Sprint Burndown chart template – in Excel

Created a simple Excel sheet with a sprint burndown chart. You can use this as a template for your needs. Simple formula that you can customize or use this as a simple trainer.


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Posted by on January 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


India’s freedom from the British – It was Armed forces, not Gandhi-Nehru

Gandhi-Nehru soft power not sole reason behind freedom

In strictly historical terms, Subhas Bose emerges as primarily responsible for Indian independence, even more perhaps than Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

MAJ GEN G.D. BAKSHI (RETD)  15th Nov 2014

Subhas Chandra Bose with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Nation states are constructed around a core of seminal ideas and values. They need a national narrative to sustain themselves and serve as a basis for their collective identity that defines who they are and what they stand for. This national narrative is usually based upon the historical path of evolution of that state. The national narrative that the Indian state evolved for itself at the time of its independence, averred that unlike all other Westphalian states that are based upon a monopoly of violence and hard power, the Indian state was unique and exceptional. It was not based upon hard power, but on the soft power concepts of ahimsa, non-violence, soul force etc. This is how it claimed it had won its freedom — not by any exercise of hard power or violence, but by non-violent persuasion and peaceful agitations. This national narrative was based upon a falsehood that went against the facts of our recent history.

The 125th birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is an apt occasion for such historical reflection. Nehru’s seminal contribution to India was to make it a viable and functioning democracy. However, Nehru was a disaster as far as national security is concerned. It is also vital to understand how the creed of pacifism came to disable the Indian polity.

Before Gandhi came from South Africa, the Congress party was largely an effete, debating society. The Congress asked for home rule and dominion status and sought strenuously to remain on the right side of the colonial regime by trumpeting their loyalty to the King-Emperor. However, the upsurge of nationalism in India became very strong, especially after the First World War, when over a million Indian soldiers came back from the battlefields in Europe, Middle East and Africa. It was these demobilised soldiers who spread the nascent idea of nationalism in India and especially the Punjab from where a large segment of the soldiery had come. The Indians expected gratitude for their participation in the war. What they got in 1919 was Jallianwala Bagh massacre. A far more militant response came thereafter in terms of the Ghadar movement of Indian revolutionaries. Gandhi was an astute judge of the Indian scenario. He gave a mass base and populist impetus to the Congress programmes and mobilised the rural masses. Mahatma Gandhi, however, was shrewd enough to understand the unpreparedness of the highly fragmented Indian population for an armed struggle to overthrow British colonial rule. Hence, he tried to make a virtue of necessity by insisting on a non-violent freedom movement based on the psychological tools of satyagraha, fasts, moral pressure and the values of ahimsa or non-violence, designed not to cross the thresholds of tolerance of the colonial power. Frankly, it is now evident from hindsight that the British tacitly encouraged this non-violent, persuasive form of protest because they were convinced that it was not going to basically endanger their colonial rule. The extensive press coverage given to Mahatma Gandhi and his non-violent freedom movement based on peaceful demonstrations, fasts and dharnas, was designed to release the pent up energy of popular dissatisfaction with colonial rule, but at the same time, prevent it from turning very violent. That violence would have endangered the colonial dispensation. Non-violence did not, and hence it was tolerated. So even while the Congress tom-tommed its nationalist credentials and abhorrence for colonial rule, they openly admired the British system and were in turn seen by the colonial masters as “Brown Sahibs” and closet anglophiles in a nationalist disguise — who the British tried to exploit as very convenient tools for the perpetuation of the Raj. They acted as a safety valve for the popular sentiments and prevented the outbreak of large scale violence in India. Otherwise, the British found this effete and ersatz form of nationalism very convenient and entirely manageable.

The only Indian in the National Congress, who could challenge the overriding authority of the Mahatma, was Subhas Chandra Bose. He was a realist. He clearly foresaw that non-violence was absolutely within the tolerance thresholds of the colonial regime. This could mount media and psychological pressure but never of an order which would really compel the British to leave. Bose opposed the Mahatma Gandhi strategy of peaceful protest alone. He became the Congress president despite Gandhi’s opposition. However, the astute Mahatma ensured that Bose did not serve a second term as Congress president. The Bose thesis was realist and simple. World War II had started in 1939. 2.5 million Indian soldiers had voluntarily joined the British Indian Army to fight Britain’s wars in Europe, North Africa, Italy and in Burma. The entire Burma theatre was manned by the Indian forces of the empire. Bose emerges as the most remarkable personality of India’s freedom struggle. He dared to oppose Mahatma Gandhi’s grand strategy and was marginalised politically. However, he now broke ranks and single-handedly put his ideas into action with emphatic and momentous results.

The key to the colonial control of its empire was the British Indian Army. The British colonial success hinged upon their ability to “nativise” this Army. Over 80% of this colonial Army consisted of Indian peasant soldiers, who remained staunchly loyal to the Raj because of the oath of fidelity they had taken to the King-Emperor. The British organised them in ethnicity/sub-nationality based regiments, focused upon a narrow manpower base in distinct geographical areas of India. They celebrated and highlighted these distinct local military traditions to evoke fierce regimental/clan loyalties. Good British officer leadership at the junior and middle levels did the rest and helped to forge good combat units that served as an efficient and infallible instrument of colonial control.

Bose was crystal clear that the key to Indian Independence lay in turning the loyalty of the Indian sepoys of the British Indian Army. He was absolutely certain that without this native backbone, colonial rule could not last a day. It was the true centre of gravity of the Indian freedom struggle. In the classical Kautilyan tradition, Bose decided that an enemy’s enemy is a logical ally. India must seek the help of Germany and Japan for its fight against the British. Only then would the fight be effective and stand any chance of success. Mahatma Gandhi felt this was morally repugnant. In fact, the Quit India movement launched by him had completely petered out by 1944. The Japanese meanwhile were causing a major upheaval in Asia. After the conquest of most of China and Korea, Japan now turned its attention to the British and other European colonies in South East Asia. It attacked and captured the Philippines Islands and captured Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. It then invaded Burma and reached the borders of British India. Now, it trained its sights on the brightest jewel in the British Crown.

It is was here that the Japanese Army felt the need for Bose, who alone, they felt, could tilt the scales by arousing the 2.5 million men of the British Indian Army against their colonial masters. Bose had staged a miraculous escape to Germany where he had raised the 3,000 men strong Indian League. The Japanese, therefore, asked the Germans to send Bose. He undertook a perilous submarine voyage and reached Japan. In Japan, Bose met Gen Tojo and other Japanese leaders. He assumed command of the Indian National Army (INA). He formed the provisional government of Azad Hind in exile at Singapore and declared war against Great Britain. He went far beyond the prisoner of war pool with the Japanese Army and appealed to the vast Indian diaspora in South East Asia. He evoked a massive response in terms of recruitment and financial and gold donations to fund the freedom struggle. He expanded this rudimentary force to an impressive size of some 1,500 officers and 60,000 men. This force was organised into three combat divisions. Two of these were to take part in the fighting in Burma and the historic invasion of Imphal-Kohima. The third garrisoned Malaya and later had a contingent in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. A recent poll by the National Army Museum in London, in fact, has described the Imphal-Kohima battle as the most decisive battle of British Military history. It was “greatest” in terms of its political, social and cultural impact. Some 24,000 men of the INA were killed in the operations in Burma — hardly a non-violent struggle. Far more important than the immediate impact of a decisive operational defeat for the Japanese-INA combined forces was its aftershock that shook the loyalties of 2.5 million Indian soldiers who were being demobilised at the end of the war. By then, the INA story had leaked out. There were large scale mutinies in the Royal Indian Navy and in the British Indian Army. Some 78 ships, 20 shore establishments and over 20,000 sailors of the Royal Indian Navy were involved.

The spectre of armed revolts amongst 2.5 million Indian soldiers being demobilized, shook the British Empire to its roots. There were hardly 40,000 British troops in India then. Such a massive revolt meant the end of the British Empire in India. The war weary British saw the writing on the wall and decided to leave. Indian freedom had not come from non-violence but from the very real spectre of large scale revolt and armed violence.

Frankly, in strictly historical terms, Bose emerges as primarily responsible for Indian independence — even more perhaps than Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru. This is borne out by the testimony of the-then British Prime Minister Clement Attlee. Despite this, to fight the ghost of the INA and its legendary founder, Nehru created the contrived myth about how soft power alone had single handedly got India its freedom. He actually believed his own myth and this led him to virtually despise the military and he did his best to emasculate it. As a trained lawyer, he had great faith in his oratory to move the UN and other international bodies. This new legal paradigm, he felt, would rule the discourse between nations and the use of force would be eliminated. Hence, his soft power alone would suffice and India needed no standing armed forces, only police forces. The J&K war in 1947-48 and the Hyderabad operations made it impossible for him to have his way and realists like Vallabhbhai Patel were able to dissuade him. After Patel’s demise, Nehru’s pathological dislike for the army came to the fore, especially after the military coup in Pakistan. He set about emasculating the military leadership, starving the military of resources and set in train the tragic events that would bring about the humiliation of 1962. He could not live it down and died a broken man. Fortunately, his successors, especially his daughter, turned realist with a vengeance and saved the Republic.

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Posted by on November 19, 2014 in Great people, India, Politics, Society


Missing Entity Framework templates in Visual Studio


For whatever reasons even god can’t fathom, I realized I can’t open any of the Entity Models in the Model browser. There is just no such window in View->Other Windows in Visual Studio. After a lot of searching, I came across this article in StackOverflow.

Basically, if this happens to you…search for EFTools.msi for your version of Visual studio. It should be on your local system or the installation media. Install that in admin mode and you are good to go.

Hope this helps somebody out there…

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Posted by on October 16, 2014 in Code, Coding, Design, Microsoft, Programming



Windows AppFabric : Caching services failed to install

This is a very generic error that I got : Setup  AppFabric installation failed because installer MSI returned with error code : 1603

Upon further research, figured out that an Environment variable PSModulePath – value had an extra double quotes at the end of the path.


Remove that double quote and WindowsAppfabric should install without any problems…


Windows Update error / WindowsUpdate_8024402C


This should fix your update issues…


Don’t forget to reboot…

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Posted by on July 21, 2014 in Uncategorized


Remove Google search from Opera 20+ Speed Dial


Well, if you are like me and don’t want to see Google Search take up real estate on your speed dial, this is what you will have to do to remove it.

  1. Open Opera –> Settings (Alt + P)

  2. Click on an empty area/space.

  3. Press the following keys in sequence, without break.

    1. Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, b, a

  4. You should see a “Power options” welcome screen. Click on “I Understand” to continue.

  5. There is a new check option “Hide the search box in Speed Dial”

  6. Check it.

  7. You are done.

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Posted by on June 18, 2014 in Browsers, Technology


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Restoring a Nokia Lumia 920/820 after a hard reset

If you plan to hard reset your Lumia 820 / or any other Lumia Windows Phone…follow the given steps….

1. Backup all your photos and Music.

2. Go to settings and backup all your App and settings using the Backup option.

3. Backup all your text messages if you want them.

4. Hard reset your phone ( Settings->About->Reset).

5. This is very critical and important. After you phone comes up back again and asks you sign into your Microsoft account, sign in then. If you select later, YOU WILL NOT GET A OPTION TO RESTORE LATER.

6. It will use your data to setup your accounts. 

7. All your APPS will be downloaded using your WIFI once you setup WIFI.


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Violation of Primary Key constraint

A colleague of mine called me up told me that a module on which both of us had worked had suddenly started throwing a SQL exception and when debugged further, he found that the Primary Key on that table was the cause with the message Violation of PRIMARY KEY constraint .

Since we use Entity Framework, I found that hard to believe. So I fired up my debugger and SQL profiler, got to the point on the page which was throwing up and hit the “Save” button. Switched over to the profile and stopped it. Sure enough, there were two SQLs, one to the master table and one to the details table. Copied them over to my query editor and tried executing them to find the same error. Hurray…I can dupe it. A bug is 50% solved if it can be duped.

Checked the usual suspects..the table script, existing data and the ID column. Found nothing amiss. Since everything looked fine, my only thought was that the IDENTITY value could have got corrupted. I remember resetting the IDENTITY because I was running a migration tool for migrating old data, I figured that could have caused the corruption. Ran this scenario with an Architect and he also confirmed the same.

All I had to do to fix the issue was

DBCC CHECKIDENT(<TABLENAME>). This command will show if there’s a mismatch in the values and then correct it. But if you just want to check if there’s a mismatch, you can also do this check only, not correct.

DBCC CHECKIDENT(<TABLENAME>,NORESEED) will only show the current and correct values, but will not change.

Hope this is helpful for others.





Saving outlook attachments to harddisk

Every month when we submit for medical re-imbursements, I scan all the documents on our office printer which sends it back to my outlook. Very soon, I have this whole folder full of PDFs as attachments taking up space. Here’s what I do…


1. Open up Outlook VBA IDE ( Alt + F11) and drop this function in a module.

Public Sub saveAttachtoDisk(itm As Outlook.MailItem)
    Dim objAtt As Outlook.Attachment
    Dim saveFolder As String
    Dim dateFormat
    ‘Change the path in the below line
    saveFolder = “D:\OutlookAttachments\”
    For Each objAtt In itm.Attachments
        dateFormat = Format(itm.ReceivedTime, “yyyyMMddHHmmss_”)
        objAtt.SaveAsFile saveFolder & “\” & dateFormat & objAtt.FileName
        Set objAtt = Nothing

End Sub

2. Create a rule to move all your documents coming from the printer to a different outlook folder.

3. In the same rule, choose to run a script and select the above script. Save the rule.

4. All done.

Next time you have an attachment, it should get auto saved into the folder.

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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Uncategorized


Quickest way to reverse a string


Well, for whatever reason, there isn’t a Reverse function in the String class. So, I hunted around for a couple of solutions and found quite a few. Since there were many to choose from, I decided to perform my own timing test and here are the results.

The fastest so far…

public string Reverse_Fastest(string input)
char[] reversed = input.ToCharArray();
return new String(reversed);

clock a little over 3.2 seconds to reverse 10 million strings.

Second one is this

public string Reverse_Fast(string input)
char[] reversed = new char[input.Length];
for (int i = 0, j = reversed.Length – 1; i <= j; i++, j–)
reversed[i] = input[j];
reversed[j] = input[i];
return new String(reversed);

And the slowest one was this…

public string Reverse_Slowest(string text)
Stack<char> resultStack = new Stack<char>();
foreach (char c in text)
StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
while (resultStack.Count > 0)
return sb.ToString();

Disclaimer : I have borrowed the above code from elsewhere, I have just timed and listed it for reference.


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