Thursday, March 29, 2012

We weep for you..

One weeps for the ant amongst the giants.....

Please resign if you are overwhelmed since this is not the time to procastinate or put your hands on your head.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Murderers, Rapists and Looters

Murderers, rapists and looters sitting in Parliament: Arvind Kejriwal

This statement from Kejriwal seems to have hit a raw spot but is there any truth in it?

Let the following speak for itself.


The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) was established in 1999 by a group of professors from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad. In 1999, Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by them with Delhi High Court asking for [or requesting] the disclosure of the criminal, financial and educational background of the candidates contesting elections. Based on this, the Supreme Court in 2002, and subsequently in 2003, made it mandatory for all candidates contesting elections to disclose criminal, financial and educational background prior to the polls by filing an affidavit with the Election Commission.

Now we know that even one rotten apple can spoil the whole barrel....

The report confirms our worst suspicions. MPs with criminal records are more numerous in 2009 (162) than in 2004 (128), and so too those involved in heinous offences such as dacoity, rape and murder (76:58).
But all is not lost:

Of the 608 candidates with the most serious criminal cases against them, only 76 won. The remaining 532 were rejected by the voters.

As for looters, we know that it would be very difficult to find MP's who have not increased their wealth after coming to power.

Let us look at the crorepati's:

MP crorepatis have doubled in number in 2009 (315) compared to 2004 (156). And the chances of winning an election in 2009 progressively improved with the value of their assets (0.43% with assets under Rs.10 lakhs to 32.65% with assets over Rs.5 crores). Yet election expenses continue to be absurdly under- reported. An MP from Arunachal reportedly spent only Rs.10,000 while the freest spenders anywhere were reportedly well within the Rs.25 lakh limit. Obviously in fear of admitting to a corrupt practice under the law, and rendering their election liable to be declared null and void by the High Court.
So when people like Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi say that it was an insult to Parliament and people of the country who elect MPs and MLAs, it is not entirely correct. Those winning the elections are those with most cash. This cash is used to influence the voters and most media help the candidates and not the voters. While the looters gain, the voters cannot be entirely blamed for their wrong choice.

• The number of crorepati MPs has increased from 156 in Lok Sabha 2004 to 315 in Lok Sabha 2009.

• Out of 315 crorepati MPs in Lok Sabha 2009, 146 are of INC, 59 are of BJP, 14 are of SP, 13 each are of BSP and DMK, 9 of SHS, 8 of JD (U) and 7 of AITC.

• Among major parties, the average asset per MP for INC is Rs. 5.9 crores and for BJP is Rs 3.4 crores.
Now is there any problem if they become corepati's?

There seems to be a problem since only these elected ones seems to have increased their wealth but not the voters.

Compare the above with the state of affairs with the voters.

Rural MPCE

The NSS concept of MPCE, therefore, is defined first at the household level (household monthly consumer expenditure ÷ household size). This measure serves as the indicator of the household’s level of living.
Arvind Kejriwal's statement needs to be noticed.

Do read:

Monday, March 26, 2012

28 Rs per day

Our planning commission still doesn’t get it I think. They insist that a citizen in India should join the group of privileged or the rich if they earn 28 Rs per day! Guess the only way to make them see the truth is to force them to show it to the nation. Let our media also have a field day in airing their woes live to the nation while they try subsisting at 28 a day for at least a month.

It was for this same reason that two youngsters, Tushar Vashisht and Mathew Cherian  tried this experiment.

Late last year, two young men decided to live a month of their lives on the income of an average poor Indian. One of them, Tushar, the son of a police officer in Haryana, studied at the University of Pennsylvania and worked for three years as an investment banker in the US and Singapore. The other, Matt, migrated as a teenager to the States with his parents, and studied in MIT. Both decided at different points to return to India, joined the UID Project in Bengaluru, came to share a flat, and became close friends.

Rs100aday is an attempt by two friends to bring to light the issues affecting the common man in India through direct experiences.

This blog has its beginnings in an effort to live on India’s average income - Rs. 100/person/day without rent – to observe and understand the constraints that come with life at a monthly income of 3000.

However, after the Planning Commission came out with the proposed poverty line of Rs. 32/person/day, we decided to spend one week living at that income level in addition to three weeks at Rs. 100/day. Besides coming to the realization that the Rs. 32 figure is nonviable, we also gained some key insights into the lives of the poor

While they were at it:

Hardly a day went by during the past month, in which we didn’t think of food. And no, it wasn’t because we couldn’t get our minds off of planning the first meal we would have at the end of our experiment. Rather, it was because, food was the largest component of our budget at both Rs. 100/day (50%) and Rs. 32/day (68%).
  States like Kerala had a well set up PDS system much earlier than the rest of the country.

It is well known that Kerala had one of the best run and most effective PDS networks in India. Prior to the introduction of targeting, Kerala was the only state in India with near-universal coverage of the PDS.

If these youngsters had a tough time in a state like Kerala, it would be even tougher in other states. Since APL (Above poverty line) and BPL(Below poverty line) is fixed as per the planning commission’s figure of poverty line, the poor of India is yet again squeezed.

Planning Commission on Monday further reduced poverty line to Rs.28.65 per capita daily consumption in cities and Rs.22.42 in rural areas, scaling down India's poverty ratio to 29.8 per cent in 2009-10, the estimates which are likely to raise the hackles of civil society.
It is not as though India does not have enough to distribute through it’s PDS scheme but this very important “Poverty Line” determines who shall get it, even when half of it rots away.

According to information revealed from a RTI petition filed in Delhi, the FCI has spent crores of rupees over the past decade in just disposing off the rotten foods lying in the go-downs.
Will those at the Planning Commission, specially Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia dare to take up this experiment?


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The state that spends the most...

A glance at the NSS consumer expenditure survey made me copy down a few points more as reference since one fails to reach a conclusion when it comes to Kerala.

The NSS consumer expenditure survey aims at generating estimates of average household monthly per capita consumer expenditure (MPCE), its distribution over households and persons, and its break-up by commodity group, separately for the rural and urban sectors of the country, for States and Union Territories, and for different socioeconomic groups. These indicators are amongst the most important measures of the level of living of the respective domains of the population. The distribution of MPCE highlights the differences in level of living of the different segments of the population and is an effective tool to study the prevalence of poverty and inequality. These numbers enable the apex planning and decision-making process to allocate the nation’s resources among sectors, regions, and socio-economic groups, and assess the “inclusiveness” of economic growth.

Among the major States, Kerala (Rs.1835) had the highest rural MPCE. It was followed by Punjab (Rs.1649) and Haryana (Rs.1510). In all other major States, average rural MPCE was between Rs.750 and Rs.1250.

Average rural MPCE year 2009-2010
 Maharashtra (Rs.2437) and Kerala (Rs.2413) were the two major States with the highest MPCE in the urban sector, followed by Haryana (Rs.2321). Urban MPCE was lowest in Bihar (Rs.1238).

In the major States, the share of food in rural MPCE varied from 46% for Kerala and 48% for Punjab to 64% in Assam and 65% in Bihar. In the urban sector it varied from 40- 41% in Kerala and Maharashtra to 52% in Jharkhand and 53% in Bihar and Assam.

The share of cereals in total expenditure in rural India varied across the major States from 7% in Punjab and Haryana to 21% in Assam and Bihar. In urban India, the share varied from 6% for Haryana, Punjab and Kerala to 13% in Assam and 15% in Bihar.

How is Kerala spending?

Kerala spends equally on cereals and intoxicants! :)
The percentage of rural population with MPCE above Rs.1000 exceeded 70% in Haryana and Punjab, while in Kerala 80% of the rural population had MPCE exceeding Rs.977
 At the all-India level only about 0.4 percent of rural households had access to internet at home compared to about 6 percent of urban households. Among the larger States, Kerala had by far the highest proportion of households with internet access in the rural sector (about 3 percent), followed by Himachal Pradesh (about 2 percent). In the urban sector Maharashtra (about 10 percent) reported the highest percentage among the larger States, followed closely by Kerala and Himachal Pradesh, and Haryana. While States like Goa and Arunachal Pradesh (rural) and Chandigarh (urban) clearly had greater internet access compared to most major States, larger sample sizes would be necessary in order to estimate the percentages of households with internet access in these small states and UTs with reasonable accuracy.

Why is Kerala showing these figures?

NRI remittance?


Keralites migrated to different places including states in India much earlier. This meant that at least one member (more in some places) in every family was not depending on the state for his sustenance, instead in most cases he became a major or a minor contributor.

According to the latest studies done by the Centre for Development Studies, the diaspora's remittances account for 31.23 percent of Kerala's net state domestic product.

The link between migration and poverty is complex and dependent on the specific circumstances in which migration takes place. Migration can both cause and be caused by poverty. Poverty can be alleviated as well as exacerbated by migration. In Kerala, India, for example, migration to the Gulf States has caused wages to rise, reduced unemployment, and improved the economic situation of those left behind.19 In
other situations, migration does not lead to economic or social improvement. Research on the impact of labour migration in tribal Western India found that for poorer migrants ‘many years of migration have not led to any long-term increase in assets or any reduction in poverty’. However the study also noted that migration offered poor migrants ‘a short-term means to service debt and avoid the more extreme forms of dependency and bondage’.

100% literacy

For the Keralites, 100% literacy also meant that they were better equipped to benefit from migration. Migration itself could be an off shoot of education. If the state could absorb only a part of the educated ones, the rest had to find a way out.

Guess, at the end of the day it is EDUCATION which plays a major role.

But if migration had not happened, would Kerala be in the present state? I doubt since the state has not much to boast in terms of job creation in the state itself.

The current government barely exists but Kerala has been lucky to have two parties governing one after the other. A strong opposition party always existed.

Kerala shall remain as a consumer state and hence the sector which can be improved is the tertiary sector. Since Kerala has already found a place in the tourist map, it needs to urgently improve the roads and other infrastructure. Higher education is another area where it can do much. It also needs to do much more in conserving water by encouraging rain water harvesting and it’s likes. It also needs to clean up its water sources.

The recent budget proclamation made some of us want to rush back to Kerala :) but since Keralites are the worst cynics, we know that these shall remain in paper only. God’s own country needs only a little push from the government be it the center or the state to live up to it’s name but will that ever happen?


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chin up Indians! We have reasons to be proud!

Even if you despair at times, do remember that your votes are the most valuable in this world! The minute you give it away to any candidate, voila their assets are tripled, quadrupled or whatever!

The latest gem of the lot is Mayawati. Not only did she fill her state with statues of herself as well as elephants but we are also told that :

In the last two years, her assets have shot up by 24 crores. So how much is Mayawati worth exactly? 111 crores.

Behenji, as the former chief minister is known, has said she has 380 carats of diamonds, and one kilogram of gold. Together, these are worth just under a crore. Her silver dinner set, which weighs nearly 20 kgs, is worth 9 lakhs.

Her immovable assets - largely property - add upto 96 crores. This includes two shops in Delhi's Connaught Place, a home worth 62 crores on Sardar Patel Marg, one of Delhi's most sought-after neighbourhoods, and a home in Lucknow worth 15 crores.

In May 2010, her assets were worth 87 crores

Do you see that diamond necklace peeping out? Enjoy!

Read more at:

What about the rest of the elected leaders? No reasons for worry since they have all been blessed by the votes. One is being pursued by the CBI, but since it involves more leaders this great nation can handle, we may soon see CBI wobble as usual.

Hyderabad: The Supreme Court today has said six ministers, all from the Congress, and eight bureaucrats from the Indian Administrative Service, should explain their alleged role in a case of corruption against politician Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Have you seen a more humble looking leader? The ultimate expression of humility and thankfulness!

Jaganmohan Reddy: Son of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister YSR Reddy, Jaganmohan is perhaps one of the richest politicians in India, with declared assets of Rs 365 crore.

Jagan's wife Bharati owns assets worth a whopping Rs 4,133 crore. He owns houses, land and other property in Hyderabad, Kadapa and Bangalore. The 38-year-old businessman has interests in cement and power projects in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and other states. He also owns Telugu daily Sakshi and the TV news channel by the same name. Interestingly, Jagan has no personal vehicle.

Now, have a look at these shots and identify with pride those whom you cast your precious vote.

But the icing of the cake is none other than the great Sonia Gandhi, though the Indian mainstream newspapers seem too “shy” to reveal it.

But will international one’s lie so blatantly?

If reports of a US based magazine 'Business Insider' are to be believed, AICC chief Sonia Gandhi is the fourth richest politician in the world. As per the reports, her assets worth $2-19 billion, which is about Rs 10,000-45,000 crore
As per the affidavit filed before the 2009 general elections, Sonia Gandhi has movable assets worth Rs 1.17 crore and immovable assets worth Rs 20 lakhs. Based on these information, Sonia's income can't be more than Rs 60 lakh per annual.

There she stands ever so demurely between the pictures of Putin and Michael Bloomberg

If this is so difficult to believe, specially since this great nation is estimated to have a third of the world's poor, then it is time to SUE these newspapers. Even otherwise, some of us refuse to believe the various scams that are sprouting each day like mushrooms after a good rain.

But come what may, none can take away the pride of living amongst some of the richest in this world, made so only by VOTES:)


Sunday, March 11, 2012

The coding of dress

Another women’s day has passed and I wonder how many women around the world has yet again been asked to adhere to codes.

The other day had the opportunity to watch a bit of an open air debate hosted by a Malayalam TV channel. Since the channel was switched on, only towards the end of the discourse, I am not sure of either the subject of the debate or the identity of the main speakers (all females). I started watching when this middle aged woman from amongst the audience (there were only a few females) said something like this. “If this female was the centre of attraction because of her dress, then there needs to be a dress code to avoid harassment, rape etc.” and there was loud clapping from those gathered around. There was only this young man to shout back thus: “We have rape cases from a 3 month old to 70 year old woman and is it because of the lack of a dress code?” Obviously the lady had no proper reply to this valid question.

This was yet another instance where I couldn’t help telling hubby that it is the woman who is the greatest enemy of woman. I maybe wrong since in this case there was no proper representation of women amongst the audience. Hubby was only telling the truth when he said that a dress has nothing to do with losing control; those who lose control want no reason to do so. And today’s news points out that rape conviction are falling down. If rape continues, it is only because there is no proper punishment given to rapists and not because women are not covering up.

Shameful figures

In 1973, when the National Crime Records Bureau first published nationwide statistics on rape, 44.28% of perpetrators — almost half — were being convicted by trial courts. In spite of years of hard-fought struggles by women's rights groups, and landmark Supreme Court judgments, the conviction rate has fallen to 26.5% — just about a quarter. The decade-on-decade conviction rate has been in free fall: to 36.83% in 1983, 30.30% in 1993 and 26.12% in 2003.

Then there are some who evoke religion and says that the religious text tells that women ought to be dressed modestly so that men are not tempted to sin. How weak it sounds! If men are such weaklings then is it not better for them to banish every woman from their world and live in a world without them? And why does the onus of protecting such weaklings rest with the so called weak woman? How can the men depend on a weakling like a woman to save them from sinning! The strength of man!

It was only recently in Kerala that a lady standing in queue at the beverages outlet was manhandled. She it seems was forced by her alcoholic husband to do so. But the outraged morality of a few got out of hand and this poor lady along with her husband was beaten. There was none amongst them to protect this woman’s modesty. As for those who were buying the elixir, I am sure most of them are wasting their hard earned money while the families back home keep praying that the nightmare will stop one day. They have no qualms in driving their children and wife to desperation but their depraved sense of morality rises up when they see a woman standing in queue. Should women start drinking along with their men folks to get them thinking in the right path?

Anyway, let me wind up this rambling on Women by wishing the very best to Madhurani Tewatia, the wife of IPS officer Narendra Kumar who was killed by the mining mafia. I hope this nation stands by her in her fight.

“I will ensure it reaches a conclusive end,” Tewatia, a 2008-batch IAS officer, said.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Finally, Indians maybe valued by Indians

It was yesterday while listening to the news regarding the 2 fishermen who were killed by the Italians and how these men were being treated as special guests by the authorities (even when they have been charged for murder); I was wondering when an Indian will be valued by an Indian. One couldn’t avoid a wee bit of envy for the Italians while painfully watch every kind of Italian and Indian trying to get these marines out.

If this happens in the Indian soil it has been thus in other countries too. The Norwegian issue brought to light the pathetic existence of our embassies. When helpless children were taken away, the parents could turn to none. I think it has shamed a few and now SM Krishna is calling for accountability.

In Egypt for a three-day visit, Krishna asked Indian embassies and consulates to evolve new mechanisms to address grievances in a timely manner, during a meeting with Indian envoys to the Middle Eastern nations, here.

Complaints lodged by Indian nationals will be responded to quickly and ambassadors, in a new accountability system, will effectively monitor such complaints and responses by officials, he said.

Here in Kuwait, it is the Embassy of Philippines that the Indian Embassy ought to learn from. Every issue involving a citizen of Philippines has been dealt with utmost care and tough laws have been created to protect them.

After all, only when you value yourself will others value you.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

An Award

Was surprised and honored to know that I have recieved an award from Renu; a blogger with loads of wisdom that she lovingly shares on her blog. I love the way she handles each subject & the comments that follows.

Liebster means beloved in German and this award is for spreading love among bloggers.

I am supposed to spread this love among other bloggers...

Rules for accepting the Liebster Blog award:

Link back to the person who gave you the award.

Pick 5 people deserving of the award and notify them on their blogs.

Post the award on your blog and spread the love.

Here are a few of my nominees.. and I am breaking the rules :)

Jon : a young idealist; this world needs a lot more of his kind.
Mad Madrasi: a no nonsense blogger

SM :  loads of unbiased opinion / information - a blogopedia

Manju: full of wisdom she blogs with love...

Seventh Chords; Swarna; mittaipink; Raji ; Kamini with a wish that they would blog more often.

Maddy; Anil; Doc;  with a wish that they never stop writing....

Let me stop even when I know there are many more blogs that I want to nominate..

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