Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Marching orders for 10

By Suman K. Shrivastava

Ranchi, May 28: The state government has decided to terminate the services of 10 judicial officers of various ranks through compulsory retirement on the recommendation of Jharkhand High Court for their "doubtful integrity and inefficiency".

Chief minister Arjun Munda today approved the high court's recommendation in anticipation of cabinet approval. The officials facing compulsory retirement will receive three months' salary in lieu of prior notice.

This is the second time that the high court has embarked on a major "cleansing exercise" since coming into existence in 2000. Around 25 judicial officers were given marching orders in 2002. Thereafter, two to four officers have been axed annually over the years.

Last year, the government terminated four judicial officers.

Those facing termination now are principal judge of the family court in Dumka Mahesh Prasad Sinha, additional law adviser Indradev Mishra, civil judge, Ranchi, Murari Prasad Singh, secretary, District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) in Jamshedpur, Brijesh Bahadur Singh, special secretary, cabinet (vigilance) department, Pradeep Kumar Singh, chief judicial magistrate of Seraikela Kharsawan Indrasan Yadav, district and additional sessions judge of Giridih Nirmal Kumar Agarwal, secretary of DLSA in Sahebganj Ashok Kumar, additional chief judicial magistrate of Godda Sayed Mohammad Wasim, and subdivisional judicial magistrate, Deoghar (Madhupur), Radha Bhatnagar.

According to sources, the high court move was prompted by a letter from the Chief Justice of India in 2010, prompting an exercise of screening and weeding out deadwood as recommended by the Shetty Commission, which was implemented in the state in 2006. The recommendations guide the pay, perks and service conditions of judicial officials.

The Shetty Commission recommendations stipulate that judicial officers have to undergo three layers of screening after they attain the age of 50, every year. The first level of screening will be done annually for those between the ages of 50 and 55, the second level for those aged 55 to 58 and third for 58 to 60 years.

Jharkhand Service Rules section 74 (B) also states that any judicial official can be compulsorily retired on reaching 50 years of age or after completing 20 years of service if their service record is not up to the mark.

Around 130 of 410 judicial official across all ranks ' from magistrates to district judges ' fell under the bracket of 50 to 55 years when the high court began the exercise after constituting a committee of three judges in January this year. The high court sent the recommendations to the state government on May 17.

Sources said the disturbing feature was that some of the officers had faced serious charges from the very beginning of their service as was evident from their files and yet they continued in office.

Meanwhile, the chief minister also approved the transfer of two judicial officers ' additional judicial commissioner (CBI court), Ranchi, Dinesh Chandra Rai, who has been transferred to Bokaro as family court principal judge and civil judge Ranchi Satya Prakash, who has been transferred as deputy registrar, Jhalsa.

The above is from mu Yahoo mail.

I would say this is a very good job done.

The judiciary is the fountainhead of justice and unless the judiciary is steeped to be incorruptible, how can the other be free of corruption.

I have from personal experience in Bihar and Jharkhand know that the lower courts are steeped in corruption in these two states. I cannot say for the other sates, as I have no experience there.

In these two states, even to move a file in front on the judge or magistrate, you have to pay a bribe to the peshkar. The peshkar shares the money with everybody.

If this cleansing helps to stop the rot, so be it.

Congratulations to Arjun Munda.

Let us hope he follows Nitish Kumar in ridding Jharkhand of corruption.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Aussie Immigration..........?

A Parsi gentleman went to Australia to watch the cricket series there. The Aussie at passport control sat thumbing through his passport for a while. Unable to find anything objectionable, he growled: "Have you got a criminal record"..? The Bawa smiled and replied, 'I am terribly sorry, sir; unfortunately, I don't have one. Nobody told me it was STILL a requirement to get into your country'...!!! Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Troubles galore as BJP enters final year of rule

Bangalore, May 26 (IANS) Karnataka's scandals-scarred, dissidence-riven Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government completes four years of its maiden rule in the state next week, depending heavily on its troubled national leadership to stay in power in the final year of its five-year term.

As the party celebrates May 30 the fourth anniversary of its rule in the only southern state it is in power, the greatest consolation for it will perhaps be that it survived the years, though paying a heavy price for its claims of being the 'nation-first' party.

A small relief for the BJP - and the people of Karnataka as well - is that no major scandal has hit the government since August last year when the party forced its first chief minister in the state, B.S. Yeddyurappa, to quit over mining graft charges.

But the party's downhill journey continues unabated as there is no end to dissidence or attempts by Yeddyurappa and his supporters to throw out his successor D.V. Sadananda Gowda who assumed office last Aug 4.

Gowda has managed to survive, falling back on what his party makes fun of as a trademark of the Congress party - high command is seized of the issue and we will abide by its decision.

With the BJP 'high command' caught in its own wrangles, the party's Karnataka problem has become a classic case of buying time and stitching piecemeal deals in the hope that better days, if not better sense, will dawn among the increasing number of 'my way or the highway' leaders in the party.

That the party can have little hope of better sense dawning on its dissident Karnataka leaders out to unseat Gowda is illustrated by the latest row set to rock the party - over illegal mining again.

Gowda is being accused by Yeddyurappa and his supporters of being 'soft' on former state chief ministers S.M. Krishna and N. Dharam Singh of the Congress and H. D. Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), who are also alleged to have allowed illegal mining during their tenures.

The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) looking into illegal mining in Karnataka had sought the Gowda government's response on whether the allegations against these three former chief ministers call for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe.

The apex court has ordered a CBI probe into graft charges against Yeddyurappa and his kin on the recommendation of the CEC.

The CEC asked the Gowda government for its stand following a petition to it by a Bangalore-based social activist T.J. Abraham that says a CBI probe is needed to establish the role of the three former chief ministers in illegal mining.

The Gowda government is reported to have not taken a clear stand for or against a CBI probe and left it to the CEC to take a decision on the issue.

The government has not officially made public its response to the CEC. However, Yeddyurappa as well as Abraham claims that the Gowda government has passed the buck to the CEC instead of taking a clear stand.

While Abraham told reporters in Bangalore Friday that he would approach the CEC again challenging the government response, Yeddyurappa demanded that "the chief minister must give the CEC a true picture."

With dissidents set to step up attack on Gowda over the sensitive issue, neither can Gadkari rejoice at getting a second term as BJP president nor can the party celebrate completing four years of its rule that made Karnataka hit the headlines for all wrong reasons.

What a study in contrast.

We have a BJP government in Gujarat and another BJP government if Karnataka.

The former runs like a well oiled machine, free of any corruption charge.

The latter staggers along like a asthmic super-annuated pregnant woman with one leg missing.

Why the difference?

Just one person, the Chief Minister.

It proves that if the top person it good, the rest will follow.

On the other hand, if the top is rotten, the rest is going to be rotten.

The ends do not justify the means.

For short term gains, if you chose a corrupt person to lead, the whole party will suffer.

It is better to forgo power than chose a corrupt person to lead.

More harm was done to the BJP poll prospects in UP by admitting corrupt ministers thrown out by Mayawati than anything else.

People got a confirmation of their doubts that the BJP was just as corrupt as the Congress Party

Woman kills children, hangs self in Delhi

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) In an shocking incident, a 27-year-old woman in south Delhi Friday killed her two infants - a boy and a girl - before committing suicide after killing her two children, police said.

Vineeta Katara, her daughter Harshita, 3, and son Arpit, 1 and a half were found dead in their residence at Deluxe Apartments at Chhattarpur in Mehrauli.

"Vineeta's and her daughter's body was found hanging from ceiling fan while her son's body was lying on the floor," a police official said.

No suicide note has been found but the investigation has been launched to ascertain the reason of this extreme step, he added.

According to the officials, Katara had earlier come to Mehrauli Police Station to lodge a complaint against her in-laws for harassing her for dowry. Later, she called her brother in Kota (Rajasthan) to inform him of her complaint.

Around 3 p.m., police got a call from Katara's brother, who had been unable to contact his sister. A police team rushed to their home and discovered the bodies.

"The bodies have been sent for post-mortem but it seems that she first strangulated her son, then hung her daughter and herself from the ceiling fan," a police official said.

Katara had lodged a complaint against her husband Deepak, her brother-in-law and other family members. The couple had married six years ago and were living in a rented accommodating.

Police said that Deepak, a nursing student at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, had been questioned and investigation was under way.

It is shocking to see and read about these dowry deaths.

The last episode of Aamir Khan's "Satyamev Jayate" dealt with this problem.

In spite of the government claiming to speak against it, ministers and government officials continue to spend ostentatiously during marriages and ask and give dowry.

This sets a standard for society and everybody is made to spend beyond their means, even taking loans.

If the government truly wants to eradicate this scourge, it should ban all government officials and politicians from taking or giving dowry and to control their expenses in marriage.

If anyone is found to disobey this instruction, he/she should dismissed after proper enquiry.

Next, dowry deaths should be considered as serious as death after rape with equal punishment.

The cases should be fast-tracked and the culprits should not be given bail until the outcome of the case.

Motive 'hole' in Shehla case

By Rasheed Kidwai

Bhopal, May 25: The CBI today filed its chargesheet in the murder of RTI activist Shehla Masood but legal experts claimed the agency had failed to substantiate its claim that jealousy arising out of a love triangle was the motive.

The key accused, Bhopal-based interior designer Zahida Pervez, 35, has been charged with murder and conspiracy but the agency has not named Bhopal's BJP MLA Dhruv Narain Singh, whose name had figured in earlier CBI briefings and media reports on the murder.

Shehla, 38, was shot outside her Bhopal home on August 16 morning last year, the immediate suspicion linking the murder to her 40-odd RTI applications on the role of forest and police officials in tiger deaths.

However, in February, the CBI arrested Zahida and pointed to a crime of passion. It claimed that both Shehla and Zahida were in a relationship with Dhruv, 62, and that the interior designer had hired contract killers through her associate Saba Farooqui to murder her "rival".

The chargesheet, filed with the CBI court in Indore, accuses Saba and the alleged killers ' Saqib "Danger", Irfan and Tabish ' of murder, conspiracy and destruction of evidence. Like Zahida, the four men are in custody.

However, Shehla's family and close friends insist that she had never had an affair with Dhruv and that Zahida could have had no reason to kill her. They said Shehla had moved to Delhi almost two years before her murder and was in a relationship with a BJP member of Parliament. Besides, they said, Shehla and Zahida hardly knew each other.

The only purported evidence that the CBI has offered about Dhruv and Shehla being lovers are the telephone calls they reportedly exchanged, most of them made by the politician.

Legal experts in Bhopal say they are appalled that the CBI has failed to establish a clear motive. "If Dhruv was not involved with Shehla," one of them said, "why would Zahida attempt to eliminate her?"

The CBI appears to have better proof of the relationship between Zahida, a mother of two, and Dhruv. The agency has seized Zahida's telltale diary that officials say contains graphic accounts of her many sexual encounters.

However, the sleuths claim, the diary makes no reference to Dhruv in any of the entries that appear related to Shehla's murder.

On the day of the murder, Zahida is said to have written that Saqib had called her around 11.15am and said: "Mubarak ho! Ghar ke samne kaam ho gaya (Congrats! The job has been done right outside the house).''

However, Zahida's diary doesn't mention Dhruv even once in the entire month of August 2011, CBI officials say.

In the months after the murder, the CBI had grilled the MLA for hours and subjected him to a lie-detector test. Now the agency seems to have given him a clean chit, saying his only fault was that he had been a reckless Casanova.

The above is from my Yahoo mailbox

Have you ever seen an India politician being convicted.

It is not that they are honest.

They are the worst scums in society. Rather it is one of the qualifications required to be a politician.

You have to be a scum.

Rather, the system has been so designed by the politicians themselves that all probes on them are scuttled.

So, how could the CBI find anything wrong in this BJP politician in a BJP ruled state.

It seems if the truth is to be found, the media will have to take up the case and the Supreme Court will have to interfere.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

NDA calls for nationwide shutdown on May 31 to protest petrol price hike

New Delhi, May 24 (ANI): The NDA has called for a nationwide shutdown on May 31 to protest against the UPA Government's unilateral decision to increase the price of petrol.

"The important thing is that the petrol price has been hiked up to seven rupees.

People don't know the reason behind this big jump. The government is raising its hand on the issue, saying this is all based on the international market. We have decided to do a 'Bharat Bandh'," said NDA convenor and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Sharad Yadav.

Yadav also appealed the leaders of various other political parties to support this shutdown.

"The government took a one-sided and unilateral decision. The government should have discussed this issue in the Parliament. I would appeal everyone to participate in this 'Bharat Bandh'," said Yadav.

"I have doubts in my mind that the government will incase the price of LPG and diesel after the presidential polls," he added.

Meanwhile, the government has asked Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister S. Jaipal Reddy to cut short his official visit to Turkmenistan by a day, and return to New Delhi to explain to the people the reasons for going ahead with the petrol price hike.n the steepest ever increase, the UPA-II Government on Wednesday raised petrol prices by about a massive Rs 7.54 per litre, the first hike in rates in six months.

The hike in prices means that the price of petrol in Delhi will go up from Rs.65.64 per litre to Rs.73.14 per litre. In Mumbai, the price will go from Rs.70.66 per litre to Rs.78.16 per litre. In Kolkata, the price will go from Rs.70.03 per litre to Rs.77.53 per litre In Chennai, the price will go from Rs.69.55 per litre to Rs.77.05 per litre.

State-owned oil companies have decided to raise petrol price by Rs 6.28 per litre excluding local sales tax or VAT. The hike translates into Rs 7.50 per litre in Delhi and is the steepest ever.

The decision to hike petrol prices came a day after the end of the Budget Session of Parliament. (ANI)

Isn't it ironical that the Congress which swears by the supremacy of Parliament should increase the price of only after parliament has shut down after the budget session.

This is the contempt that the congress holds parliament and MPs.

India's payment condition is only going to get worse.

We are increasing the number of cars produced and the car companies and banks are competing with each other to make the customer buy their products.

Driving additional cars requires more fuel.

We do not produce much fuel in India, so we have to import the fuel by using scarce foreign exchange.

So, the more cars we produce, the more the outgo of our foreign exchange.

What is the solution?

Make the car companies export ten cars for every one made for home use in India.

This will earn us foreign exchange for running our cars.

There should be a differential petrol price.

The higher price for cars and a subsidized price for two-wheelers.

Similarly there should be a differential price for diesel.

For Trucks, public buses and taxis, there should be a subsidized rate.

For cars used for company purpose and private purpose the diesel should not be subsidized.

Jogi targets Sangma, Congress distances itself

New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) The Congress Wednesday distanced itself from the remarks of its tribal leaders, led by former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi, opposing the candidature of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader P.A. Sangma for president.

Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said "it was his personal opinion".

Jogi, along with party's tribal leaders, told reporters here that Sangma was "playing into the hands of communal forces represented by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies".

Sangma has sought support from various political parties for his presidential bid.

"One should not declare himself as a presidential candidate. It is such a high office. It has never been demanded by any individual. The country chooses... the electoral colleges decide it. But Sangma has claimed it as tribal leader which is wrong," said Jogi.

On supporting a tribal candidate for presidency, Jogi said the party had not decided yet. "If the party decides for a tribal candidate we will definitely support it."

The Congress is in the habit of making all issue "WE vs THEM" with the result that it has become prone to the blackmail of the likes of Mamata Banerjee. India is in terrible condition with labour pains and there may be a major abortion. With the value of the Rupee sinking to historical lows and no end to the pains in sight. It is obvious that the Rupee may go to as low as Rs 60/- to the dollar. Our infamous corruption scams have become headline news throut the world so much so that businessmen are afraid to come to India. We change our laws retrospectively to suit ourselves. There is no rule of law. Why can't the Congress show the world that they are above politics and select an apolitical candidate who would be respected by the whole world. There is no point in taking Jogi's views in account as he himself has been mired in corruption charges. The last choice, Pratibha Patil, was the worst President, India has had since Independence. Let them select a candidate who is respected by everybody and does not hold brief for any political party. I am of the opinion the Mr. Sangma would fit the bill perfectly as although he is from the NCP, his party have already disowned him. Or better still, Dr. Abdul Kalam whom the whole nation wants, except the Congress party

The Irish wrestler

A Russian and an Irish wrestler were set to square off for the Olympic gold medal. Before the final match, the Irish wrestler's trainer came to him and said, 'Now, don't forget all the research we've done on this Russian. He's never lost a match because of this 'pretzel' hold he has. Whatever you do, do not let him get you in that hold! If he does, you're finished.'

The Irishman nodded in acknowledgment.

As the match started, the Irishman and the Russian circled each other several times, looking for an opening. All of a sudden, the Russian lunged forward, grabbing the Irishman and wrapping him up in the dreaded pretzel hold. A sigh of disappointment arose from the crowd and the trainer buried his face in his hands, for he knew all was lost. He couldn't watch the inevitable happen.

Suddenly, there was a long, high-pitched scream, then a cheer from the crowd and the trainer raised his eyes just in time to watch the Russian go flying up in the air. His back hit the mat with a thud and the Irishman collapsed on top of him, making the pin and winning the match.

The trainer was astounded. When he finally got his wrestler alone, he asked, 'How did you ever get out of that hold? No one has ever done it before!'

The wrestler answered, 'Well, I was ready to give up when he got me in that hold but at the last moment, I opened my eyes and saw this pair of testicles right in front of my face. I had nothing to lose so with my last ounce of strength, I stretched out my neck and bit those babies just as hard as I could.'

The trainer exclaimed, 'That's what finished him off?'

'Not really. You'd be amazed how strong you get when you bite your own nuts.'

Longest Nerve

Longest Nerve In The Body Did you know that in the human body there is a nerve that connects the eyeball to the anus?

It's called the Anal Optic Nerve, and it is responsible for giving people a shitty outlook on life.

If you don't believe it, pull a hair from your bum and see if it doesn't bring a tear to your eyes.

My public service is done for the day!

Keep laughing...life is too short to take too seriously...

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How political New Delhi's cancer causes India pain

What is there to talk about the third anniversary of the United Progressive Alliance II?" -- that is the counter-question political commentators posed when Rediff.com asked them for their views on the government's rocky tenure.

The UPA is in power only because nobody challenges its dull and unexciting survival.

When the monthly edible oil bill for a family of four comes to Rs 500, the Congress's promise of 'government for the aam-aadmi' has to be termed as 'cheating the aam-aadmi.'

It is Dr Manmohan Singh's spectacular failure in the field of finance over the last three years that has escalated the prices of essential commodities and daily needs.

He and his team have many plausible reasons for the unusually high food prices in the bazaar, but then none in the government has enough credibility left at the end of three years to move among the people and explain to them some basic economic realities and global trends.

Eight years ago, when Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who anointed Dr Singh as prime minister, didn't transfer real authority to him, doubts were raised against such an arrangement, that it would weaken the institution of prime minister.

Those fears have come true. That political decision of 2004 now haunts the government and the party, both.

Then as now, Sonia Gandhi was looking beyond Dr Singh. So, her party took the cue and never allowed Dr Singh to grow in office.

The Congress has been waiting for Rahul Gandhi to grow, but he has encountered a cruel defeat in his very first move forward.

It is only due to the Congress's dictates that Prime Minister Singh has been absent in public life and silent on all the livewire issues of national concern. He never identified himself with any issue except the India-United States nuclear deal. Politically, he is inconsequential with an expiry date written on his face.

The free fall of the rupee, the worrying current account deficit, the government's failure in achieving development targets can be understood, even tolerated, but not Sonia Gandhi and Dr Singh's stubborn reluctance to own up issues and taking up the nation's leadership, which is nothing short of astounding.

Due to the politics between the Prime Minister's Office and 10, Janpath over the last eight years, there are no real heavyweights in the Union Cabinet. The crisis of leadership inside the government has become detrimental to the national interest.

Reporters waiting outside Parliament know well how trite Kapil Sibal, Anand Sharma or Salman Khurshid sound when they speak on serious issues. The way the government acted on the B R Ambedkar cartoon controversy shows that it is under siege and fears its own shadow.

The level of credibility of people in high office is so low that when Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia speaks sense, one finds it fishy.

Just imagine Dr Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram and Defence Minister A K Antony sitting across the table in South Block and discussing price rise. None of them is a mass leader. None of them has any appeal in the Hindi heartland. None of them has a pan-Indian presence.

Even though all four of them are highly successful individuals and have many fine things to their credit, none of them has provided strong leadership in his province or party. How can you term them 'heavyweights'?

The Congress spin-master's argument that the UPA's limitations are due to the inherent nature of coalition politics is lazy or plain dishonest.

The four most powerful Cabinet portfolios are with the Congress and for all practical purposes this is a Congress government with its allies having their say in a limited sphere of governance and some influence in policy-making.

The truth is that over the last eight years, the four most powerful Congress ministers have not emerged as a cohesive team tending to national issues. It is well known that Mukherjee and Chidambaram are adversaries working at cross purposes.

There is nothing common between Dr Singh and Antony except that both enjoy a public image of being honest. On the issue of economic management, governance, China, America, Pakistan and in matters like party politics, they differ too much to be a team.

Chidambaram's arrogance and Antony's humility have not worked well in handling many security-related issues.

However, one must distinguish one trend. It is political New Delhi's cancer that causes India pain. The rest of the country is not doing as badly. In metros like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and even in non-Lutyens Delhi and in the towns and villages of India, people are busy with their struggles and want to move on.

It is South Delhi's political class that causes so much pain to India. It has failed to provide the strong leadership needed badly when the nation craves for more and more development.

The ethical quotient of the political class is so low here that it creates an air of hopelessness all over India.

Sonia Gandhi is engrossed with the Gandhi family agenda. There is a moral crisis in all the political parties as ideals have made way for pragmatism. As a result, the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party and the regional parties have turned opportunist on the excuse of becoming accommodative.

When the Congress shows leniency in investigating the 2G spectrum scam, the nation turns to the BJP for answers. But the BJP is no different in investigating mining scams in Karnataka, where its party is in government.

Also, just watch how the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is pushing for a second-term as BJP president for Nitin Gadkari in spite of the fact that L K Advani, Arun Jaitley, Narendra Modi and Sushma Swaraj do not accept him as a leader. Gadkari cares a damn. He is in the RSS's safe hands.

Political leaders, who mismanage their party's affairs, are either entrusted with the task of running the nation, or are aspiring to run the nation as Gadkari does.

If the UPA has failed to manage the economy, the BJP has failed in the last three years to become a clear national alternative to the Congress. The RSS wants Gadkari to be a source of inspiration for a nation looking for a better alternative to the wobbling UPA. Don't take this lightly, the RSS is dead serious, as of today.

It is true that the Congress is the source of current national troubles because it is the ruling party. Still, the party is smug because, as its leaders point out, even BJP leaders are tainted and they too suffer from infighting. But the Congressmen are absolutely off the mark in their counter-arguments. The BJP's weaknesses are their only defence.

India is not the sum total of the Congress and BJP. The people want answers from the Congress on questions like: Why is the party not sensitive to price rise? Why is the government engaging in deception to avoid the Lokpal Bill? Why can't it convince foreign banks to declare the names of people who have illegally stashed their wealth abroad?

Over the last three years Congress leaders have shamelessly said that price rise is the big issue, not corruption. This argument is floated because they get so much comfort from the fact that even the BJP has tainted leaders. "Kya, BJP mein corruption nahin hain?" is their usual comment.

What a fall in the standards of national debate! What about the sea of people who are not part of the BJP? Why can't the Congress be answerable to them?

In the matter of political debates, is the Congress answerable only to the BJP, or only to those Opposition parties who they find equally or more corrupt?

Is the Congress not answerable to the people who are apolitical or highly political, but not aligned with any political party?

The UPA has failed over the last three years because it is in denial mode, refusing to accept that so much is rotten inside the government and the party. They take the rotten affairs of the government and governance as a 'national phenomenon' plaguing the country.

But the ruling class's criteria can't be the BJP or Samajwadi Party or the Bahujan Samaj Party; they have to respond to the people of India who are fighting all odds in amazing ways in spite of the failed UPA government ruling them.


The above is from Rediffmail

Couldn't have put it better.

Case against Ramdev: Court asks police to file reply

New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) A court here Tuesday asked Delhi Police to file reply in a case against yoga guru Baba Ramdev for allegedly giving an objectionable speech against parliamentarians.

Metropolitan Magistrate Purshotam Pathak asked the Patel Nagar police station in central Delhi to file an action taken report in the case by June 22.

The court was hearing a private complaint filed by a law student, Vibhor Anand, who alleged that Ramdev uttered offensive words intentionally and with malafide intent to lower the credibility and reputation of parliament and its representatives.

Vibhor Anand's counsel V.K. Anand requested the court to lodge a case against Ramdev on charges of sedition and statements conducing to public mischief.

The petition alleged that Ramdev gave the objectionable speech during a yoga camp at Durg in Chhattisgarh May 2.

The counsel told the court that the accused called the parliamentarians dacoits, murderers and illiterates.

According to the petition, Ramdev said that the parliamentarians were friends and slaves of money and they did not like labourers.

"They (parliamentarians) are devils in the form of human beings... they have been seated in parliament, but they do not deserve it," the petition said, quoting Ramdev.

The law student, whose NGO based in West Patel Nagar provides legal aid to people, has also filed a case against right to information activist and Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal alleging that he also made an objectionable speech at a rally in Ghaziabad Feb 26 with malafide intention to lower the reputation of parliament.

This is the Congress dirty trick department at work again.

I would willingly bet that this NGO has been sponsored by the Congress party and the Advocate too is a Congress supporter.

What Swami Ramdeo and Arvind Kejriwal are saying is just echoing the voice of the whole nation.

Against how many people are the Congress party going to file cases.

It would be easier if they tried to go at the roots and prevent dacoits, murderers, rapists, extortionist and smugglers enter parliament.

Even if one member of parliament is accused of the above crimes, all parliamentarians can be put in that category unless they remove such people who give them such a poor reputation.

Remember, one bad apple can spoil the whole basket.

The learned court should dismiss the case unless parliament agrees to reform the electoral process to weed out such people.

UPA @ 3: The people are fed up... want PM to go

Has the United Progressive Alliance government delivered the goods in the three years it has been in power? Has the Manmohan Singh-led government been able to effectively check the growing prices and the level of corruption in the country?

The answer to these questions is a resounding NO.

A survey carried out by television channel CNN-IBN has revealed that an overwhelming number of voters believe that the government has lost the faith of the public.

The public sentiment states that the UPA government, which is on Tuesday commemorating three years in power, has lost out on tackling governance issues and that the Manmohan Singh government is facing a serious credibility crisis.

The poll, which was carried out in eight cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Lucknow between May 8-10, reflected the mood of the nation.

When asked about whether they were satisfied with the current UPA government, 59 per cent of the respondents replied in the negative.

At the same time, another 66 per cent felt that the Manmohan Singh-led government had lost the credibility to govern the nation.

Asked to state the major reasons why the government had lost public appeal, 21 per cent blamed the administration's handling of social activist Anna Hazare's fast for Lokpal Bill.

While 20 per cent of those surveyed outlined the government's failure to take bold economic reform measures and 17 per cent lamented on its inability to tackle scams and corruption cases, 16 per cent believed that Dr Singh was unable to manage coalition allies.

Eleven per cent of respondents felt that Sonia had not actively backed Dr Singh, because of her ill-health, and castigated the UPA's indecisive attitude and failure to take decisions on key issues.

Price rise, failure to act against corruption and failure on the front of bringing in economic reforms are the three major issues where people believe the UPA-II government has performed badly.

Forty nine per cent people said they saw no change in the corruption levels in the country while 36 per cent felt that malpractices had risen to menacing levels under the current dispensation.

The government has been a total failure when it came to tacking prices with over 50 per cent (53) feeling that the government's ineffectiveness had just increased the common man's miseries.

Another 46 per cent slammed the government for derailing the country off the growth path.

The government's Naxal strategy too came under attack with 44 per cent of the respondents believing that it had simply not done enough to tackle the ultras in the three years it has been in power.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's performance too has taken a beating with 41 per cent respondents terming it as average and another 55 per cent seeking his exit.

While a meagre 13 per cent was happy with his work, an overwhelming 58 per cent believed that UPA-II will not last its tenure and another 49 per cent did not want to give it another chance in power.

With regard to who they would want to see as Dr Singh's replacement, the audience surveyed appeared more favourable towards Rahul Gandhi (33 per cent) and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee (20 per cent).

Only 7 per cent wanted to see Sonia as prime minister.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi topped the survey on who people would like to see as prime minister if the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance ever came to power.

While 39 per cent respondents voted for Modi as the next prime minister, 17 per cent voted in favour of senior BJP statesman L K Advani and 10 per cent for Sushma Swaraj.

Ironically, only 2 per cent voters entrusted their faith on BJP president Nitin Gadkari.

The CNN-IBN survey comes as a rude awakening for the UPA government, which on Tuesday is set to release a 'Report to the People' containing sector-wise initiatives taken over the last one year.

Well, the message from the aam aadmi is clear -- Buckle up or get booted.

The above is from the mail I receive from Rediffmail.

I cannot fault the survey.

I am of the opinion it is very lenient on the UPA.

They are making no attempt to curb corruption.

If at all, they are just encouraging it by their acts and they way they have scuttled the Lokpal bill would show that they are not into the spirit of the Lokpal bill.

They want to make it as impotent as Manmohan Singh has become as Prime Minister.

Whatever problems India is have regarding inflation and the devaluing of the Indian Rupee can be put to the UPA#3 door step.

The various scams occurring so frequently have made foreign investors fear for India's future.

Those who uncover the scams are mercilessly killed.

The quicker UPA#3 is thrown out, the better will it be for India.

Of course, the BJP, except for Narendra Modi, is no better.

Let us hope, the BJP comes to power with a majority and Narendra Modi becomes PM.

Then hw will not have to depend on the likes of Mamta Banerjee, Lalu Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati or the Thackerays of Maharashtra.

He will then be able to replicate Gujarat on the whole of India.

The Soldier - Final Inspection

The soldier stood and faced God,

which must always come to pass.

He hoped his shoes were shining,

Just as brightly as his brass.

'Step forward now, you soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?'

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,

'No, Lord, I guess I isn’t.

Because those of us who carry guns,

Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,

And at times my talk was tough.

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,

That wasn't mine to keep...

Though I worked a lot of overtime,

When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,

Though at times I shook with fear.

And sometimes, God, forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around,

Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,

It needn't be so grand.

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne,

Where the saints had often trod.

As the soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

'Step forward now, you soldier,

You've borne your burdens well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell.'

Author Unknown~

Sent by Prakash Bhartia


The Netherlands , where six per cent of the Population is now Muslim, is scrapping Multiculturalism:

The Dutch government says it will abandon the Long-standing model of multiculturalism that has Encouraged Muslim immigrants to create a parallel society within the Netherlands .

A new integration bill, which Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner

presented to parliament reads: "The government shares the social Dissatisfaction over the multicultural society Model and plans to shift priority to the values of the Dutch people.

In the new integration system, the values of the Dutch society play a central role.With this change, the government steps away From the model of a multicultural society.

The letter continues:"A more obligatory integration is justified Because the government also demands that From its own citizens. It is necessary because Otherwise the society gradually grows apart And eventually no one feels at home anymore in the Netherlands ...

The new integration policy will place more demands On immigrants. For example, immigrants will be Required to learn the Dutch language, and the Government will take a tougher approach to Immigrants who ignore Dutch values or disobey Dutch law.

The government will also stop offering special Subsidies for Muslim immigrants because,According to Donner; "It is not the government's job to integrate Immigrants." (How bloody true)

The government will introduce new legislation that Outlaws forced marriages and will also impose Tougher measures against Muslim immigrants who Lower their chances of employment by the way "They Dress".

More specifically, the government will impose a Ban on face-covering, Islamic burqas as of 1st January 2013 Holland has done that whole liberal thing, and realised -Maybe too late - that creating a nation of tribes Will kill the nation itself.


Muslim immigrants leave their countries of birth Because of civil and political unrest CREATED BY THE VERY NATURE OF THEIR CULTURE. Countries like Holland, Britain, and Australia have an Established way of life that actually works, so Why embrace the unworkable?

If Muslims do not wish to accept another culture,The answer is simple;


This gives a whole new meaning to the term; 'Dutch Courage' There's a whole lot of truth here!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Beauty and Complexity of the English Language

Professor Ernest Brennecke of Columbia is credited with inventing a sentence that can be made to have eight different meanings by placing ONE WORD in all possible positions in the sentence: "I hit him in the eye yesterday."

The word is "ONLY".

The Message:

1. ONLY I hit him in the eye yesterday. (No one else did)

2. I ONLY hit him in the eye yesterday. (Did not slap him)

3. I hit ONLY him in the eye yesterday. (I did not hit others)

4. I hit him ONLY in the eye yesterday. (I did not hit outside the eye)

5. I hit him in ONLY the eye yesterday. (Not other organs)

6. I hit him in the ONLY eye yesterday. (He doesn't have another eye)

7. I hit him in the eye ONLY yesterday. (Not today)

8. I hit him in the eye yesterday ONLY. (Did not wait for today)

This is the beauty and complexity of the English language.

Sent by Pradip Nahata

Push to shake off debt burden

KOLKATA: On the completion of one year in office, the Mamata Banerjee government is adopting a two pronged strategy to combat the debt trap.

Besides, asking the Centre for a bail-out package, the state government is taking measures to increase internal revenue generation. Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra told TOI in an exclusive interview that it is confident of achieving more than 20% growth in tax collection in the current fiscal, thanks to better compliance and new taxes.

"We have collected additional revenue of Rs 4,000 crore in 2011-12 though there was no new tax. It was Rs 25,000 crore in 2011-12 compared to Rs 21,000 crore in 2010-11. It will easily cross Rs 30,000 crore this year because there are additional tax components," Mitra said.

He pointed out that measures like introduction of e-filing of return under sales tax act, pre assessment refund facility through electronic clearing system, enhancement of number of banks receiving e-payment of taxes have resulted in better compliance and revenue generation in 2011-12.

In the current fiscal, some new taxes have been added - like compensatory entry tax, one-time motor vehicle tax, stamp duty on developers agreement, and increase of VAT in luxury commodities - that would mobilise additional revenue.

"Last year, through better compliance alone we have mobilised an additional Rs 4,000 crore. This year it will be much more because of the new taxes," he added.

However, Mitra made it clear that increase in internal revenue generation alone cannot clear the fiscal mess unless there is aid from the Centre. He argued that the Centre too is responsible for Bengal's debt trap so it should help out.

The finance minister alleged that Centre has repeatedly allowed the former Left Front government to resort to market borrowing despite the fact that Bengal was the only major state which refused to obey Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management act (FRBM).He pointed out that all the major states came under FRBM by 2005-06 except Bengal. A state government needs to take permission from union finance ministry while going for market borrowing.

"Interestingly Centre has always gave permission to the Left Front government to raise money from market through RBI auction though it was not following FRBM. Just 30 days before we came to office the former government raised Rs 5,400 crore from market. Left Front rampantly borrowed money to maintain its cadre base and the Centre has allowed them to do so that has resulted in this burgeoning debt. So this has to be shared by the Centre," he added.

Now, market borrowing stands at around Rs 90,000 crore and is the biggest component of Rs 2.08 lakh crore debt stock of Bengal. The market borrowing was around Rs 80,000 crore when the new government took over.

Mitra reiterated that the state will continue to demand a moratorium on principal repayment and interest for three years followed by a debt restructuring. The state has to pay Rs 23,199 crore every year on account interest and principal repayment. This is likely to go up to Rs 25,561 crore soon if the debt is not restructured.

"Punjab has got moratorium for both principal and interest between 1995 and 2006. The amount was Rs 9,000 crore. The finance commission has also accepted that Bengal, Punjab and Kerala are the three debt stressed state with Bengal topping the list," he added.

Who says Paschimbanga is in a debt trap?

Seeing the way the tripod street lights are being put up all over Kolkata, it does not seem there is any shortage of funds in Bengal.

In Bangur Avenue on just one main road they have installed 136 nos of these tripod fitting.

Now each fitting should cost about Rs 40,000/- to install including the pipes, cables and contract labour.

So installing these 136 fittings should have cost about Rs 54.40 Lakhs.

Each of the tripods have a 18 / 20 watt Philips CFL lamps.

If we assume, the lamps run for 10 hours at night the daily consumption of electricity would be 8.16 KW,

This would cost Rs 40.8 per day, ie. Rs 1470/- per year.

Now this is for only one Bangur Avenue.

Just imagine the amount being spent all over Kolkata.

We wouldn't mind if these lights were installed where there were no lights.

However, the street where these lights are being installed is already illuminated very well with sodium vapor lamps.

Now when Didi talks of fund shortage, we can say she is talking rubbish.

There is no fund shortage that I can see.

Piling debts drive farmer to suicide in Burdwan

BURDWAN: Unable to withstand the pressure of piling debts, a sharecropper took pesticide at Baranagar village under Pandua police station.

Tapan Munda, 42, had allegedly incurred a huge debt in the market and drank pesticide on Thursday. He was rushed to the nearby Memari Block Health Centre where he died in the wee hours on Saturday.

The sharecropper had cultivated boro crops on eight bighas. While some of the crops got infected, the others got damaged on the recent squalls. With mounting pressure from the local mahajans, Tapan committed suicide, alleged his elder brother Swapan Munda.

Tapan was the sole bread winner of the family and is survived by a wife and three children. The body was sent for autopsy to Burdwan Medical College Hospital and later handed over to his family.

Besides cultivating on the eight bighas, Tapan used to work as an agricultural labourer to supplement his income, said family sources. Bulbul mondal, the block agricultural officer of Pandua, said that she has send officials to probe the death.

If Shah Rukh truly wants to become Paschimbanga's brand ambassador as announced by Didi, he could take a leaf out of Amitabh Bachhan's book and help the distressed farmers in Bengal by wiping out their debt.

Amitabh does it Maharashtra.

Their debts normally do not amount to much.

As per Amitabh, it is around Rs 10000/= per farmer.

By contributing about Rs 50/- lakhs, he could save at least five hundred farmers.

And since these actors would be performing a function which should be done by the useless and corrupt Central government, this amount should be deducted from their income for taxation purposes.

Shah Rukh Khan's problems are becoming boring

Targeting Shah Rukh Khan over the Wankhede incident, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Saturday said the actor did not seem to mind the treatment meted out to him by airport authorities in the United States, but was ready to get into a fracas in Mumbai because "he has the Congress's protection".

"Surprisingly, US security officers detain Shah Rukh Khan at the airport, frisk him, but he does not lose his cool. He goes there again and again to get humiliated. But he argues with humble security guards at Wankhede, because here he has the protection of the law, and of the Congress," Thackeray said in his editorial in the Sena mouthpiece Saamana.

"Shah Rukh is a good actor but his behaviour at parties and public events is controversial. Recently Saif Ali Khan too behaved this way. Perhaps that's why the Centre gave him a Padmashri. In that case, Shah Rukh deserves a bigger honour. Please do recommend him for President-nominated Member of Parliament," it said.

"If Shah Rukh felt that the security guards misbehaved with him and insulted the children of a celebrity, he should have complained to the authorities at Wankhede Stadium. The guards would have been punished without any inquiry," Thackeray said.

The editorial also compared Shah Rukh with other members of the film industry.

"Amitabh Bachchan and his family members, Aamir Khan, Anil Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan are also celebrities. But one never hears of them getting into brawls under the influence of alcohol," it stated.

The editorial also mentioned recent reports that Bachchan helped some Vidarbha farmers repay their debts. "How many actors have done this," it asked.

"We wish Shah Rukh success as an actor. He should stay away from fights, brawls, bad language and Pakistan's advocacy," Thackeray said.

Sena had targeted Shah Rukh earlier over his remark that he would have liked to have Pakistani players in the IPL.

I have been regularly commenting on two brats from Maharashtra, the Uncle-Nephew duo of Bal and Raj Thackeray.

By the way Raj has a double relation with Raj.

Raj is the son of Shrikant Thackeray (younger brother of Bal Thackeray) and Kunda Thackeray (younger sister of Bal Thackeray's wife Meena Thackeray).

I am surprised that one of them can comment of Shah Rukh Khan when they themselves have been demanding all sorts of privileges from the government and hold Maharashtra to ransom at the drop of a hat.

Of course, I do not approve of Shah Rukh's tactics.

Unlike India where even the spouse of Priyanka Vadera can breeze through airport security without even missing a step for security check, the USA has its own rules where even the high and mighty have to follow.

They have a system in place where anyone with a Muslim sounding name is given an extra look and scrutiny.

We may not approve but they had to put this in place after 9/11.

Even the President of our country, Dr, Abdul Kalam was a victim of this extra security check.

So, it is best to accept this fact and deal with it accordingly and not cry every time you have to go through it.

If a system is used regularly without any bias to protect your country, we cannot fault it.

It is much better than our system which allows free flow of terrorists from across the border and we cannot utter a word for fear of being called communists.

Shah Rukh should learn to live like a normal human being and demand special privilege for himself and his accompanying entourage.

T N Seshan: The man who would never back down

I have been a great admirer of T N Seshan and many a time have I wondered at what had happened to the great person since I had not read about him for a long time.

I am grateful to T E Narasimhan for posting this article on Rediffmail.

If there is any person who deserves a "Bharat Ratna", it is Mr T N Seshan. He brought out a complete change in our electoral system and you could say he fired the first salvo against corruption, even before Swami Ramdeo and Anna Hazare.

He was the the most fit candidate who would never occupy the President of India's chair and he had also offered his services when he stood for the elections for the post.

But how could the politicians who were scared of him, chose him.

He lost and so did India.

Only the corrupt politicians gained.

But the first lamp he had lit against corruption still glows strong.

The article is rather long, but it is worth reading.

It is with some trepidation that I walk into T N Seshan's house on St Mary's Road in Chennai. It is called Narayaneeyam, which is the title of a medieval text composed by Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri, a Sanskrit poet of Kerala.

Seshan is the no-nonsense former cabinet secretary and chief election commissioner; he also won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 1996. He is credited with having helped clean up Indian elections -- and is, perhaps not surprisingly, known to have a short fuse.

Seshan's office wanted the list of questions ahead of our meeting, and informed me that he would not answer questions on national politics, nor discuss any issue outside the original list of questions.

So I reach his house 15 minutes early. Unlike the other residences in this upmarket neighbourhood, Narayaneeyam, where Seshan lives with his wife Jaya, is built in the Kerala style. A sparkling-clean car stands in the driveway. There is a small garden and a verandah. A Ganesha idol rests on the floor, and a picture of Ganesha above the main door. A CCTV camera keeps an eye on visitors.

From the foyer a staircase leads up to the living room and library. At the stroke of 3 pm, I am let into the visitor's room on the ground floor. Seshan, who will turn 80 next week, is dressed in a half-sleeve brown shirt and veshti, (the kind of dhoti worn by Brahmins). He has put on weight since he was last in the news.

The room is sere#8800 the only noise is the rumble of an old air-conditioner. Where he sits, within arm's reach are two remote controls and a cordless phone. On display behind him, and also around the television set placed in front of him, are the various accolades and souvenirs he has received.

In one corner is an idol of Ganesha; in another, an automatic foot massager. To one side is a shelf with audiocassettes and a cassette player. He offers a drink of buttermilk.

In spite of the repressive "advisory" of his office, Seshan speaks freely. He has aged since his government days, but still speaks with his famous conviction. Not once does his memory falter.

Tirunilayi Narayana Iyer Seshan is best remembered as the man who cleaned up Indian elections. To the public he was a hero. And he revelled in that status. A Delhi journalist who watched Seshan conduct a "town hall" meeting in those days remembers that he handled the audience with great skill.

Dressed in a loose kurta and pyjama, he was direct and crisp, and impatient with long-winded questions. His punch line for the evening was: Tu cheez badi hai bhrasht bhrasht ("You are very corrupt-corrupt," a take on a then-popular film song).

Another journalist remembers Seshan's informal monthly get-togethers when he was the cabinet secretary (the country's top bureaucrat). He once asked a secretary to furnish some information to journalists the very next day, although it was a Sunday. He relented only when the secretary remonstrated. His detractors called him authoritarian, egotistic, eccentric and publicity-hungry.

Sixteen years after he left the Election Commission in 1996, Seshan lives a quiet life. He devotes most of his time to the internet, and to his library of over 1,000 books. The library upstairs, which he invites me to see, contains an eclectic mix of books on philosophy, politics, history, economics and Shakespeare.

He says he is currently reading the Vivekachudamani, a long Sanskrit poem composed by Adi Shankar, founder of the Kanchi Mutt. The poem is in the form of dialogue between a master and his disciple, where the master explains nature and the atman (the self, in Hindu philosophy).

It should be noted that Seshan was attached with the Mutt when it was run by Jagadguru Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal (1894-1994). He also follows Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sai Baba and Amritanandamayi Devi, though he says he is not "over-attached".

Seshan is on the faculty of the Great Lakes Institute of Management in Chennai, where he teaches leadership. He had been asked to lecture bureaucrats-in-the-making at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy in Mussoorie, but his frankness ensured the stint was short.

"When I took the first batch, my first remark for the students was, 'A paanwala will earn more than what you earn.' I was being both brutal and fair." Seshan had, in the past, set up the Deshbhakt (patriot) Trust with like-minded people for social reforms. Now, however, he "only spends time at the Great Lakes Institute and at home".

On the hard disk of his computer rests Seshan's autobiography. "I have written my autobiography and it is ready. But I am not planning to publish it since it will hurt many people. I wrote it just for my satisfaction," he says.

Seshan was the youngest of six siblings in a middle-class family. His father was a lawyer in the district court. "My father came up the hard way," he says. "During our childhood, we were not denied our needs, but we didn't live in luxury." His mother once beat him for spending 4 annas (25 paise) on food in a restaurant without permission.

"There are certain lessons you learn from your childhood. It is not that we shouldn't spend money, but that we shouldn't spend blindly. This incident helped me to be a clean-handed person in my career. You will not find even one single wrong rupee in my account. Money was not wrongly spent, be it public or personal. I lived with the principle of integrity, absolutely fearless."

Seshan went to school in Kerala, then studied science at Madras Christian College in Chennai, where he says he won a gold medal for outstanding performance -- but at the cost of his social life. He was a bookworm, in the college "hostel morning, evening and night".

With few job opportunities in the early 1950s for young scientists, Seshan became a lecturer in the same college at 19. He left in 1953 because the monthly salary was a paltry Rs 180.

He decided to make a career in the civil services, and topped the police examination in 1953. "I did not take up police service," he says, "because I would have had to deal with criminals all the time and eventually would have become hard-hearted." In 1955, he topped the IAS entrance exam and began his long journey as a bureaucrat.

Seshan started in Tamil Nadu and then moved round the country before arriving in Delhi. Despite the prominence of his later positions, he counts his time as director of transport for Madras as one of his most memorable assignments.

There he managed 3,000 buses and 40,000 staff. One of the bus drivers once asked Seshan how he would grasp drivers' problems when he did not understood bus engines or know how to drive a bus. Seshan took this as a challenge and not only learnt to drive but also spent long hours at the workshop.

"I could dismantle engines and put them back and drive the bus also," he says. Once he stopped a driver in the middle of the road, took the wheel and drove the bus, full of passengers, for 80 km!

But the assignment most Indians will remember Seshan for is chief election commissioner. He was chosen by the then prime minister, Chandra Shekhar. According to Seshan, the then law minister, Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, played a vital role in the appointment, for which Seshan says he is still grateful.

His association with Swamy goes back to Harvard University, where the government had sent Seshan to do a course in public administration, and Swamy was then teaching.

"I assumed the office when I didn't know the rules and how the Election Commission operates," says Seshan. "I had never conducted an election. I went with two principles: zero delay and zero deficiency."

During his early days on the job, Seshan identified over 100 common electoral malpractices, including the preparation of inaccurate election rolls, mistakes in setting up polling stations, coercive electioneering, spending more than the legal limit, using goons to snatch polling booths and general abuse of authority.

The challenges were enormous, but Seshan says they didn't intimidate him. "I am like a ball. The more you kick me, the more I will bounce back." The cleanup began with his own office. Long lunch breaks were banned, and tennis and library during office hours was brought to an end.

It was Seshan who began issuing identity cards to voters. "We [the Election Commission] wanted to issue photo identification cards to all legal voters," he says. "The politicians bitterly protested this move, claiming that it was unnecessary and expensive."

After waiting nearly 18 months for the government to act, Seshan announced that if voter identity cards were not issued, no elections would be held after January 1, 1995.

A number of elections were, in fact, postponed for this reason. The Supreme Court eventually interceded and ruled that since voting was an inherent right of citizens, it could not be postponed indefinitely because voters lacked identity cards. Even so, Seshan's insistence led the government to start issuing identity cards.

By 1996, Seshan's last year on the job, 2 million voters had ID cards.

The other reform related to election expenses, ostentatious campaign displays and residency requirements. Seshan instituted the practice of using election observers, who were senior officers of the National Tax Bureau.

He also implemented Section 77 of the Representation of the People Act of 1951, which made it obligatory for candidates to keep an accurate account of their expenditure and set a ceiling on the amount they could spend on their campaign.

During the 1993 Lok Sabha elections, Seshan monitored electoral expenses round the clock from a control room at the Election Commission headquarters. One of his officers was assigned to each state.

Altogether, according to reports, 1,488 candidates for Lok Sabha were disqualified for three years because they failed to submit an account of their expenses.

It was reported that Seshan reviewed more than 40,000 alleged cases of false election returns and disqualified 14,000 potential candidates from public office. He was impervious to the demands of politicians; so much so that in 1992, when the Commission under him cancelled elections in Bihar and Punjab, some politicians tried to have him impeached.

"It was not that I introduced a new reform in the system," says Seshan. "In fact, I didn't even add one comma, semicolon or a full stop to the Act. Whatever was said in the Act, I implemented."

Notwithstanding my original trepidation, and despite his fearsome reputation, Seshan is not curt, arrogant or bitter.

Sorry Ma'am, but

Question Time Didi, organised by CNN-IBN at the Town Hall on Friday evening, was meant to be a platform for Mamata Banerjee to field questions from a cross-section of Calcuttans on the eve of her completing one year as chief minister. But less than 12 minutes and five questions into the event, Mamata stormed off, accusing some students of being "Maoists and CPM cadres".

Taniya Bhardwaj, a Presidency University student whose question about the conduct of some of her ministers prompted Mamata to take off her lapel microphone and leave, writes a letter to her chief minister via The Telegraph: Sorry Ma'am, but I am not a Maoist.

That is what you, the most important person in Bengal, labelled me at the CNN-IBN question-answer session on Friday at the Town Hall.

What exactly did I do to deserve this honour? I just asked you a question.

I had gone to the Town Hall on Friday just over a year after attending the CNN-IBN Battle for Bengal panel discussion at the same venue on April 21, 2011, and then a few days later, voting for change.

This is what I had written on April 28, 2011, in The Telegraph: "Changeathon 2011 is the most anticipated in recent history…. What makes it particularly exciting is the prospect of a revamped Calcutta 'in 200 days', the large number of fresh faces contesting the elections, the renewed hope for industrialisation…. I will vote with my fingers crossed ' hoping for paribartan in the truest sense. And when I head to the polling booth, it won't merely be a voting room, but more like a 'changing room'."

I had also written: "We want change, but are scared that we will move from a frying pan to a burning stove. Call me a sceptic, but I don't see either political party as a positive alternative for Bengal."

Sadly, a year later, you have proved ' on national television ' how right I was.

What did I do to earn the label of a Maoist and a CPM cadre from you?

I merely asked you whether affiliates of your party, specifically minister Madan Mitra and MP Arabul Islam, who wield power should act/should have acted more responsibly.

I, like many others, was greatly disturbed when Madan Mitra pronounced his own judgement on a rape victim before the police were done investigating. The Arabul Islam case, of course, is still making headlines.

I asked you what had been on the minds of most people around me, people who had voted for paribartan. Is this what we expect of our leaders? The ones who set examples and who people follow. This is all that I wanted to know.

What I got to know, instead, was that in Bengal today, asking a question can be equivalent to a Maoist act.

You also spoke of democracy. The answers you gave to the questions you took before mine were sprinkled with words like "people", "democracy", "Bengal". But one of the most important features of a true democracy, which I have learnt as a student of political science, is the freedom of expression. This freedom means to be able to express oneself, to be able to question, to not have to mince words out of fear of authority, to be able to enjoy a chuckle or two at a cartoon about important public figures.

Sadly, there seems to have been a dramatic failure of this aspect of the democratic machinery in the state. And just like I won't become a Maoist simply because you called me one, the state too won't epitomise democracy unless it is truly democratic in all spheres.

All said and done, what you did was in haste, and it made me the centre of attention. And as you stomped off in fury, you automatically assumed the role of the spoilsport.

Had you stayed on and heard us out, many of us would have left the Town Hall honestly believing that you are "a Chief Minister with a Difference''. Instead….

You have spoken of the brain drain from Bengal so many times. I hold offers from the University College London and the School of Oriental and African Studies to study development and administration. I too will probably leave, and now you know the reason why.


A simple woman


(Presidency University, political science)

The above is from the mails I receive from Yahoo.

Why does Mamata behave the way she does?

Why does she not allow her able lieutenants to take important decisions for it cannot be denied she has many able persons in her cabinet?

She has many highly qualified persons in her party but she takes all the decisions herself.

How can she possibly do justice to the job of administering a problematic state like Paschimbanga if she would take all the decisions herself.

Has she got into the Indira Gandhi Syndrome of not trusting anyone who rises fat and so cuts him down.

Or is it because she has single-handedly built the party from scratch when she broke away from Soumen Mitra's Congress party and like a jealous mother would not trust anyone with the child?

Whatever it might be - it is wrecking havoc on Paschimbang and the credibility of the TMC

Beer, Fishing, Golf and Sex

A man was walking down the street when he was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless man who asked him for a couple of dollars for dinner.

The man took out his wallet, extracted ten dollars and asked, "If I give you this money, will you buy some beer with it instead of dinner?"

"No, I had to stop drinking years ago," the homeless man replied.

"Will you use it to go fishing instead of buying food?" the man asked.

"No, I don't waste time fishing," the homeless man said. "I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive."

"Will you spend this on greens' fees at a golf course instead of food?" the man asked.

"Are you NUTS!" replied the homeless man. "I haven't played golf in 20 years!"

"Will you spend the money on a woman in the red light district instead of food?" the man asked.

"What disease would I get for ten lousy bucks?" exclaimed the homeless man.

"Well," said the man, "I'm not going to give you the money. Instead, I'm going to take you home for a terrific dinner cooked by my wife."

The homeless man was astounded. "Won't your wife be furious with you for doing that? I know I'm dirty and I probably smell pretty disgusting."

The man replied, "That's okay. It's important for her to see what a man looks like after he has given up beer, fishing, golf and sex."

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Saturday, May 19, 2012

High five to fighters on JEE list

- Quintet beat odds at home and beyond to gain medical berth


The results of the state JEE have turned the spotlight on five stars who outshone others not just by their ranks on the merit list but by their heroic and successful battles against a slew of odds. Metro salutes the five, all groomed by Al-Ameen Mission (pictures by Anindya Shankar Ray).

Mampi Khatoon

The 19-year-old, the first girl from Harishpur village in Nadia to pass Higher Secondary exams, had to fight poverty and snide remarks from neighbours to rank 304 on the medical merit list. “I passed HS in 2010 and this was my third attempt at cracking the JEE. Some of my neighbours would always tell my parents to get me married as I could not shine in studies. They would also tell me that I could never crack the JEE as I had failed in the first two attempts,” said Mampi, who was groomed for the JEE at the Al-Ameen Mission centre in Howrah’s Khalatpur.

Mampi’s father runs a small grocery store in the village, earning about Rs 2,500 a month. She would be at the shop to help her father during vacation, braving comments like “Stop dreaming” and “Not for you to become a doctor” from customers.

“Their remarks made me angry but I would say nothing. My rank is my answer to them,” said the gritty girl, who wants to become a gynaecologist. “My aunt’s first child was aborted accidentally. Such cases are frequent at our village. I want to stop that.”

Nasir Shaikh

The 17-year-old’s father, Karim, earns Rs 2,000-3,000 a month working in the fields but he was determined to make his son a doctor. When the JEE results were announced on Thursday and Nasir came to know that he had ranked 42 in medical, Karim wept in the joy of having realised the most daring dream he has ever dreamt.

“There were times when my father could not pay the school fee. He would wait for the meagre harvest to be sold to raise money for my studies. He was even ready to sell our land, the only asset we have, but could never brook the thought of me giving up studies,” said Nasir, tutored by the Al-Ameen Mission since he was in Class XI.

The boy from Kalna in Burdwan wants to become a “good doctor” and improve the family’s standard of living. “But whatever I do, I can never equal my father’s contribution.”

Almina Khatoon

The 18-year-old’s family plunged into a financial crisis after her father died of cancer last July. “My father had a garage. The business was not flourishing but we had no trouble having two square meals a day,” said Almina, a resident of Ayodhya village in Hooghly’s Jangipara.

Her brother, three years elder to her, took over the garage after their father’s death. A chunk of their customers had left by then and the family income had plummeted to around Rs 3,000 a month.

Almina had appeared in the JEE last year, too, and ranked 2,380. This year her rank is 463. “I had to get a good rank. Or else I would not get a berth at a decent college,” said Almina, a steely determination in her voice. What kept her going despite the odds? “Abbu had wanted me to become a doctor. His dream fired me.”

Md Rubel Hussain

The Murshidabad boy owes his 49th rank in medical to his brother, a contract labourer now working for a construction firm in Salt Lake.

“My father suffers from a cardiac problem and cannot work. It’s the money my brother Raju, one year my elder, sends home that paid for our needs, including my fee and whatever books I bought,” said Rubel, eyes moist with tears.

Raju studied till Class V but always wanted his younger brother to be educated successful. “He has done so much for me. I can never repay his debt,” said Rubel, eyeing a berth at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.

Father Altaf Hussain’s biggest worry is how to fund his younger son’s studies. “My elder son has paid the fees so far but I am not sure whether his income is enough for the fees of a medical college. I have heard it’s expensive to become a doctor,” said Hussain.

Sawkat Shaikh

The resident of Jangipur in Murshidabad has ranked 61 in medical. Father Islam Shaikh earns around Rs 4,000 a month, stitching and selling jute bags.

Wasn’t that too little to make ends meet and also pay for the books and school fees. “No”, pat came the reply from father and son together. “Whatever little I earn is enough for us — three of my children, my wife and myself. We did not face any difficulty,” said Islam Shaikh.

Sawkat hopes to get a seat at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital and study cardiology after MBBS.

I normally give so much negative news of my Muslim brothers and sisters that i was overjyed to see this very positive news item.

I would like to congratulate all the boys and girls and Al-Ameen Mission for the good work done.

May this new awakening of these boys and girls herald a fresh impetus to the education of the Muslims without the influence of their narrow minded religious leaders.

God creates all men as equals.

Our politicians divide us by castes, religion and languages for their own narrow ends to build their own bank balances,

Manure... An interesting fact

Manure : In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship and it was also before the invention of commercial fertilizers, so large shipments of manure were quite common.

It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, not only did it become heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by product is methane gas of course.. As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen.

Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOM!

Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening

After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the instruction ' Stow high in transit ' on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.

Thus evolved the term ' S.H.I.T ' , (Stow High In Transit) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.

Sent by Arun Shroff

Dementia - short and sweet

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Retirement !!!

Question: How many days in a week?

Answer: 6 Saturdays, 1 Sunday

Question: When is a retiree's bedtime?

Answer: Three hours after he falls asleep on the couch.

Question: How many retirees to change a light bulb?

Answer: Only one, but it might take all day.

Question: What's the biggest gripe of retirees?

Answer: There is not enough time to get everything done.

Question: Why don't retirees mind being called Seniors?

Answer: The term comes with a 10% discount.

Question: Among retirees what is considered formal attire?

Answer: Tied shoes.

Question: Why do retirees count pennies?

Answer: They are the only ones who have the time.

Question: What is the common term for a senior who still works and refuses to retire?

Answer: NUTS!

Question: Why are retirees so slow to clean out the basement, attic or garage?

Answer: They know that as soon as they do, one of their adult kids will want to store stuff there. Or move back in there . . .

Question: What do retirees call a long lunch?

Answer: Normal .

Question: What is the best way to describe retirement?

Answer: The never ending Coffee Break spiked !

Question:What's the biggest advantage of going back to school as a retiree?

Answer: If you cut classes, no one calls your parents.

Question: Why does a retiree often say he doesn't miss work, but misses the people he worked with?

Answer: He is too polite to tell the whole truth.

And, the best....

QUESTION: What do you do all week?

Answer: Monday through Friday, NOTHING..... Saturday & Sunday, I rest.


Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, 'How old was your husband?'

'98,' she replied.. 'Two years older than me'

'So you're 96,' the undertaker commented..

She responded, 'Hardly worth going home, is it?

Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman:

'And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?' the reporter asked

She simply replied, 'No peer pressure.'

The nice thing about being senile is

you can hide your own Easter eggs

I've sure gotten old! I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92.

Have lost all my friends. But, thank God,

I still have my driver's license.

I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour.

But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.

An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests.

First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart.

'Wal-Mart?' the preacher exclaimed. 'Why Wal-Mart?'

'Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week'

My memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

Know how to prevent sagging?

Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.

It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffee maker.

These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, 'For fast relief.'


Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Sent by Praksah Bhartia

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Academics in cartoon hitback - ‘House enacting comedy of the Absurd’

Academics in cartoon hitback - ‘House enacting comedy of the Absurd’

New Delhi, May 14: Two academics responsible for clearing a Class XI textbook that created a furore over a “derogatory” cartoon of B.R. Ambedkar today accused parliamentarians of blowing up a non-issue and presenting a “comedy of the absurd”.

Professor Mrinal Miri, who jointly headed the national monitoring committee with professor G.P. Deshpande to vet NCERT textbooks, said all the cartoons, including the one on Ambedkar, were scrutinised and found “suitable for publication”.

“Cartoons are an accepted style of communication. There is nothing wrong in putting cartoons in textbooks. But cartoons must not have caste, racial or religious overtones. The national monitoring committee has examined each and every cartoon in the textbooks. The committee, comprising distinguished members, did not find any problem with any of the cartoons,” Miri told The Telegraph.

Miri said cartoons were a “healthy addition” to the textbooks. “They carry a bit of humour and present aspects of reality. But the parliamentarians have created a big issue out of a non-issue. What they have done is a comedy of absurd.”

He said each book had been prepared by a group of independent experts, according to the guidelines laid down by the National Curriculum Framework (NCF), a document prepared by a group of academics headed by former UGC chairman Yashpal.

The Class XI political science textbook, Indian Constitution At Work, had on Friday created a furore in both Houses of Parliament because of the 60-year-old cartoon, showing Jawaharlal Nehru whipping Ambedkar to hurry up with preparing the Indian Constitution.

A Class IX textbook, Democratic Politics-I, too had attracted criticism because of cartoons about politicians.

Deshpande said none of the cartoons in the textbooks was objectionable and even Ambedkar, one of the founding fathers of the Indian Constitution, had not objected to it.

“I fail to see how it (the cartoon) is disrespectful to Ambedkar. When he was alive, Ambedkar did not find the cartoon derogatory. The book is in circulation for over five years. Nobody bothered about it. The recent protest by parliamentarians is uncalled for,” Deshpande said.

The professor said he was surprised by the government’s prompt decision to remove the cartoon from the book.

“The government acted very fast. In a democratic society, you need to discuss and take a decision. The national monitoring committee should have been consulted before taking the decision. The government should have waited for another month and taken a decision.”

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in 2005 decided to change the textbooks to make reading joyful and effective. The NCF provides for a broad framework on how to make the textbooks interesting.

Yashpal said parliamentarians were “overreacting” and not setting a very good example. “The social science and political science books are the best books ever written in India for schoolchildren. These books present history and social science in an alive manner through examples, cartoons, tables etc. The parliamentarians are overreacting,” he said.

I fully agree with the academicians that the reaction was a weak-kneed response from a weak UPA government led by a weak prime minister who sees a ghost everywhere, even when there is none.

A cartoon which is more than 60 years old is objected by people who hardly know the meaning of cartoons.A cartoon which even the original actors in the cartoon did not find offensive.

More loyal than the king is an apt phrase which comes to mind.

But that has been the usual response of the congress.

Even before the Muslims object to anything the congress party takes proactive action, not to offend them. Bending over backwards is what we call it.

In the Shah Bano case Rajiv Gandhi changed the constitution to nullify the verdict of the Supreme Court although a Muslim cabinet minister had objected to Rajiv's action and resigned subsequently.

No arrest in murder of teen who witnessed mother's rape

Patna, May 14 (IANS) All the nine accused roamed free Monday, a day after they shockingly burnt alive a teenager who was the main witness in his mother's rape in 2006, police in Bihar's Nawada district said.

Chintu Kumar, 17, was set on fire Sunday afternoon in Garobigha village under Narhat police station, 150 km from here, a police officer said on condition of anonymity. The nine accused include the five allegedly involved in his mother's rape.

"Chintu was expected to appear in court in connection with the rape case," the officer said. According to villagers, the accused forcibly entered Chintu's house in the afternoon and set him on fire. The accused are absconding, said the officer.

Chintu's mother Taruna Devi, who was gangraped in 2006 by five men of her village, told IANS over telephone that her only son had been threatened to withdraw the case and not appear as a witness in court.

"The accused repeatedly threatened to burn him alive and finally they did it. Where is the rule of law in Bihar? There is no place for the poor seeking justice," she said.

Taruna Devi said the rape accused were powerful men with muscle and money power.

"I was told I would be taught a hard lesson if the case against them was not withdrawn. They also told me time and again to shell out Rs.1 crore to police and officials, including the judge. After all, they are rich people, we are poor and weak," she said.

Ironically, top district officials are reluctant to talk about this shocking incident. Even those at the police headquarters here say they can say something only after receiving reports from district officials.

However, the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal, Lok Janshakti Party, Congress and Left parties have condemned the incident and blamed the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.

"The latest incident has again exposed a total collapse of law and order. Poor people have been targeted by the powerful in Bihar. We will protest against it," leader of opposition Abdul Bari Siddiqui said.

Opposition leaders are likely to visit the village to meet the victim's mother and inquire into the case soon.

It seems that it is back to normal in Bihar.

I had high hopes that Nitish Kumar had changed Bihar.

You can put a dog's tail in a straight bottle for ten years in the hope of straightening it.

But after 10 years, when you remove the bottle, the tail will curl.

Lalu Yadav and Paswan are jumping with glee at this turn of events saying "I told you so".

Life's perspectives

An elderly lady was standing at the railing of the cruise ship holding her hat tight so that it would not blow away in the wind.

A gentleman approached her and said, "Pardon me, madam.. I do not intend to be forward but did you know that your dress is blowing up in this high wind?"

"Yes, I know," said the lady. "I need both my hands to hold onto this hat."

"But madam, you must know that you are not wearing any panties and your privates are exposed!" said the gentleman in earnest.

The woman looked down, then back up at the man and replied, "Sir, anything you see down there is 80 years old. I just bought this hat yesterday!"

The above reminds me of the pretty Rajashtani belles who go out to relieve themselves in the early mornings in the deserts.

They cover their faces with a gunghat but expose their nether parts.

You see the same beside the railway tracks at dawn, while watching out of the train window.

Of course, here the belles do not face the trains but the men have no such shyness.

The Pharmacist's Monday

Upon arriving home, a husband was met at the door by his sobbing wife. Tearfully she explained, "It's the druggist. He insulted me terribly this morning on the phone. I had to call multiple times before he would even answer the phone."

Immediately, the husband drove downtown to confront the druggist and demand an apology. Before he could say more than a word or two, the druggist told him,

"Now, just a minute, listen to my side of it.

This morning the alarm failed to go off, so I was late getting up. I went without breakfast and hurried out to the car, just to realize that I'd locked the house with both house and car keys inside and had to break a window to get my keys.

Then, driving a little too fast, I got a speeding ticket. Later, when I was about three blocks from the store, I had a flat tire.

When I finally got to the store, a bunch of people were waiting for me to open up. I got the store opened and started waiting on these people, all the time the darn phone was ringing off the hook."

He continued, "Then I had to break a roll of nickels against the cash register drawer to make change, and they spilled all over the floor. I had to get down on my hands and knees to pick up the nickels, and the phone was still ringing. When I came up I cracked my head on the open cash drawer, which made me stagger back against a showcase with a bunch of perfume bottles on it. Half of them hit the floor and broke."

"Meanwhile, the phone is still ringing with no let up, and I finally got back to answer it. It was your wife. She wanted to know how to use a rectal thermometer.

And, believe me mister, as God is my witness, all I did was tell her."

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hazare-led civil society under attack in Lok Sabha

Anna Hazare-led civil society on Sunday came under scathing attack in the Lok Sabha with Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad saying any design to target the Constitution and Parliament should be thwarted.

"In the name of Lokpal, a move is on to destroy the country and Parliament, which is the law making body. They are using the language of gheraoing the MPs...they are calling us thieves and dacoits," he said participating in the discussion on the completion of 60 years of Lok Sabha's first sitting.

Despite Parliament being the law making body they want to place someone else on our head, he said adding that there is a deep rooted conspiracy to devalue and defame Parliament.

Without taking the name of Hazare and the civil society, he said on this occasion members should resolve not to allow any damage to Parliament, which is the biggest democratic institution in the world.

Echoing similar concerns, Asaduddin Owaisi [ Images ] (MIM) said fringe elements cannot be allowed to override the supremacy of Parliament.

In a veiled reference to the issue, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley [ Images ] said, "Once our norms of accountability improve, cynicism with regard to Parliament and Parliamentary functions will have to be brought to an end. Cynicism leads to anger, anger can lead to crowd on roads.

"But it is Parliament, which is accountable. Mobs are never accountable. Therefore, there is no substitute for parliamentary institutions and a popular faith as far as its functioning is concerned," he said.

It is people like Lalu Yadav and his ilk who have brought the maximum disgrace to parliament and not Anna Hazare and his group.

By allowing murderers, extortionist, smugglers, rapists and people convicted of crimes become murderers they have brought disgrace to parliament. Even if one member with the above black mark enters parliament it is a disgrace to the whole parliament.In our nation of 1.2 billion, can't we find some 550 MPs without the above qualification. Why should they chose such people.

No Mr. Lalu, not Anna but people like you who have brought disgrace to parliament.

Two Lotuses in the AMRI dirty pond

Posthumous salute to AMRI nurses By Ananthakrishnan G.

May 12: Two young nurses who died while saving patients from the fire at AMRI Hospitals, Dhakuria, last December were conferred with the first posthumous National Florence Nightingale Nurses Awards by President Pratibha Patil today.

Vineetha P.K. and Remya Rajappan, who were born in Kerala but worked in Calcutta to support their poor families, were among 36 members of the profession honoured by Patil on International Nurses Day. The tragic fate of Vineetha and Remya had stood out especially when allegations surfaced that some other employees had fled the premises and the hospital authorities had dragged their feet in calling for help, leaving several patients to choke to death. Around 90 patients were killed. The two were the first nurses to receive the award posthumously, Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said at the Rashtrapati Bhavan ceremony.

"The Kerala government nominated the two nurses after consultations with the Bengal government," Union health ministry nursing adviser T. Dileep Kumar said. Bengal health department officials The Telegraph spoke to could not remember any role played by the eastern state in the nomination. Kerala health secretary Rajeev Sadanandan said he had personally taken the matter up with the Centre. "I should also acknowledge the readiness of the Union (health) minister to acknowledge our request. Associations of nurses in the state had lobbied with us to include the names of the two nurses in the list of awardees," Sadanandan said.

Bengal had nominated two other nurses, both from government hospitals, after the Centre sought nominations in December, the same month Remya and Vineetha died.

A senior Bengal health department official said: "We didn't recommend their names. However, the Kerala government may have sent the recommendations as they had cremated them with state honour." AMRI Hospitals authorities had praised the efforts of the two nurses, both in their 20s. "They saved eight patients. Both girls went up to bring out a ninth patient, who had suffered a fracture, but died of suffocation and the heat. The patient died in the ward," medical superintendent Suman Ghosh had said. Ratan Tata too had lauded their "heroic action".

"This is a recognition of the supreme sacrifice by the two nurses," Bharati Chatterjee, the principal of the Ma Sarada College of Nursing in Calcutta, acknowledged today. "They have added even more prestige to our profession." Every single member of the central selection committee strongly supported the nominations, a Union health ministry source said.

"It is clear they were very special persons ' to continue to remain in the hospital, helping evacuate patients despite the great danger to themselves," said the source who requested not to be named. "Saving even one life is invaluable, and they helped save at least eight patients. There is a lesson in their sacrifice at a time ordinary people are likely to turn away from even road accident victims." Vineetha's father and Remya's mother accepted the awards ' a Rs 50,000 cash prize, certificate and a medal ' from Patil. The award is given "in recognition of selfless hard work, commitment and extraordinary perseverance in the course of performance of duties", Azad said.

Remya had joined AMRI in February 2011 from a Hyderabad hospital after being offered a higher salary, and Vineetha had arrived six months later.

"I feel proud of my daughter: she saved so many lives. Nothing can compensate for her loss but I have learnt to take things in my stride now," said Remya's mother Usha, who lost her husband, a casual labourer, five years ago. Vineetha's father Kunjumon Thomas, also a casual labourer, said: "I wanted her to study (instead of training to be a nurse) so that she didn't have to struggle like me."

His brother Vijayan explained that Vineetha took up the caregivers' profession to support her family and take care of the health expenses of her chronically ailing mother.

Remya's mother Usha recalled the traumatic early hours of December 9. "Remya called me about 4am and said there was fire and smoke all around. Five minutes later, she called again. She was crying and saying she was doubtful if she could escape. The call got disconnected and there was no response though her phone kept ringing when I called." Her younger son Rajesh, 25, who has quit his job in West Asia to return home and take care of his mother, now makes stickers to earn a living. He said he too spoke to his sister that night.

"I told her to break open a window and stand where she could get some air, but the call got disconnected." Investigators have filed a chargesheet in the AMRI case implicating 16 persons: nine owners, two doctor directors, the executive director and four managers. The charges are yet to be framed, and the 11 accused who were arrested have got bail.

Remya's mother said she was pained by hospital managements' attitude towards nurses in general.

"They are paid very little, not enough for a decent living. There is no one who has not been touched by their care at least once in their life," Usha said.

She issued an appeal: "Please be more kind to them."

The above is from the Telegraph

It is heartening to note that these nurses have been rewarded.

What have the persons who lost their lives in the mishap got from the AMRI management?

A pittance of around RS 5.0 lakhs.

If it had been the USA, the compensations would have run into crores.

Rs 1.73 crores is the amount that AMRI had to cough up to to Dr. Kunal Saha for causing the death of his wife

Anuradha Saha, due to negligence.

I would say, AMRI got off very lightly.