Friday, August 28, 2009

Money Matters

It is ironic that here in India, the left hand is completely out of sync with its right hand and also the rest of its limbs!

The Indian sports ministry has apparently rejected the proposal of holding an F1 race here in India, which would have cost the exchequer around $36.5 million. It contended that the money can be used instead to promote other lesser known Indian sports. If the ministry really does what it believes, then it would be holding a candle for the rest of government machinery here in India to follow.

On the other hand, the UP Government has told the Supreme Court that installing various statues (including that of the Chief Minister’s) in the state at the cost of around $100 million was approved by the state Legislature. This was in response to a petition filed in the court alleging waste of taxpayer’s money.

The state machinery in UP is in dire straits. Encephalitis has been plaguing the state, causing the death toll (mostly children) to approach the 200 mark this year alone. According to a World Bank report, infant mortality rate in UP is the highest in India. Swine flu is slowly spreading its wings. The public sector has failed to create an investment friendly atmosphere. The biggest stumbling block here in UP is deep rooted caste and gender inequalities.

Is the $100 million for building statues justified? How did the State Legislature approve it? If it did, then what was the Central Government doing? The biggest question here would be is why the public of UP not raising its voice?

Blissful ignorance would be the perfect answer. Or would it?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

This Is Where We Stand After 62 Independent Years

Why we Indians fail the nation” by Ramesh Khazanchi is a good read. However there are a couple of points which require a different perspective. Here is my perspective on them.

We keep our homes spanking clean and dump all the garbage outside, on the streets.

Should we be ashamed of our behavior? No. The civic agencies are corrupt, lazy and don’t clean the streets at all. I have never seen any worker from any of the civic agency cleaning the streets in my life and I have been living at one single place since my birth. Most of the families here have put in place a wonderful system of cleaning the street in front of their houses, either by employing a maid or doing it by themselves.

The garbage collection system is erratic and the driver of the garbage truck is always drunk. Moreover, we pay him 20 – 50 bucks every now and then to ensure he does not forget to come and collect the garbage.

What should we do, set up garbage disposal units outside our homes? I guess the civic agencies wouldn’t mind as it would give them another opportunity to fleece us with extra taxes, not that we are paying them enough already.

The community bin concept does not work here as they are hardly cleared and always overflows. Obvious isn’t it? Oh and the one thing that the so called civic agencies are good at is sending notices if we fail to pay our taxes on time.

We routinely employ children below 14 years of age as domestic help or in jobs of hazardous nature.

I am totally against this as I believe in the basic fundamental right to education which these children are entitled to. But spare a thought for those who have received education and are languishing on the streets without jobs.

What is the guarantee that the education will land the child a job? What if the child does not want to learn and wants to work in order to support a family. The child may be the sole bread winner for its family. Pulling the child out of a job and putting in front of a blackboard does not help as its family might die of hunger. The child might die of hunger. Learning to read and write does not satisfy the hunger pangs.

Our social security system does not exist as it does in the developed countries that frown on such practices. The poor and the jobless are left in the lurch to fend for themselves, with no help coming from the government that is busy in introducing legislations for an increase in the salaries and perks of the netas. They don’t care if we are eating our own shit, as long as we are paying sanitary taxes on time.

62 years of independence, after spending countless years of being ruled under different invading hordes; does it matter anymore? Corruption is gnawing away at the roots of our freedom. How long will the stability last? Something’s got to give. Every day we inch closer to tag of a failed nation. (Look at Congo for an extreme example). All our successive Governments and their policies have failed us and we as citizens have failed it by not raising our voice against corruption and allowing it to flourish.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Samsung Reclaim

It costs less than 50 dollars at Sprint and according to the Samsung, the Reclaim is 80 percent recyclable as it is made from bio-plastic. The packaging is made from 70 percent recyclable material, while the ink used for printing text and images on the package and the phone warranty is made from soy. The charger consumes about 12 times lesser power than the Energy Star standard.

Samsung has positioned it as an eco-friendly messaging phone. 2 dollars will go to the Nature Conservancy’s Adopt an Acre program in the U.S.

Image Courtesy: Samsung

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Retour des Champions

What an amazing week it has been!

Seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong finished 3rd at this years Tour. Eight time Grand Prix winner “The Doctor” Valentino Rossi extended his lead in this years Moto GP Championship. Last but not the least; Michael Schumacher has announced his comeback to Formula 1 this year, albeit only as a replacement to the Felipe Massa.

However, there is the sad news of BMW confirming that this year would be its last in F1. But the good news is that 12 teams have signed a new Concorde Agreement that lasts until 2012.

I was really hoping that this year’s Tour de France would be dope free. But I guess I was hoping against hope. Mikel Astarloza, winner of the 16th stage, has tested positive for EPO and has been suspended by the ICU. Is he the only person to test positive for doping at this year’s Tour or will there be more? Only time will tell.