Thursday, October 02, 2008

The perils of adventures

One should not be adventurous....
I think we need to take greater care.

These were the words of Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dixit, on the death of television journalist Soumya Vishwanathan. While she also did express sorrow, instead of using this as an opportunity to crack down on the pathetic law and order situation in the Capital, she merely admitted that Delhi was indeed an unsafe city.

Which again reminds me of the maxim I recently came across -

Governments are funny things.
They're designed by geniuses to be run by fools.

India embodies this better than any other nation I can think of.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Accepting the inevitable

Just so we're clear about this, let's go over it one more time.
  • Some communities in India have suffered injustice
  • We, collectively, all feel very bad for those communities that have suffered injustice
  • Government (we) even goes (waay) out of line to ensure that members of those communities are provided with education in an effort ostensibly to uplift them
But that wasn't enough? Now what do people want?

Apparently, to stay in school even when you're basically flunking out!

Wasn't it expected that when students, who are academically inferior on average that the rest of their class, would be thrust on a level playing field competing with the very best, they would be whipped silly? Did one actually expect the bulk of the SC/ST students, who found themselves all of a sudden in the IITs and premier engineering and medical colleges, to suddenly discover hidden talent? Is a strong grasp of the fundamentals of science and math an innate genetic ability or for the most part does it take years of revising the basics, slowly creating a robust educational base while incrementally adding to it every year.

So if some of these SC/ST students are asked to leave by their respective institutes for not being able to maintain the minimum acceptable academic level, it's bloody unfortunate, but tough!

But no, only in India, can someone as senior as the Director of IIT Delhi, Prof. Surendra Prasad be summoned, by the SC/ST Commission, following a complaint lodged with them which alleged that -
The IIT administration had deliberately handpicked the students from SC/ST communities to throw them out of the institute... [IE]
When will pushy parents learn?

New Heights of Suspicion

...when a country in its zeal to imprison, ends up incarcerating its own innocent citizens. Read more.

Pakistani authorities had mistakenly jailed two of its nationals for a decade, suspecting them to be "Indians", a visiting Indian judicial delegation found on Thursday. [IE]

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Of Vacation and women.... WTF!!!

Even while I was reading this article I knew that it would make it to the WTF series on India Uncut, and sure enough as soon as Amit's blog popped open, it was there, not WTF but in the 'where your taxes go' series. It is quite exasperating to actually write up a blog entry for something like this, so I shall merely quote from the IBNLive article and let you form your own conclusions!

The government admits that judges combine foreign tours with holidays while going for seminars... They do this at the taxpayers' expense.

YK Sabarhwal, former CJ of India, attended a 11 day conference, but the duration of his drip was 22 days taking him to Baltimore, Atlanta and Orlanda. Okay.. so maybe the guy wanted to see Disney World?

Former CJ G B Pattnaik called for Government to take action. "The Government must not take pay for judges' private trips. If they are paying they are spineless" he said.

Hmmm.. the UPA government .. spineless? Come on !

But this is not even the best part. The true WTF statement comes from Union Law Minister HR Bhardwaj.

He [Union Minster] though said that they were doing nothing wrong. "They also need comfort, they also need to go out. Why they should be deprived of it? How can you deprive the wife? You are a woman. You should understand" Bhardwaj told CNN IBN's correspondent.
This coming from our law minster... may the heavens help us. I am now recalling all the lawyer jokes and all the politician jokes I have heard in the past. But Bhardwaj is going to instrumental in creating a new genre of lawyer-politician jokes. I am surprised to see that Sabarhwal did not include Vegas in his itinerary. If he works so hard and needs the comfort, I would strongly recommend the beautiful women and exquisite lap dances one can get in the many Gentleman's Clubs in Vegas. I am sure a similar arrangement can be made for the wives!

What? Don't blame me for being bad... You are a woman. You should understand !!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Being non-committal on Germany's offer to divulge the names of individuals with illegal wealth stocked away in Lichtenstein, is strike 4575968 against the UPA Government. Given our aspirations as a global power, we need to start taking our own internal policies seriously before we can expect others to take note of us. Transparency and accountability are of utmost importance and if government believes that top ranking bureaucrats and prominent industrialists will be compromised by such data, then that is possibly the best news I have heard in a long time.

This is an excellent offer on a silver platter as it goes beyond mere information sharing. It allows for us to establish a dialogue with the Germans and improve our bilateral relationship.


Friday, April 25, 2008

On KPS Gill

I admit that, apart from the plethora of news briefings, I have made no detailed inquiries into the failings of Indian hockey. I am aware that IHF President KPS Gill is taking the heat for not just the recent debacle but also for our consistent lack-luster performance. However I must admit, that I do find the man to be fairly intriguing.

I believe in giving the devil his dues and while I have heard scathing criticisms of him (last night someone likened him to Mugabe) I must say that the man does have balls. I remember last month, watching an NDTV interview of him; he sat at ease, defiant of all his critics, pooh-poohing their criticisms and eloquently defending his policies (or lack of).

"Let younger people first become sports ministers before such suggestions are given. I don't think age has anything to do with managing sports."

"Let not sports ministers talk of accountability or responsibility. Most of them don't know anything about sports and have never done anything for hockey. In the past five years, have you seen these ministers doing anything?"

"What have these government bodies done for us? Where have they ever provided us with the funds or the facilities? They call it the national game, and do nothing for it..." [IE]
I do not know how the current fiasco will end. Intuitively I think it is best for a new man to be in charge with a new set of ideas. But the quality and competitiveness of Indian sports has fallen to abysmal levels and we need drastic efforts to resuscitate the entire sporting community. How we will do so, is yet to be seen. I'm not too sure about KPS Gill, but from the brief spell that the other Gill has had with the Sports Ministry and the statements he has been issuing, I don't have high hopes.

I desperately hope I am proven wrong.

Wrong on so many levels

I suppose 9:45 AM is still fairly early in the morning. It's a bright sunny morning outside as I head into work. I settle down on my laptop and get on to IBNLive, my daily dose of news, and am confronted by the following headline -
Sharief may quit K'taka as grandson denied ticket [IBNLive]
Intrigued I click on it and read the entire article. This whole story is wrong on so many levels.

1. The headline itself.

We have a senior member of the Congress party, a permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee (CWC), who is now threatening to leave the party just because his grandson was denied a ticket. Isn't this blatant nepotism?

Perhaps, he could have made a case that his grandson was best suited to lead because of his impeccable credentials. Maybe he should had said that the Congress Committee was conspiring against him and his family. He could have placed the burden upon the party to publicly list all of the candidates it was fielding in Karnataka in the upcoming elections, along with their credentials, and not just reason why they are better suited than Sharief's grandson, but also also lend transparency to the entire process of candidate selection. If Rahul Gandhi really means what he says, then perhaps it is time for him to act on those same words and prove that they are not merely hollow rhetoric and actually start instituting reforms, albeit minor, in the Congress party.

But no. What does Sharief do? He throws a tantrum and starts flailing his arms about and starts crying like a 4 year old kid in Toys-R-Us when denied a toy by his parents.

Sources close to him are now saying that he is considering joining the NCP or even the BSP.

If that immaturity wasn't bad enough, he then threatens to join parties that are ideologically poles apart from the party he is aligned with.

Rattled by the sudden turn of events — which may adversely effect the Congress' chances of winning in the state — party leaders, including General Secretary Digvijay Singh, rushed to Shairef's residence to urge him not to take any hasty decisions.

However, despite the cajoling and urging, Congress sources say this is a 'blackmailing' tactic by the veteran leader to get another' ticket for a family member.
Wait. Did I read that correctly ... 'another ticket' ? If the Congress sources are willing to call a spade a spade, then why indulge and cajole such despicable individuals as was done by Congress leadership, noted in point 3 above?


And then in a concluding paragraph, IBNLive pays homage to Sharief's tremendous contributions to both the Congress party and our nation.

Sharief, the Chairman of the party's Election Manifesto Committee, was instrumental in drafting the manifesto that promised colour TV sets and rice at Rs 2 per kg to the poor.
Yes, the genius idea of the free TVs and the cheap rice. What is with the TV anyway? Anyway, one member of his family in our political arena is bad enough. Let us not lower the collective competence of our political apparatus by including such able leaders. Just ask him to leave.

Dyanstic politics, sycophancy, nepotism. The Congress party and the people of Karnataka should set an example and just tell him to do everyone a favor and run off and cry by himself in a corner. Indulging such individuals is a danger not only to democracy but also to basic decency.