Elections 2014

Tomorrow is being awaited by a lot of people. It is supposed to be a turning point in India's political history with Narendra Modi led NDA winning the polls by a comfortable margin.

At least that is what the Exit polls are pointing out to. However, exit polls are not very reliable as can be seen from the last couple of elections. As far as I can see, the Congress is always trying to win by hook or crook or even by Emergency so I would not be surprised if tomorrow the results are a surprise to everyone.

Anyways, my post is not about that. I am going to put my thoughts about the AAP ( Aam Admi Party ) out here. Been meaning to do so for quite a while and here goes.

AAP started really well, promising a different set of people - people more clean than the scam tainted today's politicians. The battleground was Delhi ( Indraprastha of yesteryears - quite apt I think). Exit polls for the Delhi state elections said AAP would get in the single digits and BJP would have a clean sweep. The results were totally off the charts - BJP did not get a majority, and AAP got 27 seats - quite shy of a majority. And then they started their own ruin by bad decisions.

Bad Decision #1

The bad decisions started now. BJP being shy of a majority could not make the govt. Congress played their trump card and said they will support AAP from the outside. AAP tried to be too clever and posted a referrandum whether they should form the govt and went ahead and formed it with the support of Congress - whom they have been bad mouthing for quite a while. I was aghast. This was stupid.

I firmly believe if they had not formed a govt, they would have come back with a majority. Right now, this looks like a far fetched dream.

Bad Decision #2

AAP decided to pass the LokPal bill. Predictably it was blocked by both the BJP and the Congress who ofcourse do not want any accountability in how they work. AAP resigned on 'moral' grounds.

Any other time it would be ok.

This time it was not.

AAP went into national mode - and to the people of Delhi this was tantamount to betrayal. They had put their trust into AAP but AAP was too ambitious for its own good. Add to it, AAP continued to behave like a protester - doing dharnas even though now they were in the system to make a difference. And then resigning in a huff.

This turned off many people from AAP, and since they were fed up of the Congress mis-Rule over the last decade, they say they are voting for BJP.

But despite this, I remain an AAP supporter.

AAP changed the way we view politics. I don't recall an election where people were so involved into all this. They may not be voting for AAP, but due to the incessant coverage of politics in Delhi, everyone is interested in what is happening. Instead of just the usual 2 party discussions, suddenly there is a new entrant in the crowd. Despite being totally uncouth when it comes to governance - they have made the other parties introspect.

In a way I am glad that AAP is not going to get many seats this time. I would say at a max they will get 20 seats. It will force them to think where they went wrong. It will force them to realize that politics is not about protesting and doing dharnas on the street - it is also about governance.

In the Delhi Assembly Arvind Kejriwal said that "We will teach you governance" to the Congress minister Arvinder Singh Lovely. But it seems that AAP and Mr Kejriwal has to first learn it themselves. And I am going to support them for a term more and give them a chance - which most other people seem to have written off.

I am naive in politics. I dont understand the complexity of the governance in India with 3 levels of government machinery before it veers into the Indian Beaureaucracy - but I think India is waking up - very slowly like Kumbkaran, but surely.

Minecraft Audio with USB Speakers

I have a Bose Companion 5 speaker set. Unfortunately, the USB audio support on Linux is quite iffy. I am able to play audio ok with audacious, but while playing Minecraft there was no audio.

Below is a fix I found on various message boards, which seems to work for now. Hopefully it works for you also.

The trick is to fix the OpenAL configuration.

create a file '.alsoftrc' in your home directory with the following text in it :

$ cat ~/.alsoftrc
drivers = alsa

capture = default
device = pulse

Now start minecraft from the directory where you have the jar file:

java -jar Minecraft.jar

and sound should be working.