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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Create fonts from handwriting using Your Fonts

You can add a personal touch to documents you type out and print by using a font that replicates your own handwriting [provided you got a handwriting that that is legible – mine doesn’t quite qualify :D]

Your fonts

Your Fonts is a free online service that allows you to do just that. Take a printout of the template provided on their site and write down the letters printed on that template in your own handwriting. Once filled, scan the paper as an image and upload it to their site. Once done, within a few minutes it will prepare a new font that looks just like the handwriting you had submitted, which you can then download for use.

If you want, you can also fontify [??????] your signature, so that you can simply paste your signature onto the document [the signature is optional in the font creation process – I would advise against fontification [??] of your signature].

However one flaw that the service appears to have is that the fonts came out looking small for the given font size compared to the other fonts out there. Yet it, in my opinion, is a cool service to use.


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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

India’s Medium Multi-role Combat Aircraft program : A comprehensive summary

“It’s the biggest fighter aircraft deal since the early 1990s.”

This is how Mark Kronenberg of Boeing described India’s Medium Multi-role Combat Aircraft acquisition program for the purchase of 126 of the most revered/ feared aircrafts currently developed.

MMRCA courtesy Wikipedia

An acquisition program that had been lusted after by the Aviation industries since the time it was announced, it acquires added significance in these times of Economic recession, where budget cuts initiated by the countries around the world has resulted in cancellation or cutting back of purchases earlier committed to the companies.

Adding to the value of the already coveted program are whispers emerging from credible sources indicating that India has increased the budgetary allocation for the program from $11 billion USD to $16 billion USD.

The program, initiated in 2001, has seen more twists and turns than any Bollywood movie can ever dream of conjuring and one of media houses that has been following the developments and been providing us with a ring-side view of the program right from the conceptualization of the program has been Defense Industry daily.

Now with the aircraft having completed its technical evaluations, are ready to be flight tested and undergo user evaluations in the months of March April, the final precursor to the deal being finalized [touch wood].

Compiling together all the significant developments and highlights of the program, DID has put together a well-written article that contains its own valued opinions and also a well-prepared dateline. A must-read for every Aviation enthusiast.

India’s MMRCA Fighter Competition



Sunday, February 01, 2009

Pakistaniat - Fueling hatred towards India

Update: I have made a repost here 26th November 2008: Pakistaniat – fuelling hatred towards India

A few days back I bumped in to an old school friend near my place. He is currently pursuing his M.S in the US and had come home during the Christmas vacations. We sat down chatting at my place, reminiscing about the old, blissful [in hindsight :D] school days and getting updated on who amongst us is up to what.

Any conversation that involves an Indian in incomplete without talking about the 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai not being talked about – and here were two Indians conversing. Being currently located in the US, he naturally came in contact with and knew [or “sleeping with”, as he so eloquently put it] quite a lot of Pakistanis and his perspective and take on the matter was a matter of curiosity for me. On asking him about how well he got along with the Pakistanis [his “sleeping” claims notwithstanding], his reply was quite on expected lines. Spoke in the most flowery terms how they share the most commonality and how Indians were just like the Pakistanis [as opposed to “claiming” that the Pakistanis were just like Indians – it might just be me, but I think there is a big difference]. On asking him how do the Pakistanis respond when the question of Pakistani involvement in the terror attacks in India is raised, his answer was simple and escapist – they do not talk “politics” with each other. His definition of “politics” was quite all-encompassing – anything and everything over which Indians and Pakistanis could have a disagreement, including choice of movies to watch.

Therein lies the crux of getting along well with a Pakistani – do not raise issues of matter relating to hundreds of Indians being killed in Pakistan-sponsored terrorists strikes each year, do not raise the issue of the war of 1971, do not speak affirmatively and positively about anything related to the Indian Armed Forces and the yeomen service they are rendering to our country, especially in thwarting Pakistan-sponsored terrorist operations in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Follow these guidelines and you could be seen getting along with a Pakistani like a house on fire.

However raising issues that point towards the complicity and treachery of Pakistan in its relation with India brings out the true face and outlook of a Pakistani – that of despising India, harboring the most venomous and virulent form of hatred for India, what India stands for, what India has achieved and most importantly what it has lost due to India’s involvement in the affairs of Pakistan.

The very crux of Pakistan’s unity lies in the anti-India tirade that it has been whipping up and sustaining since the time it came into existence. The failure to develop a sense of nationalism and belonging among the disparate ethnicity residing in Pakistan has given strong roots to the separatist sentiments in the country -  Balochistan, Sindh, NWFP all harbor aspirations of breaking away from the rule of the Punjabi dominated republic and carve out their own niche as a nation. In face of Pakistan’s failure to hold itself together with reasons of nationalism and progress, it is left with no other choice but to promote anti-India sentiments among its people to maintain cohesion and control.

Pakistani is a nation that prides itself for being a “martial race” – a warrior class, the story of whose “military prowess” and “achievements”, should, in its opinion, alone be enough for its adversaries to lay down its arms & accept defeat. It was this belief, based on which Pakistan carried out its pogrom through the length and breadth of Bangladesh [Warning: Contains footage that may be disturbing] [then East Pakistan] from the time of its separation from India in 1947 till 1971. The unrestrained, gleeful massacre of Bangladeshi citizens and reign of terror that was being orchestrated by the masters sitting in West Pakistan, resulted in around 12 million Bangladeshi citizens entering in to India to create the World’s biggest refugee crisis, the likes of which has, fortunately never been replicated anywhere since.

Things came to its head, when after the 1970 election East Pakistani leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was prevented from taking over as the Prime minister of Pakistan, in spite of having achieved a clear victory in the elections. The aggressive and brutal subjugation of the Bangladeshis by the Pakistani establishment continued unabated.

It was at this juncture, that India under the leadership of the late Mrs. Indira Gandhi decided to liberate Bangladesh from the tyranny and oppression of the Pakistani brutality.

The resulting attack by India on Bangladesh produced the most unprecedented result ever achieved in the history of a military campaign – more than 90000 Pakistani Men of War [around 95000] – the pride of the “Martial Race” nation, layed  down their arms and surrendered to the Armed Forces of the Sovereign Republic of India.

This surrender of the pride of Pakistan dealt the most stinging blow to their awaam’s psyche, for whom their Military establishment had been their only source of pride for a nation who otherwise receives parity with the likes of Malawi and Afghanistan. It totally shattered their illusion of invincibility and their military was reduced to looking like a bunch of rag-tag thugs terrorizing the weak and unprotected but running of to save their own backsides at the first hint of a challenge.

No other military force, has ever surrendered in such an unprecedented number. India’s military campaign in Bangladesh under the leadership of Field Marshal Sam Maneskshaw [who was a General and India’s COAS at that time] and the subsequent decimation of the Pakistani Armed Forces is considered as one of the most brilliant examples of planning and execution undertaken and is considered for Case Studies in War colleges around the world.

Pakistan’s military history has been permanently scarred by the fact that the magnitude of their surrender to India has not been surpassed by any other nation.

Pakistan’s lack of any military achievement can also be gauged from the fact that while India celebrates its Victory Day on 16th December ever year, a day when India decimated Pakistan and paved way for the formation of Bangladesh, Pakistan, on the other hand, celebrates its National Defence Day on 6th September every year, a day during 1965 War that ended following a Cease fire agreement with India in 1965.

Any logical, pragmatic observer would be in a position to concur with the statement that a Cease-Fire Agreement is no victory for any military. Such is the deprivation of this “martial race’s” military’s achievements.

Redemption of this stinging humiliation of Pakistan in general and its military in particular would be sought by attempting to orchestrate a similar severance in India. The state of Jammu and Kashmir, which till then had been the object of a duel contested only within the boundaries of the U.N, would, in their opinion, be an ideal place to sever from India, owing to its majority Muslim population. What had been a battle being fought within the compounds walls of the U.N General Assembly building would now be taken out in to the open on the grounds of Jammu & Kashmir.

The Pakistanis from the 80s initiated what was termed as their “bleed India” campaign. A systematic state sponsored support to extremist elements in India to engage in a campaign of terror and disturbance, killing innocent unarmed civilians in an effort to to compel India to give up its claim of governance in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, paving way to its annexation by Pakistan. A similar attempt had also been made in the state of Punjab by supporting the Khalistan movement, something that India has been able to successfully overcome.

The groundwork needed to ensure the success of this severance had started in the immediate aftermath of their 1971 rout. Pakistan, under the leadership of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, undertook an systematic campaign of change to manipulate their History textbooks to cultivate in the minds of its people a pathological hatred for India. Its syllabus, which read more like a mythical fable than an objective discourse in the history of Pakistan, projected India [or more appropriately Hindus] as conniving deceiving entities who posses no ethics or principles and always seeking an opportunity to back-stab. Indians [Hindus] are always portrayed as devious cunning individuals who is not to be trusted and who time and again plotted for the destruction of Pakistan. Pakistan’s version of the war of 1965 shows India as a evil nation that tried to annexe Pakistan and make it a part of India, which was repulsed by its brave and strong military. This distortion of their Educational Syllabus, to project Pakistan as an overly strong nation with an impeccable reputation is an admission [PDF 513 KB] that has also come from within Pakistan itself.

To further fuel this anti-India sentiment, they incorporated its most potent of reasons – Islam. By associating India’s challenge to Pakistan as a direct threat to Islam, they ensured that this  sentiment of hatred that they were festering would never ever run out of fuel. To ensure that Islam would indeed be a strong enough reason, conditions were created in Pakistan to ensure that its citizens could no longer choose to disassociate the two. In fact the extent of incorporation of Islam in their curriculum and the teachings they are being asked to assimilate in the name of Islam has caused concerns even among the US for the falsification of its message.

Strengthening of the hold of Islam on Pakistan commenced with General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamization of Pakistani society. Under his rule each and every institution of governance and administration in Pakistan underwent a radical change in its operational objectives to incorporate projection & promotion of Islam as the underlying aim of their operation.

By associating their defeat with an attempted attack on Islam [the lakhs of Muslim officers and soldiers in the Indian Armed Forces notwithstanding], coupled with its lobotomized educational syllabus, Pakistan was able to formulate the perfect strategy by which every subsequent generation growing up in Pakistan would be indoctrinated with a deep-rooted hatred for India and everything India has achieved overcoming and still fighting the socio-economic challenges it had inherited at the time of its independence.

The extent to which Islam has been used to make people obey orders unquestioningly can be judged from the fact that a soldier inducted in to the Pakistani Army believes he is fighting more for the cause of Islam than the cause of the country whose Army he serves. Soldiers in their military serve in the belief that his fight against India is a holy war in which glory lies in sacrificing oneself for the cause of Islam which is being threatened by India. This act of seeking to be the one to die in place of the other in battle to achieve glory is called Shahadat – a concept that forms part of the idea of Jihad. This deadly mix of Religion, military capability and vengeance has given rise to citizens of a nation who care not for the progress and development of its own people as much as it is obsessed with its hatred for India with a desire to destroy the country.

This desire of Pakistanis to cease the existence of India on the map of the world finds voice through the Television shows of Mr. Zaid Hamid broadcast all over Pakistan. A gentleman with a questionable past, the self proclaimed defence analyst goes about his business of dispersing his anti-India views through his increasingly popular paid-for Television show. His popularity in Pakistan and Pakistanis around the may easily surpasses that of Paris Hilton by a fair margin or at least give her a serious run for her money. A look at his Facebook account stands testimony to his popularity among the young and upcoming of Pakistan.

The gentleman’s virulent diatribe against India each week without providing even the slightest hint of corroborative evidence is all lapped up by Pakistanis with enthusiasm and fervor. His confident claim to that fact that Ajmal Kasab is actually Heeralal/Amar Singh, an Indian R&AW agent collapsed like a pack of cards when his own government owned up to Kasab’s nationality. Flashing a picture of the aforementioned Kasab, his claiming that Kasab “does not look like a Pakistani” are the stuff of unforgettable Internet folklore and lampooning. This and other such execrable “analysis” about India and India’s evil plans for the strong and prosperous nation of Pakistan are presented with unabashed hatred and rhetoric, that finds no rooting in evidence and/or logic. His continual labeling of India as a failed nation in control of religious extremist bears more appropriateness when applied to his own country - the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. His forceful assertion of the idea that a nuclear attack on India by Pakistan is a strong possibility points to a catharsis of desires and feeling among the people of that country. His standing among the Pakistani citizens grows by the episode who take to defending his honor online with violent vigor, for Mr. Zaid Hamid has given voice to their feelings.

Officers of Pakistan’s military establishment have been quoted venting out their deep-seated hatred that they have harbored for India by suggesting launching of suicidal pre-emptive nuclear strikes on India in an effort to destroy the object of its hatred as well as end the lives of its own citizens whose welfare it has so successfully neglected in course of its hate-filled campaign against India.

Pakistan, whose own Industrial and Technological progress is a topic of restroom humor has also not been able to digest the progress made by India in these fields by overcoming immense challenges. The contempt and despise with which the powerful in Pakistan speak about destroying Bengaluru [formerly known as Bangalore] [of all the Indian cities – Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata etc, he had to mention Bengaluru, I wonder why], the symbolic face of India’s Technological progress is further reiteration of Pakistan’s despise for India.

This pathological hatred for India and deep-seated anger resulting from the shame of Pakistani defeat continues to burn within every Pakistani citizen. The fuel for the continual hatred for India is provided in almost every aspect of the Pakistani society. Every time a mishap occurs in their country, it is first blamed on India fanning the hatred, only to be later claimed by one of their own home-grown proteges. Repeated allegations are made by their media accusing India of supporting the separatist sentiments simmering in their country and involvement of Indians in these struggles. Yet never has an Indian name been mentioned or an alleged captured Indian been produced in their court to stand trial or shown on television for the world to see this Indian who is wrecking havoc in their beloved nation. Yet such news are sufficient to make people’s stand about India even more bitter and hate-filled.

Unfortunately for India, Pakistani citizens for generations to come will continue to seethe with this hatred for India, for it shall never be able to achieve this decisive victory over India in a battle they have been seeking for the past many generations. Any war between Pakistan and India will end in a cease fire forced upon us by the countries of the world who stand to lose a lot by letting the 2 nuclear-armed nations continue with the war, long before any Nuclear misadventure can be attempted by the Pakistanis.

This Pakistani anger and insecurity has effectively impaired its National vision. Its hatred for India outweighs its love and welfare for fellow Pakistani citizen by an unassailable margin. While to try to acquire Weapon Systems, its medical system has languished and is in tatters. Its inability and lack of competency to treat the innocent Pakistani girl who was forced to travel to India to be treated by the very people whose destruction an annihilation is the sole purpose of the rest of the Pakistani citizenry, points to India’s humane and also ineffective approach adopted by India while dealing with Pakistan.

India has always welcomed such (w)hole-hearted Pakistanis and will continue to do so to the people of Pakistan, whose Government is in no position to take care of them and does not have the infrastructure in place to care for its own.

As long as Pakistaniat [everything Pakistani] is geared towards hating Indian and desiring its end, India continues to remain under the very real shadow of threat of a Pakistani misadventure resulting from its diabolic hatred for India.