Sunday, August 30, 2009

All is not lost...

Judiciary seems to be paving the way for a corruption less society.

The following could be the start and it felt good to note that the Kerala High court along with the Delhi High Court is setting the standard.

New Delhi/Kochi, Aug 28 (PTI) Judges at the High Courts of Delhi and Kerala today decided to make public details about their assets--the first in the state judiciary, two days after a landmark decision by the Supreme Court judges to reveal information about their wealth.

The assets details that is at the core of intense public debate about the importance of judicial accountability in the country is expected to be put up on the websites of the respective courts in a couple of months since the modalities and manner of declaration are being finalised.

The move by the two high courts came even as Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan suggested that the judges of High Courts cannot be compelled by the apex judiciary to follow suit. Balakrishnan however hoped that some of the high courts would follow the apex court.

Yet another welcome news was the resolution passed against Senior Supreme Court judge, Mr. Cyriac Thomas. When I listened to his passionate speech exposing his overly gratitude to the Church I did wonder if his love for Church was more than his love for Christ and his teachings. For some, the passionate love for the church alone can adulterate their faith and the actions that follow. In my opinion he should step down if his love for his Church is a hindrance to his job.

Resolution against SC judgeAugust 29th, 2009
By Our Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug. 28: The Kozhikode Bar Association has passed a resolution against the senior Supreme Court judge, Mr Cyriac Joseph, criticising his visit to the Bengaluru Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory to view the narco analysis CDs of the Sister Abhaya murder case suspects.

It was after a two-hour long discussion that the bar association passed the resolution. In all, 180 advocates supported the resolution and six opposed it.
The resolution said that Mr Joseph’s conduct was unbecoming of a judge and sought an inquiry by a SC judge into the allegations against him. The resolution also said that he should step down from his post while facing the probe. However, those who opposed the resolution said that allegations against SC judges should be discussed in Parliament and not in bar associations.

On Wednesday, 62 members of the Kerala High Court Advocates Association had moved a resolution against Mr Joseph in a meeting of the association. However, the meeting rejected the motion saying that it was not legally maintainable.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A dangerous trend…

While traveling through Alapuzha road, Hubby has never stopped reminding about the Kanichukulangara murder case and to show the Lorry which continues to lie there as witness. Bits and pieces of the case would float through my mind and I would feel sad at the state of affairs in Kerala. And now we have one more land mark, the place where the gruesome murder of Paul Muthoot occurred. Let me forget that this case got much interest since it involved a family of high influence and let me also forget the fact that wanted goondas were travelling with the victim. The way the case is moving makes me believe that the police will be forced to twist the facts and in the end we will never know the entire truth.

It is indeed sad to see the political and other murders committed so often in our state. We have never been satisfied by the court verdicts and many murderers still run scott free. Another murder that still stands fresh in my mind is that of the teacher K.T. Jayakrishnan in front of his 6th standard students in year 1999. The accused were given death sentence by the lower courts but were left free by the Supreme Court. I remember writing a very emotional letter to the Chief Minister and I am sure that letter reached nowhere but I could do nothing else.

Yesterday I watched a retired police commissioner say how the police are not allowed to do their work freely, although the Kerala Police is one of the best in the country. He said that unless the society cooperates this scenario is not going to change.

Is it only the judiciary and the police to be blamed?

Is it only the political parties to be blamed?

Below is an excerpt from The Hindu dated Nov 30, 2004

The story of derailed probes High Court strictures

The credibility of the crime investigation and prosecution machineries in the State has been deteriorating rapidly. The developments in the last few days have eroded it further. Legal experts attribute the failure of the investigative machinery to lack of experience, incompetence and corruption. Poor prosecution mechanism, they say, is owing to the incapability of Government lawyers. They feel that political interference is compounding the problem

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Even the Readers Digest?

It was sad to read the following news today:

Reader’s Digest to file for bankruptcy protection

The publisher of Reader's Digest, the country’s most popular general interest magazine, said Monday it will file for Chapter 11 protection with a plan to swap a portion of its debt for ownership of the company.

Practically grew up with this book since my parents have subscribed to it from the time it landed in India. It even made my mother start a similar magazine at home to keep the 5 of us siblings engaged during the holidays. We used to write our own versions of articles and stories which was edited by my mother. She compiled them and either typed it or re-wrote by hand and named it the "Philip's journal". Since we used to write anything and everything and drop it into a box that was kept specially for this, we used to wait eagerly to see if it passed our mother's editing. It was a proud moment if it ever reached the final print.

Indian edition

The Indian edition was first published in 1954. Its circulation then was 40,000 copies. Today, the magazine is published in India by Living Media India Ltd., and sold over 600,000 copies monthly in 2008 — a fifteen-fold increase. It not only includes local Indian articles but international articles as well.

The real life drama section was always a thrill to read and the “quotable quotes” was the first page that I enjoyed reading. During the growing up years the collection of articles was always a source of comfort and inspiration.

I do read that the magazine may continue but not as before. Seems they do not have much audience amongst the young and also since similar articles are in abundance on the internet it was slowly losing its readers.

The Indian edition was not upto the mark but I always opened this little book with much eagerness and have read every single page of it. Here in Kuwait I did arrange for the magazine to be delivered at home but the delivery has always been erratic.

....edited to add the following from NDTV

"The Chapter 11 filing will apply only to the company's US businesses...its operations in Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia-New Zealand will not be affected. RDA's international operations are expected to have adequate funding based on continuing operations and access to proceeds from the DIP (debtor in possession) financing," the company said.

Earlier in March 2009, Indian Software exporter HCL Technologies had announced a seven-year IT operations and management engagement with RDA.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

It is sad to see them leave the stage...

It is really sad to see them go so early. After Rajan P. Dev, it is now Murali.

Murali will remain one of my favourite actors and sadly these great actors have not acted enough in the Malayalam cinema. He acted raw and should be called the real superstar. I guess he was not confined within any Superstar status and was free to just act. He never needed any “props” unlike the current superstars, to remain on the screen and at times as a pain to the viewers. We have superstars whom the fans want to remain eternally young, virile and what not but we loved watching Murali for his personality and acting alone. Even the media was stingy in using the Bharat before his name and I wish Murali could have seen the real support that he had from the viewers. He was an avid reader and a writer too, although I wonder if his political leaning did reduce his chance to act in more movies.

And talking about the recent deaths in the Malayalam film industry, is this industry getting to be injurious to the health of those involved in it? Are they being over taxed? Are some of our actors getting too involved with the character and hence getting affected psychologically? It is understood that unlike Bollywood actors, the Malayalam actors are required to act in a controlled manner and hence act real.

Watched “Billu (Barber)” during the weekend and yet again wondered how SRK continues to rule. Was it not very obvious that Irfan Khan did a much splendid job effortlessly?

Let me continue to wonder how some superstars are made and sustained.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Enchanting Mysore beckoned us with it’s beautiful palaces, temples and gardens.

We had been talking about Mysore since some years and the children were looking forward to see their school textbooks come alive and the much talked about Mysore Zoo. We had meant to halt at Mysore for a day and then proceed to Bangalore. It was more than 15 years since my last visit to Mysore and for Hubby even more.

Mysore has changed. We could see construction going on everywhere and even the stately roads have not been spared. For Hubby who was driving, it was utter confusion as to where to turn so as to reach the hotel which we had booked online. There was instruction on the website but with the heavy traffic and impatient drivers there was no way we could find it. And it is for such tourists that the guides keep a look out for. We were relieved to find this guy on a motorbike who guided us to our hotel. We had decided on Ginger, Tata’s chain of smart hotels as they are called.

“The Ginger hotels are built around a unique concept that provides facilities to meet the key needs of today's traveller, at surprisingly affordable rates”

Yes, the hotel is good, though the rooms are small and it is located at a very convenient place too. Initially there was a confusion since out of the 2 rooms that we had booked, one was not free. It was sorted out after a while.

We did not want to lose much time in the hotel and hence we freshened up and joined the guide who was waiting for us. We took him in our car and proceeded to Brindavan gardens. It was a long drive and we reached quite late. The parking lot was a new sight for me and it was getting filled in time for the musical fountain. With disappointment I realized that the royal garden had lost some of its charm.

Many heroes and heroines have danced in this garden and every State has at least one movie showing the beautiful Brindavan garden. I did see some renovations going on since some of the paths were closed to the visitors. I hope these renovations will restore the beauty of this garden. I remembered the last time that I had been there with my parents and siblings and how we had enjoyed sitting on the turf. It is not the lack of funds since the parking lot was almost full and so was the garden. It is the same neglect that we found the next day when we visited the famous fort of Tipu Sultan. Why are our historical sites maintained in such a shoddy manner? We were told by the guide that people have encroached upon these sites and that the government is not doing much. And it was while waiting for the Musical fountain to start that we heard a commotion and saw an almost nude person making his entry. While the tourists were clamoring for seats and even sitting on the ground, this fellow was royally escorted and allowed to be seated on a chair very near the fountain. There was much snickering from the crowd. The fellow looked young and did not spot the usual long hair and beard of a religious person. Maybe he made a vow to come thus in front of an unsuspecting crowd?

We returned to the hotel and stopped by St. Philomena’s church which was not far from Ginger. We opted to try Ginger’s buffet that night and it was good.

The next day with much enthusiasm we looked forward to see the zoo and only then did our guide tell us that it was closed on Tuesdays. He took us instead to Srirangapattana. I guess we did not do our homework well and did not know that on Tuesday’s some of the sights are closed. Not seeing the zoo was too much of a disappointment for us. We did see, Ranganathaswamy temple,

Tipu’s fort and his summer palace - Daria Daulat.

Since the summer palace housed much paintings, writings and articles depicting Tipu’s life it did get the interest of all of us. We also visited Tipu’s mausoleum.

We had to curtail our trip and forgo Bangalore since FIL and MIL who chose not accompany us but stay at their elder son’s place at Calicut was getting fidgety and wanted to return to Tiruvella. Moreover our trips are always a concern for the seniors and they are happy only when we have reached home safely! Bangalore would have needed more than a day and yet again we postponed the trip even when it was only a few hours’ drive.

On our way back we stopped once more at Café Day at Gundalpet and had a bite.

I am told that in Bangalore these Café’s serve only coffee and pastries while in Gundalpet they had a choice of sandwiches, Biriyani and even Paratta and chicken chilly. They also had a good choice of ground coffee.

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