Thursday, November 29, 2012

BP pays for it's negligence...

So the British giant BP has been suspended from US for 1 year and this is after paying millions in compensation.

2:47PM EST November 28. 2012 -
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is suspending British oil giant BP Exploration and Production Inc. and affiliated companies from further federal contracts, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday.
The total cost of the spill response has hit $9.5 billion, Europe's second-largest oil company by market value

BP pleaded guilty Nov. 15 to numerous criminal charges related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 people and caused the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. The charges included 11 counts of misconduct or neglect of ship officers, one count of obstruction of Congress, one misdemeanor count of a violation of the Clean Water Act, and one misdemeanor count of a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Compare this to Bhopal Gas Tragedy and one should cry! More than 30,000 have been killed and the agreed compensation was a mere 750 crore IRS. If one thinks that the entire amount reached the victims and their kins then we are not talking about India. Dow was asked to increase the compensation since the number of deaths had increased but they refused to do so.

In an affidavit, Dow Chemicals has said it will not pay more compensation for Bhopal victims as the settlement reached in 1989 for USD 470 million was more than adequate and fair.

Not only did people die, but an entire generation faced deformities and the ground water in many areas are still contaminated. But why should we blame the foreign company when it is our own government and judiciary who is at fault. Anderson was given a safe exit from India by our own government. 

Seven of the eight Indian company officials have now been sentenced to two years in jail by a court in Bhopal. The eighth has since died.
Anderson was briefly detained immediately after the disaster, but he quickly left the country and now lives in New York.
Last July, the court issued a warrant for Anderson's arrest and ordered the Indian government to press Washington for the American's extradition.

This was in 2010 and has the government done anything to seek Anderson’s extradition? The government will wait until he dies. Dow still operates in India under various guises. Where is our government and judiciary?

On the basis of the bench's ruling, a Bhopal court had last year awarded two years to UCC (India) chairman Keshub Mahindra and other officials.
The apex court had sought responses from UCC, Dow Chemicals Company (which owns UCC since 2001), Mcleod Russel (India) Private Limited which holds 50.9 percent stake in Union Carbide India Limited) and UCIL (currently known as Eveready Industries Limited).

The latest fire disaster from Bangladesh is another example of how multinational firms lower their standards while operating out of a third world country. These giant brand owners make huge profit but fails to compensate or make their suppliers follow basic norms. Why should they when none complains! If their own citizens exploit them then do they have a right to expect a fair treatment from a foreigner?

NGOs slammed Walmart over a fire that killed at least 112 workers at a Bangladesh factory that supplied apparel for the retail giant. While Walmart says it has not confirmed that it has any relationship to the factory, photos provided to The Nation show piles of clothes made for one of its exclusive brands.

I fear the same in case of FDI too. India already has an exploited lot and it will only add to their woes when multinational firms makes an entry. They are not going to raise their standards since their aim is only profit. And when this profit is going to be shared with those in power who is going to raise a finger for the exploited?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

This paradox shall never end?

The above has become too common these days!

Most of us are over weight yet we dont stop eating more than we should! We over eat and then sweat it out on the exercising machine or on the grounds; yet we shall not decide to do away with the reason for the over weight. Because of this we have a new set of professionals, related only to losing weight. We have exotic places just for losing weight and exotic doctors waiting to scalp away a bit of you. And then we have producers who produces more than what we can consume and trying to market it by any means. Then we have food authorities willing to put expiry dates on every item so that they can be thrown into the dust bin. we also have big, fat and gaudy weddings that end up with lots of food that go waste. We also have festivals after festivals which makes us to hoard food.

It is a losing game indeed! But if we look at the other side of the story, 90% of men (not to talk about the children!)  in India like the one below sweat it out to have a quarter of the food that is being wasted into their stomach!

While India leads in poverty, it is not bad when it comes to obesity! 

The obesity ratio stands at 12% and India comes close to the following nations: Spain: 13.1% Ireland: 13%  Germany: 12.9%  Portugal:  12.8% Finland: 12.8%  Iceland: 12.4%  India 12.10%  Turkey:  12%  Belgium: 11.7%  Netherlands:  10%  Sweden: 9.7%  Denmark: 9.5%  France:  9.4%  Austria: 9.1%  Italy:  8.50%

Though I try my best not to waste food, I still need to reduce the intake. How about you?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dreaming of a white Christmas

It is not that I have ever experienced a white Christmas.. but this is the time of the year that I love to listen to Christmas songs.

It takes me back to my childhood and my favourite month: December. In the place I grew up; Peerumade, December made a very noisy appearance. The wind made a howling sound that is so unique to this area. The weather turned cooler and the air was filled with the smell of Eucalyptus. The howling wind tore down the twigs and leaves and at night the sound reached a crescendo. But this was also the time for the year-end holidays. The school at that time had a January to December schedule and the whole December was off. And since one has finished the final exam for the year there was no more studies too. Luckily tuitions had not made an appearance and we children were free to do what we wanted. Actually the exams were not forgotten since the results had to be faced sooner or later. But to douse the fear each time it made an appearance, all one had to do was to play the game of pebbles. One throws it up and try to catch it each time it comes down and if you can do it nth number of time, you are sure to pass! How easily we found solutions to our fears when we were younger!

It was also the time for Christmas cakes. There were no bakeries nearby and the cakes had to come from the kitchen. My mother would have soaked the dry fruits in rum and the baking would start after a week of soaking. She makes enough for us and to gift to relatives whom we would visit. She made one of the best cakes and I am yet to taste one similar to hers! I remember the day our lab; Floppy stole one whole cake to feed her hungry puppies. Since the cake was left to cool on the dining table, she somehow crept in and stole one away! I don’t think she was taken to task for that.. she was too cute and loving!

December was also the time of the year to start fresh and this thought made one happier. Resolutions were made to study harder and to fight less with the siblings. Since we were five, fighting was an invariable part. There were lots of games and lots of fights!

December was also the time for Christmas Carols. Even though the congregation was small, the Christmas Choir was a must each year. The choir practice was mostly done at our place and a good supply of hot snacks and tea made appearance.

It was also the time for Christmas tree! There were no fancy decoration items but yet the tree was beautiful. It was also the time to receive Christmas cards and to see the ones who remembered our family. The cards would be stacked against the trees. Some would contain snaps of the family; new additions and others we children have never seen.

And now.. December is the time to forget everything! One works even on a Christmas day and the only tradition that I follow is the Christmas Tree. And that reminds me that it is time to take down the Christmas Tree  J

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Diwali

A very happy and prosperous Diwali to one and all.

May the festival of lights dispel any kind of darkness that we may have in our minds.

May it help us to reflect it's warmth and light to those who are not fortunate.

May our citizens rise up and be kind to those who cannot afford to have a Diwali.

May our nation rise up and shine!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Conflict of Interest

Why did one have to wait so long to know that Mukesh Ambani is one amongst the list of black money dealers?

Guess it is conflict of interest and this afflicts not just the major parties: Congress and BJP but the media and even the voters!

One can understand the reluctance of the Congress since the list would have contained their favourites, but why did the BJP not make it public? Did they not have an access to it?

I remember how only 6 names were offered to be revealed and the promise that the rest would be revealed once a case is registered. I did wonder in my blog how they selected the 6!
Yesterday, the government has offered to reveal 6 names, while they have yet again given the same old excuse for not revealing the rest.

The Centre has assured the Supreme Court that it would reveal the names of persons who have stashed black money in foreign banks after registering a formal case against them.
Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, appearing before a bench headed by Justice B Sudershan Reddy, said the government has issued show cause notices against the persons accused of having black money in foreign banks and once a case is registered against them, their names will be made public.

In case of the media, Reliance now has its own media mouth. All they have to do is either twist the facts or suppress the facts. Not that other national media is devoid of corporate or party interests.
Reliance makes a major foray into media sector

Reliance Industries, India's biggest listed company, is expanding its footprint in the media sector, with a major investment in the TV18 group which will effectively fund a consolidation with the Eenadu TV media group.
In return, the Reliance will get preferential access to content from TV18, which runs television channels and websites including CNN-IBN, CNBC-TV18 and Colors. This content can then be distributed through Reliance subsidiary firm Infotel, which is setting up a 4G wireless broadband network across the country.
With Tuesday's deal, the Reliance, controlled by billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani, will have a major stake in a cross-media enterprise, spanning digital divides to encompass print publications, news and entertainment broadcasting, consumer Internet, film production and e-commerce.

As for the voters, at least a major chunk of the middle class is heavily invested with Reliance and its likes. I am sure most of them were painfully looking at the stock market when Arwind Kejriwal made the expose twice. If there is someone looting, one might as well share the loot!

But to BJP’s credit, it did make an attempt to give more attention to the black money. In fact Adwani promised the voters that if BJP comes to power at the center, they will pursue the same seriously. But unfortunately the voters did not take BJP seriously. Or was there a vote rigging. These days one is not sure of anything!
Why am I saying that?
Did it suddenly dawn on me that BJP is better than Congress? (2 main National parties).
Frankly speaking it hasn’t. Sitting far away from the election heat and die hard voters who may influence my opinion, it was easy to watch both parties impartially. And none of them scored better until I picked up just this from Adwani.
"If NDA returns to power then we’ll force Indian citizens to bring back their wealth to India and use the money here.”
 Even before Kejriwal’s revelation, reliance was already under scanner but nothing further happened.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has come down hard on Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), suggesting the company grossly overstated its development costs in India's largest gas field, possibly causing "significant" financial losses to the exchequer.

As the production-sharing contract involves profit-sharing with the government, a higher capital expenditure results in the profit being lower for the government than it would be otherwise, which the CAG has explained in its 200-page June 7 report to the petroleum ministry.
The CAG report has revealed severe irregularities and violations on part of private operators and government departments and ministries.

And now the government is seriously trying to gag the CAG!

New Delhi, November 11: Battered by various CAG reports on alleged scams, government says it is "actively" considering a proposal to make the official auditor a multi-member body. Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy says Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has become "more impatient" and he wants that all constitutional bodies to work within their parameters. "It (making CAG a multi-member body) is under active consideration. The government is actively considering it," he told PTI in an interview.
Will this conflict of interest ever be resolved? I think not in a democracy!

Thursday, November 8, 2012



1 boy is equal to 8 girls


A heated discussion between a few men, since a to-be FIL was putting up unnecessary demands. Normally this is the job of the groom’s father but here the tables were turned. The men were trying to instill some sense of pride and courage upon this would-be groom who seems to be already trembling under the FIL. How can it be allowed? It is a man’s world and one needs to show these lower folks their places!

The person who uttered that 1 boy is equal to 8 girls is a Father to two lovely girls! I guess how much they deny, in their hearts every parent craves for a boy child. And the boys, while they grow up, imbibe from the society a pride in being a boy while the girl does the opposite. She grows with a sense of inferiority complex which destroys her. She becomes weak when she is required to be strong.

But why am I writing this here? Because I did not confront him when he uttered it and hence lost a golden opportunity to vent my anger.

But if you thought only India was home to such horrors, look at the following from the most forward country (so they think) in the world!

In US Currently, a woman makes 77 cents to each dollar a man earns.

On November 17th, the Paycheck Fairness Act went to the Senate for vote. The bill would have provided “improvement and modifications” to the Equal Pay Act of 1963. President Obama called it a common sense bill. Nonetheless, it failed to pass due to an overwhelming surge of Republican opposition. Democrats voted 56:1 in favor, while Republicans went 1:40 against it.

To mourn the death of the Paycheck Fairness Act, check out our homage to some of the more ridiculous laws regarding women on the books. Hopefully, some will soon be repealed. Let’s just not send them to Congress to do so

1. In Maryland, a woman cannot go through her husband’s pockets while he is sleeping. Not even if she really wants a piece of gum.

2. In Vermont, a woman must obtain written permission from her husband if she wishes to wear false teeth. Because women really lead with their teeth in wanton, uncontrolled sexuality.

3. In Tucson, Arizona, women are not allowed to wear pants. No word on the stance on booty shorts or thongs.

4. In Carrizozo, New Mexico, it is illegal for a woman to appear unshaven in public. Rejoice, razor industry, rejoice!

5. In Dyersburg, Tennessee, it is illegal for a woman to call a man on a date. I don’t want to live in a world where equal-opportunity drunk dialing isn’t free to all.

6. In Carmel, New York, women may not wear high heels within the city limits. They are obviously just protecting their citizens, as this move effectively disqualifies the city from ever letting a “Sex and the City” sequel to be shot in their town. Good move, Carmel!

7. In Michigan, a woman isn’t allowed to cut her hair without her husband’s permission. But what if her husband cuts it for her?

But then we saw how the Republican's lost the presidential election because of the their foolish utterance on rape and women in general. Obama got votes from more women than men. The Guardian explains it well.

The ancient Greece was worse; it seems a woman would be executed if she ever saw an Olympic event!

In the Iliad, in the Olympic-like funeral games for Patroclus, you can read how important it was to be the best. Those who won were expected to be the best even before winning: Entering the contest if you weren't the best (kalos k'agathos 'beautiful and best') was unacceptable. Women, foreigners, and slaves were not considered to be tops in arete 'virtue' -- what made them best.
Greek Philosophy on the Inferiority of Women 
The two most influential philosophers, both in the Graeco-Roman world into which Christianity was born and in the world of Christian theology of the Middle Ages, were Plato and Aristotle. We will briefly discuss the views of each.

In Greek society, women's status was very low. A woman's main function was the reproduction of children, especially of sons.
Plato's attitude to women was ambivalent. In some of his writings he advocated a fairer deal for women. In his idealised Republic he foresees an upperclass of ‘guardians’ among whom the chattel status of women is abolished (i.e. she is no longer owned by her husband) and in which women were to receive equal education to men.

On the other hand, he ascribed the inferior status of women clearly to a degeneration from perfect human nature. “It is only males who are created directly by the gods and are given souls. Those who live rightly return to the stars, but those who are ‘cowards or [lead unrighteous lives] may with reason be supposed to have changed into the nature of women in the second generation’. This downward progress may continue through successive reincarnations unless reversed. In this situation, obviously it is only men who are complete human beings and can hope for ultimate fulfilment; the best a woman can hope for is to become a man” (Plato, Timaeus 90e).
According to Aristotle, man rightly takes charge over woman, because he commands superior intelligence. This will also profit the women who depend on him. He compares this to the relationship between human beings and tame animals.
‘It is the best for all tame animals to be ruled by human beings. For this is how they are kept alive. In the same way, the relationship between the male and the female is by nature such that the male is higher, the female lower, that the male rules and the female is ruled.’ Aristotle, Politica, ed. Loeb Classical Library, 1254 b 10-14.

India’s most famous early legal code, The Laws of Manu were complied over the years between 200 - 400 C.E. While the position of women in early Vedic India had been good, these laws illustrate the efforts of the Brahmin elite to restrict women’s legal independence in this later period.
  • “Women must always be honored and respected by the father, brother, husband and brothers-in-law who desire their own welfare.”
  • “If the female members live in grief, the family is destroyed. If the female members are happy, the family flourishes in all directions.”
  • “Women shall receive one-quarter share of the inheritance of their parents. If a man has no sons, his daughter may inherit everything he had.”
  • “Brothers should give one-forth of their inheritance to their sisters for their sisters’ dowries.”
  • “In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, and when her lord is dead, to her sons; a woman must never be independent.”
  • “A father sins unless he marries his daughter off when she reaches puberty.” (no wonder the Khaps very recently echoed the same!)
  • “Women do not care for beauty, nor is their attention fixed on age; they give themselves to the handsome as well as to the ugly just for the fact that he is a man.”
  • “A husband should be worshiped as a God.”
  • “Even in the home nothing should be done by a child, a young or even an old wife (woman) independently.”
  • “A wife, a son, and a slave, these three are declared to have no property. The wealth which they earn is acquired for him to whom they belong.”
  • “Women, shudra (or sudra, lowest of four castes), dog and crow embody untruth, sin and darkness.”
  • “Women must particularly be guarded against evil inclinations, however trifling they may appear to be; for, if they are not guarded, they will bring sorrow on both the families. Considering it the highest duty of all castes, even wealthy husbands must strive to guard their wives....lest the seed of others be sown on your soil.”
  • “It is the nature of women to seduce men in this world, for that reason the wise never remain unguarded in the company of female.”
  • “A woman should not go to a meeting place; and they should not dance like the young, but sit at their proper places.”
  • “This is the first law...A wife cannot be dismissed from the marriage by a slave, separation or abdication.”

    “A man can leave a barren woman after eight years and one who only gives birth to daughters.”
  • “A virtuous wife who after the death of her husband constantly remains chaste, reaches heaven, though she have no son, just like those chaste men.”
  • “If a woman should happen to merely to overhear recitations of Vedic mantras by chance, hot molten glass should be poured into her ears.”

The roots of the Judeo-Christian sexual prohibitions, as well as the sexual prohibitions of religions such as Islam, spring from ancient Jewish tribal law. During early times wives were considered "property" and laws were specifically codified to protect three things: livestock, wives and dwellings--an order or importance that seems clear in Jewish law.

The Christian church still treats women second to man. There are many rules that bind her from birth to death that makes her different from a boy. Not that every household follows these rules. But it is in the subconscious mind and comes forth when needed! If I die tomorrow I can only be buried in the Church that my husband belongs to and never in my Parent’s church. Parents unconsciously pushes the girl child away from them as soon as she is capable of standing up. Since she will never belong to them it is better to train oneself early in life!

Blog Archive