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Wednesday, 31 December, 2008

End of 08 : My last thoughts about the year

Its the last night of the very eventful year 2008, a year that will go in the history for the beginning of the decline of western economic and their political credibility. Events in Zimbabwe, Sudan, Somalia, Congo, Palestine to name a few have proved that political will among the World Leaders and powers has diminished. Nobody wishes to involve in neighborhood affairs when their own house requires dusting and cleaning.
The cyclic fall and rise of US economy is common. US economy has faced growth and decline once in every or two decades. US economy has enjoyed its best years between 1989-2000 and as the saying goes anything that goes up has to come down! but this time the effect is felt world wide due to globalization. First Sub-prime Real-estate then Financial & Investment services then Auto Giants! (Analysts expect a L curve on economy but even they cant speculate till when!) Economy giants like US, UK, Germany are in red while others are in slowdown mode. It is unbelievable as to how rapidly the market and industry has changed from one of strong, hearty, cheerful to somber, sad, ailing, depressed one. In such turbulent times, we as students face a terrible dilemma. Should we accept the campus job offers and hope for the storm to pass off in the near future or go for further studies and avoid job market for the time being? Many have dropped off ideas of MS in USA for job prospective in US are also diminishing. Many in core engineering fields like Chemical, Mechanical, Electrical feel that they are better insulated than the IT and its auxiliary fields. However, India's industrial output figures are in red and show a drastic drop. These are tougher times and no definite answers or predictions are possible, making the situation more precarious.

The Mumbai terror attack brought the whole country together and forced the politicians to change their callous attitude and drove the caste, religion, region based political gimmickry to backseat. The small silver lining of the terror attacks was the uniting of Indians and emergence of a sudden need for change and the want to a part of the change. It has draw attention to the sorry state of the Police establishment and lack of co-ordination between various Intelligence agencies. I seriously hope that things do change for good!

The India-Pakistan Cricket clash doesn't interest any Indian anymore. Australia has replaced Pakistan as our traditional rivals and the Perth-Sydney tests acted as the foundation stone for the extreme rivalry. I am happy India has ended on a winning streak (I include draws also) against the Goliaths of the Game. Sports seems to be gaining focus again as India won an Individual Gold for the first time as also a medal in Boxing. Suddenly sports other than Cricket like Chess, Boxing, Football seem to be promising for many. A nice change!

Ah! Now my class has changed as well. Many might remember the IPC lectures. Oh it was remarkable! Paper balls, Rockets, Planes, Navy Carriers, Sabotages to name a few. It was a complete Balck Ops! - A
coup d’état. Boy! Initially I was against the coup but then the ops became justifiable and well deserved! I cannot reveal much but it was fun, exciting, and a struggle which brought us at par with our seniors.! Full stop!

Change is the only thing that doesnt change!
This year it seemed to be exceptionally strong. US prez in wait - Barack Obama has strengthened my feeling! So be it Change!

This year I will welcome new year watching the Pirates of Carribean-III and then go back to study Entrepreneurship Management. I hope I get a tripod for my camera and also learn new stuffs about photography.
Resolves are there but not for revealing!

Happy Peaceful New year !

Tuesday, 30 December, 2008

My penultimate closing thoughts for 2008 - (2)

One more exam and I will fly off for my catalyst regeneration.

It has been more than a month after the Mumbai Terror Attacks and still I feel insecure like majority Mumbaikars. Railway Stations are still porous, with reports emerging that Home guards who have no weapons guarding the entry/exit points of the stations logging imaginary ghost names in the register, merrily chatting away, and sleeping on duty. Today the TOI. has reported the condition of Government Ammo (worse than "Made in China" Tag). At least, give them Bow and Arrow and Swords! Train them in Stone and Baton throwing. Airports are a balcony view from the high rise palatial Slums that greet travellers arriving into Mumbai. The Airport Fencing and Wall perimeter have more craters and cracks than the moon!

Many have forgotten about Accountability from Babus and Politicians. Today the government has successfully steered all attention from personal accountability towards Pakistan. We must force the government to remove this blanket covering for the cronies that rule our nation.

On the other side of the border, Pakistan has gone from defense to all out offense in the PR war between Indian and Pakistan.
It continues with its Deny everything and play War jingoism mantra.
It has neglected, denied or maybe even might have erased the Ajmal Kasab's Pakistani links like his parents, National Database Record, etc. It doesn't believe in Satellite Phone records and other substantial proofs. It is steadily beefing up positions along eastern border while India has not done so. Pakistan's PM, Foriegn affairs minister, Generals, President are all over the Indian channels explaining their position while Indian diplomats, Home ministry and others ( I am excluding our PM and president both Kaccha Limboos) are slow on PR attack.

Even the media turf war is getting hotter and fouler. Pakistani News channels point fingers at Indian counterparts for war-hyping while I personaly feel they are themselves to blame. Their caustic and bitter language is unbelieveable. Ugh! I dont know how media reporting can be so cheap and dirty! Indian media channel Times Now has disappointed me very much. They were working like sensationalists. (I donot think Aaj Tak, VOI, Live India, etc can be called news Channels. They are soap operas runing live)

India must force Pakistan to rise above neo-patriotism and make them understand that denial or just the gesture of joint co-operation wont work this time. How many times should India trust Pakistan? Lahore Bus trip is still in the back of every Indian mind! Since actions speak more than words, Pakistan must curtail the non state actors and hand over the fugitives! for future co-operation.

God knows where this crisis is leading us to! The western nations have again shown they are just vermins. Zimbabwe, Dafur, Iraq, Iran, N-Korea, Russia and the US Weapon Shield, Afghanistan every crisis has been mismanaged by them and their irresponsible media partners. Investigative and Righteous journalism is at its ebb! While i write Israel is busy pounding Gaza strip after weeks of Economic blockade. I consider it miscarraige of the western just policies. US has reiterated it considers only Israel causalties as causalties. I have no hope from such bigots. I just remembered Junior Bush's Axis of Evil statement. I understand from history, this world has never been a just world!

But I did manage to laugh today!
Today, Singhvi of Congress in his article in TOI had written, "halve the mourners had come to confirm that He is dead while rest have come to make sure he is buried !" and what Churchill said about Atlee, "He came to 10,Downing St in an empty cab" Less but Well Said :-)

My penultimate closing thoughts for 2008 - (1)

Oh! My Antulay, you vouched for infamy! When you could have simply kept mouth shut and let the present generation not know of your shady past and the oldies forget your heinous crimes; you simply couldn't ! Now every Indian knows your past and your present. Indians feel that the Union Minority Affairs post is apt for you, as your contributions to the minority is negligible.(This has been vouched by the minority leaders and statesmen alike). Seems like, he has done justice to his post as a true IP. Its stands for Inert Politician or Indian Politician, doesn't matter. I hear of his noble works for the destitutes(pension schemes) and others but infamy is a permanent dye that stains the noble deeds.
I am amused to know he was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra during 1980-82. Well, such a short tenure for an IP? Does one have a chance when you face heat after Bombay High Court ruling Jan 13,1982 pronouncing him an extortionist. Guess who was behind the expose? None other than the Indian print-media jewels: Indian Express (Goenka, Arun Shourie,Manu Desai) and Maharashtra Times(Govindrao Talwakar). Many buildings were built like mine during the Money for Cement Quota scandal. Maybe the cement in my building might have a lot to speak on it!
My take on Karkare-Gate : In a democracy, every person that includes Mr. Antulay also has the right to speak ad voice his concern, be it through the blog or through the parliament. However, Mr Antulay must have synchronized himself with the government. In such tender times, its better not to have conflicting views emanating from the cabinet. Antulay must have had discussed his suspicions with the cabinet before going gun blazing before the parliament and media. Every cabinet minister or leader must hire a PR to assist him/her. Its better to raise the hypothesis and prove its falseness rather than leave it around for the rumour mongers. The Opposition made the issue the most important and left the parliament thereby making it easy for the UPA to clear record no. of bills in least time. The ruling government must have officially clarified this earlier itself that there is no saffron link.
Karkare-Gate Outcome: Antulay's own goal has costed his party Congress, though the opposition has not been awarded the goal while Antulay's personal record shows the goal as his achievement!Pakistan is happy with the outcome, as Congress Vs BJP vs Antulay tussle has resulted in Pakistan leading by Goal difference!

Has anyone heard of President Mrs.Pratibha Patil lately? Looks like she has disappeared into oblivion! Lately, I hear of no media reports of initiatives/activities from her office. . During Dr. A.P.J. Kalam's tenure, there was a lot of activity to hear about in the media. Aah! Well, the presidential post seems to have normalised back into inertia after a high efficiency and yield tenure of Dr. Kalam.
Recently, the President had visited the family of slain decorated police officer, Vijay Salaskar in Goregaon (E). The roads were re-tarred and cleaned for the presidential entourage. This reminded me of the Mahim Railway Station being white-washed after the 7/11 Train blasts before the arrival of the then president. Seems like every place the president steps foot is cleansed, bathed and beautified. I would suggest that every president must visit rural areas devoid of basics (road, water,house,electricity,sanitation etc). Maybe then the politicians can focus on issues other than Roti, Kapda and Makaan!
My friend, SilkRoute15 clicked pics of the tarring in Goregaon(E)

Monday, 1 December, 2008

Mumbai Terror 2 :Time for interospection and action !

Politicians and World Leaders have begun praising and TV channels have begun airing the cliched "Resilient Mumbai! Brave Mumbai! Spirit of Mumbai!".

Today, Mumbai has rebooted and is back for business; but deep anger seethes inside everyone.
Do not mistake this for hatred for the other community or a nation. This is the anger towards the system and the administration. Its towards the bureaucrats and the Politicians. Its towards the inertness, inefficiency of the leaders, towards the uninspiring cabinet ministry.

This anger must be channelized and every individual must be forced to question himself/herself,
  • "What can I do to stop this ?"
  • "What is my role in the system ?"
  • "How can I make the system more responsible and responsive ?"
  • "Where has the government gone wrong ? "
  • "Why shouldn't the Article 105 be scrapped to make corrupt politicians face justice ?"
  • "How can I prevent the Law-makers from becoming Law-breakers ?"
  • "Can I expect the government to be clean when my affairs are itself shoddy ?"
and many.

Is the latest terror attack different from the Local Train blasts or the '93 blasts or the many blasts that have gone into oblivion ?
I am not calling it different because this time the elite from Mumbai or India or the world were attacked. It is not because the modus-operandi of the attacks is new to Mumbai or because we saw the commandos in action in Mumbai for the first time.
The fact that people are recognizing that there are far more greater terrorists inside the country than outside is new. People have awakened from their slumber. The slumber caused due to the feeling of helplessness, government inactivity and inefficiency. People recognize that these attacks are an aftermath of a cycle of events that recorded itself on the radar of responsible people but failed to act! Failed to act when they needed to! Common public, suddenly has a will to change this! The WILL to break from the never ending cycle of terror and government haplessness!

People mean business! and they mean it! Never has Mumbai looked more awakened and united. They know that unless something is done today when the iron is hot and hammer is in sight, they will lose Mumbai. So what is this "Something" that must be done ?

What is this something that can make the Lawmakers realize that it is not good to mistake our inaction for stockiness? Common man can make a difference when made to face back to the Wall! What is it that will prevent the politicians from getting recurrent amnesia over the promises made ?

This "something to be done" must begin from ourselves. How many times have we paid bribe or baksheesh to get our work done early ? How many times have we escaped Chalaan by bribing the traffic cop ? How many times have we destroyed public property because some leader's bust is defaced or because some party says so ? How many times have we broken rules and said, "So what? There are many who do so?"

How can the country change or its leaders be expected to do so, if ones acts are itself not in proper place?

At the higher level,
there is a need for a major shakeup. The politicians have too much power wrested with them. They amend constitution as per their need and play with the social, religious,economic and even geographical fabric of the country! This is from Brigadier Arun Bajpai (Retd)'s article Indian politics-Corrupt Fighting Corruption,
"Indian Constitution had allowed reservations in the country only up to 1960 and it was expected of the politicians that by this time they would have provided sufficient facilities to the down trodden in education and other fields to enable them to come at par with others. Instead, to garner votes our politicians both in states and center have taken the reservation quota policy to ridiculous levels of almost 60% to 70% reservations in total disregard of Supreme Court ruling that reservations should not be in excess of 50%. "
Article 105 of constitution needs to be scrapped which grants immunity from legal action to the politicians. We ourselves must think, which leader is better ?
The one who advertises his caste, creed, religion or region to win votes, who simply promises of free power, free education or who gifts Color-TVs, Rice or Wheat or even Money to win votes, without even presenting a plan.
Should you allow a Color TV or Rice or free power to influence a vote ? Shouldn't you think for a longer period ?

The Big Indian Political Drama has already begun!

It's Election time in India with State Assemble elections in many states and will act as litmus test for the Main Lok-Sabha(Parliamentary) Elections next year. Knowing the terror attack will create a big anti-incumbency factor, the ruling INC(I) has begun purging. Yesterday ,Shivraj Patil resigned from his ministerial post while many bureaucrats could be in line. Will this be sufficient ? Will this stop terror imports from our neighbours ? Will it make us feel safer ?
Will these politicians ever change ?

I wish to write more and pen my thoughts, my emotion but must wait for next post.
Got to study!
Bye! till next post!

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