INTERNET SPOOFS

Video: This spoof on India’s IT layoffs is probably the only opportunity to laugh at the crisis

The All India Coders’ Association is out on the streets chanting slogans against IT bosses.

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The current rush of mass layoffs at IT firms in India has been referred to as a“Nightmare on IT street” and the biggest the industry has seen since 2008, when the global economy crashed.

Outraged technology workers are protesting the loss of jobs online, but what if there were an organised protest on the issue? That’s what the Tamil comedy YouTube channel Temple Monkeys depicts in its latest video, which has the fictional All India Coders’ Association out on the streets, chanting slogans against Infosys’s NR Narayan Murthy, Wipro’s Aziz Premji, and TCS’s Rajesh Gopinathan. In the background, Donald Trump and Google CEO Sundar Pichai wonder why if they “laid off the whole world, only these people are protesting?”

“Why is no one scolding me?” asks Trump, to which Pichai responds: “These people are like this, they won’t scold the one who is responsible.” Their commentary continues as the protestors wonder what they should do next. Trump ponders, “Don’t you people know anything apart from engineering?” Pichai, who is the American president’s India guide, shoots back: “Yeah, we get trained for that in our school only.”

The seven-minute spoof is as densely packed with light moments as the team’s hilarious skewering of the NEET dress code. They take off on everything from pop culture, such as the incomprehensible plot of Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi blockbuster Interstellar, to internet habits. Pointing out why humans trump computers and why automation is not the way forward, one of the protestors loudly exclaims: “I’ll hit Alt-tab and quickly change the porn screen to MS Dos when the manager comes in, within a second. Will your AI do that?”

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Decoding the symbolic threads and badges of one of India’s oldest cavalry units

The untold story of The President’s Bodyguard.

The national emblem of India; an open parachute and crossed lances – this triad of symbols representing the nation, excellence in training and valor respectively are held together by an elite title in the Indian army – The President’s Bodyguard (PBG).

The PBG badge is worn by one of the oldest cavalry units in the India army. In 1773, Governor Warren Hastings, former Governor General of India, handpicked 50 troopers. Before independence, this unit was referred to by many titles including Troops of Horse Guards and Governor General’s Body Guards (GGBG). In 1950, the unit was named The President’s Bodyguard and can be seen embroidered in the curved maroon shoulder titles on their current uniforms.

The President’s Bodyguard’s uniform adorns itself with proud colours and symbols of its 245 year-old-legacy. Dating back to 1980, the ceremonial uniform consists of a bright red long coat with gold girdles and white breeches, a blue and gold ceremonial turban with a distinctive fan and Napoleon Boots with spurs. Each member of the mounted unit carries a special 3-meter-long bamboo cavalry lance, decorated by a red and white pennant. A sheathed cavalry sabre is carried in in the side of the saddle of each trooper.

While common perception is that the PBG mainly have ceremonial duties such as that of being the President’s escort during Republic Day parade, the fact is that the members of the PBG are highly trained. Handpicked by the President’s Secretariat from mainstream armored regiments, the unit assigns a task force regularly for Siachen and UN peace keeping operations. Moreover, the cavalry members are trained combat parachutists – thus decorating the PBG uniform with a scarlet Para Wings badge that signifies that these troopers are a part of the airborne battalion of the India Army.

Since their foundation, the President’s Guard has won many battle honors. In 1811, they won their first battle honor ‘Java’. In 1824, they sailed over Kalla Pani for the first Burmese War and earned the second battle honour ‘Ava’. The battle of Maharajapore in 1843 won them their third battle honor. Consequently, the PBG fought in the main battles of the First Sikh War and earned four battle honours. Post-independence, the PBG served the country in the 1962 Indo-China war and the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

The PBG, one of the senior most regiments of the Indian Army, is a unique unit. While the uniform is befitting of its traditional and ceremonial role, the badges that augment those threads, tell the story of its impressive history and victories.

How have they managed to maintain their customs for more than 2 centuries? A National Geographic exclusive captures the PBG’s untold story. The documentary series showcases the discipline that goes into making the ceremonial protectors of the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces.

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The National Geographic exclusive is a landmark in television and is being celebrated by the #untoldstory contest. The contest will give 5 lucky winners an exclusive pass to the pre-screening of the documentary with the Hon’ble President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. You can also nominate someone you think deserves to be a part of the screening. Follow #UntoldStory on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to participate.

This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of National Geographic and not by the Scroll editorial team.