Why I like demonetisation

Demonetisation – the art of making money worthless. PM Modi has made money worthless and the pursuit of that, even worthless. But that does not mean he would not be raising taxes, for his govt runs on taxes alone.

So, what is fantastic about this exercise of making the money worthless?

Well, your ward’s councillor, the primary school drop out who has two Toyota Innovas and who hangs out with a platoon of able bodied goons who are clad in gold ornaments the size of a bicycle chain,  is nowhere to be seen for the last 3 days since the announcement was made.

You see the leader of the opposition, if you can call him so, stand in a queue in front of an ATM to draw cash like you do. How many times in the past have you seen this happening?

The multi-billionaire, who has at least two cars, and who has not been seen in the public as he has always spent his time inside of cars and planes, has come out to stand in front of an ATM to draw cash.

The politicians who have never cared about the poor have suddenly started talking about the trials and tribulations of the poor as the 500 and 1000 Rupee notes have been withdrawn. You can understand that they are not talking about the poor but about themselves, as they don’t know what to do with the sacks of cash held in their vaults.

The one feature that is striking in this exercise is that, even if you have loads of 500 and 1000 Rupee notes, you don’t have cash unless you have small change.

Even if  black money is not eradicated in full, just because the above worthies have been made to come out of their hideouts, I support the #demonetisation.

Finally, as a B.Tech holder with 20 years of work experience, the Nanganallur flat that you were wanting to buy for your parents for keeping them closer to the temples – it is going to be a lot cheaper and you would not be forced to shell out all you savings for that. Instead, the builders would be after you, for the first time in many years.

For all the above, I support #demonetisation.

Jai Hind.

 

'God who failed' – book review

51aymrwgool-_sx336_bo1204203200_Disclaimer : I hold Panditji in high esteem and in no way would write anything to insult his memory, for I am a product of the Nehruvian socialist secular educational system and still carry many of the ideals that I had been taught.

Madhav Godbole’s  book is a significantly incisive work on Panditji’s policies and their impact on India. The author, a former bureaucrat, has, in due course of the book, compared the personalities of Panditji and Patel. We get to see that, had Patel been at the helm in 1947, the fate of India would have been different.

The author does not dwell on Panditji’s life and history, but plunges into his administration and government. That is a welcome change from the maze of books that talk about Nehru’s early life and romanticize his leftist leanings.

Having been introduced to Panditji when he was an IFS probationer, the author has not been carried away by the former’s magnetic personality. Thus he produces a detailed account of what he saw of Panditji’s policies and administration.

Of particular interest are the Kashmir imbroglio and the China conundrum. The author treats us to various sources on the confusions around Kashmir and China. How Panditji despised Maharaja Hari Singh, how Sheikh Abdullah deceived Nehru and India, how Patel had judged Abdullah early on and had sounded alerts and how Panditji took Kashmir to the UN on the advice of Mountbatten and many more policy failures are laid bare in this book.

We get a feeling of ‘If only Patel had handled Kashmir.. ‘. Once into the book, we are drawn into this moment of truth when the sad reality of the present (2016) stares at us with a devilish smile.

Mountbatten repeatedly deceives Nehru on Kashmir. He hunts with the dog and runs with the hare. While being the Governor General of India, he still serves the interests of Britain and works to fulfill Clement Atlee’s wishes. In this process, he completely deceives Nehru into believing that taking the Kashmir matter to the UN would be in India’s interest. We see that Panditji is completely blown off by the personality of Mountbatten that he agrees with him after some initial murmurs of protest.

And we are left with a boiling Kashmir even after 70 years.

On China, the story is a case of extreme neglect and despair. Sardar Patel writes two very important letters to Panditji that caution him on China and her intentions. Patel is direct and explicit on the threat from the communist neighbour. He goes on to compare the imperialist colonials with the communist tyrants of China and even says that the former are a tad better as the latter are driven by an ideology and hence are more harmful. Panditji choses to ignore those and after 12 years, China gives India one of its worst defeats. If only Nehru had paid heed to the Sardar, the history of the nation could have been vastly different.

In the book we see many things that baffle us completely –  Panditji lies to the Parliament on the Chinese occupation, prevaricates on equipping the army, lies again on the clothing supplied to Indian soldiers, denies knowledge of Chinese road works in the Aksai Chin area, meets alone with Chou En Lai who comes with a team of officers for discussions, and the like. What is clear is that Nehru was willing to believe in Chou En Lai than in the Indian officers on the China situation. When Chou En Lai repeatedly lies on the issue of maps, Nehru acts like a docile pet and accepts whatever the former says.

We get to see Panditji repeatedly saying that the maps that Chou En Lai had shown were old maps of the Kuomintang and that China would amend them once the country stabilized. We also get to see Panditji often misleading the nation on the China situation.

We also find that Nehru’s foreign secretary didn’t have the nerve to approach him with clarifications. One could ask as to why India’s Foreign Minister didn’t meet with Nehru to apprise him. The answer : India didn’t have a foreign minister and Panditji played foreign minister as well.

Even considering that Nehru was overwhelmed due to his age and workload, what baffles us is that he never felt the need for a Foreign Minister. Could Rajaji have filled up that position? With Rajaji’s stature and intelligence- he commanded equal respect and admiration as Panditji – the situation would have probably improved. But Nehru didn’t deem it fit to assign the Foreign Ministry to a full time minister. In an earlier book by Walter Crocker, this is attributed to Nehru’s ‘all knowing brahmanical’ attitude.

Despite the callousness shown by the Chinese media to him and the intemperate words used by the Chinese officials, Panditji fights for a permanent seat for China in the UN. Even Khurushev of the USSR hints that the USSR would recommend India to be the fifth member in the UN Security Council, but Panditji turns the offer down and instead says that including China into the UN was the need of the hour. While even the US was not in favour of another communist power being in the UN Security Council, Nehru feels otherwise.

Panditji shows undue haste in de-recognizing the Chiang-Kai-Shek led Kuomintang government in Taiwan and recognizing Mao’s communist China, despite the fact that Chiang-Kai-Shek was a friend of the Congress and Gandhiji. Nehru gives an impression that he was employed by the PRC (People’s Republic of China) as its PRO (Public Relations Officer). He speaks of recognizing China’s nationhood in every international arena possible. Though he did all these to secure a friend in the Asian context who was anti-colonial, the results were not to India’s benefit.

In spite of all these overtures, China attacked India and humiliated Panditji and the nation. We also see that Nehru sent a series of desperate telegrams to the US seeking immediate military help. This, and the humiliation in the war, dealt a death blow to the grandiose prestige, international and domestic standings of Panditji and he never recovered from that.

Fast forward to 2016 : China uses its Security Council veto power to act against Indian interests and the border dispute with China still persists.

Panditji’s stand on the Uniform Civil Code, Constitutional Amendments and looking the other way when corruption occurred – all these bring down the stature of the first Prime Minister of India. The LIC Mundhra scam, the V.K.Menon episode etc bring down Panditji’s reputation. But, by any stretch of imagination, I don’t mean to say that he was corrupt.

Being a firm believer in democracy, Panditji is seen as striving hard to uphold the democratic ideals in all his actions so much so that he lends himself to be termed ‘indecisive’. In spite of being in awe of the Soviet Union and Communism, Panditji doesn’t believe in implementing the ways of the communist state in India. However, the central planning mechanism that he had implemented has been modeled on the Soviet Union and has proved to be a huge impediment to the nation’s progress. Thankfully, the current PM Modi has done away with the commission.

Panditji is seen striving hard to uphold the system of parliamentary democracy. His many and often lengthy answers to queries in Parliament are evidences to the fact that he believed in treating parliament sacrosanct.

Page after page spews out references to books of yore, written by ex-bureaucrats who had served under the first PM of India, some leading politicians of those times, historians et al.

If you read this book you would learn :

  1. Why some of Panditji’s policies failed.
  2. Who else could have done a better job.
  3. What are the consequences of the failures.

If you don’t read this book:

  1. You would continue to believe in what the CBSE text books would have taught you about Panditji and continue to live in utopia.

P.S.: The book is available here.

Soniaji, Just two words

Dear Soniaji – Just two words to you. Shut Up.

You have no business to disrupt my parliament for your family business.

Get the facts first. The National Herald case is not worth the salt that the Indians eat in a year. So better shut up.

If you have problem with Modi being PM, then say so. Bring a no-confidence motion in parliament and try out. If it succeeds, you win. If it doesn’t, will your 40 MPs resign ?

If you have a problem with the BJP, fight an election against them. Don’t stop parliament.

If you guys don’t want to  speak in Parliament, then do one thing. Shut Up and allow others to speak. You have no business stalling my country.

Again, Soniaji, we are watching and we are not damn fools, for we are not from your party.

This National Herald case is your damn family problem, a result of your avarice. If you have a problem with the court, have guts and say so. And remember, that would be held in contempt of court and you could lose your MP seat. So, just to be safe, Shut Up.

Don’t take cue from P.Chidambaram. He can talk anything about the case, for he is not an MP anymore. But your seat is at stake. So, better Shut Up.

I pity you. I know your problem. Your half-wit son is your problem. I know you are frustrated with him. But that is a genetic carry over. What can I, an Indian by gene, do for that?

And there is a means to shut your child up. Send him to Bangkok. He seems to have a fascination for the place. If in parliament, ask him to Shut Up. Even George Bush looks like Einstein if your son speaks.

Again, your half-wit son is definitely an embarrassment. Not for you, but for me. I am ashamed and alarmed every time he opens his mouth.

There is a way to shut him up. Get him married. Guys stop talking the moment they are married.

And for you, talk to Karunanidhi once. He knows the power of silence, the way he was silent when Tamils were killed in Sri Lanka.

Or there is another way. Join Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK. Once you join the party, you automatically become dumb with the exception of bleating the word ‘Amma’ twice every one second.

But, until then, just shut your mouth up and let parliament function. For it is my country’s future that is at stake, not yours.

Yours Angrily,

An Indian.

My way of being 'intolerant'

Pusillanimity – that is what i need to call the action or the lack of it of the worthies. Those that have been keeping mum over the Paris murders – what else to call them ? Neutered men ? But that does not point to these people in the true sense of the word. I was looking for a stronger word but abandoned my search. This is why :

If the attacks would have been from the right wing, these worthies would have taken the moral high ground and preached to all and sundry about the need for secularism, the concern on rising right wing terrorism et al. But when middle east related terrorism rears its head every time, these people keep quiet. They decry the violence but don’t go any further.  To top it all, they ice the cake with a call for restraint.

Some even have the temerity to find reasons behind such carnages. Though that points to a sick mind, it also points to a lack of concern on what one has to say in such situations – a kind of damned attitude. Psychologists could possibly term these are behavioural problems of a mind that has been fed on hatred and poisonous thoughts.

Who are the worthies ? What have they said in the past? How are they expected to behave in the future ? I leave the guessing to your imagination.

So what should we learn from this guarded silence ?

This is what we should learn :

Be silent about these eminences. Don’t talk about them and don’t spread word. Don’t even decry them and their statements or the lack of them. Ignore. And that is the greatest punishment to these worthies.

So, this blog takes a stand : There shall be no mention about any of the worthies in this site. And the worthies are :

  1. Mani Shankar Ayer
  2. Rahul Gandhi
  3. Sonia Gandhi
  4. Sitaram Yechuri
  5. K.Veeramani
  6. Karunanidhi
  7. Vaiko
  8. Indira Parthasarathy
  9. Gnaani
  10. Arundati Roy

What do I seek to gain by boycotting these eminences ?

Peace of Mind. And that is my way of protesting against these elements and their silences on this crucial issue facing the peace loving countries.

I consider the very act of writing on these worthies is, by itself, below the dignity of this blog and its readers.

Leave your comments if you agree with this. Comment even if you don’t agree. But spread word.

Two events and no response

Last two weeks have been very important for India from a banking perspective. Julius Baer, the Swiss Private Banking giant, completed the acquisition of Merrill Lynch in India and thus acquired official space to act as an Indian company. Standard Chartered decided to open an Indian subsidiary.

These two are very important from a national perspective. With the tightening of controls on black money by the Modi government, the chances of private wealth residing in India has increased. Hence a casual watch on the cash inflows into Julius Baer in India would help estimate a percentage of assets that have been diverted overseas to the tax havens like Mauritius, Cayman Islands and Singapore. If not the volume, at least the people and institutions involved could be ascertained.

When Raghuram Rajan announced that global banking giants needed to open Indian subsidiaries, it was with an intention to bring further accountability to the foreign banks. He lured them with government bonds. Citi and a couple of other US banks had declined the offer. It is interesting that Standard Chartered has opted in. Could it be because of its sagging fortunes elsewhere ? Probably.

But these two major happenings didn’t figure in any political discourse in a nation that has increasingly been obsessed with cows. And that represents a sorry state of political discourse. Enlightened political opposition should have had some opinion on this. P.Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh, Kapil Sibal et al, who are otherwise vociferous, have chosen to keep mum. Even the left, that has been left out of the political mainstream, has not uttered a word on these developments.

And that speaks volumes about the intellect of the opposition in India.

See you in Bangkok

If you get out of coma all of a sudden, how would you feel ? Probably that is how Rahul Gandhi feels now-a-days.

He has said,“I used to think only farmers, tribals and labourers are cheated on matters related to land. But I learnt something new today. Even the middle class is cheated and flat buyers are victimised.”

It is a wonder that he has ‘learnt something new’ today. It has suddenly dawned on him that the middle class are being cheated by flats developers and so he has declared that he is with the middle class.

What he has probably not ‘learnt’ is DLF is leading the pack of developers who have cheated flat buyers. Probably he has also not ‘learnt’ that Robert Vadra, his brother-in-law, has had several infamous transactions with DLF.

Let us hope he learns one lesson every day. Last week he ‘learnt’ about the farmers’ problems. Later he ‘learnt’ about Net Neurality and then ‘learnt’ about Rishikesh.

I think going to Bangkok opens up ones’ mind, increases the levels of Dopamine and Serotonin in the grey matter and thus ‘enables’ learning.

Come let us go to Bangkok. Seems it is good for us.

See you in Bangkok.

Stress buster jokes for Indians

Rahul Gandhi’s “leave of absence” during a key session of Parliament has created a crisis for the Congress. The party is facing a storm of questions on Mr Gandhi’s whereabouts.

Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath speaks to NDTV on the latest crisis which has hit the party. Here are the highlights:
I don’t think the captain has jumped the ship just because he wants to reflect, introspect and make a roadmap. That’s also party work.
Politics of the country has changed, Congress must adopt and adapt to the changes.
Yes we have lost the elections but we need a new roadmap. The AICC needs a new connect with the Congress worker and this roadmap is what Rahul Gandhi is trying to draw.
I think that the time has come where Rahul Gandhi must be given the full responsibility. He must shoulder the responsibility and then it is upto him to succeed or fail.
There are many occasions when Mrs Gandhi thinks Rahul is doing something, Rahul thinks Mrs Gandhi is doing something and it falls between two stools
It must be left to Rahul Gandhi to make his team, we must look to make a Congress party of the future
It is bizarre to hype Rahul’s leave. Rahul Gandhi is not on holiday. Rahul Gandhi is not missing. He announced that he is going.
There have been times when I told Sonia Gandhi something and she says I should talk to Rahul Gandhi; sometimes I talk to Rahul and he says he needs to talk to Sonia Gandhi because she’s party president.
Today, decisions taken in Congress are neither Mrs Gandhi’s nor Rahul’s, they belong to both.
It is unfair to judge Rahul Gandhi when he is not been in command. He should be made the president of the party and let people see his capabilities. I know what he is capable of and it will all come out when he takes up the leadership.
Rahul Gandhi told me two years ago that the Congress Working Committee (CWC) should have elections. It did not happen because there was a section in the party who were able to convince the other section that we shouldn’t. If Rahul Gandhi were the party president, we would have had elections to the CWC… he is a great democrat.
#whereisrahul

Thanking Nehru

‘The essence of a free press is the principled, reasonable, moral essence of freedom. The character of a censored press is the unprincipled aberration of un-freedom, it is a civilized abomination, a perfumed monster. I think, censorship of the press is based on the principle that the end justifies the means. But an end that requires unjustifiable means is not a justifiable end’. This was Karl Marx in 1842. But the communists who claim to follow him are the greatest censors of press freedom ( China is not communist any more though ). But Marx had a great follower in Pandit Nehru. He was an advocate of Press freedom. He once said,’I would rather have a completely free Press with all the dangers involved in the wrong use of that freedom than a suppressed or regulated Press.”

However he had his issues with press freedom. In the First Amendment to the Constitution, he brought in changes to curtail press freedom after a court ruled in favour of ‘Observer’, the right wing magazine and said “pre-censorship of a journal is a restriction on the liberty of the Press which is an essential part of the right to freedom of speech and expression.”. Panditji then moved the First Amendment and he said,”During the last fifteen months of the working of the Constitution, certain difficulties have been brought to light by judicial decisions and pronouncements especially in regard to the chapter on fundamental rights. The citizen’s right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by article 19(1)(a) has been held by some courts to be so comprehensive… In other countries with written constitutions, freedom of speech and of the press is not regarded as debarring the State from punishing or preventing abuse of this freedom… The main objects of this Bill are, accordingly to amend article 19 for the purposes indicated above.”

Except for this, he was a strong advocate of Press Freedom. He had encouraged Shankar when he had caricatured Panditji in various cartoons.

Yes, he goofed up on Tibet, lived in utopia ( as the left leaning politicians usually do ) and believed in the halo that he would be recognized as a statesman by China and chose to look the other way when there were massive incursions that eventually led to the country being slapped in front of the world, the J&K issue with Article 370 being introduced surreptitiously etc. You could add to this list.

But you cannot ignore the public sector that he assiduously helped build. And those served the nation at least for 40 years and some like BHEL and NLC continue to do so.

In our collective resolve to defame Panditji, let us not forget the founding father on his various other attributes that have helped nurture our democracy in its infancy.

Let us stop for a moment and thank the patriot for his service to nation that we call homeland.

How stupid can they be !

T and JNo, definitely this is not about the man in white a.k.a. Rahul. But this is definitely about the Congress.

By now the reader would have been familiar with the phenomenon that anything that has got to do with the Congress has got to be stupid. And being and acting stupid are the prerequisites of being in the Congress, I mean the Congress party in India. I don’t know if this explanation can be expanded to include the institution in the US with the same name – Congress.

Let us come back to the Congress of India.

For some strange reason, Shashi Tharoor realized that Narendra Modi had turned into a graceful person in two weeks’ time. Until the 26-May he was a pugnacious, wily, aggressive, divisive, communal leader who needed to be despised with all the powers that one would have at ones’ disposition. And once Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, he turned into a Modi 2.0 – gracious, charming, likable, secular kid of the block.

What did Shashi Tharoor find in the two weeks is a mystery. But let me not let the cat out by pre-judging his praise of Modi as his inability to remain just an M.P. I can’t definitely say that he is looking for a job. But that could be a reason too.

Why do I suspect that he needs a job ? Well, he was a Minister for Twitter for some time when he helped Twitter grow its market share in India. And then he came close to losing his job because his hand ached from too much tweeting from an aeroplane’s cattle-class a.k.a. Economy Class. Later he ‘helped’ sponsor his then-girlfriend-but-later-turned-wife’s cricket team win favour in Kerala. And thus lost his job to become full time husband and proceeded from then on.

But it is difficult to stay with a wife doing nothing otherwise. So he re-joined the earlier ministry and spent his time speaking in the studios of the prime time televisions. But alas, the government was voted out and he became an ordinary M.P. yet again.

His is the case of ‘Twice bitten, never shy’. Now he is ready for another round at Delhi.

Mani TharoorBut Mani Shankar Aiyer’s case is not so straight forward. Having helped Modi secure a grand victory by his usually arrogant remarks which over worked this time and made him the Prime Minister, Mani is left with no further activity.

At least when the mother and son ( read ‘His circus masters’) were in power, he had a job as their speech-writer. Probably his language became more acerbic and vitriolic that even the mother and son did not understand who Mani was after, he soon lost his job as the official speech writer for the family. Later he switched to Toast Mastering in the national prime time televisions. The TV crew that recorded his debates became so used to his jibes and acerbic tongue that they were afflicted with Peptic Ulcer and quit their jobs.

Then Mani started his monologues on TV – his version of monologue was that he didn’t allow anybody else in a panel discussion to speak that even the programme anchors did not know if it was a panel discussion or a Pakistani citizen’s lung power check-up.

Now that he has been decimated in his constituency Mayiladuthurai ( in deep interior Tamil nadu, India), he has taken to his usual task of sound-biting err.. sound-puking.

But this time, he has started puking at his own Congress-mate Shashi Tharoor.

Probably Mani is jealous that Tharoor might land a job with Modi.

Poor Mani does not know that if he needs a job, he needs to say so. He should not attack a co-applicant.

Probably it is too much to expect from Mani. He is from St.Stephen, you see, the stupidity hotbed of India.

Stupidity, in small doses

During the election campaign, I was patiently gathering some sound bites from the many worthies that we have. And here is what I had gathered. What I got to see was a pattern. It was the completely-out-of-touch-with-reality’ attribute of all these worthies.

While Omar Abdullah’s wisdom amazed me, the combined wisdom of Mayawati and Mamata floored me. I didn’t want to die out of laughter and hence did not include the wisdom of many worthies from Tamil Nadu. And consciously I have avoided the sparkles of wisdom of the ‘stupid in white’ – Rahul – for I would have to write several posts just to cover his erudition.

I have avoided Sonia’s wisdom for that would need a separate dossier.

I did not consider the Communists worthy of any mention as it is not right to talk about ideologies that are long dead and gone. In India, people who are dead are not made fun of.

Read the gems from Manmohan and Oommen Chandy too. They exposed their wisdom no only when in power but also just prior to the counting date.

Hope you enjoy these ‘gems’ and know who all to avoid in the future too.

Mayawati :

“I want to make it clear that BSP will not extend any kind of support to Modi or NDA to form the government at any cost”.

Mamta Banerjee : “if he says BJP’s doors are open for a Modi-led government, then I will use the same analogy to say that our doors are shut and the keys have been thrown away.”

K S Elangovan ( DMK) :
“We have minorities on our side and Modi has the stigma of 2002 riots. Hence, we cannot support NDA keeping in view our interest in our state”

Mulayam Singh:
“There is no Modi wave and we Won’t support modi even if bjp gained post elections”.

Prakash Karat :
“There’s no Modi wave, it’s an anti-Congress wave”

Puri Shankaracharya :
“A ‘naami gunhegaar’ (noted criminal) is contesting from Varanasi and I will be there to expose him”.

P.Chidambaram :
“There is no Modi wave in the country. New young voters have registered to the electoral list thereby increasing the voting percentage”.

Kapil Sibal :
“The fact is that there is no Modi wave, perhaps some Modi slaves in the country”.

Manmohan Singh :
“I don’t think there is any Modi wave. It is the creation of the media. The country has not been swept by any Modi wave. I don’t think Congress is losing ground. Wait for the results on May 16. We will win a majority”.

Shashi Tharoor :
“The message I gather from this is that Congress is back in Chennai.If there is a Modi wave, would he need all these people to surround him?”

Lalu Prasad Yadav :
“Will change my name if I am not able to drive out Modi from Bihar”.

Deve Gowda :
“BJP will not get majority. Narendra Modi is dreaming on becoming prime minister. If this happens, I shall leave Karnataka state and settle somewhere else”

Farook Abdulla :
“Those who vote for Modi should drown in the sea”

Mani Shankar Aiyer :
“I promise you in 21st Century Narendra Modi will never become the Prime Minister of the country. …But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him”

Sharad Pawar :
“One thing I am sure about, now more than ever, is that it will not be (Narendra) Modi’s government. If you do the calculations, you see that Modi cannot reach the number at which he can be the prime minister”.

Jairam Ramesh:

“There is no Modi wave, only Modi poison”.

Oommen Chandy :

“.I’m confident; we at the Congress party are expecting results more than the last elections….BJP wave is also not a correct thing, there is neither Modi wave nor BJP wave”.

Ahmed Patel :

“There is no Modi wave”.

“Modi wave is limited to only Gujarat”

“The question ( Modi becoming PM) does not arise”

Omar Abdullah :

Nov 2013 – “There is Modi effect but no Modi wave”.

April 2014 – “Only fools feel that there is no Modi wave”

May 2014 – “Modi wave is a hoax created by BJP”.