Sunday, August 10, 2008
For the last few days I was thinking about the "kissa kursi ka".
When somebody gets the right to occupy the chair, does it mean s/he has the authority or has some responsibility been bestowed on them?
I ask this question because many of my friends (who also happen to be the readers of this blog) are already sitting on chairs and will sit on other chairs in the future.
India is a country where we easily accept the statement "Jiski lathi usiki bhais". Where do we see people sitting on chairs exerting their authority. Take the case of CBI enquiries against former CMs ordered by the new CMs. This is a case of vendetta more than it is an intention of bringing the guilty to book.
I just wonder why the men in chair forget that they have been nominated to don the chair because people have given them responsibility. They are supposed to exercise only that authority which is justified bu the responsibility they handle.
A simple way of detecting if the person has lost a sense of responsibility is to observe the way he speaks. If there is no tinge of humility or politeness, you know the person is off-track.
To end this discussion, I will recall the words of one the best Prime Leaders and one of the finest orators. He was responsible for the security of the citizens of India. This gave him the authority to direct Modi to carry out his "RajDharma" (a king's responsibility).
As for the pic, she is the new girl on the block. Though she does not come anywhere close to the two queens Katrina Kaif and Ayesha Takia, she has a bright future. All great things have a death and from the rubble rise the new stars. It was only after the sad demise of Ayrton Senna that Schuamacher could rise to the heights that remain unparalleled.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
When the input costs double, I believe it takes 2 years to take the decision to raise the selling price. But this is the super efficient UPA government with highly learned Prime Minister and Finance Minister, highly honourable Gandhi family to sanction the government decision and the Left provide some much-needed policy help. Thus, the government finally managed to hike the price by 10% and reduce the central taxes to a certain extent.
The subsidy burden which stood at 2.45 trillion rupees will reduce by 0.45 trillion. The PSU oil companies will bear a loss of 0.65 trillion and the rest 1.35 trillion will be borne by the government.
Now for the reservation-premi government, 1.35 trillion can easily set-up 15 IITs and even provide them with working capital for years to come. Also, the subsidy goes down the drain whereas these IITs will produce engineers who will be productive in their future life.
The worst part of the subsidy and taxation structure is that it totally distorts the energy consumption pattern. Diesel that HPCL buys in Mumbai is costlier than petrol. But, the retail price of petrol is a good 40% higher than Diesel. Higher you consume higher is the subsidy that you get and more the noise you make on news channels to continue with the subsidies.
No money to oil companies means no new exploration, no city gas distribution projects and no search of the alternative to oil. Indian bio-diesel policy is waiting to be finalised by the cabinet since 5 years. Dr APJ Kalam had announced the bio-fuel mission in 2003. Countries like Brazil have changed their energy mix. All new cars use 85% ethanol.
But, in India with the distorted pricing mechanism there is no incentive to search for the alternatives.
Even the BJP is behaving like a bunch of idiots. The fuel price hike is inevitable, demand-supply law has to take precedence in a market-economy. I am also surprised as to can the average Indian be so stupid to expect the government to keep on bearing the subsidy? Government finances are not invented money like that of entrepreneurs, money given to one cause means money deducted from somewhere else. I started this post with the decision making, it remains to see how many months it takes for BEST to raise the bus fares.
As for the usual pic that accompanies the post, since Varun could not fully appreciate the last pic, this post contains none, he has to relook at the old one and see its beauty. The beauty is in the face of the girl and not the surroundings.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Posting after a long time, so have to post about this long and ardous journey.
I was supposed to reach Gurgaon, Sukhrali at 5.50 pm. Started from my house in Rohini at 4 pm. The distance is 45km. Assuming 30km/hr I should reach in time.
Caught a Cycle Rickshaw to the nearest bus stop. Caught a DElhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus to the nearest big Depot. On reaching there, I spotted a bus which would drop me right to my detination. But, there was a small hurdle: the bus did not have any gas, so the conductor told us that he would go in the Depot and get the gas filled.
Half an hour of wait under the tree and a bus came out. 10 of us boarded the bus and 50 mtrs down the road, the driver abruptly brakes and comes to a smooth halt. He informs us that the "bus is breaking down". What astrolgers these DTC drivers. They know when their buses are going to get sick. Another 15 mins and finally I am inside the bus sitting comfortably.
Half and hour goes by and I sense something unusual. Though there are just 10 people in the bus, the conductor hasn't come to ask for my ticket. Then I realise that this is not Mumbai and I have to go to where the conductor is sitting to buy the ticket. At least he is in the bus physically, better than just signing the register and going home. Also, the bus seems never to have a halt at any of the bus stops. This reminded me of the Sardar joke; A sardar chases down a DTC bus and manages to heave himself in. The bus is empty but for a few passengers. Sardar goes to the driver and asks him
sardar: “Yeh bus teri maa lagti hai?”
sardar: “Yeh bus teri behen lagti hai?”
sardar: “Yeh bus teri biwi lagti hai?”
driver: “nahi bhai”
sardar: “Toh tu mujhe buspe chadhne kyun nahi deta?”
My journey was detined to be doomed and the terrorists too had a hand to play. There was grapevine that a bomb was diffused on Chawri Bazar (old Delhi) and there were huge traffic jams. As it is either the bus was incapable of going beyond 30 Km/Hr or the driver was too lazy, on top of that, the road diversion and I reached my destination at 7pm.
3 hours of boring journey and I reach tired. But, DTC is happy that they have provided such “cheap” transport. Transport policy makers in India refuse to go beyond “cost, accessibility, safety” to the time factor when it comes to public transport.
When coming back, I decided to give a ditchu to DTC and caught a call centre sharing cab. In 20 rupess, it dropped me right at my doorstep in flat 1 hr. But, the government doesn't recognise this form of transport as legal and these cab drivers are in constant fear of the police.
NCR region is the richest in India and has the maximum car density in India, but when it comes to public service delivery, it fails miserably. Mumbai at least provides good service even if it is insufficient to cater to such a huge population. Delhi is a gloring example of how we Indians fail when it comes to working together for the benefit of all without directly benifitting a single person.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
But, this decision has been a reaction to the constant torture faced by her from fellow Indians who can't see any other Indian succeed. An environment has been created where all merit is perceived to be foreign and nobody believes that India and Indians can so something great.
Though I was never interested in the girl or her sport, I remember a Sania with a "nath" in her nose. Today, Sania and any other typical European lady cannot be distinguished by the uninitiated. This is because the concept of beauty widely accepted by India today is of European origin.
Sania is just a victim of this "only foreign originated is good".
Coming to the hot topic of North Indians in Mumbai, instead of castigating Raj Thackeray, the leaders of the cow belt should introspect as to why do so many people move out of UP and Bihar and come to Mumbai and live in sub-human conditions. Whoever re-emphasizes that all Indian citizens have a right to settle in Mumbai an earn their living should first ask why any Indian citizen cannot buy and own a house/land in Kashmir or the north-eastern states.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
It was sometime in May 2007 that I was suggested by an extraordinary soul to install UBUNTU on my brand new laptop. The promise of free software and freedom was irresistible and I installed the OS. I was forcing myself out of the clutches of Microsoft. But, I was not ready for this journey. I wasn’t prepared for the change in mindset as also the extra effort and initiative.
The installation was smooth and the look of the OS was good. But, I banged into a big wall. My Broadcomm wireless card was not detected and I could not use the wireless internet. This was as good as not having a laptop or using one sometime in the 1970s. Now I realized the real difference between Windows and Linux: you fend for yourself in Linux and thus you are the master. In Windows, you blindly believe MS and hence are chronically dependent on them. My wireless did not work and the frustration mounted. During the time, I was parted from my laptop because of my long duration official trips. Thus came November and I was contemplating migrating back to Microsoft. But, I mustered hope inspired from the plight of the BABA man. He was torn apart trying to migrate UBUNTU. He could not break himself from the bond of enslavement from MS. He found the effort worthless.
Now, I wanted to prove to myself that I have the courage and resilience to go the distance. As my journey progressed, I was introduced by the faithful soul to a financial accounting software Gnnucash. I started maintaining my daily accounts with the help of this software. Gnucash has diverse and versatile capabilities. An account all your financial transactions can be maintained in this software. Even investments can be logged into the software. But, how do you see your capital gains. Income and expenses are exactly what they are, but the value of investments changes on daily basis. So, how do I measure what money I put and what is it worth now. Here the wizardy capabilitites of Gnucash came handy. Gnucash has the facility of retrieving the stock quotes online. But, is it possible with Indian stocks? Have the stock exchanges in India become technically savvy enough? Do Indian markets have the might to develop the stake which forces popular websites to stream online quotes of Indian stocks? And the answer is yes. Yahoo Asia gives realtime quoted for stocks listed in the NSE. Now came the most difficult part: getting to the technical grind and configuring the Gnucash application. After two days of struggle, I finally managed to get online quotes not only for the stocks but also for mutual funds. I was thrilled and convinced of the cutting edge technology of Linux.
After this small success, I am past Microsoft and have stepped irreversibly into the free world of linux. I am happy that I didn’t disappoint the soul whose name I reveal at the end of the article: RVB.