…. We pay tax and we spend 5 minutes to crib about such issues, be it IPL corruption, Satyam Scam, or be it CWG….it is a gossip and time pass topic for us over a cutting chai and we immediately forget it…and when it comes to doing our duty, we fail…we never stand for injustice (I am generalising and not being specific that all do so), push back the corrupt officer for asking for bribe, rather we encourage as we are getting late to work and shelling out a hundred rupee note is simpler and the biggest point we crib about politicians….today we crib about Congress and tomorrow we may crib about the BJP….but most of us don’t even bother to go out and vote ….look at South Mumbai which contributes around 18% of the countries TAX, only 40% people bother to vote…rest take Holidays, enjoy movies and have Page 3 parties on an Election day which is just another Holiday ! This needs to change.

Point 3 : SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS TO FRONT : Last point…. When I had been to Pune in 2000-2002, Kalmadi was a huge name there…. As Huge as Shivaji Maharaj in Maharashtra ! But if you go to Pune today you will not even hear K of Kalmadi. Even the paan-waala knows that Kalmadi has shifted towards sports where he makes more Money. Same is the story of almost all the heads of such associations (rich associations which are better on a cost benefit analysis than a city or even a state) are people not belonging to that field. What does Sharad Pawar understand of cricket ? Does Kalmadi even know how many games are there in CWG? Even Lalit Modi would not know what is “Manka dead”, and we have such people heading these bodies…. Where would passion, feeling or push come of one would not even understand the game and well, if you say they are good administrators, please give me a break....our IAS/bureaucrats are much better to do that or even someone from a common walk like Nandan Nilekani, N.Narayan Moorthy, Deepak Parekh, KV Kamath with fair credentials could be identifed to take this responsibility, if we feel Gavaskar, PT Usha, Milkha Singhs of the world are just sports men and incompetent for this job !. Well, or it should be a mix body comprising of specialists, administrators and if required (you cant do without because of various reasons) politicians. But all these should not be politicized. I dont know how much of this could a common man like me or you contol, but am sure somewhere down the line, this would make an impact !

Coming back to Kalmadi….but India, we are loosing confidence !! For us Kasab and Kalmadi are similar, (besides their last names starting with K;)…there are for similarities (1) Both played with Country and countrymens trust and money (2) Both are standing untouched today and god knows till when ? But one things is proven now…unlike the perception, the enemy is not next to us or in our neighbours, it is right there in our house and we meet him every time we tolerate or encourage corruption and contribute in building another Kalmadi !

And sincerely hope, that the Media (compliments for the initiative) and citizen like us with our own capacities and ways are able to throw out this Kalmadi in the next 24 hours and other Kalmadis in our daily lives !

Monday, 5 July, 2010

Bharat Bandh- Only a Performance Appraisal of the Opposition

Sipping my filter coffee, stretching my legs on my bean bag - at 10 AM on a Monday morning – sounds surprising ? Well, its July 5, 2010, a nationwide strike- Bharat Bandh called by the Opposition parties -13 parties like BJP, Shiv Sena, Left front etc to protest against the inflation, price hike, high commodity costs and fuel price hikes. Well, sitting at home - don’t want to risk going out and have a stone pelted at my car for being over-loyal to my work, especially when the office is almost empty.

Back to the topic, if u ask me, Bandh is not an answer to get the prices in control. But the estimation is that the government would budge off in pressure of the opposition, which is 100% unlikely and if that happens that will be a victory of the opposition. UPA Government may reduce some prices next week, as they have been doing pre-elections to fool the short visioned voters, the would not be deemed under the so called opposition pressure. Bandh, to me is a wastage of productivity and loss of precious manhours but well, if my tax money is going to give me what the UPA government is giving, why not sit, relax and enjoy a holiday instead !

Having been born and broughtup on Bengal, I could claim myself as one of the most experienced writer on Bandhs. In Calcutta, almost 1 to 2 days of a month even today are passed off as a holiday due to some strike or the other… those also went upto 10-11 days in a month with slogans of Inqellab Zindabad echoing in the streets, Chakka Jam (Flattened tyres / held tyres) of Buses and Trains and also seeing burning buses and private vehicles was a common sight there. When I see Bandh’s in Mumbai, they seem so docile and low lying comparatively. Well, one should not be inspirational on this front atleast.

Well, back to the Bharat Bandh – from being a unconstitutional means of demonstrating against a cause this is more of a Performance appraisal of the opposition political parties. To give you a background, all parties have National Heads, State Heads, City Heads, Area Heads, Ward Heads and so on…Well, the State Heads of Opposition parties are under the performance pressure to do well and their fate, future role depends on today. Today evening will decide, how long will Nitin Gadkari stay as a BJP President - for 1 year of 4 more years. Today evening will decide who is stronger Shiv Sena or MNS and where the Marathi vote should go.

Now, a better example in a laymans terms. Mr. A is the head of X Opposition part
y in North Mumbai (Goregaon, Malad, Borivli, Virar, etc) and Mr. B is the head of Central-Thane region of the same party. Mr. A and his team in North Mumbai by the day end have ensured that (1) All shops are closed (2) There are no auto rickshaws and taxis on the floor (3) There are 5 trains stopped (4) There are 10 dharnas (Protest sit outs) outside the government offices. Mr. B ensured 1,2,3,4 and (5) also his men are seen in Media channels slapping some train commuters (You can see even on TV one clipping this morning) (6) There is a lathicharge on the activists and (7) 2 of their senior leaders have been arrested in full glare of media. Take a guess, will Mr. A be rated higher or B ? Ofcourse, undoubtedly, Mr. B and he is sure shot the party’s favorite candidate for being nominated as the Party chief for Mumbai or getting an MP ticket. Well, this is nothing but a Performance appraisal, PMS or Rating as you would call in your HR parlances.

To add on, Media plays a critical role. If a certain party has a good networking, they would carry along most of the channel guys for their event or action plan (for eg. Rail roko- stop the train, Fire the Bus etc). What do you think, is media so smart that they will be covering the whole city and would genuinely come across all of these ? Well, so the winner today is the one who is able to showcase more of his/her performance on the TV and Print media. And that’s the “Visibility or Perception” factor which you may find in the organizations where along with performance the same is required to excel. Here, the raters are not just the party bosses but also the junta !

Though none of us bother much, we may cr
iticize or even call them fools, but sorry we are not their audiences, we are the 60% who wishes to be absent of go on a vacation while going to vote – so they care a shit about your and my views ! Their TGA (Target Audience) is the rest 40% - Lower and Lower middle class who would by being impressed or afraid come to vote for. They would also themselves with family step put with the parties. (some may claim they are the worst hit, but who is not?) And that’s the politics of India.

Well, its just 11:30AM and here is the interim report card (guess what will be the status by the evening)

Bandh is so called very successful ! Successful on all the perfo
rmance appraisal and rating parameters like – Most Flights cancelled, Airport stranded. Public transport and private vehicles almost out of roads, shops shut across all states. Thousands activists /protestors arrested. Schools, colleges, markets shut. Offices Empty !!
  • Kolkata and Bengal shut as usual.(Left ruled)
  • Kerala, AP also shut as the opposition strongest (Left and TDP)
  • Delhi – the centre so full focus of the opposition.
  • UP – Lucknow - Lathicharged and Power hoses (water charge)
  • Bihar- Patna badly effected.
  • Mumbai – Major protests, roads empty, no taxis, autos, trains blocked, buses stoned and broken in Worli and Vakola, Private Cars of oversmart people pelted and hit.
  • Pune- 26 buses broken. Shiv Sena, BJP leading the fray across Mumbai and Maharashtra
  • Leaders of Opposition- the big names like Kirit Somaiyya, Sardar Tara Singh, Vinod Tawde (BJP) Abu Azmi (SP), Chandra Babu Naidu (TDP, Hyderabad) (they have become heros and will be released at night- cool, that’s the Law and Order in India )
India is a country with a thin margin between the Government and the Opposition (all put together) and hence the bandh has to be successful and for the opposition , this is possibly the last few chances for their power show (shakti pradarshan) The bandh so far is super successful but is this the answer to reduce the price hikes ? I leave it upon you to answer (if you are a voter, then you have right to question this, else not)

Today, the total Opposition – the rightist, the leftists, are together for the bandh- the question is where were they, when the same could have been taken up in the Lok Sabha by a motion bill by the representatives of the citizen. But, the question is would they have got this visibility ? And if by any chance, the government reduces any prices post the Bandh (if Murli Deora and colleagues have been delivered their respective suitcases) – that will be the icing on their cakes.

Well, let me leave it upon the representatives you and I have chosen, if in case you have also chosen one…. I have plans for some cool beer, a sumptuous lunch, an afternoon nap, and evening movie or some teen-patti / poker at friends’ on a Monday !!! (unlike Calcutta, cant play cricket on the highway)


Picture Courtesy -
bengalnews.blospot.com and Suresh

Friday, 12 February, 2010

My Name is Khan – A Win-Win Strategy for 3 Parties

My Name is Khan will be more famous in the History not for the content or the great acting of SRK-Kajol or the sensitive topic, but merely for the Controversy around it with the Shiv Sena's protest against Shah rukh Khan this Pro-Pakistani players approach in the IPL

Today, the Cub turned young Tiger woke up and roared – at the right time with right data. The man is non other than RAJ THACKERAY who speaks the fact so true which neither the accused nor the media has an answer to. Was thinking since last few days, where did Raj Thackeray vanish amidst the re-hijacked Marathi Maanus and Mumbaikar Issue raised by the so-dead-now alive Uncle Bal Thackeray Re-Hijacked as in it was erstwhile the agenda of Shiv Sena to play around the vote bank with Marathi Card, which was successfully hijacked by much dynamic and young nephew of Bala Saheb Raj who proved the same by data in the last 2 elections. And again the agenda is Re-Hijacked by the Uncle. One thing is simply clear – Caste and Creed are the only productive cards for Victory in Indian Politics. Development is some strange new word in the dictionary of Indian Politicians.

This is for the first time Raj spoke about his rival party’s protests against the movie. This as well as some more facts can open eyes of the Citizen and as a Marketing Strategies, I would refer the whole controversy around the Movie as a Win-Win Situation for 3 Parties. The Shiv-Sena, SRK and the Congress-NCP Government. The only party left out this time is Raj and his MNS and hence we hear him. (Pls Refer - http://ibnlive.in.com/news/why-slam-srk-and-spare-big-b-raj-asks-shiv-sena/1099743.html?utm_source=IBNLive_11feb10_MCDB_110210&utm_medium=mailer )

Raj’s point is very clear, which helps open the eyes of the Indian Citizen on the whole issue. The point is simple. “Such a noise is made over Shah Rukh Khan for this one statement of his. But no one is saying anything about Amitabh Bachchan singing poetry with Pakistanis for a newspaper,” said Raj at a press conference in Mumbai. “They are demanding an apology from Khan for his remarks on Pakistani players. But Bachchan was seen a couple of days ago sharing the dais with Pakistani artistes and reciting poems. If Khan has to apologise, then why not Bachchan."

This is a hard fact and I agree with Raj atleast for this. Some brief analysis on the 3 beneficiaries of the whole Controversy (1) Shiv-Sena and Bal Thackeray (2) SRK (3) Congress-NCP Government.

(1) Beneficiary 1 : Uncle Bal Thackeray who was almost a written off case as good as a Jyoti Basu, who most Calcuttans abused to the core, but when he died, all paid homage to, - Bala Saheb has all of a sudden come into limelight. The base is the Marathi Vote Bank and the existence (hindi- astitva) of Shiv Sena in front of the growing strong MNS of Raj Thackeray. Since 2-3 years, no one wrote or quoted Bal Thackeray so seriously except his own party run paper Saamna. And todays TOI is all praises about the man quoting that all from various walks of life come to Bal Thackeray to seek his divine blessings.

Well, nothing is wrong from their perspective. Any party will need some strategy to regain its lost vote bank and it is their job. This controversy will help get them some mileage as each of the 1500 arrested Shiv Sainiks who would have spent 3-4 nights in the lock up will be almost like a small semi demi god in their chawls and areas when they go back. They will be garlanded and welcome and will gain more popularity as much as Bhagat Singh gained to become like a martyr and fight for his cause. Each Sainik will get a new lease of life, a refreshed vote bank and this will help in the time to come.

(2) Beneficiary 2 : Bollywood Baadshah SRK- Well, I highly respect this guy not exactly for his acting, but for his marketing and branding skills and this could be the best possible way to outshine much stronger competitors around. That is the difference between Sachin Tendulkar and SRK. The former, sleeps on the floor and touches the feet of Uncle Bal and the latter squeezes the complete mileage out of the situation before doing so. The common factor is that possibly both sleep.

Now, coming to SRK – One fact is a mystery as per Raj and all of us too – will tweet SRK on this and am sure he will reply back with some convincing answer- that’s his skill. The Mystery is if SRK is backing the participation of Pakistani cricketers in the IPL, why did he not select Pakistani cricketers for his Kolkata Knightriders team.

The cast and crew of "My Name is Khan" are attending its premiere in Abu Dhabi and later head to Europe for a screening at the Berlin film festival. Well, one more fact that Raj missed out and may be some of us is that (1) the movie of Rs 50 Crs, bought by the Fox group for Rs 90 Crs- My Name is Khan is going to make ONLY Rs 10 Crs from Mumbai – That is hardly 10% - so why would some one be so bothered over it – but well, the publicity out of the controversy can make the Mumbai contribution Rs. 6 Crs, but the other places would make up or may be gross much more than expected due to the whole controversy.

A good strategy SRK- to overpower the recent fame of Competitors - Aamir Khan (3 idiots) or even Amitabh Bachchan (even at this age,he keeps on doing anything to be there) or Sachin Tendulkar even Rahul Gandhi (if he sees him a peers from any angle). Atleast I see this a little positive as compared to others who have always bowed down and said sorry... Good stand SRK, atleast from a Citizens view.

(3) Beneficiary 3 : The Congress-NCP led government, where in CM Ashok Chavan and RR Patils Home Ministry has arrested 1500 Shiv Sainiks and warned 50 Middle level leaders (what do you mean by warn ??) and are assuring the Citizen of Mumbai full security and support just to fool us, where on the otherside, their own leaders like Sharad Pawar (NCP Head), DY Patil (Congress past few days to seek good wishes and blessings.strong man, educationist, now the Governor of Tripura), have been visiting Bala Saheb over the past few days to seek good wishes and blessings.

Lots of questions arises in the Middle and Upper Middle class on the assurances of the CM and team to control the situation - this class ideally do not matter for the politicians as they are not the vote banks. The proof is despite the assurances of Police and the whole bandobast, the cinema and multiplex owners do not have faith in the system and have not been selling tickets. But yes, the Lower and lower-middle class is ga-ga over the superb guts of the Government to commit full security and safety. This class does not understand that its the Governments job and they get paid for it. The Government is gaining more confidence of the so called votebank, the masses.

Thanks Raj, intriguing me to write this piece post reading your pain point. But you should also remember that when you were a part of Shiv Sena years ago, you and your team also protested against Sanjay Dutt (For Khalnayak due to his TAT case ) , Aamir Khan (For Fanaa) and your Favourite Amitabh Bachchan for Shahenshah (during Bofors).

Strategies aside, I am looking forward to see My Name is Khan either today, tomorrow or whenever and am sure many of us would - We should not get surprised, if we see Aditya Thackeray, the young and creative Shivsainik – son of Uddhav Thackeray watching and enjoying My Name is Khan with close friends. And one more good news for the young lovers… feel free to express your love this valentine, as the Sainiks will be busy achieving their targets for My Name is Khan !