Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Advantage Modi-Series-IX

Advantage Modi-Series-IX                                                                 26 Nov 2014
Six months of Modi: Achhe sitare more than achhe din

Modi has ensured that government files are moving faster and clearance are rapid. But this has not translated into a boom in orders for machinery or construction.

This is a constipated economy, not a healthy one. Optimists say Modi’s enema will unclog the constipation within a year. That’s possible but not certain.

The stock market has boomed because of over $30 billion of foreign inflows. Modi is seen as a turnaround agent, and investors are giving him time to change matters. He has undoubtedly energized the bureaucracy and investors. Yet he is more showman than reformer. His Jan Dhan and Swacch Bharat schemes are new versions of old Congress Schemes. He funked any major reforms in the railway budget or general budget. In many areas he has taken small steps forward, with lots of publicity but no radical reform.

What’s clear is that Modi is lucky. The dramatic improvements in inflation and related areas owe noting to his initiatives and everything to good lick, arising from crashing global commodity prices. This year’s budget assumed that oil would average $ 110/barrel, but it has actually crashed to $78/barrel. This has enabled fuel prices to be slashed, taming transport costs. Falling oil prices have ensured that the balance of payments is under control, not withstanding a surge in gold imports and the recent slowdown in exports. Finally, the oil price crash has hugely improved the fiscal position. Budgetary subsidies for oil and fertilizers have been slashed, and the finance ministry has been able to raise the excise duty on petrol and diesel, partly making up for the big shortfall in tax revenues.

Extract of an article TOI Nov 23, 2014 by Aiyar –An Economists

Advantage Modi-Series-VIII

Advantage Modi-Series-VIII                                                                                        25 Nov 2014
The world said ‘this was a man’
Jawaharlal Nehru’s great achievement was to hold the ship of state firm amid the turbulent waters of the Partition process

The first great achievement of Nehru after Independence, therefore, was to hold the ship of state firm amid the turbulent waters of the Partition process, despite predictions of the prophets of doom, including Winston Churchill, who said that after the British left India, would Balkanise and break up into a dozen units. The second great task was, after centuries of foreign rule, for India to get itself a new Constitution. Himself an impeccable parliamentarian, Nehru not only took a keen interest in the framing of the Constitution but also attended Parliament for long hours, answered questions and in particular spoke on foreign relations, a portfolio he had kept with himself.

Knitting these separate units into a single State was a massive task, the main credit for which goes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The non-violent integration of so many feudal states into a democracy was surely unprecedented in world history. Although Nehru left this area mainly to Patel, he closely monitored the whole process. Nehru was deeply committed to the development of science and what he called the scientific temper, an attitude devoid of superstition and blind faith. For this purpose he had the foresight to set up the Indian Institutes of Technology in major cities around the country.

A major triumph consisted in his leadership of what came to be known as the Non-Aligned Movement, along with President Nasser of Egypt, President Tito of Yogoslavia and Archbishop makarios of Cyprus. President Sukarno of Indonesia was also involved, although his actions were often erratic. The whole episode caused Nehru immense shock and embarrassment. He was obliged to sack his favourite Krishna Menon. The failure of the whole Panchsheel approach to China was something that shattered Nehru’s psyche. He never really recovered from this setback and passed away within less than two years thereafter.

The people of India held Nehru in special affection which is reflected in his last will and testament, where he says: “If any people choose to think of me, then I should like them to say this was a man who, with all his mind and heart, loved India and the Indian people. And they, in turn were indulgent to him and gave him of their love most abundantly and extravagantly.”

A Tribute to Nehru on his 125th Birth Anniversary
Dr. Karan Singh-TOI-14 Nov 2014

Advantage of Modi- Series VI

Advantage of Modi- Series VI
BJP’s mixing a deadly cocktail                                                          07 Oct. 2014

The central government is pursuing the diabolic agenda of anti-people economic reforms and communal polarization.

This Modi government is showing greater enthusiasm and eagerness in implementing the trajectory of economic reforms designed to provide greater profit maximization opportunities for foreign and domestic capital, while imposing greater economic burden on the people. Despite their claims of having begun an economic turnaround, the ground situation continues to worsen with factories closing down and unemployment growing. Whatever relief that the rural employment guarantee scheme provided is being drastically curtailed. Price rise continues to take its toll. Our farmers continue to commit ‘distress’ suicides. Under these conditions, the large-scale privatization of the public sector, drastic labour reforms and other such measures are, in fact, worsening the live hood quality of the vast majority of our people.

Hence, the RSS and its political arm, the BJP, have returned to their basics-sharpening communal polarization. The latest on this score is the sudden spurt of communal incidents in Delhi in anticipation of assembly elections that are due. In areas like Bhawana, nandnagari, Trilokpuri and Samaypur Badli, former BJP legislators are allegedly creating communal confrontations. In this they see their only way to consolidate the Hindu communal ‘vote banks politics’ of the worst order that is designed to destroy the secular democratic character of the modern Indian Republic by posing serious threats to our social unity and integrity. The pursuit of this diabolic agenda-a deadly cocktail of anti-people economic reforms and communal polarization – cannot be allowed to succeed.

As narrated by Sitaram Yechury (HT Nov 04, 2014)

Advantage Modi Series VII

Advantage Modi- Series-VII                                                                         10 Nov 2014

Flush our biases down the drain
Cleaning India requires dismantling the deadweight of India’s inequalities and the neglect of women and people of disadvantage castes and religions.

As one public policy priority among others, sanitation is a sterling selection. Why then am I so cautious in my optimism and enthusiasm about the prospects of seeing a cleaner India? This is because India’s shameful performance in sanitation is embedded firmly in its enormous social and economic inequalities of caste, gender, religious identity and class, and in its consistently low public investments for a better life for India’s dirt derives mostly from its huge historical inequality, and from neglect of India’s people of disadvantage in public investment.

I find instead the present official public discourse on sanitation strangely sanitized and depoliticized. India’s millennia-old caste system is founded on great social anxieties about pollution, and little is considered as ritually polluting as human excreta. Those at the lowest depths of the caste hierarchy-and even among these mostly girls and women-are assigned the most socially humiliating duty of cleaning excreta.

The result of unchanged beliefs of caste pollution from human waste is that even if schools build toilets, they will be cleaned only by children, often girls, from the lowest castes. Children from these communities in many cities have confided to me that the humiliation of being forced to clean toilets used by their classmates is a major reason why several refuse to return to school. Many tend to blame slum dwellers for their squalor as though they choose to live as they do. Because of the failure of the State to provide affordable housing to the enormous unorganized workforce, they are forced to occupy open public spaces.
The India Exclusion Report 2013 by the Centre for Equity Studies reports Census 2011 data that 63% households in recognized notified slums have either open or no drainage for waste water and 34% slum household have no latrine in the premises, and over half such households defecate in the open.

We desperately need to battle India’s dismal conditions of sanitation of children are to be nourished, and human beings are to live in habitats which are dignified, healthy and sage. But none of these problems can be solved by pious pledges by middle-class people to keep their surroundings clean. Cleanliness is often a luxury of people of relative privilege. Cleaning India requires dismantling the deadweight of India’s inequalities, and of our tolerance of social humiliation and the governmental neglect of women, people of disadvantaged castes and religions, and of working people in slums. Until that happens, we would evoke Gandhi’s name in vain by depoliticizing one of India’s most deeply political problems, perpetuated by powerlessness and neglect of India’s millions of lesser live.

As narrated by Harsh Mander HI 23 Oct 2014.

Advantage Modi Series V

Blending Coercion And consent                                                                               October 17, 2014

A general view of Narendra Modi’s governance style is that it is an impressive more of working: he appears brick, decisive, engaged and demanding. After Manmohan Singh, this is a huge relief to many Indians. The Prime Minister could deeply these qualities to govern effectively; on the other hand, there are other features of his style that could deeply damage India.

First and foremost, Modi is a centralizer. Nothing in the government moves without his assent and nod, and no detail is too small. To centralize decision-making in his person, he has taken almost complete control of his party, marginalizing his elders (Advani, Joshi, Jaswant) and rivals (Sushma and Shivraj Chauhan, who have disappeared politically).Going back to his Gujarat days, he is famous for picking weak cabinets, largely ignoring ministers and paying little heed to the legislature; so too in Delhi. A second feature of Modi’s style is co-opting the senior bureaucracy and police. Essentially, he both scares and empowers high officials, making them his primary instrument of decision-making. Hegemonic command depends on a blend of coercion and consent. Modi engenders fear in his senior commanders. By promising to back them against interfering politicians, he also gives them a sense of empowerment. The result is extraordinary cooperation and loyalty.

Another element of Modi’s governance method is his ambiguous stance on social polarization, especially between Hindus and minorities. Hindus in Gujarat have little doubt where he stands in relation to them. He is the greater Protector. On the other hand, minorities hear him. It is hard to pin anything on him. He promises development and equal treatment for all; yet the worst communal riots occurred under his rule in Gujarat, which Modi astonishingly claims he could not stop. Amit Shah, made was by all accounts flagrantly communal, Sanjeev Baliyan, the BJP leader accused of fomenting the western UP riots, was subsequently made a minister of state. Few doubt the riots helped the party gain massively in UP and reach the magical 282-seats figure in the general elections.

Modi has remained stubbornly silent on communalism, except for his August 15 plea for a 10 year “moratorium” on caste and communal violence. Modi’s is playing the media beautifully-and they still don’t know it! Finally, Modi’s governance approach is based on a cosy relationship with business. He has learned enough economics, finance, and management to impress businessmen, and he has done enough for them in Gujarat to suggest that he is pro-business. They fund him and laud him, and he eases the constraints on them. Will this approach work? It did in Gujarat. But centralization can eventually cause the humiliated to rebel. The best laid plans in Delhi could quickly become mere edicts outside the capital. Allowing communities to be turned against each other could produce a corroding extremism that explodes uncontrollably and tears India’s fabric. Governing well is more than clever speeches and punctual officials in North Block. It is about respect and dignity for those you lead. The PM should remember that.


Read the text of his Independence Day speech carefully. It is inclusive, conciliatory, forward looking and modern. But it is also pure RSS. Modi spoke as an RSS Pracharak would have, stressing family values, morality, cleanliness, discipline and patriotism. Modi’s method is likely to be more in the nature of very soft hindutva but very pronounced nationalism. He will not allow his government to be distracted by Ram temple, article 370 and so on. Modi believes in employing his political capital to further his ideology but will do it very cautiously. It’s early Days yet, but he could be refining an innovative ideology of the right. 

Advantage Modi Series IV

Ignorance, lies posing as truth                                                                               04 Oct, 2014
The RSS, in its effort to convert our modern secular democratic republic into a ‘Hindu rashtra’, is trying to rewrite out history

The latest incident of the dismissal of 11 Dalit students from a BJP state government-run school in Bikaner, Jaipur, on the grounds that they were drinking water from an earthen pot earmarked for an upper caste teacher once again highlights the continuing caste and social oppression in our country. It is indeed the irony of our times that on the same day the RSS chief released three books authored by a BJP spokesperson, carrying forewords by three top RSS leaders attributing the genesis of Dalits, tribal’s and many other oppressed groups to “Muslim invasion in medieval times”. RSS leaders claim that these castes had come into existence due to atrocities by foreign invaders and did not exist in Hindu religion earlier.

 It is the tenacity of such a criminally oppressive social order that continues to perpetuate gross injustices in India today. According to a report published by the ministry of labour. According to a report published by the ministry of labour in 2001, (the last of its kind), 15% of the population constituting the three upper castes (Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas) with no legal reservations occupy 66.5% of political representation, 43% of education, 87% of employment, 97% of business and 94% of landed estates. The rest of the population consisting of the OBCs (Shudras), the share of 85% share the rest in hopeless conditions of inhuman inequality. This social order has to be overthrown to begin the struggle for justice. The RSS/BJPs agenda of rewriting Indian history is designed to perpetuate such unacceptable levels of social oppression along with the denial of basic human rights for anyone they consider as un-Hindu-their blueprint for the future of India.

Stop Hate Crimes
PM Modi must condemn Sadique Shaikh’s murder-and repeal draconian Section 66A

The brutal bludgeoning to death of Pune-based 28-years-old techie Mohsin Mohamed Sadique Shaikh-his alleged killers belonged to the extremist Hindu Rashtra Sena and were apparently incensed over social media messages they found objectionable-is shocking. But not surprising, perhaps. The climate of intolerance in which such hate crimes thrive-Shaikj was picked on simply because he looked Muslim-has been created ironically by the law itself, in the form of the draconian Section 66A of the Information Technology Act which in effect criminalizes free speech over the internet. Previously, this section-which prescribes arrest and punishment for anyone deemed to use communication devices to send messages causing a gamut of possible impacts, from annoyance and inconvenience to intimidation and enmity- has been widely used by the political class for silencing free speech, thus becoming a tool of intimidation itself. On each occasion Section 66A’s use met with vociferous protests pointing out both its absurdities-such as equating annoyance with criminal intimidation-and its gross overreach in a democracy where freedom of speech includes a right to offend.

Finally the venom & hatred In the recently concluded by elections in some of the states, UP was one of them. BJP let loose about half a dozen unbridled rabid “D-ogs” to spread the hatred and create religious enmity. The leading the force was Yogi Adityanath (MP), Swami Sakshi Maharaj (MP) and they were duly supported by Lakshmi Kant Bajpai (BJP President-UP). Even Kalraj Mishra a Cabinet Minister in the Union Cabinet wanted to be part of the team of unbridled & rabid D-ogs. The words spoken by these goons reflected such poor quality of people are not worth repeating the words. Most surprising is none of the senior leaders or others condemned their hate speeches. The “Head Master” has decided to keep mum and let his D-ogs barke.

Advantage Modi Series-III

Advantage Modi-Series III                                                                                     September 25, 2014
High on expectations, low on delivery
All those who expected Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to set the template

Nobody expected Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping to wrap their arms around each other in a bear hug. A Right-wing nationalist BJP-led government in India and a Communist Party of China that relies heavily on nationalism as a crutch for continued legitimacy at home were not expected to have it easy at the first formal summit of their leaders, especially on political and strategic issues. However, expectations were sky-high on the exonomic front. The Chinese commitment of $20 billion is being seen as a big letdown but one must ask how realistic the initial figures were in the first place. Sure, China has the forex reserves but that is not the same as saying they will necessarily find it profitable to invest given the difficult regulatory environment surrounding the entry of Chinese enterprises and people into India.

Modi has been on record calling the states for a greater role in the country’s economic growth and development. There is also then the question of the capability of the states to absorb and handle the massive investments being talked about. Apart from a few states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, very few have the combinations of high-quality governance, physical infrastructure, socioeconomic purpose, including a friendly investment climate, required to attract global capital. It is no wonder then Chinese and Japanese investments remain concentrated in only a few Indian states. To return to the boundary dispute, Chinese incursions along the LAC and other forms of provocation on the eve of an important visit to India should not surprise us anymore, even if the recent incursions at Depsang and Chumar differ from the usual patterns. Policymakers and strategists cannot expect a static environment to deal with in their line of work. And despite what the media might report, there is no doubt that the government and military have been proactive along the Line of Actual Control, including in the previous UPA regime. But perhaps, Modi erred in taking a rather too assertive line on the dispute and discomfiting his visitor who might have been amenable to offering concessions on other fronts.
The ease of access that Tibetan protestors had to the environs of Hyderabad House certainly did not happen without the knowledge of officials of the Modi government. This foolish tactic might have pleased a certain section of Modi’s constituency but it also takes the attention away from more serious moves by the Chinese with respect to Tibet. In his speech in New Delhi, Xi laid heavy stress on the cultural ties between the India and China, including their Buddhist linkages. That said, our policymakers have hopefully also not missed the overtures that the Dalai Lama has been making to Xi since he came to power and the recent rumours in the Chinese blogosphere of the Dalai Lama possibly being invited to Beijing before long. If Xi begins to show a greater degree accommodation on this front, Tibet will soon cease to be a card for India and the world vis-à-vis Chins. And no one should doubt the capabilities or the flexibility of Xi and the Communist Party on this front.

Finally, another agreement that was missing during Xi’s visit was one on information sharing by China on trans-border Rivers. Over the last several years, every, major visit has usually had an agreement that extended the time frame for such sharing by an incremental 15 days. While the agreements on sister-city and sister-province/state relations are an important trend for the future, it is the many agreements that appear not to have been signed that should worry those who expected Xi’s visit to set the template for the future. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Honorable, respectable PM Namoji,- Series-II

Honorable, respectable PM Namoji,-       Series-II                              September 20, 2014

 (1)     He’s not a listener, so learn to live with it – says Mark Tully
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come to remind me of an old-fashioned headmaster. He reportedly treats his ministers as schoolchildren, telling them what to wear, who to meet, and what to say.
Communicating by twitter and disregarding the voices of experience can isolate the PM.
As narrated by Mark Tully HT August 31, 2014.

 (2)     Listen, Achee  Din Aayenge kab ? As disused by Meena Om
Acchhe din or good times will come only when there is goodness in society. For  this, thorough preparation is needed. We need to become good humans in order to form a better society. If good times were to arrive with mere money power, then it should have happened by now, considering that materially, we are ahead of what we were earlier, as a society. Our purchasing power has increased; our desired have grown, but goodness has not grown. Seva Bhaav, service, respect for others, love, reverence for resources all these have not moved up. 

Goodness can manifest only when it is supported and enhanced by truth, Badappan, large-heartedness and Prabhuta, perpetual joy in life. How can it come? God is not an externality to be achieved through worship or sycophancy; God is Satchidanand, eternal bliss of a truthful soul, manifesting through Santosh, contentment,  Badappan, magnanimity, forgiveness, understanding, good relationships and, most importantly, by not looking to the fruits of one’s labour but working selflessly. Forgiveness, fearlessness and love do not cost money.   
As narrated by Meena Om  HT August 30, 2014.
(3)      Modies Work Force
Category ‘A’ :- Rajnash, Jaitly, Sushma Swaraj, Gadkari, Amit Shah leaders now.
Category ‘B’ :- V Naidu, P Javadeker, Ravi Shanker Prasad, Rajeev Pratap, Piyush Goel.
Category ‘C’ :- Smiriti Irani
Category ‘D’ :- Shahnawaz Hussain, MA Naqvi
Stated fact :- Rajnath & Sushma Swaraj would be wiped off in this tenure earlier (2019) Next to follow would be Gadkari & Javadekar.

(4)    Your “Teachers Day interaction” with the students was a very clever move. Why was this not done for Teachers only? The interaction with young students would have been done on “Bal Divas” 14 Nov. But you saffronite detaste Nehru, the leader thinker, visionary and one of the statesman builder of Modern India.

              You could be called a very shrewd politician. You address to the students of 10-15 yrs of age is a very well planned “Political Strategy”.  You were baptizing futuristic young voters of India is next to 5 to 10 yrs. That is why you made a very confident statement “I am safe till 2024”.   

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Honorable, respectable PM Namoji,- Series-I

Honorable, respectable PM Namoji,-       Series-I                              September 18, 2014

(1)      Advantage Modi  

You are sailing on “High Seas” safe and sound, with your own 283+50 (of your gang SAD, SS, TD). Your no is 333. Highest ever in last 30 yrs. Not only that all of them have been elected because of Modi. In 40% of there 333 constituencies locals did not evem know who is the candidate. Just to elaborate I asked my “ ekyh fdldks oksV fn;k ” very reluctantly  he told me “ eksnh dks Mky fn;ks ”. He did not know the candidate.

(2)            Modis Mantra of Good Governance
·         Blame the UPA. Organize / Reorganize the Ministries.
·         Cleaning campaign of the offices.  
·         Lecturing the new MP’s on etiquettes / behavior within the parliament and outside.

(3)      Rail Budget
(a)              Semi high speed trains, Bullet Train World, class railway stations examples Beijing & London. Where we get world class people ?
(b)              I recently travelled by an express train from Bareilly to Lucknow (31 August 14), AC II tiers.  Curtain were torn windows were cracked/or with patch work. On the return by a VIP trains from Luckonw the train was held up (at Katra) for engine problem for 2 hrs.
(c)               The necessity is to improve the existing standards of up keep of trains & railway stations, catering, on time performance and foremost a courteous behavior from the railway staff.

 (4)     No meeting or greeting here
A week ago, a Cabinet Minster with important portfolios was on his way to meet a leading industrialist in Mumbai when he received a call on his cell phone from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). A senior official was on the other end and clearly aware of the minister’s whereabouts. The PMO’s message was short but stern: he has no business meeting the industrialist. The minister, sensing danger, not just returned to his hotel but took the next flight back to Delhi. Big brother is watching you.

 (5)     Fringe Hindu groups are dong no good to Narendra Modi

While the entire nation was mourning  the demise of Jnanpith award winner UR Ananthamurthy, it came as a cruel chock to learn that a few hooligans, allegedly belonging to some Hindu fringe groups, celebrated his death by dancing and bursting crackers. These fringe elements must remember that their celebration is not only in bad taste but could also do Narendra Modi More harm than good. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Afghanistan holds the key to regional stability

Sep 06, 2014

The next government in Kabul must work towards national reconciliation and cooperation with its neighbours

Afghanistan is endeavouring for a successful outcome of the recently held election. It has been marred by accusations of electoral forgery by Abdullah Abdullah, a presidential candidate, against his opponent Ashraf Ghani. The fruitful conclusion of the election is paramount for constituting a legitimate and stable government; a determinant for relative stability in an otherwise largely volatile society. Post 2001 the country has been struggling to familiarize itself with the trappings of a progressive society: Democracy, education, industrialization, and an awareness of a singular national identity over exclusive ethnic and tribal loyalties.

Between 1996 and 2001 Afghanistan was subjugated by Pakistan through the rule of the Taliban, whereby Pakistan established a strategic backyard to counter perceived aggression from India. Afghanistan had displayed significant antipathy towards Pakistan after 1947 over its border dispute along the ‘Durand Line’, opposed Pakistan’s membership in the UN, and laid claims to Peshawar. India, however, refrained from exploiting the situation and pursued bona fide diplomacy with Afghanistan. India and Pakistan’s policies towards Afghanistan have been the antitheses of one another. Pakistan has consistently worked to ensure the domination of Afghanistan as an end in itself, while India has emphasized social progress, infrastructure building, and the grant of financial assistance for the country’s growth and stability. Pakistan views Indian activities in Afghanistan as a tit for tat for Pakistan’s support to terrorists in Kashmir. It accuses New Delhi of supporting Baloch insurgents, denying Pakistan economic, trade and energy linkages to Central Asia, and thwarting the rise of a pro-Islamabad regime in Kabul that would permit the rise of anti-Indian jihadist groups. To counter these assumptions Pakistan has actively supported terrorist groups to counter the growth of Indian influence in Afghanistan. That has incurred the wrath of the Afghan people and its leaders, steadily eroded Pakistan’s credibility in inter-state diplomacy, and in turn germinated a slew of terrorist groups within Pakistan which have resorted to violence and challenged the legitimacy of the Pakistani State.

India has eagerly provided Afghanistan with generous assistance. In 2011, then PM Manmohan Singh signed an agreement with Afghanistan promising closer cooperation on a myriad issues including national security. However, Afghan governance has major flaws: a mixture of rampant corruption, incompetence, misunderstandings with US-led international troops, and insensitivity, vitiates Hamid karzai’s government. It has given an opportunity for the Taliban to strike back. In 2013, civil casualties increased by about 14%. Some believe that the Taliban presence will increase after the departure of the international troops. But, the successful elections indicate a sprouting of a democratic culture. It will deter the permeation of subversive activities. Suggestions by some officials and ministers to form an interim government run by a committee, in the event of an unduly long election impasse, are a pointer to a resoluteness of the Afghans to thwart the resurfacing of ethnic tensions. Whatever the outcome of the election and whoever is provided the mantle to govern Afghanistan would do well to keep in mind the imperatives of national reconciliation, effective and accountable governance, wise use of the country’s treasure chest, and meaningful diplomacy and cooperation with its neighbours and the wider world. It would deal an effective blow to the scourge of terrorism in the region and usher in greater regional stability.

As narrated by Ranajoy Sen  HT 29 August 2014

Comments: -      Now we have three devastating elements in the region Taliban, Alqaeda and ISIS. Each one is vying to show their strength and supremacy. Greater thread to Indian Security Better watch out.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

About a mama’s boy

About a mama’s boy                                                                         29 Aug 2014
She’s a broomstick wielding dominatrix, he’s a heartbreaker

A few weeks ago a friend told me a story about her 25 year old niece who had just ended 2 year relationship with a boyfriend and was heartbroken over it. Apparently the boyfriend’s mother, despite knowing that her son was in a relationship, had arranged a marriage for him with a more suitable girl, and by suitable I mean wealthy. The boy having been raised to be completely dependent on his family was in no position to argue and so he went ahead and married a woman he did not love thus making sure to screw not just one but two women. Talk about efficiency. Now, what struck me about this was how this story was neither new nor uncommon.

And it’s not always about money of course; many times it’s about caste, religion or, in one particular acquaintance’s case, nationality. A man I know started up a relationship with a woman from Denmark, they were introduced by common friend and so despite the fact that she had just moved to India the woman trusted him. A few months into the relationship the man just stopped calling and the common friends now had the unenviable job of letting the girl know that he had just gotten engaged to an Indian woman handpicked by, no points for guessing, his mummy. He had known all along that his family was frantically scouring the region for a bride but he never let on, he just went into a relationship assuming everything would sort itself out. The only silver lining to this particular story is that he accidentally left his Rolex watch at her place that she then gifted to her dhobi.

Having been raised to think they were special, both men behaved in an entitled, self-centered, and in my mind cowardly manner, thus disappointing everyone but their mothers. Does it come as any surprise then that Indian men have a world-renowned reputation for being namby-pamby mamas’ boy and that the Indian mama in turn has the reputation of a broomstick wielding dominatrix? Her goal it appears is to control the male offspring and by allowing her control is how he shows her lover. Last week, on Independence Day, the Prime Minister asked Indians to ‘correct sons and not question daughters’. He was saying this in context of the issue of rape but it seems to me that it could become a mantra that Indian parents adopt with regard to every aspect of their sons’ lives. India, like it or not, is a patriarchal mess and people who allow their sons to think they can treat a woman like disposable tissue are responsible for it. The whole country is up in arms about rape, physical rape that is, and we should be, but what of emotional rape? What of the battering a young woman’s self –esteem takes when her boyfriend of several years leaves her without a backward glance all because his mother said so?

I just read that a study by Dr Mary John of the Center for Women’s Development Studies has found that between 1951 and 2011, the child sex ratio dropped from 983 to 918 women per 1000 men. According to the researcher, “The life chances of women are decreasing even with the onset of development,” which is about the scariest thing I have heard in a while; that said I am not entirely surprised. A few years ago when I was seriously considering having a baby I recall thinking to myself, well I hope I have a boy, because quite frankly I just don’t have the stomach to watch my little girl put up with all this nonsense. When are Indian men going to find other ways to show love and respect to their families that don’t include this lily-livered behavior? More to the point when are you guys going to grow a pair?  

As narrated by Radhika Vaz, TOI 19 Aug 2014

Immense Power of Fullfillment through LOVE

Immense Power of Fullfillment through LOVE                                                     August 27, 2014

Love has its mysterious ways of being fulfilled. All of us seek fulfillment in some form or other. Some seek it in relationships; others seek it in power, name, fame or making money. But all of us seek fulfillment. Everything else other than love puts you in ‘wanting mode’ but not in a ‘fulfilling mode’. Love is the only mysterious energy which makes you feel fulfilled. So in the corporate context, can you bring in love?

Do what you love and love what you do. Love your work, love your difficulties, and love the richness of difference between you and your boss. What is wrong with difference? Why should you see it without the energy of love? If you bring this energy to your work front then you don’t need a holiday from work, for work itself becomes holiday. Love is experienced in a way that you accept people as they are and motivate them to peak their potential. Love makes one enjoy one’s relationships and work and it builds trust in a relationship. Through that you accept the weakness and faults of the other; be it your boss or spouse and learn to love them as they are.

During the civil war someone approached Lincoln and said, “We have got an enemy, and somehow we should get rid of them. Destroy them”. But Linclon’s commitment was to make friends of his enemies. Can we learn from Lincoln the power of love? Lincoln responded, “If I turn my enemy into a friend, have I not slain my enemy?” This is the power of love. Lincoln continued his commitment. In your organization there could be internal enemies but instead of being stressed out, learn to love them, accept them, make friends and transform them. The whole process is love and in the whole proves there is fulfillment.

Understanding the other at work or home comes when you see the other as he is. Understanding comes through being aware of “what is”. To know “what is” you should not allow your interpretation, prejudice, conclusion to interfere in your perception. You should see “what is” without condemnation, without giving your personal slants to your perception. You always give personal slants for you are caught up with your own point of view and hence is in “self love”

Love is to “self love”. “Self love” is exclusive. Love is always inclusive. When you exclude the other, you are in conflict with the other and hence there would be chaos. When you truly love the other, include the other, you are not in conflict. Team spirit happens in such an inclusive space. The corporate world will be in order if one learns to explore how love can be the basis of one’ work. This should be our real goal. From this backdrop, go ahead in reaching your materialistic targets. Then life is truly fulfilling.

There is no worship ¼iwtk½ greater than “SERVICE TO MANKIND”.

Long live the spirit of Special Olympics

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Fact File- China’s dream our nightmare

China’s dream our nightmare                                                                                 19 Aug 2013

India’s strategic planners must recognize the nature of the Chinese State and make all interactions transactional

After his appointment in December 2012 to the country’s three top positions-general secretary of the CCP Central Committee (CC), chairman of the Central Military Commission (SMC) and President of China-Xi Jinping further concentrated greater authority in himself. Today he heads seven of the Central leading small groups, the most powerful bodies overseeing government and Party affairs. He now guides and supervises all affairs relating to the national economy, armed forces and military modernization, cyber security and domestic security. The important point is that this has concurrently further strengthened the CCP’s grip on the levers of State. Today, Xi Jinping is China’s most powerful leader since Mai Zedong.

Xi jinping’s concept of ‘China’s Dream’, articulated in December 2012, has already entered the Party’s lexicon. In addition to making the people wealthy and the nation strong, the concept envisages “rejuvenation” of the Chinese nation, which implies the “recovery” of all former territories and depicted by China’s maps. This concept and his speeches are central subjects in the ‘study sessions’ held regularly by the Party and PLA.

The anti-corruption campaign spearheaded by Politburo Standing Committee (PBSX) member and fellow ‘princeling’ Wang Qishan, as chairman of the Central Discipline Inspection Commission (CDIC), has reinforced Xi Jinping’s authority. The campaign has targeted a number of vice ministers and cadres at the Party’s second highest rung of leadership, namely Politburo (PB).

Modernization of the PLA, facilitated by the consecutive double-digit hikes in defence budget since 1993, has accelerated since the 18th Party Congress. Reliable reports state that China;s seven Military Regions are being merged into five. The PLA is being downsized by 800,000 persons and elimination of the 3000,000 non-combatants is proposed within a decade. There has been a vast infusion of funds in defence research and development in a major effort to upgrade technology, with China expecting to operationalize its second aircraft carrier in six years. China’s military doctrine dictates heavy concentration of firepower in a localized area to overwhelm the ‘enemy’. This reorganization gives the PLA a definite “outward orientation”, implying that “recovery” of territories claimed by Beijing will be a central feature of China’s strategic agendra and reinforce diplomacy aimed at realising “China’s Dream”.

India’s strategic planners will be prudent to recognize the nature of the Chinese State and make interactions transactional. Areas open to economic engagement should have clearly defined limits. India’s defence preparedness must be given priority.

Extract of an article by Jayadeva Ranade, HT, 18 aug 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fact File-Independence Day Special

Forewarned has to be forearmed                                                                               14  August, 2014

The RSS, which is against the idea of India as a pluralistic society, is seeking to negate the vibrancy of the mosaic that distinguishes the country

A disturbing tendency visible during the election campaign appears to have become the perfected strategy of the RSS/BJP now in government with an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, albeit with a mere 31% share of those who voted. This tendency, true to their character, is to speak/act with a forked tongue-one for public consumption to give a false comfort level and the other for ground level mobilization. The BJP discharges this responsibility as the political arm of the RSS. Thus, ‘development’ and ‘Gujarat model’ employed as election mascots were only the veil concealing the actual ground reality of the campaign that focused on the sharp ening of communal polarization. It is, therefore, quite natural that this BJP victory would lead to the aggressive pursuit of the RSS ideological project of converting the secular democratic Indian Republic into their version of rabidly intolerant fascistic ‘Hindu Rashtra’.

This has been confirmed by the RSS chief who, at Cuttack on August 10, asked that if inhabitants of England are English, Germany are Germans and the US are Americans, then why aren’t inhabitants of Hindustan not known as Hindus. He went to say, “The cultural identity of all Indians is Hindutva and the present inhabitants of the country are descendents of this great culture. Within a few weeks of the new government, those who were arguing during the election campaign that the BJP is downplaying its communal agenda are already feeling betrayed and, thus, silenced. The core Hindutva agenda-the abrogation of Article370, Uniform Civil Code, building of the Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya-have all been articulated by Cabinet ministers and RSS leaders. A Goa minister has stated that with the BJP’s victory, the establishment of a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ has begun. At the ground level, this is reflected in the sharpening of communal tensions across the country leading in some places to brutal riots and the death of innocent Indians.

There is also an element of ‘social engineering’ in fomenting such communal tensions. The crescendo of incendiary speeches is rising. Last week, a VHP leader thundered in Indore that the Muslims may have forgotten Gujarat 2002 but would remember the Muzaffarnagar riots last year. This comes on the heels of another VHP patron saying that, “Tables had turned on the Muslims”. The signals, thus, are amply clear. Being forewarned must mean being forearmed. Every patriotic Indian must rise to the occasion to prevent such sharpening of communal polarization that has the potential to weaken and disintegrate the immensely rich and diverse social fabric that has woven together out great country.

In addition to what Sitaram Yechury (a veteran CPM leader) has said Parliamentarians of Modi Sarkar are being regimented & baptized to saffron culture. Directions have been issued to all the MP’s (made by Modi) not to leave Delhi on 15 Aug. Rather each one of them are to be present at “Red Fort” to Modi ji Sermon. Nobody dare defy his (NaMo) directions and dictum. They all know & owe their electoral victory to NAMO. None of the BJP MP’s are leaders in themselves.

It is always traditional and politically desired to attend “Independence Day functions, celebrations in their own constituencies, for social interaction and connectivity. As this was not enough all NAMO’s MP’s have been directed (rather ordered) to attend a sermon from Shri Bhaiya ji (2nd in command of RSS) on 14 Aug from 0730 to 0830 (At Vhekaiha Naidu’s residence) Complete regimentation saffronization, baptization is on by the “Prime Mover” of the BJP the RSS. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Silence is not golden

Silence is not golden                                                                                     August 9, 2014

(The day 2nd Atomic Bomb was dropped on Nagashaki-1945)

Narendra Modi has a chance to lead, even change, the nation’s discourse. Right now, we are ripe  for a thousand unspoken conversations; Secularism, inclusiveness, development, gender, poverty. But instead of a dialogue we have competitive shrillness.There is great noise around Narendra Modi’s silence since the 60-odd days that he has been prime minister. Garrulous candidate Modi of the campaign trail seems to have morphed into politically correct Prime Minister Modi; a travesty of his taciturn predecessor.

Yes, we know from his tweets that Modi is saddened by the loss of lives in a Pune landslide, wants to harness the potential of our fisheries sector, and salutes the brave martyrs of Kargil. But of the increasingly frequent litany of comments from the loony brigade there is silence. India’s greatest women’s tennis player is derided by a BJP MP as a ‘daughter-in-law of Pakistan’. No word from the PM. A political ally shoves a chapatti into the mouth of a caterer who is fasting for Ramzan, and our prime minister remains silent. That indefatigable Hindutva warrior Ashok Singhal warns of “Further Hindu consolidation”. Not a murmur. Goa’s Christian Hindu deputy chief minister redefines the Constitution by describing Indian as a Hindu Country. Silence.

To be fair, India’s prime minter cannot respond to every 24-hour news outrage cycle abd certainly some of the controversles of the past few weeks have been hyped by TRP hungry media, Right wing self seekers and a floundering Congress opposition. Yet because it is clear that what is emerging are not stray comments but a pattern of hate speech from members of his own BJP and the larger Right wing alliance, Modi’s continuing silence is disconcerting for a number of reasons.
First, the silence can be construed as a nod to the raucous brigade. Silence is not just the absence of words. It can also mean tacit support. Second, the silence poses questions on the priorities of the prime minister. Modi’s emphasis on economic prosperity speeding up bureaucracy, energy security and bilateral relations cannot come at the cost of social inclusion.

Third, the silence leads to an uncomfortable suspicion. One must ask: Is Modi his own man? Or are political compulstions forcing this maun vrat? Is Modi so beholden to the RSS that he cannot even issue the slightest disapproval’. Fourth, Modi’s prime minister ship follows two terms of UPA rule, characterized by near absolute silence from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the aloofness of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. After pitching himself as a man of the people, Modi’s silence could lead to an uncomfortable  conclusion of Congress-style arrogance: I don’t owe an explanation to those who elected me.

Finally, in Modi’s diktat to ministers to choose their words carefully, in his refusal to take mediapersons along on official tours, there is a clamping down on information, which is inimical to any democracy.

An extract of an article by Namita Bhandare are HT 02 Aug 14

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A recipe for disaster

A recipe for disaster (As Spelt out by Kunal Bose in HT 30 July 2014)            
Day of Doom when 1st Atombomb                                                                        August 6, 2014
was dropped at Hiroshima-1945

India wastes food worth Rs. 45,000 crore a year. Yet this budget has no roadmap for developing a cold chain across the country,
It is known that over one-third of India’s fruit and vegetable valued at over Rs 13000 crore is wasted annually in the absence of adequate refrigerated storage infrastructure and logistics deficiencies. The other villain is the anachronistic distribution system, favouring middlemen who do not have the vision or resources to create facilities that will not leave horticulture produce exposed to the blistering sun during the long Indian summer. At 2013-14 horticulture production of 280.7 million tonne, the country’s requirement of cold storage space to keep fruit and vegetable freash and cosmetically appealing round the year is conservatively estimated 65 million tone. But the available capacity is just over 30 million tonne distributed unevenly among the states.
This apart, preventable post harvest losses of food grains are around 20 million tonne. Wasted grains of this magnitude, according to the World Bank, would be good to mitigate the hunger of one-thirds of the country’s poor. Of around 65 million tonne of grains storage capacity, space to hold nearly 20 million tonne is just raised platform with some kind of temporary cover allowing quick deterioration in stored grain quality. The 2014-15 budget allocation of Rs 5,000 crore for raising warehouse capacity is too little when unscientific causing big losses of grains, inviting unfavourable world attention.
Marketing system here is so tilted in favour aggregators and traders that prices of fruit and vegetables at the first point of sale at large mandis as a proportion of final retail rates are in the range of 25% to 40%. Since there are at least a couple of layers between farm gate and large mandis, rewards for growers are much less than a quarter of prices at terminal retail point.
Farmers will benefit immensely if they unite in groups to form marketing organizations. There are already a few instances of savvy farmer groups producing and marketing branded fruit which command premium prices.


Food processing (especially veg & fruits) has a tremendous potential in our country. This should be a priority SME/MME with encouraging loan facilities, tax exemption to the participants. Areas and pockets to be identified country wide. Special “Mantralaya” should be created by “Modi Sarkar”. This would help in checking seasonal rise hi prices due to shortage created by whether or manmade.


THE NEW BINLADEN                                                                                           05 August, 2014

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is the biggest jihadist group fighting in Iraq and Syria. (S in ISIS stands for the Arabic word al-Sham, referring normally to the Levant, or the eastern Mediterranean states.) With its focus shifting to Iraq, the ISIS has scored many victories this year, starting with the capture of Fallujah in January. It shocked the world with its audacious takeover of Mosul, the second largest city of Iraq, in June. One of the richest insurgent groups in the world with assets reportedly worth $2 billion, it has now its sights set on Baghdad, throwing the Middle East into a fresh crisis.
The Invisible Sheikh   
It is these qualities that make al Baghdadi such a hero to his followers. To them he is a leader who has proved himself in combat (certainly no dry Islamic theologian as al Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri). He controls day-to-day operations, which together with his secrecy only increases his prestige. What he lacks in talk, he makes up for with ambition. Frustrated with limiting his sadism to Iraq, he formally decided to expand into Syria on April 8, 2013 and in so doing, morphed ISIS into the Islamic State of Iraq and the Leant (ISIL)

The Tech Savvy caliphate

Al-Baghdadi has proved to be the complete 21st century jihadi: Not only financially astute but internet savvy. The camera phone and broadband internet have propelled ISIS into the international imagination. Recently, the group abducted and beheaded an Iraqi police officer and then tweeted a picture of the severed head with the caption: “This is out ball. It is made of skin World Cup”.

ISIS Enters a Divided House

In their desperation to find a ‘strongman’ who was capable of restoring order to the country, the US and UK then compounded  their initial mistake by settling on Maliki as their preferred candidate, and helping to secure his election as Iraqi prime minister in April 2006. Maliki was strong, but he was also a bigot. Capable Sunni ministers were booted out of office on spurious grounds and the offices of state and the civil service filled with Shias determined to strengthen their grip on Iraq at the expense of the Sunnis.

The Kurds, meanwhile, have their own concerns. As the Iraqi army deserted the oil-rich city of Kirkuk (Jerusalem for Kurds), Kurdish forces moved in. They have little inclination to leave. “Kirkuk is ours”, said my Kurdish friend Mustafa to me over the phone. And our state is coming, just watch. Statehood is a centuries  old Kurdish dream and Mustafa was merely echoing a belief now percolating through Iraqi Kurdistan.

Saudis Fear Shia Iran

Iraq is unraveling. And Iran (which already holds considerable influence in the country) has stepped gratefully into the mess. The Revolutionary Guard has two battalions on the ground while the Quds force chief major General Qassem Suleimani is reportedly in Baghdad overseeing  the fight back. Tehran considers the fall of Iraq to ISIS an existential threat. It possesses the resources to ensure this doesn’t happen.

All this has terrified Saudi Arabia, the region’s “Sunni lion”. The emergence of an increasingly powerful and anti Sunni Shia Crescent (the notionally crescent shaped region of West Asia with a high Shia population, stretching from Lebanon right around to Qatar) has, in Riyadh’s eyes, materialized. Saudi spy chief yourself bin Ali al Idrisi is fighting a proxy sectarian war with Selemani in Syria as Iranians battle to keep the Alawite Assad in power and Saudis fund Sunni rebels groups trying to overthrow him.

Just over a decade ago, the West decided to reorder Iraq’s internal politics and in so doing, set in motion events that have reordered West Asia’s geopolitical landscape to Iran’s benefit. As ISIS continues to advance across Iraq, it is clear that the only immutable law in West Asia in the one of unintended consequences.

Delhi is also aware of the wider problem. ISIS has rebooted the jihadi franchise; Sunni in surgents around the world are watching and hoping to emulate its striking success. Both al Qaueda and the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba are capable of Launching terror strikes in India, which a possible spurt in violence in Jammu & Kashmir, taking the Government’s focus away from growth and much-needed economic recovery, also remains a danger. Prolonged instability  in Iraq could also hike India’s oil prices (Iraq is the coutry’s scond largest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia) further damaging the economy. The threat is significant and procimate-not bad for a man who is only 42.