Vande Mataram

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jurisdiction of the judiciary

The Apex court ordered to broaden the time span of inquiry into the 2G licensing scam. It also has instructed that the CBI to report to it at regular intervals on the progress made in the inquiry. Some days ago when the CBI counsel had offered to submit the agency's team investigating the 2G matter to the monitoring of SCI, but the bench had declined that offer. Now, the Apex court had taken up the case under it's watch and has given instructions which sound like lecturing a new recruit on how to do a job.

It is not normal for the SCI to dictate modus operandi to any law enforcing agency inquiring into any serious charges. But now the court has taken up the inquiry which adds to the burden of the existing ship load of cases pending before the judiciary. This move comes as the confidence in the executive  for the petitioners and the bench as well was non-existent and eroded respectively.

When the counsel for the PIL petitioners asked for a special team to investigate the matter, the bench said that for the moment it was against constituting any special team to probe the issue and had instead decided to monitor the probe all by itself by calling for reports on the status of the probe being conducted by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

"The CBI shall, if it has already not registered a first information report (FIR) in the context of the alleged irregularities committed in the grant of licences from 2001 to 2006-07, now register a case and conduct thorough investigation. Also  probe as to how several ineligible applicants got licences in 2008 and who was responsible for the same," said the judges.

Apart from conducting a probe into the issues highlighted by the CVC and the CAG report with regards to the allotments made by Raja, the court also instructed the CBI to probe as to why the TRAI and the DoT did not take action against licensees who sold their stakes for thousands of crores and others who did not fulfil the roll-out obligations.

The petitioners had requested the court to take the assistance of one or two officers of unimpeachable integrity in monitoring the investigation being conducted by the CBI. But the bench said that it would decide on this request based on the first progress report of the CBI to be submitted on 10/2/2011, in a sealed envelope. This may leave the media in dismay for being deprived of exclusive scoops. Point to note here is that, the court has not expressed unswerving confidence on the CBI, but has given it a chance to prove its mettle. Shame on an institution which has been doing the policing job for decades, but deserving due to the recent debaucheries from impartiality by the CBI. 

But the slap on the face for the disgraced minister A.Raja came when his  lame duck defence of religiously following the predecessors was turned down, with the judges snapping his counsel saying the question was of violation of policy and not of following the policy as argued by him. Yet the court decided to widen the spectrum of the probe to allotments made by Raja's predecessors from 2001.

The Apex court also censured the Delhi High court for dismissing the petition seeking CBI probe into the 2G spectrum allocation case. “The High Court has committed serious error in dismissing the writ petition. Prima facie, there was sufficient material supported by documents to proceed on the allegation,” the bench observed.

Also, the Apex court has ordered the investigating agencies to probe the transfer of dual technology — CDMA and GSM, opining that while the notification for the dual technology was issued on October 19, 2007, one of the service provider was given the permission a day earlier.

The investigation will also cover huge loans by public sector banks to the beneficiary firms and if DoT officials were signatory to the licence agreements, the bench said. The bench instructed the CBI and ED to carry out investigations without being influenced by any individual, their ranks, functionaries and agencies. This instruction gains importance as the pamolein tainted CVC Thomas has earlier offered to recuse himself from teh 2G specturm license scam, when his credentials were questioned on the grounds of impeccable integrity.

The Government cannot go to the SCI now and submit that they would ensure a free and fair investigation in this case, since their commitment to free and fair investigations took a severe beating when the AG told the court that impeccable integrity could never be considered as a criteria for top jobs of Government.

The CBI might not be able to complete the probe within the agreed deadline as the ambit of the inquiry has been widened to cover the deals right from 2001. The evidences and leads for the Raja wrongs are readily available with recent documents, CVC & CAG reports and the Radia tapes, but still the CBI has to start from square one in the cases of Raja's predecessors. Also the money swindled through 2G scam was routed through hawala investment allegedly to European countries including Netherlands and to the countries in the Arab Gulf including Libya, it is known from the preliminary investigation.So, keeping track of them and trailing them would be a time consuming international policing exercise.

Also, the court has accepted the argument that there should be a nexus between the 2G beneficiaries and the realty loan scam, since most of the firms those got the 2G licenses were  realty firms and they were given exorbitant amount of loans flaunting the basic banking process followed in loans given to ordinary citizens. The basic structure of the constitution was shaken here as citizens of India were being treated differently for some illicit considerations.

The CM of TamilNadu is singing the old tune of action upon proof of guilty, which is a clear departure from his earlier stand of caste based discrimination by aggressive upper castes. The allegations of property worth hundreds of crores have been transferred to the CM's family members were refuted with reasons those fit the definition of the word unreasonable. How could the person handling the property matters of the CM's second wife get the power of attorney for property worth billions with the CM's family not even noticing it.

Well, with the SCI taking up the investigation in it's hands, we can expect not only some incisive questions to the conspirators, colluders, perpetrators and criminals but action too. But, come to think of the investigation process, we can only hope that files do not go missing in this case as in the Adarsh Housing scam.

The most boasted impeccable honesty of the Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh took a dip when he, in May 2010, infamously said that he felt no further inquiry against Raja is needed as Raja himself had told him nothing wrong had happened. Now, with the Supreme Court of India taking up the job of monitoring inquiries to ensure impartiality and justice to the job, his Government has lost it's credibility. This confirms one thing. Dr. Manmohan Singh has stepped into the shoes of the late President Faqruddin Ali Ahmed stamping his approval in anything that came to him for consent. The de facto authority then was Indira Gandhi, now it is Sonia Gandhi.

The jurisdiction of the judiciary has to be widened due to the amoral attitude of the Government and the normative economist attitude of the Prime Minister. We need a Government which cares for the people and a PM who walks the talk rather than the one who doesn't even talk when a run is needed.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Quo Vadis, my dear nation?

We are witnessing disturbing trends in doing business with the judiciary of the nation. Judiciary is the last resort of justice that a common man still trusts. The Apex court of the nation strives to live up to that confidence, come to talk of the recent observations and judgments. We do have a complaint pending inquiry in the Apex court on the questionable probity of some of our former CJs. But that doesn't give anyone the authority to show disrespect, or threaten the judiciary in any manner.s

We have the Attorney General, the top law officer of the Government, making statements threatening the judiciary of questioning its integrity when questions were raised on the Government's questionable decisions. The CVC appointment which is per se non compliant with the regulations, that a person with unquestionable integrity should man that office. The CJI questioned the appointment of Mr.P.J.Thomas as CVC based on service jurisprudence. How a person, who could not even be considered for promotion, was appointed as the top officer to oversee the investigation in all the corruption cases in the nation, with judicial decision still pending on the charge sheet which blames him with criminal conspiracy, since 2002?

When the first bench of the nation's top judicial body asked the Government whether the procedure of checking for impeccable integrity was followed in this appointment, the AG retorted if the criterion of impeccable honesty and integrity in appointments to higher positions has to be followed in every case then all judicial postings would come under scrutiny. This is a clear threat to the judiciary, meaning that if the actions of Government could be questioned on the integrity grounds by the judiciary, the Government could question the actions of the judiciary on the same grounds. The question went unasked in the court room was "Does your statement include the appointment of the AG also?" But that was asked by Justice (Retd) V.R. Krishna Iyer in his article in the Hindu condemning the AG for his insinuations.

This is like talking in a political meeting challenging an opponent with embarrassing exposes whenever the opponent questions your activities. Is this the signal the Government is sending to the world that it has scant respect for the judiciary? The kind of signal sent by the Government that any sort of insinuations could be made against the nation's judiciary and still defend such insinuations as abstract legal argument shows the quality of the people manning the Government. This is not expected from a man supposedly of impeccable integrity, Dr.Manmohan Singh. Is he doing all these on his own or is he operated with a remote control? In both cases the nation doesn't deserve either an arrogant personality or a meek personality holding a powerful responsibility.

Someone has picked up the cue from the Government's action in the Supreme court and had justified their actions questioning the trustworthiness of the judiciary and making it official with the UN. It is none other than the infamous human rights activist Teesta Setalvad.

She has, in the Godhra and related cases, sent 2 letters to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, which were originally addressed to the SIT chief, complaining about the poor witness protection in the Godhra cases and even contained information of how her former aide Rais Khan Pathan was bought over by the other side. The amicus curiae Harish Salve said that the SIT was disturbed over the constant airing of grievances to the international body. Of course this could put further impediments with too many institutions with different perspectives monitoring an investigation. When the top legal body of the nation monitors an investigation, another is unnecessary and too many monitoring would spoil the course of investigation.

The lawyer for Ms.Setalvad chose to justify the airing of grievances with the UN body, which prompted the SC take serious exception and at one point the bench asked, "Will Switzerland provide you witness protection and not the Supreme Court?” When Setalvad's lawyer said that her NGO was associated with the Geneva based UNCHR, the court said irrespective of associations, the SC would not allow outside bodies to oversee what it was overseeing. Such an insensitive approach towards a sensitive matter brings into question the lawyering skills of Ms. Setalvad in the first place, which should be a worry of practicing lawyers, though.

If a lawyer chooses to dishonor the court she was approaching for justice, what is the point in still pursuing the matter with the same judiciary? She resorts to dilly-dallying when it comes to appeal against judgments not in her. She tries to paste a picture that the High Court of Gujarat is untrustworthy and she has to take the Supreme Court's order for every step in the case, but yet approaching the UN perhaps to caution the Supreme Court of an international repercussion if she feels she was not given a fair deal. This kind of manipulating the system may work with common man with little legal knowledge and no political or other powers to muster, but when dealing with the Apex judiciary of the nation manipulation means mean attitude.

The reason behind such insensitive activities is the Union Government, as it, through it's top legal representative, questioned the very integrity of the judiciary, in the veil of replying to an incisive question and tried to cover it up as discussing an abstract legal point. Suspicion about the probity and impartiality of the judiciary has been expressed openly by the AG in doing so.

The  Government has a lot of explaining to do here. Was that statement by AG reflect the view of the Government? If so, what are the steps taken to check the impeccable integrity and other ethical issues on appointments to highest offices? Or as the AG told it is not a matter of concern, would the Government take steps to amend the law suitably to the effect that impeccable integrity is not a concern for holding any high office in the nation?

The moot question in the mind of common man is "Quo Vadis, my dear nation?" My question is where are you leading the nation, Mr. Prime Minister? If you don't, Sir, please ask your Boss and let the nation know, as we the citizens trust that it would not be a classified information!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Performance Does Matter!

Good show by Nitish & Sushil would be an understatement come to talk of the landslide victory they've earned in the recently concluded assembly elections in Bihar. Surviving a lot of rug pulling, this coalition of JD(U) and BJP came to power in 2005. Laloo was a force to recon with in Bihar at that time, despite his administration being a farce and his wife working in a literal kitchen cabinet. Not only corruption charges those include the infamous fodder swindle, Bihar was left to lurch in the dark with Governmental apathy, planned subversion of the rule of law, scant respect for reasonableness, with lantern being the electoral symbol of Laloo, though.

Nitish Kumar had to start from scratch, and he had a good partner in Sushil Kumar Modi, fortunately. Their administration successfully kept away the bickering of party men and concentrated on good governance. The one good thing they have done to dispose of pending cases is pretty much corporate-like. They had a weekly review with all District Magistrates and encouraged fast-track justice. Police, which was virtually non-existent in Laloo (un)rule, was resurrected and now it is policing the state with the due spirit of the uniformed services.

Education, which was ignored in toto  during Laloo's regime, was also given a lease of life. The root cause for not sending children to school was found to be kidnappers and pathetic condition of schools. Kidnappers were dealt with sternly and infrastructure of education institutions was improved duly. They incentivized attendance by given the school going children free bi-cycle, food and money to buy uniform and books.

There was a cry earlier in 2009 that the money given for uniform and books were misused. Books had to be purchased, since parents of children without books were duly questioned by Government officials. An allegation that parents bought  substandard dress materials for uniforms and take the rest of the money for their expenses. This too was proved wrong by statistics. (Yeap, they tracked that also!)

Good roads,, non-existent for a couple of decades, were laid and transportation became physically affordable. The unnecessary freebies were scrapped. The Laloo type get-togethers were stopped. (Earlier Laloo used to take bags of wheat,  sufficient hen and goats to villages, cook them there and eat with those people during weekends. The villagers were suitably educated that they would get such a good food so long as Laloo remains in power. Laloo's paradise was such.)

But the JD(U)-BJP combine chose the growth path, of course with initial troubles of change management, but they were firm on their goal to get the state on par with others. There is another angle to this vigorously followed growth path. Nitish Kumar didn't have a caste base, nor Sushil Modi had a core Hindu base. This lack of vote bank made them understand the fact that they had to work and prove take the people's confidence to survive in politics. (Nitish had to depend on Sharad Yadav for core caste votes. Modi married a Christian lady hence could not take core Hindu support for granted.)

So, the underlying message of the mandate given to Nitish-Sushil duo in 2005 was to perform or perish. They performed and deformer Laloo perished. This stands proof for a behavioral theory discussed at length in management schools. People would innovate better and work harder when survival matters. This case also could be added to the case study bank on Managerial Behavior in management schools.

Another lesson we could gain from this victory is the handling of the bureaucracy. The man with a master brain behind the excellent execution of this growth idea is N.K. Singh a former Secretary to the Government of India. Singh was instrumental in getting things done with the bureaucracy and materializing the development dream of Bihar. Lesson learnt: Give the ideas and target. Leave the modus operandi to bureaucrats. Constantly check the progress.  Wonders will happen! Why not due development?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Broadening the Spectrum of 2G scam

There is another shocking revelation in the media, related to Telecom licensing that the Home Ministry had a mole in its internal security department, who was passing on classified information to outsiders. The further probing of this issue brings to light the beneficiaries include telecom companies who had benefited from critical information he passed on to them on the issue of number portability of mobile phones. The arrested IAS officer,  Ravi Inder Singh a Director in internal security arm of MHA, was also handling matters pertaining to BlackBerry's encoded services. A Kolkata-based businessman Vineet Kumar, who was allegedly acting as a broker on behalf of Mr.Singh, was also taken into custody.

Police submitted at the court that Mr.Singh was using four mobile phones out of which one mobile connection was on his name and rest of the three numbers were procured through fictitious identities. The officer had secreted those three mobile phones and stopped using them on November 16 after he came to know from Sanjeev Arora, a Vodafone company manager, that calls were intercepted on those phones. This manager may also be brought under the ambit of the investigation. People who have to nail the wrong doers have been doing the fundamentally wrong things.

Ravi Inder Singh is accused of having links with public persons and mediators and was misusing his official position for his personal gains. He did not stay in his official quarters but was residing in a guest house in posh Greater Kailash area of south Delhi. The investigating agency submitted before the court that Singh’s wife who is a homemaker, without any known/declared source of income, had opened an A/C in Bank of Maharashtra in which she has mentioned the guest house’s address as her residential address. Rs.21 lakhs were deposited in that account.  Who paid for this extravagance? Vineet, the broker known as businessman!

Also, Singh is said to have had the pleasure of being entertained with the fair brigade in lieu of his 'services'.

Well, the RIM (Blackberry company) had distanced itself from this man. The tainted officer is expected to speak a lot to the Police, which might spell trouble for many of the corporate and political behemoths. The slapping factor here is that the companies involved are telecom businesses, and the information leaked were of importance to telecom. Would there be a link between this and the Spectrum-gate? We may find some, in the course of free & fair investigation.

There is another scam that hit the heads and headlines couple of days ago. The LIC HF, PNB and other institutions have been involved in a millions of rupees worth (estimated at Rs 42750 cr) cash for loans offer from the realty corporations. Some top officials of the involved financial institutions and banks were arrested, with a promise of more to come.

Here we need to look at it in a multi-dimensional way.
  • The Spectrum licenses were given away at throw away prices to realty firms, overlooking the telecom firms. Mediatrixes were involved in this case.
  • The telecom companies have been beneficiaries of Ravi Inder Singh's secrets for sex and cash scam. A mediator was involved in this case.
  • The corporate home loan for cash scam involved realty firms and a firm Money Matters Financial Services Ltd. acting as mediator. 
Given these three scams have a couple of dimensions in common like middlemen, realty and telecom sectors (not obviously though), the investigative agencies should try to ascertain whether there are any connections between these three separate looking scams, to find out a probably mammoth plot to loot the public money. Nothing could be ruled out now. Investigating the possible inter-relation of these scams would not cause any harm as the basic thumb rule of any criminal investigation is "Disbelieve the obvious". The obvious picture is that these three are separate scandals.

A shrewd investigation would bring out all the hidden truths, provided we don't have any extra-constitutional meanderings as in the case of Bofors fame Q, to get away kinsmen and loyal partners in crime .

People who are trained and paid to ensure right doings, do all the wrongs for some extra bucks and greedy f**ks. This raises questions not on the training system of the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy, but on the basic moral lessons right from elementary schools. We don't have moral educators, aka grand parents, at home nowadays thanks to the nuclear family system. We are so concerned about the good marks shown in school report cards, than good marks made in the society. Unless we shed the ambivalence towards morality, we have to live with such highly educated criminals at the high offices of the nation. Vande Matharam!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Spectrum-Gate: What now?

Finally, after prolonged inertia and attempted goof ups under the cover of cover ups by the UPA, the 2G spectrum allocation scam is officially out in the public. The minister concerned A.Raja maintains his claim of innocence, audaciously though, despite being neck deep in the flowing proofs of his wrong doings. He claims to have taken the PM, a man known for his honesty, integrity and probity through, inter alia, his frugal lifestyle, on board on whatever he did in the process of awarding the 2G license. This strengthens the suspicions raised by whistle blowers and opinion builders those include Dr. Subramanian Swamy, Mr. Rajeev Nambiar and others.

Dr.Swamy had written to the PMO on this issue and there had been delays even in replying to his letter. Rajeev Chandrasekar, entrepreneur-politician-MP, had also written to the PMO, but PMO resorted to inertia in this case also. The opposition parties have now raised a high decibel cry and stalled the Parliament, but initially they were either not aware of the grandi pecunia involved or were busy with other political activities. The AIADMK was the only political party to raise voices right from the day of the inking of spectrum deal. The nation's principal opposition party the BJP too had joined the chorus later, effectively vociferous though.

To start with, in 2007, the DoT has issued guidelines for the auction of 2G Spectrum. But within months, Raja had ruled out auction in the 2G spectrum. The reason he cited was that a favorable level playing field for the existing GSM players would be created through auction. If he was so interested in an evenly leveled playing field for all players, he should have ensured in the first place that all the bidding players were competent in the game they were expressing interest to play.

The Unitech Group of companies and Allianz Infratech, to name a couple, were realty companies as stated in their MOA and AOA. Hence they could not be awarded licenses for any telecom related businesses. So, they should have got approval from the Ministry of Company Affairs  and the Company Law Board to change the AOA and get new nomenclature to be eligible for participating in the telecom license auction. Though no auction was held, these companies should have done the aforesaid to be eligible to apply for licenses under the infamous movie ticket method of first-come-first-served basis.

These companies are said to have been veils for the real beneficiaries. The real beneficiaries are believed to have been Raja's cronies in his party (should have been said the other way round), the businessmen having dubious trade history who were so closely connected to the first family of DMK. The licenses were awarded at 1/10th of the prevailing market value, the process followed was illegible, the modus operandi smacked undue haste. The licensees sold parts of those contracts to another company for a higher price, which in turn sold that stake to another company, thus weaving a web of legit looking business transactions.

Raja had told in 2007 when he ruled out auction that the Government has the annual license fee for its revenue. So, was he hinting at that time that he was going to give away these licenses for stanza (not even a song!)? Well, he dragged the PM into this by stating that the PM had suggested the revenue from annual fee logic to give away these licenses without auction. The PM had not responded to this till now. This adds fuel to the suspicion that the PM has allowed this to happen whatever be the reasons attributed to the palpable inertia.

The corporates who tried to bring this loot to light were silenced by the minister, as evident from one of the bidders S-Tel was silenced with daring threats from A.Raja. The reason S-Tel went to court might not have been to expose the corruption or to get the dealings clean, but Raja 'advising' them to keep quiet triggers the 'trillion Rupees' question that why Raja was afraid of facing them in the court, if everything went by the letter and the spirit of the law book.

Contrary to the popular belief money has not been looted from the national exchequer in this case. The money that has to come to the national exchequer has been routed through illegal means, inter alia, to the coffers of vested interests who rule a part of the nation. The vested interests and their mouth pieces brush this trillion rupee scam as non-existent. Their argument is that the CAG report says the loss to the national exchequer is notional and not real, so the said scam is imaginary, fanciful and conceptual. They'll have to look for absolute nitwits to take this argument.

In investment jargon notional means "The value of a derivative's underlying assets at the spot price. In the case of an options or futures contract, this is the number of units of an asset underlying the contract, multiplied by the spot price of the asset."
What was the spot price of the spectrum when it was given away? Going by the S-Tel bid we can have a safe bet of Rs.6000 crores, yet negotiable for further hike as per prevailing market value. But that license was given away for Rs.1600 crores to an unknown, ineligible, incompetent bidder, who simply sold part of that license for a higher price. What was the quid pro quo in giving away a diamond mine for peanuts? Ignorance? Impossible with the advises, cautions and suggestions given by the PM, the TRAI, the FM and the secretaries of the ministry. Habitual swindling is the root cause for this mammoth scam.
While delving into the details a lot of shocking revelations about this loot come in our way. Those information question the very basis of the ground the Prime Minister stands before the world. Honesty. The common man can say "I don't care Ram or Ravan rules as long as I get my meals three squares a day" and live on. But the ruler should not brush aside untenable happenings in his territory with this infamous "Don't care" attitude of the Aam Aadmi. Honest people must lament and honest leaders like Dr.Manmohan Singh should act. 

There are reports now that Ratan Tata wanted Telecom out of Dayanithi Maran's reach. Anyone would wish so as we have seen how Maran threatened TATAs during his tenure as telecom minister during UPA-I. Before targeting Tata for taking the unfair route to check unfair people out, we need to ask an important question. Why are mediators allowed to influence the decisions of the Prime Minister right from setting up his administrative team? Given fact that the PM represents the first family of the Congress in the Government, can't the K-family and the S-family sit, talk and get things done?

Evidences have come out now to suggest strongly that the K-family was not comfortable with Dayanithi Maran getting key responsibilities in the UPA-II. There are conversations reported in the media now believed to have been taken place between two mediatrixes of the Congress and the DMK. (
This is now getting confirmed with the DMK distancing itself from Maran's acts during his tenure as Telecom Minister in UPA-I, while still having Raja standing  by him in public. This further proves that the immediate K-family wanted to cement its hold by keeping even the sons and siblings of his late lamented 'conscience' at comfortable distance. Family feud is not the topic I choose to discuss here, but the family loot. 

The regional political rivalry between the AIADMK and the DMK is cited as the reason for the former's stringent stand  on this issue. If such reasons have to be attributed to the raised voice of the opposition parties, what reasons would be attributed to the silenced voices of the affected and the preferred silences of the friends and beneficiaries.

Given to understand that anybody with enough money can influence the Government's decision at any level and to any extent leads us to question the trustworthiness of this Government. How are we to trust such people with the security of the nation? What would be the fate of the nation if 'anything' could be done with the money power? Q-branches may not worry because they have South American bananas to live in. The worry now is about the people who are born and brought up in this nation and nowhere to go? What are the answers we have to give the generations to come when we teach them to be truthful and practice the right opposite?

Now the ruling coalition refuses to setup a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the scam. Legal experts and parliamentarians assert that JPC was successful in the past two decades to bring out the truth in many scams. The argument that the Public Accounts Committee would look into the scam and the CAG report is deliberate procrastination to get the guilty off the parliamentary inquiry.

The PAC would look into the accounts of the previous years and thus would do only a post mortem analysis of the scam. The PAC inquiring into the spectrum-gate would take years unless it is given a special mandate to inquire the current CAG report, keeping the regular business pending. It would be better in the interest of timely justice to have a JPC set up. Otherwise the guilty would either flee or would successfully tamper with the evidences to get off the hook.

There is a management adage "When you cannot commit on something, form a committee." The Government is not in a position now to commit on anything in this issue as there is chaos in the modus operandi of the spectrum-gate. So, better form a Joint Parliamentary Committee, Mr. PM. I trust Dr.Manmohan Singh, as he is still an honest man at heart in this head-to-foot corrupt UPA. TINEA factor works for him very well. *TINEA => There Is No Effective Alternative.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Thamizh blog!


I've started to write in my first language Thamizh here.

Your bouquets and brickbats are welcome.


Thursday, October 21, 2010


VOX INDICA: ONLINE PETITION TO NDTV AGAINST BLATANT ANTI-HINDU...: "A group of concerned citizens aggrieved by the blatant anti-Hindu bias of the English language media in general and NDTV and its star anchor..."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Special Parliament Session to debate the path to a poverty free India

Friends, Indians, Countrymen!

This is not another email that asks you to forward it for an ISP, continents away, to give pittance of its mammoth revenue to someone who suffers in US. This is not something that promises you that a cup of staple food would be delivered to some unknown sufferer if you click on some website regularly.

We have a lot of questions and we ask them, when it comes to our money. But we fail to ask those same incisive questions when it comes to spending of public money, and let our fellow citizens suffer and resign our nation to false fate. Some bootlegger somewhere loots our money and lavishes it on extraordinary and inhuman luxuries, while the deserving people suffer without food. This happens in our nation which boasts quite a few of it making to the Forbes list of the world's wealthy people. Yet, around 40% of our fellows are on the negative side of the economic growth.

Haves continue to have more, but have-nots continue have less. We have our politicians, we trusted them with our votes, stall the business of Parliament for their want of 300% hike in pay and perks. But none seems to bother about the sufferers and to discuss their sorry state of affairs and what could be done better to get them a life worth living.

It is a nice initiative by Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekar of an e-campaign for a special session of Parliament to strictly discuss only the poverty and measures to tame that, so that the human basics of food, clothing and shelter don't continue to remain key electoral issues even after 6 decades of independence aka self-rule.

An extract from Mr. Rajeev's web post is given hereunder.

If the Parliament can be convened specially to hear President Obama of America, surely we can also convene a special session to discuss National Priority issues like Poverty.
So, if you agree with this idea of special sessions of Parliament that will focus on ‘National Priority issues’ – write a letter or email to the Vice President and/or Speaker of Lok Sabha or Prime Minister and copy me on it so I can get a sense as well of how many of us really want this focus to start. I can think of many ways of service to the country – this is one real way of serving by getting all of us to focus on creating a Poverty and destitution less India!

This is the link of Mr. Rajeev's website. 
Special Parliament Session to debate the path to a poverty free India

Please type a mail and help the attempt to change the type of our politics. My special thanks to Mr. Shanthnu of for bringing this to many friends' notice.
Vande Maatharam!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Aradhana of H.H.Chandrashekara Bharathi III

On the morning of Thursday the 7th of October 2010, my uncle Mr. Mee.Viswanathan, a Tamil poet and a staunch devotee of the Sringeri Acharya called me to give kudos for the Navarathri Invitation that I had earlier downloaded from Sringeri mutt's website and sent to him. He told me that the Aradhana of H.H.Chandrashekara Bharathi III was on that day. I got curious. My learned friends have told me about the much respected Guru, but I needed more info. So, googled about Him and found a lot of interesting and thought provoking stuff.

Although I'm not qualified either through readings or through followings to lecture about the Acharya lineage, I still prefer to do so. Pardon the adhikaprasangam, please.

Chandrashekhara Bharati Swaminah the saint who was spiritually liberated while being alive (Jeevanmukhtha), was specially remembered on Thursday, the day of Mahalaya Amavasya. A notable feature of his life was that his birth, upanayanam, sannyasa and videha mukti (death), all happened on Sundays the day of the universal enlightener, the provider of light. In 1912, Acharya Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharati Swaminah decided to name Narasimha Sastri (as he was named by his parents) as his successor to the Sharada Peetham. Before Narasimha could arrive in Sringeri, the Acharya had attained Videha Mukti.

The Swami performed the Mahakumbhabhishekam of the Sri Sharadha Temple in Sringeri in 1916. After returning to Sringeri from his 3 years' dhigvijayam from 1924 - 1927, the Mahaswami assumed the Avadhuta Sthiti.  He was absorbed in the inward bliss of the Atma. To enable himself to spend more time in meditation and contemplation of the Self, he named a successor to the Peetham: a boy named Srinivasa Sastri. On May 22, 1931, he initiated Srinivasa Sastri into Sannyasa and gave him the yoga patta of Abhinava Vidyatirtha.

After 1945, the Mahaswami gradually withdrew from all activities. On September 26, 1954 (the day of the Mahalaya Amavasya festival), the Mahaswami took a bath in the Tunga River, which ran in Sringeri. Afterwards, he sat in padmasana posture and attained Videha Mukti on the banks of the river. His body was discovered floating in the river. The Jagadguru's body was then interred by Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha, his successor to the Sharada Peetham. His body was buried beside his Guru's samadhi (shrine) and a samadhi was constructed for him. A Shiva Linga was consecrated over it. It is worshipped today and is called Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Linga.

Chandrashekhara Bharati Swaminah composed a few poems and wrote a famous commentary. His main works are:
  • Gururaja Sukti Malika containing 36 compositions in about 400 pages. Printed in Sanskrit and Tamil
  • Bhashya (commentary) on Vivekachoodamani of Sri Adi Shankaracharya
Jagadguru advocates that an individual must not merely see a guru often and hear his teachings, but imbibe the good habits the guru suggests and follow in their own life. They are:
  • Satvic habits which include vegetarianism, cleanliness, discipline.
  • Regular Sandhyavandhanam and development of piety.
  • Giving significance to learning and knowledge.
  • Good behaviour, honesty, generosity, and adherence to scriptures.
  • Love, respect, and responsibility towards family and community.
  • Doing away with pride and ego.
I got a chance by His grace to pay homage at the Sringeri Mutt to the much celebrated, most revered Guru H.H.Chandrashekara Bharathi III.
I wanted to boast this in front of the world, but that would suffice only a tweet. So, found and keyed a lot of information, which I would love to but face stiff challenges in following. Yathaartham Vadaami!!

Faith, Belief and Legality

One of  the prime criticisms of the Ram Janma Bhoomi verdict was the basis for the conclusion of the birth place of Lord Ram. The court has decreed that the centuries old belief of the people of India and during the later centuries of the Hindus has to be accepted and upheld. By abstract legal terms, the conclusion of the Ram Janma Bhoomi was not asked for,  so the court has over stepped. But yet to justify the decision on the title suit, the court has to go into details so that the judgment could stand on firm legal grounds, supported by reason.

The argument that any claim based on faith or belief could not become legal unless concrete, solid facts are presented, is legally untenable. Many facts based on faith and belief without solid proofs are accepted by the courts with full legality. When someone is called for as a witness or as a plaintiff/defendant, his/her father's name is asked for. That is a fact everyone in this world believes purely based on faith, and asking for a solid proof of that fact would attract angry response and reaction from the person concerned and also from the bench. Such a query may be considered as insulting, unless the matter under the court's inquiry is that.

Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. It is confidence or trust in a person or thing, belief that is not based on proof, belief in god or in the doctrines or teachings of religion, belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc., a system of religious belief (Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc), the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc., the observance of the obligation, fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance, etc.

So, criticizing faith and belief based judgments would question the very existence of humans in the world. We're trusting a certificate given by Government authorities, as we believe that would help us in identifying ourselves. No one questions the identification given by the Government because of the belief in the established system, though we have regular complaints about how the system is violated and failed.

If we keep asking for solid proof for everything in the world, we could not even say the direction the Sun rises is East as we don't have solid proof for that. Ancestors said so, we believe so. Do we have a certificate from any authority that Sun rises only in the East? Then why trust it? As it is a rotating object, what is the proof that it regularly rises in the East and sets in the West?

Well, a legal point now to ponder for a while.

When the issue reaches the Supreme Court, legal eagles opine, the 1940 verdict in Lahore Gurdwara case would play a key role in deciding Ayodhya dispute. The gurdwara case was decided based on the doctrine of adverse possession, which says a rightful owner of a property can lose his title over the property if another person occupies it for a particular period without being challenged. But that too could not be applied to the Ram Janma Bhoomi case as the facts of the two cases differ a lot.

The gurdwara was built in the 18th century after razing to ground a mosque. Decades later, the Muslims sought possession of the land on which their mosque once stood, by filing a suit. After getting verdict against their claim in various tribunals, they went to the Lahore High Court. Lahore High Court also, by a majority decision, dismissed their claim over the land. The Privy Council, then apex judicial body of British legal system, finally put its seal on the rights of the Sikhs to have the gurdwara on that land, upholding the decisions based onthe doctrine of adverse possession. 

A blind following of the Privy council's decision would not suit the Janma Bhoomi case, as the historic facts those form the basis of the claim of the Hindu people for the Ram Janma Bhoomi and the claim of the Muslims on the Lahore Gurdwara have vast differences. The said mosque was dazed down during the 1800s and a Gurdwara was built on that. There was a legal system established by the British for contentious issues to be redressed. They would not be averse to hearing both the sides before pronouncing judgments, as long as the case was not about any anti-imperial activity. Even in anti-imperial activity related cases, the arguments of the defendants would be heard and recorded but would not be accepted on the grounds of antiestablishmentarianism.

But when Ram Mandir was demolished to build an Islamic looking structure (legally concluded that the structure was not built as per the Sharia regulations for a mosque) or as by Justice Khan's dictum there were ruins of a temple where the disputed structure was built, or as per the twisted and tainted version of the judgment by Burkha Dutt of NDTV  that the Islamic looking structure was constructed upon some temple, general temple but not Ram temple, there was no established legal system to try the demolishing or building on ruins complaints, since the Hindus were under aggression and their very way of life was thrashed, culture flagellated, religion asphyxiated, whereas the Sharia Law of those invaders would term blasphemy any complaint against building of that Islamic looking structure. This was the situation during the medieval in Hindustan aka India i.e Bharath.

If taken in this undistorted historic context of no proper authority to try the case and deliver justice at the time of the crime, the time limitation cited by the Privy Council would not fit into the fabric of this case. So, the argument that no faith on a faith based judgment is imbecilic and the argument of untimeliness citing the Privy Council verdict is illogical.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Vande Matharam, Hey Ram!

The Ram Janma Bhoomi is legally declared as Ram Janma Bhoomi. The much awaited conclusion on the 60 year old legal tussle has arrived. But there are some points those pave way for a further probably protracted legal battle. The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad (Prayag) High Court, has given a majority verdict that the land has to be trifurcated and shared between 3 of the parties to the litigation. Incidentally, two of the parties to the litigation are Hindus who support building of temple at the Janma Bhoomi. So, effectively, Hindu people have got 2/3 of the land and the Muslims 1/3.

Going into the verdict from a common man's view, the first question is why the land is divided when none of the parties to the litigation have asked for it? Is it Judicial activism to cool down all concerned? Or has the chronic national ailment of appeasement caught up with the Judiciary also? A simple example would help in understanding the frustration the verdict has created. My grandpa owned a piece of land that was occupied by someone using brute force. I filed a lawsuit and got a verdict that part of my grandpa's land has to be given to the occupier's heirs. I feel ditched by the court although I got a major part of my ancestral property.

The legal question is when the title of the land was awarded to Hindus unanimously, why a part of land has to go to a group which has been pronounced ineligible to claim title of the land. How can a group possess a property to which it has no title? If they possess a part of the land entitled to Hindus what would be their status? What are the terms of possession? Would they be tenants? Interestingly, Justice D V Sharma, registered a dissenting note, saying the entire land belonged to Hindus.

One of the anonymous senior lawyers, not associated with either side on this case, opined in the media, that the High Court has, in fact, forced the contesting parties to reach a compromise or be disappointed after the Supreme Court decides the matter on appeals. This makes one wonder on the job description of the courts of law in India. Hasn't the court delivered a verdict in this issue? Why should that be viewed as a suggestion for both parties to talk further and decide? These kind of insinuatory interpretations would further complicate the already prolonged legal issue.

The issue is set to go to Supreme Court. But the Government of India seems to take the side of the minority community since lump-sum votes matter. Home Minister of GoI P.Chidambaram stated that this verdict doesn't justify the demolition of the Babri Masjid. When the demolition of the disputed structure in 1992 and the title suit of the Janma Bhoomi are two different legal issues, what is the necessity of referring one while commenting upon the verdict of another by a legal luminary? May be political compulsion, may be vote bank politics or may be the long alleged paradigm shift of the political philosophy of the INC from national unity to minority appeasement.

The opinion of the nation is to accept the verdict of the court of law, build the temple at the Janmasthan and go ahead with economic and human development. Apart from those (politicians and accomplices) who benefited from the criminal communalization of national politics, all else are of the same opinion. Politicians who benefited from Muslim votes on the Janmabhoomi issue call this verdict by all names. But people with sane mind from both religions have advocated peace and respect for the verdict. Let us all share the suggestion of those sane minds and take recourse in the legal course for any further clarifications we need.

Let me quote the man who talked to quell Nazi threat, Sir. Winston Churchill. "It is better to jaw-jaw than war-war". It is high time we stand united and move ahead as a nation that articulates the sentiments of one and all, not only some sections those vote as a lump and hence disturb the tranquil civil life in India that is Bharath.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

US lamenting about Indian Nuclear Liability Bill

While going through an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal which was titled "India Law Threatens U.S. Energy Deals" where the writers argue that the deal affects business interests of the US, but I felt their argument is not compelling to listen, keeping the thought of considering it aside. Most of the content of the article was cited to people people familiar with the matter, but not even one reference was given to any one person familiar with this matter. 

The article claimed that the U.S. used its global influence to nullify the international community's moratorium on nuclear trade with India after Buddha laughed in 1974. It also claimed that the U.S. expected India to set up a civil nuclear regime in place to get business for companies like GE and Westinghouse. If that is the case how did India successfully tested another nuclear bomb in 1998, given fact that the US influence resulted in India's favor only in early 2000s?

The article also claims that the nuke law threatens the progress in other business interests and further commerce between India and US. People familiar with the issue are looking for ways to circumvent the law, claims the article. Also it goes into detail about circumventing the law by Government to Government agreement pledging indemnity to suppliers foreign or domestic. Other way suggested is to negate the law when it is formally implemented when the executive comes up with a different interpretation challenging the purpose of the law. Another way suggested is for the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd to sign contracts promising to take on all liability with U.S. suppliers. 

When I wanted more information about the nuke law, a part of the nuke cooperation through the 123 agreement, I did quite a bit of research online. I didn't go to any sites those ask to pay to view contents. I relied mostly on contents available for free and from trustworthy sources, like Government of India, Government of South Korea, think tanks of US and related countries, IAEA and opinions from experts who know the intricacies of the nuke job than those just read materials and claim expertise in media.

Well, none of the 28 countries which have nuclear liability laws insist on foreign supplier liability. The Rajiv-Gorbachev nuke pact to setup the Koodankulam Nuclear reactor also doesn't have the supplier liability clause to this stringent effect. The supplier liability ended when the reactor and related materials are handed over to the NPCIL. The argument that the suppliers foreign or domestic, Government or private would find it a risk too costly compared to the benefits from such a business is considerable. The rules of the game has been changed that people feel that India's stand smacks the my way or high way attitude. 

But the international conventions give the operator the right of recourse against a supplier, take up the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention Articles as examples. The South Korean nuclear liability law gives the operator the right to catch hold of the supplier of any material, service or equipment when damage is done willfully or through negligence. This is normal in all businesses. If you supply me a material or equipment of inferior quality or do me a service of lesser quality than agreed upon, then I have the right to sue you. 

Why is the US whining upon this normal clause of general business practice/mercantile law? US industry has done business with South Korea with this so clamored threatening clause in force. Then why are they whining when India says if you do wrong own up the responsibility. We have history of the US business interests doing serious wrongs and instead of remedying pulling up stakes by pulling some political strings. Our own example is the Bhopal tragedy which the said WSJ article describes as the worst industrial disaster in the world, but considers the reference to it as a deliberate attempt by the opposition for the sake of opposing a lucrative deal, promising bright future, by citing a 26 year old incident.

The pain and suffering of the toxic gas leak victims and the impact the incident had on their lives and the psyche of their kinsmen could not be understood, because the real pain was told but largely went unreported for lack of follow ups by the media. They had their own priorities and preferences. Belittling one of the worst industrial disasters of the world and its pathetically handled remedial measures reveal a callous attitude towards the basics of journalism. It is one of the industrial disasters when it happens miles away and thousand lose their lives and future, but it is pain and cry when it happens to you. In words familiar to the US, "It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours."

Well, what is the way out with US working out of its way to pressurize us to water down the safety clauses? They work so hard to circumvent this law neither for the sake of the victims of any nuke disaster, nor to reduce insurance cost for the insurer (in business sense), but only to safeguard their business interests. The US nuke industry has always been averse to legal tangles in foreign soil, but wishes to get business without any risks to its profits. This is like wishing to get an apple a day without planting and growing a tree or spending a penny to buy one. There is no free lunch, is the answer to this attitude.
The better option is to do nuke business with South Korea. UAE has been working with South Korea on its nuke power plants. Seoul has its own stringent laws and is not party to any external conventions. So, they would understand our concern for safety. The UAE deal brings some interesting facts to light. The Korean have technology comparable to Japanese and arguably advanced than the US/EU giants. Koreans have a strong record for safety which was one of the prime reason the UAE Government awarded the $ 40 bn contract to Koreans.  
The Koreans do better quality job for a competitive price while the US or EU companies charge more but take less responsibilities for any contingency.

The US/EU argument supporting their businesses are mostly depending on political clout they have (or had?) in the region, but Koreans talk business and could be trusted to walk the talk, given their business history. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Segregation of topics

Vande Maatharam!

I've decided to segregate my blog into two.One for topics on politics, public administration, law and related issues while another on business, economy, management and related subjects. Here under the blog titled
"yathaarthaM vadaami" I would be speaking (writing rather) on politics, public administration, law and related issues. My old posts are also here to stay though. Would keep thinking aloud here, hopefully from tomorrow.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Times of India insults Hinduism

There was an article in Times of India stating that incest is rampant in Haryana and predominantly the Hindu community is involved in it. They have even quoted some examples from Mahabharatha and Rig Veda that incest was traditional in Hindu culture. Here is the link.  The tenor of the article was of that only Haryana is infested with incest and some comments from some 'cultured' people say that North Indian men are sex maniacs. 

I seriously doubt the credentials of those 'cultured' commentators. Any perversion would take place and grow only when the mind is left idle to fend with any kind of thought. No community fosters perversion, nor they encourage such ideas. Stray incidents are given a boost and a bad picture is pasted about the Hindu community.
Careful checks through the net by Hindu people revealed that parts of article were just a carbon copy of a Pakistani forum ( The 'author' of this article

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Inducing to Education or sustaining vote bank?

It is appalling that the Government of TamilNadu in its zeal to woo the so-called minority community has chosen to alienate the poor of the Hindu community. Irrespective of their economic status the students of Government and Government recognized schools and colleges are handed out money for paying tuition fees and covering expenses for their books and other stationery. This is not done by any missionaries nor by any jehadi outfits, but by the "Secular" Government of TamilNadu. It is in toeing line with the PM of India announcing that only moslems have the first right on the nation's resources, citing Sachar, Mishra and other committee reports.

The Center has nodded for some "exclusively for minority" concessions and the State Government has without any formal announcement started doing the above said service to the minorities. The Government has no Constitutional justification for this as it violates most of the fundamental rights given by the Constitution, The right to Education, The Right to Equality and The right to freedom from exploitation. The students of the majority community are denied their right to be equally treated with any other citizen as they are discriminated. Their right to have a fair and decent education is being questioned on the economic status of their parents, as some of the students are given subsidy by the Government whereas it is the duty of the Government to ensure every citizen gets a fair and decent education. The right to freedom from exploitation of the majority community is violated as they are being sidestepped, subjected to bigotry by this chauvinistic act of the Government of TamilNadu.

The school children of the majority community are being mocked by the student of the so-called minority community that only those worship their God would get money. This is another means of inducing religious conversion, but this could also be categorized as subtle imposing of other religion on Hindus, which puts under constant threat their right to freedom of religion. The atheists in Government of TN have no respect for nature, culture and people. They have reduced Chennai from a beautiful city to a crowded ugly settlement but made money from the encroachments made. How can we expect these money minded politicians to ensure equality among citizens? They need power to make money and they do what it takes to get to power.

MK and his atheists followers (who would go to temple with families and then criticize the same God they worshiped) would not do justice unless the majority unite as a vote bank. They would do all the possible tricks and gimmicks to get the people's attention away from such discriminatory and dangerous practices, but the Hindus shall wake up to the reality.  Come on folks. Arise..... be awake and stop not until the atrocities against us are stopped.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh: Sri Guru Pooja - Chennai - 1st August

I've attended the RSS Guru Pooja after a long while. Nearly a decade. My dad was elated when I told him that I was going to attend the Guru pooja this time. He told me to keep in close touch with the organization. He was a regular reader of Organiser, and was friends with many Swayamsevaks, but could not be part of the organization, due to Government restrictions. After frequent location changes in the early 2000s, we lost touch with the organization.

I first off apologize to the fraternity for reaching late at the venue and to my mom for not following her words on punctuality. I felt feverish when I got up at 6 AM (with two alarms and a call from dad). So, slept again rescheduling the alarm to 7 AM, but when I woke the clock showed 7.55 AM. Feeling still drowsy, finished up the morning mandatory chores and grabbed THE HINDU from the stair case. Sat with the paper just to glance at the headlines, but dozed off. Woke up at 8.45 AM and had a double mind. Go, don't go. 

Then, convinced myself to go, since I hadn't gone to a Sangh related event in the past decade except my online presence with the organization. So, took bath and finished Sandhyavandhanam by 9.40 AM. Then started off for T.Nagar. Upon reaching T.Nagar, I asked a fellow with Khaki pants and shirt (seemed perfectly fit to be an auto driver) how to go to Krishna Gana Sabha. He told the route and I started off in that direction, but in seconds realized that he had guided me to Thyaga Brahma Gana sabha aka Vani Mahal. Called my friend and asked him about the route and he told me an entirely different direction. Trusting a friend is far better than trusting a stranger, so walked in the way my friend told me. And finally reached the venue. 

Found a couple of uniformed Swayamsevaks at the entrance and checked in after registering my name and other details. Someone was telling that the pooja had already started and people who came then were late. Realizing my mom's words were true "RSS would be strict with time. Go early." But convinced myself again with the English saying "Better late than never" and went into the hall. Mr.Ram Madhav (whom I had seen only in TV so far) was addressing the gathering. His speech was not arousing BP, nor egging on people to accept his words, but made people think why not? 

His words on the so-crowned intellectuals, was really thought provoking, and I started collecting information to write in my blog about how Das Kapital was misconstrued by Indian Communists. How they had failed to adapt that to Indian ethos and started pushing the European peasant's ethos upon their Indian counterparts. Nothing could be a success if not naturalized to the land of migration. So, is communism, Christianity, Islam etc. 

I wonder whether Mr. Madhav knew the fact that Christianity is getting Indianised in the deep south as they conduct car festival, mala dharan (like Sabhari mala yatra) to go to Velankanni. The famous Chandana Koodu of Ervadi Durha in Ramnad district is an adaptation. Instead of lamenting about 85 years of witch hunt by alleged KGB sleepers, why can't the Sangh take to works like temple cleaning, giving free tuition to needy children (strictly by the school syllabus initially), and slowly get into teaching them the Hindu ethos of respecting parents, elders, fellow humans and other living beings. This method would be good to gain ground in a atheism infested place like Tamil Nadu.

By such steps, we could gain ground in the households in the first place, then move on to the society on a whole. Change, even though damn good, would not be welcome for all. If we wish to change the 100s of years of mental corruption started by the British and proudly carried forward by those so-crowned intellectuals, we gotta be slow, steady and ready to patiently work towards the goal. 

Thought to open my mind, tell what I felt about the issues discussed there. I know Sangh has so many great minds, and heavy duty scholars in the decision making arena. But, thought to help out like the squirrel in Ramayana, so wrote this. Thanks for your time spent in reading my writing. Your comments are welcome. Corrections would be accepted. Thiruchitrambalam.   

Saturday, June 5, 2010

This is how the British enslaved us...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Blogger Buzz: Blogger integrates with Amazon Associates

Blogger Buzz: Blogger integrates with Amazon Associates

Monday, May 24, 2010

Honesty, really saves faces?

Today's news conference of the PM was like a guided tour. There were no incisive questions asked. PM chose to blabber away questions on Naxals, Aksai Chin- PoK, caste census and the likes. The only honest admission was that the Government could have performed better. With the prices sky rocketing and the FM unmindful of it, the economist PM is still hopeful of getting the inflation under control by December. (Note: He has not mentioned the year.) He did not bring in justifications for his prediction of 8.5% growth this fiscal, whereas he chose not give any specific numbers for the inflation.

He echoed the general view of the public that corruption is the problem with our nation, but treaded the traditional politicians' path of rubbishing evident corruption in Telecom 2G case. He said that Raja had given his explanation in the public and also the issue was discussed in the Parliament. Well, he added that Raja had just followed TRAI guidelines and had implemented the prevailing policy, whereas the fact is that the TRAI guidelines of "let the market decide the price" have been flaunted without a business justification. Mr. Honesty! you've lost your most boasted ground here. 

While welcoming the differences of opinion in the Cabinet as a mark of thriving democracy, Dr.Singh chose to display the democratic principle by contradicting his own Foreign affairs minister. Krishna was buoyant of a growing trust between the neighbours, but Dr.Singh told that there was a trust deficit between the neighbours. On a question of taking back PoK and Aksai-Chin , the PM said that talks have not come to that level of getting to solutions. So, keep jaw-jaw and when the jaw pains take rest and start again!!!

There was a stupid question on whose advise was more suitable for him, Sonia Gandhi or Mrs. Gursharan Kaur. PM could have rubbished this question and asked for something on important issues, but he chose to answer that saying advises from both are valuable as they both advise on different issues. One is political Boss he could not think of relegating down, and the other is provider of  his rozi roti whom he could not afford to lose. He also reiterated that there was not an iota of difference between him and Sonia. Could he have a difference and continue as PM? But was this question necessary in his first national press conference where there are more serious issues to be discussed? Or did the media think this is more important than any burning national issues?

He said that the party was not undermining him, on the same vein he said that he was willing to step down if the party chooses a suitable person for his job (read Rahul Gandhi aka Raul Vinci). He also reiterated that Rahul was qualified enough to hold a post in the Union Cabinet. That was true in letter and spirit. We have Alagiri holding a Cabinet post and absconding from Parliament for the entire session, whose only qualification is that he is his M.K's son. Comparing to such colleagues, his preference to Rahul is justifiable!!

He has said that the Naxalism was not under estimated by him or his Government. But then, Mr.PM, why so many policemen have been sacrificed at altar of naxals, when this could have been nipped in the bud? He said that he has been saying for the past three years that Naxalism remains the biggest internal security challenge facing our country. Well, have you taken any actions to root that out Mr.PM? Have you atleast got a person who could war-war instead of jaw-jaw in the war field? The limited mandate and the like jargons would not suffice to fight the terror your Government version 1 allowed to grow and version 2 lurches in fighting. 

He treaded the expected line of procrastination in the Afzal Guru case. Let the law of the land take its own course. This is none different from his former boss Narasimha Rao's near inertia and allowing problems to solve by themselves in any way. The Parliament attack was an attack on the core of Indian democracy. But we'd still consider the guilty in that case on par with other rogues and rascals waiting the gallows. Are you trying to emphasize equality atleast on this front, Mr PM?

On Telengana, he said that there was no agreement to create new states. Then why did your Home Minister promise a separate state then back tracked? Was it a ploy to stop KCR from becoming another Potti Sriramulu? Did your Government lie to get KCR to end his fast?

The journalists from Tamilnadu chose to keep silent on the state issues and issues related to the state's sentiments. No question on Sethu Samudram. No question on the pitiful status of SriLankan Tamils, while Rajapakse has strengthened his hold in that country. Rajapakse is known for his anti-Tamil agenda. There are conflicting reports about the status of the internally displaced people. But we're keeping mum. The state leadership has nothing to gain from the SriLankan tamil issue now as there is no imminent election in the state. But you too journalists? 

Well, it was a mandatory exercise to reiterate that the PM is the de-jure boss of the Government to ensure smooth sailing of the workings of the de-facto boss. That was done as planned without a hitch. Seems that the center has taken lessons from the alliance partner M.K of TN in conducting guided press conferences. Well learning for the ruling lot, but the people are still suffering.... well, who cares as long as they vote whenever they are told to?

Manmohan Singh is a man of honesty and that was why he was chosen to lead UPA Government, overlooking all other political stalwarts in the Congress. We have an old saying about honesty. Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.Manmohan Singh is an honest man. No one would dispute that. But is he a man of integrity? Can he give the same answers to his conscience?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Leadership and use of best talent

There is a notion in the management fraternity nowadays, that the best talent shall be given the responsibility of managing the rest. This is fundamentally wrong. A talent in doing a job or mastery of a specialized skill does not mean that the possessor of the skill or talent would be good in managing people. Management involves a lot of tasks in administrative nature, that consumes a lot of time. There are people who would be good at handling people, but with limited expertise in specific skills.

We have excellent example to support this argument in Mahabharatha. In the war between Pandavas and Kauravas, Pandavas had chosen Dhrishtadhyumna to lead their troops, a person with a lower profile but with a clear motto of defeating the Kauravas, who was born to kill one of the strongmen of Kauravas Dhronacharya. He was a warrior of an impeccable courage and skill, but not as comparable to Bheeshma or any of the other Kaurava front-line generals. He was given charge of administrative duties of the Commander-in-Chief to device strategies and conduct the war, while the likes of Arjuna and Bheema were left free of other tasks and to concentrate on fighting the enemy.

Whereas in the Kaurava army, the task of commanding the forces was given to Bheeshma who was also the one to tackle Arjuna, Abhimanyu and the likes. He was over burdened. His fall on the war field had a morale damaging impact on the troops. Next came Dhronacharya, who was capable of defeating all the Pandava warriors, but was over burdened with the duties of Commander-in-Chief and the daily chores took it's toll on his performance in the war field. But Arjuna or Bheema or any other of the Pandava brothers were fighting wars and Bheema as sworn was on a killing spree of the Kaurava brothers. No front-line warriors of the Pandava forces were given any additional administrative task of anything.

Their supreme leader Yudhishtra was a good listener of his people, who listened to his adviser Krishna and they often brainstormed before devising strategies and were at unison at mind of the way they were going to conduct the war. After the decision was made the C-in-C was given the powers to carry them out. Whereas in the Kaurava camp the supreme leader Dhuryodhana never listened to his advisers. He made them do what he thought was right and the freedom of operation for the leaders were absent. Any step taken inching away from the idea of the supreme leader would result in the head honcho yelling at other leaders in front of others, which resulted in the loss of morale of the troops and also made the leaders perform what was told, but not what was right.

Let us relate this to the latest of the wars. US has waged war on Iraq. Let us not get into the merits of the reasons given by US. The conduct of war was given to professional generals and they have chosen people to do the jobs and they have served the purpose of the war. Saddam was defeated, dethroned and now he is dead. Whereas the other side had advantages of home ground, patriotic people, courageous generals and staff, but yet the leadership was not listening to them or given freedom to them to do what is right. The generals had to follow what the leader had told them. Unlike the allied forces, where the political leadership had given due support to the military leaders had them conduct the business of war. They had finally defeated the enemy.

The same applies to business also. Where the top management conducts the day to day affairs of the business, it ruins the operations finally. They should get the correct people to manage the talent, nurture the talent and make the talented feel good. The conduct of the business operations is the job of the person who manages the operations. The middle management should be given direction to tread and they have to choose the path to tread. The conduct of the march through the path should be left to the junior management. The junior management had to decide at what pace to march, where to slow down and where to speed up.

The people who are chosen to manage things have to possess some talent in the core business to understand it, and the knack of managing people and motivate them to do the right thing. The middle management has to have an understanding of the business and they have to ensure a different and right way of doing the right thing is devised or found in testing times and lead the people in the chosen path. The top management had to be there to look around and find out how to achieve the broad objective and all involved are rewarded and left happy at the end of the day.

We have examples for this too. Lee Iaccoca was not an extremely talented automotive engineer, but he was instrumental in bringing Ford to forefront. Jack Welch was not an extremely talented chemical engineer, but he turned GE around and is still known for his managerial acumen. We have examples in every industry.

Bottom line is skill has to be taught and nurtured and updated. Talent has to be developed and nourished. People management is taking care of the talent and skill, by not ruining it with more additional responsibilities.

Friday, January 1, 2010