Thejesh GN

A Blog, A Website and A container for all my views with excerpts from technology, travel, films, india, photography, kannada, friends and other interests. I am Thejesh GN. Friends call me Thej

Why ?

Posted by Thejesh GN On May - 28 - 20139 COMMENTS

For a long time, we (the so-called middle class) didn’t have access to the ruling and administrative classes. We couldn’t ask them questions directly and they didn’t care about us. We were dependent on journalists to question politicians and politicians in turn to question the bureaucracy. It never worked for us. Journalists never worked for us. We were never their customers (our fault?) and I don’t have to say anything about the ruling class.

With RTI, we got that access. Just like a top journo, I could question the Prime Minister and demand answers. But like how any other set of laws were used, RTI’s first success stories were very personal. I think even today RTI has been used in a very personal way to get answers to personal questions.

But then there are a set of people who are asking public-interest questions. Answers to which are very useful to the vast majority. Hence the use of AskYourGovt, where I plan to build a comprehensive database of Public Interest RTI requests and responses. The idea is not just to aggregate the responses. It’s to build a community around “Questioning the Govt” which includes asking more questions, demanding answers, commenting on the responses, building stories and larger public awareness.

This seems to be a huge task. But I don’t have to succeed, As an individual, there is no pressure on me. I am just going to give it a good try and hope that you will help me.

Alpha website is out :)

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Running TCS World 10k Bangalore

Posted by Thejesh GN On May - 22 - 20132 COMMENTS

This was my first proper long distance running. I finished Open 10k in not so respectable 1:39:00. Its not that bad, considering I haven’t been running at all. I am planning to run a half marathon this year, hopefully with decent timing.



Read the rest of this entry »

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Library Of Congress

Posted by Thejesh GN On May - 21 - 20131 COMMENT

Its been a dream to visit the library from long time. This time I made sure I did. Library of Congress is the largest library in the world (British Library is very a close competitor). It roughly attracts 1.75 million visits in an year and is a reference library. It has books from all over the world including Kannada books(ಉದಾಹರಣೆಗೆ ಕುವೆಂಪುರವರ ಅನಿಕೇತನ ಕವನ ಸಂಕಲನ, ಎಶಿಯನ್ ರಿಡಿಂಗ್ ರೂಮ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ದೊರೆಯುತ್ತದೆ.).


With a free library card you get to see and study them. The library card is available to anybody with an address proof. Fill up the form online and carry your passport (you don’t have to be US citizen or permanent resident. Passport of any country is good) and get your id card in like 10 minutes.


If you have a free day in DC don’t miss visiting loc. They have a free tour almost every day and they are wonderful. If you want to follow-up online they have great set of blogs. They also do 140 character updates.

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Ask Your Govt

Posted by Thejesh GN On May - 5 - 20138 COMMENTS

This is just an idea as of now. Lets call it “Ask Your Govt” where community can ask questions and vote on questions. Questions should be non personal and relevant to the community. If a question gets a certain points (or up votes if you like or retweets). “Ask Your Govt” will raise an RTI on your behalf. Once it gets answered from respective department we will publish it for the community use.

Since its just me as of now. I will do one RTI per month. If you are interested in helping me, send me a mail.

In a couple of days the website should be up and running for you to use interactively. As of now you can ask question by sending me an email. So go ahead and send me your questions.

Ideas and comments are welcome.

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Geeks and Embarrassments

Posted by Thejesh GN On April - 20 - 20131 COMMENT

I have been a geek forever, mostly embarrassing friends and family around me. This time I did go a step further. It was meant to be something really personal. But then when I told what happened she was embarrassed. Of course she likes most things I do. This time too a second later she smiled at me and asked me whether was her name open data :) Of course there I was covered.

She wrote this for the geek inside me a while back

I could question him every day for proof of his love
Instead I said, “Make me your password”
The clarity of his reply resounded
With the assurance I needed.
“You are already a part of my hard disk key”, said Clarity
The loveliest gesture in his digital world.
His writing ability often vexs me
His spellings, grammar; like monkeys on a page
Misbehave to ruin the moments in his coaxed letters.
One January evening, he hands me an LIC diary.
Later when I open to make it my own
“To my Life Insurance” sing the monkeys in harmony
And my “fine” writing ability goes up in flames
as my heart melts into a puddle of love
for my simpleton.

1. Well I am not embarrassed any more.
2. Of course password has been changed since them. And it wasn’t simple name password if you know what I mean :)

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