Now that InstaScribe is out in the world – albeit in a nascent stage – seriousness around e-books is building up in my life. What better than to eat your dogfood. I have started creating the EPUB files for summaries using InstaScribe. And finally released the e-book version of “Moving On“.
e-books open up new possibilities of doing cost-effective marketing too. So, I am organizing an e-book giveaway on librarything. Here is the list of all giveaways. You need to scroll down the page or search the page for “Moving On” or “Jaya Jha” and you can request a copy through it. You will need to be a librarything user, of course. Or sign up for an account.
Also thinking of using Kindle’s KDP select programme for promotion. Let’s see what happens.
Meanwhile, if you are looking at creating and publishing e-books, do sign up for InstaScribe’s beta program.
So, will AAP change things? As the cliche goes, nothing changes overnight.
Is there hope? Yes. Arvind Kejriwal and his closest ally currently come across as people with
- Genuinely good intentions (rajniti badalni hai)
- Strong integrity (hum desh ki seva karne nikle hain, satta paane ke liye nahin)
- Understanding of practical day-to-day things (agar aapse koi rishwat maangta hai to mana mat karein, de dein, aur corruption hotline par phone karein)
- Willingness and ability to get their hands dirty (the entire process of forming the party, facing the initial ridicule, still fighting the elections and winning).
If I see obstacles, it is not because I imagine Arvind Kejriwal giving a monstrous laughter sitting on CM’s chair in the privacy of his office that he has fooled the entire nation (barring the few clever social media supporters of older parties). No, I don’t doubt his intentions and integrity failing, and hopefully, neither those of his closest colleagues. I am not worried about bureaucrats impeding his war against corruption in Delhi either. If a bureaucrat or an activist tries to fight corruption, he is really too powerless. If a CM wants to do it, the obstacles will be surmountable.
The problems that would come are the problems of democratic process.
- Democracy, AAP and Kejriwal want to do what aam aadmi wants. Problem comes when
- AAM aadmi doesn’t want the right thing: If the media would stop conducting polls amidst urban elites and go to all the aam aadmi’s of the country, what would the majority think of legalizing homosexuality? Will AAP support what aam aadmi wants? Or will it take a high moral ground? The humility that makes Kejriwal and his colleagues so endearing, will it let them take that high moral ground over the sentiments of majority of aam aadmi? Will aam aadmi still accept them if they did so?
- Two sections of AAM aadmi’s want different things: What is the right side on an issue like reservation? Those who opposed increasing reservation quotas were no less of aam aadmi’s than those who favoured it.
- I will repeat what Will Durant says Plato said: Aristocracy ruins itself by limiting the circle of power too narrowly, oligarchy because of its scramble for immediate wealth. Democracy is also a problem because people are not properly equipped by education to select the best rulers and the wisest courses. They have no understanding, and only repeat what their rulers are pleased to tell them. Ultimately the most unscrupulous flatterer rises to power. If in simpler matter – like shoe making – we think only a specially-trained person will serve our purpose, shouldn’t we look for the service of the wisest and the best for ruling us. And not the handsomest, or the most eloquent one.
Indian politics, after independence, was not always devoid of principles and good intentions. A constitution of the kind we have, universal suffrage, fundamental rights, well balanced arms of governance, these could not have come our way if we didn’t have well-meaning politicians. And yet – like other forms of government, democracy destroys itself, by being too much of itself, by being too democratic. How much and for how long will AAP be able reverse the decline?
Despite the concerns, I am not predicting doom. Not in immediate future anyway. I am looking forward, very curiously, to the changes AAP is going to bring. Because we haven’t found the perfect form of government despite so many thousands of years of trying. Until then, we have to do with democracy. And so long has leaders have strong moral fiber, there is hope. When damnation of democracy takes place again, well… we will see.
Some quotes from “History of Western Philosophy”
Philosophy, as I shall understand the word, is something intermediate between theology and science. Like theology, it consists of speculations on matters as to which definite knowledge has, so far, been unascertainable; but like science, it appeals to human reason rather than to authority, whether that of tradition or that of revelation.
Almost all the questions of most interest to speculative minds are such as science cannot answer, and the confident answers of theologians no longer seem so convincing as they did in former centuries… To such questions no answer can be found in laboratory. Theologies have professed to give answers, all too definite; but their very definiteness causes modern minds to view them with suspicion.
Science tells us what we can know, but what we can know is little, and if we forget how much we cannot know we become insensitive to many things of very great importance. Theology, on the other hand, induces a dogmatic belief that we have knowledge where in fact we have ignorance.
To teach how to live with uncertainty, and yet without being paralysed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can still do for those who study it.
Palash Sen may or may not have been guilty-as-charged. But everything people are trying to defend in the cloak of defending him, everything that they did, they still do, and are obviously guilty about, depresses me. Although it doesn’t come as a surprise; which is even more depressing.
The evil of this world connected through social media is that you end up seeing too much of the ugly side of people. The sides that you would have been blissfully unaware of in the good old world of occasional and effortful communications. The sides that people often don’t reveal in the face-to-face communication, but feel emboldened enough to reveal in the online world.
Some would say it is a good thing if you know people’s real selves. I just won’t like to know it for so many people. It is too much to manage, especially when you have a bloody life to live!
One thing I have done is to actively block people I don’t want to know any further. When it is in your face, maintaining the discipline of ignoring is so difficult. I am also a mere mortal. I haven’t been accepting facebook friend requests from people I don’t absolutely know in real life for quite sometime now. But it turns out that I do know a whole lot of people I would rather not like to know.
Sounds holier than thou? Yo! In your face, jerks! Especially the sophisticated ones.
Sources of Data
So, where did AAP get it seats from?
- AAP took 17 seats from Congress
- AAP took 11 seats from BJP
Percentage-wise BJP lost slightly more of its current seats (11/24 = 45.8%) to AAP than Congress (17/41 = 41.46%).
So, where did BJP gain its seats from?
- BJP took 17 seats from Congress
What happened in those 17 seats? A look at the number of votes different candidates got in these seats say the following.
- AAP is at the 2nd place in terms of number of votes in 11 of the 17 seats.
- AAP+Congress votes are higher than BJP votes in all these 17 seats.
- In 8 of these seats, its number of votes is closer to that of the winning party than Congress.
- In none of the 17 seats is the number of votes AAP got insignificant. Even when they are at 3rd place the long tail (of four and three-digit vote counts) starts after them.
- AAP took seats from both Congress and BJP. So, its rise is not purely a anti-incumbency issue for Congress.
- But that doesn’t mean that anti-incumbency for Congress is non-existent or that it didn’t help AAP. It helped AAP as well as BJP.
- Only BJP’s help might also have come indirectly via AAP, and not on its own merits Some Congress voters went to AAP in these constituencies, but not enough and BJP won in the process, because of division of votes. So, despite being the largest winning party, BJP should gloat a little less about Delhi and be happy with other states.
Holy cow! Yes, I am writing about politics. And guess what I will write at least one more post. Not with numbers, but with my opinion
P. S. I have tabulated most of the data myself. Although I have double-checked, but if someone finds any inaccuracies, please let me know.