Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We live in a nation...

"We live in a nation...

Where pizza reaches home, faster than ambulance and Police,
Where you get a car loan at 5% and education loan at 12%,
Where rice is at 40Rs, but SIM card is free,
Where footwears that we wear are sold in ac showrooms but vegetables that we eat are sold in footpath,
Where everybody wants to be famous but nobody wants to follow the path to become famous,
Where we make Lemon juice with artificial flavors and dish wash bar with pure lemon
Incredible India"

I got the above mentioned lines in the form of a sms from one of my friend. After reading that, I just sat there and thought about it for some time.

Just Imagine the situation, pizza is delivering faster than the execution speed of so called pillers of democracy. No matter whether it is legislature, executive or Judiciary. In parliament now a days walkout become a fashion (Anyway its better to walk out than disrupting the parliamentary procedures). Ministers are providing tones of promises and little an action. Judiciary is taking years to make judgments (Justice delayed is justice denied!!! who cares?).

Media is very fast, for each and everything they will have a sting operation and live telecast - but mostly operating out of big cities. How many of us are daily hearing about the news from the remote north east or the tribal belt of Central- eastern India? What is the problem? They are constantly injecting the news of IPL sagas; as if Indians are depend more on IPL than that of food. Even now entertaining news occupies a good portion of news papers (and electronic media) as compared to the news of common man and government policies.

Bollywood rarely produces movies about common movies. After all who have time to think about how common people are spending their lives. Time of poor heroes gone, now heroes are coming in the luxury cars and SUV’s.

Banks are ready to spend more on the motor vehicle sector than that of education sector. From where they came to the conclusion that education loans are risky one and have tag high interests? Are they so sure that they have to underwrite more educational loans compared to that of Vehicle loans?

No one knows how much rice we are dumping in Bay of Bengal and how many of Indians doesn’t enjoy the 'lavishness' of three times meal? Indeed incredible India...


Friday, May 7, 2010

'Boxing' between Sports councils and ministry - Will the nation gain anything?

Do you know what was our position in the last Olympics? Like our population that too was big number. It will be very easy to see the name if you start searching from the bottom. Except cricket, chess, billiards, the old golden days of Hockey, boxing, some occasional happenings in Tennis etc, we will be unable to locate the word ‘India’ in any other sports charts in international level.

Can you remember at least three current players of Indian hockey(where we were the number one for dacades), which is also supposed to be our 'national game'? In every Olympics somehow we are getting one or two medals and escape from the fear (or shame) of not having the name on the list. Look at the pathetic condition - 1.2 billion+ country is getting one or two medals. Who are responsible for this? As usual here too the answer will starts with politicians; the one and only one entity which we can blame for everything that went wrong in this country (Anyway we are not ready to accept our guilty)!!! Irony of the fact is that in all most all cases it is correct. Politicians, red tape beaurocracy and the people who are selecting them are mainly responsible for all the problems (Infact we are part of the problem not of solution). If there are some Olympic medals for giving promises, then our politicians will surely get all of them.

Who is supposed to run the hospital? Of course some doctor and management will be controlled by people who have some management background. Who is commanding army? Who is running the business firms? You may be wondering what type of questions I am asking, let me ask one more question - who is supposed to run the sports bodies?
I don’t know your answer, but my answer is some retired or serving sports personals, even interested people in other fields including politicians can do the job. But thanks to our politicians retired sports persons are usually not forced to do this 'hard job'. Our politicians will allow them to take rest and ready to sacrifice their time to run these sports councils in both state and national level. Cricket was an exception but after the bitter fight with ‘Jagmohan Dalmiya’ finally they entered in cricket too - how can they resist the glamorous and money rich cricket(now-a-days they are receiving causalities in this field, one minister already lost his job, the sword is hanging in the head of other two).
The latest news is that government is trying to clean up the sector. Sports minister and former IAS officer MS Gill bring back the 1975 regulation which limits the number of terms one can serve in sports council to two terms. (But what happened to this legislation after 1975? why it was put in cold storage? Anyway this will show the way for a lot of godfathers of Indian sports. Now what to see is - will these people allow the minister to go ahead? They may feel sports councils as their home, after serving for such a long time (more than one decade).
It will not cut the ice if ministry is doing some cosmetic changes like just putting another one in charge. They should take some firm decisions to improve the sports sector in India. Some of the adaptable steps are,
1. Identify and train the talented and interested one's from the young age.
2. Don’t concentrate excessively on city; Childs from the tribal belts of India will have a natural ability for excellence in sports.
3. Instead of pouring gifts only when some one got recognition in international level, support them from the beginning itself.
4. Include retired sports personal in the governing bodies of sports councils.
5. Exploit the ability of technology to produce more efficient results (Please don’t use drugs. If no medals, its fine).
6. Select sports personals for international events on the basis of merit only.
7. Increase the price money for school level sports.
8. Create a commission for studying and creating a well defined framework in sports.(If government don’t like to implement the report, then please don’t create the commission at all - at least we will not loss the money).

These are some of the good steps to start with. But to reach the high levels we have to do more.

We don’t have any need to spend these much money for commonwealth games - when hundreds of farmers are suicide in Maharashtra and other states, when the nutrition levels of small Childs born in ‘MadyaPradesh’ and other states are considered among the lowest in the world - if India's name is not appearing the first places. As Indians we don’t have any problem with anyone who is serving more than one or two term. Politicians can put themselves in fair elections and serve as many times as they want. But we want results, we don’t want India's name to appear in the bottom of every sports charts. We don’t want to be satisfied with one or two medals in Olympics, we don’t want our sports personals moving out of their professions due to lack of support and indifference.

Ministry should not concentrate only on pushing out current heads and posting new one. If sports minister can deliver the results then let him do it. Clean sports sector, if can't produce results shut down the ministry, disband all the governing bodies in sports and hand over the councils to sports personals.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Radioactive Sources dumping in scrapyards?

Until now many people may not heared about ‘Mayapuri’, but now this Delhi market is all over the news for the wrong reason - radio active poisoning. In simple words a radio active source of active Cobalt 60 resulted in the death of one person and poisoning of seven people along with the contamination of the place.

The radio active sources were later recovered from a scrap store in the Bazaar. The source was later traced back to Delhi University’s Chemistry department. The irony of fact is that the source material - a lab instrument purchased from a Canadian company in 1968 for the chemistry department of the University was lying idle for the last one and half decade - was auctioned off by the University with out removing the radio active source!!! The person who bought this so called scrap dismantled the iron part and sold the remaining to another one - which contains the radio active Cobalt 60.

If this is happening in a prestigious university in the case of radio active resources then we can imagine what will happen in other places considering the fact that hundreds of radio active sources are distributed across the country.

The story doesnt stop here. According to the reports, "a number of ‘sealed sources' containing radioactive waste are turning up in scrap yards; U.S. Customs regulators in 2007 rejected several metal article shipments from India because they were found to be contaminated with radioactive material; and Germany, France, and Sweden have detected cobalt-60 in Indian steel". What it means? Are we using this radio active sources casually and dumping in scrap yards?

This incident reveals the necessity for an increased safety level of these materials. Instruments which contain radioactive materials should not be allowed to enter in the scrap market. Given the safety aspect of these sources, which will lead to severe radio active poisoning and other problems if exposed, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and the institutions which use these materials - Hospitals, industries, research institutions,
universities etc - should upgrade the safety and tracking of these materials. Please no more auctions of radio active materials to scrap dealers.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"Raja targeted as he's a Dalit, says Karunanidhi" - What an invention!!!

He is targeted because he is a Dalit? not because of the infamous policies like "First come first served" during the 2G spectrum distribution period, which resulted in a massive loss to the exchequer? For opposition the 3G spectrum's auction price compared to that of 2G is an excellent stick in hand to punish the government (Thanks to the mammoth difference in the 2G and 3G contributions to the government exchequer )

Abraham Lincoln once said "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time". From time to time we are seeing that politicians are raising issues like Religion, Caste and all the words sounds similar to that, to win popular appeal. May be India will be the only country in the world, where people are going for strike to include them in the backward class.

Let’s look at the facts against telecom minister. According to reorts

"Bids for one set of pan-India 3G mobile licences reached Rs103.48bn (US$2.33bn), or 195% above the base price, on the 20th day of the auction.

The price for 5 MHz of 3G spectrum in a single circle is more than the 2G revenue of Rs16.51bn for 4.4 MHz of pan-India 2G spectrum across 22 circles or a total of 96.8 MHz of 2G spectrum. Total revenues from the sale of 120 licences for 2G fetched roughly Rs90bn. In contrast, a single pan-India 3G slot on Monday closed at Rs103.48bn

Many of the companies that received 2G licences in early 2008 later sold stakes to foreign companies at huge premiums. Telecom minister A. Raja has come under fire for allocating spectrum in 2008 at a price discovered in 2001, while the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) suggested auctioning the airwaves.

The Comptroller and Auditor General, the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Central Vigilance Commission are investigating the awarding of licences to new entrants then"

The data doesn’t show that he is targeted because he is a dalit. Now-a-Days it’s become a fashion for politicians to make these types of statements. If something went wrong Religion and caste came first and everything else will be neglected. If six decades are not enough for us to change the thought, then when it is going to happen? How long we will take to overcome this mentality which is still dividing and bleeding our nation more and any terrorist organization ever can.

Anyone can bat for telecom minister; we have no problems but don’t put the cases in cold storage. Politicians have to remember that statements like this will not do any good to the country. It will only help to leave a bad taste in people's mind. Let’s allow the CBI to do their job - Don’t windup the case, even if government will face any motions in future in the parliament - and let’s allow the court to decide who is guilty and who is not.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Phone tapping and its aftereffects - What is the reason for the existence of spy agencies?

Recent phone tapping of political leaders - Union Agricultural Minister Sharad Pawar, Congress leader Digvijay Singh, Bihar Cheif Minister Nitish Kumar, CPI (M) Gen Secretary Prakash Karat etc) - especially opposition party leaders raised many question about the usage of spy agencies in Politics.

According to the latest revelation the action was carried out by (NTRO - National Technical Research Organization) by using new gadgets. Political leaders especially opposition, cried foul and criticized government for using spy agencies against them. But let’s look at the facts.

In a country like India with 1.2 billion people with that much different lives and where wolves are always snuffing around to find a hole to exploit; there no reason to cry foul on phone tapping. It is due to these actions we got a lot of information about the terrorist activities and bomb blasts. This is the reason why we got information about Pakistani handlers of recent Mumbai attackers; got the tape related to the linkage between Telecom minister and PR lobbyist ‘Nira Radia’ (Now the tape is with IT department) etc.

It is certain that these activities (which will not be disclosed in public domain due to security reasons) helped to save the lives of thousands. Also due to the failure of us in detecting things early resulted in blood bath – Mumbai attacks, insurgency activities in North east, J & K, Kargil, Maoist insurgency in central eastern India, bomb blasts in Delhi, Pune, Guwahati, Mumbai, Varanasi, Coimbatore, Bangalore, J & K etc, we also lost two prime ministers and thousands of Civilians and security personals.

Spy agencies are critical to the existence of peace in a nation. Countries, which were able to maintain peace even in the midst of terrorist activities in the other parts of the world, will be thankful, to their spy networks. Silver screen too the life of many agents; even now people are waiting for the 23rd movie in the Bond series!
We have to consider the fact that in a country like India - where even for small reason people starts riots, terrorists are waiting for an opportunity to bleed the nation - national security holds more value than the privacy of an individual. Now-a-days for an individual to peacefully exist in a society, government had to deploy every available means against the disruptive powers.

But at the same time government should not use the agencies for its private purposes. They can’t use government agencies to discover what the opposition leaders think during elections or voting in parliament, until and unless it involves national security. Government can’t use spy agencies to detect which candidate holds more chance to win in a constituency and how the election results will be. If the want to do it they can employ private detective agencies and the expenses should not be paid from public exchequer.

There is nothing wrong in phone tapping if it concerns national security, provided there should be good reason to suspect the person. Intelligence agencies time should not be wasted on fulfilling the ruling parties desires; but have to be used for providing security cover tot he nation which is under multiple threats - both internal and external. Leave Prakash Karat, Nitish Kumar etc and look in to the real matters.