Sunday, December 8, 2019

The economic burdens inherited by the Modi government.

Economy in a mess : Raghuram Rajan lists 5 burdens that the Modi government had inherited from the previous UPA government.

 (a) A large number of infrastructure projects were stalled. This was because of difficulties in land
       acquisition, lack of inputs like coal or gas or the slow pace of obtaining government clearances.

 (b) The second problem was in power production and distribution. Existing power producers were
       running into difficulties as heavily indebted power distribution companies delayed payments or
       stopped buying. India experienced the absurdity of surplus power capacity even as power
       demand went unmet.

 (c) The third was credit drying up in the market. With more and more promoters running into
      financial distress, bad loans increased on banks' balance sheets. As a result, the flow of new
      credit slowed.

 (d) The agricultural sector, too, was in a "mess". This was in part because of "decades of misguided"
       government interventions like distorted pricing and subsidies which "resulted in anomalies such
       as a water-short nation exporting water-thirsty rice".

 (e) Failure to "eliminate hordes of middlemen who took their cut as food travelled from the farm to
      the fork". Instead of spending its scarce resources on improving farmer access to new
      technologies, seeds or land, the governments spent their resources on loan waivers. This was "a
      form of misdirected cash transfer".

The government needs to address issues on a war footing and deal with the challenges.


Tailpiece.

It was the day of the Guruvayur Ekadasi. Lekha and I had gone to the market, around 1000 hrs to buy grocery after which she went to the temple and I'd returned home. Suma kunjamma, my cousins, Kala, Santhi and Sindhu reached home by sunset. They were dropped at the railway station to board the Guruvayur - Chennai Egmore express, after dinner at home.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

I'm appalled!

I'd spoken about this in my blog of yesterday too. All of a sudden, the media is awash with stories of gang rapes, rapes followed with the murder of the victims and small girls, increasingly, being violated by sex-hungry men - actually, if you were to ask me such men are sick! To add to that the following are equally disturbing:-

  (a) Rahul Gandhi calling India, the rape capital of the world. One can have differences of ideology
       with one's political adversaries but those battles should not result in utterances against the
       country. Since he's the leader of an influential political party, the foreign media especially those
       inimical to us - for whatever reasons - is gonna quote him and consequently, bring a bad name
       to the country! If he's aspiring to take over the reins of leadership of this country, one day, then
       he cannot afford to be frivolous or small in his outlook towards the others and the world in
       general because what he says today can haunt him tomorrow!! Or is it that he's trying to tell us
       that all the bad things that are happening in this country have been instigated by Modi? If yes,
       he's the limit and totally hollow in his upper storey.

       I must admit that his words did upset me.

  (b) A new found statistic which claimed that 100 rapes take place in this country, everyday. What an
        unsubstantiated claim? By doling out such 'mythical' data what are they trying to achieve?
        Show the present government in poor light? Aren't the script writers of this horrific tale letting
        down their own motherland?

        Sad! But I'd like to know how this sort of statistics has come about. Has some serious study
        been done in this regard?

Emphasis must be on responsible journalism!

       *                           *                            *

Having given the preamble on the subject, I must share with you this beautiful thought.

                                 I AM A WOMAN!

So what?
I get into an argument
with a man, he slaps me,
I feel the pain, yet they
tell me, I provoked him. I
should have been quiet, I
should have been patient.
I should apologise to him.

I get into an argument
with a man, I slap him,
they tell me I have no
respect, no home
training. I should have
been quiet, I should have
been patient. I should
apologise to him.
Because I am a woman, I
don't have a right to be
angry. So, the degree of
my innocence is directly
proportional to the
degree of my silence in
the face of oppression
and brutality......

Because I am a woman,
my husband cheats on
me, I am told to tolerate it
to save my marriage. The
barbaric and stupid
excuse is that "it is in
their nature to cheat, I
should slim down, dress
better, cook better, pray
harder and be more
pleasant to him".

I cheat and I am called a
whore, I have committed
an abomination, I have no
right to look elsewhere
for the love and
emotional support I lack
at home, I am an
irresponsible mother.

So I an sent packing,
from the home we both
built, with all my earthly
possessions stuffed into
a tiny box on my head. I
an henceforth forbidden
from seeing my two older
children, I am lucky to be
allowed to go with my
little one still suckling on
my left breast. Three
years later, the little one
is tagged a bastard. Now,
my new name is "after-
three", because I am a
woman.

He is 28 and runs a
company. He's tagged
wonderful, hardworking,
focused, career oriented,
successful at a very
young age.

I am 28 and I run a
company "Hmmmm...
she is not even married,
unserious, cannot order
her priorities right, a
hustler, loves money, let
her go and get a husband
oh".
And I wonder if being
successful has anything
to do with a person's
gender.

Because I am a woman,
I am not allowed to have
wits or be a prodigy, I
cannot be financially
buoyant, professionally
successful or be treated
with respect without a
man beside me.

Then I am tagged a
generous leg opener, "a
runs girl". They never see
the possibility that I
actually had to go
through ups and downs
to get to where I am,
because I am a woman.

A man loses his wife to
death and remarries a
year after, he did the right
thing, he's being praised
and congratulated for
moving on, after all life is
for the living.

A woman loses her
husband to death and
remarries after four years,
"Aaah! So early? Are you
sure she wasn't sleeping
with that man even when
her husband was alive?
That was why she killed
her husband. She's a
witch! Because she is a
woman.

because I am a woman,
this post will be
considered controversial
and everyone will try to
correct me. But don't
forget, that I am a woman
and it does not make me
less human!!!

Share to respect some
woman and Tell your
woman that you love her
: *Who is a
woman?????*
When she is quiet,
millions of things are
running through her
mind. When she stares at
you, she is wondering
why she loves you so
much in spite of being
taken for granted. When
she says I will stand by
you, she will stand by you
like a solid rock. Never
hurt her or take her for
granted. A very heart
touching message by a
woman. Someone asked
her, Are you a working
woman or a housewife?
She replied : Yes, I am a
full-time working
housewife. I work 24
hours a day. I'm a Mum.
I'm a Wife. I'm a
Daughter. I'm a Daughter-
in-law. I'm an Alarm
clock. I'm a Cook. I'm a
Maid. I'm a Teacher. I'm a
Waitress. I'm a Nanny.
I'm a Nurse. I'm a
Handywoman. I'm a
Security officer. I'm a
Counsellor. I'm a
Comforter. I don't get
holidays. I don't get sick
leave. I don't get day off. I
work through day and
night. I'm on call all hours
and get paid with a
sentence, "What Do U Do
All Day??" This is
Dedicated to all
women*** A woman has
the most unique
character like salt! Her
presence is never
remembered, but her
absence makes all the
things tasteless. Pass it
to all the lovely ladies....Ur
Mother. Ur Wife. Ur
daughter. Ur sister and Ur
friend.

Note. Whoever wrote this should be given an award!


Tailpiece.

A quiet Saturday when we went about our usual chores.  

Friday, December 6, 2019

The other side of the story......

The Rape Accused Meet A Gory End.

The nation is still mourning the rape and murder of the young veterinary doctor in Telangana, last week. Passions have been roused and the entire nation seemed to be together to give death sentence to the accused at the earliest. A sizeable number of Indians seemed to desire quick retribution.

The Telangana Police said that its personnel resorted to retaliatory firing when two of the accused opened fire at the police after snatching weapons from them. The police said that the snatched weapons were in unlocked position. The police, further, said that the accused were taken this morning to Chatanapally - the crime spot for crime reconstruction and all this happened within 5' to 10' after reaching the spot!

This is the second case of encounter killing in Telangana/AP! VC Sajjanar, the present Police Commissioner of Cyberabad was the SP of Warangal, when in Dec 2008, three accused of acid attack on hapless ladies were killed in the first encounter. 

The nation seems to be split around the middle, in its opinion, regarding the killing of the accused!

My take.

The accused should have been tried by a fast track court and provided appropriate punishment - death, of course! Yes, the court should have been constituted and its proceedings should have been going on by now!! 

The other side of the story! 

A version that's doing the rounds on Twitter indicates that there is much more than meets the eye regarding the encounter. This encounter was not for justice as it appears at first look. The young lady vet had done a sting operation on the big 'Beef Mafia' at hand. The rape and murder were meticulously planned. Post the arrest and subsequent interrogation, the truth would have come out. So the encounter was deliberate to protect someone powerful behind the mafia.....basically, a cover up.

        *                             *                                *

The FASTag Story.

In India there are 16,49, 91,65,000 vehicles using highway tolls. By introducing compulsory fast tag registration, the toll companies (Most of them belong to either the Reliance or Adani groups) will get a hefty amount in their account.

The sum of the amounts of cost of tag and deposit adds up to about Rs.8.3 lakh crores

The other side of the story!

Other than the security deposit with banks, everything is okay.

How do Reliance and Adani benefit from the Cost of FASTag?

* In fact, it will cut down the corruption at tolls, money will go straight to the account of NHAI             when, as of now, the toll operators do not pass on the money regularly.
* Real time tracking of stolen vehicles and runaway vehicles/guys for better law and order.
* Savings in time and fuel.
* Reduction in pollution.

           *                            *                               *

The Magistrate vs The Lawyers.

The Kerala Police has named the Bar Association office bearers as accused. Lawyers boycotted the  court. The FIR states that the lawyers unlawfully assembled outside the Vanchiyoor court (Thiruvananthapuram) of Magistrate Deepa Mohan with the common intention of intimidating her into revoking an order.

Ms. Mohan had cancelled the bail of an accused person on the charge of having intimidated a prosecution witness in the case, earning the ire of the lawyers.

In its court filing, the police said that the lawyers stormed into the chamber and threatened to "haul the magistrate out of the courtroom and beat her". The crime occurred around 1345 hrs, on the Wednesday before last, when the court was in session.

The other side of the story!

That magistrate got appointed immediately on writing the test. She has had no practical experience as a lawyer. Earlier, one had to have 3 to 7 years to write the test so that one knew the procedure. Here, unfortunately she followed the wrong procedure and remanded the person without even the prosecutor, just on listening to the complainant. The lawyers pointed out the mistake to her but her ego prevented her from admitting her mistake. Then she refused to issue a copy of the order to file an appeal. The lawyers went to the higher judiciary, the sessions judge who immediately rectified the mistake, rescinding the wrong order.


Tailpiece.

Our new maid, Beena had come by and commenced working. She is sincere and meticulous. Lekha has a much needed help! Incidentally, she has been freed of the aches and the pains!!




Thursday, December 5, 2019

Onions @ Rs.150/- !?

Some of the news, that's currently making headlines at these times, are being revisited and analysed. So, without much ado let's go ahead:-

 (a) Onions @ Rs.150/- !?

       Due to adverse weather conditions in the onion growing areas of the country, there has been
       an acute scarcity of vegetable in the markets. Consequently, the prices have been rising steadily
       and is now poised at Rs.150/- per kg.  It's a vegetable that's popular with the rich and the poor
       alike. Therefore, the following doesn't make sense or add up to results, which is the requirement
       of the hour:-

           (i) The central food minister, Ram Vilas Paswan, had announced that the government was
                importing a lakh ton of onions with immediate effect to tide over the crisis, quite a while
                back. Where are those? Why aren't the markets being flooded with it? Isn't it high time
                that the remedy takes effect, forthwith, as the patience of the common man is running out?
          (ii) Secondly, there has been central ministers who have made statements that they don't eat
                onions. What do they want the common man to do? Clone them and stop eating till the
                adverse conditions are weathered? Is it practical? I'd advise these motor mouths to keep
                quiet if they've nothing worthwhile to utter.

        Hope the government's remedial measures get visible at the earliest!

 (b) Are we a country of rapists?

       This week, it has been sickening to hear of rapes followed by gruesome killings of the hapless
       victims, as reported from many places across the country. What the hell is happening? Are we
       trying to prove our sexual prowess on unsuspecting women, out in the public domain, going
       about their daily chores and tasks.

       What have we come to be? I mean don't the guilty have their mothers, sisters, wives or daughters
       back in their homes? If they want them to be safe, how dare they prey on the others' mothers,
       sisters, wives or daughters?

       The law needs to be made very responsive so that the culprits are brought to book, through fast
       track procedure and death be meted out without the least amount of compassion! Only then will
       such retribution have a dilatory effect on subsequent incidents of this nature!!

 (c) The worst effect of climate change!

       Was quite saddened by the stark photographs showing the once luxurious and majestic, Victoria
       Falls, in between Zambia and Zimbabwe, on the River Zambezi, reduced to a pathetic trickle
       thanks to the prolonged drought prevalent in many parts of Africa. The forecast is that even that
       trickle would be reduced to a no-show within the next couple of weeks.

       Sad! Hope the UN-sponsored conference to suggest meaningful measures to be followed by
       every country in the world, provides us with milestones to be followed, to reverse the trends. It's
       the need of the hour and our gift to the coming generations!


Tailpiece.

Another quiet day. Lekha had gone to the Guruvayur temple for her weekly tryst. Her left leg had begun to hurt her by evening and she did every job that she'd planned to do today, notwithstanding the discomfort! Poor girl. Hats off to her grit and determination!!
       

   

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Bhishma way or the Jatayu way?

No two people react to the same situation in a similar way.

Here are examples of two legendary personalities who were faced with a very similar situation but their responses were diagonally apart.

One has been elevated but the other only recognised. It's in between Bhishma and Jatayu.

Both of them were confronted with character defining assault on womanhood. One chose to die protecting the victim while the other chose to be a mute spectator of the crime.

1. Powerful or Powerless

    Bhishma was a powerful and capable warrior and if he wanted, he could have stopped the
    disrobing of Draupadi - the Queen. But he chose to be a silent witness of this act;

    Whereas, Jatayu was old and invalid and knew that in all probability, Ravana would kill him. Still,
    he chose to try his best to protect Sita - the Queen.

    Bhishma was powerful yet acted powerless where Jatayu was powerless yet acted powerful.....

    "Real power is not about physical strength but about the deep desire to help".

2. Alive or Dead

    Bhishma lived on but died everyday to his conscience;

    Whereas, Jatayu died once but lived eternally true to his conscience....

    "Our only constant companion is our conscience - better be true to it".

3. Fame or Infamy

    Bhishma's name and fame went down in history because of this one act of not stopping the
    disrobing of Draupadi.

    But Jatayu's name and fame went high in history because of his act of trying to save Sita.

    "Many of us are going to be mere names in history, sooner or later. Will we be equated
    with the bad or the good - is our choice".

4. Culture or Vulture

    Bhishma was supposed to be a highly cultured human but acted highly insensitive and stooped
    low in values like a vulture;

    Whereas, Jatayu was supposed to be a lowly uncultured vulture but acted highly sensitive and
    soared the skies in values like an evolved human.

    "One doesn't become a human by being born as a human - only becomes a human by
    being a human".

5. Spoken or Unspoken Words

    Draupadi begged and pleaded protection from Bhishma because she knew if someone could
    protect her it was only him but still Bhishma didn't protect her;

    Whereas, Sita didn't even ask Jatayu for protection - she just wanted him to inform Rama about
    her kidnapping by Ravana because she knew Jatayu was not powerful but still Jatayu tried to
    protect Sita.

    "The language of heart is more powerful than the language of words".

6. Clarity or Confusion

    Bhishma was confused regarding his royal duty that he forgot that he had a higher duty - a moral
    duty;

    Whereas, Jatayu was so clear about his moral duty that no other duty was a consideration for him.

    "When caught up in dilemmas, best is to follow the higher principles - to follow our heart
    because it always knows the truth".

7. Good or Bad Example

    Bhishma set a very bad precedent for generations to come;

    Whereas, Jatayu set the most ideal precedent for generations to come.

    "If we can't be a great example at least let us not be a bad one".

8. Relative or Stranger

    Another interesting point is that Bhishma was an elderly relative of Draupadi but acted as a
    total stranger in this episode;

    Whereas, Jatayu was not at all related to Sita, he was a stranger but acted more than a dearest
    relative.

    "True relationships is based heartly connections not just bodily connections".

9. The Saintly or The Wicked

    Both Bhishma and Jatayu had a few moments to decide what to do.

    Life, sometimes puts in situations where in a few moments we need to take crucial decisions.

    What we decide very much depends on the kind of inner integrity we have cultivated by the
    association we keep.

    Bhishma's intelligence was clouded and it failed the test of life because he associated with the
    wicked minded, selfish Kauravas;

    Whereas, Jatayu's intelligence was crystal clear and it passed the test of life because he associated
    with the saintly, selfless Lakshman and the All-pure Lord Rama.

    "After all, who we are solely depends on whom we associate with".

10. Embrace or Neglect

      The Supreme Lord as Sri Krishna was not at all happy with this attitude of Bhishma so much so
      that when He came as a peace messenger to Hastinapur, He didn't even bother to look at Bhishma;

      Whereas, The Supreme Lord Rama was so happy with the attitude of Jatayu that he embraced him
      and personally did his final rites - an honour that even Dasharath - his father didn't receive.

      "The scriptures explain that the ultimate test of any activity is, if the Supreme Lord is 
      pleased with us".

It is very clear, Bhishma displeased God; whereas Jatayu pleased Him. This recount is not meant to criticise Bhishma - he is undoubtedly a great personality but we do vehemently criticise his inaction.

Moral.

When we see some injustice, some problem, we have two options:-

Either close your eyes to it or do something about it - follow "the Bhishma way" or "the Jatayu way".

Whichever way we choose remember there will also be a result - "the Bhishma result" or "the Jatayu result".


Tailpiece.

It was a rather quiet day. Lekha had gone to the Mammiyoor kshetram as part of her weekly tryst while I went across to the Amigos for my monthly haircut!
    

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The news that gladdened me!

Indian Navy forced Chinese ship to return after it entered our exclusive economic zone in Andaman Sea!

* Navy forced China's ship to return after it entered India's EEZ in the Andaman Sea in September, 
   officials said.
* Our stand is that if you have to work in our EEZ, then you have to take our permission : Navy
   Chief.
* Chinese vessel Shi Yan 1 was carrying out research activities in the Indian waters near Port
   Blair and was detected by maritime surveillance aircraft.

The Indian Navy forced China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) research ship to return after
it entered India's EEZ in the Andaman Sea in September, officials said. Asked about the incident during a press conference, the Naval Chief Admiral Karambir Singh said anyone operating in "our region, will have to notify the Indian Navy".

The officials said the Chinese Navy's research ship was forced to leave the area as it had not sought permission to come there.

"Our stand is that if you have to work in our exclusive economic zone, then you have to take our permission," he said while reacting to a question by ANI on why the Chineses vessel Shi Yan 1 was asked to leave Indian waters. Earlier, ANI had reported that the Indian Navy drove away a suspicious Chineses vessel operating in the Indian waters near Port Blair recently.

The Chinese research vessel Shi Yan 1 was carrying out research activities in the Indian waters near Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and was detected by maritime surveillance aircraft operating there, government sources told ANI.

Sources said the vessel could have also been used by the Chinese to spy on the Indian activities in the Island territory from where India can keep a close eye on the maritime movements in the IOR and South-East Asian region. After the vessel was detected by the agencies and found out that it was carrying out research activities in the Indian EEZ, an Indian Naval warship was sent there to monitor it.

Since laws do not allow foreign countries to carry out any research or exploration activities in the Indian EEZ, the Indian Naval warship asked the Chinese research vessel to move out of Indian waters.

After being cautioned by the Indian Navy, the Chinese Shi Yan 1 vessel left Indian waters and moved to its other destination probably towards China, the sources said.

And Happy Navy Day! 04 Dec is Navy Day, commemorating the attack on Karachi harbour by IN ships in 1971!!


Tailpiece.

The morning walk was nice. After breakfast, around 1000 hrs, I'd gone to town to complete quite a few pending work. Vishnu, the bank manager told me about his not receiving three FASTag requests through his man, despite a lapse of a fortnight and fearing that my request would meet the same fate directed me to the Indus Motors for the same.

Had gone there at 1730 hrs, as required by Abu and got our Chevy FASTagged within 20'. 


 

Monday, December 2, 2019

Some 'fun' news!

Here is news that I found to be fun:-

 (a) Asbestos to be renamed.

       The town of Asbestos, Canada will seek a new name after acknowledging that the moniker
       "does not have a good connotation - particularly in English-speaking circles". Founded in
       1899 and named for the 'grey gold' found in its surrounding hills, the town in Quebec once
       boasted of a thriving mining community. However, mining operations were suspended in 2011,
       with the municipal government of Quebec cancelling a $58 million loan promised to reopen it a
       year later. Now the town has said it needs to move past its heritage for harvesting the hazardous
       mineral.

 (b) A matter of taste.

       Visitors to a zoo in Thailand are being offered a tasty choice over the name of its newest resident
       - a baby pigmy hippopotamus that is drawing crowds. The male was born in October. Its keepers
       have come up with two potential names based on popular food dishes - 'Moo Tun', which
       translates as braised pork or 'Kaki' which means pork feet. The public are being invited to vote
       on the zoo's Facebook page until 20 Dec, where they will be entered in a draw offering a cash
       prize or free admission for a year.

 (c) 'Ugly Sweater'.

       Daniel, 22, from Arizona received a blunt remark from a food outlet after he bought thirty
       nuggets and fries. He received a takeaway ticket where it was written in bold, "ugly sweater".
       Daniel posted a picture on Twitter with an image of the receipt and his middle finger in the
       air with the caption : "It was not my pleasure to eat Chic Fil today!"


Tailpiece.

Was ready by a half past 8 when Nishad, the chauffeur for my car today, had made his appearance. It was to attend Colonel JK Achuthan's son's wedding at Irinjalakuda, 49 km from our porch. Thoroughly enjoyed the occasion as Achu and his classmates were in my House in school, while I was one of their Prefects (Each House used to have a House Captain and two Prefects, as appointments from the senior classes to look after a strength of 50 cadets) way back in 1969.

The interaction was good and I enjoyed every minute of my being there.

Here's wishing Jeyakrishnan and Sindhu a long and happy life together. May they get whatever they wish for!