Thursday, October 20, 2011

Libya's future - A litmus test for Arabian Spring

Finally the fighting came to an end or at least we can believe so. Col Muammar el-Qaddafi who ruled Libya for more than four decades died in his home town Sirte (1). Along with that, common enemy for Lybian transitional government also gone.

Now what is in store for Libya? Will it be able to go fast in the path of democracy by conducting elections and drafting constitution or will it run towards a never ending struggle like the one currently going on in Egypt? Egypt was different, there was a professional army to take over; It is altogether different matter that, this professional army is yet to conduct a new election. Still the situation in Egypt and the other neighbour Tunisia - where more than two decade old government fell in to Arabian spring - is far from normal.

In Libya there is no trace of old army - other than the divisions move away from Qaddafi in the earlier stage, all that existing in this sparsely populated country is a transitional government backed by NATO and Western countries. After a long and deadly fight with Quaddafi loyalists people's expectations about a new regime will be high. Will the Transitional government be able to bring the country back to normal or the internal revelries will play the spoil sport?

We can only wait and watch, but the NATO and western governments should apply pressure and fully utilize their leverage over the new Transitional government to draft a new constitution and conduct free elections.

One thing is certain, the immediate future of Libya will be a litmus test for Arabian Spring. If Lybia is not going to stabilize soon it will be a blow for the Arabian spring. The possibility of new Arab springs in other countries will decrease, people may prefer stability to the chaos of revolution. If Libyans are able to draft an inclusive constitution and conduct free elections, then it will give new hope for Northern Africa and middle East and of course more problems for Monarchies and Dictatorships.

Will the Arabian spring extend or winter will takeover?



Monday, October 17, 2011

Diluting the RTI Act will be counter productive

If you are asking me what is the biggest achievement of Manmohan Singh government, I am sure the first one that will come to my mind will be Right To Information Act (RTI). Really a watershed moment in the political history of independent India. It enabled the people to know what is really happening inside the mammoth administrative apparatus.

Now-a-days, common man will not find it difficult to get the required information within a reasonable period of time through RTI, of course conditions apply!!! RTI act acted as a powerful weapon against corruption, revealing information related to many shady deals and other things. In many cases, activists started asking the right questions and got the right answers, problem started when these answers created a constant headache for the administration, especially in the case of various file notings related to infamous 2G spectrum deal.
It didn't take much time for Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari to assert that ,
"...but people are also beginning to ask whether its efficacy is being blunted by the way it has begun to impinge on governance..."(1).
Unfortunately he failed to identify the people questioning about the efficacy of the Act to public.

According to Indian Express report, Union Law minister Salman Khurshid said
"...its misuse was affecting “institutional efficacy and efficiency”, with even the bureaucracy becoming reluctant to record its opinion...".
I will not wonder if somebody ask him, how anyone can blame RTI act for the reduction in the efficiency of administrative decision making (and execution) process? Was the administrative efficiency so high before the act became law? What is the percentage of reduction in administrative efficiency that can directly attributed to RTI? Last but not the least, Will Salman Khurshid say the same thing if he is in opposition?

However I am partially agreeing with the second part of his statement,
"If everything that I as a minister write to the Prime Minister comes out, then what is the point of writing to the PM confidentially?(2)
and Manmohan Singh's argument
" ensure that it doesn't adversely affect the deliberative process of the government and discourage honest officials from articulating their views".(3)
It may be a problem for the minister, just imagine what will happen to him if his arguments against reservation policies in a file noting came to public domain? In these days of hyperactive media he will not be able to last long in the cabinet. At the same time it may be his opinion that will enable the administration to come up with a balanced approach. This is also true for the critical decisions related to national security (internal and external), matters related to external affairs or even in the case of taking important decisions related to general policy.

But the options to protect such data are already incorporated to RTI act. Government may like to protect some more sections like file notings etc. Does the arguments provide reason for diluting the RTI act? I have to say 'No' here. Government can protect the same by using the already existing mechanisms. Just like many other countries do, we too can open even secret (but not critical) archives to the general public after 30 years.

As of now various arguments floating around are not enough to create a mammoth bank of secret documents to be hidden from public view. All the files are not critical, if we are analysing the recent experiences as the base, these files are bringing more and more dirt from governments drainage channel than reducing the efficiency.

However as the criticism reached new ebbs Union Law minister clarified that there is no proposal for relook.
"...We are proud of RTI. We are pleased that we gave RTI to this country. Even if it causes inconvenience to this country to an extent, we will bear that inconvenience...But we must ensure that in totality, the efficiency and functioning of government is strengthened" On whether the RTI would be revisited, Khurshid said, "there is no proposal to relook at the Act".(4)
Indeed RTI act is one of the very few weapons in the hand of general public to know what government is actually doing. It is one of the biggest achievements of Manmohan Singh government. Inclination to move more and more things to exemption clauses in the Act will leave the act as a paper tiger. This is not what a government believes in transparency and accountability should do. Moreover, diluting the act at this point of  time - when the corruption cases already polluted the air - will be counterproductive and affect the image of the administration too.


(1) The Hindu - Oct 08, Sunday, 2011
(2) Indian Express -
(3) The Hindu - Oct 15,saturday, 2011
(4) Times of India -

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Puducherry Memories

Woke up late in the morning and checked the calender, thought that it was Sunday. No, it was Friday only. But the thought of Sunday brought back old memories. In school days, Sundays invoked mixed responses. The bad part part was, Sunday mornings were an early sign for the end of a weekend. The good part was the entertainment, in those days television was a new item to many parts of India and very less number of households had television.

In those Sunday mornings everyone were glued to television to see the legendary serial SriKrishna (9 am) in DD1. If I correctly remember 'Chandrakanta' was also telecasted on Sunday morning. In the evening - at 4 'o' clock there was a regional movie in DD 1. People used to stop all other activities and present themselves in front of tv from 4 to 6.30 in the evening. Then come Kippling's legendry 'Jungle jungle jungle book....'

Around 9 'o' clock we (Me and Binesh) left the room and joined the crowd. After completing the breakfast we started walking through the clean and straight roads of Puducherry. On the way, he explained me many interesting things about Puducherry, about her underground drainage system, streets named in French etc. Slowly we reached the ICICI's Pondicherry branch. He went to the bank and I went back to the street after promising to meet him at lunch.

I walked towards Varadaraja Perumal temple, after removing the shoes went inside. This complex had a number of temples and a pond inside it. A marriaage was going on the left side of the temple and another one on the right side. Kamakshi Amman temple was the next destination, located on the roadside two or three blocks away from the Varadaraja Perumal temple. After having Prasasdam from there I walked straight towards the beach.

There was a road parallel to the beach, elegant and powerful buildings of Pudicherry are standing on the other side of the road. First monument I saw was Indian war memorial on the left - a simple building with an inverted rifle fixed on an elevated platform with a concrete covering. When I reached there, an old lady was scolding a group of three people for taking photos. All because of a simple misunderstanding, this group was taking photos of the the memorial in front of which she was having her breakfast. She thought that they were taking the photos of her state of poverty.

I continued through the road, next came Chief Secretariat - four floored white building with an Indian flag on the top, next was an impressive Mahatma Gandhi statue on the left. Full statue of Gandhi with his walking stick in a mandir like structure surrounded by four pillars standing on semi-circular shape. Opposite to Gandhi's statue was Nehru's. Then came Customs house, which had an impressive French name - Douane Customs.

Next on the right was French war memorial - AVX COMBATTANTS DES INDES FRANCAISES MORTS POVR LA PATRIE - for the soldiers died on first World War. A full size statue of a soldier looking down, his hands were covering the barrel of a rifle other side of the rifle touches the ground in between his legs. Entrance gate was closed, so I had to stand outside. I looked towards the statue and imagined about the situation at the theaters of World War I.

Next came office of senior superintent of Police (SP), office of Inspector General (IG) and Puducherry Police Head Quarters. I continued through the road, White Town as well as many other areas of Puducherry still had a small white population. On the other side of the road a lot of people were passing their time on the beach. Some of them simply looking tot he beach others are walking here and there along the road.

Ambedkar manimandiram cam next - a concrete structure with a full statue of Ambedkar in middle. Former French Governor general Duplex's statue was standing at one end of the road with a sea bridge in the background. I took the Romian Roland Road - third road parallel to beach road - and soon reached Bharati Park, this is a crowded place. Many people are standing here and there, some are drinking cane and other juices out side the park gate and some others are posing themselves in front of Ayi mandapam. After taking some photos of Ayi Mandapam I slowly walked outside and reached Romian Rolland library.

Behind the library stood the Pondicherry State Museum and opposite to museum stood the magnificent Rajnivas (Palais du Gouvernement) - or the Governor's House. Two old cannons were fixed in front of the gate and not so tight security. After viewing the Governor's house I went to state museum. The building we were seeing as museum now once belonged to a French Trader. I liked the house in one shot with her wide windows and doors along with big rooms it gave a different expression for the idea of home. As some works were going on I was not able to go to the first floor.

Arikkamedu was on my list, but I had to drop it due to time constraints. Puducherry state museum offered an excellent exposure of Arikkamedu's history. According to the curator, whatever they got from the excavation grounds of Arikkamedu were transferred to the museum. I moved slowly through the museum, it revealed the magnificent history of Arikkamedu.

Sri Manakula Vinayaga Temple was one of the famous temples in Puducherry after praying there for some time I went straight to Aurobindo Ashram. As the ashram was closed for lunch, I called Binesh and he came with a bike. After having lunch and visiting some more places including 'Eglise de Notre Dame de la Conception Immaculee Church' he dropped me in the Puducherry bus stand.

I took one local bus to Auroville and get down at Auroville busstop on ECR; beach was on the right side of the road and Ashram on the left. After spending some time on the beach I went to Ashram - around 10 km from the road - in auto. The main attraction of Auroville is 'Matri Mandir' - a big globe in golden colour. Unfortunately visitors can't go very near to Matri Mandir on all days. Near to the It looks like only some days are open for that purpose. 5 'o' clock was already over, and Auroville was about to close. I took another auto to reach the main road and from there a very crowded bus to reach Pondicherry bus stand.

After that - back to Bangalore. If the breakdown of SETC bus on the way to Krishnagiri didn't happen return journey was ok.

Pondicherry Gallery 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Exploring Odisha - Day five: Dhabaleshwar, Saptasajya, Mahimagadi and Kapilash

Scott Cameron once said "Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world".

Day five was the last leg in my Odisha trip, thus one of the interesting journeys came to an end. Travelling is always interesting; we will come to know more about people and their culture. Saint Augustine rightly said "The world is a book; those who do not travel read only one page". The problem is, the book is very big and each page is so lengthy that we have to struggle very much to reach the next page.

For the last four days I was living as an Oriyan, of course with little knowledge about the language. Language is indeed a barrier; it will reduce our capacity for communication with the people who don’t understand our language or whose language we don’t understand. When you are in some place and want to talk to a commoner, to ask some thing, or to know about his opinion or experience about something it is often difficult to find a mutually understandable language.

But there is an opposite side too - there is always a common universal language for expressions, emotions and feelings. These entities have same pronunciation in every language.

Located on an island in mighty Mahanadi, Dhabaleshwar Shiva temple can be accessed through boat or suspension bridge. We reached the place on a late friday morning and crossed the bridge on foot. Here we can go inside the sanctum sanctorum itself; after removing the shoes we went inside and after a flight of steps reached the idol. As one priest was doing some pooja for another devotee; we took a round around the idol, prayed for some time then came out. The walls of this temple were plain but the structure was similar to other Odisha temples. One the way beck, I looked towards the far end of Mahanadi – She too is a traveller, isn’t it? After saying good bye to Mahanadi we moved towards our next destination - Saptasajya.

Saptasajya – mythologically linked to Pandavas of Mahabharata - is located close to Dhenkanal district of Odisha. We had to travel through a not so dense forest to reach there. Vehicle took us close to the temple, and then on foot we reached the temple. Steps leading to the temple were not so high, in between considerable flat spaces were also there. A small stream was flowing on one side of the steps close to them. After spending some time in this atmosphere we again hit the roads.

Hinduism is one of the religions where it is difficult to find out how many branches it has. Before reaching Mahimagadi I never heared about this branch of the religion. What make Mahima sect different from other sects is its strict adherence to monotheism and opposition to idol worship. Unfortunately by the time we reached there, both ‘Shunya’ and ‘Fire’ temple were closed, only Gadi temple was open. After spending some time in the temple complex and visitng the mammoth bell in front of the Fire Temple, we moved to the nearby hotel for lunch. From Mahimagadi stright to Kapilash.

From a distance Kapilash group of mountains were visible, covered by white clouds even in the afternoon it looked like another world. We reached the foot of the hills by three 'o' clock. From here the road to Kapilash Shiva temple starts; with a good number of hairpins and picturesque scenes outside it was an interesting journey. One by one we covered all the hairpins - and reached the temple.

Slowly we entered the Shiva temple painted in White. After praying there for some time we went to the other side of the temple. A good number of steps in front of the temple led us to another temple on the top. Steps are always tempting; if there was a way, then there is no reason to leave it. And we started climbing it and reached another temple. Steps are not ending, from here another group of steps were stretched towards the forest. Unfortunately it was raining again.

We went further, cemented steps gave their way to the muddy forest paths. We traversed the path in the heavy rain, fully drenched in water we finally reached Sita's cave(Sita entudisala) - according to mythology this is the place where Sita Devi gave birth to Lava and Kusha. We spent some time here imagining about the last part of epic Ramayana. Rain was not in mood to slow down, in fact it was gaining more momentum, which left us in a confused state - to go to Valmiki caves or back. Finally we decided on the forward option and within some minutes reached Valmiki caves - It is believed that Valmiki's ashram was located in this area.

Now we were in a more confused state, whether to go forward to Devsabha in these heavy rains or to go back. Finally we decided to move on, after that there was no confusion in my mind. We should not miss Devsabha after coming so close to it, who knows when I can come back to Orissa again? Till Valmiki caves arrowmarks were there to guide the visitors from the caves we had to follow the forest path. Finally we reached on the top of the hill and after a turn saw  Devsabha.

At this height atmosphere was pure, surrounding hills looked like small kids. Withstanding the heavy rain we finally reached Devsabha - according to the belief Devasabha is conducted here every night. It’s a flat surface, with a Krishna idol on one side and other idols arranged in an open areas as if all the idols are participating in a meeting. By this time rain was almost over. If it was not close to twilight we might have spent some more time there - Top of Kapilash, fully drenched in rainwater, leaves of the trees gleefully reflecting the rays of a departing sun, winds were moving around the top branches of tress and a small cloud was on the other end!!! Sound of the water droplets hitting the ground added another tone to nature’s music.

Finally something about the state. Odisha is indeed blessed both by nature and by time. Rich in Minerals, vast areas of unpopulated and fertile land, close to South East Asian countries, a possible sea outlet for land locked northern neighbour, Orissa has all the options in hand. It has the potential to become the Australia of India if the state uses its natural resources properly along with developing human capital.

I am really thankful to Milon and his family for the love and attention they gave to me; otherwise it would not have been possible for me to cover these much areas of eastern Odisha in such a short span of time. For me it was like a home away from home.

Mark Proust once said "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes." The question is whether we are able to get it or not.

Shubha Vidaya Odisha


Monday, October 10, 2011

Exploring Odisha - Day four: Buddhist Circuit, Olasuni, Chandikohl and Mahavinayak

“The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” --- Samuel Johnson, Letter to Hester Thrale, 21 September 1773
Travelling is always important; it allows us to see the world in the first hand. As Mark Twain pointed out 'Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness'. It give us an opportunity to see the world as it is, to see the people as it is, to experience the matter as it is. It gives us a fresh perspective on various subjects - no matter whether it is on nature, people, food, language etc. In India you will not find any shortage for diversity – here in every hundred kilometers you can find different food, different language and a different culture; still all united under one flag.

We decided to spend the fourth day on Buddhist circuits of Odisha (Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri and Pushpagiri - believed to be the part of ancient Pushpagiri University), Olasuni, Chandikohl and Mahavinayak temples.

From the morning itself atmosphere was little bit disturbed as if it was in confusion on whether to rain or not. Slowly it become normal and we hit the roads in bikes. We were four people - me, Milon and two colleagues of Milon's father. Both sides of National Highway 5 was covered by the green leaves of various crops, after that beautiful green branches of Eastern Ghats stand as a wall. By this time sky was clear and the white clouds started to move along with us. For quick refreshment small dhabas are available in the sides but less in number and fat between. In the opposite lane lorries are moving in the direction of Paradip port.

Soon we reached at the bottom of Olasuni hills - which contain a temple and a number of old caves. Bike took us close to the top, but the unnatural sounds coming from the engine forced us to continue the rest of the journey on the time tested mode of transportation – on foot. After visiting the Olasuni temple and a number of caves we stated our returning journey but the sudden appearance of drizzle threatened our plan for the day.

Drizzle continued, but the long branches of trees located on both sides of the roads offered us the much needed shade. Soon we were in front of the gates of Lalitgiri - considered to be a part of ancient Pushpagiri University.

After leaving the bike at the front gate we moved inside. An old foundation with thick walls made up of red brick was visible in the left. These bricks were a little bit smaller than the modern one, but strong enough to with stand the centuries long climate changes. I slowly went to the middle of the structure – it looked like a foundation for hostel - a small verandah with a number of rooms on both sides of it, one end of the verandah had one Buddha’s statue and the other end had an outside door. There were some more foundations like that in the complex. After some time we reached another foundation - this one was very different from others.

We followed the path, and reached a flight of steps which eventually lead us to a Stupa located at one end of Lalitgiri complex. That was a picturesque scenario, from the top the hill villages in the ground were appearing like small dots. After taking a round around the stupa we went to museum and then to Chandikohl temple.

Chandikohl is located in the Baruni hills of Eastern Ghats, the deity of the temple is 'Maa Chandi'. This place also had a good number of Monkeys running here and there and holding discussions after forming their own groups. At one place a mother monkey was scratching the head of her son; in another place a monkey couple was expressing their feelings towards each other, small kids are running here and there. As we came late the temple was closed, after spending some more time in that cool atmosphere we went to Mahavinayak Temples located in Mahavinayak Hills (Jajpur district, Odisha). On the way we passed in front of a school - girls and boys in the uniform are aligned to various groups in front of the school and engaged in talks.

Soon we reached Mahavinayak Temple - one of the oldest Ganesh temples in Odisha, enshrines five God heads Shiva, Vishnu, Durga, Sun and Ganesh in a single lingam. Some metres above the hill there was another temple dedicated to Ma Banadurga. All these temples have perennial springs flowing very close.
Time was around one 'o' clock, we were running short of time - Ratnagiri and Udayagiri are yet to be covered. So we were again on the roads - Mahavinayak Hills and other parts of Eastern Ghats on one side, and vast plains on the other side. I tried to locate the Bana Durga temple on the hills from a distance.

Next destination was Ratnagiri complex, on the sides of National Highway there was a majestic signboard, pointing a diversion from NH. The road is not so wide but in good condition. I didn’t see much population on both sides other than a couple of home groupings here and there. For a late lunch we get down at a hotel, as it was late meals were already over so we orders some samoosas and sweets. In front of the hotel one person - looks like owner - was cooking some sweets; a number of desks and benches are placed in the middle of the hotel, a number of sweets were exhibited in a glass box at the left side.

Together with Lalitgiri and Udayagiri, Ratnagiri is considered as a part of Pushpagiri university. According to archeological sources, Ratnagiri was established around first half of the sixth century CE and flourished till twelfth century CE. This place was considered as an important centre of Kalachakratantra

A number of houses are located close to the site. The interesting thing was, many of these houses also had many statue in their front yard. After buying the ticket from the entrance we went inside - by this time rain was back. Although fully drenched in water we continued to walk through the area - in one side a lot of similar statues are arranged in order. From there we went to the main complex - this too don’t have the upper covering but the remaining walls are higher here. Next to this building there was one more structure with Buddha's statue on one side.

In front of this lays a lot of small statues of Buddha and after that a number of Chitanhya stoopas. Interestingly a Shiva temple is located at one corner of This Buddhist complex. Time was quickly running out, if we spend some more time here will not be able to enter Udayagiri, so we quickly went to Ratnagiri museum and went to the first gallery. Galleries here contain the statues of Buddha, Adinatha, Tara and various other figures related to Buddhism. Suddenly the guards announcement came - Time to close. So we quickly covered the remaining galleries and went to Udayagiri.

One the way back we passed through many tribal homes - constructed using the naturally available materials. Small kids are running here and there and adults are moving across the road more seriously. Close to 5 'o' clock we reached Udayagiri. I don’t know who selected this place for the construction monastery and University, but the choice is really an ideal one - a flat surface covered by green hills in almost three sides. This picturesque atmosphere will certainly holds your mind for some time. As it is about to close we walked very fast to see the places including a path way which is believed to be constructed in first century AD, covered by stones this pathway lay close to a number of Chitanya Stupas. Walking through that 20 century old path is an experience which nobody wants to forget.

Here there are some paths going here and there about which we don’t have much idea and there is not sign board also. We too one the path and tries that one, there was nothing to see for some time, we even thought of going back. But finally the top of Mahastupa became visible, climbing the steps I was on the plat form of the Mahastupa. Sun rays were looking more reddish,  clear sky with a clouds are moving as a group of sheep, three sides are covered by green hills - a unforgettable experience at the grounds of an ancient university.


Friday, October 7, 2011

The Illusionist - Race of Elephant and the Dragon

'The Illusionist' is an American drama film by Neil Burger, in which the hero - Eisenheim, son of a cabinet maker - fell in love with Duchess Sophie. After meeting a travelling magician Eisenheim became obsessed with magic and start learning the tricks. The relation with aristocrat Sophie didn't go down well with Sophie's family, later he was forced to run away. After travelling around the world for years he became a master illusionist and came back to Vienna. During one of his performance in the city he met with his childhood lover Sophie and learned that she was expected to marry crown price Leopold.

Everyday, various newspapers and channels are feeding us the news about India's growth, capabilities and how we are moving forward in various fields. Its not only limited to newspapers, even in the vocabulary of politicians and journalists there is no shortage of such energetic words.

To some extend it is true, we are clocking more than 5% growth for the past decade. From Goldman Sach's emerging market we travelled to Obama's already emerged market. From the days of PL480 to a situation where we are dumping the rotten food grains in Bay of Bengal - although reports says that number of poor people are more in India than in any other country and in some parts, living condition is worse than that of many Sub-Saharan African states. These flashy descriptions are not limited to politicians or journalists alone. This trend is common among people also - just go through comment section of various Indian online newspapers. All lead us to an illusionary world, were Indian economy is very much strong and don't face any external or internal problems.

But how far it is true? Now we are comparing ourselves with China and US. From a South Asian environment we are trying to pull ourselves to a global environment. Administrators are travelling across the world and signing various treaties for expanding the trade basket and reducing the tax barriers.

But we forget or want to forget the fact that, even now wealth is coming to Indian economy through the production or consumption of primary resources - if we leave the service industry aside. In many places of the country, growth is limited to Mining, Real Estate sector. There too we are struggling to move up in the value chain. The cheap labour tag will not remain with us for long. As the time passes the wages will increase and it will not take much time for foreign companies to switch their manufacturing base.

Apart form the mind blowing claims on educational fields we are yet to see an Indian or foreigner getting Nobel Prize in Science for a work which he started and completed in an Indian University. The number of papers coming out of Indian universities are no where comparable to those of Chinese. A small city state - like Singapore - with an area close to or less than the size of NCT Delhi acquires more FDI than entire India.

Administrative apparatus, the front runners of 1991 reforms are tied down to various accusations and counter-accusations. Anybody imagines that the problems related to 2G spectrum allocation will be over even after 2G [two generations]? There are many verdicts coming out of Indian judicial system, where either the accused or victim or both didn't live enough time to hear the verdict. Manmohan government still have half of the term left in office, will this issue freeze all other actions?

Chasing the Dragon

Two recent articles, one on 'The Economist' (Chasing the dragon) and the other from 'Forbes' sheds some light on the status of our claims.

According to 'The Economist' report, we lags China by many years in some of the important indicators. For example, we lags by a whopping 36 years in the case of life expectancy at birth, 33 years in the case of child mortality rate, 25 years in the case of adult literacy rate, 9 years in the case of income per head, in terms of higher education we still lags behind by 5 years.

Interesting or horrific statistics? Ok. let me point out one more thing, this will remain the same if we grow at the rate of China, but will we really able to grow at that amazing numbers? Especially at this time of stagnating political environment and economic reforms safely sitting in the back burner? Chinese economy is not showing any sign of tiredness (at least not more than that of us) so we have to work extra hard even to come close to Chinese. Indigestible but hard facts!!!

Forbes (India Compares Best to Indonesia) went one more step forward and took the name China out of the comparison and bring Indonesia in.

World economic crisis showed us the strength and weakness of global economy. Should we dedicate this moment for various never ending issues and losing our already endangered position or to take brave steps and put ourselves in the new shoes and rising ahead? There is no doubt that the new economic treaties with various countries like Korea, Japan etc will really help us to expand our trade relationships with outside world. Without an equally strong political will and efficient basic service structure at home the plans may not take off at all.

Consider the case of Telengana movement, even after years of talks and negotiation we are yet to find a way out. Now its not only affecting the industrial environment of Andra but slowly expands to Karnataka as well - in the form of power shortages. 2G spectrum issue is yet to reach any solutions, nobody knows what to do with Air India and probably BSNL and Indian railways are moving ahead in that way, Naxal issue is yet to be solved, so as the case with many other problems.

The situation demands the government to move ahead with further reforms both in administrative as well as at the economical level. Reforms started in 1991 gave a new life for the dying industry, it helped them to came out of the chains and vigorously push forward. This made our industry more attractive and competitive. Reforms are not the last option or shock treatment, its a continuous process. 1991 round left many things behind, to make the economy strong and competitive we need to make ourselves transformed to suit the new challenges.

We have to sit down and think what we really needed. Second fastest growing emergent market is not a tag which will remain with us forever, its better to have no such illusions. There is no free lunch everything comes at a price, we really need to work hard to retain the position and to become the first one. It requires reforms and strong political will to enforce the same. If we are not able to move forward with reforms even after the government having a comfortable working majority in Parliament, then when we are going to do?

There are some hope too, North East is slowly becoming normal and getting more and more integrated with the mainland through land and sea, Kashmir is coming to normal, even if facing many problems central government is more stable in Parliament, food harvest and buffer stocks are at record level, foreign reserve is also in a healthy condition etc.

In the end of the movie, Eisenheim and Sophie finds out that if they tried to flee from the empire both of them will be followed and killed. So Eisenheom faked Sophie's death using his magic and framed Leopold for the murder, along with this he also exposes Prince's plan for coup d'etat to usurp the crown of Austria from his aging father. Finally the prince shot himself and Einsehim met sophie in a country house.