Thursday, October 7, 2010

The GIST of High Court Judgement on Ayodhya Land Dispute

30 September 2010 was a very tense day, the most tense in my memory. Everybody was in fear, waiting eagerly to hear the decision of the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court in the long-running Ayodhya Land Dispute case.

The streets had gone empty out of fear - what would happen if the people reacted adversely to the decision.

The Title Suit for land in Ayodhya in the highly sensitive Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue had been in court for 60 years. The court had been asked to decide who owned the land. The court had announced earlier that the decision would be given on 24 September 2010. This got put off until 30 September 2010 when some retired bureaucrat filed a petition against the decision in the Supreme Court.

Anyway, after the supreme court quashed the petition on 28th, 30th was set has the decision day and the time was given as 3:30pm.

The Government of India and state governments had put the country on alert with security forces out on the streets in large numbers. The premises in Lucknow where the court was to deliver the judgement was converted into a virtual fortress.

But, to everyone's relief when the judgement was released to the world through the media personnel waiting outside the court premises, it was received very calmly by the people. There have been all kinds of reactions to the judgement. Some are happy. Some say that the judgement should be challenged in the Supreme Court of India. But, happily for all none of it was violent.

The people have made it clear that they value the peace, and that they want a peaceful solution to the dispute.

Long live everyone.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jugaad and rocket-species and CommonWealth Games

Yesterday, while discussing the mess made by the organizing committee and all parties involved in the preparations of the commonwealth games, a friend said something interesting.

He started by expressing that despite all that is being said, the CommonWealth Games will be a big success. According to him, we have two things in our favor. Firstly we, Indians, have mastered the art of Jugaad and second, more interestingly, he said, we belong to the rocket-species.

Jugaad I have heard before it is compromise solution to resolve the immediate issues at hand. It most certainly is not a permanent long-term answer to a problem, but then CWG 2010 will be over by 14 October, won't it.

Rocket Species! That was new one me.

He went on to explain...

Have you noticed how the rocket moves? It sits dead in one place - there is no movement or reaction from it until the last moment. But, the moment you ignite its bottom see it take-off and cover distances of several hundred kilometers in the matter of minutes.

He said confidently "just watch that is what will happen at Delhi in the next 3 weeks. Let the fire be ignited, it should happen in the next couple of days, and see how everything smooths out."

Well lets hope you are right friend.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

CommonWealth Games v/s The Game of Common Wealth

Here is what cartoonist Ritesh Dubey has to say about Game of Common Wealth...

Shashi Tharoor lost his ministership for a much smaller offence (IPL franchisee bidding controversy).
What does Prime Minister Manmohan Singh plan to do with those who have compromised the national prestige...
  • the chairman of the organizing committee and his team
  • our sports minister
  • government in delhi

Common Wealth Games v/s Controversy Wala Games

The Government of India has invested thousands of crores to organize the Commonwealth Games at Delhi from 3rd to 14th October 2010.

Now, it is only 12 days to go and preparations are far from complete.

The visiting commonwealth delegates have to described the Games Village as "unliveable", "disgusting" and "filthy".

Britain's three top athletes - Christine Ohuruogu, Lisa Dobriskey and Phillips Idowu - have announced have already pulled out of CWG 2010. Australian Dani Samuels has withdrawn, siting health and security concerns.

Several other top athletes have  threatened to pull out of the games.

New Zealand and Canada too have indicated that their teams would pull out of CWG 2010 if Delhi fails to fix the venues, village and security in time.

Michael Fennell - CGF President has also expressed his concerns over the preparations and written to the Indian Cabinet Secretary on the issue.

The politicians will have a hands full answering to the angry citizens if the games fail - especially after so many resources that could have privileged the common man have been diverted for the preparation of the games.

Friday, August 27, 2010

DTC - Direct Tax Code - What does it mean for you and me?

DTC is all over the Indian media scene. The government had announced its intention revamp the archaic tax code that has been in use in the country for the last 50 years.

So, the question that comes to my mind is - What does it mean for you and me?

Tinkering with the rates of taxes is something that the government does every year, there is nothing new in it.

Overhauling of the DTC is all how the government will go about calculating and collecting its tax revenue.
The objective of DTC is to  bring all direct taxes like income-tax, dividend distribution tax, fringe benefit tax and wealth-tax to "establish an economically efficient, effective and equitable direct tax system which will facilitate voluntary compliance and help increase the tax-GDP ratio".

To achieve this objective the government is setting out to update and rewrite the outdated rules in the income tax. It is designed to provide stability in the tax regime as it is based on well accepted principles of taxation and best international practices. It will eventually pave the way for a single unified taxpayer reporting system.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hats off to Aamir Khan

Really Hats Off!!

Aamir certainly knows what the audience likes and one step more he also knows how to deliver it. The guy has been delivering hit after hit, be it his own production or somebody elses. Lagaan, Taare Zamin Par, Ghajini, Three Idots and now Peepli [Live].

The choice script by Aamir is very good. His films have always had strong content, content that he himself appreciated and knew would be appreciated by the audience.

As the saying goes "Content is King". If content is up to the mark, half the ladder to success has already been climbed. Supported with good direction and good acting, it is a sureshot formula for success.

This point was more than proved in his last release Peepli Live.
  • A film by a debutant director.
  • A film with almost no known star face.
  • A film with a real down-to-earth story - well researched story.
  • A film with content that the audiences could immediately connect to - at least audiences who have seen the rural environment of our country.
Good content was able to live up to the hype that was created around the movie before its release.

Once again - hats off to Aamir Khan for his ability to recognize good content.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Peepli Live and Central India, especially Chhattisgarh

Omkar Das Manikpuri
Peepli [Live] the latest movie - a Aamir Khan Production - has excited the folks connected with theatre in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. The main reason for this is that Director Anusha Rizvi has cast almost the entire team from Habib Tanveer's Naya Theatre in the movie.

The folk Gond song "Chola Mati Ke Ram" sung by Nagin Tanveer, the daughter of Habib Tanveer is working magic giving a big boost to the local folk talent. The lead character Natha has been played by Omkar Das Manikpuri (Natha) who hails from Chhattisgarh.

The fact that the film has the label of Mr. Perfectionist - Aamir Khan as producer indicates that the film will have good entertainment along with a social message. Coupled with the local - Chhattisgarh / Madhya Pradesh - touch the film is being eagerly awaited by audiences here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fuel Price / Inflation overshadows Bhopal Gas Issue

A government that was very hesitant to increase prices has not only done it, it has also gone one step ahead and deregulated petrol pricing.

One wonders why!

I think the UPA government has taken this decision to suppress the  Bhopal Gas Tragedy / Union Carbide controversy which was promising to snowball into a major issue. The government had to face a lot of adverse media coverage over Warren Anderson's departure from India in wake of the world worst industrial disaster in 1984.

I must say that the UPA leaders have successfully distracted the people from the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. In fact, I would like to further add that the government has successfully got two birds with one stone. Given the fact, that there has not been any major resistance, barring a few unrelated incidents here and there, the government's decision on the fuel price hike will also help recover some of the under-recoveries of the Oil Marketing Companies.

One more observation... I must say that I am also impressed with the timing of the price hike. It was done when the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh was out of the country. It gave the government window for a possible recalling the price hike had there been any major protest from the public to it.