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Oct. 2012

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In this issue:

How to master the art of self-control

What's Hot:
Verghese Kurien, Narendra Modi, Neil Armstrong & Rupert Murdoch

Enrichment Enrichment

How to master the art of self-control

Change your life by learning how to harness your willpower

A great deal of our inability to achieve our goals can be attributed to lack of self-control. So whether you're trying to lose weight, quit smoking or simply watch lesser TV to make more constructive use of your time, think about why you haven't scored full marks for your efforts. Your emotional response overrides all sense of logic and the smartness quotient of your decisions takes a nosedive.

To win the willpower battle, it is essential to understand how self-control works. Once you've got to the bottom of that, it will be far easier for you to call on your spare reserves.

Learning how self-control works

Simply put, it is easier to indulge than to hold back. For example, it's easier to act as if you're immune to the calories you're inhaling, rather than look for a healthier meal option. Similarly, it is easier to watch TV than put in the effort to figure out other healthier activities. The instant gratification is understandable, but what about longer-term consequences? The problem lies in being unable to veer away from the focus on 'right now'.

Trick your willpower

There is no easy way out, but you need to practise self-control. Keep at it. Zero in on your problem, and stop yourself from indulging in it for a week. For example, if you just have no control over how much money you're spending, maintain absolute, rigid control over expenses for a week. This will boost your confidence enough to try it for a month. The idea that you can change your life in 30 days holds much merit. If by the end of the month you have earned a big pat on your back, you probably won't want to go back to your habit.

Distract yourself

Exerting self-control can make you cranky. So make sure you take care of your diet and health to keep up the energy. Anything that causes irritability will make your self-control snap. Make a list of things that will keep you busy in your free time.

Create difficulties

If you are, for example, a retail junkie, then cut up your credit card. If you don't have one, how will you go shopping? If you're into smoking, don't buy cigarettes and stay away from other smokers. If you like your drinkie, don't stock up. And cut up your credit card. Create situations where you're unable to access what you desire for instant gratification.

Fear your habit

Think of people who have the same problems but are too far gone for easy solutions. If you're addicted to food, put up a picture of an obese person. Do you really want to look like that? Let the consequences frighten the daylights out of you. Your porn addiction could lead you to show abnormal behaviour around women. Change your pattern.

With a combination of the right strategies, you can defeat temptation. Take up the challenge now.

What's Hot What's Hot

Verghese Kurien, Narendra Modi,

Neil Armstrong & Rupert Murdoch

Verghese Kurien

Father of White Revolution Verghese Kurien dies at the age of 90

Verghese Kurien


“What do you know about pasteurisation,” an interviewer asked the young man who had applied for a Government of India fellowship for a Masters in Engineering abroad. “Something to do with milk?” was the uncertain reply. The year was 1946. In his biography From Anand: The story of Verghese Kurien, M.V. Kamath recounts the story of how the youngster was selected to do a Masters in dairy engineering by a government committee that was impervious to his pleas that he be allowed to specialise in metallurgy instead.

As it turned out, Michigan State University did not have dairy engineering, and Verghese Kurien was able to do metallurgy and Physics. But when he came back to India in 1948, it was to a small and unknown village in Gujarat called Anand that he was sent, to work out his two-year bond at the Government creamery on a salary of Rs.600 per month. Hating his job, he waited impatiently for his fetters to loosen. That did not happen. What it did was that V. Kurien, by the conjunction of politics, nationalism and professional challenge, decided to stay on. He would transform rural India.

Verghese Kurien, who became a legend in his lifetime for building a cooperative movement that transformed the lives of poor farmers while making India self-reliant in milk production, died in Nadiad at the age of 90. He was in hospital, suffering from a series of problems associated with old age.

Born on November 26, 1921 in Kozhikode, Kerala, Verghese Kurien studied at Madras University for a Bachelor of Science in 1940, a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Honours) from Madras University (1943), and was a graduate of the Tata Iron and Steel Company Technical Institute, Jamshedpur (1946). He took a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Distinction) from Michigan State University (1948) and then went for specialised training in dairying at the National Dairy Research Institute, Bangalore.

He had 17 honorary doctorates from universities in India and abroad. At the time of his death he was Chancellor, University of Allahabad (since April 17, 2006), Member, Board of Trustees, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Memorial Trust, New Delhi (since 1986), and Member, Advisory Committee, South Asian Network on Fermented Foods — SAN FOODS (since 2004).

He was Founder Chairman of the National Dairy Development Board (1965-1998), the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd, Anand (1983-2006), the National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India Limited (1986-1993), (1995-2000), and (2003-2006), and the Board of Governors, Institute of Rural Management, Anand (1979-2006), amongst several other posts he held in his working life.

Bitter critic

He was the recipient of several distinguished Indian and international awards. To give a short selection of them: nationally, the Padmashri (1965); Padmabhushan (1966); Krishi Ratna (1986); and the Padma Vibhushan (1999). Outside India, it was the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership (1963); the “Wateler Peace Prize” Award of the Carnegie Foundation for the year 1986; the World Food Prize award for the year 1989; the “International Person of the year” by the World Dairy Expo, Wisconsin, U.S. (1993), the “Ordre du Merite Agricole” by the Government of France (in March 1997); and the Regional Award 2000 from the Asian Productivity Organization, Japan.

Till his death, he was a bitter critic of the policies of liberalisation in India, which he believed opened India to unfair competition from multinational companies. He laid out his objections to liberalisation as early as 1995 in a detailed and wide-ranging interview he gave this correspondent for Frontline.

Speaking about Amul, the successful cooperative he founded, he explained the rationale behind Operation Flood – the strategy that made India self-reliant in milk production — and why it succeeded.

When presented with the criticism that the cooperative movement could not replicate the successes of the Anand model in other parts of India, Mr. Kurien agreed but was unfazed by it, contesting it soundly.

If in 2012, India is the largest producer of milk in the world, contributing six per cent to the national GDP and 26 per cent to the agricultural GDP, it is Verghese Kurien, with his socialist vision and technology-led approach, who made it possible.

He is survived by his wife Molly Kurien, his daughter Nirmala, and grandson, Siddharth.

Arvind Kejriwal

On a mission to change the system, Arvind Kejriwal has declared that he along with his team is ready to plunge into politics.

Arvind KejriwalIt wasn’t long ago that social activist Arvind Kejriwal called India’s parliamentarians “rapists, murderers and looters“. After making no bones about his hatred for India’s politicians during his anti-corruption movement, the former Team Anna member may soon be breaking bread and rubbing shoulders with the targets of his scorn now that he has decided to enter politics.

Kejriwal’s first test could be the assembly elections in Delhi next year. Will his rhetoric translate into votes? Will his party succeed in overthrowing a state government that has been in power for nearly 15 years in the capital?

If you go by his “vision document“, the idea of a government run by the people gives an impression that parliamentary democracy is somehow a different thing. The former Magsaysay Award winner wants citizens to make decisions on budget, commodity prices and lawmaking. While there is no doubt that his ideas hint at a disorganized system of governance, it’s a college student’s version of idealism and it won’t transform India’s government.
It’s premature to dismiss his party, but his promise of passing the Jan Lokpal anti-corruption bill within 10 days of being elected sounds ignorant. The bill has been pending for decades, leading one to wonder what secret ace Kejriwal is carrying up his sleeve.

We don’t know how many candidates Kejriwal’s party will field, or how aware they are of parliamentary procedure — including knowing how many people you need present to pass bills. How will they work with belligerent opponents? Will he bypass parliament all together and seek popular referendums on bills? Maybe he’ll revisit the constitution?

In hindsight, Kejriwal’s former boss, anti-corruption activist and frequent hunger striker Anna Hazare would have made a better politician. Hazare is a tactician, and more experienced in dealing with the murky, unwritten rules of Indian politics.

Hazare also scored higher on mass appeal, as did Kiran Bedi, India’s first woman Indian Police Service officer and former Team Anna member. But that’s not happening for Team Anna, partly because its fans lost interest and the team fractured because of internal disagreements. Hazare also is far more averse to politics than any of his former team members.

“Politics is not sacred and it is full of dirt,” Hazare said before Kejriwal announced his party’s launch.

As for Kejriwal himself, his career is worth admiring – Indian Institute of Technology graduate, Indian Revenue Officer and so on.

The strength of his voice might hearken back to the days before independence, but his manifesto should be more plausible and make more sense.
Brief Intro

Arvind Kejriwal (born 16 Aug 1968) is an Indian politician and social activist. He was a Indian Revenue Service official and is currently fighting for greater transparency in Government.

He was awarded Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership in 2006, for activating India's Right to Information movement at grassroots and social activities to empower the poorest citizens to fight corruption by holding the government answerable to the people.

Kejriwal is also a Saathi (fellow) of the Association for India's Development, a Global Impact award winning NGO. In 2006 after resigning from IRS,he founded an NGO Public cause Research Foundation by donating his Magasaysay award money as corpus fund. In 2010, he along with a few like minded people formed India Against Corruption which aimed at enacting of strong and effective anti-corruption law in India.


  • 2004: Ashoka Fellow, Civic Engagement.
  • 2005: 'Satyendra K. Dubey Memorial Award', IIT Kanpur for his campaign for bringing transparency in Government.
  • 2006: Ramon Magsaysay Award for Eminent Leadership.
  • 2006: CNN-IBN, 'Indian of the Year' in Public Service
  • 2009: Distinguished Alumnus Award, IIT Kharagpur for Eminent Leadership.
  • 2010: Policy Change Agent of the Year, The Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence along with Aruna Roy.
  • 2011: NDTV Indian of the Year along with Anna Hazare

Park Jae-san

Korean singer Psy does for K-Pop what Kolaveri Di did, however briefly, for contemporary Indian film music.

Park Jae-sang

Park Jae-sang more popularly known as Psy sticks out as an anachronism in the world of pop. While rock musicians come in all shapes and sizes, pop demands dolled up divas and/or metrosexual boybands.

Psy is none of these things. He's a portly man who bears a strong resemblance to a Korean Ricky Gervais. And he's managed to score Korean Pop or K-Pop's first bonafide crossover hit with Gangnam Style.

At the time of going to press, the video for his latest single had registered well over 225 million views on YouTube.

In an even more delicious irony, Psy's biggest hit which mocks many of the visual cliches of the average pop video has landed him a chance to hang out with America's finest. He taught Britney Spears his dance moves on the Ellen Degeneres Show and Gangnam Style has been covered by the likes of Nelly Furtado and Maroon 5.

All of which pales compared to its reception in its home country where the dance moves — a ridiculous mimicking of horse riding and a sideways shuffle — have become the rage.

A recent conference in Seoul by Korean advertising agency Innocean which works on Hyundai Motors began with a viewing of Gangnam Style and a discussion on the phenomenon.

Gangnam Style is not typical K-pop fare. The song is oddly subversive in a genre which sticks to shopworn themes like love, lust and heartbreak. It's a critique of conspicuous consumption in Korea in general and Gangnam in particular.

YK 'Scott' Choi, the head of the Kia Motors business at Innocean Worldwide explains, "Gangnam is the area where rich and fashionable young people get together. This song describes a guy who wants to be considered cool and stylish like a typical Gangnam person, but eventually fails. Through the video, you sense that Psy is describing a person who is trying too hard."

It's just the sort of song that Korean music fans have come to expect from Psy who is considered a bit of a loose cannon in the K-pop universe. Some of his earlier work was banned for objectionable content.

Strangely enough, the severely uncool looking Psy is one of the closest things South Korea has to a rebel pop star — someone who makes the younger generation laugh at Korean society while enraging the elders. And yet, the worldwide popularity of Gangnam Style has very little to do with its lyrics. Its global spread was at least in part orchestrated.

Apart from being extensively shared by Psy's fans across social networking platforms, its popularity was bolstered by competitions around the dance style, and a relaxed attitude from Psy's label towards riffs on the video, even parodies that were not complimentary at all.

The song was tweeted by American rapper TPain and was quickly shared and reshared by people across the world.

Analysing just why this caught on when a lot of other K-Pop has a more niche appeal, Choi believes, "People could easily learn the horse riding dance. For most people, Korean might be difficult to pronounce. This song is designed to be sung easily by choosing simple Korean words and repetition of the same phrase. The video is also funny and that works as a global language."

The Korean ad folk are hopeful this could be a harbinger of K-Pop, a phenomenon with a decidedly Southeast Asian fan base so far, going global.

Choi says his agency has even considered using the genre following a massively popular K-Pop concert in Paris but decided against it since most of its fans are teenagers who are unlikely to be serious consumers.

However in a post-Gangnam Style world he believes, "Psy's success is different. It has gained the attention of the mainstream audience." Koshy appears a little less confident. He says, "An American I spoke to told me, 'I won't buy his album or listen to him on the way to work or anything. I'll watch him and imitate him over a few beers but that's about it.'

Americans and Europeans thought Gangnam style referred to the style of his neighbourhood, like the Bronx attitude or something.

The irony is that while the Koreans see a man who stands for the new generation, for irreverence, for a more open society that embraces change and new thinking, the world only sees a plump, funny Korean guy who dances a funny step."

Rebekah Brook

She was running the News of the World at 31 and Rupert Murdoch’s entire British newspaper empire at 41. A virtual member of the Murdoch family, close to Prime Ministers Blair, Brown, and Cameron, she relished her power—until the phone-hacking scandal took her down.

Rebekah BrooksRebekah Mary Brooks (born 27 May 1968) is a British journalist and former newspaper editor. She was Chief Executive Officer of News International from 2009 to 2011, having previously served as the youngest editor of a British national newspaper at News of the World from 2000 to 2003, and the first female editor of The Sun from 2003 to 2009. Brooks married actor Ross Kemp in 2002. They divorced in 2009 and she married former racehorse trainer and author Charlie Brooks.

Brooks is a prominent figure in the News International phone hacking scandal, having been the editor of the News of the World when illegal phone hacking was allegedly carried out by the newspaper.

On 15 July 2011, Brooks resigned as chief executive of News International, following widespread criticism of her role in the controversy.

Road to Ambition

In the many press accounts of Brooks’s life there would be a number of facts on which everyone seemed to agree. She was born Rebekah Mary Wade in 1968 in Warrington, a town in the North of England situated between Liverpool and Manchester. She was an only child, and growing up she had lived in a tiny village south of Warrington.

She went to the area high school, Appleton Hall County Grammar, and studied French. She had been so passionate about becoming a journalist that when she was 14 she began to spend her weekends and school holidays at the local newspaper “making tea,” she once said, “and helping out.” Although she later attended the London College of Printing, after high school she took off for Paris, where she worked for a French architecture magazine.

Frequent mentions of her Sorbonne education would come later, after she became editor of The Sun, in 2003. One or two press stories over the years would note that Brooks appeared only to have taken a class at the Sorbonne, not studied for a degree.

Rebekah Wade was 20 years old in 1988 when she showed up at the Warrington office of The Post, a now defunct national tabloid. As Graham Ball, then the features editor, recalled to the BBC, she approached him and said, “I am going to come and work with you on the features desk as the features secretary or administrator.”

He told her that would be impossible, as he was moving the next week to work in the paper’s London office. On the following Monday, he showed up at his new London office “and there she was.” As another editor recalled, she was a “skinny, hollow-eyed” young woman, who was “very, very, very ambitious,” and prepared to go to great lengths “to get on.”
In 1989, after The Post folded, Wade got a job as a secretary at the News of the World. She would soon move to the paper’s Sunday magazine, where she wrote for the TV soap-opera section. At some point Wade caught the eye of Piers Morgan, the editor of the News of the World, and now the host of CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight. In his 2005 book The Insider, he would recount with gusto the thoroughness with which Wade arranged to bug a hotel room in advance of a 1994 meeting between the paper’s editors and Princess Diana’s lover, James Hewitt. Taken with Wade, Morgan promoted her rapidly—too rapidly, some say. By 1995, when he left to become editor of the Daily Mirror, the 27-year-old Wade was the deputy editor of the News of the World.

Paul McMullan first met Wade in 1994, when she was still features editor. McMullan recalls how inexperienced she was. “She’d never done an investigation or written a news story,” he says, and she had little understanding of what went into the reporting of one. A former deputy to Wade, he is today a central figure in the hacking scandal, one of the few journalists to not only publicly admit that hacking was widely practiced but also to defend it. “I think you can do anything to get at the truth,”

McMullan says. “The criticism is we did it so badly and so often under her stewardship it became ridiculous.” In the 90s, though, outright phone hacking was not that prevalent. Before digital-cell-phone technology became common, listening in on cell-phone conversations was done with scanners.

It was, McMullan has said, why it was so easy for reporters to listen in on Princess Diana’s phone calls, for example. Just as widespread among newspapers, he says, was the use of private investigators to get unpublished phone numbers and addresses—and sometimes for such other “dark arts” as getting medical and financial records, and for surveillance.

McMullan says that Wade knew about the use of private investigators—“Impossible not to,” he says. “I was deputy features editor. I ran the same department that she did, and every week we’d see the bills from the private investigators: £2,000, £4,000.” However, he can’t be sure she always knew what they were doing.

“She was quite sweet in those days,” says McMullan. “She knew she was out of her depth and would rely on other people to make her shine. And, funnily enough, it was because she was so hopeless, we wanted to protect her as our boss when we would find out she didn’t know what she was doing,” he recalls. “So that worked, as one management style, if you like.”

“She’d get you to do things,” says another former News of the World reporter. “She had this charisma, this magnetic attraction,” he says. “She would praise to high heaven, make you feel like you were on top of the world. It was only afterwards that you realized you were manipulated.”

In a largely male tabloid world—a business in which Brooks was once asked at a corporate golf gathering to sew a senior executive’s button back on his shirt, which she did—perceptions counted for a lot.

“She was very tactile, touching you on the arm, looking straight into your eyes as though there was no one more important in the room,” this former News reporter says. “From the way she acted, you would think she wanted to sleep with you.” But “no,” he says, “she didn’t want to sleep with the help; she was way too up the scale for that.”

Rebekah Brooks

She worked nonstop. “She was going at 150 all day,” this man recalls. “She was very intense. I thought she was a very insecure woman, actually, desperate for a lot of love and attention,” he says.

“I was quite friendly with her at some point, as friendly as anyone can get with her, and in her quieter moments she would say, ‘No one loves me; I’m in a battle here.’ ” But even then, she was careful.

Even out drinking after work, “she did not get pissed, ever. She never let her guard down,” and never spoke about her past. Like others, he wondered. “In the early days she used this accent, a girls’-school accent, meaning she’d been poshly educated, but every now and again the accent would slip and you’d realize: Oh, yeah.”

There were rumors of a father who “was absent or who left,” of some kind of abandonment or “betrayal” that was felt deeply by her mother in particular, with whom Wade was, and still is, extremely close. But no one pressed.

Some believed her father was a vicar, or otherwise well-to-do, although, according to a copy of Brooks’s birth certificate, her father, John Robert Wade, was a tugboat deckhand. At some point, he became a gardener.
In an interview with the BBC last summer, Brooks’s childhood friend Louise Weir would say that Brooks’s parents had a tree-pruning business that was so prosperous it afforded the family enviable vacations, and a personalized license plate for her mother, Deborah.

When contacted, Weir was agitated, said she had been harassed by the media, and hung up the phone. But she told the BBC the Wades had been a churchgoing family. Rebekah, she said, was “a typical Gemini.

She’s got her lovely fluffy side and her angry side she’s always been able to get what she wants out of people, even if they don’t really like her.”

In July 1996, a brief article appeared in the local Warrington Guardian. The occasion was Rebekah Wade’s engagement to Ross Kemp, whom she had met the year before at a golf tournament.

The paper gushed about rumors that Wade’s engagement ring had cost $30,000. It also interviewed her father. John Wade was still living in Hatton, the small village where he and his then wife Deborah had been living when their daughter, Rebekah, was born.

He said that he had no idea who Ross Kemp was, because he rarely watched television. However, he was “looking forward” to having Kemp visit him and his wife, Barbara, whom he’d married when Rebekah was 20.

“The first time I knew of the engagement was when Rebekah rang to tell me she was getting married. It was quite a surprise,” he told the paper.

Six weeks later, in September 1996, Wade died, at the age of 50. According to his death certificate, the cause was cirrhosis of the liver, so severe it had led to hepatic failure

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