All posts in the Uttarakhand category

The Indian Economy: further problems ahead…

Published July 6, 2013 by vishalvkale

Our continued silence is a matter of extreme concern; unless the Indian citizen wakes up, and addresses the corruption that is now endemic to society as a whole, we are going to continue on a one-way spiral to the bottom. Let us consider the economic climate, and how it has been impacted by corruption and fiscal profligacy.
We are facing a scenario of a broad-spectrum decline in all aspects of the business environment, cutting across sectors and indicators. The reasons, as given in my earlier posts, are on 2 sides: implementation hurdles and Policy stasis. Both need attending to; without that – we can expect a further slide. We are facing a BOP crisis in April 2014: how much of the $162 Billion can be rolled over is a moot point. This is short term debt coming due; add to this CAD, capital flight etc – and you are staring at a crisis situation of unprecedented proportions. If something is not done – we can expect a further correction. 
Research reports from across the world have pointed out only one reason for the decline: corruption. Businessman after businessman has openly stated that it is very hard  to continue to do business in India. The result is that while our investment needs go unattended, you have an amazing scenario of Indian MNCs, who are actively investing abroad. 
With pressure building up in their home markets, FIIs and international firms will first pull out cash from high-risk areas; which is what is happening. Europe is a basket case; US is under extreme pressure; China always was suspect. And India… has been ripped apart by scandals. At home, each and every sector lies in a shambles – having been ruthlessly exposed as corrupt. The list of scandals include almost every sector for core to consumer goods to medicines to services: Adidas; Cobrapost; Satyam; Telecom; Ranbaxy etc in drugs; mining; land; power – and this list is from the top of my mind. With a few hours of research – I can add to this list with ease. 
Add to this the lack of a correct approach: in Human Development Index parameters, we have the unique distinction of being listed alongside, or even below, Sub-Saharan African nations in several parameters. We have a younger generation growing up without food, health or education access. We have a massive mis-use of environment and land resources, stalling nearly 100% of all infrastructure projects. And, instead of attending to this environment, we are still focusing on short-term populist measures, while infrastructure, health, education all lie in a shambles. 
Uttarakhand has come and gone without a dent on our national ethos; it does not require a doctorate summa cum laude in Biology to figure out that deforestation on a massive scale in hilly areas is a recipe for certain disaster – even a 11th class student will confirm that roots act as binders in hilly areas. Add to that uncontrolled projects, unimplemented laws and ignored common sense: and you have a disaster. Everything was known to us; we chose to do nothing, continuing our cocooned existence. This approach – carelessness – is leading to a stasis with 100% of all projects being blocked. South India is already in a power crisis, for example. HDI parameters as another example.
All this is extremely relevant – it is what is hindering investment. Investment happens when there is a climate conducive to investment – and we dont. Simple as that. In place of that, we are only creating further problems, like the food security bill ordinance, rather than  invest that 124000 crores in education and health… but no, we dont and cant do that. When there has been no furore over Uttarakhand, it is being foolish in the extreme to expect a furore over small matters like investment in productive assets as opposed to fiscal profligacy. There is total silence on the leak in all government schemes: how much of this 1.24 Lac Crore will reach the public? A small amount. No one is questioning the government with any degree of sincerity as to why they are doing this in an election year. What were they doing earlier? Sleeping? But no, we are silent. Why is there a total silence in terms of serious pressure on Uttarakhand problems? 
Our silence has a cost: a heavy cost. You only have to look around you… 
Jaago, Sonewaalon! 

And So Life Continues…

Published July 4, 2013 by vishalvkale

Our capacity to forget is truly amazing. It has taken us just 14 days to move on; just 14. But why should I find this surprising? This is par for the course; the average Indian capacity to absorb punishment is almost legendary. The list of man-made disasters and scams we have forgotten makes a very interesting read indeed, one we can justifiably be proud of – having managed to first mis-manage and then forget all the mismanagement for any number of “achievements” of our political masters, bureaucrats and big business. Be it the man-made Uttarakhand, or AMRI Fire case or be it the Satyam or Cobrapost scam; we are very quick to move on.

It doesn’t concern me; It doesn’t effect me. I am alive and well; I am healthy and have a job… that is all that matters. My life is hunky-dory, and great. Why should I care? These, and similar opinions are the general rule. We are armchair specialists: commenting with zeal on each expose and tragedy; shaking our collective heads with shock and concern immediately after each such tragedy or expose. We read the investigative details with anger, and cry that corruption is bad. Oh, how we scream and de-cry all and sundry during the heydays right after any event. Any and every event. From afar, it would seem that we have been shaken to the core; that our collective conscience has been shaken out of its revery.

But fast-forward to a few days later – and everyone has forgotten; everyone has moved on. There is no real recollection of the corrupt nexus that led to deforestation in Uttarakhand. There is no realisation of the criminal negligence that led to warnings being ignored. There is no memory of the negligence that led to AMRI and Mumbai fires; there is little realisation or recall of the corporate managers who featured in Cobrapost or in the Ranbaxy episode. There is no recall greed and negligence combining to create Satyam. There is no recall of how bribes allowed trucks to go unchecked into Mumbai… nothing. Life moves on, as if nothing of import has happened.

Please continue your stupor, India: please dont wake up just yet. Not now, not yet. There is still much that needs to be destroyed; there is a lot that remains to be done before we are completely destroyed. Corruptions scams have just derailed the India story, please wait for it to be gutted totally. Please let your politicians and other vested interests enjoy themselves. Your silence is needed by your family; your silence is needed by society. Stupor is feeding you and your family; and that is the only thing that matters, after all; that you be happy. Mother India deserves what she is getting…

Enjoy, Everyone! Silence… please. Total Silence…


UPA/ Gandhi Vs NDA/Modi… Ek taraf uska ghar, ek taraf maikadaa…

Published June 28, 2013 by vishalvkale

Zindagi ek hai aur talabgaar do
Jaan akeli magar jaan ke huqdaar do
dil bataa pehle kiskaa karoon huq adaa
Ek taraf uskaa ghar ek taraf maikadaa
Is talluq ko main kaise todun zafar
kisko apnau main kisko chhodun zafar
meraa dono se rishtaa hai nazdeek kaa
Ek taraf uskaa ghar ek taraf maikadaa

The immediate aftermath of the sad Uttarakhand tragedy has highlighted aspects of both sides of the political spectrum which are disturbing; while you have the Modi phenomenon with the much-touted “help-Gujarati only” approach, with intervention in the middle of a tragedy; and Rahul Gandhi and his Z-Plus security visit which forced a closure of an ITBP location… leaving me wondering: who to choose, on whose side to go, who to vote for – or is it that none of these is deserving of my vote… the only weapon I have to express my desires and my aspirations!

First, let us take the famous Modi rescue mission. Having read both sides of the “equation” – I have but one query for the NDA, and one for the GoI. If indeed Mr Modi did rescue Gujaratis only, then my question is : aren’t the other victims deserving of rescue? As a Maharashtrian Indian, am I now to be treated differently from Gujaratis Indians? It pains me to write these words, but in the light of what I have read online, this is a pertinent query. We are all Indians and are equal in front of any State or Central Government, and this blatant discrimination – if true – is disturbing.  Very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very disturbing. And if this is false, why hasnt anyone denied this and clarified with an equal amount visibility? I certainly haven’t read any rebuttals!

Narendra Modi lands in Uttarakhand, flies out with 15,000 Gujaratis

Uttarakhand: Narendra Modi targeted by Yashwant Sinha

This, sir, is not acceptable. This way lies anarchy: should residents of Maharashtra now start looking to their State Government above the Indian Nation? Is a state more important? Should MP domiciles start looking after MP-ites only, to the exclusion of all else? This is just not acceptable. Till this happened, I was looking forward to the US response in case Modi takes over as PM… their snootiness towards Modi would have to take a back seat! It was a tantalisingly delicious prospect and dream of meeting those holier-than-thou geniuses in the US of A. Not anymore; I am no longer with Mr Modi or the NDA. Not after this Gujarati-only approach. I am only an Indian : my language and my state-hood are not in the least important. I demand equality: and give equality. It is also my right!

Coming to Mr Gandhi and the GoI, first of all – how has this much touted visit by Gandhi (which was after the Modi visit) helped? Was it a genuine help effort, or an attempt to stem the slide caused by Modi and his Gujaratisms? What practical good was achieved? Answer: 

Page on Bhaskar

ITBP DG denies officers evicted from Gauchar mess to accommodate Rahul Gandhi, says they were relocated

And the DG of ITBP says Rahul Gandhi’s security was of paramount importance! More important than even saving lives, is it? And the officers were not removed, they were relocated!!!!! Pray tell me what is the difference? And removal of officers – howsoever temporary – must have caused some problems. That is simple logic. 

So, my dear GOI, tell me – a simple, powerless citizen of India – is Rahul Gandhi more important than saving thousands of lives? And how is it that a rank-outsider like Modi can just waltz into a disaster area unannounced and without clearance and organise a Rambo-style rescue? Insofar as Uttarakhand tragedy is concerned – outside of the Armed Forces, Uttarakhand State Government and Central Government – everyone else is persona-non-grata. How did Modi pull it off? Why did Rahul’s security demand vacation of a rescue camp in one of the worst natural disaster hit areas in India???? Who gave them the bloody guts to do that?  That means there is no control of any kind: every man for himself, is it? What a positively fabulous way of running a government! Awesome: you have my personal congratulations! 

That leaves me with 2 options: on one side, a party that fields a Help-Gujarati-Only man as a prime candidate; and on the other side a party who places personal security over and above the convenience of people engaged in rescue work, a party that mismanages this whole sick episode…

Who do I choose?  Maikadaa chunoon – yaa “Uske” ghar jaaon?

Maikadaa ==> bar
Us: in this example above: I have taken it to mean “the other woman”

Both are dangerous!!!!

Ai gham-e-zindagi kuch to de mashvaraa
Ek taraf uskaa ghar ek taraf maikadaa
main kahaa jaaoon hotaa nahi faislaa
Ek taraf uska ghar ek taraf maikadaa…