Tuesday, 22 August 2017

At-will employment

At-will employment means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, or for no reason without incurring legal liability, as long as they don't discriminate in doing so. Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time for any or no reason with no adverse legal consequences. 

As long as your employment isn't covered by a collective bargaining agreement, an individual employment contract or regulations that supersede Employment at Will, one could be fired at any moment, no matter how long he/she has held your job. Employment at Will sounds like a great deal for employers, but it's not. Employment at Will is a terrible thing for employers and their employees both.
  1. It promotes "keep your boss" even if it is conflict with organization's interest.
  2. It encourages employees to search for another job even when his problem could be resolved through frank and open communication.
  3. Organization will get saddled with lousy managers, since lower rung employee's views never reaches the top.
  4. It keeps employees focused on pleasing their direct supervisors and organization loses on breath taking ideas in trying new things by lower rung employees.
  5. It kills the abilities of employees in collaboration, innovation and to try out new things. Employees can't be blamed for taking the safe route when their income is at stake.
  6. It makes people shut up when they desperately want to speak that would benefit organization.
  7. It gives supervisors and managers the idea that they are kings and queens in their little kingdoms. This idea promotes loyalty to a supervisor over idea-sharing, disruptive thinking or any other ambitious undertaking that squashes the potential of your team.
  8. It disrupts the critical connection between employee and their passion for their work. That's harmful and expensive to your business. Employees are focused on guarding not to irritate their managers.
  9. It keeps the organization mired in fear, lacking trust.
  10. Managers & HR team uses Employment at Will as a cudgel against their employees.
Organizations can step out of Employment at Will simply by using a higher standard for employee discipline and termination. The more clearly and consistently organization shows to its employees that merely speaking up or having a different opinion from their boss will not get them in trouble, the more trust will grow in the organization. To lead through trust instead of fear, managers must be trained to coach and lead not to ride herd on their employees. Smart employers grab the best talent, pay them well and treat them well while on board.

The chief business of Americans is business

This is a trait in US, where people are well educated, well informed and have social security cover. The same has been copied by Indian IT industry and suits their policy deficits in their HR practices. During down turns lay offs are common these days without any kind of fair policy leading to heart burns among laid off employees at times doing their job well and way above in the merit order. Many times the laid off employees have family to support and repay bank loan EMIs and loss of job creates turbulence at home. Companies who resort to reckless layoffs will suffer loss of reputation and are avoided during recruitment drives. It helps a lot for companies to have policies and procedures that may be followed in different circumstances which goes long way avoiding troubles and safeguarding reputation.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Helicopter Parenting

Confused about how to be an involved parent without smothering your kids? 
If you're a helicopter parent, an advice to curb the hovering.
  • Taking too much responsibility for their children's experiences, their successes or failures. It is also called "overparenting."  It means being involved in a child's life in a way that is overcontrolling, overprotecting, and overperfecting, in a way that is in excess of responsible parenting.
  • A low grade, not making the team, or not getting a certain job can appear disastrous to a parent. Many of the consequences, parents are trying to prevent - unhappiness, struggle, not excelling, working hard, no guaranteed results - are great teachers for kids and not actually life-threatening. It just feels that way.
  • Worries about the economy, the job market, and the world in general can push parents towards taking more control over their child's life in an attempt to protect them. Worry can drive parents to take control in the belief that they can keep their child from ever being hurt or disappointed.
  • Adults who felt unloved, neglected, or ignored as children can overcompensate with their own children. Excessive attention and monitoring are attempts to remedy a deficiency the parents felt in their own upbringing.
  • When parents see other overinvolved parents, it can trigger a similar response. Sometimes when we observe other parents overparenting or being helicopter parents, it will pressure us to do the same. We can easily feel that if we don't immerse ourselves in our children's lives, we are bad parents. Guilt is a large component in this dynamic.
  • Many helicopter parents start off with good intentions. It is a tricky line to find, to be engaged with our children and their lives, but not so enmeshed that we lose perspective on what they need. Engaged parenting has many benefits for a child, such as increasing feelings of love and acceptance, building self-confidence, and providing guidance and opportunities to grow. Once parenting becomes governed by fear and decisions based on what might happen, it is hard to keep in mind all the things kids learn when we are not right next to them or guiding each step. Failure and challenges teach kids new skills, and, most important, teach kids that they can handle failure and challenges.
  • The main problem with helicopter parenting is that it backfires. The underlying message of the parent's overinvolvement sends to kids is 'my parent doesn't trust me to do this on my own,' and this leads to a lack of confidence.
  • If the parent is always there to clean up a child's mess or prevent the problem in the first place - how does the child ever learn to cope with loss, disappointment, or failure? Helicopter parenting can make children feel less competent in dealing with the stresses of life on their own.
  • Overparenting is associated with higher levels of child anxiety and depression.
  • Children who have always had their social, academic, and athletic lives adjusted by their parents to best fit their needs can become accustomed to always having their way and thus they develop a sense of entitlement.
  • Parents who always tie shoes, clear plates, pack lunches, launder clothes, and monitor school progress, even after children are mentally and physically capable of doing the task, prevent their children from mastering these skill themselves.
  • Parents need to keep one eye on our children now - their stressors, strengths, emotions - and one eye on the adults we are trying to raise. Getting them from here to there involves some suffering, for our kids as well as for us. In practical terms, this means letting children struggle, allowing them to be disappointed, and when failure occurs, helping them to work through it. It means letting your children do tasks that they are physically and mentally capable of doing. Remembering to look for opportunities to take one step back from solving our child's problems will help us build the reliant, self-confident kids we need.

A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner

The greatest thing that a parent can give to his children are roots. As parents we tend to hurt the ones we love most because we don't allow them to struggle to gain strength. Nothing worthwhile in life comes without a struggle. People who have overcome obstacles are more secure than those who have never faced them. Everything is difficult before it becomes easy. 

India's Freedom & Liberalisation

  • India was at a crossroads 70 years ago when it made choices that were enshrined in the constitution, so that its workers and peasants were freed from class and caste oppression.
  • Nehru said at the midnight when India woke up to freedom. To bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India; to fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease; to build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman.
  • The zamindars and landlords finding that open defense of landlord's interest was no longer feasible, switched over to communalism for their class defense.
  • Pakistan's falsity of religion-based nationalism and a state was founded on theocracy. It was one area where the Hindu right-wing emulates its sworn enemy and India was sought to be converted into a theocratic state called Hindu Rashtra. 
  • M.S. Golwalkar, RSS supreme leader for more than 30 years minced no words: The non-Hindu peoples in Hindusthan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no ideas but those of glorification of the Hindu race and culture…. In one word, they must cease to be foreigners, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less no preferential treatment—not even citizen’s rights.
  • It is no accident that the Hindutva forces had nothing to do with anti-colonial struggle and independence. Infact, the RSS chief M.S. Golwalkar had so little sympathy for the anti-colonial struggle that he thought that the British would have to be invited back shortly after Independence in order to govern India. Today they laud Ambedkar today for sheer opportunistic reasons.
  • The first major victim of this narrow cultural nationalism of the Indian right-wing was the Father of the Nation. After being driven to the margins of Indian politics in the wake of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, the right wing RSS and its latest political incarnation, the BJP, is at the helm of India, now.
  • The slide started post-Nehru and was complete in 1991, when the Congress went back on its promises and ushered in the neoliberal order. The Congress ceased the cause of workers and peasants ostensibly called national interest, but in reality for the material prosperity of the merchants and manufacturers. Now with the BJP unburdened by the legacy of any egalitarian struggle, the free people of India are under the onslaught of neoliberalism and rabid communalism.
  • Ambedkar argued that the political equality, guaranteed by the constitution, would get jeopardised if there was no corresponding movement towards social and economic equality. The first setback to independent India's was its inability to carry out any significant land redistribution. The top 15 per cent of landowners continued to hold the same percentage of land area as before. Dalits, the landless class, who had been denied the right to own land under the old system continued to remain landless and therefore both socially and economically disempowered. By the end of the 1950s, Jawaharlal Nehru was worried about growing wealth and income inequality in the country, he has to set up the Mahalanobis Committee to inquire into it.
  • The per capita annual foodgrain availability, which had been around 200 kgs at the beginning of the 20th century in “British India” declined to 148.5 kgs during the 1939-44 and even lower to 136.8 kgs in 1945-46, was pushed up close to 180 kgs by the end of the 1980's. It has since declined, over the neoliberal period, reaching 163 kg for the years 2012-14.
  • The spontaneity of capitalism was breaking the bounds set by state control. And soon it was to jettison the institute a regime of neoliberalism, under which the domestic corporate-financial oligarchy got closely integrated with globalised finance capital.
  • The economic travails of the dirigiste regime arising from the sluggish growth of the home market owing to growing economic inequality, its loss of social support among the people for the same reason, and the big bourgeoisie’s wish to break out of it has contributed towards effecting a transition from dirigisme to neoliberalism.
  • Neoliberalism greatly accentuated the increase in economic inequality, though it accelerated the growth rate in the tertiary sector. The acceleration in growth rate was resolved through larger exports of services, larger elite consumption of luxury goods, and the effects of asset price bubbles. The top 1 per cent of households in India currently owns 60 per cent of the country’s total wealth puts India with the fastest increases in asset inequality.
  • The process of primitive accumulation of taking over of peasant's land 'for a song' for corporate projects and squeezing the peasants through higher input prices, by withdrawing subsidies and the drying up of institutional credit, but without commensurably higher output prices. These output prices, especially of commercial crops are allowed to fluctuate widely with world market prices. Even phenomena like Demonetisation and the GST are also mechanisms for imposing primitive accumulation upon the petty production sector. 
  • A tragic consequence of this primitive accumulation at the expense of peasant agriculture has been the suicides of over three lakh peasants over the last two decades. And large numbers of peasants have left agriculture and migrated to cities in search of jobs, which are not being created to an adequate extent despite the apparently high GDP growth. The net result has been a proliferation of casual employment, intermittent employment, part-time employment and disguised unemployment. The growth in the casualisation of employment and privatisation of public sector units have weakened trade unions. While capital is international, workers are still organised along national lines, making national unions ineffective.
  • The middle-class segment that has done well out of globalisation, owing to the outsourcing of services from the metropolis, and owing to the rise in the share of surplus which supports a range of activities from finance to advertising, has expectedly belonged to the upper castes which have been privileged enough to acquire the skills to make use of the opportunities that have been opening up. Since these beneficiaries attribute their own success not to their privilege but to their talent, the inevitable conclusion is drawn that those who are excluded from such jobs are untalented. An impression spreads that children from the oppressed castes do not make it because they lack talent, which boosts casteist prejudice.
  • Development in India started on a wrong foot by eschewing land redistribution and the pursuit of capitalist development contributed to growing socio-economic inequality, that got a free run under neoliberalism. The adherents of Hindutva in power this social counter-revolution is being carried forward with a vengeance. India is not a fascist state, but the growing socio-economic inequality is destroying the constitutional provision of political equality.
  • Fascism arises when the system besieged by crisis is challenged by a threat from the revolutionary forces whom fascism is used for eliminating. Fascism grows when the system is at a dead end and when the working-class movement is not in a position to mount a challenge. That is when large sections of the people flock to fascist movements, not because it provides a credible way out, but because it projects a messiah, it resorts to flamboyant but meaningless rhetoric, it appeals to unreason, and it holds not the system but the “other” (the Jews or the Muslims or whatever) as responsible for the travails of the people.
  • It may seem intriguing that neoliberalism has reached a dead end, Modi promises even greater neoliberal reforms while a Trump rails against neoliberalism. But this contrast between two current manifestations of fascism arises because neither has a coherent programme anyway for overcoming the crisis and the frustration gripping the people. Both are essentially purveyors of unreason for whom the economic agenda as a thought-out rational programme is incidental.
  • The corporate-financial oligarchy adopts the fascist movement, finances the fascist movement, and promotes the fascist movement, which exists independently of it. Fascism provides “stability” and also an ideal ideological prop for neoliberal capitalism. Fascists in government represent, in the Indian context, an alliance between corporate capital and Hindutva. The fact that capital is globalised while the state remains a nation state entails that even a fascist nation state must abide by the wishes of globalised capital (to prevent capital flight) and this fact restricts its ability to overcome the crisis.
  • At peril are the gains and achievements made by the movements for national independence, socialism and social justice. India is once again is at crossroads where the choices it made 70 years ago are being undermined.
The left and democratic forces can have an alternative agenda that promotes equality, that strengthens democracy, and is willing to withdraw from the neoliberal regime. They should for instance have an agenda of introducing a set of universal, justiciable economic rights, to supplement the political rights that the constitution guarantees. These can include the right to food, the right to employment, the right to publicly-funded free and universal quality health care, the right to publicly funded free and universal quality education up to a certain level, and a right to adequate old-age pension and disability benefits. The implementation of these rights together would cost less than 10 per cent of the GDP annually, which the country can easily afford. 

There comes a time in the life of every nation when it stands at the 
crossroads of history and must choose which way to go ... Lal Bahadur Shastri

Globalization benefits just minuscule percent of population to prosper, who are rich, educated and with access to power & resources. Trickle-down theory that says benefits for the wealthy trickle down to everyone else is unacceptable nonsense. In a large populous country like India, where most people are illiterate & poor, governments ignoring their welfare and chasing money making machines is nothing but abuse of principles of democracy and Constitution of India. Globalization is a concept propounded by developed & educated western countries to expand their reach for marketing their products and services rather than extending helping hand for upliftment of suffering masses in the world. India blindly embracing it for monetary gains, is not only height of insanity but also detrimental to its large segments of population. Development is not facilitating educated and/or rich people to prosper but enhancement of living standards of all classes of people simultaneously.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Once a cheater, always a cheater

Who can you trust? That’s the gamble, and when it comes to choosing a partner, fidelity is a core aspect most of us require. You can trust everyone–to be who they already are. Take a clear-eyed view of your partner; accept that you aren’t going to change them; weigh the available evidence; and get honest about your own comfort level. 
  • The old adage ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ has the ability to brutally tarnish your reputation in future relationships. Yet the adage isn’t always true. 
  • When people get caught cheating, they often promise never to cheat again. Making such a promise, however, doesn’t predict what will happen next. 
  • Cheating is caused by a host of factors.
  • If you don’t (or can’t) change the underlying reasons of cheating in the first place, it will most likely happen again. 
  • One bad decision can have a knock-on effect for future relationships.
  • People who have been unfaithful in the past are far more likely to do it again & again.
  • If a cheater feels guilty about lying the first time, they are much less likely to experience the same level of regret the next time.
  • Those who had cheated in their first relationship were three times more likely to do the same in their next relationship.
  • Serial cheaters initially felt bad about cheating, but have cheated so much they've adapted to their ways and simply don't feel bad about cheating any more.
  • People who suspected their first relationship partners of cheating were four times more likely to report suspicion in later relationships.
  • Admitting you were unfaithful in past relationships is a gamble. 
  • Telling small lies desensitizes our brains to the associated negative emotions, which may encourage us to tell bigger lies in the future.
  • In other words, those little white lies we tell all the time might build up into bigger, more serious untruths.
  • Change is possible, but difficult. It requires a lot of insight and effort. Without some type of counseling and a strong commitment to change, people often make the same mistake again.
  • A drunk driver knows on an intellectual level that drinking and driving is potentially fatal to themselves or others on the road but until they spend the night in jail, lose their license and pay fines they don’t recognize the extent of the consequences.
We need to pay attention to our romantic pasts
in order to make better choices for our future relationships.

An university's social survey found that 21% of married men and around 15% of married women have cheated on their spouses. If the betrayer takes responsibility for what happened, without blaming others, they tend to stay faithful. More than that, they need to acknowledge what caused the breakdown within their relationship and understand what factors pushed them to cheat. If they blame their partner or lack insight into their actions, chances are, they’ll do it again. If recovery is going to happen, the betrayed spouse has to be willing to forgive. If both partners approach the problem with an open mind, it’s possible for a couple to heal and move past infidelity. Through revitalized commitment and effort the couple can move on and experience a stronger relationship than ever before.

It is human propensity to cheat first time with great care, with less care second time and recklessly third time on wards and if caught, deny it shamelessly. Very rarely people realize their wrongdoings, apologize and return to normal path of honesty. Human beings rarely change. In the company of bad people, good people turn bad. But in the company of good people, bad people never turn good. It is better for good people to avoid bad people. 

Stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right 
and part with him when he goes wrong ... Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Bold poser from DP Bhatejaji, Ex GM, Bank of India to PM & FM

Today I have posted the following on the Facebook page of PM Narendra Modi and sent an email to FM Arun Jaitley. For information of all my friends.

Respected Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji,
Respected Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitely ji,

First of all I extend my sincere thanks in anticipation that you will spare a few minutes of your valuable time to read and take suitable action in the matter.

I am a senior citizen and on 01.08.2012, I put Rs 40 lakhs in a nationalized Bank for 5 years. I was being paid an amount of Rs. 35,352/- every month (of course subject to income tax) enabling me to lead a worry free life financially. Now on maturity I have reinvested the amount in the same Bank and I will be paid Rs. 26,489/-; a shortfall of Rs. 8863/- i.e. 25% over the previous return, per month. Can you please advise me from where I should make good the loss or sacrifice consumption of medicines or atta or dals or vegetables or fruit or milk or what?

Practically your government after taking over in 2014 has done nothing for senior citizens. No additional facilities extended but withdrawal of what existed in 2014. No commodity or provision item is available at the price of 2014. Yes, you have been able to bring down the figures of inflation and indices but not the actual prices. Every off and on the prices of some essential daily use items go rocket high like dals, chana/besan, salt, onion and now the tomatoes. At that time we cannot even dare see those items. 

I know you have political and the theoretical replies for these issues like interest on deposits and advances in banks depend on demand and supply. The prices of daily use items vary with seasons being agricultural products. But the straight upward shoot of prices cannot be justified by these reasons. If the government wants to provide cheaper credits to the trades and industries, it should not be at the cost of depositors. Banks are sitting over volcanoes of NPAs and all good money is being diverted for bad money. 

But is it not the duty of the government to enable the senior citizens to lead a respectable life who have spent their golden years in serving various organizations and finally the nation? Government cannot see the other way. I am at a loss to understand from where this deficit of 25% be met. Is any of the minister/MP/MLA is ready to cut his salary and allowances by this percentage? If not, then why the public especially the senior citizens? 

Perhaps it is because that, like you, we do not have the power to fix our own salaries, allowances and perks and getting everything for full year, for sessions of total of 3 months and that too attending sessions at their sweet will. When the matter of increasing your salaries comes, you pass the same just in 2 minutes with no discussion, with all heads together be it from ruling or opposition benches. For this increase, you totally over look the cost to the exchequer, deficit, economics and any other factor.

The government had started a scheme for deposits of senior citizens and the rate was 9.20% but In July, 14 it was reduced to 8.3%; the amount limited to Rs 15 lakhs. This is totally unjustified. The rate should be a minimum of 12% and the amount limit should be equal to what a person gets as terminal benefits. The government should ensure financial respectability to the senior citizens to walk with their heads straight.

I am sure you will understand the plight of the people whose good part of expenses comes from the interest of their savings of life time.

Sorry if I have offended you in any way.

Thanks and Regards

D. P. Bhateja 2246 Sector 48C Chandigarh
Mobile : 9417819504

(Forwarded Msg)
Please forward to at least 200 ... this country is going to 🐕🐩🐈🐓🦃🦌🐪🐫🐘🦍

During past three years, during Modi's governance, citizen benefits/subsidies are curtailed or withdrawn, taxes increased, agriculture distressed and Modi & Jaitley combine proved themselves as takers never givers. Low oil price benefit for past three years was retained by central government, not passed on to consumer. Today, an MLA's lifestyle annual expenses are at least Rs.100 lakhs and MP's Rs. 10 crores. Their lifestyle is much more vulgar than erstwhile Nizam's. General election spending is mind boggling. A recent MP bye election spending was estimated at over Rs.500 crore and MLA bye election about Rs.200 crores. It is rumored that UP election campaign 2017 spearheaded by Modi costed nearly Rs.10,000 crores for BJP. Modi's 2014 PM election campaign, alone, is rumored to have costed over Rs.10,000 crores. All these are happening in Modi's India right under his nose and he lectures that he is fighting corruption. The anti corruption institutions like Lok Pal & Lok Ayuktha are in cold storage even after the Act was passed 4 years ago.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Modi's New India

Rolling stone gathers no mass

Modi has initiated so many schemes so far in the last three years namely Million jobs every year, Swiss bank black money, Anti corruption, profitable MSP to agriculture, Swachch Bharat, Make in India, Demonetization, GST and so on and few of them costed nation several lakhs of crores of rupees and none of them have achieved any of its intended objectives and nation is saddled with unintended consequences. Now he comes out with another slogan 'New India coming!' and no one knows from where it will come. On other hand Kashmir situation is at its worst, border standoff with China threatening imminent war are serious issues where nothing is being done. He neither owned up responsibility of failures nor regretted causing hardships to poor people of India with his quack advised demonetization and mangled GST implemented in a hurry. India with agriculture supporting 60% population and informal sector that provides 90% of jobs needs to be carefully nurtured, preserved and promoted. Modi in the pretext of bringing them into tax net is virtually destroying agriculture and informal economy causing loss of livelihoods to millions of people. His style and BJP's functioning has solid foundation on corruption next only to Congress and his anti corruption stand cuts no ice. With his rhetoric and mesmerizing speeches how long Modi will continue to cheat people of India is a matter of time which will not go on forever. In any case India will pay the price. 

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, 
but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Modi, the greatest liar

  • Modi's claim of 56 lakh new IT payers is not necessarily the result of demonetization and more over 90% of new IT payers are in the  income range of Rs.2.50-Rs.2.70 lakhs/annum yielding revenue of just over Rs.100 crores. Where as demonetization costed the nation over Rs.150,000 crores, at the least.
  • Modi announced Rs.80,000 crore Kashmir package in Nov 2015 and so far nothing has been spent in Kashmir except on army expenses. The voter response dwindling from 64% in 2014 elections to less than 7% in recent Srinagar bye poll (and 2% in re-poll in some parts) speaks volumes about Modi's failure in Kashmir so far.
  • Modi must realize that Kashmir problem is not just law & order problem which can be solved by army nor an economic package will buy peace there. But the solution lies in removing the alienation of people in Kashmir through political engagement and deliberation.
  • The fact that LS & RS with combined strength of 790 and 14.23% Muslim population their representation should have been 112. The present strength is just 23 (under 3%). 
  • As on date, BJP Muslim MP's in LS are NIL and in RS are just 2.
  • The appearance of schoolgirls on the streets joining the teenage boys throwing stones at the security forces shows that the familial and social norms have broke down.
  • Even after SC ended armed forces immunity under AFSP Act in 2016, to day in Kashmir in every 8th household an able bodied youth is missing (presumed killed by security forces in fake encounters) and in every 5th household a woman is raped by security forces (mostly unreported due to social pressures) and not a single case has been filed against the security personnel and expecting people of Kashmir trust our law enforcers is height of insanity. 
  • Today half of our military totaling 7.50 lakhs is enagaged in Kashmir with a population of under 10 million (96% Muslims) and reported number foreign militants are less than 150.
  • Without initiating establishment of 'rule of law' and engaging people politically how Modi will resolve Kashmir issue and make it a 'paradise once again' is shallow and his speech a blatant lie. 
  • If nothing is done to resolve Kashmir's burning problem except application of brute military might which will not solve the problem and in due course of time we may end up loosing Kashmir forever.

Power is domination, control, and therefore any selective form of truth is a lie.
పామరజనొచితమగు ఫ్రల్లదనములు పలుకుటకు ప్రాఘ్నులంగీకరింపరు.

Modi with his oratory skills, rhetoric, hammering out selective truths and publicizing failures as successes is virtually destroying India economically & politically. First two years he spent time touring the world delivering mesmerizing speeches. In third year he unleashed war on people by quack advised demonetization which hurt the poor most and resulted in destruction of agriculture, construction and informal sector while stated objectives eluded. Then he found GST which would project him as bold financial reformer and rolling it out hurriedly in mangled form without sufficient preparation had impacted small businesses greatly. GST, a novel reform, is expected to impact economy for about two years and there after benefits starts accruing. Both these must have costed nation about Rs.300,000 crores, the exact figures will never be known. All his independence day speech contents are selective truths and blatant lies. Among all politicians, at least Prime Minister should be truthful to nation. All his Red Fort speeches are either selective truths or blatant lies. India belongs to all Indians not just majority Indians.

Jagan wants Chandrababu Naidu to be killed? Why?

  • Jagan is desperate to win Nandyal bye election otherwise his party (YSRCP) getting empty prior to 2019 elections is not ruled out.
  • Naidu is also desperate to win Nandyal bye poll, otherwise Jagan will project Nandyal victory for him as semifinal victory and 2019 victory is assured and countering caste based polarization becomes an uphill task for Naidu in 2019 elections.
  • With stakes high, both sides are spending money like water and entire state leadership is campaigning at Nandyal.
  • Rate of Rs.5,000 per vote is the 'talk of the town' and total expense over Rs.500 crores!
  • Jagan wanted Chandra Babu Naidu shot dead in his election speech for alleged electoral promises unfulfilled etc and repeating again after few days despite EC's asking him explanation indicates his impatience and reflects his fears that as long as Naidu is alive he can't ascend to the throne of CM.
  • Prashant Kishore's back room strategy is also a possibility. Controversies create more publicity without expense.
  • India’s political discourse has deteriorated to new lows during 2014 elections.
  • By calling for the killing of a rival, Jagan surpassed all the lows.
Jagan's outbursts will not fetch him any new votes but will surely  end up losing many neutral votes. By his killer instincts Jagan has more or less conceded defeat at Nandyal bye poll. The actual result is a matter of time.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Hamid Ansari, Vice President's speech at NLSIU convocation

Hamid Ansari, Vice-President's speech at the 25th annual convocation of the
National Law School of India University in Bengaluru on August 7, 2017

In his final address as vice-president, Hamid Ansari spoke at the 25th annual convocation of the National Law School of India University in Bengaluru. In his speech, he said the challenge was to reiterate and rejuvenate secularism's basic principles, including freedom of religion and tolerance. The function was presided over by Chief Justice of India, Jagdish Singh Khehar. 

Here is the full text of the speech Ansari gave on 6 August, 2017:

It is a privilege to be invited to this most prestigious of law schools in the country, more so for someone not formally lettered in the discipline of law. I thank the Director and the faculty for this honour.

The nebulous universe of law and legal procedures is well known to this audience and there is precariously little that I can say of relevance to them. And, for reasons of prudence and much else, I dare not repeat here either Mr. Bumble’s remark that ‘the law is an ass’ or the suggestion of a Shakespearean character who outrageously proposed in Henry VI to ‘kill all lawyers.’ Instead, my effort today would be to explore the practical implications that some constitutional principles, legal dicta and judicial pronouncements have for the lives of citizens.

An interest in political philosophy has been a lifelong pursuit. I recall John Locke’s dictum that ‘wherever law ends, tyranny begins.’ Also in my mind is John Rawl’s assertion that ‘justice is the first virtue of social institutions’ and that ‘in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled and the rights secured by justice and are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interest.’ To Rawls, the first task of political philosophy is its practical role to see, whether despite appearances on deeply disputed questions, some philosophical or moral grounds can be located to further social cooperation on a footing of mutual respect among citizens.

The Constitution of India and its Preamble is an embodiment of the ideals and principles that I hold dear.

The People of India gave themselves a Republic that is Sovereign, Socialist, Secular and Democratic and a constitutional system with its focus on Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. These have been embodied in a set of institutions and laws, conventions and practices.

Our founding fathers took cognizance of an existential reality. Ours is a plural society and a culture imbued with considerable doses of syncretism. Our population of 1.3 billion comprises of over 4,635 communities, 78 percent of whom are not only linguistic and cultural but social categories. Religious minorities constitute 19.4 percent of the total. The human diversities are both hierarchical and spatial.

It is this plurality that the Constitution endowed with a democratic polity and a secular state structure. Pluralism as a moral value seeks to ‘transpose social plurality to the level of politics, and to suggest arrangements which articulate plurality with a single political order in which all duly constituted groups and all individuals are actors on an equal footing, reflected in the uniformity of legal capacity. Pluralism in this modern sense presupposes citizenship.’

Citizenship as the basic unit is conceptualized as “national-civic rather than national-ethnic” ‘even as national identity remained a rather fragile construct, a complex and increasingly fraught ‘national-civic-plural-ethnic’ combinations.’ In the same vein, Indianness came to be defined not as a singular or exhaustive identity but as embodying the idea of layered Indianness, an accretion of identities.

'Modern democracy offers the prospect of the most inclusive politics of human history. By the same logic, there is a thrust for exclusion that is a byproduct of the need for cohesion in democratic societies; hence the resultant need for dealing with exclusion ‘creatively’ through sharing of identity space by ‘negotiating a commonly acceptable political identity between the different personal and group identities which want to/have to live in the polity.’ Democracy ‘has to be judged not just by the institutions that formally exist but by the extent to which different voices from diverse sections of the people can actually be heard.’ Its ‘raison d’etre is the recognition of the other.’

Secularism as a concept and as a political instrumentality has been debated extensively. A definitive pronouncement pertaining to it for purposes of statecraft in India was made by the Supreme Court in the Bommai case and bears reiteration:

‘Secularism has both positive and negative contents. The Constitution struck a balance between temporal parts confining it to the person professing a particular religious faith or belief and allows him to practice profess and propagate his religion, subject to public order, morality and health. The positive part of secularism has been entrusted to the State to regulate by law or by an executive order. The State is prohibited to patronise any particular religion as State religion and is enjoined to observe neutrality. The State strikes a balance to ensue an atmosphere of full faith and confidence among its people to realise full growth of personality and to make him a rational being on secular lines, to improve individual excellence, regional growth, progress and national integrity… Religious tolerance and fraternity are basic features and postulates of the Constitution as a scheme for national integration and sectional or religious unity. Programmes or principles evolved by political parties based on religion amount to recognizing religion as a part of the political governance which the Constitution expressly prohibits. It violates the basic features of the Constitution. Positive secularism negates such a policy and any action in furtherance thereof would be violative of the basic features of the Constitution.’

Despite its clarity, various attempts, judicial and political, have been made to dilute its import and to read new meaning into it. Credible critics have opined that the December 11, 1995 judgment of the Supreme Court Bench ‘are highly derogatory of the principle of secular democracy’ and that a larger Bench should reconsider them ‘and undo the great harm caused by them' This remains to be done; ‘instead, a regression of consciousness (has) set in’ and ‘the slide is now sought to be accelerated and is threatening to wipe out even the gains of the national movement summed up in sarvadharma sambhav.’

It has been observed, with much justice, that ‘the relationship between identity and inequality lies at the heart of secularism and democracy in India.’ The challenge today then is to reiterate and rejuvenate secularism’s basic principles: equality, freedom of religion and tolerance, and to emphasize that equality has to be substantive, that freedom of religion be re-infused with its collectivist dimensions, and that toleration should be reflective of the realities of Indian society and lead to acceptance.

Experience of almost seven decades sheds light on the extent of our success, and of limitations, on the actualizations of these values and objectives. The optimistic narrative is of deepening; the grim narrative of decline or crisis.

Three questions thus come to mind:
  • How has the inherent plurality of our polity reflected itself in the functioning of Indian democracy?
  • How has democracy contributed to the various dimensions of Indian pluralism?
  • How consistent are we in adherence to secularism?
Our democratic polity is pluralist because it recognizes and endorses this plurality in (a) its federal structure, (b) linguistic and religious rights to minorities, and (c) a set of individual rights. The first has sought to contain, with varying degrees of success, regional pressures, the second has ensured space for religious and linguistic minorities, and the third protects freedom of opinion and the right to dissent.

A question is often raised about national integration. Conceptually and practically, integration is not synonymous with assimilation or homogenization. Some years back, a political scientist had amplified the nuances:

‘In the semantics of functional politics the term national integration means, and ought to mean, cohesion and not fusion, unity and not uniformity, reconciliation and not merger, accommodation and not annihilation, synthesis and not dissolution, solidarity and not regimentation of the several discrete segments of the people constituting the larger political community…Obviously, then, Integration is not a process of conversion of diversities into a uniformity but a congruence of diversities leading to a unity in which both the varieties and similarities are maintained.’

How and to what extent has this worked in the case of Indian democracy with its ground reality of exclusions arising from stratification, heterogeneity and hierarchy that often ‘operate conjointly and create intersectionality’? 

Given the pervasive inequalities and social diversities, the choice of a system committed to political inclusiveness was itself ‘a leap of faith.’ The Constitution instituted universal adult suffrage and a system of representation on the First-Past-The-Post (Westminster) model. An underlying premise was the Rule of Law that is reflective of the desire of people ‘to make power accountable, governance just, and state ethical.’

Much earlier, Gandhi ji had predicted that democracy would be safeguarded if people ‘have a keen sense of independence, self respect and their oneness and should insist upon choosing as their representatives only persons as are good and true.’ This, when read alongside Ambedkar’s apprehension that absence of equality and fraternity could bring forth ‘a life of contradictions’ if the ideal of ‘one person, one vote, one value’ was not achieved, framed the challenge posed by democracy.

Any assessment of the functioning of our democracy has to be both procedural and substantive. On procedural count the system has developed roots with regularity of elections, efficacy of the electoral machinery, an ever increasing percentage of voter participation in the electoral process and the formal functioning of legislatures thus elected. The record gives cause for much satisfaction.

The score is less emphatic on the substantive aspects. Five of these bear closer scrutiny – (a) the gap between ‘equality before the law’ and ‘equal protection of the law’, (b) representativeness of the elected representative, (c) functioning of legislatures, (d) gender and diversity imbalance and (e) secularism in practice:
  • Equality before the law and equal protection of the law: ‘The effort to pursue equality has been made at two levels. At one level was the constitutional effort to change the very structure of social relations: practicing caste and untouchability was made illegal, and allowing religious considerations to influence state activity was not permitted. At the second level the effort was to bring about economic equality although in this endeavour the right to property and class inequality was not seriously curbed…Thus the reference to economic equality in the Constitution, in the courts or from political platforms remained basically rhetorical.’ 
  • Representativeness of the elected representative: In the 2014 general election, 61% of the elected MPs obtained less than 50% of the votes polled. This can be attributed in some measure to the First-Past-the-Post system in a fragmented polity and multiplicity of parties and contestants. The fact nevertheless remains that representation obtained on non-majority basis does impact on the overall approach in which politics of identity prevails over common interest.
  • Functioning of legislatures, accountability and responsiveness: The primary tasks of legislators are legislation, seeking accountability of the executive, articulation of grievances and discussion of matters of public concern. The three often overlap; all require sufficient time being made available. It is the latter that is now a matter of concern. The number of sittings of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha which stood at 137 and 100 respectively in 1953 declined to 49 and 52 in 2016. The paucity of time thus created results in shrinkage of space made available to each of these with resultant impact on quality and productivity and a corresponding lessening of executive’s accountability. According to one assessment some years back, ‘over 40 percent of the Bills were passed in Lok Sabha with less than one hour of debate. The situation is marginally better in the Rajya Sabha.’ Substantive debates on public policy issues are few and far in between. More recently, the efficacy of the Standing Committee mechanism has been dented by resort to tactics of evasion by critical witnesses. A study on 'Indian Parliament as an Instrument of Accountability' concluded that the institution is ‘increasingly becoming ineffective in providing surveillance of the executive branch of the government.
  • The picture with regard to the functioning of the Sate Assemblies is generally much worse.
  • Thus while public participation in the electoral exercise has noticeably improved, public satisfaction with the functioning of the elected bodies is breeding cynicism with the democratic process itself. It has also been argued that ‘the time has come to further commit ourselves to a deeper and more participatory and decentralized democracy - a democracy with greater congruence between people’s interests and public policy.’
  • Gender and diversity imbalance: Women MPs constituted 12.15% of the total in 2014. This compares unfavourably globally as well as within SAARC and is reflective of pervasive neo-patriarchal attitudes. The Women’s Reservation Bill of 2009 was passed by the Rajya Sabha, was not taken up in Lok Sabha, and lapsed when Parliament was dissolve before the 2014 general elections. It has not been resurrected. Much the same (for other reasons of perception and prejudice) holds for Minority representation. Muslims constitute 14.23 percent of the population of India. The total strength of the two Houses of Parliament is 790; the number of Muslim MPs stood at 49 in 1980, ranged between 30 and 35 in the 1999 to 2009 period, but declined to 23 in 2014.
  • An Expert Committee report to the Government some years back had urged the need for a Diversity Index to indentify ‘inequality traps’ which prevent the marginalized and work in favour of the dominant groups in society and result in unequal access to political power that in turn determines the nature and functioning of institutions and policies.
  • Secularism in actual practice: Experience shows that secularism has become a site for political and legal contestation. The difficulty lies in delineating, for purposes of public policy and practice, the line that separates them from religion. For this, religion per se, and each individual religion figuring in the discourse, has to be defined in terms of its stated tenets. The ‘way of life’ argument, used in philosophical texts and some judicial pronouncements, does not help the process of identifying common principles of equity in a multi-religious society in which religious majority is not synonymous with totality of the citizen body. Since a wall of separation is not possible under Indian conditions, the challenge is to develop and implement a formula for equidistance and minimum involvement. For this purpose, principles of faith need to be segregated from contours of culture since a conflation of the two obfuscates the boundaries of both and creates space to equivocalness. Furthermore, such an argument could be availed of by other faiths in the land since all claim a cultural sphere and a historical justification for it.
In life as in law, terminological inexactitude has its implications. In electoral terms, ‘majority’ is numerical majority as reflected in a particular exercise (e.g. election), does not have permanence and is generally time-specific; the same holds for ‘minority’. Both find reflection in value judgments. In socio-political terminology (e.g. demographic data) ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ are terms indicative of settled situations. These too bring forth value judgments. The question then is whether in regard to ‘citizenship’ under our Constitution with its explicit injunctions on rights and duties, any value judgments should emerge from expressions like ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ and the associated adjectives like ‘majoritarian’ and ‘majorityism’ and ‘minoritarian’and ‘minorityism’? Record shows that these have divisive implications and detract from the Preamble’s quest for ‘Fraternity’.

Within the same ambit, but distinct from it, is the constitutional principle of equality of status and opportunity, amplified through Articles 14, 15, and 16. This equality has to be substantive rather than merely formal and has to be given shape through requisite measures of affirmative action needed in each case so that the journey on the path to development has a common starting point. This would be an effective way of giving shape to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policy of Sab Ka Saath Sab Ka Vikas.

It is here that the role of the judicial arm of the state comes into play and, as an acknowledged authority on the Constitution put it, ‘unless the Court strives in every possible way to assure that the Constitution, the law, applies fairly to all citizens, the Court cannot be said to have fulfilled its custodial responsibility.’

How then do we go about creating conditions and space for a more comprehensive realization of the twin objectives of pluralism and secularism and in weaving it into the fabric of a comprehensive actualization of the democratic objectives set forth in the Constitution?

The answer would seem to lie, firstly, in the negation of impediments to the accommodation of diversity institutionally and amongst citizens and, secondly, in the rejuvenation of the institutions and practices through which pluralism and secularism cease to be sites for politico-legal contestation in the functioning of Indian democracy. The two approaches are to be parallel, not sequential. Both necessitate avoidance of sophistry in discourse or induction of personal inclinations in State practice. A more diligent promotion of fraternity, and of our composite culture, in terms of Article 51A (e) and (f) is clearly required. It needs to be done in practice by leaders and followers.

A commonplace suggestion is advocacy of tolerance. Tolerance is a virtue. It is freedom from bigotry. It is also a pragmatic formula for the functioning of society without conflict between different religions, political ideologies, nationalities, ethnic groups, or other us-versus-them divisions.

Yet tolerance alone is not a strong enough foundation for building an inclusive and pluralistic society. It must be coupled with understanding and acceptance. We must, said Swami Vivekananda, ‘not only tolerate other religions, but positively embrace them, as truth is the basis of all religions.’

Acceptance goes a step beyond tolerance. Moving from tolerance to acceptance is a journey that starts within ourselves, within our own understanding and compassion for people who are different to us and from our recognition and acceptance of the ‘other’ that is the raison d’etre of democracy. The challenge is to look beyond the stereotypes and preconceptions that prevent us from accepting others. This makes continuous dialogue unavoidable. It has to become an essential national virtue to promote harmony transcending sectional diversities. The urgency of giving this a practical shape at national, state and local levels through various suggestions in the public domain is highlighted by enhanced apprehensions of insecurity amongst segments of our citizen body, particularly Dalits, Muslims and Christians.

The alternative, however unpalatable, also has to be visualized. There is evidence to suggest that we are a polity at war with itself in which the process of emotional integration has faltered and is in dire need of reinvigoration. On one plane is the question of our commitment to Rule of Law that seems to be under serious threat arising out of the noticeable decline in the efficacy of the institutions of the State, lapses into arbitrary decision-making and even ‘ochlocracy’ or mob rule, and the resultant public disillusionment; on another are questions of fragility and cohesion emanating from impulses that have shifted the political discourse from mere growth centric to vociferous demands for affirmative action and militant protest politics. ‘A culture of silence has yielded to protests’ The vocal distress in the farm sector in different States, the persistence of Naxalite insurgencies, the re-emergence of language related identity questions, seeming indifference to excesses pertaining to weaker sections of society, and the as yet unsettled claims of local nationalisms can no longer be ignored or brushed under the carpet. The political immobility in relation to Jammu and Kashmir is disconcerting. Alongside are questions about the functioning of what has been called our ‘asymmetrical federation’ and ‘the felt need for a wider, reinvigorated, perspective on the shape of the Union of India’ to overcome the crisis of ‘moral legitimacy’ in its different manifestations.

I have in the foregoing dwelt on two ‘isms’, two value systems, and the imperative need to invest them with greater commitment in word and deed so that the principles of the Constitution and the structure emanating from it are energized. Allow me now to refer to a third ‘ism’ that is foundational for the modern state, is not of recent origin, but much in vogue in an exaggerated manifestation. I refer here to Nationalism.

Scholars have dwelt on the evolution of the idea. The historical precondition of Indian identity was one element of it; so was regional and anti-colonial patriotism. By 1920s a form of pluralistic nationalism had answered the question of how to integrate within it the divergent aspirations of identities based on regional vernacular cultures and religious communities. A few years earlier, Rabindranath Tagore had expressed his views on the ‘idolatry of Nation’.

For many decades after independence, a pluralist view of nationalism and Indianness reflective of the widest possible circle of inclusiveness and a ‘salad bowl’ approach, characterized our thinking. More recently an alternate viewpoint of ‘purifying exclusivism’ has tended to intrude into and take over the political and cultural landscape. One manifestation of it is ‘an increasingly fragile national ego’ that threatens to rule out any dissent however innocent. Hyper-nationalism and the closing of the mind is also ‘a manifestation of insecurity about one’s place in the world.’

While ensuring external and domestic security is an essential duty of the state, there seems to be a trend towards sanctification of military might overlooking George Washington’s caution to his countrymen over two centuries earlier about ‘overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty.’

Citizenship does imply national obligations. It necessitates adherence to and affection for the nation in all its rich diversity. This is what nationalism means, and should mean, in a global community of nations. The Israeli scholar Yael Tamir has dwelt on this at some length. Liberal nationalism, she opines, ‘requires a state of mind characterized by tolerance and respect of diversity for members of one’s own group and for others;’ hence it is ‘polycentric by definition’ and ‘celebrates the particularity of culture with the universality of human rights, the social and cultural embeddedness of individuals together with their personal autonomy.’ On the other hand, ‘the version of nationalism that places cultural commitments at its core is usually perceived as the most conservative and illiberal form of nationalism. It promotes intolerance and arrogant patriotism’.

What are, or could be, the implications of the latter for pluralism and secularism? It is evident that both would be abridged since both require for their sustenance a climate of opinion and a state practice that eschews intolerance, distances itself from extremist and illiberal nationalism, subscribes in word and deed to the Constitution and its Preamble, and ensures that citizenship irrespective of caste, creed or ideological affiliation is the sole determinant of Indianness.

In our plural secular democracy, therefore, the ‘other’ is to be none other than the ‘self’. Any derogation from it would be detrimental to its core values.

Jai Hind.

Prize winning letter

Prize winning letter published in THE WEEK dated Aug 20, 2017

Gorakhpur tragedy

  • On Aug 12, 2017, as many as 30 children, mostly infants, lost their lives due to encephalitis in a span of 48 hours at BRD Medical College Hospital, Gorakhpur. The death toll in the last five days is said to be 63. 
  • Gorakhpur DM Rajeev Rautela said the cause of the deaths at the BRD Hospital was the disruption in the supply of liquid oxygen. Gorakhpur SP admitted that 21 children had died due to shortage of supply of liquid oxygen.
  • BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj lashed out at Yogi Adityanth government by saying “One or two deaths in different, but 30 deaths is genocide.”
  • UP’s health minister Siddharth Nath Singh said that no one died between 11:30 pm and 1:30 am on the night of Aug 10 in BRD Medical College Hospital when oxygen supply got disrupted. He further stated that deaths were not due to lack of oxygen but due to other causes. Daily footfall is about 4,000-5,000 patients in BRD and average daily death count is around 20 in BRD in August. This is to explain and not create a panic the way it is being created.  The Opposition said the government’s denial of any deaths due to oxygen shortage was a cover-up. 
  • Opposition said Siddharth Nath Singh should have resigned taking moral responsibility like his grandfather Lal Bahadur Shastri did as railways minister after a train accident. I have no issues in taking moral responsibility but I am not the relevant minister, Siddharth Nath Singh replied.
  • The Lucknow based firm Pushpa Sales, at the centre of the controversy over disruption of oxygen supply because of non-payment of dues, which had entered into an agreement with the hospital in 2014, had sent as many as 14 reminders to the administration since Feb 2017. The outstanding dues were about Rs.68 lakhs.
  • Even while claiming the disruption in oxygen supply is not the reason for the deaths, the police has raided the office of the oxygen supplier.
  • Suspended BRD Medical College principal, Rajeev Mishra, says he wrote his resignation prior to suspension taking responsibility of the deaths of innocent children.
  • Dr Kafeel Khan, who spent money from his own pocket, and transported three oxygen cylinders driving his own car from private nursing homes to BRD Medical College Hospital on August 10th night and saved lives of many children, when the supply of liquid oxygen allegedly stopped and became a hero on social media, has been removed from the post of nodal officer for the encephalitis ward without assigning any reason.
  • Confirming his removal from the post, Dr Khan said "It's a smear campaign against me. I was only trying to help the children. I did everything from getting in touch with oxygen firms to ensuring prompt help to patients." 
  • CM Yogi Adityanath said it is despicable if the deaths turned out to be caused due to oxygen shortage. He further stated that when there were already 52 cylinders in stock and Dr Kafeel Khan has not achieved much by bringing in 3 extra cylinders.
  • The Chief Minister went there on Aug 9, but none of the doctors or the administration informed him about any such issue of alleged lack of supply of oxygen.
  • Incidentally, Yogi Adityanath had been MP from Gorakhpur since 1998 and was very familiar with the problem of encephalitis. He has raised this issue in the past and demanded that it should be declared an epidemic. Adityanath as a parliamentarian has asked as many as 89 questions related to the health and family welfare ministry. Most of the victims are poor Dalits and Muslims.
  • Yogi Adityanath is chief culprit of these deaths, for not releasing the funds to hospital since he took over as CM 4+ months ago.
  • To live in denial is always the standard escape procedure of those in power. 
  • Modi on many occasions in the past has spoken about 'Stand Up India.' Whether anyone sings or does not sing the national anthem in a cinema theatre on 15 August is not a matter of life and death. But when 30 kids die in 48 hours for lack of oxygen at a government hospital in the 70th year of Independence it is indeed so.
The fact is that what has happened in Gorakhpur isn’t merely about oxygen cylinders and unpaid bills but it is a symptom of many deeper problems. The problems and solutions are not new. India’s abysmally low public spending on healthcare explains why the country’s healthcare system is in a shambles. Most state-run facilities are so poorly managed that they aren’t really an option. Private facilities may offer services, but there are serious quality issues when it comes to the poor and less informed. The lack of political will to fix the healthcare system unfortunately means that Gorakhpur-like crises will continue to happen with morbid frequency across the country. 

BJP never accepts their failures and responsibilities*, but will definitely teaches others about nationalism and patriotism. CM or at least the health minister should take responsibility, accept the failure, resign and get out, if they have an iota of morality. I am sure they will come out with a cosmic theory blaming predecessor and publicize in Goebbels fashion and make it believe by Indians. Their troll brigade will make every one shut up in social media. 
*Modi was CM of Gujarat during the period of Gujarat Riots 2002, that lasted for 2 months and over 2000 Muslims were massacred, their women raped, their properties destroyed and lakhs of Muslims displaced and he has neither taken responsibility for the riots nor regretted it. And Modi is yet to accept Demonetization 2016 as 'failed adventure' that had created havoc in Indian economy. And so on.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Social media greatly impacts society

Social media websites are some of the most popular haunts on the Internet. They have revolutionized the way people communicate and socialize on the web. Social media has tremendous impact on culture, business, politics, socialization with some negative effects such as cyber bullying and privacy.
  • Social websites have played an important role in many elections in many countries.
  • Companies are using social media to advertise their products, to enhance brand image and popularity which costs nothing.
  • Social networks offer the opportunity for people to re-connect with their old friends and acquaintances, make new friends, trade ideas, share content and pictures etc. 
  • Users can stay abreast of the latest global and local developments, and participate in campaigns and activities of their choice. 
  • Professionals use social media to enhance their career and business prospects. 
  • Students can collaborate with their peers to improve their academic proficiency and communication skills.
  • Social networks is the choice for the bloggers, article writers and content creators.
  • Social networking sites is to unite people for the achievement of some specific objective to bring the positive change in society.
  • There are a some downsides too to social networking. 
  • Many introverts and socially reclusive users place too much emphasis on virtual interaction, and ignore the real world outside. 
  • If you are not careful, unscrupulous people can target you for cyber bullying and harassment on social sites. School children, young girls, and women can fall prey to online attacks which can create tension and distress. 
  • Social media or network could lead to addiction. Spending countless hours on the social sites can divert the focus and attention from a particular task. It lowers the motivational level of the people, especially of the teenagers and students. 
  • Many companies have blocked social networks on their office internet as addicted employees can distract themselves on such sites, instead of focusing on work. 
  • Kids can be greatly affected by these social networking sites. Sometimes people share photos on social media that contains violence and sex, which can damage the behavior of kids and teenagers. 
  • What you post on the Net can come back to haunt you. 
  • Revealing personal information on social sites can make users vulnerable to crimes like identity theft, stalking, etc. 
  • Many companies perform a background check on the internet before hiring an employee. If a prospective employee has posted something embarrassing on social media, it can drastically affect their chances of getting the job. 
  • Our loved ones and friends may get to know if we post something undesirable on social networks.
  • Even with the tight security settings your personal information may leak on the social sites. Downloading your videos or pictures and copying your status is an easy task.
  • Social media has its above mentioned advantages and drawbacks. 
  • Anther disadvantage of social media is the low control of the integrity of posted information.
  • It is up to each user to use social sites wisely to enhance their professional and social life, and exercise caution to ensure they do not fall victim to online dangers.

Not disputing anything, it leans heavily in favor of the positives. Social media is greatly implicated in increased depression, feelings of isolation and loneliness, spreading of false information, creation of "echo chambers", break down of inter-personal communication skills, break down of intimate relationships and cause of broken friendships/ relationships. Social media  is a prime catalyst of social decay with unquantifiable negative impact.

Demonetization effect: RBI dividend to Govt halved

  • The RBI dividend  paid to the government is the lowest since 2011-12 (Rs 16,010 crore).
  • The RBI did not provide any reason for the decline in dividend. 
  • Economists said this indicated the cost incurred by the central bank in printing new notes as well as in sterilizing liquidity old currency notes that were scrapped returned to the banking system.
  • In the Union Budget for 2017-18, the government had accounted for a dividend of Rs 74,901 crore from the RBI and other nationalized banks. RBI’s share would be Rs 58,000 crore. 
  • RBI Governor Urjit Patel told a parliamentary panel that notes not returned remain the RBI’s liability and cannot be passed on to the government as dividend. 
  • The low actual dividends will exert pressure on the government and its fiscal deficit could increase from 3.2% of the GDP to 3.4% this year. 
  • At its peak, the excess liquidity parked by banks neared Rs 5 lakh crore, on which the central bank had to pay them 6% interest.  The average daily liquidity absorption continued to remain above Rs 2 lakh crore after demonetization was announced.
  • The appreciation of the rupee, 6% since Jan 2017, against the dollar depressed returns, in rupee terms, on the RBI’s foreign holdings.

Modi who highlights and bombards on media even smallest achievements are great, will never talk about such negatives. As Gujarat CM he neither owned up responsibility for massacre of over 2000 Muslims nor regretted it. So far, he has not talked about demonetization failure, its impacts and remedial measures taken for mitigating the problems it created to common people of India, especially in Parliament where he is duty bound to do so.

Growth may not be in 6.75-7.5% range: Economic Survey

  • GDP Growth during 2015-16 was 7.9%. GDP Growth during 2016-17 was 7.1% ... against anticipated 8.5% due to demonetization. 
  • GDP Growth during 2017-18 is projected to be 7.7%, but the Economic Survey has a pessimistic view on growth forecast with downward risk to the earlier estimated growth range of 6.75-7.5% GDP growth for 2017-18. Growth is expected to undershoot the earlier range.
  • CPI inflation to be below 4% by March this fiscal, which only indicates anemic condition of economy.
  • The challenges included are appreciation of the rupee, farm loan waivers, rising stress on balance sheets in power as well as telecom and transition issues arising from implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • Fiscal slippages due to series of deflationary impulses that are weighing on an economy yet to gather its full momentum.
  • Farm loan waivers by states would touch Rs. 2.7 lakh crore and could cut economy demand by up to 0.7% of GDP.
  • Fiscal deficit will be 3.2% of GDP in 2017-18 as compared to 3.5% last fiscal.
  • Since February 2017, the rupee has appreciated by about 1.5%.
  • The bank NPA's rose from 9.2% in Sep 2016 to 9.5% in Mar 2017.
  • Reliance Jio’s entry with free voice and data has led to a brutal price war in the telecom industry, hurting revenue and profitability of incumbents amid ballooning debt, increasing the sector’s share of non-performing assets, which is a cause for worry, the Economic Survey said. Ironically, Reliance Jio was funded by same banks to the tune of Rs.1.80 lakh crores which has exposure in telecom sector to the tune of Rs. 5 lakh crores and their diminished EBITDA has lost its ability to service massive debt. 
  • A positive unintended consequence of demonetization is that about 5.4 lakh new tax payers* have joined the tax net post note ban, which probably could have been achieved even without note ban.
    *mostly between Rs.2.50 & Rs.3.00 lakhs taxable income with aggregate tax payment less than Rs.100 crores.

Even as the unintended consequences of  arrogant, audacious & attrocious demonetization of Modi are surfacing at regular intervals and estimated to normalize in about two years time, the hurriedly implemented mangled GST, with in six months of note ban, has created avoidable numerous troubles to trading, manufacturing and informal sectors disturbing supply chain of commodities is unpardonable another adventure by Modi for political and personal glorification gains rather than in public and national interest. Almost all segments of economy are suffering and the most prominent being loss of millions of jobs and distressed agriculture. For increasing speed of travel, if your car driver presses brakes instead of accelerator, again and again, what will you do? Simply change the driver. Right. Driver Modi must be replaced, if our nation needs to progress.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Venkaiah Naidu: Muslims in India are secure ?

  • In an interview to Rajya Sabha TV, the outgoing Vice-President Hamid Ansari bluntly remarked that “a sense of insecurity was creeping in among Muslims because of the vigilantism and intolerance”.
  • Instead of allaying Ansari’s fears, the BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, attacked him. by saying that Ansari had spent the last ten years “confined to the Constitution”. Modi seemed to be suggesting that the commitment to secularism that underlay many of Ansari’s speeches as vice president were somehow shallow, and that now, freed from the constraints of office, he could pursue his “core beliefs”. 
  • The Vice President elect, Venkaiah Naidu, was more direct. He said: “Some people are saying the minorities are insecure. It is a political propaganda. Compared to the entire world, the minorities are more safe and secure in India and they get their due”.
  • Ironically, both these reactions only reinforced Ansari’s fears. Instead of taking this opportunity to assure the Muslim community that the government would protect them from majoritarian onslaught, the BJP has taken the route of complete denial. By browbeating Ansari, the BJP has only proved his point.

Hyper-nationalism is a sign of insecurity, says Vice President Hamid Ansari

Modi attacks Hamid Ansari

While tolerance is a good virtue, it is not a sufficient virtue ... Hamid Ansari 
Democracy can become a tyranny if opposition parties are not allowed 
to criticise government policies ...Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Who ever is reading news papers will agree that Muslims are unsafe in India ever since Modi government issued orders banning cattle sales for slaughtering in the name of cow protection and cow vigilante groups started lynching attacking cattle transporters, mostly Muslims and no action by police or government. The response by Modi and Venkaiah Naidu are irresponsible, indecent, doesn't befit their positions and reconfirms their fears.

Read Hindustan or Lynchistan?