Sunday, August 30, 2015

Karnataka – Power politics and Horse trading

Karnataka politics is innovative and a model to whole world. One can’t say, for how long one MLA/MLC will be with one party. In between winning an election and forming a government anything can happen. So most of the political parties would pack their MLA/MLC/Councillors off to some resorts in Goa, Kerala etc to save them from the hawkish eyes of powerful and influential horse traders. This time also – after BBMP election – it’s not so different.

After BBMP election BJP became the single largest party with a simple majority (101 seats) in 198 member strong assembly. Congress got 78 and JD(S) got 14.

The problem is when we add non-council members who can vote in BBMP – like MPs, MLAs and MLCs. If we take them in to consideration, then BJP fall short of simple majority by 3.

So what to do? Traditional solution is very simple; pick some councillors from JD(S).

Congress and BJP are doing exactly the same. So what is the best option for JD(S) in this situation? You may think, it’s better for them to support Congress or BJP. But no, JD(S) leadership become wiser over a period of time, especially after Operation Lotus. They did the best possible thing they can do; pack their councillors to some secret resort in Kerala. This is to cut any link they can have from horse traders of both BJP and Congress.

In coming days you can see a lot of political drama in Bangalore (it may even beat ‘Game of Throne’ series). Buying, selling, cheating… anything.

When our leaders of 40’s made India a representative democracy they might not have imagined that horse traders also have a big role in it.


Disinvestment in name only...

The White Knight
It’s become a practice to set big targets for disinvestment in the budget; only to miss them later. If it was only about just missing the target it was ok; but no, government is doing far more worse things. In all those worse moments when government’s asset selling plans didn’t work well in the market, it’s another arm would jump in to fray and save administration by pumping its own money. There are no points for guessing who is this white knight – it is Life Insurance Corp.

Last year government set a disinvestment target of 58,425 crore, but raised only 26,353 crore. This year target was even more ambitious – 69,500 crore. However, till now (i.e. after one and half quarter) GoI raised only 12,563 (9,300 crore came from the sale of 10% stake in IOC).

But the catch here is, 90% of that 9300 crore came from our white knight – LIC. Through this deal LIC raised its stake in IOC from 2.5% to 11%. What more, LIC also raised its equity investment target fir this year to 60,000 crore. This is somewhat close to government’s disinvestment target :)

Is this really disinvestment? It more like transferring money from one government company to another one. The only difference is, in LIC’s case it belongs to public. If government is going to do disinvestment in this way, isn’t better to ask LIC to buy certain amounts of shares? What is the need to go through this elaborate exercise?


Friday, August 28, 2015

Buying costly memories, this time it’s by Maharashtra

Finally Maharashtra government bought the building, where Ambedkar lived as a student while studying at London School of Economics (LSE) during 1921-22. This deal is going to cost 31 crore (3.1 million pound) to the government.

I wonder why gov bought this property in the first place. Was it so necessary to spend such a big amount in London? By the way, now government have to spend more money on converting it to a museum; paying salaries to people who are going to work there.

Why our governments always do these type of things? Buying historical swords, letters written by national leaders, reading glasses, houses (where independence era leaders once stayed, even if it is for a year), building mammoth statues on sea, in the middle of dams, on the side of every roads, every junctions etc.

Gandhi might have written hundreds of letters to foreigners; Ambedkar, Nehru, JP Narayan etc  might have stayed (abroad) in more than one house. Are we going to buy all those properties at such extravagant prices? Can't we let it go (after all we have so many such things here in India itself)? If government of Maharashtra want to build a museum and preserve something, then preserve Ellora, Ajanta, Aurangabad etc.

A major turning point in Ambedkar's life was, when he got ‘Baroda State Scholarship’ of £11.50 (Sterling)/month for 3 years (for studying abroad) under a scheme established by Gaekwad of Baroda.

Can't Maharashtra gov introduce some scholarships in Ambedkar's name for bright students to study abroad instead of buying some building for such gigantic sums in order to get some political mileage?

Singapore done that, and it was successful. So why can’t Maharashtra


1. Maharashtra government buys BR Ambedkar's house in London - HT

Equality, Liquor Ban and Kerala Government

Equality before law means all should be treated equal before the law, there should not be any discrimination based on religion, caste, race gender etc. We hardly practice this in daily life, but most of the time government resisted their urge to sanction orders which violate this principle.

These things hardly mattered to Kerala government when it ordered ban on the sale of liquor. In a highly politically charged environment, where religious and political leaders were trying to appear as the apostle of morality and righteousness; government silenced everyone with the stroke of pen – by banning the sale of liquor. However, there was a catch, government subsequently allowed the sale in five star hotels.

There was no doubt that, a state which drinks alcohol like water and sale of liquor contributes heavily to fill state's empty coffers, industrialists (glorified term for bar owners, after all this may be one of the last remaining factory jobs in Kerala) will go to court.

I think either the government should allow the sale of alcohol to all licensed bars or to one at all. If they think it will affect tourists coming to Kerala, then only a person having foreign country’s passport should be allowed to buy it. They can also selectively allow/terminate the sale of certain drinks.

But is it correct to ban liquor sale to everyone but only to those who can spend money in 5 star hotel? Anyway, Supreme Court will soon give verdict on this matter.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Stories: Two Traveling Angels

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied,

"Things aren't always what they seem."

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest. When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field. The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel how could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him, she accused. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die.

"Things aren't always what they seem," the older angel replied.

"When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it."

"Then last night as we slept in the farmer’s bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren't always what they seem."

Sometimes that is exactly what happens when things don't turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you just need to trust that every out come is always to your advantage. You just might not know it until some time later...

Some people come into our lives and quickly go...

Some people (become friends) and stay a while... leaving beautiful footprints on our hearts...

Disclaimer: '#Forwarded' label refers to stories and anecdotes send to me by friends or the ones I came across in net. I neither know the source of these stories nor its correctness. Being said that, I like the story and truly believe that readers will get inspiration/ motivation from these articles

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Food on the Wall – Malappuram

First time I heard about ‘Food on the wall’ concept from a friend who recently visited Turkey. Idea is straight forward. In addition to buying meal from restaurant one can tell the waiter to place one on the wall. In this case he will bring your food for you and post a token on the wall. Now a person – who don’t have enough money to buy food – can come to restaurant, take the coupon and have food. The beauty of the idea is, one don’t have to beg money for buying food; (s)he can go to hotel with full self-respect and can have what (s)he wants. In addition to that, it’s your choice whether to spend money for this purpose.

Now Malappuram (Kerala) district is going to introduce this idea in their restaurants. Interestingly 64 restaurants agreed for this project and many of them were also ready to provide meals at reduced rates. Please join with me in wishing all success for this project. 
I hope, people won’t abuse this facility.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Missed Opportunities in Network Gears - Again

“Uninor, the India business unit of Norway-based Telenor Group, has signed a contract with Huawei for modernisation of its entire telecom network across all its circles. The worth of the contract is Rs 1,200 crore... project will be spread over a period of three years and aims to modernise Uninor’s existing network with Huawei’s new architecture, platforms and equipment…Under the deal, all 24000 base station will be swapped with new equipments. The deal also involves Huawei becoming the managed services partner of Uninor.”

Still wondering what is happening? Well, we just started the process of handing over big contracts to manufacture/installation/providing services for network gears to big Chinese companies. It’s bound to happen when we refuse to learn lessons from history. Didn’t we go through the same situation during 2G network expansion? I think, at that time also we outsourced everything related to network gears to European and Chinese brands. There was some hope that, by the time of 4G rollout there would be some Indian companies capable of giving some competition to Chinese... but no we failed again.


1. Huawei bags Rs 1,200 crore network contract from Uninor  : Firstpost

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Happy Independence Day - 2015

Jai Hind!!!


Power cut – Relieved from walking dead

Most Indians hate power cut. They curse government, electricity board, rain etc for disconnecting their power lines. After all who would like to miss the latest episode of ‘some’ serial which was running for last five years and guaranteed to run for next five years? Who would like miss an occasion to see, how many likes their latest profile pic got in facebook? Who would like to miss the hot new on next scam? As someone pointed out earlier, in a world where people are constantly tweeting, checking in and playing candicrush like zombies; it is difficult without electricity, even if that is for a minute.

Two days back there was heavy rain in Bangalore and as an immediate consequence current went off. Except some rays creeping in through the open door there was hardly any light. I can’t imagine how relieved I was; it was a kind of sudden detachment from everything that is connected – from internet, from television, from music systems, from whatsup etc. In order to complete the circle, I turned off mobile as well. Silence creeped in for a couple of minutes.

At that time, there were three of us - me, Jithu and Arun. We quickly started talking about things, which we may never do if there was no power cut - about childhood, about job, about life etc. Then we went for dosa at a roadside stall. Some 25-30 people were there, some of them were simply looking at the rain thinking when it would stop; some were quickly sending messages; some others were updating their new status on facebook; and the rest were running towards their home/PGs. We spend next 20-30 minutes there, eating dosas and having hot lime tea. Current didn’t come; only the music of rain and beauty of night. I was so relieved.

Isn’t it better to have some power cuts (no inverters, no mobile etc) for some 30 minutes everyday?  Without doubt it will create some room for talking to people staying in next apartment; why next apartment? it will give time for talking to person sitting next to you. Atleast for some time let’s come out of this zombie mindset.


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Stories: Unconditional Love

A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam. He called his parents from San Francisco.  
"Mom and Dad, I'm coming home, but I've a favor to ask. I have a friend I'd like to bring home with Me."  
"Sure," they replied, "we'd love to meet him."  
"There's something you should know the son continued, "he was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mind and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us."  
"I'm sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live."  
"No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us."  
"Son," said the father, "You don't know what you're asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can't let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He'll find a way to live on his own."  
At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him. A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building, they were told.  The police believed it was suicide. The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn't know, their son had only one arm and one leg.  
The parents in this story are like many of us. We find it easy to love those who are good-looking or fun to have around, but we don't like people who inconvenience us or make us feel uncomfortable. We would rather stay away from people who aren't as healthy, beautiful, or smart as we are.  Thankfully, there's someone who won't treat us that way. Someone who loves us with an unconditional love that welcomes us into the forever family, regardless of how messed up we are.  
Tonight, before you tuck yourself in for the night, say a little prayer that God will give you the strength you need to accept people as they are, and to help us all be more understanding of those who are different from us!!!  
There's a miracle called Friendship that dwells in the heart you don't know how it happens or when it gets started but you know the special lift it always brings and you realize that Friendship Is God's most precious gift!  
Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed they lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us. 
Disclaimer: '#Forwarded' label refers to stories and anecdotes send to me by friends or the ones I came across in net. I neither know the source of these stories nor its correctness. Being said that, I like the story and truly believe that readers will get inspiration/ motivation from these articles