10 Apr

Arun Shourie on Govt. defecit

Today was voting day in many states including Haryana (where I stay) and I just casted vote. This was 2nd time I voted and first time when I voted in a Lok Sabha election (last time being for local Municipal Election). 

Sometimes back I came across a very nice lecture by one of great Indian scholar, politician, author and lot more Mr Arun Shourie.  


Some key points of his lecture

  • Political situation has degraded significantly and during the time he gave this lecture. Four of politicians including Haryana’s Ex-CM were in jail for some really serious charges. 
  • We are not using rights of freedom for the re-construction of society. Media is one of key institutions which has degraded so much. 
  • We feel proud to say that we are largest democracy though real bitter truth is that most of that is a complete disarray
  • No party in current time believes in ideology, idea or ideals. It’s plainly politics to get in power. (I personally disagree to this though). 
  • We have got lot’s of media channels and that make us feel very proud of though most just work in same manner. The pattern as well as the news is almost same on each of them. Diversity & plurality is not there. 
  • There’s a very organized structure of paid media in form of “rate cards” where certain rates are provided in well defined pattern for giving better news coverage. 
  • Indian media is very much into giving excessive coverage to insignificant events while there’s almost no interest in critical issues like state of defence, our position w.r.t. China, our internal security etc. 
  • Indian media has gone so much into “manipulation mode” that they use a lot of “So you mean to say….” kind of statement to make things more exciting while loosing the actual value in discussion. 
  • There’s almost no coverage in mainstream Indian media on scientific developments. New which has potential to impact our life significantly is not given any importance at all. 
  • Elite Indian class considers India to be a “Knowledge Super Powereven though without knowledge, no read and opinion on everything. 🙂 
  • There’s too much of balanced journalism where idea is to show two sides and end every debate with yes & no kind of situation. There’s no analysis or use of mind – it’s all just like showing a balanced, unquestionable picture of everything. While in real life there’s only side, only one side is right and not two sides. 
  • (Best advise:) Do not waste time in watching TV when it’s showing useless crap news. Just turn it off and watch TED talk or Authors @ Google videos talk on YouTube. 🙂
  • There’s a false sense that Indian society has become intolerant. Truth is that it’s all about weak state control.
  • Lokpal likely won’t help and all we need is three key changes in judiciary – No adjournments at all, Preponderance of probability and punishment not just in form of fine but also a ban from public life. 
  • Sad truth is that over time India is becoming weaker and weaker due to extremely poor governance. India is moreover governed by bureaucracy and not really political leadership. 


Some personal thoughts… 

I really wish to read his books and infact meet him someday in person. There are lot of things to learn from his experience. As Disinvestment Minister he was one of key persons in VSNL (Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd) disinvestment during Vajpayee’s Govt. This was time when this precious telecommunications infrastructure got investments from Tata Group which later turned it into Tata Communication after merging assets of VSNL, Tyco Global Network and TeleGlobe. 

Let’s see how will be new govt. 🙂

Disclaimer: I work for an Indian ISP and all comments here are completely personal. In no way it reflects my employers view. 

30 Jul

Welcome Amazon AWS AS16509 to India!

Today I spotted some routes from Amazon AWS Cloud services –  AS16509 in Indian tables. AS16509 was originating prefixes while sitting in downstream of Tata-VSNL AS4755 and Reliance AS18101. I almost missed Amazon AWS’s announcement on their blog about Indian PoPs for their DNS service – Route53 and CDN service – Cloudfront.


New PoP’s of Amazon in India are at Mumbai and Chennai and I see pretty much consistent BGP announcements to Tata and Reliance from these locations. Prefixes I have seen so far:


Unicast prefixes originated in India (for Cloufront CDN):


Anycast prefixes (for anycasted DNS route 53)


Note: I pulled these prefixes by looking at upstream peers in India (which is Tata and Reliance) and running simply sh ip bgp regexp 4755 16509sh ip bgp regexp 18101 16509 on Oregon routeviews & few other major data collection points of global IPv4 table. 

I can’t see any upstream from Airtel AS9498 or any other major Indian telco. Also at NIXI prefixes are available partially. I see prefiex at NIXI Mumbai carried by Tata VSNL. At NIXI Chennai prefixes are present with one degree prepend (AS4755 AS4755 twice) making route less preferable. While at NIXI Delhi there seems no route at all for Amazon’s prefixes (Tata follows regional route policy at NIXI). 


So now big question here – which datacenter is that? 

I doubt it would be Tata or Reliance since they are core competitiors and run datacenters pretty much on their own networks with almost zero carrier neutral options (few exceptions are there). My strong guess is that it’s Netmagic’s datacenter in Mumbai and Chennai with direct upstream links (bypassing Netmagic’s network). Just my guess. Cannot verify it from record of AS16509 on peeringdb.net – http://www.peeringdb.com/view.php?asn=16509


With that being said here’s a trace to cdn.anuragbhatia.com (which I use via Amazon Cloudfront):

Anurags-MacBook-Pro:~ anurag$ traceroute -a cdn.anuragbhatia.com
traceroute: Warning: cdn.anuragbhatia.com has multiple addresses; using
traceroute to ddlfp4nmkhyfr.cloudfront.net (, 64 hops max, 52 byte packets
1 [AS1] ( 1.152 ms 0.765 ms 0.627 ms
2 [AS10223] ( 1.460 ms 2.906 ms 1.569 ms
3 [AS9829] ( 16.339 ms 17.905 ms 15.704 ms
4 [AS9829] ( 94.835 ms 29.628 ms 118.135 ms
5 [AS4755] ( 60.472 ms 61.304 ms 59.103 ms
6 [AS0] ( 84.706 ms 87.201 ms 85.640 ms
7 [AS4755] ( 82.327 ms 83.276 ms 81.583 ms
8 [AS16509] server-54-230-189-204.maa3.r.cloudfront.net ( 85.261 ms 85.185 ms 84.269 ms
Anurags-MacBook-Pro:~ anurag$


Always nice to maa in all these nodes at Chennai. Basically most of companies (including Google) use 3 digit airport code in name of node (in rDNS PTR record of router’s WAN IP). For Chennai (which used to be known as Madras) airport code is still MAA and this is why you will see maa in Chennai nodes and BOM on Mumbai based nodes. 🙂


Time to get back to work. Have a good week ahead! 🙂