Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 - Ends on a Bad Note

Today, 29-Dec-2012, the 23 year old rape victim, whose ordeal shook the nation, passed away in Singapore. She died in the wee hours due multiple organ failure at Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

The year 2012 has ended on a bad note with the death of this young lady. May her soul rest in peace.

The death of the brave girl who "wanted to live" marks the end of her ordeal that began on the night of 16-Dec-2012 when she was returning from a movie with her friend.

The girl had suffered grave injuries at the hands of the criminals and had been critical since she was brought to the hospital. Doctors had to removed her intestine.

The nation was shaken by the incident. For the first time in the nation's history people were out on the street protesting against the government inaction and demand stringent laws for those who commit crimes against women.

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 - Who grew in Indian Politics?

2012 has been a busy year for Indian Politics.

Swami Ramdev, Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal are some of the new names that have emerged on the political front during the course of 2012. Each of these three got prominence due the government's apparent inaction in tackling corruption and black money.

Swami Ramdev and Anna Hazare got great public support for their campaign against black money and corruption. But, the ruling Congress-led coalition managed to suppress their movements. The government managed to successfully put Swami Ramdev on the back foot, while Anna Hazare's campaign lost its sheen as Anna was apparently not able to recover fully from the effects of his hunger fast.

Arvind Kejriwal once a member of Team Anna has not yet given up. He is still going strong. He and his colleagues have launched a political party - Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). They are still gunning for a strong Lokpal bill. and are even willing to contest in the next elections, if necessary.

Other names that stole the limelight and grew in stature during 2012 are Narendra Modi, Akhilesh Yadav.

In Narendra Modi become the Chief Minister of Gujarat for the fourth time. In December he chalked his hat-trick - his third consecutive victory in the Gujarat Assembly polls.It was a big year for Narendra Modi himself when he was praised for the development work that he has done in the state during his tenure.

Narendra Modi's stature grew so much that he has almost become BJP's next Prime Ministerial Candidate for the next General Elections. The General Elections are originally due in 2014, but many political experts have publicly predicted that the nation could go to polls in 2013 itself.

In 2012, Akhilesh Yadav became the youngest Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh when his party ousted Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party. A lot was promised during the elections and a lot is expected from this young Chief Minister.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Violence is not and can never be part of any solution

Violence is not and can never be even a small part of the solution to any problem.

No matter how much disagreement you have with anybody - violence can never be part of the solution, at best it will only compound the problem. No matter who instigates is, no matter who strikes first.

This is what has happened at India Gate in New Delhi. So many protestors were injured, one police constable even lost his life.

Please no more!

It is my request to the representatives of the people that form the governments, to be a little more sensitive to the sentiments of the crowd. No person is on the streets for the fun of it. The people have taken the streets in such large numbers because they feel that the government is not delivering.

Reports of rape,  crimes against women and other crimes against humanity have become common-place and still there are so few arrests and even fewer convictions. It is quite natural for the people feel insecure. I think it is right for the people to have come out in large numbers to ask the representatives, they have elected, to do something to create a secure and save environment.

Where else can they go?

The string of events that lead to the lathi-charge were very misfortunate. It has only increased the gap between the people and the government.

Please no more!

Life can be pleasant and peaceful for all only if this gap reduces. I request the leaders to handle the issue, that has touched so many hearts, a little more sensitively.

Friday, December 21, 2012

What I think about Narendra Modi?

Narendra Modi has led BJP's victory in the Gujarat Assembly Elections for the third time. This time he has made it to the house with 115 seats (in 2012) as compared to 117 seats (in 2007).

Judging by the media reports it is certain that he is the most eligible prime-ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janta Party for the forthcoming 2014 general election.

So it is time Indians start taking serious note of him. Below is what I think about him. It may or may not be right, this is my impression of Narendra Modi.

Besides many things, I feel that Narendra Modi is a man with strong likes and dislikes and he shown that he has the guts to stand by what he thinks he wants to do and not do.

According to me, the biggest positive for Narendra Modi's election campaign was that it was above caste and religion. I mean he did not comment for or against any caste or religion. His opponents - that is the Congress Party and others did rake up caste and religion issues during the campaign - but I did not see him speaking on this matter.

The impression that the people have about his religious inclinations and behavior towards the minorities has been created by the media and by his opposition. I think that he himself has rarely made any comment on this matter.

He did not spend much time criticizing his opponents. He simply focused on development.

It is clear that he realizes the significance of elections and voters. During this tenure he made regular public appearances which were obviously political in nature. The frequency of such appearances obviously increased this year (2012) as the elections drew closer.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Focus back on UPA Governemnt after WalMart declaration

Even as things seemed to be improving for the ruling UPA government, WalMart's statement in the US has once again put the UPA government in a corner.

WalMart - the company is clearly seen to be the biggest beneficiary of the recent FDI decision of the Congress led UPA Goverment. WalMart has gone and said before the US Senate that it has spent around Rs. 700 crores in lobbying for the opening of the retail sector in Indian.

This has given the opposition in particular and Indian public in general an opportunity to once again raise eyebrows.

The UPA government has faced a lot of criticism over the last few months over the way it has handled its political allies and the way it has been on the back foot on the issue of corruption. Last month the government suddenly showed some bone and announced a couple of decisions which were believed to be unpopular with most political parties and the win in both the houses of the Parliament must have been a big morale booster for the Congress led UPA government.

But, now let us see how the statement by WalMart - the biggest apparent winner of the FDI decision - impacts the Indian government.

Friday, November 9, 2012

HSBC - Home Service for Swiss Banking!

The disclosures made by Kejriwal's against HSBC at today's (9-Nov-2012) press conference have very far reaching and serious implications.

It has been alleged that an international HSBC has provided door-service for
  • opening accounts
  • collecting and transferring funds to the Swiss accounts
  • receiving funds from the Swiss accounts and delivering them as and where sought by the account holders.

All the account holders had to was make a phone call and everything was done for them at their doorstep.

According to the allegations crores and crores of funds have moved in and out of the country without even having the account holders to even leave their house.

Can the average Indian citizen even imagine of opening a saving account so easily!!


This means that a person could transfer funds from any place to any place through HSBC's Swiss Account with complete anonymity. No wonder so much black money is able to circulate in the system causing so much harm to the entire world.

Terrorists, criminals and corrupt rich could deploy their funds wherever they wanted.

Frightening - very frightening

USA had already taken cognizance of this functioning of HSBC and hauled up the bank earlier. It seems that US have even warned the Indian Government about this. A warning that had been casually brushed aside.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Is the charisma of Arvind Kejriwal waning?

India's fast track crusader against corruption, Arvind Kejriwal,  has certainly managed to catch the attention of the Indian masses.

He has directly attacked India's top political family - Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law and other top politicians. Opposition leader Nitin Gadkari 's business activities too came under public scrutiny after Arvind spoke against him. Now, his latest allegations against Mukesh Ambani and his flagship company Reliance Industries Ltd have once again raised the issue of corruption at high places.

All this certainly has caught everyone's attention. He has just reinforced everyone's belief the corruption is rooted in India in a big way, but it is fast becoming evident that even he can not do much to get the guilty punished.

So now it remains to be seen how long Arvind Kejriwal is able to retain all this attention. Even during the last revelation against Mukesh Ambani, we noticed that there wasn't much enthusiasm in way the people have reacted.

My question is...  Is Arvind's charm is wearing off?  and my own take is Yes!

The common man does not need any more  revelations. He knows how deep routed the corruption is in this country. He is too busy working hard for his next meal to care about revelations and accusation.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Windows 8 - My First Reaction

Here is my first reaction for Windows 8

The headline according to me would be - the new Start Interface is not complete.

What I liked...
  • I like the way Microsoft has gone light its the transparency fad, that it has used to extensively in Windows 7. 
  • I like the new Start screen, but I want a lot of customization options so that I can optimize it to my choice and liking.
  • Most of the applications are running smoother.
  • VB6 ran comfortably, with minor tweaks - This was important because I am still supporting a lot of my older applications on this platform.
What I did-not like...
  • The configuration for the Start screen is not good.
    • I want to be able add programs and apps and arrange (lock) them at locations of my choice on the screen.
    • The All Programs equivalent in the Start Menu is all botched up - In fact it was the scariest experience.
  • Most apps run in Full Screen mode - Why? I request Microsoft to give an option to make them run like normal windows applications.
  • Shut Down is not easy. Thank goodness I remembered Alt-F4 shuts down.
  • I would have appreciated if MSDE2000 would install, but I can do without it. I have successfully migrated to SQL2012 Express.

My first evaluation...
I am not regretting the update, but I would certainly appreciate a more "friendly" Start screen.

I wish Microsoft success with this Windows 8 OS.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Salman Khurshid - Did he give a reply?

Salman Khurshid - Did he address the issues raised against his trust?

No! A big No!

He did  not reply to any of the corruption charges that were leveled against him.

All he and his wife did was show a couple of photographs that were not related to any of the charges leveled against him over the last few days and a challenged individual who was wearing a hearing aid.

The main charges against his trust are that the trust had submitted several forged documents including a forged affidavit. He, himself, is that Law Minister of the country, and surely he knows the implications of submitting forged documents.

He just did not say anything on this.

Come on Mr. Law Minister, the people is eagerly waiting for some answers on the charges leveled and not unrelated stories.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Action against the protestors - Nothing against the corrupt

A couple of days back, TV news channel Aaj Tak did a story on the misdoings of a trust in UP.  The news anchors on the channel alleged that the trust run by Salman Khurshid and his wife is involved in siphoning off around Rs. 71 lacs of aid money by submitting forged documents.

According to the internal "departmental" investigations - a lot of papers were submitted with forged signatures and seals of officials in Uttar Pradesh, with the help of which money earmarked to provide aid-n-appliances for the persons with disabilities was siphoned off. The news also showed copies of letters from the UP government to the central government where in they have confirmed that the signatures and seals were forged.

In today's era of multi-crore scams this amount is chicken feed, but still the story was important because Salman Khurshid is India's Law Minister.

Although it remains to be seen who is guilty in the matter, there certainly has been foul play.

Today, on 12 Oct 2012, Arvind Kejriwal was arrested - or should I say detained - because he was protesting against this crime against humanity.

Is it not an irony? 

Action is being taken against the person who is just demanding action against the people involved in the matter. Even after three days of exposing this scandal, no action has been taken against the people who run the trust. Not even an inquiry has been announced.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Whose responsible for the loss of crores and crores of rupees?

Almost everybody - including those within the government and those outside - agrees that there is rampant corruption in the country.

There is even a general acceptance that only 10-12% of the funds allocated for the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden in this country reaches the targeted at the grass-root levels, rest of the entire amount is either gobbled by the corrupt or lost in the bureaucratic red tape.

Yet, it is surprising, the successive governments have done very little to device measures that ensure checks and controls, device measures that club responsibility and accountability when earmarking funds for any project.

Way back in the 80s, the then Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi had publicly accepted this. The country's media recently when on record stating that lakhs of crores of Indian money is stashed in Swiss and other similar Banks.

I would certainly like to know, why then, each year the government is allocating crores and crores of rupees for development schemes in the far-flung rural regions without putting in place any mechanism that can ensure proper utilization of the funds.

Who is responsible for this great loss to the nation?