Thursday, April 24, 2008

2 Good moves by UPA Govt: 1)Green signal to Airport Policy 2) Hike in FDI in defence to 49%

In a move that will greatly improve Defence and Aviation in the country, 2 proposals have been passed by Cabinet of UPA Government today

1) Green signal to Airport Policy:
Now any airport, if has to come up in any city, only the green signal by Director General of Civil Aviation Ministry is sufficient. So far the entire Cabinet was doing this job causing unwanted delays. Sometimes some cabinet ministers would derail the process and complicate matters. Now there is a single window clearance in the sense the director general of aviation ministry approval is enough. Also, within 150 km radius of the new airport, no new airport must come up. If it has to then the entire Cabinet will be consulted.

This policy is called the greenfield airport policy and is a good move. The real problem is the bureaucratic handling of tenders, supervising and co-ordinating the tasks of various entities involved. Of course, one must understand an airport is a bigger planning exercise and all sides must be consulted.

2) FDI hike in defense from 26% to 49%:
Vajpayee Govt decision to allow 100% private participation and FDI upto 26% in defense boosted the Indian defense sector. Now the UPA has decided to increase this to 49% and the new Offset Policy in Defense Procurement will revolutionize the industry and will avail the latest technological equipment to the armed forces. Already Russia, US, EU have signed lot of deals with India. In fact this NYT article clearly says in the next 5 years, India will be the hottest destination for weapons import and machinery. Already Lockheed Martin, Boeing have striked billions of dollars worth deals with Tata, L&T, HAL etc. The NYT article clearly mentions it

So what does the new Offset Policy and FDI hike mean? It means that if a foreign company like Lockheed Martin, Boeing makes a deal equal to or greater than Rs. 300 Crore, it has to re-invest minimum 30% of the money back in India. This can be direct or indirect. So, the foreign company can make

1)Contractual Agreements involving the following w.rt. defense products
. Buy Back and Market Access

• Co-production

• Licenced Production

• Joint Development and Joint Ventures

• Investment (FDI) in Indian Defence R&D and/ or infrastructure

2) Services:

Repair, maintenance and Overhauling facilities

3) Software:

For Quality assurance and other testing

The biggest advantage is access to latest technology which India badly needs despite great advancement in indigenous research. The CII is extremely happy by this move and will help India in modernizing the much needed Defense Sector. Let the Govt not forget that despite best efforts and recommendations, role of middlemen and their impact is still hindering transparency and government's flip-flop policy on these have irked foreign countries. Hence, transparency is the need of the hour along with such good policies.

Added on April 30, 2008:

This article appeared on Business Standard

"That means urgently nominating the private sector Raksha Utpadan Ratnas, generously subsidising their R&D, and assuring a minimum order that can help pay for their input costs."

In other words, Govt must subsidize the RUR (first of all govt must designate some private companies as RURs), and help them with a proper financial support.

BJP's manifesto for Karnataka's elections:

What's most interesting in the manifesto is the direct election of Mayor by the people. This is on the lines of New York City. It is good if it happens because people then don't have to depend on State Government which is apathetic to citizens' woes. Secondly, because Mayor is directly elected by people the Mayor has to work else will have to go. Compared to other cities, Bangalore citizens vote with lot of sensibility. They are pretty aware of their problems and what their local corporators have done and what not. So, this will help a long way in ensuring that only the right Mayor will continue in power.

The second most interesting part is classification of Karnataka into 3 zones and primary emphasis being given to each of them. This will help in the long way to ensure that each zone progresses in the respective expertise.

Everything else seem to suggest populist approaches more than real ones to solve problems. Karnataka's BJP unit has to learn a lot from its counterpart in Gujarat. It will earn lot of accolades from everyone in the state.

I can't understand the need for a cyber cafe if there is no electrification in villages. The BJP unit must learn from its own party in Gujarat and say they will do a "Jyothigrama" even in Karnataka by which all villages will get 24 hour power supply. They should attempt do this daunting task than just promising "free electricity". It is possible as our electricity generating capacity exceeds that of Gujarat.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The new world of Brazil, Russia, India and China

Click here

It is a very interesting article showcasing the fact that the new world is going to be of these 4 countries. With China good at manufacture, India at services, Russia at energy production, Brazil in other commodities ...the new world is incomplete without these 4 countries.

It is also posted as is below:

Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar: How BRICs have changed the world
23 Apr, 2008, 0554 hrs IST,Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar, TNN

In 2001, Goldman Sachs came out with the concept of the BRICs - Brazil, Russia, India China - as high-population countries that would dominate the world economy by 2050. At the time, global financiers sneered that this was a facile formulation to get business from the gullible. Very little global finance trickled into the stock markets of the four countries in 2001.

Seven years later, the BRICs have outperformed the most optimistic projections. Goldman Sachs had predicted that these countries would account for 10% of world GDP by the end of the decade. They have already crossed 15%.

Analysts have offered various explanations for their success. Let me suggest one more. Without consultation or planning, the BRICs have stumbled into a four-way division of labour yielding huge gains in productivity and synergy.

China has specialised in manufacturing. India has specialised in service exports. Russia has specialised in energy. And Brazil has specialised in other commodities (iron ore, sugar, ethanol, soyabeans, beef, orange juice). All four have become world-beaters in their respective specialisations.

Of the four, only China looked remotely like a champion in 2001, and it too was struggling with social discord in interior provinces that had missed the great export boom. In 2001, Russia was in financial straits after defaulting on its external debt in 1998, Putin was struggling to re-establish Moscow’s control over the provinces, and the price of oil was just $18/barrel. India’s growth rate had plunged after 1997, and in 2001 was down to the 5.8% level of the 1980s. Brazil had barely overcome its financial crisis of 1998.

Seven years later, the BRICs have exceeded all projections. China contributed more last year to incremental world GDP than even the United States, whose economy in absolute terms is four times bigger. India has averaged almost 9% growth for several years. Russia has become an energy superpower, and in place of its huge current account deficit in 2001, it now has a huge surplus approaching $200 billion a year. Brazil, with 5.4% growth, is the slowest of the four, yet is among the few countries that looks like growing strongly even in the coming global recession.

Few Indians realise how dominant Russia has become in energy. I am sure 99% of readers think Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest oil producer. Wrong. Saudi Arabia has the biggest oil reserves by far. But in terms of production, Russia at 10.1 million barrels/day beats Saudi Arabia’s 9.3 million barrels/day.

Russia is even bigger in natural gas. Its dominance in world gas reserves parallels that of Saudi Arabia in oil reserves. Huge new gasfields have been discovered offshore in the Arctic Sea, encouraging Russia to lay claim to the Arctic seabed all the way to the North Pole. Western European governments are horrified to find themselves woefully dependent on Russian gas for future energy needs, but see no alternative.

Brazil’s commodity dominance is not well known in India. It is a huge producer of iron ore and sets the world price. This year Vale, Brazil’s biggest producer, negotiated a 65% increase in iron ore prices with East Asian importers like China, and the world market (including India) has followed suit.

Brazil has a huge land area and ample rainfall, but a modest population. So, at a time of soaring prices, it is among the few countries that can rapidly expand high-quality acreage and exports. It is the world’s largest producer of sugarcane, from which it makes ethanol that is much cheaper than petrol, and fuels Brazil’s ethanol-based cars. It is the biggest exporter of soyabeans and orange juice. What’s more, it has discovered the two biggest oilfields offshore in recent years, containing an estimated seven billion and 33 billion barrels respectively.

Indian readers are fully aware of China’s phenomenal success in manufactured exports, especially labour-intensive items like garments, footwear and toys. Readers are also fully aware of India’s phenomenal success in service exports, especially software and business outsourcing, which are projected to touch $50 billion this fiscal year. Notwithstanding huge increases in salaries in the last five years, Indian companies remain as competitive as ever, and their future looks bright.

Two final points need to be made about the unplanned but serendipitous specialisations of the four BRICs. Specialisation brings a country high benefits from productivity growth, but also creates vulnerability. In the event of a technological change or sudden fall in global demand, a specialised producer can be particularly hard hit.

The BRICs, however, have all become producers of a wide range of manufactures and services, including high-tech ones. Brazil is the most high-tech manufacturer in Latin America, and even has a competitive aircraft industry. Russia has more engineers than the US, and so should do well when its Soviet-era industries are completely replaced by 21st century ones.

India’s merchandise exports have been sizzling recently, and Indian manufacturing companies are acquiring dozens of giant multinationals. China, which started as an exporter of labour-intensive goods, has moved sharply up the value chain. Less than half its exports are now labour-intensive, and it is a big exporter of heavy machinery and chemicals. This diversified profile means that the BRICs will be resilient in the face of external shocks that may hit their specialised activities from time to time.

The second point to be made is that the different specialisations of the BRICs are synergistic and self-reinforcing. The fast growth of India and China, both of which are at a material-intensive stage of development, has helped spark a huge and rising demand for commodities (which benefits Brazil) and energy (which benefits Russia).

Brazil’s stockmarket is among the few to remain strong in 2008 because markets think commodity demand from countries like China and India will remain strong even if there is a global recession. That looks optimistic to me. But if indeed this happens, the BRICs will create history. Never before have commodity demand and prices remained high in a recession.

Balbir Punj Article: Are there any great leaders beyond Gandhi family?

This article is very interesting as it points that there are many great leaders beyond Nehru-Gandhi Family. Why Congress blatantly keeps showering accolades on this one family. It has ignored many of its own leaders beyond this family and many others in their party. Surprisingly, the author forgets Vajpayee as one of the greatest leaders

Read it

The article is also pasted here as is:

The importance of being a Gandhi-Nehru
23 Apr, 2008, 1635 hrs IST,

BY: Balbir K Punj

Two recent developments – repeated references to Rahul Gandhi as “Yuvraj” (the heir to the throne) by a Congress MP in the Rajya Sabha and an innocuous recent press advertisement – have underlined the malice of dynastic politics that continues to plague the Congress, India’s oldest political party.

Last Monday, Dr E. M. Sudarsana Natchipan was participating in a discussion on the Rural Development Ministry in Rajya Sabha. In the true tradition of his party, he reduced the entire issue of rural development to singing paeans of Rahul Gandhi. Calling Rahul a “Yuvraj” a number of times in his discourse, he compared him to Lord Buddha. Dr Natchipan conveniently forgot that in a democracy, there is no “Yuvraj” or “Yuvrani”. And if there is a “Yuvraj”, logically there will be a “Rajmata” as well. And who is the “Rajmata”? No prizes for guessing.

In another development, several newspapers recently carried an advertisement from the government mouthpiece Prasar Bharati. The advertisement says that the Prasar Bharati will "soon be coming out with a comprehensive website on the great leaders of India". It has sought audio-video material on these great leaders from those who may be having such material in their possession. The public has been asked to send these to the Doordarshan archives.

The advertisement also carries the photographs of these "great leaders of India" – Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Now, I have no quarrel that the first three contributed to the greatness of pre-independence and post-independence India. Most historians would have reservations about Rajiv Gandhi being included in this list. But even that could be ignored.

However, can we ignore the underlying insult to this great country by a government body’s decision to recognise only these four people as "great leaders"? What about Subhash Chandra Bose? Or Bhagat Singh? Or Rajaji? Dr Rajendra Prasad? Veer Savarkar? Dr. K B Hedgewar? Lal Bahadur Shastri, under whose leadership India was able to recover its prestige in 1965 after Nehru's disastrous policy allowed China to slap India across the face? Is he not among the "great leaders of India?" Or is it that this tiny man with no aristocratic blood to flaunt or Cambridge degree to distinguish him has no place among the "great" of post-independence India?

What about Jayaprakash Narayan whose tremendous power of moral force toppled a dictatorship in 1977 even though he and his followers were jailed for 19 months? Is Rajiv Gandhi who came to power on the strength of his family connection — without having to sacrifice anything — greater than JP, a hero of not only 1975-77 but also of the 1942 movement, the entire independence struggle and the Bhoodan movement? Rajiv Gandhi came to power on a sympathy wave but his massive two-thirds majority could not help him avoid an electoral defeat five years later.

This insult to India is carrying on unchecked because we have "leaders" who do not have the guts to tell the “royals” the truth. Emasculated by years of slavish underdog-ism, these leaders not only genuflect but also cower and crawl before the party's royal family. One angry look from 10 Janpath is enough to send these "leaders" to Tirupati to beg the Lord of the Seven Hills to spare them from this royal rage.

In that respect, I would any day give the thumbs up to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati. At least she has the guts to take on the “prince”.

Coming back to the advertisement, Prasar Bharti is not to be blamed in the prevailing environment of sycophancy. Enough care has been taken to stamp out all other great names that participated in the freedom struggle and afterwards lent their shoulder to shepherd the country through tough times. For instance, behind the seat of the Prime Minister in the Lok Sabha there is a list of his predecessors. When Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister, it fell to the Opposition to raise a howl over Shastri's omission from this list. This could not have been a simple mistake because the Lok Sabha records cannot be trifled with and any writing therein is checked 20 times. The conclusion is obvious: no other name was to come up before the public except those belonging to the Nehru-Gandhi family.

Across the country, almost every government institution is named after members of only this family. Only in Kolkata has the local sentiment ensured that the airport is named after Netaji; the same has happened in Mumbai. But in Hyderabad, the new airport was not named after the tallest Andhra leader, N.T. Rama Rao or any other Telugu leader — one can think of many like T. Prakasam a fiery freedom fighter and a chief minister afterwards. Once again, it is Rajiv Gandhi’s name that has won out.

Such devotion to one family may please Congressmen but it is a national shame that this country of over 100 crore people with a civilization that is thousands of years old is being made to ignore its past and the string of great leaders it produced in every field. For instance, would it not have been more appropriate to name the government-funded culture and fine art centre coming up at Rajendra Prasad Road in Delhi after Rabindranath Tagore rather than Indira Gandhi? We can cite a number of other instances where Bharatiya men of eminence in arts, sciences, philosophy, etc have been ignored and the institution carries the name of one of the Congress' "royal family".

A nation whose top and middle level leaders are placed in the straitjacket of a single family loyalty is only damaging its own leadership mettle. This is like a mighty tree drawing on only one root and letting all other roots wither. Sometimes we are unhappy over Mayawati making a fetish of Dr Ambedkar and putting her own statues along with that of the architect of the Indian Constitution. But that counterweight is at least preferable to the refrain Congressmen have and are seeking to impose on the country. In 1975 we came across the slogan "One Country, One Leader, One Agenda" which was a precursor to the darkness that followed.

Before Dr Natchiappan declared Baba Rahul as the “Yuvraj” of independent India, another Congress stalwart Arjun Singh had referred to him as the next Prime Minister. But poor Arjun Singh. For telling the truth regarding the monarchy that rules his party he has been administered a public rebuke by the queen herself.

The rebuke also conveys to the hoi polloi Congressmen that the royalty frowns upon commoners playing with the number one family. The question of succession and when it will be announced will be the privilege of the family alone.

But is that really so? Was Arjun Singh being prompted or did he slip up while trying to score brownie points over Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh? It is difficult to believe that a seasoned leader like Arjun Singh — former chief minister, governor, party vice-president and Nehru-Gandhi loyalist — would slip up especially as he has no need to demonstrate his loyalty. Also when a Congressman is asked by the media if he would like Rahul Gandhi to lead the government after the coming elections, can he dare say anything that could be interpreted as disguised disloyalty? The political calculations lead to the only explanation for the mystery of Arjun Singh being pulled up for stating the obvious: this is all a stage-managed affair to underline the importance of the royalty that rules the Congress.

It is a matter of pride for India to assert that India is not Indira (forgive poor Debkant Barooha) or the Gandhis but India is multi-faceted, with many streams, many names, rich beyond the reach of all the words in any language. It belongs to you as well as to me and all Indians have the right to aspire to be its Prime Minister and elected to that top spot.

(Author is a BJP MP, National Secretary and convenor of the party's think tank)

Monday, April 21, 2008

News Article only confirming the futility of Farm Loan Waiver

The Hindu article clearly expresses the sad state of agrarian crisis and explains why loan waivers won't help and already 125 farmers have committed suicides ever since the announcement of loan waiver was done by the UPA government. This confirms an earlier article I posted on my blog

Particularly read the last statement about agrarian crisis:

"Relief packages and ad hoc administrative measures are incapable of achieving that."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Why Manmohan Singh has fallen very low in "aam aadmi"'s eye?

I still remember in 2004 when NDA lost and there was no party that had a majority, Congress made alliances with Left and UPA was formed and Manmohan Singh was made the PM. BJP which could not digest the fact that they lost was in shatters. They behaved very badly in Parliament and everyone was feeling low.

The economists, industrialists, and intellectuals were having inertia on how the UPA would carry reforms ahead. The sigh of relief was that the dream team of Manmohan, Chidambaram and Montek Singh - all experts in their own field and having vast political experience was at the helm of prime affairs. The first one and half year everything was going good. Proposal to reform bureaucracy, Right to information act (RTI), National Employee Rural Guarantee Act(NERGA), National urban Renewal Mission(NURM) went very well with the public.

What turned was unprecedented and dramatic. Just because RTI was exposing a large number of IAS, IPS officers and even ministers of his own party in states he clipped the powers of the Act. This disappointed everyone. I was so happy at that time because for the first time I saw him working very good on the ground. Second, NERGA was implemented in some places and high corruption was involved. Singh did not care about this and did not ensure a better way of implementation.

Then came Indo-US nuclear deal. The biggest blunder he did here was not to discuss at length with everyone in the Parliament and take them into confidence. Media and the Congress party made a hype and Manmohan was seen going into history as the best PM who clinched a formidable deal with a formidable nation - USA.

A spate of bad events later happened. Some of the provisions as proposed by the deal like separation of military and civilian nuclear facilities and the imposition of Hyde Act irritated the BJP because they were the original architects of Indo-US partnership. The right to test weapons when came under compromise, BJP opposed the deal and media targeted BJP as though BJP assassinated progress and reform. Of course Left's opposition was known to Congress. BJP's opposition surprised Congress, however, it failed in convincing BJP that the right to test will never be compromised. How could it convince because Hyde Act was still applicable to India. Even when BJP delayed in clearing its strategy and later clarified that Hyde Act needs a change, Congress did not take it seriously. The media further criticized both the parties.

Later, the deal seemed to be hitting a roadblock. Series of inflations hit the govt and the dream team failed to take on major institutional reforms. Manomhan simply set up 40 GoM - each wasting time when already so much research was done to solve problems of the country. Almost 1 or one and half year passed by with no major reform. The National Commission of Farmers appointed by him was a futile exercise w.r.t time. Even when Arjun Singh spoke of reservations, it created a tension between the 2 Singhs'. I understand this because Manmohan Singh surely doesn't believe in reservations. He truly believed merit has to take precedence if we have to go ahead. The last bit being Farm Loan Waiver. All populist measures by the dream team and nothing concrete to bring in changes. So shoddy would be the policies was least expected.

Let's compare with NDA. Within 100 days of governance, blueprint for reforms was set up. Vajpayee did one best thing and that is employed right intellectuals to solve major issues (Arun Jaitley for Law - Pramod Mahajan for Telecom, Arun Shourie for disinvestment, and many others in major decision making ministries. In case of NDA, the government did not do well in Fiscal reforms, Labor reforms and agricultural reforms. Everything else was very fast and done with serious commitment.

What surpises me is that many of NDA's policies are that of Manmohan Singh and yet when he is the PM, none of those measures have been taken. The country no doubt had 8% growth for 2 years, but that was services and manufacturing which was anyways doing well. What happened to agriculture? No doubt NDA neglected several areas of agrarian reforms, although brought in changes like efficient credit system and faster access to money through Kisan credit cards. The NDA followed a very good food procurement policy which clearly is lacking in UPA. This is surprising. UPA is headed by an economist while NDA by a politician. A politician's economic vision was much better than an economist's economic vision..What a starking contrast and sad reality?

I as a citizen expected that Manmohan would take the country to heights that I will forever thank Sonia (although I hate Sonia so much w.r.t politics). I expected drastic changes in agriculture and bureaucracy. Today, I even further regret as to why Manmohan was made PM. He should have continued as Finance Minister and allowed someone else to rule as PM.

The backtracking by an eminent person like Singh on nuclear deal is like a slap on India's Foreign Policy by outside world. India's respect and acceptability has come under sharp attack unlike vajpayee who changed the perception of outside world that India is a rising superpower. The confidence instilled by the previous confidence has drained out the hopes of many citizens like me who expected much more from a sincere and committed man like Singh. Oh...Sorry...Committment in Singh is also suspicious for me as he has backtracked very badly on his own image.

Click here for this article which criticizes UPA govt very badly and specially Singh

A viewer of NDTV asking Congress the following 38 questions

1. Who created Bhinderanwale?
2. Who was responsible for Nellie (Assam) massacre?
3. Who ordered the IPKF misadventure leading to the death of 1,000 Indian soldiers in Lanka?
4. Who opened the locks at Ram Janambhoomi?
5. Who was responsible for Bofors scam?
6. Why Quatrocchi was never arrested?
7. Why did we lose Kashmir to Pakistan?
8. Why were intelligence reports regarding Chinese aggression in 1962 ignored?
9. Why is the government silent on recent Chinese incursions into India?
10. Who has played vote bank politics to allow Bangladeshis into India?
11. Why was army not allowed to flush out Pakistanis from Kashmir completely?
12. Why did Congress government embark on a NAM crusade and later spit on it by voting against Iran?
13. Why did Congress not act along with US and others to curb Chinese aggression of Tibet?
14. Why are Sino-Indian war documents still secret?
15. Why did Congress return Lahore without asking for Kashmir in exchange at Tashkent?
16. Why did Congress impose emergency?
17. Why were those responsible for emergency atrocities never charged?
18. Why there is silence on Netaji's disappearance?
19. Why isn't a single Congressman still punished for the Sikh Riot case?
20. Why were terrorists released in exchange of Mufti Mohammed Syed's daughter?
21. Would the Congress take responsibility for any further deaths in IC-814 if Jaswant Singh had not got the terrorists released?
22. Why is the Congress not putting 10 questions to Sharad Pawar when farmers are dying everyday?
23. Why did the Congress take back Sukh Ram back in the party when he was found guilty in a huge Telecom Scam?
24. Why couldn't the home ministry prevent the bomb blasts in UP, Hyderabad and Mumbai?
25. Why is the Congress sleeping over the Naxal issue?
26. Why is the Congress so quiet on Narandra Modi after admonishing publicly before the elections?
27. Why doesn't it allow its prime minister to work independently keeping him at the mercy of 10 Janpath?
28. Why was Rahul Gandhi promoted to the post of General Secretary of the party when the party lost three elections of which he was the star campaigner?
29. Why is it silent on Nandigram?
30. Why did price rise not figure on its agenda till the election year?
31. Why have prices risen phenomenally in the last four years?
32. Why was Operation Rhino in Assam suspended (against ULFA)?
33. Who dismissed the most number of governments in states, which were in opposition to the Congress?
34. Who has called Lord Rama a myth?
35. Why has Dawood not been terminated?
36. Why are super cops who terminate gundas, being sidelined?
37. In whose reign have most scams occurred?
Who betrayed India's long time friend Iran, bowing to US and voted against it at the UN?

Who is Karunanidhi to destroy old rituals of his state?

Look at this article. After reading it, I am contemplating - should I laugh or be serious? Karunanidhi virtually seems to be the "POPE" of all temples in TamilNadu. How can he ban reading Panchanga and change the celebration of Tamil New Year to a new date? Just to satisfy hegemony of Tamil over Sanskrit? Why rake such old issues and destroy the freedom of practice followed by people for centuries? Who has given the right to change such policies?

Even the most communal politician will not think of committing an act like this. Why blame an atheist for these? I blame the people of TamilNadu who have elected a leader just for promising free TV sets for everyone if elected. Has TV become more important than bread, butter, water and electricity? The fanaticism of the general public has shocked me. I fully not blame TamilNadu as even politicians in Karnataka seem to be following this..Shame!!

Why should the state interfere in religion? Take the other classic example. Left Govt has ordered that women must be allowed in Shabarimala. Who has asked Left to do this? Is it so much concerned about women being banned in a temple? Are there no other problems for Keralite women? If women in Shabarimala or across South India have no issues over it,why government is so interested? Jayalalitha passed the law banning conversions. The anti-conversion bill has some merit, if not absolutely necessary given the gamut of problems the state is facing. The bill was passed because several missionaries wanted the dalits to convert into Christianity for a good life. I question this..If church has to do something good for dalits, why ask them to change their religion? Does acceptance of Jesus bring in fortunes and acceptance of Rama bring in misery? The bill helped prevent at least mass conversions for a wrong cause.

I agree that Shiv Sena is against many celebrations like Valentine Day. It is equally bad for them to condemn a celebration which people have the freedom to do so.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

TV NEWS channels - double standards and biased reports

Media channels be it Aaj Tak, CNN-IBN, NDTV - all never miss an opportunity to create sensationalism w.r.t 2002 Godhra riots. But when it comes to Nandigram, no media is carrying any report whatsoever.

Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai, Sagarika Ghosh - all are pretty busy bashing Modi for Godhra,but what about Left parties for Nandigram?

No media is even allowed to cover Nandigram. Such is the level of goondaism being followed in Nandigram by CPM cadres. So, why media is not raising any voice? Media largely covers Gujarat Govt's idea of stopping Aaj Tak telecast in gujarat when Tehelka expose was doing rounds. The same media remains silent when the Left parties never allowed journalists to capture everything going there.

Why can't they make this a huge issue? Why media is interested to show only one bloody tale and not the other?

No wonder all media channels are targeting BJP and showering praises on Congress. Take the nuclear deal. Report after report TV channels specially NDTV and CNN IBN continues to call BJP's opposition to nuclear deal as double standard. BJP from day one has clarified that if the right to test nuclear weapons is not compromised they will support the deal. Is this not a valid point? It is...So, why media calls BJP as doublespeak? Can't understand!!! Where is doublespeak when there is only one speak on the matter?

Model Nafisa Joseph's suicide is given more coverage than suicides. Which is the priority to news channels? How many news channels even cover Agricultural conferences and discuss its impact? While on the other hand 100's of journalists cover Fashion programs. At least print media is doing a good job. If any citizen trusted news channels, it would be far worse and be counter productive. News channels spread more misinformation, create unnecessary hype than correct and debatable information. How much does the news channel cover about what solutions are proposed by National Commission of Farmers? How many news channels have even interviewed M.S Swaminathan and asked his opinion on solving agricultural problems?

Even when development issues were the election issues by Narendra Modi, CNN-IBN continuously targetted Modi for Godhra. How many journalists were even interested to show the pro's and cons of his development work? The responsible media must have brought about where the policies have failed instead of saying there was no development at all. They didn't even bother to say how Jyothigram was envisioned and implemented. They didn't show where it is failing and what must be done to further improve. Why always present negative side? Because that brings make them TRP's and money.

Is the media even doing the job of showing success stories across the country in several matters? They don't. All they want to show is colossal failure of everything. And only during elections the media wakes up and starts looking at that region going to elections.

Media keeps blaming Sohrabuddin statement of Modi. Okay, good. Why the same media is silent over Afzal who carried out Parliament attack? Does media have two yardsticks to measure crimes?

Day and night they keep telecasting gruesome crime stories and events about a 100 times. Seeing those images so many times disturb people. Why should they show it everytime? Is it that more they show, more people will react? No, people will change their channels ignoring the crime because it continues to haunt them.

When there was a murder of a girl in Gujarat due to involvement of some college staff, CNN-IBN carries a report is Modi's statement that Gujarat is safe for women valid? While the fact is Gujarat has the least crime record for women. Why can't media carry the same report on Delhi and question Sheila Dikshit everytime?

On the other hand, when media blames BJP for Godhra and fails to use the same harsh language on Left parties on Nandigram is a clear indication of how biased has the media become today.

How irresponsible can media be? They have taken journalism to a whole new nadir. Does media cover good things happening in rural india? Does media ever highlight Bhoomi, eseva, ITC e-choupal, Gyandhoot, Yashaswini Rural health scheme, Polam Badis, Education Guarantee scheme, Jyothigram etc? Does media show how NGO's have solved water problems in Gujarat ? When you show this, at least people get a ray of hope that the country is changing. These things should be shown again and again so that positive hopes and confidence is instilled in people's mind.

Media is busy projecting communalism as secularism and vice versa.

As an enlightened citizen, I urge to all readers of this article to stop concluding anything from channels like NDTV, CNN-IBN, Aaj Tak who have become experts of passing strident remarks over non-issues and dividing the society very next to politicians. It is becoming a disturbing ambiance because media always projects only side of the story. Of course, this does not mean media is not doing a good job. It is. The conclusions drawn by journalists like Rajdeep Sardesai, Karan Thapar, Barkha Dutt and Sagarika Ghosh are all biased and every citizen must not take their conclusions and opinions as "unquestionable truths".

Double standards by Left on US reports of Human rights violation in India

The Left parties are pretty good at double standards. First, it rejects any deal with US. Then comes out in support of discussions in IAEA. First, they say they will withdraw support if Congress goes ahead with talks with IAEA. Then, they decide to go back.

Similarly - D.Raja, Sitaram Yechury, Harkikrishen Singh Surjeet, A.P. Bardhan, Gurucharan Das - are all of the same breed. Keep doing anything to keep BJP away. They consider BJP as moral untouchables.

When a statement on Godhra came out by US, Left started telling to BJP that even US criticizes BJP led Modi. So he must resign. Now, when a similar statement on Nandigram erupts, Left parties say that US cannot interfere in the internal matters. What a doublespeak!!! US was Left's friend w.r.t Godhra, but an enemy w.r.t Nandigram.

The Left keeps telling that they are morally right. Even the Congress which must have raised voices over Nandigram did not do anything. Did it think of imposing Article 356 when violence had reached its peak? It did not. So, how can Congress accuse BJP of not imposing such an article in Gujarat?

Nandigram or Godhra - both are highly deplorable and condemnable. Both equally constitute Human Rights Violation. There was massacre in both events.

Speeches of Modi about development and India

***Best *** Speech at Cho's Tughlak Magazine in Chennai
Part 1:
Part 2:

****Speech at Hindustan Times Summit****

********Speech addressing NRI's in USA******************

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Farm Loan Waiver: Worst agricultural policy from the best brains in the Indian Finance Ministry

I,as an enlightened, educated citizen did not expect the worst policy to solve agricultural problem from the best brain of the Finance Ministry - P.Chidambaram. The scheme is totally flawed and solely is a populist approach to solve the problem. Instead of understanding the concern of the aam aadmi, he has fooled them and everyone as well. In typical Hindi style - "Chutiya banadiya". There are so many solutions to solve the agrarian crisis. Instead of attempting to do the same, a scheme that is full of loopholes has been presented merely to win elections.

It is a futile exercise. On the top of it, anybody who condemns is "anti-farmer" party. Big news channels want people to clap for BJP's opposition to the semantics of the scheme. When you say "no" to something, there is another reason (not just dislike) - not satisfied with the answer. This is precisely what BJP and Left parties are saying - but the govt propaganda is any party which opposes loan waiver is "Kisan Virodhi party". Sonia Gandhi is shouting on the top of her voice proclaiming it as a historic step - yes,historic - because such a nonsense policy has come out from the very team of Indian economy reformists - Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram and Montek singh Ahulwalia.

Let's analyze how the waiver doesn't help and will bear no fruit. Note that loan waiver targets defaulters w.r.t Bank loan and not private money lenders and also that waiver is given to farmers having only less than or equal to 2 hectares of land.

20.65 lakh farmers in total. Average size of land holdings is 4.03 hectares. Only 2% of these farmers have 2 hectares or less. Which means 98% of farmers will not get the waiver.
Also 80% is the recovery rate of loans taken from banks. It implies that the scheme is of no use even in this sense as for all evidences a large portion is borrowed from money lenders (private) and so scheme will not applicable to them

17.28 lakh farmers. Average size of land holding is 3.7 hectares => not applicable. Very few farmers have less than 2 hectares.
90% of the money is borrowed from private persons and 10% is what is borrowed from banks and have a very high recovery rate.

Himachal Pradesh:
4.70 lakh farmers. 68% of the farmers have less than 1 hectare but 90% recovery from co-operative banks. So, not going to benefit.


Vidharba region,specially has the highest number of suicides.
1.21 crore farmers and average size is 1.5 hectares. Good. However, 30 lakh farmers take money from outside sources as they are completely refused by banks for loans.
Marathwada, Vidharba - average size is 15 hectares. So, no use whatsoever.

42 lakh farmers. Average size is 1.66 hectares. Good. However, banks and the govt do not have enough info on how much farmers have borrowed from banks and government.

No assessment made at all by the Govt. Bank records indicate only 10% of the total farmers even afford to get loans as the remaining 90% don't qualify. So, who is going to get it?

48.20% of farmers have less than 1 hectare and 26.60% have 1-2 hectares. But small farmers work under big farmers. The big farmers themselves reeling under loans will not give it to smaller ones. So, who is going to get and who is not is murky. Karnataka State Farmers Association has outrightly rejected the scheme and is requesting the government to include everyone.

Andhra Pradesh:

More than 50% of farmers get the benefit as the average size is 1.4 hectares. Will surely help.

85% of farmers have less than 2 hectares. But government is not sure how it will help the banks here.

No assessment made, but 70 lakh farmers have less than 1 hectare.

Uttar Pradesh:

Has the highest number of farmers - 2.2 Crore and all have less than 2 hectares. But, government is still working.

Madhya Pradesh:
66.37 lakh farmers and average size is 2.5 hectares => not applicable
(The statistics taken from leading magazines)

Conclusion and Analysis:

1)If nearly 85% of farmers have a very good recovery rate w.r.t bank loans, how is this waiver going to help the farmers who have taken from money lenders? Chidambaram himself says he or any government doesn't keep a record of how much money and when a farmer takes from private money lenders. So, who is going to benefit this?? How are those farmers helped who have taken from private people??

2) What is the government going to give to banks so as to clear their balance sheets? Securities, hard cash or what? There is no answer as of now (i.e As of April 9th, 2008)

3) From where does this money come from? Definitely, there is no answer for this. Just to escape they have put the blame on NDA government. Absurd!!!
It will definitely come from honest tax payers money

4) Why the ceiling of 1or 2 hectares and not above? This is because 86% of farmers have this size holding. Good- but comes back to point 1). How will even this 86% going to benefit when nearly 90% of them have very good recovery rates.

5) What happens to a farmer who has already repaid the loan? He will not get the waiver

6) What about addressing the other causes of agricultural crisis? No idea. Hence it is historic and directionless scheme

7) How will money be disbursed? Through bureaucrats - forget it...It will never reach farmers.

8) Can't direct cash be deposited? How, most farmers don't even have bank account and even if they have, how will they get it. Some do have Kisan Credit Card, but that is not going to help

9) Why did the government not listen to Radhakrishna Commission which clearly stated that Government should avoid any such waiver

10) Is this what I expect from the brainy Singh and Chidambaram?? When asked about how one can track of private moneylenders, he clearly stated that he has no method and questioned everyone - if they have one, let them propose and the government will be very happy to accept.
He is very true, then why not consider that in the package and make it sound sensible.

I am pretty sure Sonia must have insisted on this as she knew she has disappointed the aam aadmi. There is nothing else to offer...So why not sound good to people.

Further, below is the list of articles for further reading which confirms my analysis from statistics taken from India Today
//Leading economist Swaminathan Aiyar says the excercise is futile
//Why farm loan waiver has caused troubles between states as each state asks for its portion
//Why farm loan waiver doesn't address the real problem
//What's gone wrong with the loan waiver
//Leading expert M.S. Swamninathan comments
//Bad politics, Bad economics from a panel of economists by India Today

Monday, April 7, 2008

Rahul Gandhi is not as smart as Rajiv Gandhi

Just before 1984 and the death of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv became active in politics. He was inexperienced, but had a mass appeal wherever he went. Rajiv had little political experience and hence his handling of NE crisis, Punjab and Sri Lanka caught him on the wrong foot. He had to withdraw and change many decisions. He can still be given an exception because he did not have any public experience before 1984, although was active for a very short span. Unlike him, Rahul has been active for 4 years now, but is just a crowd puller. The crowds have not converted itself into votes for him.

His inexperience combined with no new real fire in his speeches has made him an insipid politician. When he went to tribal areas in Orissa he spoke that Rajiv had promised to do something for them and the state government has not been able to do so and so people must vote for Congress party. Also, his speeches during UP elections were so immature. His reference to demolition of Babri Masjid, what Indira and Rajiv have done are all matters of the bygone era. He is not talking what he wants to do. He is not talking how he wants to do. He is just raising voices w.r.t farm loan waiver, Tribal Act and not doing much. He is not able to influence much of the voter base. Why should the youth vote him? Just for his age, just for his charm (physical beauty) or just that he is a Gandhi scion? I would want to vote for someone who has experience on serious issues or has clear cut strategy for complex problems we are facing today. Age does not necessarily lead to efficiency. Vajpayee even in 80's had a skill of negotiating even the toughest political outfit with ease. Advani in his 70's could make Bush very serious because of his hard and straight speeches. Chidambaram has been able to capture minds of middle class. Kapil Sibal is no match for anyone in the BJP except Arun Jaitley. Milind Deora who is in his 30's is still not creating an impact although he was chosen during the last elections. So, given these realities, age is definitely not the first factor to consider.

His youthfulness is a positive factor, but his naive speeches, unclear vision surpasses many experienced leaders like Advani, Manmohan Singh or Chidambaram. This does not mean the young don't need time. They do. However, looking at Rahul Gandhi, it is really sad. He has been now in active politics for almost 4 years,but wherever he has gone, he has not been able to connect with the common man. Old rhetroic and no vision is only taking him away from people.

Take it from me...The next election is between 40 year old Rahul v/s 80 year old Advani. Advani is a more mature, seasoned politician. He has answers to everything and even at this age, he is more active than his friend Vajpayee. Advani is energetic, fiery, and sound in judgment. Rahul Gandhi has also not been in any ministry so that one can judge his performance. Yet, he is going to be projected as PM and he will win, although I don't want him as the complex situation we are in require tough leaders and not amateur ones.

Whatever be my writing today, a year from now I will be writing- addressing him as PM despite my dislike for Rahul Gandhi. Sadly, I will also be regretting that BJP will never come back at the Centre.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Agriculture Statistics at a Glance in India

Statistics taken from "The Hindu".

As per 2004-05,

Total Population:

1092 million

Total Population in rural areas

819 million

Total (%) in rural areas:


Total labor force in India:

467 million (i.e 42%)

Of these, total directly in agriculture(farmers)

247 million (i.e 72.5%)

So wide is the spread of agriculture as an occupation is evident from above.

Let's now see the agricultural area:

Total area under cultivation

142 million hectares

Of these, area dependent on monsoons

100 million hectares

Total (%) area rain fed is


Average area under operational holding


% of farmers having this area


If India is the largest producer of several crops, it is also the country that has lowest yield per hectare for all crops:

Per hectare yield in paddy


6.2 Tonnes


2.9 Tonnes

Per hectare yield in wheat


3.9 Tonnes


2.5 Tonnes

With respect to Economy,

Agricultural contribution to the total GDP


40% of GDP


19.7% of GDP

Agricultural growth as against GDP:





GDP at factor cost

Per capita NNP at factor cost

1980-81 to 1990-91






1992-93 to 2002-03






1992-93 to 2005-06






1950-51 to 2005-06






In other words, from 3.5% in 1980-90, it is 1.7% from 1997-2001, what a sharp decline !!!

Agricultural subsidies : Rs.72,000 Crores >= 2* Annual Outlay in crores

Investment in Irrigation:
1951: 22.6%
2005: 5.6%
Very sharp fall

Investment in Agricultural research should be 6% of GDP atleast. In reality, only 1.3% of GDP is done.

Pending Projects since 60's: 400 worth Rs.79,000 Crores that would have irrigates 21 million hectares.
Agricultural credit given to farmers: 11.1% of the total credit

Another shocking statistics:

Every year 16 million tonnes of food grains and 40 million tonnes of fruits and vegetables rot simply because of no proper infrastructure to store, process and market the produce. All are government dependent.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Smriti irani's re-entry into Kyunki...

In my previous article, I had mentioned about Smriti Irani's exit from Kyunki. Gautami gadgil started essaying this role from then on. She was too bad in the beginning, but later improved. She never was a match to Smriti as Tulsi.

People still watched Kyunki for Hiten and Gauri. However, the fact that Gautami took all criticism and acted to her fullest conviction for full 8 months needs a thundering applause. She began to improve much later. Smriti's fiery eyes, her expression, thappad (slaps) - never can be done by anyone other than Smriti herself. Gautami could not mimic her. In several of her interviews, Gautami told she can never match Smriti and it was her biggest professional risk ever.

No one knows what transpired between Ekta and Smriti that they split and came together again. Some say money, some say prestige and ego issues. There has been only rumour and speculation and no confirmation for sure. The best part is both have never revealed and chose to be quiet. It is good politics and diplomacy.

So, it's back for me and thousands of viewers to glue to TV sets to watch the new twist by which Smriti will re-enter. At this point, it is really unbelievable as to how the twist will uncover itself.

Here's the videos: (Taken from

Here is the entire conference of Kyunki in which Ekta Kapoor,Smriti Irani,Nivedita Basu n Star Creative Director Anupama were there...




The first clip is wherein Star News for the first time confirmed Smriti's return with Smriti's quote "Khush hoon vapasi se"


2nd Clip is again of Star News wherein they had got Rakhi Sawant on phone line expressing her views on Smriti's return..


3rd Clip is of Baa talking on Smriti's entry n Gautami's exit..


Who is the next Karnataka's MukyaMantri?

Here's my analysis on the future of Karnataka Assembly Elections 2008 in May
Total Seats: 224
Majority required: 112 (at least)

With dates already announced, it is a triangular contest now more or less reduced to a square contest between Congress and BJP. But the square is not even as some traces of triangulation still remain. The JD(S) for sure is going to fare badly. This is because JD(S) has time and again withdrew support to both Congress and BJP and has created a very bad image for the people in the state (Thank god!!!).

For the JD(S), every other common man on the streets of Bangalore is literally spitting over the party because of the paralysis they have brought in for 4 years now. So, their vote share will reduce. Probably from 58, it will fall back to 40 or 30..Still can cause a major problem. This is what I call triangulation traces in the contest

For the BJP, it is a sympathy wave they are enjoying for just running a week long government. They never had a chance to rule. It was the single largest party in the last election. With a large number of local leaders, leaders from both Congress and JD(S) in Chitradurga, northern districts, Kolar and Tumkur all having joined BJP, BJP seems to be very strong in numbers. Moreover, Yediyurappa is a man strongly connected with rural people. So, a very high chance of getting majority.

For the Congress, good news is S.M. Krishna is back, but not as a potential CM candidate. There is already fight for the CM candidate amongst Kharge, Siddaramaih, Margaret Alva, Oscar Fernandes etc and it will be a tough projection. But Congress playing it safe has kept its CM candidate announcement a secret. Which means the elections will be fought on farm loan waiver. Though Karnataka is going to benefit, many will not get as there are too many loopholes as to who will get. So, the very announcement and that Rahul Gandhi touring the districts where BJP did well last time, a deep contest has been set between the Congress and BJP.

If farm waiver publicity (hype and not real in anyway) works, Congress is all set to gain. If not, Congress will not. The only reason S.M. Krishna is not being projected as C.M is because his image is pro-urban and anti-farmer. So, Congress does not want to lose the feel good factor of farm loan waiver.

So, "yaarige baruvudu mukyamantriya kurchi" (Who will get the CM seat?). If SM Krishna is announced as CM candidate, I want Congress, else BJP, but definitely never JD(S). JD(S) is equivalent to 10,000 times the force of the Left => No progress...

Added on April 30, 2008

This article says that this time mining, real estate and education lobbies are going to influence the elections unlike IT in 1999-2004

This article says that Lingayat and Vokkaliga fights have dominated in politics and now all major parties being split on either or both of them, it is Congress and JD(S) which is strong with support from Muslims, Dalits, OBC, Kuruba population. Dalits constitute 30% of population.