Rupee Vs fuel prices

So a government which is very concerned about economy and the.people of the country.. What should it do? Obvious answer is to tackle the economy issues and not burden the common man!

But not this government… It can’t do a jackshit about falling rupee, rising inflation, corruption.. It can only raise fuel prices.. So that the so called public sector companies can make profit and the government – central and state.. Can make more money through taxes.. After all the deficit has to be managed.. Who gives a shit about what happens to you and me!

India Shining

Two women persecuted and prosecuted for Facebook status. Cops suspended and the political party calls a bandh. A youth persecuted for another update (supposedly not even by him). Two editors of a television channel caught for asking bribe from an industrialist MP. Of course channel hits back saying he wanted to kill the story and was ready to give bribe. PMO is asked by HC if Robert Vadra had involved in the alleged scams he is accused of. And obviously PMO says no (seriously.. did anyone really expect them to say otherwise?). Brazenness of this Government is getting appalling by the day.

This new scheme that everyone is talking about as game changer for the UPA. Absolute trash. It will be announced with much fanfare but will never take off. The people it is meant for, they don’t even have a bank account or aadhar cards! And we can be sure that there will suddenly be thousands of such fake cards and bank accounts so that the money can be siphoned off.

Talking of schemes… it was hilarious that the so-called low-cost Tablet that government was talking about as innovation.. Made in China!!

And FDI in retail. Ikea is coming and wonder who all are getting excited over it? 95% of the population wont even know what Ikea is or what does it do. Talking about FDI, no one seems to be flying into India to buy stakes in airlines. Why? Because government has ensured that the aviation sector which was shining few years back is gasping for breath. Much like the telecom sector.

Couple caught for committing fraud worth 500 crores. Wonder how they were able to live such a lavish lifestyle without being noticed. Banks which are supposed to be very particular about who has an account, never figured out where they were getting money from? I think banks don’t bother checking if large sums of money are involved. It’s the average person they make suffer. And talking of banks, what exactly were they doing lending money to Kingfisher Airlines when it was not making profits or even able to clear debts??

IOC wants to suspend IOA because of the way the elections are being manipulated. IOC needs to get real. This is how things functions in India! and like cricket, in next few decades India will be the money center for Olympics too.. so the sooner they accept IOA the way it is, the better. Suresh Kalmadi made money, let others make money too. After all, the Commonwealth Games were a big success!

And all this is happening, the economy is increasingly going downhill and 2013 seems to be the year when everything will fall apart and what is this Government with so many financial stalwarts up to? Trying hard to ensure they last the full term and come up with populist schemes which will help them get to power in next election. Of course, the opposition is no better. They are clueless. They accuse the incumbent of corruption when there are enough corrupt people in their own parties.



Arrogance or Head in the Sand Syndrome?

All relevant economic indicators are screwed. What should be up is down… what should be down is up. Standard & Poor downgrades India and what’s the reaction of this government?? Standard & Poor is not transparent! Seriously? I mean SERIOUSLY?

Who are we kidding? How come in the past no one ever commented on this transparency shit? How come when the rating was decent for India, nobody said that “hang on… this rating can’t be right.. they don’t understand our economic structure!”? Mr. T C A Anant.. why didn’t you say that earlier?  I bet somebody else will now say it is a conspiracy against India. Wonder who will it be? Vylar Ravi said it day before, so  some other minister now.

Is it absolute arrogance of UPA that makes them refuse to believe the reality? or is it the Ostrich syndrome?

It is downright funny!

Check out the link… It is hilarious. Congress seriously needs to do some thinking and ban these people from coming anywhere close to a mic or media! The leaders have become delusional. They think that any attack on the party is actually attack on the country and there are forces that seek to destabilize the country… Seriously?

The world doesn’t need to make efforts to destabilize us. We are doing it ourselves! or rather Congress is doing a very good job of it. Actually let me rephrase.. it is UPA, led by an ineffective leader. So blaming others or Anna Hazare is not going to help… Not that I am a fan of Anna but then comments like these will only make him more popular.

Vylar Ravi who is heading the coal ministry… he should first figure out the coalgate before pointing fingers at Anna. Find something more useful to do… and if you can’t, go back to wherever you have come from and let the nation live in peace.

A wonderful ‘Civilization’ called India

Been a while I have posted anything. Lack of time is the excuse I would peddle but the truth is the writer’s block 😛

But a few things happening around me and I felt that I think I should express my views.

And it so happens that tomorrow is 26th January so makes this post rather apt.

So the video link did not work for Rushdie to read out a few more verses. Why is everyone so surprised or aghast over it. Obviously the link would not have worked. In this country, the technology also works the way political system does. Of course, I am unable to understand all this controversy.

I don’t think we should have banned or stopped Rushdie from visiting India on account of religious sentiments. We should have stopped him from coming because the event in Jaipur is a Literature Fest and he doesn’t belong there. His writing is pretentious and cure for insomnia.

It’s the western world which considers him a writer. I think he is full of ….

But nope this secular country which has this fundamental right about freedom of speech stops him from coming over because there are elections happening in a few crucial states and it is very important to listen to the views of a very critical ingredient in the electoral mix

Elsewhere, this secular country wants to push its ‘oh so secular views’ in other countries. Jay Leno must be thinking up of some more funny and interesting stuff to talk about this controversy on what he said or showed. Imagine, the one person who should have been really upset over his comments should have been Romney but we don’t know what his reaction was. I think US firmly put us in our place by telling us that free speech (in spirit and action) exists in their country and we should shut up.

Just the way we should have shut up when there was a court case about Bhagwad Gita happening somewhere deep in the frozen environments of some gulag in Siberia. Who are we to get all charged up about what happens in another country.

And we should not have be commenting on what the talk show host says in New Zealand about someone in India.

In fact, we should not be saying anything about anything about who says what in any country.

Aren’t we supposed to be one of the oldest civilization? And supposedly about tolerance?

But I guess as country, a mix of various religions and run by a political alliance, we are supposed to make all the right noises to appease everyone.

Also we should not let anyone say anything about political leaders even within the country. All the shit that has happened about banning a Facebook or Google.

We are also the moral police because we don’t want sex to be one of the most searched word coming out of this country. How dare anyone search for sex!! it is such a taboo word.

Enough of ranting. Hopefully I will have something nice to say in the next post.

Till then, life goes on in this wonderful civilization..


So no paying less tax

How could we have been thinking that the proposals for tax reforms would go through in their entirety?? The same set of people who voted for themselves to get hikes… even went through the charade of going on strike are the people who ensured that the common man does not get any significant tax benefits. After all the common man has to give money which would pay their salaries! Approx  Rs. 37 lakhs per Member of Parliament into 500+ MPs… about 180 crores+. That’s a lot of money to be accounted for considering that only single digit population of this country actually pays the income tax. So they had to make modifications in the proposal and let the man on the street suffer rather than curtail all the freebies of the elected representatives…And not to forget that every state assembly would also want to increase salary and perks for their MLAs!

“Common”wealth and Patriotism

Have been reading about all the controversies surrounding the Commonwealth games and had stayed away from writing anything about it. After all in a corrupt country.. when controversies happen about corruption, it obviously means that there are some people who have not been able to dip into the free flow of money and want to ensure that others don’t get it either.

But when someone I respect a lot and consider a real woman of substance questions the patriotism of people who are commenting on  the preparedness of India for these games.. I felt I had to write. Ms Sheila Dixit has made the blunder of same proportion as MS Gill telling Parliament that if any Member of Parliament wants details about financial misappropriation, they should file an application under RTI!

Ms Dixit, I have lived in Delhi for close to 15 years and have seen the city transform for the better and the public of Delhi has also reposed faith in you over and over by electing you but please do not question our patriotism for the mess delhi has been in past couple of years and the mess it is in today… just month and half away from the Games.

Read a week back that all facilities for London Olympics in 2012 are ready and are being tested!! And everything would be in a state of preparedness a year in advance. So where did we go wrong? Forget taking digs at Mr Aiyer and have an action plan in place for a clean up. Either you are completely blind to say that clean up has happened or under the pressure from the party that you are part of, you are forced to utter such inanities.

However, the larger question is… why did India opt to host the Commonwealth games? We do not have a sports culture at all. And no cricket, hockey and soccer on TV does not constitute sports culture. And more importantly why should we be getting orgasmic about Queen’s Baton?? We do not owe allegiance to the Queen nor to anyone else in the world!

The country has been taken for a ride in the name of hosting such an elite event (and I do question the eliteness of CWG). If this hosting of games was going to be exciting, Mr Kalmadi would not have been trying to twist BCCI arm to give out Rs 100 crores and scrounging for sponsorships. Airtel is a sponsor of a complete non event called Champion’s League to be played in South Africa. If they had believed that CWG would be big, they would have been the first one to be the lead sponsor and of course various other brands would have lined up to be part of the event (just a month back every brand worth something was trying to be part of World Cup Soccer where India does not even participate). If people and the brands would have believed that sponsoring or being part of CWG would heighten the national interest and patriotism, we would have already seen various campaigns. I am absolutely sure that many brands are already working on communication strategies that they want in place for the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

Of course, if the telecast rights had been with a channel other than Doordarshan, things might have been better.. mind you just a wee bit better. And no surprises if the rights were to be sold for the Games, none of the leading channels would have even bid. If anything, they would have asked the government to pay for the production cost!

So the common public is not interested. Corporates are not interested (no Public Sector company would have sponsored either if they had a choice) so who are we holding the Games for?

Reminds me of few instances in the corporate world where I have been part of. In a completely inward looking strategy brands and corporates believe that there will be a huge audience just waiting to lap up their offering. Numbers and projections are made and the product is launched… only to fail miserably.

The tourism industry must be in utter shock (their fault entirely if they believed that there will be a huge tourist crowd linked with the games). All the capacity that was built in the hotel industry would soon bring the  rack rates crashing down.

All the business loss that shopping establishments in places like Cannaught Place have suffered, they would never be able to recover them for years after the beautification in the name of Games is over.

And not to forget egg on our collective faces when facilities at various stadias would be up for the entire world to view. We should not talk about patritotism and global conspiracy against India when the foreign journalists take pictures of the shoddiness and show it to the world.

I think Mr Fennel had visited Delhi few months back and he was extremely worried and the entire media and the CWG people had piled on to him for having doubts. Well he would probably have the last laugh now.

Though I do hope that in a manner typical to us, we will manage to have things in place at the last minute. Won’t be world class but would be “Chalta hai” and hopefully our sports people would win a few medals and media too in its usual way would move on to other stories for getting TRPs. But  only if the malaise that is called the Indian system of  ‘make hay while the sun shines’ can be addressed… This country has the potential to be the best… if only we start believing in ourselves rather than finding ways of how to get things done.

But seriously… what’s wrong with News Media???

The prices of all essential commodities are through the roof. Common man is suffering big time.

The current government is going to complete the so called 100 days (or has it already?) and what have they got to show?

The economic situation is bleak. People are still losing jobs or living in a state of disguised unemployment (working but not getting salary on time)

Corruption reigns everywhere


How can anyone be interested in a politicial party which is on death bed and waiting for the plug to be pulled?

Do the news channels seriously think that a billion plus population which is trying very hard to make a living is interested in what Brajesh Mishra said… or the book by Jaswant Singh… or the fact that he has been sacked from the party… or what Advani said or did during the Kandahar hijacking… or What Sardar Patel did or did not do in 1945????

Seriously… who cares. If anything, the only people who would really care is the current government. They must be happy that the spotlight is not on their failures to govern and deliver on the 100 days promise.

Let me give you an example of how news media has become completely blind to what is happening to the people. This example is apart from the tripe that we get to watch on TV or read in the paper.

Few days back on BBC (one of the most respected news channels), towards the end of news, a guy joins the two who were reading the news and discussing the current events. This guy gives the latest unemployment figures in England.. which by the way have gone up. A min of that… and while he is still talking about the figures… the woman anchor asks him… “So what is your favorite cocktail?”. The guy wants to complete what he is saying about the unemployment and he is again interrupted by the male anchor asking about the cocktails.. because they want to move to this competition that is happening in England somewhere about the best bar tender!!!! Wow… talk about dumbing down and being callous.

Somewhere in an effort for increased eyeballs, viewers and readers, news people have forgotten what their profession is all about… WAGs are not stories… Salman Khan interested in buying an IPL team is not a story… Harbhajan Singh in his humvee is not the story.

Get real… get accountable… make the government accountable… Terrorism is here to stay and we would never be able to combat it or control it because when dealing with fanatics is not easy… So get rid of those stories about who gets Interpol red flag or how the government was right about Hafeez or whoever… Tell me why are the prices rising and what government is doing to bring down the prices.. Tell me why my money is not enough today for even the basic essentials… question.. interrogate… grill the government.

Stop wasting your time on the inconsequentials.

Unless the news media is also part of the larger political strategy to keep the common man away from asking these pertinent questions and bombard him with trivia and make his mind numb!

What good is government funding?

Does any government really believe that all the money that is allocated for various social and infrastructure projects actually works?

Analyse all the government efforts towards rural upliftment, removing poverty, creation of jobs, infrastructure. How many of these projects have been successful? How many projects were completed on time? How many were completed without any cost overrun?

“Garibi Hatao” was a Congress slogan way back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Since then, except for maybe a max of 8/9 years, it is the Congress which has been in power. 30 years plus and we are still talking of people below the poverty line.

We have had reservation for certain classes of people for as long as I can remember and yet ‘dalit’ is still a huge vote bank and it should not have been if all the so called efforts were actually working.

Slums that have been around for so long… Government has promised to make them disappear in 5 years… How??? Will there ever be a political will to remove them? What happens to the whole vote bank then? And more importantly… where will the money come from?

Every infrastructure project gets delayed… in most cases they are delayed endlessly… China probably started the Tibetan railway project same time as we started the Kashmir railways. They are over and done with and we are still realigning the tracks!

Bandra Worli Sea Link is another case in point…

Government spending is all about making pleasant noise and that too only for themselves… the population that is likely to benefit never gets to hear it or understand the implication… more importantly they never get the benefits meant for them… all the money disappears in transit…

Where is the accountability? Who is responsbile for schemes to be completed on time and the benefit actually reaching the people it is meant for? And who checks the authenticity of all government claims?

Does the government use any project management software? Are the officials expert enough in managing the projects? What are their management qualifications?

If the government wants to be transparent enough… why can’t it create a website where anyone who wants, can track the progress of the project? why should we invoke RTI for the information?

Why are the tax payers left wondering about where their hard earned money goes?

I have a question for all those who have been saying that this budget would be very good in the long run… How will the deficit go away? how will we get a 9% growth this year? What are the short term measures to revive the economy and hopes of the people who are suffering because of the downturn??

Why is this post so full of questions?

It probably is because the government is completely clueless when it comes to managing the nation and its economy. One statement that perhaps symbolized this was the one Mr Pranab Mukherjee supposedly made on CNN-IBN on the evening of the budget presentation – “I don’t know why the markets tanked!!”

Can the Congress provide the stablity this country so needs?

I, like everyone else in this country is hoping they can! for the sake of the country and its people. I think the mandate they have got… people are telling them “we give you the power to change the future of this country… we are ensuring that you dont have to be with opportunistic and myopic partners. the ball is now in your court”

The stock market is rocking today though its not an indication of anything. One sneeze and it would go into downward spiral.

But people are brimming with hope. All the people who have lost jobs and not finding any… they are hoping that economy gets into the F1 mode. 

People want to feel secure again… they dont want to worry about a bleak future…

I will not talk about corporates because they would still peddle excuses for non-performance and dumping their most valuble assets.

This mandate for congress is not for anything great they did for last 5 years… they did not do anything worthwhile.. being shackled by their partners in UPA.

But now… for next five years… there will be no excuses… the country has given them the power.

The country wants results NOW… not as achievements 5 years from now or 3 years or even one year… Here and now is what the country wants.

Mr Manmohan Singh… you have a huge responsibility… are you up to it?  You owe it to the nation.