Immunization on death bed!

What would you say if someone started vaccination programs for 50 year olds, or an immunization program for those on the death bed? Wasted effort, too late, non sense? Pick your reaction. Now, I may sound like over-dramatizing the talk around reservations in IITs and IIMs. But media and politicos beating so much drum around reservations in higher education institutions does make me react.

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Dignity of labor

Here is an MP’s take on the thing we call dignity of labor, which they say is about respecting another workman’s space and authority. I cut it out from a story today that talked about an IA pilot throwing a late MP out of his plane. (Asian Age, Zee News). This quote is from TOI:

“Rana (the pilot) then told me that it was not my business. I replied he was only a glorified driver and shouldn’t equate himself with a people’s representative.”

God knows what really happened there. But I quite liked the fact that MP chose to go on record with his ‘glorified driver’ talk.

The news: Jodha Akbar, Bus Permit etc

They spotted Bhajji eating bananas, and thus started the latest round of monkey gesture allegations. From now on, a program director from Animal Planet channel will accompany media-men as they keep watch on Bhajji, his habits and gestures. Bihar will boycott all movies made in Bollywood, and Raj Thackrey, in turn, will force Mumbai-wallahs to make only Marathi movies. Whatever.

In the middle of all the news in papers over last month, here are 2 smallish items I have hand-picked for you. One of them said that Supreme Court has prevented UP state government from stopping screening of Jodha-Akbar in that state. UP banned Jodha Akbar for the most un-democratic of reasons – “to maintain law and order”. Wonder whose job it is to maintain law and order, and the right to freedom of expression? SC judges agreed, though March 14 is when we will hear more on this interesting petition.

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Bangalore Mangalore train – Lalu’s admission?

[Cross posted from Praja, comments off]

BTW, I read a news-piece on this train in ToI this morning, and something in there just amazed me. The piece talks about Mr Lalu Yadav flagging the Bangalore train off at Mangalore, and how he kept the audience in splits during his speech. Now, for the interesting part:

When Lalu mentioned that he knew the reasons behind the delay and put the onus on the bus and truck lobby, there was a loud roar of approval

So whats our Railway Minister saying here? That he knew about the lobbying that was going on under the table to delay the start of this train? That he can just say he ‘knew’ about it and wash his hands off? Or is he only passing the buck, to local railway bodies or the previous railway minister? Continue reading

Overheard: Our 20-20 is better you know

Thus spoke Mr HD Kumaraswamy when asked about his views on the new and exciting format of a very popular almost-Indian sport.

“We introduced some novelties to make it even more exciting you know. See, in your Twenty20, all the thrill happens at the end of second inning. We add some thrill at the end of first inning also. If the team batting first feels it needed more runs, let them try and play more overs, alva?”

“Sound good.”

“Spectators get to see some strategy and suspense. Now another innovation we brought in is the concept of non-playing captain.”

“How sir?”

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Baalu in trouble?

This is how Mr T R Baalu was quoted to have reacted to Supreme Court warning against TN bandh (source: Times of India, Oct 2):

Courts are not infallible … haven’t we heard of corruption in judiciary … what had happened to warrant it? (Supreme Court’s special sitting on Sunday)

Whats with that language? What exactly is contempt of court? If he can say all that and get away, then we have got a serious breakdown of law and order in this country.

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Justice, law, order and stuff – story of Mr X

Stuff we all know but pretend to ignore are now getting ‘exposed’ to the public.

  • Rajasthan cops come to Orissa to arrest Mr Mohanty senior who helped his rapist son jump parole in that state. Unable to find him, they go back. Mr Mohanty arrives the very next second, filmi ishtyle, in an ambulance and claims, “I was sick”.
  • A rich brat drives his BMW over a few people. Police case and all that happens. Witnesses turn hostile one after another. The only one left, I guess, was left so because he may have not gotten the ‘deal’ he wanted. In the process, our golden witness Mr Kulkarni is trying to ‘expose’ the way the lawyers work ‘deals’ under the table.
  • Now that the new cases have surfaced, witnesses turning hostile in Professor Sabharwal case isn’t a hot story anymore.

Actually, why should I waste your time copy-pasting stuff from news sites when I have a story myself? Mr X, friend of an uncle. Honest to the core, very spiritual person. Worked for a sarkaari investigative agency in one of the BIMARU states.

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The beauty of democracy

This is why I call our democracy beautiful. This way or that way, a bit late as you would expect in a diverse society like ours, the right things seem to happen. Who would have imagined Mayawati to do the Indira Gandhi formula in a rehashed way and put Dalits, Brahmins and Muslims (Maya missed women there) under a single umbrella? More than that, who would have imagined political acceptance for reservations for the poor amongst upper castes (PM, Advani back Mayawati) ?

We go through chaos. Public policies get pulled Left and Right, but things move. You only have to look back 10 years to realize that increasingly, bad politics and central government’s ideologies don’t matter much. Slow but sure, what ‘we’ want seems to happen.

As easy as SEZ?

A lot has happened since those early debates around the SEZ act. However, I still stand by what I said last year, SEZs are one of those “admission of failure” things. Ask me how.

Who exactly decides, and how, as to what areas are fit to be an SEZ? Some say use non-arable land, some prefer poorer regions, some say fertile or junk, use land that is best for a given industry from location standpoint. Pick your favorite argument, but who is making the decision here? More than being transparent, how participative is this decision making process? From what we know so far, the process is neither transparent nor participative.

ExpresswaySo, shall we say the policy is not democratic? And that it goes against the very spirit of decentralization and local governance the same government has been preaching via the likes of Mani Shankar Aiyer and others? Why can’t we focus all our energies on enabling semi-urban areas of our ‘hinterland’ to create environments that entice industries? What if those small cities had enough power to formulate SEZ like acts in their jurisdiction areas? Imagine small cities competing with each other to attract investment, wouldn’t that be far more democratic and healthy?

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RTI – Who has more money, Lalu or Gowda?

A cheap and catchy headline to grab your attention, but I won’t disappoint. You can answer that question, and figure who ‘claimed’ to have more money a few years ago. Here is how.

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