Thursday, July 31, 2008

If not bread, there are mud cakes to eat ...

If they do not have bread to eat, let them eat cake !!

Marie Antoinette, Queen of France in 1790s  is reported in history of having said this at the height of the French revolution. But consider this, not having bread to eat, yes, these people in Haiti are eating cake, yes, mud cake !!! to keep off hunger ..

heart breaking scenes and news from Haiti ...


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

At last 600,000 MW is ensured ...

It was remarkable foresight from an individual who was India's finance Minister in 1991, ( along with the then PM) to release India from the strangle of a controlled economy and Indians can now rest on the benefits of that action now and very much into the future. It is an action which has taken India into the forefront of nations.

Another action of foresight is coming up , the passage of the Indo-US nuclear deal which will ensure energy security for India for the coming fifty years. A good way to block India's development and growth was to see that there are energy shortages all the time. Exactly what the Opposition of BJP and the Left were trying hard the past two days. The people of the nation knew it better and said enough is enough, let us have this deal now...

Generations to come will applaud the actions of this great leader. In spite of great personal pain and amongst other allegations of being a weak PM by the leader of the opposition, Dr Manmohan Singh saw the deal through in poise and style, surprising everyone by the way. A sad day for Advani after having raised so many issues personal targetting the PM, to find finally that he was exposed to the core. Advani's fanatic, fascist and communal upbringing and thinking has been exposed and is there open for the nation to see..

The nation can now rest assured that it is indeed in safe hands of our academician and thinker PM, a sincere person, Dr Manmohan Sngh. The interests of the nation have been foremost in his mind, at all times and will continue to be so. 

The Left too have been exposed. But the nation can understand their sad predicament after having tasted fallouts of power, they just overstepped their limits and were going beyond limits in arm twisting. Also they were made to bite the dust. The nation does not expect them to come anywhere near the centre stage of national decision making in the coming three or four decades, if by then they are not totally degenerated.

The Indo US deal is now in full throttle, after the go ahead by the Parliament. Even though the BJP has told that it will not accept this vote of confidence ( they have always been this way, BAD LOSERS.... even after their defeat in the 2004 general elections), nobody cares..


Monday, July 21, 2008

600,000 MW and the vote of confidence in Indian Parliament ...

Growing at a very modest 8 % for the next 16 years, India will need 600,000 MW of energy ( 200,000 MW for the first eight years, upto 2016 AD and then 400,000 MW upto 2024 AD.

Which source of power can give us such quantities ??

Consider India having to depend on coal for generating such massive quantities of energy, the greenhouse gas emissions will be so much that the planet is sure to go into an ice age.
Given the global instability arising out of rising fuel and food prices staring at our face, it is all the more important that a country of such potential for growth need to take the lead to conserve the environment. It is also in the better interests of the world, that the NSG ( Nuclear Suppliers Group) agree to the safeguards agreement India is tabling at the IAEA on it's civilian and military nuclear facilities.

Indians at 1.2 Tonnes of CO2 per head ( 1000 million x 1.2 T = 1.2 billio T of Co2) pollute the world only a quarter of what US at 20 T of CO2 /head ( 300 million x 20 T= 6000 m T or 6 Billion Tonnes, do. By then the Chinese and the developed world would have polluted it so much that the earth   would have become inhospitable. We need to check this .. Recently in the Toyako G8 summit, finally the US ssems to have understood the fallacy of their stand as regards global warming and green house gas emisions and will co-operate with the other nations of the world.

Regarding the Indo-US nuclear deal, after all this hullabulla over neglecting Indian interests and so on ( I was against this deal initially), top nuclear scientists of the country have given the go ahead to this deal, including the most respected former Presient, Bharat Ratna Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. All Indian interests have been taken care of in the deal, including India's sovereignty to hold independent tests, if need be, The Hindu newspaper which initially was against the deal given it's pro-left leanings. Of late it has started talking facts about the deal which are weighed totally in India's favour.

The vote of confidence to be tabled tomorrow, 22 July in the Lok Sabha of the Indian Parliament, after two days of heated exchanges and discussions, is a referendum on the country's develoment and growth. On one side are the people trying to scuttle growth and development led by the Left parties (owing allegiance to the now defunct and humiliated Communists of capitalist Russia and China) and the communal Hindu nationalist party BJP, who like a snake in the grass are going all out against the deal which it favoured initially.

On the other side we have an economist of international recognition, the PM of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, trying to pull off this monumental deal with US. For he is more than convinced that it will release India from international isolation for not signing the non-proliferation treaty ( even though even after signing the nuclear non-proliferation treaty China has demonstrated doubtful credibility) and help it gain access to high-speed computers and technology which will help it in health care, education, defence and meteorology.

Are our opposition politicians doing the right thing trying to scuttle this deal over petty political issues of protocol or consensus ? Considerations of money for the greedy is another factor which also needs to be discounted.

The Left parties are in deep shit given that they are between the devil and the deep sea. On the one hand they have been bargaining hard with the govt to stop this deal issuing threats of withdrawal of support and so on. Now that the govt has indeed gone ahead they cannot offer support at this point and lose face. On the other hand, by not supporting the government they will be aligning with the communal BJP leading to the downfall of a secular govt and allowing the communals to come back to power, the last thing the communists ever want.

The best they can do is to not take part in the voting of confidence and allow the govt to sail through. They can still cry and shout from the sides against the govt ( though nobody will care..) and claim credit for helping the govt. Everybody would have by then known their predicament.

Now as the picture is getting clear with each passing day of the confidence the present govt enjoys and it's clarity on issues of energy and sustaining India's growth over the years ahead, have the Left hit the nails on their coffin itself ?? The coming days will tell.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pope expresses happiness over the Australian apology ...

The Australian apology for the ill-treatment, enslaving, over-exploitation and dispossession of land from the original owners of the land, the tribals by the foreign settlers, cannot replace the pain and sufferings of the people. The Pope, in Australia in connection with the World Youth Day, was happy about this, though justice has not been done to the tribals.

Giving back the land and adequately compensating them for all the ill-treatment they have been meted out over the years, since Captain Cook discovered the islands, is the just and equitable settlement possible.

Do the Aussies ( the descendents of the criminals, murderers and rapists deported from Europe)  or the immigrants settled from other parts of the world (out of ignorance of historical rights and wrongs), have the guts to  restore the illegitimate holdings in their possession back to the original owners of the land ???

A historical wrong cannot be 'righted' by just words alone ....


Pope apologises for sexual abuse by Catholic priests ..

Requires great strength of character to openly offer apologies for the actions of paedphiles in priesthood in the Catholic Church. ( applies to other churches too..) It goes to prove that celibacy is not a natural way of life, unless the candidate is exceptionally dedicated to the cause.

The Hindu way of life, the four stages of Bhramacharya, Grihasthashrama, Vaanaprastha and sanyaasa is a natural progression of events as the Creator deemed it fit ..


Pope says sorry for the sexual abuse of Catholic priests in Australia ..

SYDNEY: Pope Benedict apologised on Saturday for sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Australia, saying those responsible should be brought to justice.

"I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured," the pontiff said in a homily in Sydney.

"These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation," he said. "Those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice."

Victims of church abuse in Australia have been calling on the pope to issue a public apology during his visit to Sydney for World Youth Day, July 15-20.

Broken Rites, which represents abuse victims in Australia, has a list of 107 convictions for church abuse, but says there could be thousands of victims as only a few cases go to court.

The pope confronted the issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in the United States during a visit to Washington in April, meeting victims and vowing to keep paedophiles out of the priesthood.

Sexual abuse by Catholic clergy has overshadowed the pope's visit to Sydney, with the church reopening a 25 year-old abuse case in Australia only days before the pontiff arrived.

Benedict said sexual abuse by clergy had damaged the Catholic Church.

"I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country," he said during a mass inside Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral.

"I ask all of you to support and assist your bishops and to work together with them in combating this evil. Victims should receive compassion and care..." Victims of abuse have said the pope must not just apologise for past church abuse but implement an open and accountable system of investigating abuse claims.

They say the Catholic Church in Australia continues to try and cover-up abuse.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Indian Railways comes up with a unique business model in environment protection ..

The Indian Railways have come with a unique business model which will enable it to generate some revenues from development of clean technologies (CDM - clean development mechanism) of the Kyoto protocol through building Carbon credits by installing over 26 lakh compact flourescent lamps in the houses of it's 6.5 lakh employees around the country.

The Railways have invited companies to bid to supply 4 CFLs each in each  household and to maintain them for the next four years through 2012. In turn the companies through the CDM can earn Carbon credits, the revenue of which they share with the railways. Presently each carbon credit ( equivalent to reducing polluting the enviromnment upto 1 ton of CO2) sells at euro 22, or roughly Rs.1200/=

Due to the unceratyin nature of the savings and the high initial costs involved, dometic companies have not bit the bait but some MNCs , including OSRAM from Germany have shown interest and will help the Railways not only reduce it's pollution and at the same time earn some revenues too. Clear smart thinking and followup !!

It also made interesting reading yesterday to note that India is the fastest country in the world to accept and implement non-polluting technologies, solar and wind based. Maybe one can read between the lines too !! The future holds terrific potential..


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Ambani family feud .. and philanthropy lessons ..

I read in the newspapers yesterday that the the fourth wealthiest, the sixth and the eighth wealthiest person in the world among the top ten are from India. They are respectively  Lakshmi Mittal, Anil Ambani and Mukesh Ambani.

I also read somewhere that Innovative, enterprising, illustrious, hardworking first time businessmen, build business empires. The next generation seeing the hardships and sufferings  their parents took to build those mighty empires, carry on with the businesses and the third generation, born with gold spoons in their mouth, are set to squander them. This is a truth of history and this truth gets repeated in history. In some cases it carries on for two or three generations before the family glory and wealth comes crumbling down.

I am really impressed by what Rockefeller did in the US. While on his deathbed he called his children near him and told them of the wealth he had amassed from the society. The society was kind enough to give him the opportunity to serve them and thus whatever he owns belongs in turn to the society. And most of that he gave back .... It is the greatest philanthropic exercise of the early world, which saw the birth of the Rockefeller Foundation. The Rockefeller foundation has since helped build hospitals, schools all around the world in the developing and less developed countries.

Warren Buffet, the world's richest person as per Forbes list 2008, has been doing this philanthropy, though to a limited scale, nonetheless doing it... He has good company these days, Billy boy and his wife Melinda ...

Finally the rich have come to realise that the only way posterity will remember them is not by the wealth they create, amass or snatch from the society, but how much of it they have shared back with the society... like Rockefeller did ....

If only the Ambanis too realised this truth of life !!


Sifting residence to XIME campus acco....

On 6 th July we shifted residence to the XIME campus in Electronics City. The place is very neat, well done , and peaceful.

The surroundings are great and we are first residents in the campus. Though it is a small place, the rooms are big and there is enough place for kids and silky to run and play.

All facilities are nearby, including chinnu's school. Church is 20 kms away, but on the way back, we do some shopping.. Very neat and healthy ..

shall attach some snaps soon.. Our firs visitors are biju, sunila and kids.. Reenu is already with us for the past two weeks.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Too much ado about nothing ??!! The Nuclear safeguards agreement..

The Times of India needs to be applauded for this...  While all other newspapers have come up about how the government has been exposed regarding the non-revealing of the safeguards agreement,  TOI has written how the safeguards agreement is fully tilted in India's favour and there is no casuse for alarm.

The parliament will be taking up the vote of confidence on 18 July and the IAEA will be discussing the safeguards agreement only on July 25, a week after the vote of confidence. If the govt stays, the deal is through, if not, it will be thrown away, as simple as that !!

From the viewpoint of pressing energy needs of the country, both for the present times and future, keeping concerns about greenhouse gas emissions under control, the deal is very much national and patriotic. This deal the way it has been taken through, also places it politically sensitive.

If national interests were foremost, the picture and hence decision making becomes very clear !!


Cat's out - Editorial from TOI .. 11 July, 08.

So, the text of the India-specific safeguards pact being negotiated with the IAEA is now out. And, it turns out, those who were raising a storm over the dilution of national sovereignty with the pact needn't have bothered.

According to the agreement, India will identify and separate its civilian and military nuclear facilities in a phased manner.

It will place civilian facilities under IAEA safeguards. In return, India will have reliable, uninterrupted and continuous access to the international nuclear fuel market.

Over the lifetime of its reactors, India can develop a strategic reserve of nuclear fuel to guard against any disruption of supply.

In other words, India can create a nuclear fuel bank. The official release of the text of the agreement ought to silence those who were alleging it was kept under wraps in order to sell out Indian interests.

As a matter of fact, the pact has US non-proliferation experts, who are opposed to India joining the international
nuclear order, seriously worried.

In particular, the provisions that allow India access to an uninterrupted fuel supply have drawn their ire. That's a sure sign that Indian interests are protected by the pact as it stands.

IAEA diplomats have indicated that a special governors' meeting may be convened in Vienna on July 28, to discuss whether the pact should be approved.

But another controversy has erupted over how external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee allegedly cheated Parliament by assuring it that the government would seek IAEA ratification of the pact only after winning the floor test in the Lok Sabha.

That's an issue which can also be easily resolved. The prime minister should seek a trust vote from the Lok Sabha before the IAEA board of governors formally meets in Vienna to discuss the deal.

If a trust vote is held and the government loses it, then it falls. That automatically means the deal falls through as well, unless the next elected government takes it up.

If, on the other hand, the government wins the trust vote, there is no ground for the opposition asserting there is only minority support for the deal in Parliament.

The Left's opposition to the deal is well known, but since it has formally withdrawn support to the government its opposition shouldn't matter.

But as far as the technical — as opposed to ideological — objections to the deal from the Indian point of view go, they have been settled by the text of the IAEA safeguards pact as it stands.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How it feels to be left at the school on a bicycle ?

After shifting to the campus accomodation in Electronic City Ph II of the Xavier Inst of Management and En'ship, on Sunday last, my daughter Chinnu studying in St Francis De Sales School had an experience of her lifetime this morning. We went to the bus stand on a bicycle. I had not rode a bicycle for many years and my daughter enjoyed the experience very much. In Bangalore you don't see fathers driving their kids to the school / busstop on bicycles !!!  Of all places, Electronics city in Bangalore, next door to Satyam, TCS, General Electric, Wipro, Infosys and HCL.

These are some of the pleasures in life.. Later she was asking me to drop her at school on the same bicycle !! through the thick traffic !! Oh, no, not now, but surely I'd love to do that in the next two months....


Is the left really serious about the country ??

In their common objective and desire to fight and keep away the communal forces who were wreaking havoc in the country, they joined hands together four years back. Now with the same threat still breathing down their necks, they have parted company. Who is to be blamed and who is to be applauded ?

If India were signing a deal with Russia or China, I am sure our comrade friends would have come forward with folded hands and saluted everybody to get the deal through.  Is it the anti-US genes in their blood which is causing getting them to react this way ? ( if the genes were anti-imperialistic, it is easy to understand. Else why should they support imperialist China ?)  It is but a pathetic reflection of the extent to which our comrades have been brainwashed, that they refuse to see and hear anything other than through their red eyes ..

If the govt has refused to share the Safeguards agreement to be signed with the IAEA with the Left parties, who are not party to the govt and supporting it from outside, there may be enough reasons for that. Safeguards agreement details sharing or not, given that their ego is hurt and they have been rubbed on the wrong side, the Left is going to pull down the government, then why invite unnecessary trouble by sharing the details ??

Now that they are deeply hurt, it would do good for the Left to keep quiet and not fall for the cries of the right wing fundamentalists. They can save the country from any communal onslaught if they apply reason to prevail over their basal emotions ....

India is such a diverse country that you have nationalists, right-wing nationalists and ultra-nationalists (with allegiance to our neighbours and competitors) all living in the country  !!


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Finally the CPM is getting what they deserve ..

It was interesting to watch the dillydalllying going on in the media by political parties during the past few weeks over the issue of the Indo-US nuclear deal. At this time when most of the national concerns seem to have been addressed by the experts to the satisfaction of the thinktank intelligensia and the common man over the sovereignity of the country in matters related to the country's defense etc, the country is waiting to see the deal going through.

In spite of speaking about the merits of signing the deal with US, the Marxists are still fighting to stay with their original plan of thwarting Indian plans to overtake China or Russia in the long run. As these people have only the interests of Russia and China foremost in their minds over patriotism, they still to this day look upto China and Russia as the role models of the world and our ignorant comrades back in W bengal and Kerala still look for support and ideological guidance from the 'capitalists' there ..

The hard bargaining which they were doing to get their share of the pie of power broking, seems to have hit a dead end now. The apple cart is most certain to be upturned by the Samajwadi party which is looking forward to bail out the Govt on this issue in the Parliament even if the Marxists and Communists withdraw support. Mr Prakash Karat's remarks yesterday on TV clearly showed the sorry figure they had cut for themselves during the past few weeks over their obstinate stand.

The coming week will clearly be interesting in Indian politics as a clear picture will emerge on whether the government will stand or fall over the isue of energy.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

TM Varghese, a patriot who gave his life for Kerala state ..

TM Varghese statue at
Kesavadasapuram juntion in Trivandrum

The epitaph ..
Recently when I visited Trivandrum, Kerala, I got down at Kesavadasapuram junction to have a close look at the statue of T M Varghese.

Hailed as one of the Trimoorthikal in Kerala along with Pattom Thanu Pillai and C Kesavan, T M Varghese, quit a flourishing lawyer practice in the 40s to jump into the freedom movement.

In my younger days, school history textbooks used to mention the name of T M Varghese as one of the Trimurthies of Kerala and an ardent freedom fighter, then I did not understand the depth of his contributions to Kerala society, until my mother mentioned it to me..  ..

TM Varghese was the first Home Minister of Kerala state in 1948 and it's first Education Minister too.

Hailing from Thandaaneth family in Pallikkal, Kayamkulam, he had great zeal for public service. Being a member of the Legislative Council, MLC, he strained his relations with the Dewan Sir CP Ramaswamy Iyer and jumped actively into the freedom movement in the late 30s.

As an individual, he never thought of personal gains and pleasures, gave his life and earnings for the people of Kerala. He even supported the Kerala State Congress during its initial formative stages for some years.

The present day politicians at the centre and the state may consider him to be a fool who never cared for himself. He never made money for twenty generations, he never grabbed the poor man's lands. He will always live in the minds of millions of Malayalees as a person who lived by his word, for values and principles in life, who fought to upkeep the high standards of probity in public life.

The two snaps here give an idea of this great personality. He is my uncle ..

Wikipedia link is here ..

A photo of the couple..


Data Visualisation Presentation..

Dr. Sukanya explaining the finer aspects of Data Visualisation in R Today 19 July 2019, Business school and Engineering school of Alli...

My popular posts over the last month ..