Zindagi Online

Podbharti releases episode 8

If you like Hindi podcasts then you would be interested to know about the recent release of the 8th Episode of popular Hindi podcast Podbharti. This episode, hosted by yours truly, features:

  • Captain Robert Falcon Scott
    Captain Robert Falcon Scott

    A report on the fight against corruption waged by a senior IAS officer in India and how his wife Jayshree became a whistle-blower. Jayshree not only stood by her husband’s side during difficult times but also created a Wiki to counter the threats received from the corrupt bureaucrats who were being exposed. Jayshree not only used the Right to Information (RTI) act to her favor but also helps other victims on her Internet forum by guiding them on using the act effectively.

  • A book review of “Scott’s last expedition“, based on the diary of explorer Robert Falcon Scott‘s expedition to the South Pole where he lost his life and
  • A review of the newly released semantic analysis engine “Zamenta” and its Firefox extension that makes blogging a child’s play, discussing its features and the reasons and why this excellent tool won’t make much sense for non-English blogs yet.

You can also listen to other Indian podcasts by locating them at this wikipedia page and at this listing.

Life Around

Video: India Independence Day Parade at NY

Priyanka Chopra in the Parade

New York celebrates India Day each year in the weekend following the 15th August, India’s Independence day. The celebrations involve a grand parade and cultural programme, the parade takes place on Madison Avenue between 23rd and 41st street. Today I attended the Independence day parade and you could see glimpses through the video I uploaded. Bollywood heart-throb Priyanka Chopra was this years Grand Marshall, unfortunately I could just capture a glimpse of her on my camera.

The parade itself was more of advertising podium with companies ranging from Kingfisher, Sahara, Zee to pushing their products, and yes the Religion & Spiritualism shops were also there. I heard only a few songs with Nationalistic flavor, even those limited them to RDB. By the time the parade concluded the road and sidewalks were full of pamphlets, newspapers and Indian flags. And as soon as the parade ended I was impressed to see the sanitation squad come in. They removed the barricades and cleaned up the road within minutes. Probably this is what makes America what it is.

And here are some more pictures:

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18 Million Indians read blogs

The Recently released India online 2006 survey has revealed that of the 21.4 million net users* in Indian a staggering 85% (that’s roughly 18 million people) regularly check blogs. The study conducted by Juxt consult, New Delhi also revealed that there is a 22% rise in number of Indian net users from last year’s figure of 17.7 million. The users are mostly urban and most of the blogs, the report says, are maintained by net savvy people. A recent Economic Times report, published during the blanket ban on blogs initiated by the government, had cited that there are approximately 40000 Indiblogs around (not too far off my own little hunch).

A heartening fact highlighted by the report is that a lot of people who check blogs do not necessarily blog themselves, surely a big respite from the general conception that the blogs mostly thrive on bloggers “scratching each others’ backs”, that only a close group of bloggers generally read each other’s blogs. Another fact, that only solidifies my faith in the Indicblogs is that 42% of the Indian netizens also read blogs websites in Indian languages.

* The CIA Factbook thinks there are 50 million internet users in India.