Monday, 29 February 2016


#RajeshKhanna -  Once upon a time , people who were fortunate enough to  visit Bombay to meet relatives or for a tour ,  were asked by their less fortunate friend's and relatives  , on going back  -  "Rajesh Khanna kaa Bungalow dekha ? "  Came to know from a news report that the bungalow " Äashirwaad"  on Carter Road, Bandra is being razed by the new owner. This bungalow had achieved an iconic status keeping with its celebrated superstar and moody owner .  It was bought by Rajesh Khanna from Rajendra Kumar, in 1970 after the release of his epynomous film and he stayed there till his death in 2012. `The romantically minded readers of this post will surely remember the superstar and shed a tear for him.

The hardnosed  variety , may chew on the fact that the bugalow was bought at a price of 3.5 lakhs by Kaka  and sold after his death reportedly at a price of Rs 90 Crs. Truly a superstar deal  !!

Budget 2016-17

The best feature of this budget is that it will be very difficult for Congress, JD(U) , AAP and CPI(M) to oppose it , prima facie. It is more socialist in nature than one expected . Sometimes one may wonder if they have recycled one from Indiraji's time. So much for populism in the garb of pragmatism.

Otherwise , this budget is full of legalese, clauses and sub clauses. It will benefit the Chartered accountants only. The ticking of a lawyer's mind instead of an economist's heart is what can be heard.

Overall , a limp and flaccid instrument which can not be expected to juice out growth for the economy . But maybe anybody else would have also done it , I think the benefit of doubt goes to the FM. He must have had his compulsions .

Friday, 19 February 2016

Random thoughts 19022016


Pathankot attack happened. There was an upsurge of patriotism . Then we learnt the attack was already anticipated and warned against . The Home minister assured the nation that the operation was successfully finished even as militants continued the attack for a full day after he said so.  We were expected to  understand the situation and not create unnecessary questions for the sake of  patriotic feelings for the nation.  Then it transpired that HM  was not even in the big picture . The NIA handled the matter and by the way made a heavy weather of the operation . Till now nothing is known about who , why and what really happened  about the whole incident and the subject is no more discussed . We cannot question anything for the fear of being labelled as unpatriotic.

In case of JNU slogan shouting also the Home minister issued a statement on the basis of a twitter message (later found fake) that anti India activities at the behest of enemies were being carried out and Jihadi slogans were shouted by the students . The student leader Kanhaiya Kumar was duly  arrested  on the basis of a video,  widely circulated to prove his guilt. Now doubts are being raised on the authenticity of the video . Also no charges of sedition are apparently being put on Kanhaiya . Meanwhile some persons who really shouted the anti India slogans just disappeared and since the last nine days the government has not been able to trace them .We were also informed that Jihadi and separatist elements were using JNU  but it is not clear what the intelligence  machinery or Delhi police was doing about it. One understands that police cannot enter the campus freely  but surely they can stop anybody getting in and out of Delhi  outsiders . Anybody ,who doubted the motive and reason for Kanhaiya's arrest was dubbed an anti national or supporter of anti national and bad mouthed . 

What is all this happening  ? A few days earlier people were being castigated for eating beef and even one person was killed. Now students and reporters are being thrashed for supporting  a detainee against whom the government has not been able to frame charges. Ruling party MLA openly leads the attack . Lawyers aligned to a political party behave like hired goons.  The Police Commissioner earlier said he has all proof  against the seditious student. Now he seems to be backing off and the police is not opposing the bail plea.  He also says that the attack on journalists is a minor matter. The court makes him personally accountable for the safety of the arrested person . The Home minister is not giving any more of his statements  and keeping mum. Probably there are other serious matters for him to attend .  

Amidst all this we learn that henceforth the national flag would be compulsorily hung over university buildings to instil patriotism in the hearts of students.  This is as mandated by the HRD minister , another luminary of the Indian cabinet .  Wonders never cease to exist.    


Quotes to remember 

"Madness has gripped the party. The desire to win at any cost has destroyed the very ethos of the party. This is not the party I joined in 2004" - Prodyut Bora , National Executive Committee Member of the BJP in his resignation letter. He is the first IIM Ahmedabad graduate to join full-time politics.

“Yes, I said it. If he goes and supports such anti-national people…he should be shot. I am a nationalist and if anyone raises a finger at Bharat Mata, I will not tolerate it” says Rajasthan BJP MLA Kailash Chaudhary on Rahul Gandhi.


The sudden spurt in patriotism has an touch of comparative and competitive elements in it . Maybe this is the result of consumerism in one way. People seem to have commodified patriotism . 

My flag is bigger than yours so I am more patriotic.

My idol is bigger than yours , so I am more religious .
My degrees are more than yours , so I know more.
My voice is louder than yours , so I deserve to be heard first.
My dress is costlier than yours , so I deserve the front row .

so on and so forth .............

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Random thoughts 18022016

Farmers are committing suicide because they are unable to repay their loans .
Banks are committing suicide because they are unable to recover their loans.

Quotes to remember :
“Mein goli bhi maar deta agar bandook hoti. Koi hamari Ma ko gaali dega to kya usey maaroge nahin (I would have opened fire if I had a gun. If someone abuses our mother, won’t I beat him up).” Says BJP MLA O P Sharma.

“Not all farmers’ suicides happen due to unemployment and starvation. A fashion is going on. A trend is on,if Maharashtra government is giving five lakh rupees as compensation, then some other government in neighbouring state is giving seven lakh. There’s a competition in these people in giving money (compensation) to farmers.” Says BJP MP Gopal Shetty.


Aamir Khan is back in circulation with the Bhaktutes . He is now the brand ambassador for drought free Maharashtra. Seems he has been pardoned for his intolerance remark and can now hope to promote his new movie Dangal without worry. 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Random thoughts 17022016

‪#‎VodafoneTheMystery‬ One of the enduring mysteries in life which I could never solve or get even a clue is the matter of Vodafone and taxes . I don't know for how many years , I am reading the news item regularly , which says Vodafone has dues of so much in taxes. Today also I find an article which says that the I-T department has asked Vodafone to pay Rs 14200 Crs and warned them that assets will be seized if arrears are not settled..
I am a Vodafone subscriber since the last eleven years in Mumbai and more or less satisfied or rather resigned to their service. We have four Vodafone connections in my family. But what bugs me to no end is the fact that how can a corporate entity have so much dues constantly piling up and what actually is done to recover it. Either the method of calculation is erroneous or the company is a defaulter. What I want to know is that if I do not pay my monthly bill for two or three consecutive months, my connection will be surely terminated by Vodafone . Then how come the government takes no action against them for such tax dues piling up .
It can not be that both sides are right or wrong . Either Vodafone is evading or delaying payment of taxes or the government machinery is harassing them. But why , that is the root of the mystery . Vodafone has to do business in India . They would definitely not like to be labelled or prosecuted as an economic offender . It is mind boggling to believe that such amounts of taxes are due from them. If really so then it is further mind boggling to gauge the profits and turnover in the business . And what is happening to the other telecom operators. Why are their name not being taken so frequently as defaulters ?
As I said , this is really puzzling. One may say , how does it bother me. Well I don't know how to answer that . If somebody knows about the matter , please illuminate


নদীর উত্স মুখ খোঁজার তাগিদে

নদীর উত্স মুখ খোঁজার তাগিদে
এই যে ফিরে যাওয়া
নোনা ধরা শ্যাওলা জমা দেওয়ালে
এখন ও হয়ত পাওয়া যাবে
সেই বালকের হাতের লেখা !
পরগাছার শক্ত আলিণ্গনে টিকে আছে
ছেডে দিলে চুরমার হয়ে যাবে
তবু সম্পর্কের দেওয়াল যত দিন
ঢেকে রাখে অবিশ্বাসের ঝোপ ঝাড় !
অনেক বার ভেবেছি পরিষ্কার করে
সাজিয়ে গুজিয়ে রাখব বাগানটাকে
কিন্তু শরীর দেয় না আর , বয়স হয়েছে
বেশ বুঝতে পারি , আর ফেরা হবে না !

Monday, 15 February 2016

Random thoughts 16022016

Whatever we are presently witnessing in Delhi is just an exposition of to the strategic initiative unleashed by the ultra right saffron brigade which is also loosely known as the Sangh Parivar . As a part of the outward wrapping , all these fracas and engineered conflict that we find hogging the limelight on newspapers , TV channels and social media are a well laid out diversionary tactics to shift the focus from the failure of the government in fulfilling its promises of "Achchhe Din " and sundry other proclamations made . It will also serve as a convenient mode to lay the blame on the opposition for its intransigent attitude .

The second objective is to position the government and the saffron brigade as the sole defender of patriotism , as defined , practised and exploited by them and only them . This strategy also effectively aims to shut out dissent against the government as unpatriotic , condemnable and seditious. Though the Sangh family as we know it is itself divided into different groups , each more rabidly fanatic than the other , right now the opportunity to snuff out the opposition and the spoils of power is keeping them together . They will definitely fall out with each other eventually, in the near future, because of their own weaknesses . But that stage is yet to come .

But at the core of the strategy and layered under seemingly churlish action by rampaging twits lie the sinister and deep rooted long term objective of capturing the most important resource - MIND SPACE. Make no mistake , behind what we observe daily in the media as a routine item on the conflict is the turf war to grab the mind , change the mentality , corrupt the judgement and obfuscate the reasoning ability of the youth . And that is what is really alarming . Because what is envisaged under this strategy is to create generations of brainwashed youths who will unquestioningly follow their masters and act as the storm-troopers against dissent , debate and discussion .

And the government elected by the people with a huge mandate is just the best way to further this agenda. The efforts started with FTII , then there were many other small incidents before the unfortunate suicide of a research scholar in Hyderabad laid bare the plans of domination . Now the JNU drama unfolds to give us yet another glimpse into the dimensions of the ongoing turf-war. As much as we wish away student politics , it will always be there and no political party will leave the option to convert students to their ideology . Political parties can not be faulted on this , though it may seem a very wrong thing to do , from the viewpoint of a concerned parent. The problem arises when the government machinery sides with a particular group and tries to further the interests of a particular political grouping.

Never before has the country been so much divided and polarised after independence , like it is now. The singular most remarkable feature of the 21 month rule , completed till now, by the present government has been the alarming growth of divide and insecurity among a wide cross section of the population. The high-handed and inconsiderate actions of the government have already alienated a lot of people who believed that they were ringing in better days after the previous government which was covered by the miasma of corruption.

The government of the day is seen to be more of a political entity rather than its ability for governance. Instead of concentrating on the job of building the nation , it is regularly finding itself in the eye of storm due to its flat-footed miring into the cesspool of peripheral issues of political nature. And in the absence of any attempt to build any consensus on the agenda for development , actually nothing is really moving on the ground in spite of over hyped pious proclamations.

The ministers and the PM must realise that they have already spent one third of the time allotted to them and considering that the last year of their tenure will be spent only on announcement of grandiose ,populist schemes ; they really have about 30 months to put their act on. Meanwhile , by allowing each and every issue to be politicised and turned into a controversy , the government have already seen an erosion in the balance of goodwill which they started with , at the first place. They are lucky that the principal opposition party has a serious leadership problem but in politics no one can stretch their luck indefinitely .


Who decides on what is anti-national ? Prejudice, emotion, sentiment or plain opportunistic politics? Those who are labelling sundry students,writers, actors or for that matter whoever is speaking against the establishment or questioning its intentions as anti-national can label me and you too in near future . And where does all these labelling end ? You want to beat people into submission and conform to the standards set by the big bully ? That is nationalism in your eyes ? Well , the same thing was tried before , many times . And it had not succeeded . The people of the country will see through the game . But as of now this is a danger, present and clear which faces all of us who do not blindly follow the great Indian hope trick.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Random thoughts 12022016

There is no permanent friendship or enmity in politics . Surprises never cease to exist in political affiliations and equations . That way the recent overtures for bringing CPI(M) and Congress under a common umbrella to fight TMC in West Bengal assembly elections should not come as a surprise. But there is still a lot to happen in this matter and till then one can remain a sceptic.

But the person who comes to mind today in this context is the late Saifuddin Chowdhury , four times MP , and a brilliant mind , who had to forego his CPI(M) membership because he opposed the party line to bring a no confidence motion against the Narasimha Rao government and sought more cooperation with the Congress to block the rise of BJP . All this in the early nineties . Some people are really ahead of their times and have to die unsung . He was one of them.


The honourable Chief minister of Maharashtra has tried his level best to rise up on the pedestal of honour in the eyes of the public with a very patriotic comment (as reported by the press) - “Raising doubts over Headley’s statement for serving personal petty politics would tantamount to be anti-national. This is the first time a credible witness has directly indicted Pakistan for sponsoring terrorist activity in India. And if we raise doubts, it would directly help Pakistan.”
There are many people who totally subscribe to this comment and are gleefully pointing out to the statement about Ishrat Jahan being a terrorist without ever giving a thought that whether the statement is admissible under the law or what great change will it bring upon the 26/11 trial or the Ishrat Jahan encounter case. What is being conveniently ignored or concealed by the proponents of this line of thought is that the court has granted pardon to David Coleman Headley, one of the main accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case, and accepted him as a prosecution witness. The court has agreed to Headley's plea to turn an approver in return for pardon while imposing certain conditions on him.
Headley will not be punished by the Indian courts and he is already incarcerated in the US jail from where he is unlikely to be released in his lifetime. Therefore he can say whatever he wants to . Actually, he has no further reasons to worry . Whether we believe his statements to be true is another matter because that depends on one's choice or understanding. But isn't it a bit ironical that doubting the words of a terrorist from Pakistan is anti-national . The official stand on this matter till now is that it was indeed an encounter , euphemism for killing in cold blood after arrest. This is the basis of the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
Ishrat Jahan could have been a terrorist . Whether she was a terrorist or not should not obfuscate the fact that she is said to be killed in cold blood by extra constitutional means without a trial, after her arrest. Patriotic fervour does not mean that we should close our senses to such matters. Those who believe in encounters and killing of arrested fugitives, criminals and terrorists without trial can have their bloodthirsty dance which just depicts a primitive mindset . This particular mindsets also justifies rape of prostitutes , molesting of girls wearing miniskirts , bullying homosexuals for their sexual orientation, abuse of the disabled for being burden to the society , discrimination on the basis of caste and religion etc.
People who oppose this mindset are labelled as "Sickular", "Libtards" , "commie" and other such epithets by the brain-dead jombies of the ultra nationalist cult.. Sincerely hope that readers of this post do not fall under that category.
Coming to the CM's statement, why does his party and its members have a Pakistan fixation . Eating beef , go to to Pakistan. Aamir Khan , go to Pakistan, Voting Nitish , go to Pakistan , doubting Headley , go to Pakistan. Never was the national agenda laced with so much of Pakistan . Strange but true.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Random thoughts 10022016

The price of onion in the market has crashed !!!
This must be due to the dynamic leadership of our PM and the effect of his Mann ki Baat . Wholehearted congratulations to the government, PM, Agriculture minister , middlemen , hoarders , big traders and small traders . You have all shown the way how prices can be brought down . Hope you will keep up the good work and price of other items also crash soon. Achchhe Din aa gaye !!!!!! This government rocks.

Let us all arrange for Besan and oil to fry tasty hot Pakodas and enjoy munching them . They really taste good in this weather accompanied with steaming cups of tea. Also , that surely boosts the Make in India spirit.

Oh , forgot about the farmers . Meanwhile, they can count their losses .


‪#‎Randomthoughtsofanidlemind‬ It is very important for more Indians to learn Urdu and Arabic , irrespective of their religious affiliations because a lot of toxic Jihadi literature and pamphlets are being spread in these two languages . For efficient intelligence and effective surveillance on groups which are trying to spread hatred based on religion and fundamental philosophy , the security apparatus should have enough persons in their rolls who can read , write and speak these languages. This is my personal opinion .Maybe many will not like my views . But I seriously believe that shunning these languages is creating a space for extremists to utilise them as a tool for communication away from the prying eyes or ears .
Its a pity really . Because both these languages have rich cultural and literary heritages and associated with finer aspects of life. But it seems that religious bigotry has now transformed these languages as a channel to foment hatred and terrorism.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

#‎Writeoff‬ by PSU Banks.

#‎Writeoff‬ by PSU Banks. There is a lot of consternation and concern among the people, in the market and across all sections about the write off of bad debts by the PSU Banks . But most of the ire seems to be misplaced . People are pointing and rightly doing so to the corruption, inefficiency , political pressures, window dressing etc. as the reason for the rising NPA and the bad debts . Some are blaming the bank officers, some the management, government , RBI, so on and so forth . But hidden behind all the discussions , debates and breast-beating lies the ugly face of crony capitalism in India which helps to perpetuate this sort of white collared crime again and again , irrespective of the regime and the officers , under socialist or rightwing dispensation.
We must keep in mind that lending to corporate is and should be the most important function of a bank . And loans do get bad due to economic conditions, mismanagement and various other reasons . Writing off debt is also a prudent policy for any lender . There is no problem or issues in accepting these basic facts . Then what or why is the great hullaballoo about ? Plainly the concern is because of the fact that the lending banks are majorly controlled by the government and the nexus between the big businessman , political operators, government officials and a section of the bank officials is very much expected to be the reason for the NPA and subsequent writeoff. When the writeoff is made , the part of the government capital is eroded along with other stockholders . But the government can always fill its coffer by raising taxes as they are doing blatantly on petroleum products and even life saving medicines. So much for governance. Ultimately, it’s the general public who has to bear the burden of the inefficient and corrupt nexus .
But then , this is just a side of the coin . What is being conveniently sidetracked in the sound and fury is the liability of the company and the industrialists who are getting the benefit of this debt writeoff. Though the figures of the money being written off is more or less known , ten thousand crores here and there , the names of the entities who get this waiver are not being published. And these people have already siphoned money in various forms and formed trusts to take care of their
future seven generations living a luxurious life without bothering to do anything. And most of them will again open another company in some form or other. Because as we all know ,in a limited company, the debts of the company are separate from those of the shareholders. As a result, should the company experience financial distress because of normal business activity, the personal assets of share holders will not be at risk of being seized by creditors. Ownership in the limited company can be easily transferred, and many of these companies have been passed down through generations.
The structure of companies are very interesting . At least in India . A small businessman running his private business is liable to pay his dues and solely responsible for his business . But a company is not run that way. Everything about a company is to shift the responsibility and spread the risk , to the minority shareholder and the lending banks. Now as we all know , the major stakeholder in most of the Indian company is a government behemoth , namely Life Insurance Corporation of India and other mutual funds etc. The promoters and their family members often do not have even a quarter of the stocks themselves . There are nominee directors from the government agencies , lending banks, independent directors and all sort of paraphernalia which constitute the board of a company. But surprisingly no body can be pin pointed for the performance or rather the non payment of debt. This is a cosy arrangement where many retired government officials and bank officers land up cushy position and an assured stream of income in their post retirement life. More like the gubernatorial posts doled out by the government . It is actually a very vicious and incestuous circle . You will find the same names and faces on the boards of a number of companies.
A few questions that comes to mind about this issue are as  below :
1. Why should the names of companies not be put on public domain . The fig leaf of banking secrecy does not apply here because these are PSU banks . The money is of the government i.e. the people of the country.
2. Many of the promoters of these companies whose debt have been waived must be having other companies in their name . We must have information about the indebtedness of those companies too in the public domain.
3. What is the role of government nominated directors and independent directors ? What were they doing as the NPAs ballooned ? Should not these people be barred from holding a director’s position on the board of any company in future ?
But I don’t expect that there will be any of the above questions answered . Under the pretext of the laws or rather the absence of it . Capitalism is not a bad idea as long as it helps growth ; of wealth , ideas , people and the country. In the hands of oligarchs and their accomplices , it subverts the whole system and becomes the reason for catastrophe , both economic and social.