Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Pope and The Rabbi

Several centuries ago, the Pope decreed that all the Jews had to convert to Catholicism or leave Italy. There was a huge outcry from the Jewish community, so the Pope offered a deal: he'd have a religious debate with the leader of the Jewish community. If the Jews won, they could stay in Italy; if the Pope won, they'd have to convert or leave. The Jewish people met and picked an aged and wise rabbi to represent them in the debate. However, as the rabbi spoke no Italian, and the Pope spoke no Yiddish, they agreed that it would be a 'silent' debate. On the chosen day the Pope and rabbi sat opposite each other.

The Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers.

The rabbi looked back and raised one finger.

Next, the Pope waved his finger around his head.

The rabbi pointed to the ground where he sat.

The Pope brought out a communion wafer and a chalice of wine.

The rabbi pulled out an apple.

With that, the Pope stood up and declared himself beaten and said that the rabbi was too clever. The Jews could stay in Italy. Later the Cardinals met with the Pope and asked him what had happened.

The Pope said, "First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up a single finger to remind me there is still only one God common to both our faiths. Then, I waved my finger around my head to show him that God was all around us. The rabbi responded by pointing to the ground to show that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and host to show that through the perfect sacrifice Jesus has atoned for our sins, but the rabbi pulled out an apple to remind me of the original sin. He bested me at every move and I could not continue."

Meanwhile, the Jewish community gathered to ask the rabbi how he'd won.

"I haven't a clue," said the rabbi. "First, he told me that we had three days to get out of Italy, so I gave him the finger. Then he tells me that the whole country would be cleared of Jews, but I told him emphatically that we were staying right here."

"And then what?" asked a woman.

"Who knows?" said the rabbi. "He took out his lunch, so I took out mine."

The above has been sent by Prakash Bhartia.

How stories change according to the country?
In India we have a similar story of Kalidas, the poet who wrote Shakuntala

Are our judges corrupt?

By Binu Paul, SiliconIndia, Friday, 29 April 2011, 21:01 IST
Bangalore: Although framed to be one of the four pillars of democracy, the accountability of Indian judiciary is deteriorating day-by-day. The widespread cancer of corruption in our Supreme Court and High Courts has destroyed the trust of the common man on the accountability and transparency of our judicial system.

The rampart corruption in the judiciary became an open secret to all when former law minister and senior advocate Shanti Bhushan said in an interview to Tehelka that eight of the last sixteen Chief Justices of India were definitely corrupt. He said, "In my view, out of the last 16 to 17 Chief Justices, half have been corrupt. I can't prove this, though we had evidence against Punchhi, Anand, and Sabharwal on the basis of which we sought their impeachment."

The stain of corruption has been present on many of our Supreme Court Chief Justices from early 1990s although many are not proven. Justice Ranganath Mishra who headed the apex court during 1990-91 period gave a clean chit to the Congress party in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and later the Congress party bestowed him with a Rajya Sabha nomination. While Justice Kamal Narain Singh was accused of passing orders in favour of Jain Exports, Justice A.M. Ahmadi nullified the charge of culpable homicide in the Bhopal gas leak case against an earlier Supreme Court judgment. Justice A.S. Anand was accused of passing orders in favor of his relatives in some controversial land deals. Justice M.M. Punchhi and Y.K. Sabharwal had been under the shadow of suspicion for many unusually benevolent orders for their near and dear ones.

KG Balakrishnan who brought immense glory to the sleepy village of Kaduthuruthy in Kerala by becoming the first Dalit Chief Justice of India, has been stripped off his reputation over allegations of unaccounted wealth amassment by his sons-in-law and brother K.G. Bhaskaran. One of his sons-in-law, P.V. Srinijin, a former Youth Congress office-bearer and a Congress candidate in the 2006 assembly polls, gathered a slew of properties and a number of vehicles over a span of just three years.

The former Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, P.D. Dinakaran is facing impeachment proceedings in the Rajya Sabha for amassing wealth disproportionate to known sources of income. He has also been tainted with charges of land-grabbing and securing five housing board plots in the name of his relatives.

According to a survey done by the global anti-corruption group Transparency International few years back, nearly 77 percent of Indians believe the country's judiciary is corrupt, and 36 percent paid bribes to the judiciary that year. Does this mean that the majority of our judges are corrupt? Can we expect a fair and impartial trial in this highly corrupt system?

The above piece has been written by Binu Paul in Silicon India.

Although it does seem bad but how can you expect the judiciary to be insulated when the other arms of the government are so corrupt.
The practice of paying the "peshkars" (clerks who present your file to the judge) encourages corruption. You can naturally assume that the judge must be getting a cut from all that the peshkar collects.
Everybody has to pay up to the peshkar or his file goes to the bottom of the heap.
The above names mentioned by Binu are just the high profile judges who have come into the lime-light
The whole judicial process encourages corruption.

Why is USA inefficient

Two interesting fact sheets

There are actually two messages here. The 1st is very interesting, but the 2nd is absolutely astounding - and explains a lot.

A recent "Investor's Business Daily" article provided very interesting statistics from a survey by the United Nations International Health Organization.

Percentage of men and women who survived a cancer five years after diagnosis:
U.S. 65%
England 46%
Canada 42%

Percentage of patients diagnosed with diabetes who received treatment within six months:
U.S. 93%
England 15%
Canada 43%

Percentage of seniors needing hip replacement who received it within six months:
U.S. 90%
England 15%
Canada 43%

Percentage referred to a medical specialist who see one within one month:
U.S. 77%
England 40%
Canada 43%

Number of MRI scanners (a prime diagnostic tool) per million people:
U.S. 71
England 14
Canada 18

Percentage of seniors (65+), with low income, who say they are in "excellent health":
U.S. 12%
England 2%
Canada 6%

Check this last set of statistics!!

The percentage of each past president's cabinet who had worked in the private business sector prior to their appointment to the cabinet. You know what the private business sector is…a real-life business, not a government job. Here are the percentages.

T. Roosevelt..........38%
Wilson ..................52%
Coolidge............... 48%
F. Roosevelt.........50%
GH Bush............... 51%
Clinton .................39%
GW Bush................55%

And the winner is:

Obama............... 8%

This helps to explain the incompetence of this administration: only 8% of them have ever worked in private business!

That's right! Only eight percent---the least, by far, of the last 19 presidents! And these people are trying to tell our big corporations how to run their business? They know what's best for GM, Chrysler, Wall Street, and you and me?

How can the president of a major nation and society, the one with the most successful economic system in world history, stand and talk about business when he's never worked for one? Or about jobs when he has never really had one? And when it's the same for 92% of his senior staff and closest advisers? They've spent most of their time in academia, government and/or non-profit jobs or as "community organizers." They should have been in an employment line.

Pass this on… we'll NEVER see these facts in the main stream media.
"One of the penalties of not participating in politics is that you will be governed by your inferiors." Plato

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Heart Attack

Hari Om friends,

I have not been able to send the mails for the last few weeks as I have been extremely worried and busy for my younger brother Amarnath.
He stays in Shyamnagar, about a km from my home with his wife and two children, a boy and a girl, both school going.
On the 12th April, while having tea in his office he suddenly started perspiring profusely. He was taken home and then in the evening he visited a doctor who did an ECG and immediately told him to see a cardiologist and be hospitalized. Instead of taking the doctor’s advise he went home and did not inform anybody. The doctor also prescribed some medicines but told him not to take the medicine without consulting the cardiologist.
The next day also he did not inform us. It was only at around 1.00 pm when we telephoned him casually that his wife told us of the occurrence which occurred the previous day. We rushed to his place and realized the gravity of the situation.
I called up my cardiologist who could see him only by 8.00 PM at his home. On taking another ECG, he found that his condition had worsened and immediately advised us to take him to AMRi, Salt Lake.
An angiograph was done the next day and it was found that there was total blockage in LCX. They proposed to do ESC of the heart but kept postponing. However, after two days, seeing no improvement in his condition, we decided to shift him to RTIICS on the 16th, where I myself had got my Angioplasty done under Dr. Sunil Lhila.
His condition worried us for two days but thereafter it has improved and is now stable except for his CRP. This was initially 225, then 125.It was 77on the 24th and today it was 43. Dr. Lhila expects that by Thursday it should come down to around 30 when he can do the Angioplasty. However there is one problem.
Dr Lhila says that the LCx is a dominating artery for my brother but the area beyond the blockage in not visible. During the angio, he would not be able to see the artery and he would have to work blindly. In such a case, the risk of perforation will be there. He has said that there will be a 1% chance that there may be perforation and the patient may die. He has asked us to decide whether we should allow him to take the risk. Alternately, he could be released without the angio and live the rest of his life on medicines. However, his life would not be normal as he would always be short of breath.
My mail to all of you who read my mails as there are many doctors amongst us also is to advise me if there are any procedures by which the clot in the artery can be removed/ dissolved whether by Allopathy, Homoepathy or any of the other pathys. I had read some years back that Escorts had started a process by which a saline spray was also used to clear clots. How true, I do not know.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Some more Mt Carmel boys

Another photograph sent by Br. Martin

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mt. Carmel Centenary

Dear Radheshyam,
Easter Greetings to you and your family.I know it is a Christian feast but Hope and Newness of Life is universal, and this is the message of Easter.
I was wondering if you could send the following message via your blog/'msgs from old boys', as I am not familiar with such tech.--

"Mt. Carmel, the Novitiate (Training house) of the Christian Brothers in Kurseong will be celebrating its Centenary in May this year. Many of those who joined Mt. Carmel in the 50's and 60's attended School in Goethals and would be known to quite a few ex-Goethalites. Not all persevered, but those of us who did, will be gathering in Mt Carmel for a couple of days of prayer, reminiscing,rejoicing and camaraderie. Those who studied in GMS and will be attending are: Br. Joe (Philip) Pinto (1962 batch), now Congregation Leader; Br. Stanny (Gerard) Alvarez(1961 batch)- Provincial Team member; Br. Ceddy (Greg) Fernandes (1961 batch); Br.Freddy (Martin) Fernandes (1963 batch); Br. Gordon (Francis) Gale, Br.Philip (Cyril) Christopher (1966 Batch), Br.Vinod (Gabriel) Thomas (1969 Batch). Apart from those of us who completed our schooling in GMS will be other CB's who passed through Carmel having completed their schooling in other CB Schools around the country. The oldest ex-Carmelite brother attending will be Br. Peter Gomez who joined Carmel in 1947. He is 86 years old!
Coincidentally five of us, Br. Joe Pinto,Br. Kevin Ward, Br. Al Ballantyne, Br. Ceddy Fernandes and Br. Freddy Fernandes will be celebrating their Golden Jubilee (50 years)as Christian Brothers. It will be an occasion for us to express our gratitude to God, the many Brothers who influenced our lives, the fine spirit that we enjoyed attending Goethals, especially the companionship our class-mates and also the many pupils in various schools whom we have taught - and learned from- over the years. We would very much appreciate a share in the prayers of all the GMS staff and students , past and present."

I'm attaching a few snaps which may be of interest.
God bless

With every good wish,

Br.F.Martin Fernandes, cfc
St.Mary's Orphanage

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Bhagavad Gita

Manish Shrivastava
Bhopal, Apr 22 (PTI)

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan''s directive to introduce ''Gita Saar'' in school curriculum has not gone down well, with the main Opposition Congress terming it as an attempt to "saffronise" the education system in the state.
Chouhan while reviewing the progress of the School Education Department yesterday directed officials to include ''Gita Saar'' from the Hindu holy epic Bhagvad Gita besides stories of valour of the freedom fighters like Tantya Bheel and Nayak Shankar Shah Raghunath Shah.
''Gita Saar'' is a condensed form of the teachings in the Bhagavad Gita.
"The main agenda behind the move is to saffronise the education system in the state. Schools are not meant for doing ''havans'' and ''Gita paath'' and we will oppose the move vociferously in the entire state," newly appointed Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly, Ajay Singh told PTI.
The Christian community also seemed to be not pleased with the move.
Archbishop of Bhopal, Father Leo Cornelio said, "The directives to introduce Gita Saar in the school curriculum is again an unnecessary interference on the part of the state government in the education system."
"We are a secular country with mutli-religion culture. Instead, it would have been better if the government encompasses all good things of every religion in a moral science book and introduce them in school curricula for the development of a holistic society," he added.
Endorsing the view, Congress MLA Arif Aqueel said now that the countdown for the BJP rule in the state has begun, it has again indulged in doing all those things which suits its agenda.
"Why just Gita and why do they not include teachings of other religions too. This proves that they are not secular," he said.
Earlier also they introduced Surya Namaskar in the system as part of their saffron agenda, the Congress leader pointed out.
Following opposition from minority institutions, participation in the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation exercise) was made voluntary by the government.
The minority community leaders opposed it on religious grounds while the Opposition dismissed the event as a case of misplaced priorities.
The Catholic Church went to the Madhya Pradesh High Court bringing to its notice that the order of the state government violates Section 25 to 30 of the Fundamental Rights of the Constitution under which the minority institutions are governed.

The Pseudo Secular brigade is at it again.
Anything which the BJP does is criticized as Saffronisation.
The Bhagavad Gita is a book which has been praised by people of all religion.
It has been praised by the father of the nation who the pseudo-secular brigade pay an annual homage on 2nd October every year and then throw him to the dustbin.
It is praised by the head of the clan to whom all congressmen swear, i.e J L Nehru and yet they find fault with the Gita
It has been praised by Albert Einstein and former Prime Minister of Canada and a host of other national and international figures. Some names with what they stated are given below.

For thousands of years, the Bhagavad Gita has inspired millions of readers. Here’s what some of the greats have to say in praise of this venerable scripture.
"When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous." ~ Albert Einstein
"The Bhagavad-Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested by actions." ~ Dr. Albert Schweizer
"The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing
value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity." ~ Aldous Huxley
"The Bhagavad-Gita is a true scripture of the human race a living creation rather than a book, with a new message for every age and a new meaning for every civilization." ~ Rishi Aurobindo
"The idea that man is like unto an inverted tree seems to have been current in by gone ages. The link with Vedic conceptions is provided by Plato in his Timaeus in which it states..." behold we are not an earthly but a heavenly plant." ~ Carl Jung
"In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial." ~ Henry David Thoreau
"The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of lifes wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion." ~ Herman Hesse
"The Bhagavad-Gita calls on humanity to dedicate body, mind and soul to pure duty and not to become mental voluptuaries at the mercy of random desires and undisciplined impulses."
"When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-Gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day."
~ Mahatma Gandhi
"The Bhagavad-Gita deals essentially with the spiritual foundation of human existence. It is a call of action to meet the obligations and duties of life; yet keeping in view the spiritual nature and grander purpose of the universe." ~ Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
"I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-Gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us."
"The Bhagavad-Gita is an empire of thought and in its philosophical teachings Krishna has all the attributes of the full-fledged montheistic deity and at the same time the attributes of the Upanisadic absolute." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
"In order to approach a creation as sublime as the Bhagavad-Gita with full understanding it is necessary to attune our soul to it." ~ Rudolph Steiner
"From a clear knowledge of the Bhagavad-Gita all the goals of human existence become fulfilled. Bhagavad-Gita is the manifest quintessence of all the teachings of the Vedic scriptures." ~ Adi Sankara
"The Bhagavad-Gita is not seperate from the Vaisnava philosophy and the Srimad Bhagavatam fully reveals the true import of this doctrine which is transmigation of the soul. On perusal of the first chapter of Bhagavad-Gita one may think that they are advised to engage in warfare. When the second chapter has been read it can be clearly understood that knowledge and the soul is the ultimate goal to be attained. On studying the third chapter it is apparent that acts of righteousness are also of high priority. If we continue and patiently take the time to complete the Bhagavad-Gita and try to ascertain the truth of its closing chapter we can see that the ultimate conclusion is to relinquish all the conceptualized ideas of religion which we possess and fully surrender directly unto the Supreme Lord." ~ Swami Prabhupada
"The secret of karma yoga which is to perform actions without any fruitive desires is taught by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita." ~ Vivekananda

Another objection which this pseudo-secularist brigade is the Suryanamashkar.
The physical base of the surya namashkar links together twelve asanas in a dynamically performed series. These asanas are ordered so that they alternately stretch the spine backwards and forwards. When performed in the usual way, each asana is moved into with alternate inhalation and exhalation (except for the sixth asana where the breath is held in external suspension). A full round of Surya namaskara is considered to be two sets of the twelve poses with a change in the second set to moving the opposite leg first through the series.
Proponents of the use of Surya namaskara as part of the modern yoga tradition prefer to perform it at sunrise, which the orthodox consider to be the most 'spiritually favorable' time of the day.
The sun as we know is the source of all life on this Earth. We have not seen God but we can feel His powers through the sun. Our health conscious scientists say our body requires vitamin D which we get in ample proportion from the sun. Hence these asanas are performed facing the sun.
Where does religion come in this?
Our pseudo-secularists will raise the saffron boogie just to divide the population for their vote banks.

On secular fatwas

The disdain with which leading lights of the anti-corruption movement - Mallika Sarabhai, Medha Patkar, Kavita Srivastava et al - are publicly threatening to dislodge Anna Hazare from the leadership role because he praised Narendra Modi's rural development work in Gujarat indicates that the poor man was only being used as a convenient symbol that can be discarded as arbitrarily as he was chosen to lead the 'movement'.

Human rights activists can retain their credibility only as long as they remain steadfastly non-partisan. To the person killed, it matters little whether the murderous mob was shouting 'Lal Salaam', 'Har Har Mahadev' or 'National Unity' as did the mobs that massacred over 10,000 Sikhs in north India following Indira Gandhi's assassination. However, the secular brigade shows a consistent soft corner for those who kill under the Maoist or communist banner as well as those who verbally profess secularism.

Narendra Modi's acts of commission and omission during the 2002 riots deserve the strongest of condemnations. Those crimes need to be impartially investigated and the guilty punished. Just as we are proud that our democratic system ensured a fair trial even for a publicly identified ISI-associated terrorist like Kasab, so also we should let the courts take the Gujarat trials to their logical conclusions.

Those who ask for Modi's head would do well to remember that hordes of Congressmen in Gujarat gleefully joined the BJP and RSS goons who went around massacring innocent people.

The overall track record of the Congress in this matter is no better, if not much worse, than that of the BJP. In addition to the 1984 massacre of Sikhs in north India, it masterminded numerous other riots through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. None of the killers of politically engineered riots in Meerut, Malliana, Bhiwandi, Bhagalpur, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Surat and scores of others were ever punished. The Congress also injected terrorism into Punjab by its covert support of Bhindranwale's Khalistani brigades in order to wrest control of the SGPC that presides over well-endowed gurdwaras. It did incalculable harm to the Sri Lankan Tamils by creating a Frankenstein's monster like the LTTE. The secessionist movement in Kashmir owes its origins and draws sustenance from the Congress party's penchant for rigging elections to install puppet chief ministers.

And yet, even those of us who genuinely want to see the guilty among Congress leaders pay for their crimes do recognise that there is a lot more to this premier national party than a legacy of mayhem and massacres. There are times when the Congress party has actually lived up to the highest values of Indian democracy and some of our best contemporary politicians have emerged from the Congress fold.

Due to their ideological predilections and cosy relationship with the Congress high command, most of those attacking Hazare have a history of acting as the fighting arm of the Congress against Modi and the BJP. But to declare Hazare a political untouchable because he is not as ideologically committed to their brand of secularism is to display deadly arrogance. One earns the moral right to criticise only when one has the moral courage to acknowledge the positive aspects or good deeds of those we condemn for specific evil actions. One should be able to condemn Modi for his role in the 2002 massacre and point to his many other blind spots and lapses, without feeling the need to deny his positive role in Gujarat leading the country in many vital areas such as assured power supply to all villages, measures for bringing down the maternal mortality rate by providing financial and other support for safe deliveries to poor women, and a 9.8% growth rate in agriculture while the rest of the country remains stuck at 2-3% growth. It is one of the few states where farmers at large are not at war with industry, where delivery mechanisms for government services have improved dramatically.

The manner in which Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi, the vice-chancellor of Darul Uloom of Deoband, was humiliated and asked to resign for stating that the development agenda of Modi is benefiting Muslims in equal measure shows that the 'secular' gang has acquired a vested interest in promoting a siege mentality among Muslims. The man they condemn as the 'maut ka saudagar' seems to have recognised the folly of promoting communal polarisation. He has not let another riot take place in Gujarat, a state which witnessed numerous caste and communal riots under Congress rule. In recent years, hundreds of Muslims have won municipal elections on BJP tickets. Democracy with its one-person, one-vote principle has tamed Narendra Modi. But those who don't need to get endorsement for their political posturing from citizens on whose behalf they speak, are not amenable to such self-correcting mechanisms.

The task of cleansing our polity of crime and corruption is not a battle between demons and angels. It requires taking the entire spectrum of political opinion on board including those who support Maoists or vote for Modi. Such a task cannot be done by those who harbour blind prejudice, and partisan agendas. It is best done by people of compassion, and humility; people who remain fair and non-partisan even when dealing with those they hate.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Army Life

West Virginia FARM KID in Marines (NOW AT San Diego MARINE CORPS RECRUIT

Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled.

I was restless at first because you get to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m. But I am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing.

Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there's warm water.

Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food, plus yours, holds you until noon when you get fed again. It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much.

We go on 'route marches,' which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it's not my place to tell him different. A 'route march' is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride around and frown. They don't bother you none.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don't know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don't move, and it ain't shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don't even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain't like fighting with that ole bull at home. I'm about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake . I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I'm only 5'6' and 130 pounds and he's 6'8' and near 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,


Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Foster Tigress

In a zoo in California , a mother tiger gave birth to a rare set of
triplet tiger cubs. Unfortunately, due to complications in the
pregnancy, the cubs were born prematurely and due to their tiny
size, they died shortly after birth.

The mother tiger after recovering from the delivery, suddenly
started to decline in health, although physically she was fine.

The veterinarians felt that the loss of her litter had caused
the tigress to fall into a depression. The doctors decided that
if the tigress could surrogate another mother's cubs, perhaps
she would improve..

After checking with many other zoos across the country, the
depressing news was that there were no tiger cubs of the right
age to introduce to the mourning mother. The veterinarians
decided to try something that had never been tried in a zoo
environment. Sometimes a mother of one species will take on
the care of a different species. The only'orphans' that could
be found quickly, were a litter of weanling pigs.

The zoo keepers and vets wrapped the piglets in tiger skin
and placed the babies around the mother tiger.
Would they become cubs or pork chops?

Take a look .. you won't believe your eyes!

Now, please tell me one more time ...
why can't the rest of the world get along?

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Knowledge tid-bits

A huge underground river runs underneath the Nile, with six times more water than the river above.*

*The USA uses 29% of the world's petrol and 33% of the world's electricity.*

*Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ear By 700 times.*

*The animal responsible for the most human deaths world-wide is the mosquito.*

*Right handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people.*

*We exercise at least 30 muscles when we smile.*

*Our nose is our personal air-conditioning system: it warms cold air, cools hot air and filters impurities.*

*People who ride on roller coasters have a higher chance of having a blood clot in the brain.*

*People with blue eyes see better in dark.*

*Money isn?t made out of paper; it is made out of cotton.*

*A tiny amount of liquor on a scorpion will make it go mad instantly and sting itself to death.*

*Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying. *

*Our brain is more complex than the most powerful computer and has over 100 billion nerve cells.*

*When a person dies, hearing is usually the first sense to go.*

*There is a great mushroom in Oregon that is 2,400 years old. It Covers 3.4 square miles of land and is still growing.*

*German Shepherds bite humans more than any other breed of dog.*

*The pupil of the eye expands as much as 45 percent when a person looks at something pleasing*

*Men's shirts have the buttons on the right, but women's shirts have the buttons on the left.*

*The reason honey is so easy to digest is that it's already been digested by a bee.*

*It cost 7 million dollars to build the Titanic and 200 million to make a film about it.*

*The sound you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually the sound of nitrogen gas bubbles bursting.*

*The only part of the body that has no blood supply is the cornea in the eye. It takes in oxygen directly from the air.

Indian sarpanch dazzles at UN meet



United Nations: There was a sense of disbelief among ministers and ambassadors from diverse nations when the chairperson of the 11th Info-Poverty World Conference held at the United Nations introduced the jeans-clad Chhavi Rajawat as head of a village in India.

For, from a distance one could easily mistake Rajawat, an articulate, computer-savvy woman, for a frontline model or at least a Bollywood actress. But she is sarpanch of Soda village, 60km from Jaipur, in backward Rajasthan and the changing face of growing dynamic rural India.

The 30-year-old Rajawat, India's youngest and the only MBA to become a village head - the position mostly occupied by elders, quit her senior management position with Bharti-Tele Ventures of Airtel Group to serve her beloved villagers as sarpanch.
Rajawat participated in a panel discussion at the two-day meet at the UN on March 24 and 25 on how civil society can implement its actions and spoke on the role of civil society in fighting poverty and promoting development.
It is necessary to re-think through various strategies of action that includes new technologies like e-services in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in an era where resources have become limited, she told the delegates of the international conference.

"If India continues to make progress at the same pace as it has for the past 65 years since independence, it just won't be good enough. We'll be failing people who dream about having water, electricity, toilets, schools and jobs. I am convinced we can do it differently and do it faster.
"In the past year alone, I and the villagers in Soda have brought about a radical change in the village purely through our own efforts. We have had no outside support - no NGO help, no public, nor private sector help," she said.

On achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Rajawat said she sought full support from outside agencies and the corporate world. "I thank United Nations office for Partnerships (UNOP) which had deputed its senior adviser in India Mr Babu Lal Jain to visit Soda and extend all support in the opening of the first bank in the village. That made all the difference."
"In three years I will transform my village. I don't want money. I want people and organizations to adopt projects in my village as often projects fail owing to lack of a local connect and that is what I am here to provide by bridging that gap.
"I want the conference to help bring about faster change so that this generation can enjoy that kind of life that I - and you in this audience - take for granted," she said to thunderous cheers from the delegates.
After her session, Rajawat told Press Trust of India: "It (service to villagers) has been a journey to my roots. This was not pre-planned. I am paying my debt to the village where I grew up."

Prior to becoming sarpanch of Soda which has a population of 10,000 people who are predominantly dependant on agriculture, Rajawat was looking after 'Kailrugji, The Hotel' - a family-run hospitality business in Jaipur.
Rajawat, who rides a horse named Magic, conducts village meetings dressed in jeans and T-shirt in a state where women cover their face with a veil as part of the tradition. "It should change. There is so much one can do to break the barriers," she says.
"My business management degree is helping me take care of the village administration and infuse a fresh blood. I am not thinking this as a career but sort of social work," she says.
"... my focus is on bringing safe drinking water and increasing job opportunities in the village by involving NGOs," says Rajawat, who works seven days a week for the welfare of her village. "There is so much to be done."
Rajawat found to her dismay that the school system was bad beyond description. "Each school has only two or three teachers for a total of 400-500 students. I want to get a private college in the village and have identified 75 acres of land for construction. I am working with non-resident Rajasthanis and have urged them to come and start a college in my village."

Rajawat was also invited to the India Today Youth Summit 2010 and shared the platform with eminent persons such as Nandan Nilekani, Viswanathan Anand, Sachin Pilot, Sourav Ganguly, Katrina Kaif, Jaideep Sahni, Sanjeev Sanyal and Mukul Deora.
"I am just a village girl who has had an opportunity to study in some of the best institutions in the country and has only gone back home to work with and for her people. It's as simple as that. Don't run away from your roots because that is your foundation and the nation's foundation too. If you want to make a difference, you have got to start at the bottom. There is so much one can do," she says.

Source: PTI

Sent by Arun Shroff

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yashwant Sinha Fasting

Sinha''s sit-in enters second day
PTI – Mon, Apr 18, 2011 11:18 AM IST

Ranchi, April 18 (PTI) Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha''s indefinite sit-in demanding rehabilitation for families displaced in an ongoing anti-encroachment drive here, entered the second day today.
Sinha, who is on the sit-in with his supporters at Birsa Chowk, had asked the government yesterday to deal with encroachment properly and to rehabilitate the displaced families. He said the state could approach the High Court to find a way.
The BJP leader had said he had no differences of opinion with the Arjun Munda government.
The anti-encroachment drive was taken up a fortnight ago on the orders of the Jharkhand High Court.
On April 5, the police opened fire at Islam Nagar during a clash with locals resulting in the death of two persons.
Union Tourism Minister and Congress leader Subodh Kant Sahay had staged a sit-in at Islam Nagar that day and demanded rehabilitation before demolition was carried out.
Chief Minister Arjun Munda had said on Friday that bringing an ordinance was among plans to find a solution to the issue.

This encroachment which we see in all cites is the result of population rising unchecked in India.While China has introduced the 1 child norm, India is still dragging its feet for fear of antagonising the Muslim population.
We are seeing encroachments on all streets in Kolkata.
The hawkers are encroaching on the footpaths and the auto rickshaw encroach the streets and the pedestrian has no place to walk.
The politicians raise populist slogans to appease these vote banks.
I agree that these people are poor and this is their only source of income.
But by not bringing a halt to the increase in their population we will soon see all our cities footpaths swarmed by hawkers.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Then & Now

Some memorable photographs sent by Pradeep Mohan

Wedding Photographs - Beautiful Brides?

Sent by Keith Hayward

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Timeless Clock

A man died and went to heaven.
As he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him.

He asked, 'What are all those clocks?'

St. Peter answered, 'Those are Lie-Clocks.
Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock.

Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move.'

'Oh,' said the man, 'whose clock is that?'

'That's Mother Teresa's. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie.'

'Incredible,' said the man. 'And whose clock is that one?'

St. Peter responded, 'That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abe told only two lies in his entire life.'

'Where's President OBama's clock?' asked the man.
Obama's clock is in Jesus' office.
He's using it as a ceiling fan.

Sent by Prakash Bhartia.
See how jokes change with time and country.
In the Indian version of the joke, Lalu Yadav replaced Obama.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Supreme Court grants bail to Binayak Sen

Supreme Court grants bail to Binayak Sen
By ANI | ANI – Fri, Apr 15, 2011 1:27 PM IST

New Delhi, Apr 15 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to civil rights activist Binayak Sen, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of sedition and for having links with the Naxalites.
Sen, 61, had challenged a Chhattisgarh High Court order that rejected his bail plea on February 10.
He sought bail contending that the trial court had erred in convicting him without substantial evidence.
Binayak Sen had filed a petition in the Chhattisgarh High Court on January 6, challenging a district and sessions court order that had convicted him on various charges, including sedition, and had sentenced him to life imprisonment.
A Raipur Sessions Court had on December 24 last year held Sen and three other people guilty of treason and for waging war against the state. He was also found guilty of sedition.
Sen was arrested in Chhattisgarh in 2007 and was granted bail two years later. Binayak Sen is a recipient of Jonathan Mann Award in 2008 while still in prison. (ANI)

Let us hope he is now freed.
Instead of taking action to improve the lot of the adivasis, the government prosecutes those who high light their plight.
No wonder Maoism flourishes

Parable from South African Friend

A Priest dies and is awaiting his turn in line at the Heaven's Gates. Ahead of him is a dude fashionably dressed, in dark sun glasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket & jeans.

God asks him: Please tell me who you are, so that I may know whether to admit you into the kingdom of Heaven or not.

The Guy replies: I am Malayalee , Kerala State Road Transport Co (KSRTC) a bus driver from Kerala!!!

God consults his ledger…...........smiles and says to the Mallu:
"Please take this silken robe and gold scarf and enter the Kingdom of Heaven..."

Now it is the Priest's turn. He stands erect and speaks out in a booming voice:
"I am Bishop and and have been a Priest of the largest parish in Durban for the last 40 years.

God consults his ledger & says to the Priest: "Please take this Cotton Robe and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.."

'Just a minute' says the amazed Priest.

'How is it that a foul mouthed, common Driver is given a silken robe "and" golden scarf
and me, a Priest, who's spent his whole life preaching your Name and Goodness has to make do with a just a simple cotton robe?

"Ahh" shrugs the Lord..... 'Results my friend....., Results'.. chuckle, chuckle...

'While you preached, people "slept"; but when he drove, people "prayed"


Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Thursday, April 14, 2011

5 Riddles


1. A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires. The second is full of assassins with loaded guns. The third is full of lions that haven't eaten in 3 years. Which room is safest for him?

2. A woman shoots her husband. Then she holds him under water for over 5 minutes. Finally, she hangs him. But 5 minutes later they both go out together and enjoy a wonderful dinner together. How can this be?

3. What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away?

4. Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday?

5. This is an unusual paragraph. I'm curious as to just how quickly you can find out what is so unusual about it. It looks so ordinary and plain that you would think nothing was wrong with it. In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is highly unusual though. Study it and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd. But if you work at it a bit, you might find out. Try to do so without any coaching!




1. The third room. Lions that haven't eaten in three years are dead. That one was easy, right?

2. The woman was a photographer. She shot a picture of her husband, developed it, and hung it up to dry (shot; held under water; and hung).

3. Charcoal, as it is used in barbecuing.

4. Sure you can name three consecutive days, yesterday, today, and tomorrow!

5. The letter e, which is the most common letter used in the English language, does not appear even once in the paragraph.

Sent by Arun Shroff


A handful of 7 year old children were asked what they thought of beer. There were some interesting responses, but the last one is especially touching.

'I think beer must be good. My dad says the more beer he drinks the prettier my mum gets.'
--Tim, 7 years old

'Beer makes my dad sleepy and we get to watch what we want on television when he is asleep, so beer is nice.'
--Melanie, 7 years old

'My Mum and Dad both like beer. My Mum gets funny when she drinks it and takes her top off at parties, but Dad doesn't think this is very funny.'
--Grady, 7 years old

''My Mum and Dad talk funny when they drink beer and the more they drink the more they give kisses to each other, which is a good thing.'
--Toby, 7 years old

'My Dad gets funny on beer. He is funny. He also wets his pants sometimes, so he shouldn't have too much.
--Sarah, 7 years old

'My Dad loves beer. The more he drinks, the better he dances. One time he danced right into the pool.'
--Lily, 7 years old

'I don't like beer very much. Every time Dad drinks it, he burns the sausages on the barbecue and they taste disgusting.'
--Ethan, 7 years old

'I give Dad's beer to the dog and he goes to sleep.'
--Shirley, 7 years old


'My Mum drinks beer and she says silly things and picks on my father. Whenever she drinks beer she yells at Dad and tells him to go bury his bone down the street again, but that doesn't make any sense.'
--Jack, 7 years

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Letter to Sonia Gandhi - Comment 1

Dear Ajit

Thanks for your mail which I have perused very carefully.

You have called Mr Bajaj`s mail vulgar. As a quintessential Bengali Bhadralok that is your prerogative.
In my opinion it is neither vulgar nor out of place. It is a statement of facts and all SOLUTIONS start
with a SATATEMENT OF FACTS. The letter could be termed vulgar if you could dispute any of the facts stated therein.

In the context of the functioning of our Nation can we consider the following for its extreme content of vulgarity :

AA After 64 years of Independence over 70%% of INDIANS are under the poverty line : Isn`t that vulgar.
And our Finance Ministry boasts of a 8.5 % GDP growth.

BB We have Billions maybe Trillions of Dollars stashed away by corrupt Politicians in Swiss & other foreign Banks
and our Finance Minister is hoodwinking the citizens saying there are some technical difficulties for not issuing a
letter from the Indian Government to these banks asking for complete disclosure. This wealth belongs to the National Exchequer.
And nothing substantial seems to be done to bring it back : Isn`t that vulgar.

Note : There is a news item in today`s papers where the Federal Revenue Dept of the USA has asked HSBC Bank in
India for complete disclosure with statements of American Citizens holding accounts to enable them zero in on
Tax evasions they may have made in the USA. Why cannot the Indian Govt also write such letter/s.

CC We as a Nation have been thrust with a President manipulated in place by Mrs Sonia Gandhi, who , I have not met
a single person till now, has voiced any respect for her or her abilities : Isn`t that vulgar.

DD We have a Prime Minister whose cv read like a dream cv when he started but has turned out to be a stooge and puppet of Mrs Sonia
Gandhi : Isn`t that vulgar.

Ajit, I think we Indians have had enough. History says that the only thing Julius Ceasar was afraid of was the mob of Rome.
The last King of Afghanistan was hung from a lamppost just outside his palace …. it was done by the mob. Anna Hazare has the people
of India supporting him from all directions. You can also call this the mob if you like. I will call it the Voice of the Citizens. I think we need something
drastic and it is bound to happen if our Leaders don`t wake up to the call of the Nation against corruption.
Maybe that will be a wake up call for the rest of the CORRUPT.
Maybe after that the 70% figure in my Sr AA above will move down to 40% and then to 30% and further down.
Remember an old saying `` THE ROT ALWAYS SETS ON THE TOP ``.

If you do not agree to what I have written, we can always agree to disagree.


Letter to Sonia Gandhi

Dear Partha,

CORRUPTION in India is defying a solution. It is not difficult to give a list of corrupt practices that we have come across in our day to day work. You can see for yourself that Mr. Prakash Bajaj, too, has not given a solution for this malaise.

Mr. Prakash Bajaj should not have written such a vulgar letter to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. There should be a certain level of decorum while writing letters to Heads of State or national leaders.

I do not claim to have a solution for this malaise. People give bribes to secure work orders, water connections, housing plan sanctions, admissions to schools, railway tickets and what not. Maybe a good education coupled with a compulsory nation building service before graduation would make responsible citizens. This system may take a decade or two to show results.

With regards.

Ajit Kumar Roy.

LETTER TO Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, From Typical mouse from Mumbai
7 Apr 2011

Dear Mrs. Sonia Gandhi

Hello from typical mouse from Mumbai. After Mumbai attack I had written a letter to Mr. Manmohan Singh, with the hope that at least once in life time he will behave like Sardar who were always in forefront of protecting the nation, but he has turn out to be worse than a mouse. I realize you are the king maker, hence I am addressing this letter to you.

Today you requested Mr Anna Hazare to end his fast. For last one month Mr. Hazare had been writing to you and PM, none of you even bothered to reply. Suddenly you realize that every Indian is with him, and that is the reason you decided to request Mr. Anna Hazare to end his fast.

Let me ask you few simple questions.
Why one of the best presidents that is Dr. Abdul Kalam was removed? Isn’t it because he had objected to your becoming Prime minster? In the disguise of giving gift of woman president you selected Mr. Pratibha Patil, her only qualification is that she used to do dishes for Late Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Royalty to Gandhi family never goes unrewarded. If you were concerned with welfare of Indian people you would have selected person like Ms. Kiran Bedi, but you wanted a perfect rubber stamp just like Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Coming back to issue of corruption.
Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh has destroyed Mumbai. In the disguise of giving house to homeless he kept on increasing FSI to help builders, so that all the money can be sent to Delhi & Congress can fight election. In last eight year prices of flats has increased three times and now AAM ADAMI cannot even dream of having his own house. Same Vilasrao Deshmukh was fined Rs 10 laks by Supreme Court for helping money lender who was charging poor farmer interest of 10% per month that is 120% per year! Instead of taking action against Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh he was made rural minister. Funds allotted for rural development is Rs 4 Lakh crore and who could have better person than Mr. Deshmukh to divert the fund to Delhi ?

More than a year has passed. Since Suresh Kalmadhi ‘s role in CWG scam has been exposed. Till today he is roaming free. How long this drama of CBI interrogations will go on?

Then there is Mr. Rane, minister from Maharashtra . Mumbai high court has passed severe stricture against him for snatching land from poorest of poor and giving it to industrial house. Even Mrs. Indira Gandhi who was never known for her honesty did take action against a former chief minister when he was indicted by high court for corruption, but you who advocate zero corruption did not utter a single word and Mr. Rane continues to be honorable minister.

There were truck load of corruption charges against Ms. Mayawati, they were dropped when she supported your party during no confidence motion. If you call this helplessness of coalition government, then what about helplessness of a poor person who steals bread for his children, what’s about helplessness of government servant who takes bribe so he can send his children to good school, what’s about helplessness of an officer who cannot afford to buy house in south Mumbai so he indulge in act of corruption?

Hasan Ali is highest income tax evader not only in history of India but the whole word. Till today he has not been even charged. He has given name of three chief ministers who has helped him. So far no action is being taken against them. We keep on reading that he as support of senior minister from Maharashtra . Why you are silent on this issue?

In 2G scam besides losing huge money, just think of opportunity lost by our young and brilliant scientist & engineers to be at par with the world. We are second to none in this world, but this cancer of corruption has ruined our body, our mind & our soul.

Last but not least , what’s about crores & crores of rupees with Swiss bank. How long your finance minister will keep on fooling us? Just with help of a simple SMS sent by Swiss bank, American government could force Swiss bank to reveal the name of account holder, why Indian government cannot do anything. Reason is very simple, if anybody is punished he will reveal the name of all politicians and bureaucrats involved. There is proverb in Hindi “Teri bhi Chup, meri bhi Chup” meaning you keep quiet and I will also keep quiet.

There is not even iota of resemblance between your word and your action. I will rather trust a prostitute who tells that she is a virgin, rather than trusting your word about zero corruption.

So much I love India and love my people. I wish my best of best luck to Mr. Anna Hazare. I hope every Indian writes on every currency note that “WE SUPPORT ANNA HAZARE”. If not the voice of people at least these currency notes will reach your corrupt ministers and the parties who are supporting your government.

With regards

Prakash B Bajaj
104 Chandralok “A”
95 Nepean Sea Road
Mumbai 400 036
Phone: 098210-71194

The above letter has been forwarded by Ajit Roy.
It just gives a tip of the feelings welling up within the masses in India against corruption.
Hazare's fast against the Lokpal bill was just symbolic.
He has started from the top as corruption starts from the top and trickles to all levels depending upon the power which that level wields and the interaction they have with the public.
Once the top politicians and bureaucrats become honest they can make the others honest too.
See what is happening in Gujarat?
Narendra Modi does not take money and he does not allow anybody else to take money.
No wonder, Gujarat has the highest development in India


A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax.

Ø I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

Ø Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

Ø I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

Ø Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

Ø The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.

Ø Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Ø If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

Ø We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

Ø War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

Ø Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Ø The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Ø Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

Ø To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

Ø A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

Ø How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

Ø Some people are like Slinkies ... not really good for anything, but you can't help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.

Ø Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

Ø I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay checks.

Ø A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it.

Ø Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR".

Ø I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

Ø I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on I said "Implants?"

Ø Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Ø Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are

Ø Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America ?

Ø Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

Ø A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

Ø You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

Ø The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

Ø Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.

Ø A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.

Ø Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.

Ø Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

Ø I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.

Ø Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

Ø I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.

Ø I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.

Ø When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

Ø You're never too old to learn something stupid.

Ø To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

Ø Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Ø Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

Ø A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.

Ø Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Sent by Prakaash Bhartia

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

India’s costly culture of corruption

The following article is from The Washington Post forwarded by Subhas Sen

Steven Pearlstein

The perfect metaphor for the new India can be found on the new highway connecting this stately capital and Gurgaon, a Tysons Corner-like edge city of gleaming office buildings, shopping malls and high-rise condominiums in various states of construction that is already home to 3 million aspiring young professionals.

The high-speed roadway, part of India’s infrastructure boom, boasts four lanes in each direction. Most of the time, however, there are five lanes of traffic — testimony not only to how fast the Indian economy is growing but also to the Indian penchant for crossing lines and ignoring rules that get in the way of their ambitions.

Traffic lawlessness is a small problem for India. The much bigger one — the one everyone is talking about these days — is corruption.
The telecom minister is in jail, awaiting trial on charges that he sold wireless spectrum to many of the country’s biggest business groups for billions of dollars less than it was worth. His top aide recently hanged himself, and once-celebrated billionaire oligarchs are now being hauled before investigators.
Several-billion dollars have turned up in the foreign bank account of a politically connected businessman, said to be just a fraction of all the political “black money” that is laundered through tax havens such as Mauritius before returning to India disguised as foreign direct investment.

The government’s nominee to head an ethics watchdog commission was so ethically challenged that the Supreme Court had to step in to block his nomination, even as a former chief justice is now the subject of criminal investigation.
And if all that weren’t bad enough, one of the icons of the Indian diaspora, Raj Gupta — former managing director of McKinsey & Co., director of Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble, founder and chairman of the Indian Institute of Business — has been caught on tape providing inside information to hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam.
“The sheer size and audacity of this corruption has shocked the nation,” said G.V.L. Narsimha Rao, a political pollster.

Well, maybe not shocked, exactly.
After all, this is a country where people of a certain age still remember when you had to bribe somebody to get a train ticket, a phone line or government approval for a new piece of business equipment. The “License Raj,” and the petty bribery that it gave rise to, were said to have ended in 1991 with the market liberalization and deregulation pushed through by then-Finance Minister Manmohan Singh.

Twenty years later, Singh is prime minister, but it is still not uncommon to hear of people greasing palms to get a college scholarship, tax refund or mortgage from a state-owned bank. By various estimates, 15 to 50 percent of government subsidies for the poor are siphoned off because of fraud. Among the upper middle class, it is common to have two phone lines at home, in case one of the lines is cut by workers in the state phone monopoly looking to extract a bribe for reconnecting it.

Vinod Mehta, editor of Outlook, the Time magazine of India, explains that a web of restrictive laws governing the use and transfer of land make anything real estate-related a target-rich environment for bribery, and accounts for most of the corruption. Real estate developers report that the under-the-table costs of expediting the dozens of approvals can run into seven figures for major projects.
Backlog at the courts

The judiciary comes in for particular criticism. Not only are lower-level trial judges notoriously underpaid, incompetent and corrupt — the three are all of a piece — but there aren’t nearly enough of them to handle the volume of commercial disputes. By one estimate, it would take Indian courts 300 years to work off the current backlog at the rate cases are being decided. With little prospect for timely enforcement, contracts can be almost meaningless. Mumbai super-lawyer Zia Mody says deals involving foreign investors often shift dispute resolution to arbitration panels — in Singapore.

These are all reminders that, for all its progress in recent years, India’s economy remains very much an insider’s game. A recent study by two American business school professors confirmed that much of the formal economy continues to be run by a couple dozen family-controlled groups that seem to be in just about every major industry — manufacturing, retail, energy, infrastructure, shipping, construction and telecom.
Such family-controlled conglomerates are common in fast-growing countries — think of Japan’s kiretsu or South Korea’s chaibols. In developing markets, they can be effective for channeling capital and talent to their highest and best use and speeding the introduction of modern technology and management. But now that the
Indian economy has opened and matured, the more enduring competitive advantage seems to be leveraging their political knowledge and connections in the many sectors where government licenses, approvals and industrial policies are still major factors. Akhil Gupta, who heads the Blackstone office in India, said that’s why multinational corporations continue to seek them out as partners before entering the Indian market.

The business of politics
Politics, too, is viewed as very much of a business, enriching elected officials and bureaucrats even as it provides the cash necessary to finance elections. The law, for example, limits campaign spending for a seat in the national parliament to roughly $50,000. The actual spending on a typical race is said to be many times that — and nobody doubts how the gap is filled.

The political business is also a family business, whether at the village, state or national level. Since independence, India’s national government has been dominated, with only one interruption, by a Congress Party that has been under the control of Jawaharal Nehru and his descendents, from daughter Indira Gandhi to her son Rajiv to his Italian-born widow, Sonia, with her son Rahul waiting in the wings.
Politicians talk a good game about cleaning up corruption — they just never get around to doing anything about it. Nor is it clear, says Shobana Bhartia, publisher of the Hindustan Times, that the great mass of Indian voters would reward them if they did.

Campaign pledge: A free color TV
Not unlike their politicians, Indian voters tend to view politics and government through the lens of “what’s in it for me.” For decades, politicians in many regions have won and held office by promising to provide subsidized rice and cooking fuel, but as the country has gotten richer, so has the cost of bribing the voters. After the last election in the state of Tamil Nadu, for example, the winning party made good on its promise to deliver to each household a free color TV, roughly 15 million so far. This bit of government largess also did wonders for the local cable television franchises, which just happen to be owned by the family of the party leader. In the next campaign, to be decided in a few weeks, the platform includes a food processor for the lady of every house.

Of course, many developing economies and democracies go through their robber baron and ward boss phases. But writer and former diplomat Pavan Varma suggests that the persistence of corruption here also reflects a strain of amorality in the Indian character: a willingness to tolerate corner-cutting and rule-breaking in the successful pursuit of wealth and power.
“Corruption, of course, is not unique to India,” he writes in “Being Indian.” “What is unique is the level of its acceptance, and the ‘creative’ ways in which it is sustained. Indians do not subscribe to antiseptic definitions of rectitude. . . . Their understanding of right and wrong is related far more to efficacy than absolute notions of morality.”

If there is any hope for changing these attitudes, it probably rests with India’s prosperous and fast-growing tech sector, where companies and employees play more by global than Indian rules, and the technology holds promise of bringing more honesty and transparency to governance.

At, Indians can look up the going rate for getting a daughter into college or winning a job transfer from the government-run hospital system, all based on the self-reported experience of the site’s users. Cities are even ranked by the size of the average bribe paid there.

Technology for ‘intractable’ issues
Nadan Nilekani, a founder of Infosys, is heading a fascinating and potentially game-changing project to reduce the rampant fraud in the administration of social programs for the poor. The Unique Identification Authority aims to get 600 million Indians to register their fingerprints and retina scans over the next three years that can be used to ensure that welfare payments, farm subsidies and scholarships wind up only in bank accounts of the people for whom they are intended. The biometric database will be 10 times larger than any in existence, and Nilekani says that gathering it and making it work represents a considerable political and technological challenge. At a total cost of $1.2 billion, or $2 per enrollee, it holds the prospect of eliminating billions of dollars worth of fraud every year.
“We will use the most modern technology to solve the most intractable problems,” said the rupee-a-day billionaire who reports to work each day at a drab government office building in Delhi.

Meanwhile, the state of Gujurat is using the Internet to bring transparency to the billions of dollars in infrastructure investments that it is making each year, so everyone can see what is being spent and what is being approved. Residents will be able to keep track of how much the government is paying to individual landowners to acquire and assemble the land necessary to locate new industrial plants and develop new cities, and how the payments are calculated.

Indeed, under the direction of its popular and apparently incorruptible chief minister, Narendra Modi, Gujurat’s government may have taken the lead in wiping out big-ticket bribery. That, anyway, is the testimony of business executives I spoke with, along with many others who line up to sing Modi’s praises at the regularly convened “Vibrant Gujurat” conference, where more than $450 billion in private investments were announced in January. With an economy that is growing at twice the rate of some other states, Gujurat may finally be providing Indians with the hard evidence of what their culture of corruption is costing them.

Among many in the business and governmental elite, there is a belief that India is approaching something of an inflection point, an awareness that its impressive growth cannot continue much longer unless it reforms its governance, its business culture and its institutional arrangements.
“We can’t take 20 years to deal with our inability to shed our feudal past and embrace political and economic relationships that are governed by the rule of law,” says Sanjeev Sanyal, a former bank economist who now writes about the environment and urban development. “This is the crisis of India.”

Monday, April 11, 2011

Love The Irish

Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, 'Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey!'

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

Paddy looked up again and said, 'Never mind, I found one.'

Father Murphy walks into a pub in Donegal, and asks the first man he meets, 'Do you want to go to heaven?'

The man said, 'I do, Father.'

The priest said, 'Then stand over there against the wall.'

Then the priest asked the second man, 'Do you want to go to heaven?'

'Certainly, Father,' the man replied.

'Then stand over there against the wall,' said the priest.

Then Father Murphy walked up to O'Toole and asked, 'Do you want to go to heaven?'

O'Toole said, 'No, I don't Father.'

The priest said, 'I don't believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don't want to go to heaven?'

O'Toole said, 'Oh, when I die , yes. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now.'

Paddy was in New York .He was patiently waiting and watching the traffic cop on a busy street crossing. The cop stopped the flow of traffic and shouted, 'Okay, pedestrians.' Then he'd allow the traffic to pass.

He'd done this several times, and Paddy still stood on the sidewalk.

After the cop had shouted, 'Pedestrians!' for the tenth time, Paddy went over to him and said, 'Is it not about time ye let the Catholics across?'


Gallagher opened the morning newspaper and was dumbfounded to read in the obituary column that he had died. He quickly phoned his best friend, Finney.

'Did you see the paper?' asked Gallagher. 'They say I died!!'

'Yes, I saw it!' replied Finney. 'Where are ye callin' from?'


An Irish priest is driving down to New York and gets stopped for speeding in Connecticut . The state trooper smells alcohol on the priest's breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car.

He says, 'Sir, have you been drinking?'

'Just water,' says the priest.

The trooper says, 'Then why do I smell wine?'

The priest looks at the bottle and says, 'Good Lord! He's done it again!'


Walking into the bar, Mike said to Charlie the bartender, 'Pour me a stiff one - just had another fight with the little woman.'

'Oh yeah?' said Charlie, 'And how did this one end?'

'When it was over,' Mike replied, 'She came to me on her hands and knees.'

'Really,' said Charles, 'Now that's a switch! What did she say?'

She said, 'Come out from under the bed, you little chicken.'


Patton staggered home very late after another evening with his drinking buddy, Paddy. He took off his shoes to avoid waking his wife, Kathleen.

He tiptoed as quietly as he could toward the stairs leading to their upstairs bedroom, but misjudged the bottom step. As he caught himself by grabbing the banister, his body swung around and he landed heavily on his rump. A whiskey bottle in each back pocket broke and made the landing especially painful.

Managing not to yell, Patton sprung up, pulled down his pants, and looked in the hall mirror to see that his butt cheeks were cut and bleeding. He managed to quietly find a full box of Band-Aids and began putting a Band-Aid as best he could on each place he saw blood.

He then hid the now almost empty Band-Aid box and shuffled and stumbled his way to bed..

In the morning, Patton woke up with searing pain in both his head and butt and Kathleen staring at him from across the room.

She said, 'You were drunk again last night weren't you?'

Patton said, 'Why you say such a mean thing?'

'Well,' Kathleen said, 'it could be the open front door, it could be the broken glass at the bottom of the stairs, it could be the drops of blood trailing through the house, it could be your bloodshot eyes, but mostly ....... it's all those Band-Aids stuck on the hall mirror.

Bless the Irish. If it weren't for them, there would be very few jokes. Or for that matter, the Scotchman, or the Sardarjee, or the marwari, or the madrassi or the Jews or, or. Well if there was no human race, there would be no jokes.
Only the hyena would laugh.

Thes may have been posted earlier but they are worth a second laugh

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Centre sees Spooks

Centre sees hand of bigger forces
New Delhi, April 8: A section of the government suspects that “bigger forces” are using the fight against corruption to achieve their “not-so-noble goals” perhaps even unknown to Anna Hazare.

Although nobody would go on record, senior functionaries said in private that the destabilising games of some corporate and even international players were behind “the entire show”.

“The RSS and other anti-Congress elements might have jumped in with their own little vested interests but the real players are acting from behind the scenes,” a senior government functionary said.

The government did not speak about “these forces” publicly because its prime objective is to end the agitation, growing in size and appeal by the day.

Top ministers were reluctant to give in to what they saw as “anti-democratic demands” of the protesters, but sources said Congress president Sonia Gandhi was desperate to draw the curtains on this politically damaging television-induced movement.

The issue was discussed at a meeting attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, her political secretary Ahmed Patel and ministers Pranab Mukherjee and Kapil Sibal.

The government does not see this agitation in isolation, the sources said, arguing that the “destabilisation games” began months ago.

“The forces exploited the general cynicism among the middle class caused by a series of scandals with the sole aim of pulling down this government,” a senior leader said, admitting that Hazare might not have had any inkling about these designs.

“Like many well-meaning boys and girls from our society, even seasoned players sometimes become pawns in the hands of invisible forces,” the leader said.

In the highest echelons of the government there is a feeling that “a deliberate attempt to disrupt emerging economies and markets” has been at play for quite some time. But the leaders chose not to clearly articulate their fears.

Although not willing to debate these questions at this stage, many senior ministers are asking in private how the “robust back-up” — the endless media coverage, the logistics or the mobilisation — was organised in such short time.

In official circles there is fierce speculation that a section of corporate groups unhappy with the government are playing a role.

There is also surprise at the anti-corruption drive bearing a strong anti-Congress tenor.

Schoolchildren in uniform were paraded at Jantar Mantar, with teachers guiding them to shout anti-Sonia slogans, and all the pamphlets and bills being distributed at the protest site relate to the Congress.

“It is interesting to find no pamphlet on the BJP, no word on corruption in BJP-ruled states, no mention of tainted politicians from other parties,” a senior Congress leader said.

One pamphlet said: “Sonia Gandhi Bharat Chhor, Sab ghotalon aur bhastrachar ki naag mata Sonia Gandhi, asli naam Antonia Maino.”

It is difficult to believe Hazare or his supporters Arvind Kejriwal, Swami Agnivesh or Kiran Bedi would speak such language.

The above is from the Telegraph.

It seems the government is seeing a spook everywhere and blaming everybody but themselves.
The fail to realize that this is a spontaneous outburst just like the public public against the government after 26/11 attack on India by Pak sponsored mercenaries.
They fail to understand that the people are fed-up with the corruption existing in all walks of life because it is sponsored by the government and its allies.
If one person by the name of J L Nehru had taken action against Pratap Singh Kairon when that person was involved in miscellaneous corruption charges, the small germ at that point would not have blown up to such epidemic proportion that the very foundation of India is being dis-stabilized.
With China breathing ominously down our necks, ready to attack at any time, our government wasted time. They delayed just as they did when the 2G scam was first exposed. It was only when Jayalalita agreed to back the government that they got the courage to ask the corrupt minister Raj to resign.
Similarly when the government saw opposition politicians supporting Anna, the government got cold feet and bowed down.

Dr Ketan (Korrupt) Desai - 2

Experts From USA Will Testify Via Internet Conferencing - SC passes historic judgment in Anuradha Saha Case

In a historic judgment that will have far-reaching consequences in bringing justice for the hapless victims of “medical negligence” in India, the Supreme Court division bench of Justices Mr. Dalveer Bhandari and Mr. Deepak Verma has directed on April 7, 2011 that opinions of Prof. John Burke, Economic expert from Cleveland and Prof. John Broughton, noted psychologist from Columbia University in New York, must be recorded by videoconferencing through the Internet (Skype) within 4 weeks to determine the amount of compensation to be paid by the three senior Kolkata doctors (medicine specialists Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee, Balaram Prasad and dermatologist Dr. Baidyanath Halder) and Advanced Medicare Research Institute (AMRI) Hospital in Kolkata in the highest-ever compensation claim in Indian medico-legal history.

The judgment passed by the Apex Court allowing to record foreign experts’ opinions through the Internet will have important implications on “medical negligence” and other relevant cases in the future in India. Victims of medical negligence would now be able to obtain opinions from medical experts in USA/UK or other foreign countries through videoconferencing using the free modern technology of the Internet. Foreign experts may also testify through the Internet about corruption and ethical violation by the devious members of the medical community in India.

A major obstacle in finding justice against the negligent doctors in India has been the unwillingness of the Indian doctors to testify against their errant medical colleagues.

In view of today’s judgment by the Apex Court, cases against the delinquent medicos will no longer be dismissed due to the lack of expert medical witnesses.

The above has been posted on the PBT site

One should read the articles on this site . They mainly deal with corruption in the medical profession

Dr Ketan(Korrupt) Desai

Supreme Court Issues Notice Against Ketan Desai’s Election in Gujarat Univ. Senate
Written by pbtindia on March 27, 2011

In a major development that would have important implications on future of healthcare in India, the Supreme Court division bench of Justices Mr. G.S. Singhvi and Mr. A.K. Ganguly has admitted PBT’s appeal today (March 28, 2011) challenging Gujarat High Court’s dismissal of our PIL last December and issued notices to Dr. Ketan Desai and Gujarat University (GU) as to why Dr. Desai’s “unopposed” election to the GU Senate would not be cancelled (see some of the published news below).

While still president of the Medical Council of India (MCI), Dr. Desai was arrested on April 23, 2010 by the CBI for taking bribes from a private medical college. He is now free on bail but still facing a criminal trial.

On our complaint, the MCI cancelled Dr. Desai’s medical registration on October 9, 2010 but he was elected to the GU Senate anyway in a post which is reserved for registered medical doctors.

Ironically, the Gujarat HC dismissed our PIL on the ground that since PBT president is a non-resident Indian (NRI), he may not have any “public interest” for people living in India. The Gujarat HC even imposed a penalty of Rs. 10,000/- against PBT seemingly for bringing a frivolous PIL against Dr. Desai.

The direction by the Apex Court today stops Dr. Desai from his sinister attempt of regaining control of the Indian healthcare system. The Apex Court’s ruling also sends a strong signal to all corrupt medicos and backers of Dr. Desai and clearly sends a message against the Gujarat HC discriminatory observation that NRIs cannot have any public interest for people living in India. Not only the NRIs, even many bona fide foreign citizens are also doing humanitarian work for the people of India. People like Bill Gates and Bill Clinton are US citizens but still are doing wonderful charitable work for poor people in India.

The above was posted on the blog of PBT on 27.03.2011