Monday, August 31, 2009


MAYTAS Infra has been declared as loss-making and the Raju's have virtually lost the hold over the company. The wheels of destiny have come full circle for Ramalinga Raju. Whether he is punished by law or not, nature has taught Raju lessons the hard way.

Satyameva Jayate... true.

But it is a fact that it took a recession and a fall in land prices, to trigger the avalanche in Satyam, for the truth to come out.

What lessons have we as a society learnt from this episode? What lessons has the regulatory body and the government learnt from this? What are we doing to avoid future Satyams from happening?

Are we sure, Satyam is the only company that has indulged in this practice? If we are not, then are we awaiting truth to prevail according to its own convenient time for other Satyams or are we waiting for another recession to throw the skeletons out of the other cupboards?The regulatory body needs to learn a lot from this.

The faulty system has shown how ill it is. Satyam was a symptom of a larger malaise. Where we take the issue from here, depends upon us.

Raju's of the world would want to create another Satyam. Its our job to not let them do it.

FIA, Force India and India

FIA or the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, has had its plans for India disclosed long ago. They desperately wanted to make the sport popular in a country like India. F1 is big money spent and big money earned. Even if the Indian audiences in multi-millions watch the sport on TV, then it amounts to a huge revenue.

Chandrababu Naidu had almost finalised an F1 track in India near Hyderabad before he lost the state elections. Maharashtra government under Sushilkumar Shinde had jumped to the idea of having a F1 track near Mumbai-Pune expressway but that was during the lock-in period FIA had with Andhra Govt. Next it is known that Sushilkumar Shinde had to deal with the impending elections in the state. Finally Delhi also wanted to be the host to it. Narain Karthikeyan was included in F1 amid all these circumstances. This clearly shows the sports body's intentions to make a place in India. They added China also in their calendar during the same time.

Team Force India indeed could have been called Force Kingfisher, but let me be a cynic and I want to believe that having India in the name of the team maximises the reach of the sport. This might be a more driving force in the 'naming' rather than, love of the owner of the team, for his country.

As soon as the Sports Minister of India, talks of not allowing the sports company to have soft loans amounting to some Rs. 550 crs from RBI, the very next race is won by Force India after standing nowhere in earlier 30 races.

Mr. Mallya, how about having all the athletes of Indian Olympic team endorsing your brand of Kingfisher and you spend a fraction of the money on them rather than what you spent to put FORCE INDIA on F1 map? It is a sure shot recipe for more glory for India in Olympics.

F1 needs a huge infrastructure which will not even be used the year round. With airports for huge Cargo planes which carry the teams and the cars, hotels for the teams as well as the spectators visiting, et all.

When our ex-sportsperson are driven to prostitution, a few bucks from a "true sports-loving and patriotic person" like you should better go for them. SAY WOT, Mr. King of 'only(?)' Good Times?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Water scarcity and rain-water harvesting.

By many a projections, it is described that 'Water is going to be the Oil of 21st century.'

But what makes the situation more grim is that there can be an alternative for oil, but not for water.

Water wars are already not unimaginable. We have had states fighting for Water from inter-state rivers. It is only a matter of time that this goes international. Water and food-scarcity are far more urgent issues than the importance they are given.

Environmental refugees due to the lack of availability of natural resources are going to be huge challenge for policy-makers the world over in the not-so-distant future. For a billion plus population like India Roti, Kapda, Makaan, mobile can take a back-seat.

Potable water will be an alarming issue. No amount of distillation processes of sea-water will be able to replace fresh water resources.

To start with, rain-water harvesting facilities could be made a compulsion for new constructions along with earthquake resistant designs. In a country with a large experience of earthquakes and water scarcity, these things do not need Einsteins to give a thought. Ah! I wish the people who heed only to 'phoren babas' information get such a solution from them, our netadom & babudom will then grab it with both hands.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mohammed Ali Jinnah and India

A lot has come out in the media about Jaswant Singh's book on Mohammed Ali Jinnah. It is an undeniable fact that India needed to demonise Jinnah, so that Nehru could bask in the post-independence glory.

Jinnah's grandfather was a Hindu trader who converted to Islam. Jinnah as a student, had fought a case against the British Raj for Lokmanya Tilak in the Supreme Court at London. Tilak was unable to fund his trip to London and could not find a lawyer to help his litigation there. Jinnah, then as a foot soldier of Congress, had helped Tilak but lost the case. Jinnah was more an Indian leader than a Muslim leader before Gandhiji embarked from South Africa.

Mahatma had worked in the media in South Africa. Being an editor of a newspaper, he knew the power of media. What Gandhiji wore, where did he go, what did he do were the stories carried by the media when he settled in India. He used the media to feed the masses and make a cult out of himself. He has to be credited of being successful in invoking a mass awakening like no other leader could do. The same media blitzkrieg is followed even after independence for the congress leaders. Most recent being to show where Rahul Baba spent a night, when he wants to get married, how he blushed, etc, etc;

The cost of Mahatma Gandhi's rise was that other leaders - Jinnah, Savarkar, Bose, Annie Besant - were gradually marginalised. Gandhi arrived in 1915 in India and the Muslim league and RSS were formed in the 20's. This was a result of the power struggle which the other leaders were subjected to take for the second position after Gandhi's Congress.

Jinnah had left for London in the 1930's and returned only in early 1940's when the Quit India Movement failed and there was a sense of the British actually leaving India due to WWII.

Jinnah had wanted a more federal republic with three tier administration - a Centre, a group of provinces and the provinces. While Nehru was against the idea of group of provinces. He wanted a more centralised system - the Centre and the provinces. This admonition of the group of provinces was seen by Jinnah as Nehru's unwillingness to share power, which finally led to a brutal and inhumane partition.

Ill-prepared partition was a mistake for whom Indians would love to put the blame upon Jinnah solely, but truth cannot be more farther from this. Both the sides were signatories to it. It is said that, it was not until 1946 that the idea of a partition took root. But there are reports of Muslim League propping up the idea of Pakistan from 1940.

Congress acted under the duress of 1946 'Direct Action' (known as Calcutta killings - Calcutta was governed by Muslim League) which had led to widespread rioting and killing by the Muslim League. Congress was subjected to accept the 'Two Nation Theory'. If it had not accepted then there was a threat of Direct Action being repeated wherever Muslim League came in power. Neither Nehru nor Jinnah had envisioned the bloodbath that took place due to partition and both had later acknowledged it as a mistake.

In Indian context, the whole responsibility was put upon Jinnah. One thing to be noted here is that "HISTORY IS WRITTEN BY THE WINNER". Raja Vikramaditya Hemraj becomes Hemu; Hitler is the villain, when there are reports of US and UK looking the other way when they had full knowledge of the concentration camps; US is absolved of its nuclear bombings; the only truly secular society in the Arab world is destroyed - the act being claimed as liberation of Iraq - and it ends up as a chaotic polity; and there are many more examples. Jinnah's case was similar.

Jaswant Singh has made a good observation that the partition has turned out to be futile. It has not served its purpose. Most importantly, he cites history, refers to the reservation introduced in 1906 which are comparable to the Sachar committee report. He cannot be held completely wrong in his conclusion that, another partition cannot be ruled out if we keep following the same path.

In its quest for power, BJP could have lapped up the scholarly and well-researched article. This would only have made the Congress a little defensive, since any lessening of the saintly Halo around the Nehru-clan would have had gone in favour of the BJP. Alas, they did not milk the opportunity, while they also lost one of their least rewarded most deserving loyals, by expelling Jaswant Singh who worked for 30 long years of his political life for the party.

In another perspective, BJP by rejecting to admonish Nehru and Patel have exercised a higher moral and ethical practice, so very rare in present day politics. It also suits them the best.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kothi Raju or "the Monkey King"

Kothi Raju which literally means "The Monkey King"

This man seems to have amazing acrobatic skills. Now if only his skills could be used for better representation for the nation in international arena. Hope the system wakes up to utilize the abilities of this man. He can definitely do similar to, if not better than, the famous Spiderman from France, Alain Robert.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Swine Flu

The Swine Flu or the H1N1 influenza seems to have become a major epidemic in India now.
At last count the no. of deaths has been 10 with the most no. of people being of the age below 14 or above 50.

There are various sites which talk about the do's and dont's for it. One parent site is This is supposed to have the latest information.

I just dread of the time when the virus enters the public domain. I fear for the people traveling in our over-crowded buses, trains and other public transports. For the people living in the slums and off the roads; the poor labourers in cities and the already impoverished farmers in rural Bharat, people already distraught due to the drought; people who already dont have minimal requirements of life having been fulfilled. Once the pandemic starts to have its victims, the number will only grow exponentially. The WHO seems to be of the view that about 33% of Indians will be affected by the flu. That makes a very bad 30 crore people. Even if 0.1% of that amount is fatally affected, then the toll would be about 3 lakh lives. Not to consider the other 50 lakh that would be psychologically affected.

The flu had not come out as a full blown up epidemic in India until now, which can be attributed to the warm summer season that just passed off. The northern plains have not reported much of the flu cases, again due to the delayed or mostly absent monsoon. Western countries reported the flu just before the start of summer for them, then the numbers has not risen dramatically. When the winter season slowly takes over the second wave of the flu attack will be felt. Pray to God that it doesn't cause much damage. The only way to beat this menace would be to observe better hygiene. WASH YOUR HANDS, REGULARLY. That is if there is enough water after the bad-monsoons.

But before panicking just consider this information. More people die in India due to tuberculosis, malaria, dengue, leptospirosis than the more hyped diseases like AIDS, H1N1. In fact more people die due to accidents than the total toll of swine flu globally.

Observe Caution YES! Panic NO!

There are reports that a few people are selling off masks procured for free from the Govt. hospitals to slum-dwellers for a handsome charge of anywhere between Rs. 50/- to Rs. 200/-

Now, isn't there a thing known as conscience for these people?