Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Too much riches but too little brains

A rich sheikh's son goes to study in London and if embarrassed by his own wealth.
He writes to his father

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kavita Karkare's call should not fall on deaf ears

Her concern was the continuation of security breaches and terrorism and the apparent mood to move forward in normalising relations with Pakistan, without any guarantee that terrorism will not be its state policy anymore, says T P Sreenivasan.

Kavita Karkare, Hemant Karkare's widow, was not impressed with the beautiful words of homage spoken on the anniversary of the dreadful night three years ago, in which her husband and several sentinels of the security of our nation perished.

She was not impressed even with the compensation offered to her and others who suffered grievous losses. "You pay tributes to the departed, you honour us, you give us compensation, but how long will this go on?" she asked.

Her concern was the continuation of breaches of security and the scourge of terrorism and the apparent mood to put the Mumbai carnage behind us and to move forward in normalising relations with Pakistan, without any guarantee that terrorism will not be its State policy anymore.

'It was high time India sent a strong message to the world that it meant business when it came to taking action against the perpetrators of terror attacks,' she said.

Security has not yet become a part of our ethos yet. Even the fear, that has gripped powerful nations, has not infected us because we think that whatever we may do or not do, whatever has to happen will happen.

The cold comfort that the nation will survive in the end has generated a sense of resignation. Meaningless rituals like checking the baggage tags for the security stamps are performed as though the tags would guarantee security. Nowhere in the world are security stamps put on boarding passes or baggage tags. No passenger or baggage is allowed into the secure area under any circumstances and, therefore, no stamps are required.

The sanctity we attach to security stamps, in itself, shows lack of confidence in our procedures.

Absence of chaos and orderly movement of people are the most essential ingredients of security. No one, however powerful or mighty, should be allowed to escape security procedures as, while they may be the paragons of perfection, the fact that they can be subverted is a possibility that cannot be ruled out. Someone could easily insert an object into their person or baggage and these could be detected only through thorough security procedures. No one should be allowed to break the line at airports or other sensitive areas. The lines may be reminiscent of Communism, but they have to be accepted as a legacy of Osama Bin Laden and must be strictly enforced.

The tardy state of affairs of the security equipment is something that Kavita Karkare [ Images ] had spoken about repeatedly. The metal detectors rarely detect metals and their squealing noises do not seem to indicate anything to the security staff. They still go through with their lethargic and ceremonial procedures and correctly stamp the boarding passes to ensure that the procedures are followed.

I am a walking monument of a security breach by my guards in Nairobi, which resulted in my being a steel man, with metal rods in my right leg and left arm. Most metal detectors in India do not stop me and even if there is a noise, my simple statement that I have a rod inside my bone is enough to let me through.

But in New York, London or Vienna , they trust me, but they verify my assertion. I am grateful that I am let off, but would it not be possible for someone to smuggle metals by the kind of declarations that I make?

The best defence of our Pakistan policy of letting bygones be bygones and moving on, looking for men of peace on the enemy flanks, is that we have tried everything possible to get Pakistan to take action against the criminals and we cannot hold peace in the region hostage to the punishment of the guilty for more than three years.

The larger geopolitical shifts in the region are too important to be ignored and we should play a role in the emerging security paradigm. When the Pakistan home minister interferes blatantly in our internal affairs and asks us to hang Kasab and those guilty of the bombing of the Samjahauta Express, we see some evidence of a change of heart in the man, who has been systematically spinning tales for the last three years to shield the masterminds of 26/11.

We are easily swept off our feet by the charm offensive of Pakistan leaders and even ambassadors. We accept the argument that Pakistan too is a victim of the same kind of terror that they have developed for twenty years to hurt India. Such a policy may bring us the glory of a Nobel Prize for Peace, but not peace to the souls of our martyrs on the third anniversary of their supreme sacrifice.

Manasi Shashank Shinde, Inspector Shashank Shinde's widow, was even more harsh when she heard the tributes paid to the martyrs. 'It aggravates our pain. We feel harassed. It all comes back. It is reliving the agony,' she says.

Kavita Karkare's call for enhanced security, better security equipment and relentless pursuit of the criminals should not fall on deaf ears. No amount of compassion or compensation can remove the blot on our conscience that such brave men as Hemant Karkare and Sandeep Unnikrishnan had to die so that we could survive as a nation.

We cannot add to their hallowed memory with rhetoric, but we can prevent such sacrifices in the future with determined and concrete action.

T P Sreenivasan is a former ambassador of India to the United Nations, Vienna, and a former Governor for India at the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna. You can read more of his writings at

The above is from the mail I receive from Rediffmail.
Since it echoes my views, I have just pasted it verbatim

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What ails our Passport Office in W Bengal?

Passport officers' meet to kick off Tuesday
By Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS) External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will Tuesday open a two-day conference of passport officers from all over the country that aims at streamlining the process to enable faster processing of travel documents.
Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai will also address the conference, which enables an exchange of views and experiences among the passport officers. It's also an occasion for senior officials of the external affairs ministry to update passport officers on the latest policy developments.
The conference will also focus on the implementation of Mission Mode Project (MMP), called Passport Seva Project, under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) of the Indian government. A target has been set to establish 77 Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) all over India. As of today, 30 PSKs are functional all over India.
With the government fast-tracking the passport issuance process through innovative e-technologies, long, serpentine queues in front of the passport offices are going to increasingly become a thing of the past.

I don't know about the passport offices in the other states but I can vouch that in Bengal, the police are the main culprits.
I have had the occasion during the last two years for getting the passports for six members of my family.

We applied for the passports of my grand children when they were less than one year olds. I had no problem at all. Both their passports reached my home within two months of application as the police did not do any verification.

For my passport, I had no problem as I showed the police personnel my press ID Card and I got the passport within three months.

My wife's and elder daughter-in-law's passports came almost after nine months, in spite having paid the police Rs 1000/- each for verification which was never done by visiting our homes.We had to fill in a second application through a tout paying him Rs 2000/- to get the passports.

My younger daughter-in-law had her passport in her maiden name and wanted to get it changed to married name. With our last experience, we again went through a tout paying her Rs 2000/-,. In spite of paying the police again Rs 1000/- and repeated visits to the police (Four), her passport was issued in the 12 the month after being called to the passport officers adalat last month.

Her passport application was made 30.11.2010 and she finally got her passport on 24.11.2011, almost twelve months.
So much for the government boasting of issuing passport within one month and on-line.

As I see it, there is no shortage of police, only the willingness to do their jobs. They are supposed to visit the homes of the passport application to confirm if everything is correct, but they never visit the homes. They do the verification sitting in their offices.
No wonder, terrorists get their passports so easily as they are willing to fill the policeman's pockets

Delhi puts Dalai before talks

Delhi puts Dalai before talks
By Archis mohan

New Delhi, Nov. 26: Yesterday's sudden postponement of the November 27-28 India-China boundary talks here apparently owes to a refusal by New Delhi, rare in recent times, to bend on the issue of the Dalai Lama.
China was unhappy because the talks would have coincided with a November 27-30 world congregation of Buddhists in the city, where the Tibetan spiritual leader is to deliver the valedictory address, South Block sources said.
They said Beijing wanted the congregation, being held to mark 2,600 years of the Buddha's enlightenment, cancelled if its "special representative" Dai Bingguo was to come and talk with national security adviser Shivshankar Menon.
But India said that being a democracy, it could not possibly cancel the conference and assured Beijing that the event, being organised by the Buddhist society Ashoka Mission, was religious and not political.
Beijing then demanded that the Dalai Lama be prevented from attending, which India turned down as "unreasonable", the sources said. The two sides then decided to "postpone" the talks till "mutually convenient dates".
This is the first time that the special representative-level boundary talks have been postponed since they began in 2003, with the Tibetan question again casting a shadow on bilateral relations.
The sources said Beijing was also upset because of its "misperception" that the Indian foreign ministry's public diplomacy division was co-sponsoring the event, to be attended by thousands of Buddhist theologians, monks and scholars from 32 countries, including China and Taiwan. But Indian officials say the division is only supporting three side events: a book fair, a film festival and the launch of a coffee-table book.
Beijing's problem is that the conference, to be held barely 1km from where Menon and Dai would have held talks, has official sanction. President Pratibha Patil will inaugurate it and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be the guest of honour.
India has generally been wary of annoying China over the Dalai Lama and has kept him out of its plans to revive the Nalanda University though the Nalanda tradition of Buddhism has deep links with Tibetan Buddhism.
Still, China not only seems to have pulled out of the Nalanda University project, for which it was to provide some funds, but is developing a rival Buddhist university at the Buddha's birthplace of Lumbini, Nepal.
India fears the project is aimed at weakening the Dalai Lama's hold over Tibetan Buddhists and checkmating India's use of Buddhism as the lynchpin of its Look East policy for greater engagement with Southeast Asian nations.
Lumbini is the only major site linked to the Buddha's life outside India, which is home to the other three: Sarnath, Kushinagar and Bodhgaya. Beijing has loosened its purse strings to make Lumbini a Buddhist tourist attraction.
Maoist leader Prachanda, who was Nepal's Prime Minister for a while in 2008 and worked for closer ties with Beijing, heads the Lumbini Development Council.

The above is from the Telegraph.

At last India has put up some show of strength against China otherwise it always had its tail between its legs.
If Beijing does not take our fears into consideration when it prowls into Pakistan and Srilanka, I don't see why we have to show concern for their feelings.
If only J L Nehru had shown the same guts when China invaded Tibet, we probably would never have had the Chinese aggression in 1962 and the incursions into Arunachal Pradesh every now and then.
But we can only stand on our feat if we are strong. I welcome the decision of the government in strengthening our northern defenses.
You can now wait for further problems from China in the near future.
I would suggest the quiet man, our PM, work quietly to have a defense pact with both USA and Russia to contain China.
Indira Gandhi did that with USSR before embarking on liberating Bangladesh from Pakistani occupancy.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tea Party

Sent by Prakash Bhartia.

As long as the demonstrtions were in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria or Tinnamen Square or Srinagar, Uncle Sam did not mind and lectured us on repressive measures we were using.
But now that the demonstrations are being held in USA and Britain, neither Uncle Sam or The British Sense of humour tolerates it.
As the Red Indian sayng goes, only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.

'Why Women Emigrate To Australia '

'Why Women Emigrate To Australia '


Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Friday, November 25, 2011

Lalu Yadav makes a statement on Sharad Pawar

Referring to the assault on Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Lalu Yadav said: "He (the attacker) has done a very dirty work. We must not only condemn this act, but the law should also take action against such elements. We have told our party workers to raise this issue in Parliament."
Pawar was slapped by a man named Harvinder Singh at the NDMC Center in New Delhi on Thursday. The man is currently in the custody of the Delhi Police.
Harvinder Singh, a resident of Rohini, is the same man who had assaulted former telecom minister Sukhram last Saturday.
"These politicians have been causing nothing but trouble in the country. They only know how to make speeches, but never act on what they say. They deserve to be attacked. I will continue to attack politicians. I am the same person who attacked Sukhram last week and I will continue doing this. I do not regret any of my actions," Singh said claiming that Sharad Pawar is responsible for the misery of the people and the high prices of essential commodities. (ANI)

Bravo Harvinder Singh.
You are a true disciple of Udham Singh who went all the way to the UK to revenge the Jallianwallh massacre by General Dyer.
I am sure many more politicians would meet the same fate as Sharad Pawar, including Lalu Yadav, if they were not protected by the heavy police bandobast.

A slap on Sharad Pawar

Open Letter to Mr Sharad Pawar.....

A very concerned Indian
The Most tweeted about Indian on November the 24th 2011
Dated-Every Day of the Life that is Indian
Dear Mr Pawar
It is with mixed emotions that I read the news when it broke out on that someone had slapped you...I say mixed but this letter is not about my mixed emotions at that time, so I will not go into that...
This letter is about emotions that came later as I kept reading your great partymen stopping traffic, burning and stoning public property, shutting down places that people after a long working day frequent ie the places where people shop and several people numbering in thousands gain employment, namely shopping centers or as we commonly call them here-malls!!
My mind also was numb when I was reminded in yet another tweet that all this was happening as the country and not just Bombay prepared itself for the anniversary of the biggest attack on Indian democracy as someone called it, that is 26 November 2011
It is a sad shame (Yes sadder than mere shame-sad shame) that people refer to 26.11 as the biggest atatck on Indian Democracy. There are bigger attacks that happened, and continue to happen namely what happened today when the so called NCP workers created panic and terrorized the common man. After all, wasnt this what Kasab and company wanted?
So what is the difference Mr Pawar? Just that Kasab and co carried guns and grenades and your men carry sticks and stones? Kasab and co raped and plundered the iconic buildings of India and your men did the same to the Pune Expressway and other places of Bombay? The common man suffered in both the cases-so what did Kasab and co get? While Kasab awaits his hanging and his ilk are no more, your men will roam the streets and harrass and harangue the "aam janta" again and again and again? Just who are these people kind Sir? Some unemployed youth that are being taken advantage of?
Mr Pawar, to me, a terrorist is one who terrorises and I am terrorised by the goons of not just your party but every other party that resorts to such nonsensical stuff any and everytime. Like every other Indian I think I would have admired you and your party "karyakartas" had
a) You would have ensured something like this doesnt happen and
b) Your karya kartas would have behaved themselves
But alas it was not to be....
I remain as dis-illusioned as ever and more staunch in my belief that what happened today post your assault, was in my belief as horrific as what the dictionary meaning of the word "Terrorist" is. And then I wonder like many other Indians....Are We Really An Independent Nation? Is our mind really without fear?
Definitely not !!
And Oh.....Thank YOU for ensuring we are not
A disillusioned Indian :(

This has come through FB from Ravindra Saluja.

This slap is going to reverberate throughout India and if you ask the general public, it was a most well deserved slap and the person should be rewarded.
What the Congress and Manmohan Singh could not do, this gentleman has done.
I am sure in their heart of hearts, they must all be rejoicing.
God Bless the person!!


I knew someone would find a name for our election process for 2012

Electile Dysfunction: the inability to become aroused over any of the choices for President put forth by either party in the 2012 election year.

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

The USA is having this problem only now.
We in India have had it since the time Indira Gandhi came to power.
The rot set in thereafter.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Want to understand the European and U.S.Economy??

Mary is the proprietor of a bar in Dublin.
She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar.

To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around about Mary's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Mary's bar.

Soon she has the largest sales volume of any bar in Dublin.

By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands, Mary gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages.

Consequently, Mary's gross sales volume increases massively.
A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes
that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Mary's borrowing limit.

He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS.

These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets. Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics.

Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Mary's bar. He so informs Mary.

Mary then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts.

Since, Mary cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy.

The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Mary's bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the various BOND securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations.

Her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion euro no-strings attached cash infusion from their cronies in Government.
The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who have never been in Mary's bar.

Now, do you understand economics ?

Sent by Arun Shroff

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

SEZ Zones

Before and after the law to set up Special Economic Zones (SEZs) was enacted in 2005, there was considerable opposition to the government’s move to establish export-promoting areas with superior infrastructure facilities on the basis of generous tax concessions. One important criticism was that the government’s SEZ policy would be misused for real estate development rather than for generating exports. In response, the government said it would put in place adequate safeguards to prevent this from happening. Six years down the line, some of the worst apprehensions of the critics of the SEZ policy have come true.

In a quiet executive decision, which has hardly been publicised and which has been taken without reference to the Union Cabinet or a Group of Ministers, the ministry of commerce and industry has changed the policy, allowing promoters of SEZs to dilute their equity stakes in part or full to other promoters, including foreign companies, which apparently violates existing rules on foreign direct investment (FDI) in housing, built-up infrastructure and construction projects. While the move is ostensibly aimed at enabling SEZ promoters to “consolidate” their businesses, the permission granted to the promoters of three companies — DLF Ackruti Info Parks (Pune) Ltd, Aachvis Softech Pvt. Ltd. and Sterling Addlife Mundra Hospitals Pvt. Ltd. — to dilute their equity stakes could open the floodgates to similar mergers and acquisitions. This is how the development of SEZs is degenerating into a real estate racket.

On September 19, 2011, a meeting of the SEZ Board of Approvals (BoA), held under the chairmanship of Dr Rahul Khullar, secretary, commerce, decided to allow the promoters of the three companies mentioned to change/transfer/sell their equity shares to other companies, including foreign firms. The minutes of this meeting, disclosed on November 11, provide an interesting backdrop to what took place.

It points out that similar requests for dilution of equity, which were considered by the BoA at its meeting on March 25, 2011, were not approved as representatives of the department of revenue in the ministry of finance “reiterated their objection that these transactions would amount to sale of the land, which is not permissible under the SEZ Act/Rules”. The issue of whether a change in the equity structure of such a company through share transfer/sale/amalgamation is in the nature of “sale of land” which is barred by Rule 11(9) of the SEZ Rules or “sale or transfer of business” was subsequently referred to the Department of Legal Affairs (DLA).

The DLA “clarified” that the identity of a company does not change with any change in its management or its pattern of shareholding. This is what the minutes of the BoA meeting state: “Further, a share is not a sum of money; it represents an interest measured by a sum of money. Therefore, change in equity structure through transfer/sale/amalgamation etc. and consequent change in the management cannot be said (to be) transfer or sale of land. Land would continue to vest in the company…”

The BoA has reportedly put certain conditions for such transfer/sale/amalgamation cases to ensure that the activities of the SEZs continue seamlessly and that the new controllers of the management of the company fulfil all eligibility criteria, including security clearances.

A retired former bureaucrat of the commerce ministry told this correspondent that this should mean that fresh clearances will now have to be obtained from bodies like the Intelligence Bureau in the ministry of home affairs, the Research & Analysis Wing in the Cabinet secretariat, the Enforcement Directorate in the finance ministry, the ministry of environment & forests and so on. The big question is whether this will happen or not.

The way in which the laws of the land are being interpreted is truly startling to certain knowledgeable sources. Besides the meeting of the BoA in March, at another meeting on July 22, the board had disallowed the sale/transfer of shares to co-developers of SEZs on the ground that this would be tantamount to sale of land by providing a change in the irrevocable assigning rights over land and/or built-up property. The September 19 meeting of the BoA was postponed twice and the supplementary agenda item (No. 48.10), pertaining to allowing the three companies to dispose off their equity shares, was included at the last minute. Thereafter, the meeting of the group of bureaucrats approved what is considered a “major policy somersault” by changing its interpretation of existing rules, a change that has far-reaching implications for trading in assets in SEZs.

The new interpretation given to Rule 11(9) is evidently in contradiction of the principles enunciated in Press Note 2 issued by the secretariat of industrial approvals, department of industrial policy and promotion, ministry of industry and commerce on March 3, 2005. The note clearly mentions that 100 per cent FDI is allowed only in new assets and not for trading in completed assets and that too on meeting certain prescribed criteria (relating to the size of the built-up area, the township and minimum quantum of investment, among others). These rules are apparently now being given the go-by. The DLF group’s SEZ in Pune is going to be now owned by the US-based investment advisory group Blackstone, while control over the Aachvis SEZ in Noida near Delhi is expected to move to the Delhi-based up-market real estate developer, 3C. What should be noted in this context, a source points out, is that information technology SEZs are little more than office buildings. This source argues that by its new interpretation of rules, the BoA has changed existing policy through the “backdoor”, allowing foreigners to buy developed real estate.

“By allowing foreign firms to buy completed commercial buildings in SEZs, the BoA has provided succour to beleaguered real estate companies in India,” the source claimed, adding that by effectively allowing trading in SEZ properties, the government would lose direct and indirect taxes (given to all units in SEZs) without increasing exports.

Critics of the government’s SEZ policy have described it as the “biggest land grab movement in the history of modern India”. Whereas earlier movements were led by the poor to acquire land held in excess of official ceilings by the affluent, this time round it is the rich in India and abroad who have been allowed by the government to trade in properties built on land that once belonged to the underprivileged.

New Test to determine if you are an alcohlic

Simple Alcoholism test that you can take in privacy with your computer.
This is a test to determine if you are an alcoholic.

If you see the bar sign, you are an alcoholic!

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Global Warming

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Curbing corruption and holistic development of villages- both are important for country’s progress

Posted on November 21, 2011 by admin
Gandhiji dreamt of a strong independent India. His message was – go to the villages. Till the villages became self sufficient and self-administered, the dream of a strong India would never be fulfilled. Mahatma Gandhi used to say that development should not be based on exploitation of man and nature. Let us plan whatever nature has given us properly so that every person, family and village becomes self sufficient.

Today we have a dream for development but this development is taking place by exploiting nature and mankind. Petrol, diesel, kerosene, coal, water etc – such natural resources which are found underground are being exploited indiscriminately for development. This is not the right kind of development. The population would keep on increasing and due to this increase in population people’s needs would also increase. There is no limit to increase in population. But the resources provided by nature are limited. And these resources are depleting one by one. This is a matter of concern. Due to indiscriminate exploitation, there is severe water scarcity in many villages of India. In summers water has to be imported in tankers to these villages. Today water has got exhausted, some day petrol would get exhausted, diesel would get exhausted, kerosene would get exhausted, coal would get exhausted. What would happen to our future generations? No one is thinking about them, that is why Gandhiji believed that correct planning for development should take into account the availability of natural resources. God has endowed India with vast amount of natural resources. However, it is important to correctly plan for development. Gandhiji said that if you want to change the economic condition of India, you will have to change the economics of the village. Because India lives in it’s villages. If villagers had adequate food and adequate work, then even if they had lesser facilities in villages, they would not leave villages and migrate to cities. This would change the economic condition of villages.

Many of our leaders thought that without big industries, country’s development was not possible and many of our leaders started encouraging big industries. As industries were set up in cities, people started migrating towards cities.

As cities expanded, slums and crime increased leading to exploitation of nature and mankind. Exploitation of nature led to environmental imbalance. Increasing industry led to deterioration of water and land. This pollution of water and land can’t be cleaned with any amount of investment. The rivers which used to be so sacred for us, even their water has become polluted due to industry. This water goes to dams. Those cities who get their drinking water from these dams, their water has also got polluted. Industries were set up indiscriminately to fulfil India’s dream for development. In 65 years, this indiscriminate industrialization should have led to development but did that really happen? What is the real picture of today’s India?

65 years after independence, India which was once called sone ki chidiya, is under a burden of huge debt. We don’t even have the money to pay interest, so we take further loans to pay interest. This is the current state of our country. Today, every child is born with a debt burden of 22-25 thousand rupees. Is it the child’s fault that he was born? If after independence, along with industrialization, if we had correctly planned for land and water resource in every village and if some of the amount that was spent on industries were spent for the development of villages, then the social and economic condition of our country would not have been as bad as it is today.

These are not mere words for me. I have actually experimented this on ground – not in one village but in many villages. I am saying this on the basis of success of these experiments. Today the rainwater falling in every village flows to the rivers because it is not conserved in the village. From rivers, it flows to big dams and from dams, it flows into the sea. The water that has gone to the sea is of no use for the villages and the people. Due to wastage of rain water, the water scarcity is increasing across villages in India. With the help of dams, water is brought to cities for drinking and for industry. Therefore, to run industries in cities, village water has to go to dams.

It Is not just the rainwater but also the fertile soil of the villages that flows into the dams. Year after year, tonnes of silt is getting accumulated in every dam. Due to this, the water storage capacity of dams is decreasing. If the leaders and the people of this country did not pay due attention to this, then this could become a greater threat than corruption. Every human being dies after 70-100 years, as it is the law of nature. Just like the death of a human being is inevitable, in the same way, the death of every dam is also inevitable. Every year along with rain water, thousands of tones of silt is getting accumulated in dams. In 400/500/1000 years, dams would get filled with silt. Neither the government, nor the people will be able to clear out this silt. Since the backwater storage area of any dam is 60-90 km in length and more than 500-600 meters in height, the silt will slowly accumulate into a mountain. Who will clear it out? Where will you throw this silt?

There will be no site left for building new dams. What will happen to electricity generation and to our industry then? Where would cities get their water from? To prevent this national disaster, it is important to conserve soil in villages only, which is flowing out of the villages to dams. By doing this, not only national disaster would be averted, but also by conserving soil in villages, village water would also be conserved. This will help in village development work. This is because village development work is based on water shed development program.

In Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, there is a village called Ralegansiddhi with a population of 2000 people. Earlier, in this village, there used to be no drinking water in summers. 80 per cent people did not have food to eat. People were forced to travel 5-6 kms outside village due to lack of work in the village. There was neither adequate work nor adequate food for all. This forced many villagers to make liquor. There were as many as 30-35 liquor manufacturing units. Liquor was made and sold from village to village for livelihood. Due to alcohol, there were regular fights in the village. There were no proper educational facilities in the village. 4 classes were held in 2 rooms. There were no medical facilities, neither for villagers nor for animals. People used to practice untouchability.

Girls were married off at the age of 12-13 years. The circumstances forced them to do this. Efforts for developing this village started in 1975. Swami Vivekanand used to say that people with empty stomachs can’t absorb knowledge. First we should think how to procure food for empty stomachs and work for everyone. And we did that. We tried to conserve every drop of rain water in the village. We increased the green cover by growing grass and planted more than 3 lakh trees. Nala bund, Check Dam, cement dam, CCT, Percolation Tank and other corrective measures were taken and rain water was conserved in the village. This being a drought affected area, the annual rainfall is just between 400-500 mm. Earlier, the village had less than 300 acres of cultivable land, which yielded one crop annually. Due to water conservation, cultivable land has increased to 1500 acres, which now yields 2 crops annually. After 35 years, it is the same village, same people and same land- but without taking any money from any industrialist, this village has become self sufficient. The village in which 80 per cent people once slept hungry, this village now exports vegetables. People once used to go out for work. Now its hard to get even 10 people for labour as people tend their own farms. Since they have got work and food in their village, the number of people migrating to cities has reduced. No family in the village procures grains from outside. Earlier the village did not produce even 300 litres of surplus milk, which could be sold outside. Today, 4000-5000 litres of surplus milk is sold outside the village on a daily basis. Every day the village earns around 80 to 90 thousand rupees by selling milk. The village which once used to sleep hungry, is now selling vegetables to cities. Every year 150-200 trucks of onions are sent to Chennai and Bangalore. The village, where the school was only till class 4 is now imparting education upto class XII in both Art and Science. Earlier the girls did not have access to education. Today, they are completing graduation.

Earlier, dalits were not allowed to enter temples. They were forced to draw water from a separate well. They were made to sit separately during wedding feasts. Today, when the dalits were unable to pay back their loans amounting to Rs. 60,000, the gram sabha decided that other non-dalits would pay off their loan. All villagers did two years of ’shramdaan’ on the land belonging to dalits. Crops were grown and the loan was paid off by the villagers. Now-a-days, in any community feast in the village, dalits are also involved with people of other castes and religions in cooking and distributing food. Untouchability is no longer practiced. Buildings like school, temples, community temples worth crores were built by people through their hardwork and ‘shramdaan’. In the last 7 years, the village has been visited by nearly 5.5 lakh people from India and abroad. 5 villages neighboring Ralegan Siddhi are also developing on same lines. Similar development work is now taking place in many villages of Maharashtra. 50 new villages are being chosen for similar work.

The purpose behind my writing all this is that if you want proper development of the country, firstly we need to curb corruption. To achieve this we are working for strong anti-corruption laws like the Jan lokpal and the Janlokayukta Bills. To further tackle corruption, we also need electoral reforms, right to reject, decentralization of power and along with that we also need to work on implementation of existing laws. Simultaneously, we also have to develop 100 model villages in different parts of India as a start. i.e., we not only need to stop corruption but also on the other hand, we need to develop model villages – these are both very critical tasks. Only by doing these two things simultaneously, we will be able to develop a strong India.

Today we have received letters from more than 50 very educated, experienced and committed people with sound social and national vision, who are willing to commit their lives, to volunteer for this cause. Many people, after fulfilling their family responsibilities, are offering to devote 12-15 days per month. Many people are ready to work in their own areas as volunteers. There are many young people who have not married till now and do not wish to get married. They say they are ready to devote their life for the nation and society. The youngsters and people who participated in the movement that took place on April 5, 2011 and August 16, 2011 have become source of inspiration for the nation.

Many people are committing their entire lives for the cause. This is a sign of hope for the country. From among these, we will have to choose people with good character. We will have to send our trusted people to do their inspection. Along with selection, we will also have to train them. Leadership training will have to be imparted to volunteers interested in creating model villages. It will be a three months training. It is necessary to generate two leaders per village.

All of this is not mere imagination but based on our work over the past 35 years. Some industrialists had financially supported Mahatma Gandhi. To create model villages, we will also have to involve such industrialists, who are willing to serve the country and are of good character. I believe that curbing corruption and creating ideal villages will provide a new direction to the country. I strongly believe that if activists who have experience in village development provide the necessary guidance this could help set the direction for the future of India.

The above is from Anna Hazare's blog

Speaker’s outstanding rent bill: Whopping Rs 2 crore

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, who has refused to vacate the Government bungalow of which she lost entitlement 25 years back, owes around `2 crore to the exchequer as outstanding rent.

An RTI reply shows that Meira Kumar owes `1.98 crore to the Estates Department of the Urban Development Ministry for occupation of 6, Krishna Menon Marg since 1986 after the demise of her father late Jagjivan Ram.

The statement of dues against MP/Ex-MPs who are in un-authorised occupation of Government accommodations states a “rent-bill” of `1,9,822,723 having been issued towards Government bungalow number 6 at Krishna Menon Marg (New Delhi) to Meira Kumar in her capacity as a family member of late Indrani Devi.

The Department of Estates, in an RTI reply to activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, has given a list of 10 such persons who have rent dues pending against them for occupying Government premises even after losing entitlement.

When contacted for comments, the Speaker’s office told PTI, “The family members of late Indrani Devi, vacated 6, Krishna Menon Marg, New Delhi by 30 November 2002, and intimation in this regard was given to CPWD, NDMC, Director of Estates and other concerned authorities.

“NDMC disconnected water and electricity supply immediately. None of the family members of late Indrani Devi have, thereafter, been in the occupation of said premises,” it said.

The controversial bungalow was allotted to Kumar when she was a Union Minister in 2004. It was the residence of senior Congress leader Babu Jagjivan Ram till his death in 1986. She was allotted bungalow number 20, Akbar Road after she became the Speaker but despite that she refused to vacate the bungalow on Krishna Menon Marg.

Significantly, there is a sign-board ‘Babu Jagjiwanram Memorial’ and a statue of late Babu Jagjiwanram termed ‘unauthorized’ by the Ministry at the said bungalow.

The reply which is based on records of September 16, 2011 says other people with pending dues include artist Pratibha Pande (`43.63 lakh), Chief Executive Officer of Price Stabilisation Fund Trust, Pravir Kumar (`2.61 lakh), former Chief Information Commissioner A N Tiwari (`4.71 lakh), former Lok Sabha MP Mrityunjaya Nayak (` 3.21 lakh), former Member of National Commission for Backward Classes Abdul Ali Azizi (`1.97 lakh) and Amitabh Bhattacharya (`2.04 lakh).

Two other persons mentioned in the list, senior Congress leader Buta Singh and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Chairman JS Sarma, however, have “Nil” dues against them according to the RTI reply.

Financial etiquette is not one of the strong points of the Jagjivan Ram family.
Jagjivan Babu was also once accused of tax evasion.
On being asked why he had not paid his tax he simply replied "I forgot". This is when he was a minister in Indira Gandhi's cabinet. Thanks to him, many other defaulters in that year escaped paying penalties.
So, his daughter, not vacating her bungalow comes at no surprise.
An she and her children must still be getting reservation under the SC/ST quota after owing over 2 crores to the government.

Why India too is a TAX haven now!

M R Venkatesh
It would seem when it comes to secrecy on bank accounts the Indian government seems to have a tacit arrangement with the Swiss -- even if the Swiss fail in protecting the identity of crooks, India will, says M R Venkatesh.

The story is more than three years old. Unwept and unsung, not many within our media or from the establishment have given enough attention to it.

Yet, by a strange turn of events this has come to occupy centrestage in national media and to dominate political discourse in the following weeks. In the process it threatens to bring into open India's well-kept secret.

According to an article, titled Mass Leak of Client Data Rattles Swiss Banking by David Gauthier-Villars and Deborah Ball (The Wall Street Journal, July 2010), two employees of HSBC -- Herve Falciani and Georgina Mikhael -- had sent emails more than two years ago to tax authorities across Europe.

Accordingly, they claimed that they could provide a large list of clients of a Swiss-based private bank. The emails were sent to Germany and the French investigating authorities.

HSBC officials, in turn, allege that Falciani copied thousands of files of wealthy clients of its Swiss private-banking arm.

Swiss authorities are reportedly investigating whether these two employees stole bank records and violated banking secrecy laws in Switzerland.

Interestingly, the French got the data when its police raided Falciani's residence at the behest of the Swiss authorities who had, in turn, launched an investigation into the alleged violations of banking secrecy back in Switzerland.

Crucially, the French sent copies of the data to Switzerland, but kept back the original files to pursue possible tax cheats.

Expectedly, the French authorities found thousands of accounts and bank-transfer details. Sifting the data, apparently the file contained data on about 79,000 clients and 20,000 companies!

The list includes more than 8,000 French, about 1,500 Americans and as many British residents.

Subsequently, the French have reportedly made available this data to governments across the world for possible pursuits of their tax cheats.

If press reports are to be believed that included Indian government too as there were allegedly several hundred Indian names in the list.

Much was not heard about this list till last week when the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance Ministry, headed by senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, raked up this issue and gave a 15-day deadline to the government to reveal the relevant names.

What is adding fat to the fire is the opinion of the Attorney General who has reportedly advised the government against making the disclosures.

The committee has also reportedly sought this opinion given by him. Well, what will happen in the next 15 days -- when the Parliament will also be in session -- is to be seen.

However, press reports suggests that finance ministry is of the opinion that any disclosure will end India's chances of getting any further lists from banks in tax havens.
And this argument was used in the Lichtenstein Bank case too where similarly some employee of the bank stole its data and gave it to German authorities. And that list included Indians too.

This argument of the finance ministry, stonewalling the matter in right earnest, is extremely bizarre. After all, what the French or the German have given us is in fact stolen data.

Crucially, they have not provided anything original where the secrecy clause in Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement will operate. Put simply it will not operate when data is procured through dubious means by other governments.

So while the Indian government may be reluctant to get data from Swiss banks in the (stealthy) manner that the French or German obtained, the fact remains that governments worldwide will increasingly be procuring data by means fair and foul, and sharing with governments worldwide.
Yet, it is inexplicable that we are loath to disclose the names of our tax offenders and criminals, much less take the matters to a logical conclusion.

Strangely this is the argument that has been repeatedly put forth by our government.

Remember, those who are named in these lists are no ordinary tax evaders operating in India. Let us not forget that they are extremely well connected, efficient and organised criminals.

Yashwant Sinha is spot on when he argues that black money cases were not merely instances of tax evasion. It is in this connection he reportedly pointed out, "Income tax is only the starting point of the investigation."

The above is from the newsletter I receive from Rediffmail.

It reminds me of two people fighting.
One of them, the weaker, makes the most noise, shouts loudly and allows his friends to hold him.
The other, just slaps him every time he raises his voice.
Our Congress government continues to make noises to show that it is taking action but always allows itself to be held back from taking action for they know that the list includes mostly Congress politicians led by Rajiv Gandhi.
The congress tries to derail any agitation against it by cocking up frivolous charges by the Income Tax, Enforcement Directorate and the CBI all three being its pet dogs whom they drag wherever they want like we see in the early mornings dog owners dragging their dogs for their morning shit,

Renault and Ford joint venture:

Renault and Ford have joined forces to create the perfect small car for women.

Mixing the Renault 'Clio' and the Ford 'Taurus' they have
designed the 'Clitaurus'. It comes in pink, and the average
male car thief won't be able to find it — let alone
turn it on – even if someone tells him where it is and how to do it.

Rumor has it though, that it leaks transmission fluid once
a month, and can be a real bitch to start in the morning.
Some have reported that on cold winter mornings, when you
really need it, you can’t get it to turn over.

New models are initially fun to own, but very costly to
maintain, and horribly expensive to get rid of.

Used models may initially appear to have curb appeal and
a low price, but eventually have an increased appetite for
fuel, unpredicatable and the curb weight typically increases with age.

Manufacturers are baffled as to how the size of the trunk
increases, but say that the paint may just make it LOOK bigger.
This model is not expected to reach collector status.

Most owners find it is best to lease one, and replace it each year.

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Business executive was deep in debt and could not see any way out.

Creditors and Suppliers were demanding payments. He sat in the park, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy.

Suddenly an old man appeared before him and asked, "I can see that something is troubling you seriously".
After listening to the executive the old man said, "I believe I can help you".
He asked his name, wrote out a cheque and put it into his hands saying, "Take this money, meet me here exactly one year from today and you can pay me back at that time".

Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come. The business executive saw in his hands a cheque for $ 500,000 signed by Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world.

"I can erase my worries instantly" he realized. But instead, the executive decided to put the unencashed cheque in his safe knowing that it might give him the strength to work out to save his business and to use this only in case of dire emergency.

With changed thinking he negotiated better deals, restructured his business and worked rigorously with full zeal and enthusiasm and got several big deals. Within few months, he was out of debt and started making money once again.

Exactly one year later he returned to the park with the unencashed cheque. As agreed, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand him back the cheque and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man.

"I’m so glad I caught him" she cried. "I hope he hasn’t been bothering you much. He always escapes from the mental hospital and tells people that he is Warren Buffet", saying this she took the old man away.

The surprised executive just stood there, stunned!!! All year long he had been dealing thinking that he had half a million dollars behind him.

Sent by Arun Shroff

Brush up your Language


To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles , U.C.L.A.

The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.

The batteries were given out free of charge.

A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.

A will is a dead giveaway.

If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.

You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia : The LAN down under.

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

When you've seen one shopping centre you've seen a mall.

Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a

Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off? He's all
right now.

If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.

A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count
that votes.

When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

Acupuncture: a jab well done.

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Telecom scam in NDA tenure; CBI books officials, 3 mobile cos

The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against three private cellular companies and former officials of the telecom department for alleged irregularities in the grant of additional 2G Spectrum and causing a loss of Rs 508 crore during the period 2001-2007.

Those booked under U/s 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, Section 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 are the then chairman (telecom commission ) and secretary (telecom), department of telecommunications, the then DDG (VAS)/DoT, three private cellular companies based at New Delhi [ Images ] and Mumbai [ Images ], and others. Pramod Mahajan [ Images ], the then minister for telecom and communication, has been excluded since he expired.

It was alleged that the then secretary (telecom) and the then DDG(VAS), Department of Telecom, entered into a criminal conspiracy with the three beneficiary private companies, based at Delhi and Mumbai, and abused their official positions as public servants.

The public servants, with approval of the then Minister of Telecom (Communications &IT) (since expired), took an alleged hurried decision on January 31, 2002 to allocate additional spectrum beyond 6.2 MHz in violation of the report of a technical committee.

The accused persons also decided to allocate such additional spectrum beyond 6.2 MHz by charging spectrum fee of an incremental 1 per cent AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) only for allotting additional spectrum from 6.2 MHz up to 10 MHz instead of charging incremental 1 per cent AGR on allotment of spectrum beyond 6.2 MHz & charging incremental 2 per cent AGR on allotment of spectrum beyond 8 MHz, as applicable in normal prudence.

It was further alleged that the accused persons showed undue favour and caused undue cumulative advantage of approximately Rs 508.22 crore to beneficiary companies, including the three aforesaid accused companies, since allocation of such additional spectrum till such decision was reversed by DOT in 2008, and corresponding loss to the government exchequer.

During monitoring of the 2G Spectrum scam case, the Supreme Court vide order dated December 16, 2010, directed the CBI to investigate the irregularities committed in the grant of licenses from 2001 to 2007 with particular emphasis on the loss caused to the public exchequer and corresponding gain to the licensees/service providers. Accordingly, in compliance to the said order, a preliminary enquiry was registered by CBI in January 2011.

Searches are being conducted on Saturday at the premises of the accused persons and companies at five locations (Four in NCR area and One in Mumbai).

As I have been saying all along, all poliical parties are involved in looting the telecom sector.
Pramod Mahajan is said to have initiated the demise of the BSNL by favouring the private telecom operators.
Of course, the BSNL employess are as muh responsible as Pramod Mahajan
His amassing of so much wealth may have been one of the causes of his murder by his own brother,

Sukhram convicted in 1996 telecom scam, pleads for leniency

New Delhi, Nov 19 (ANI): Former Telecom Minister Sukhram, convicted for taking Rs. 3 lakhs as bribe to give a lucrative contract to a private firm in 1996, today pleaded for leniency in a Delhi court on grounds of his old age.
Sukhram, 86, a cabinet colleague of Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, was held guilty on Thursday under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code. Various offences under which he has been convicted entail a maximum sentence of seven-year jail term.
Appearing for Sukhram, his counsel pleaded to Special Judge R C Pandey, "I (Sukhram) am an 86-year-old person and attending the trial for past 12 to 13 years. I suffer from old age-related ailments and have lost my wife. Therefore, a lenient view may be taken."
Responding to this, the CBI prosecutor argued that Sukhram is a "habitual offender" as he has been sentenced in two other cases also and deserves no leniency.
The CBI, in its charge sheet filed in 1998, had accused Sukhram of showing undue favour in awarding the cable supply contract to HTL. Sukhram had been put on trial along with HTL chairman Devinder Singh Choudhary who died during the trial.
In 2009, Sukhram had been held guilty of possessing disproportionate assets worth Rs. 4.25 crore.
In 2002, he was awarded a three-year jail term under the Prevention of Corruption Act in a separate case relating to equipment supply for causing a loss of Rs. 1.66 crore to the state exchequer. (ANI)

Sukhram was one of the pioneers, the Christopher Columbus of Telecom Scams.
He showed the way to others like Pramod Mahajan, Dayanidhi Maran and A Raja.
I agree with Sukhram that because of his old age, he should be shown leniency.
However, all his property of value equal to the loss he has caused to the exchequer with interest should be confiscated.
This should also be applicable to Dayanidhi Maran, Suresh Kalamadi and others who are presently standing trial.

Where did we go wrong ?

This is too true to be funny
The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

A billion Dollars ago was only 13 hours and 12 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

Stamp Duty
Tobacco Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Income Tax
Council Tax
Unemployment Tax
Fishing License Tax
Petrol/Diesel Tax
Inheritance Tax
(tax on top of tax)
Alcohol Tax
Marriage License Tax
Property Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Workers Compensation Tax; etc etc etc taxes


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago and our nation was one of the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt.
We had the largest middle class in the world. Mum stayed home to raise the kids, Dad was allowed to discipline kids
A criminals life was uncomfortable.

What the hell happened?
'Political Correctness', ‘Politicians or both?'
I hope this goes around the world
At least 100 times.

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

And remember, that is only the American billion which is 1000 millions.
Just imagine how horrendous if it had been the British billion, a million million

Friday, November 18, 2011

Smiles for your week

Dog Bite

A man walks into a shop and sees a cute little dog. He asks the shopkeeper, "Does your dog bite?"
The shopkeeper says, "No, my dog does not bite."
The man tries to pet the dog and the dog bites him.
"Ouch!" He says, "I thought you said your dog does not bite!"
The shopkeeper replies, "That is not my dog!"

Selling Insurance?

Airman Jackson was assigned to the induction center, where he advised new recruits about their government benefits, especially their GI insurance.

It wasn't long before Captain Haverty noticed that Airman Jackson was having a staggeringly high success-rate, selling insurance to nearly 100% of the recruits he advised.

Rather than asking him about this, the Captain stood at the back of the room and listened to Jackson's sales pitch.

Jackson explained the basics of GI Insurance to the new recruits, and then said, "If you are killed in a battle and have a GI Insurance, the government has to pay $200,000 to your beneficiaries. But, if you don't have a GI insurance and get killed in the battle, the government only has to pay a maximum of $6000."

"Now," he concluded, "which group do YOU think they're gonna send into battle first?"

Rest in Peace

A new business was opening and one of the owner’s friends wanted to send flowers for the occasion.

They arrived at the new business site and the owner read the card; it said “Rest in Peace”.

The owner was angry and called the florist to complain. After he had told the florist of the obvious mistake and how angry he was ,the florist said. “Sir, I’m really sorry for the mistake, but rather than getting angry you should imagine this: somewhere there is a funeral taking place today, and they have flowers with a note saying, “Congratulations on your new location.”

The Superbowl Fan

A guy named Bob receives a free ticket to the Super Bowl from his company.

Unfortunately, when Bob arrives at the stadium he realizes the seat is in the last row in the corner of the stadium - he's closer to the Goodyear blimp than the field.

About halfway through the first quarter, Bob notices an empty seat 10 rows off the field, right on the 50 yard line.

He decides to take a chance and makes his way through the stadium and around the security guards to the empty seat.

As he sits down, he asks the gentleman sitting next to him, "Excuse me, is anyone sitting here?" The man says no.

Now, very excited to be in such a great seat for the game, Bob again inquires of the man next to him, "This is incredible! Who in their right mind would have a seat like this at the SuperBowl and not use it?"

The man replies, "Well, actually, the seat belongs to me, I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first Super Bowl we haven't been together at since we got married in 1967."

"Well, that's really sad," says Bob, "but still, couldn't you find someone to take the seat? A relative or close friend?"

"No," the man replies, "they're all at the funeral."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How Indian Doctors Loot Patients.

Dr. B M Hegde

Most of these observations are either completely or partially true. Corruption has many names, and one of civil society isn't innocent either. Professionals and businessmen of various sorts indulge in unscrupulous practices. I recently had a chat with some doctors, surgeons and owners of nursing homes about the tricks of their trade. Here is what they said:

1) 40-60% kickbacks for lab tests. When a doctor (whether family doctor / general physician, consultant or surgeon) prescribes tests - pathology, radiology, X-rays, MRIs etc. - the laboratory conducting those tests gives commissions. In South and Central Mumbai -- 40%. In the suburbs north of Bandra -- a whopping 60 per cent! He probably earns a lot more in this way than the consulting fees that you pay.

2) 30-40% for referring to consultants, specialists & surgeons. When your friendly GP refers you to a specialist or surgeon, he gets 30-40%.

3) 30-40% of total hospital charges. If the GP or consultant recommends hospitalization, he will receive kickback from the private nursing home as a percentage of all charges including ICU, bed, nursing care, surgery.

4) Sink tests. Some tests prescribed by doctors are not needed. They are there to inflate bills and commissions. The pathology lab understands what is unnecessary. These are called "sink tests"; blood, urine, stool samples collected will be thrown.

5) Admitting the patient to "keep him under observation". People go to cardiologists feeling unwell and anxious. Most of them aren't really having a heart attack, and cardiologists and family doctors are well aware of this. They admit such safe patients, put them on a saline drip with mild sedation, and send them home after 3-4 days after charging them a fat amount for ICU, bed charges, visiting doctors fees.

6) ICU minus intensive care. Nursing homes all over the suburbs are run by doctor couples or as one-man-shows. In such places, nurses and ward boys are 10th cl-ass drop-outs in ill-fitting uniforms and bare feet. These "nurses" sit at the reception counter, give injections and saline drips, perform ECGs, apply dressings and change bandages, and assist in the operation theatre. At night, they even sit outside the Intensive Care Units; there is no resident doctor. In case of a crisis, the doctor -- who usually lives in the same building -- will turn up after 20 minutes, after this nurse calls him. Such ICUs admit safe patients to fill up beds. Genuine patients who require emergency care are sent elsewhere to hospitals having a Resident Medical Officer (RMO) round-the-clock.

7) Unnecessary caesarean surgeries and hysterectomies. Many surgical procedures are done to keep the cash register ringing. Caesarean deliveries and hysterectomy (removal of uterus) are high on the list. While the woman with labour -pains is screaming and panicking, the obstetrician who gently suggests that caesarean is best seems like an angel sent by God! Menopausal women experience bodily changes that make them nervous and gullible. They can be frightened by words like " and "fibroids" that are in almost every normal woman's radiology reports. When a gynaecologist gently suggests womb removal "as a precaution", most women and their husbands agree without a second's

8) Cosmetic surgery advertized through newspapers. Liposuction and plastic surgery are not minor procedures. Some are life-threateningly major. But advertisements make them appear as easy as facials and waxing. The Indian medical council
has strict rules against such misrepresentation. But nobody is interested in taking action.

9) Indirect kickbacks from doctors to prestigious hospitals. To be on the panel of a prestigious hospital, there is give-and-take involved. The hospital expects the doctor to refer many patients for hospital admission. If he fails to send a certain number of patients, he is quietly dumped. And so he likes to admit patients even when there is no need.

10) "Emergency surgery" on dead body. If a surgeon hurriedly wheels your patient from the Intensive Care Unit to the operation theatre, refuses to let you go inside and see him, and wants your signature on the consent form for "an emergency
operation to save his life", it is likely that your patient is already dead. The "emergency operation" is for inflating the bill; if you agree for it, the surgeon will come out 15 minutes later and report that your patient died on the operation table. And then, when you take delivery of the dead body, you will pay OT charges, anaesthesiologist's charges, blah-blah-

Doctors are humans too. You can't trust them blindly. Please understand the difference.

Young surgeons and old ones. The young ones who are setting up nursing home etc. have heavy loans to settle. To pay back the loan, they have to perform as many operations as possible. Also, to build a reputation, they have to perform a large number of operations and develop their skills. So, at first, every case seems fit for cutting. But with age, experience and prosperity, many surgeons lose their taste for cutting, and stop recommending operations.

Physicians and surgeons. To a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Surgeons like to solve medical problems by cutting, just as physicians first seek solutions with drugs. So, if you take your medical problem to a surgeon first, the chances are that you will unnecessarily end up on the operation table. Instead, please go to an ordinary GP first

Padma Bhushan Awardee 2010.
Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes,
Chairman, State Health Society's Expert Committee, Govt. of Bihar, Patna.
Former Prof. Cardiology, The Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London,
Affiliate Prof. of Human Health, Northern Colorado University,
Retd. Vice Chancellor, Manipal University,
Pais Hills, Beja.
MANGALORE-575004. India.

Sent by U Banerjee, N P.

I am thankful to Dr. B M Hegde for taking the initiative to publish the above.
It was really required.
What is the IMA doing to control the loot by doctors or do we need an Anna Hazare to take up this matter also.

Countering China, Obama asserts US a Pacific power

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Signaling a determination to counter a rising China, President Barack Obama vowed Thursday to expand U.S. influence in the Asia-Pacific region and "project power and deter threats to peace" in that part of the world even as he reduces defense spending and winds down two wars.
"The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay," he declared in a speech to the Australian Parliament, sending an unmistakable message to Beijing.
Obama's bullish speech came several hours after announcing he would send military aircraft and up to 2,500 Marines to northern Australia for a training hub to help allies and protect American interests across Asia. He declared the U.S. is not afraid of China, by far the biggest and most powerful country in the region.
China immediately questioned the U.S. move and said it deserved further scrutiny.
Emphasizing that a U.S. presence in the Asia-Pacific region is a top priority of his administration, Obama stressed that any reductions in U.S. defense spending will not come at the expense of that goal.
"Let there be no doubt: in the Asia Pacific in the 21st century, the United States of America is all in," he said.
From Canberra, Obama flew to the northern city of Darwin, where some of the U.S. Marines bound for Australia will be based. Obama was to visit a military base and speak to U.S. and Australian troops.
Obama's visit marked the first time a sitting U.S. president has been to Darwin, where U.S. and Australian forces were killed in a Japanese attack during World War II. The president was to lay a wreath at a memorial for the USS Peary, a Navy destroyer that was sunk during that battle.
For Obama, Asia represents both a security challenge and an economic opportunity. Speaking in broad geopolitical terms, the president asserted: "With most of the world's nuclear powers and some half of humanity, Asia will largely define whether the century ahead will be marked by conflict or cooperation, needless suffering or human progress."
Virtually everything Obama is doing on his nine-day trip across the Asia-Pacific region has a Chinese subtext, underscoring a relationship that is at once cooperative and marked by tensions over currency, human rights and military might.
China's military spending has increased threefold since the 1990s to about $160 billion last year, and its military recently tested a new stealth jet fighter and launched its first aircraft carrier. A congressional advisory panel on Wednesday urged the White House and Congress to look more closely at China's military expansion and pressed for a tougher stance against what it called anticompetitive Chinese trade policies.
The expanded basing agreement with Australia is just one of several initiatives Obama has taken that is likely to set Beijing on edge at a tricky time. The U.S. is China's second largest trading partner, and the economies are deeply intertwined. Chinese leaders don't want the economy disrupted when global growth is shaky and they are preparing to transfer power to a new leadership next year.
Over the weekend while playing host to Chinese President Hu Jintao and other Pacific rim leaders at a summit in Hawaii, Obama said the U.S. would join a new regional free trade group that so far has excluded China. That added an economic dimension to what some Chinese commentators have called a new U.S. containment policy that features reinvigorated defense ties with nations along China's perimeter, from traditional allies Japan and the Philippines to former enemy Vietnam, all of whom are anxious about growing Chinese power.
China was immediately leery of the prospect of an expanded U.S. military presence in Australia. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said there should be discussion as to whether the plan was in line with the common interests of the international community.
Responding to questions at a news conference Wednesday with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Obama sought to downplay tension between the world powers. "The notion that we fear China is mistaken," he said.
Obama avoided a confrontational tone with China in his speech to the Australian parliament, praising Beijing as a partner in reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and preventing proliferation.
"We'll seek more opportunities for cooperation with Beijing, including greater communication between our militaries to promote understanding and avoid miscalculation," he said.
In a note of caution, however, he added: "We will do this, even as continue to speak candidly with Beijing about the importance of upholding international norms and respecting the universal human rights of the Chinese people."
With military bases and tens of thousands of troops in Japan and South Korea, the United States has maintained a significant military presence in Asia for decades. Australia lies about 5,500 miles south of China, and its northern shores would give the U.S. easier access to the South China Sea, a vital commercial route.
The plan outlined by Obama will allow the United States to keep a sustained force on Australian bases and position equipment and supplies there, giving the U.S. ability to train with allies in the region and respond more quickly to humanitarian or other crises. U.S. officials said the pact was not an attempt to create a permanent American military presence in Australia.
About 250 U.S. Marines will begin a rotation in northern Australia starting next year, with a full force of 2,500 military personnel staffing up over the next several years. The United States will bear the cost of the deployment and the troops will be shifted from other deployments around the world. Having ruled out military reductions in Asia and the Pacific, the Obama administration has three main areas where it could cut troop strength: Europe, the Middle East and the U.S.
All U.S. troops are being withdrawn from Iraq by the end of this year, and a drawdown in Afghanistan is underway. But the Pentagon has said recently that the U.S. will maintain a major presence in the greater Middle East as a hedge against Iranian aggression and influence. A more likely area for troop reductions is Europe, although no decisions have been announced.
The debate over defense budgets is just one aspect of a broader political fight over fixing the nation's debt problem during a presidential election season. Already, the Pentagon is facing $450 billion in cuts over ten years, as part of a budget deal approved last summer. And if a special congressional committee can't agree on $1.2 trillion in more long-term cuts or Congress rejects its plan, then cuts of $1.2 trillion kick in, with half coming from defense.
Australia's Gillard said, "We are a region that is growing economically. But stability is important for economic growth, too." She said that "our alliance has been a bedrock of stability in our region."
Obama's visit is intended to show the tightness of that relationship and he hailed the long ties between the United States and Australia, two nations far away that have spilled blood together
"From the trenches of the First World War to the mountains of Afghanistan_Aussies and Americans have stood together, fought together and given their lives together in every single major conflict of the past hundred years. Every single one," he said.

Associated Press writers Erica Werner and Rod McGuirk in Canberra and Robert Burns in Washington contributed to this report.

It is about time the USA started showing its tooth.
China has made the USA impotent by its massive supply of consumer goods, made by American companies, who went there to reduce costs. China has now bought so much of American debt that the USA is scared of taking any strong action against China.

For a start, Americans should learn to live within their means and the government should not encourage them to spend by giving zero interest loans. Instead teach them to save and bring back the industries which had gone over to China to reduce costs. These are the reasons which have made China so arrogant.

I had said in one of my earlier posts that as per prophecy by someone during my days in school that the 3rd world war would be fought between China on one side and the USA, USSR and India on the other side.
The scenario is developing along those lines with Chine flexing its muscle on the whole of our northern boarder from Pakistan to Nepal to Arunachal Pradesh after first occupying Tibet.
It has already set a foot in Sri Lanka when it helped the government to fight the LTTE.
It has been threatening Vietnam and Japan and its other neighbours.
It is good the USA has again started taking interest in the Pacific region to contain China.
I would suggest that India too have a treaty with the USA to contain the China- Pakistan axis.

Can Smaller States Promise Better Governance?

Bangalore: Is Small is Beautiful and Better? - India's political circle furiously debates as Mayawati's cabinet clears the proposal to divide Uttar Pradesh into four parts. And the often asked but unanswered question arises again - Are Smaller Sates ruled Better?

There seems to be no end for the Telengana struggle in the near future and with Maya's demands for splitting UP into four, the union government will undoubtedly have to deal with more calls for separation. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has been campaigning for a separate state of Gorkhaland for many years. Similar demands have been heard from Assam, Vidarbha, Kodagu etc and it would be a tough task for the central government to grant the just demands.

The evidence of growth and development in cases of large states and small states or for that matter, large or small countries, are very neutral. The debate would turn worthless looking at the way India and China are growing, if the argument goes as bigger states lacks growth. However, when the Chief Minister of the State says that the state, massive in size and population, cannot be governed as it is; she needs to be heard.

Arguing against the division, any states regardless of its size and population, will remain undeveloped if the devolution of funds, functions and functionaries are not done e ffectively to the local bodies. As long as the inequalities in income are widening so drastically, there cannot be an overall development in the state as most of the states' and the central government's core focus is only on economic reforms with a total neglect of quality of living or basic needs such as health, education, employment or other basic requirements. Development largely depends on the extent to which power is devolved to the local authorities. It's well proven over the years as how a small state like Kerala under different chief ministers over the years and a bigger sate like Bihar under Nitish Kumar have seen tremendous development. And to cite an example, Jharkhand created by dividing Bihar, could not make any significant developments over the years. The demands for smaller states arise from ethnic identities and from the sense of insecurity which are valid reasons; however, development or good governance is largely depends on devolution of power.

On the other hand, UP's neighboring states such as Haryana and Uttarakhand have prospered after being separated and become part of smaller states. People in bigger states undeniably face this problem of the sense of alienation from the power centre.

As Mayawati's move can very well be the make or break factor in the upcoming polls, her decisions has created a dilemma among the other players. BJP which had created three states during the NDA rule and that supports the demand for a separate Telengana states remains undecided. While Congress, unsure of the actual impact of the move, nothing should be decided in haste and fears that this can take the sheen off the proposed RLD-Congress alliance, Samajwadi Party, as always, opposes any division of the state.

The power to create any new state is vested with the union government through parliamentary consent and the recent developments shows that the government acts only when people get violent, only time will tell how the map of Uttar Pradesh would look like in the future.

The above is from Silicon India.

Watching the agitation for separate states of Telengana and Gorkhaland, I had remarked earlier, there is nothing in it for the people.
These are just agitations by politicians to devolve power unto themselves so that there are more funds they can misappropriate.

The British could rule the whole of India from Britain because they did not play favouritism and there was only so much they could take back home. However the politicians and bureaucrats live in India and have to build palatial houses for themselves, families and in-laws. After some time, they find the scope becomes limited in looting one state and demand bifurcation so that there are more crumbs to loot.

Jharkhand and Chattisgarh have proved that division does not improve administration of efficiency. It only breeds more corruption.

Sheet Head or Shit heads?

Sent by Keith Hayward

Relativity explained

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Music in the cemetery

A tourist in Vienna is going through a graveyard and suddenly he hears some music.
No one is around, so he starts searching for the source.
He finally locates the origin and finds it is coming fwith a headstone that reads "Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827".
Then he realises that the music is the Ninth Symphony and it is being played backwards!

Puzzled, he leaves the graveyard and persuades a friend to return with him.
By the time they arrive back at the grave, the music has changed.
This time it is the Seventh Symphony, and like the previous piece,
it is also being played backwards.

Curious, the men agree to consult a music scholar.
When they return with the expert, the Fifth Symphony is playing, again backwards.
The expert notices that the symphonies are being played in the reverse order
in which they were composed, the 9th, then the 7th, then the 5th.

By the next day the word has spread and a crowd have gathered around the grave.
They are all listening to the Second Symphony being played backwards.

Just then the graveyard's caretaker ambles up to the group.

Someone in the group asks him if he has any explanation for the music.

"I would have thought it was obvious" the caretaker says incredulously.
"He's decomposing."

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Talk about family planning?

Did someone say they'd lost a penguin?
200,000 young birds search for their hungry chicks

Most parents will know the problem. Your back is turned for two seconds and your little one has disappeared into the crowd.
Well just be thankful it’s not a crowd like this.
This sea of black, white and brown is created by 200,000 king penguins searching for their hungry chicks on the South Atlantic island of South Georgia.

Each year, the king penguin colony at Salisbury Plains, South Georgia, produces an astonishing 50,000 chicks - a number which is on the rise

And, incredibly given the apparent chaos, the young birds hardly ever get lost – thanks to each having a unique begging call.
The scene was captured by German photographer Michael Poliza after the penguins had returned en masse to their home colony for a new breeding season.

King penguins are 3ft tall and weigh up to 33lbs. They lay just one egg each year and the fluffy brown chicks take 11 months to become self-sufficient, so it’s fortunate for them that their parents can p-p-p-pick them out.
Each year, the king penguin colony at Salisbury Plains, South Georgia, produces an astonishing 50,000 chicks - a number which is on the rise.
And Mr Poliza, from Hamburg, Germany, was left speechless when he was met by the noise, smell and breathtaking sight of the enormous colony.

This sea of black, white and brown is created by 200,000 king penguins searching for their hungry chicks on the South Atlantic island

He said: "Nothing can prepare you for opening your eyes and seeing hundreds of thousands of penguins right in front of you for as far as you can see.
"It was beautiful looking out across a sea of such vibrant colour - I felt a bit like an opera conductor amidst a one-of-a-kind concert of cries from thousands of hungry chicks.
"The view was even more stunning as it was framed by a truly breathtaking backdrop of mountains and glaciers.
"The chick is a true 'homebody' in every sense of the word. They need about eleven months to become self-sufficient so it's a good job they have such a unique cry.
"King penguins can recognise each other's call and can find their mate and their chick among the 200,000 birds in the colony."
Each October king penguins across the subpolar Antarctic regions return to their home colonies to breed and lay just one precious egg.
Dedicated Michael, who has a new exhibition opening in Germany at the end of October, had to travel to the Antarctic Peninsula on a cruise ship to capture the striking shots.

It looks like they're playing Wheres Wally: The chaotic scenes make it look impossible for the adult penguins to find their young, but because of their unique begging call amazingly they never get lost

Photographer Michael Poliza, who has a new exhibition opening in Germany at the end of October, had to travel to the Antarctic Peninsula on a cruise ship to capture the striking shots

He would wake up at 4am and go straight from his cabin to the upper deck, where a crane lifted him and a rubber dinghy overboard and lowered them into the icy water.
He added: "Part of the courtship ritual of king penguins is an erect posture where both sexes make themselves as tall as possible to impress their potential mate.
"During the October courtship period, males parade the females with loud calls, an erect posture and a courtship walk - being the tallest certainly impresses the females.
"It seems like a chaotic mixture of adults and their chicks, and king penguins look quite comical, but they know exactly what they are doing.
"On land, penguins are very curious as there have been no land predators in Antarctica so I was able to get up close to them.
"I would love to go back again as it was a truly fantastic experience."

Sent by Arun Shroff