Income generated from liquor business vs Zero income from liquor industry
Corruption vs Clean State
Shamelessness vs Pride
Irresponsibility Vs Growth and Accountability
Desh drohis vs Patriots
Tamil Nadu government reportedly earns roughly thirty eight thousand crores of rupees per annum from liquor industry. In fact it is a major revenue generator for the state. Instead of administration, our government glosses over brewing liquor and bottling and marketing the brand through TASMAC all across the state. You find the outlets even in posh malls of the city these days. No prizes for guessing who owns the breweries and the bottling plants: the same two or three political families who also own tv channels for propaganda mission that act as canvassing vehicles during election times. Again no prizes for guessing who will get licences for the TASMAC shops. The same old political cronies who will also be allotted prime housing plots and engineering college licences for licking the boot of the ministers. Welcome to Tamil Nadu the Dravida stronghold.
You have to see Chennai on friday evenings and saturday evenings. Queues in TASMAC disrupt traffic. The weekly wages of the poorest blue collar workers are completely and heartlessly sucked by the TASMAC. Have you heard of any other state or central government in the world that is engaging in liquor business. One level up: now TASMAC takes online orders and delivers at your doorstep.
Compare this to Modi’s Gujarat that at least legally earns zero income from liquor business. No liquor shops in Gandhi’s homestate since 1947. No breweries. No bottling plants. Contraband may flourish but the state’s coffers are not filled with liquor revenues. So Gujarat is one state in India where progress is not at the cost of the state population. When Gujarat can make it to the top as a dry state, why cannot rest of India.
Another big money spinner for Tamil Nadu is the Hindu Religious and Charitable board that has taken over most of the state temples for administration.
Tamil Nadu govt lays hands on hundreds of crores of rupees in Hindu temple funds to finance non Hindu causes and for running government. Boasting that they are atheists (who would anyway break fast during Ramzan with muslims and cut cakes for Christmas with christians) , why should they so desperately seek the Hindu temple funds. Such a monumental shame. Where is all this money going: Money from TASMAC that they wanted to close when Jayalalitha was our chief minister. Plus money plundered from Hindu temples. Do they have the honesty or guts to touch the church money or masjid money. Their heads will be rolling in dust should they attempt. COWARDS.
I can cite an individual case here. Earlier, FDs were made out in individual temple trust names from the collections thereof that went to Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable board. Now the present government has allegedly ordered the temples to make out the FDs in the board’s names so that the temples cannot even claim their lawful collections.
From real estate to film production suddenly the political mafia is everywhere.
Why is the center unable to act against these daylight robbers.
The property taxes in the state have been hiked cent percent. For what. You see heaps of garbage everywhere remaining uncleared. Swachch Bharat kept Tamil Nadu tidy. Whose brainchild was that.
The lower middle class who voted for the DMK are feeling the pinch. Let them. When you sell your vote for money, you have to pay through your teeth for the entire term, which is what they are now doing.
The videos of ruling party members’ homes and sedans going up in flames and the masses indulging in vandalism and looting in the Rajapakse palace taking to the swimming pool in a finishing touch, are very disturbing. Contrary to feeling victorious, me a Tamil who is supposed to rejoice at these happenings, find myself immensely pained by the developments in Sri Lanka. Vengeance is best served cold, they say. The island nation at the foot of the Indian peninsula met up with its Karma finally but that hardly makes us Indians happy. The unruly mobs and the shattered economy and the breaking up of law and order are a grim reminder as to how easily we as society can degenerate into uncivilized uncouth brutes wrecking havoc in course of destruction. I am someone who never appreciated reading from ‘Sundara Kanda’ of Ramayana, about Hanuman destroying even the Ashoka Vana or the ‘vanara’ (apes) uprooting trees in Kishkintha in celebration of victory. And Sri Lanka is so closely related to us not merely geographically but also culturally. What a replay of scenes from the very Ramayana! It is like the monkey kingdom having a free run with the wily king ousted. The Rajapakses may seek asylum in India but that is the last controversy India may seek. The common man in Lanka is suffering without food, medicine, school and transport. In short, Sri Lanka has just collapsed at every front: economically, militarily and politically. He/she need not have to a Tamil. Whether Tamils or Sinhalese, they are all Lankans. This is the worst time in history for both of the ethnic races. Sri Lanka did not suffer such a cruel fate even when there reigned Tamil militancy. The current crisis is not wrought in by the Tamils. It might not be easy to cleave out of the mess they are in today, and I am no political pundit to predict how this can ever be done either. China of course is the one prime reason or the only reason Sri Lanka is finding itself in dire straits today. Add up corruption and you get the picture. And these are Buddhists and Buddhists are known for their principle of renouncing worldly interests. With Sri Lanka and Burma, we have the rare scenario of the Buddhist governments growing greedy and bringing tragedy to their own people. The complexities that we now find in Sri Lanka can make for a good case study and should serve as a warning for other nations stretching it too far. Even for India, this is like an alarm bell to keep things rolling. Keeping my fingers crossed and watching out for Sri Lanka. Haven’t been there strangely but we do have a connection with Lanka.
There is a legend about the Sri Ranganatha temple gopuram (tower) in Sri Rangam and Sri Lanka. For centuries the gopuram remained unbuilt because it was believed that Lord Vishnu in his sayana (lying) position was looking at Sri Lanka straight. If the gopuram would be built, then His protective vision will be blocked and Sri Lanka will burn (because of curse heaped on Ravana). But ex Tamil Nadu chief minister M G Ramachandran (MGR) completed the tower and got it inaugurated by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi. Within an year, MGR, Gandhi and the Sri Rangam (mutt) jeeyar all were no more. There was never long last peace in Sri Lanka after that. Successful Sri Lankan governments have been carrying out many ‘shanthi’ pujas to appease the Hindu gods because the islanders believe in the Hindu legend as they are part of our cultural history.
World can do with a single Hindu nation, no doubt. After all there are dozens of Islamic and Christian nations and even a Jewish one. There are Buddhist countries. It is of course sad that Nepal which was the only Hindu realm in the world has gone communist. India, where the world’s most ancient faith – the one and only unorganized religion the universe has ever had – has every right to proclaim Herself a Hindu Rashtra. India is the cradle of human civilization. Hindu dharma was born here and began flourishing right in our soil. Hindus are not warriors by race and have no significant history of invading others or enforcing their culture by sword as it has happened with the Abrahamic fold. India will be doing the world a favour by promoting soft power that is Hindu philosophy. We are not seeking a Hindu nation in Africa or America or Australia or Arabia or Europe. We are seeking a Hindu nation right here in India that we did not even seek during 1947 partition.
With strict enforcement of certain fundamentals of course, India can be Hindu desh by constitution. NO SPECIAL RIGHTS OR PRIVILEGES TO HINDUS ON BASIS OF BIRTH OR CONVERSION. EVERY INDIAN CITIZEN MUST BE ON EQUAL FOOTING BE HIM/HER A HINDU OR CHRISTIAN OR SIKH OR MUSLIM.The soul of India is eternallyHindu, no doubt about that. Even so, there are some disturbing posts in social media such as this one:
However I wouldn’t go by the vote count. After all, this is just limited to the world of Twitterati. Like exit polls that hardly predict exact election results, this post can be nothing more than the standard deviation, the variation we inevitably sample from a whole lot. Hopefully. This is a dangerous trend. It makes me wonder whether even aspiring for a Hindu rashtra is dangerous business. I guess it is unfair to expect India to stay neutral and secular when our minorities will stay opposed to family planning citing religious reasons, will refuse to come under the umbrella of one single common statute for all Indians irrespective of faith, etc. So when you expect to be governed as per your faith, it gives rest of Indians a sense of insecurity. Widespread missionary activity sponsored by foreign church and propagated by local evangelists is another reason why Hindus want to go for a constitutionally Hindu nation. In which case I would still want every Indian citizen to enjoy equal fundamental rights.
FREEWILL CANNOT BE THE PREROGATIVE OF ONLY THE SECULAR AND DEMOCRATIC STATES. FREEWILL MUST PREVAIL UNIVERSAL INCLUDING AND ESPECIALLY IN THE ISLAMIC BLOCK WHERE CONVERSION MAFIA MUST BE GRANTED A LICENCE TO PREACH AND PROPAGATE OTHERS WAYS OF LIFE. UNLESS AND UNTIL THAT CAN HAPPEN, THERE IS NO POINT IN SERMONIZING ON EQUALITY AND UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD. India and America and Europe allow and practise such a freewill. When reciprocation is denied, expect the curtailment of freewill in some pockets. Why cannot there be a Hindu banking in Pakistan or Saudi for instance if we have to have Islamic banking in India.
As a Hindu nation,
India can deem christian conversion mafia illegal and punishable by law.
Enforce strict family planning for muslims
Maintain Hindu majority 80: 20 versus others/non-Hindus. India’s democracy is dependent on India’s demography. Now that is the golden rule.
Remove the word ‘secular’ from our constitution in the first place. It was after all inserted by ex PM Indira Gandhi in 1976
Stringent action against any Hindu who may provoke/assault non Hindus safeguarding minority rights and restoring in them a sense of security.
No special concession for Hindus. All citizens to enjoy equal fundamental rights.
Unfavourable support to Hindus will prove to be counter productive. It will dilute our quality and promote mediocrity and substandard. If Hindus have to survive, we have to cultivate a competitive spirit. The moment you eye concessions, your edge is gone. Meritorious must win. Even in our neighbouring country sometimes they let the best brains to prevail irrespective of their religious orientation.
Some of us have our children living in foreign countries. I wouldn’t rule a backlash!
Secular democracies are like joint bank accounts from who anyone and everyone can draw out indiscriminately. India is a classic case. But Islamic nations are private accounts and fixed deposits that none can touch. Tell me then why we must have joint accounts in that case. Why can’t the Hindu account become a fixed deposit, recurring deposit, private account locked for years, with zero withdrawal option! Just a thought to illustrate, what is expected unfairly of secular nations like India.
India can continue to remain a secular democracy when all Islamic nations in the world also constitutionally become secular democracies with their royalties suspended. Now that is fair game.
There is an old Tamil picture by this name. Bhaga Pirivinai means partition (of inheritance) when siblings go their way breaking the joint family home. Its a heartbreaking thing in most Indian families.
I originally wanted to review the pic ‘Partition 1947.’ It is directed by Gurinder Chadda, whose grandparents lived the nightmare of partition. Inspired by Domini Lapierre’s ‘Freedom at midnight” this story has been retold a million times as we know. So much so that the partition saga to us now has gone stale. Oversold. The same trains set to fire. The mob violence. The bloodshed. The mass migrations. But what really moved me this time was, the dividing of spoons and ladles in the viceroy’s kitchen in Delhi. I almost felt a tear sting my eyes when that went on. Tuba for India, the French horn for Paksitan. That kind of sharing of cutleries and crystals. Tableware and napkins. And even the encyclopedia. I have always viewed the two countries as two different entities, having been born decades after partition. Being a south Indian, you cannot relate to the border ordeals at all. But in that one frame I saw the nations India and Pakistan as one family for the first time. It was heartbreaking. It is always. I have been in a joint family home before we built our own nest. Right now with the empty nest syndrome. I just know how it feels. It wasn’t easy leaving the joint family at all. Yet someday the inevitability has to happen.
Blessed to have family far from the borders. I would ask my grandma how the day of independence was. ‘It was a government holiday, public holiday’ she would tell me flatly! There was a single public radio broadcast in Luz central in Mylapore I believe where the famous Nehru speech that began with the booming words, ‘when the world is fast asleep India will wake upto…..’ blah blah blah, was played at midnight from the Red fort, Delhi. Crowds gathered to listen to it. My family owned a radio I guess so they listened to the speech at home. I don’t clearly remember. I wish I had paid more attention to my gran. She said, sweets were distributed after flag hoisting and singing of some national songs. Not sure if it was our national anthem either. Some patriotic songs sung by locals. After sweet distribution, everyone went home waving flags, she said. She always mentioned to me it was a govt holiday as my grandfather worked for government! Then next day he went to work hahaha! This was how August 15, 1947 unfolded in real life to my family. No partition ripple was ever felt. Thank god there were no social media or mass media and news did not travel miles in seconds. South remained peaceful for that reason. Everybody simply went about their business. My grandpa was a commerce graduate who rode a scooter and who smoked and who loved to dress up in sherwani like a north Indian. He was a looker! Just another day in our family I guess. Only the war times were a bit tense I believe, especially the 1971 one. Even then there were only radio news bulletins nothing more. But nobody liked Jinnah. Yet my people always felt the partition was a blessing in disguise. We always want to remain a Hindu majorioty country and would not want to be defeated by a population jehad. Hindu families have shrunk in size.
I may be secular, democratic with an open mind, yet I know India has a chance only if we are 80-% Hindu majority. Our democracy lies in our demography. I would blame Mountbatten for his hasty plans and exit but I guess he cannot be held totally responsible for whatever happened.
Anyway, present generation couldn’t care less. Our this India of ISRO and Infosys and world CEOs are a making well after 1947. No Mogul can take the credit. Not even the British. I love India the way she is. As headstrong as me hahaha! Proud and defiant!
I don’t regret partition. It is the best thing to have happened to India. This culmination into partition that came after centuries of brutal invasions is a natural progression.
Yet the Bhaga Pirivinai is never easy. It leaves a bitter aftertaste. Years later when you revisit, you still feel the ache and longing in your bones. That is family. The partition trauma will stay with those in the border states.
Btw I had a terrific maternal grandma. Probably she ignited the political interest in me in a young age. Fifth class dropout who could read and write Tamil and English fluently. I remember her reading the book on Kennedy’s assassination. My mother and she were discussing the report. Now in this 2022 I can see what a phenomenal grandma I had. I will prove to be one too to my darling cherrie granddaughter!
PS: Celebrating the good old days in my pink legging today, made in Pakistan 😀
Agnipath does give me the jitters. Someone has put in exactly what was going through my mind. Unnecessary militarization of our young men and women. Dilution of military standards. On the other hand effective engagement of an otherwise idling youth population. Inspiring career option. This can change the way the Indian youngsters may be viewing India. There are other pluses: fitter and younger men and women for our armed forces. No industrialist who talks big about employment of the discharged military men has ever absorbed any ex-servicemen in their production line as history reveals. Unemployed (war) veterans are a baggage. Can we rule out in entirety a trigger happy 22 year old youth community from wrecking havoc when frustration mounds. Agnipath is a double-edged sword to be handled carefully. What would the young men and women who retire on four year commission do with a bounty of eleven lakh rupees each. Their mental maturity may not match their physical prowess. At 22, the boys and girls are still kids. They are to miss the vital years at university for which the military school training with honours degree can hardly be a substitute. They will be missing the fun and action and may not fit back in easily. A fourth of the Agnipath’s Agniveers may successfully get enrolled in our armed services and go on to make a career as army, navy or airforce men. It is the other three fourths of who we could be clueless. Agnipath may be a temporary solution to deal with the rising unemployment issue in the country. The world will get increasingly high-tech and automated, with machines taking over most of the jobs meant for execution by our labour forces. A very small percentage of human population will be the actual workforce in years to roll. One has to resign to such an inevitable fate not in very distant future. In a way perhaps, Agnipath can be a lifesaver but no way a permanent answer. Agnipath mandates clearing of basic and minimum criteria tests for recruitment. Agnipath may be ‘dream come true’ for millions in this country who aspired to get into military services but could not owing to stringent standards in commissioning. Our political thinktank must know, Agnipath will not pan out like the Demonetization or GST. This is an entirely different ball game with the nation’s security and interests at stake. For the moment I keep my fingers crossed. I am not happy or cheerful about Agnipath. To me Agnipath is a gamble that can go either way. Even if it can take off with a zing at the outset, one cannot rule out when the agnipath would boomerang right into our backyards. A lot of my countrymen may cite Singapore etc., where enrollment in military services is mandatory for their citizens for upto four or five years. The sooner it is done, the better. But India is not a dot on the world map like Singapore is. India is gargantuan. My only hope and relief may be that, we are simply too big for a coup to overthrow our government or hold our capital hostage!
NRIs who own estates/homes in foreign countries may know what it is to hold crisp, concise documentation for your investments. No encumbrance ever. Clear title deeds. Neat presentation. Slim portfolio. Sits snug in your briefcase. I did expect this to be the case of papers filed for properties bought and sold in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. In the case of Asia, I expected such a neat work from the Asian tigers and Korea and Japan. But I happened to chance upon a title deed held by a Filipino in Middle east sometime, that was so concise, fitting perfectly in an elegant file folder. It was easy to handle and refer to. It didn’t seem to run to hundreds of pages. Computer fonts advertised that every single detail held electronic data proof. Ever since I have been wondering, where in India we went wrong. Like in India the filipinos do have language issues with a hundred dialects spoken from island to island in their scattered archipelago nation. But their government seems to have unanimously chosen the English language for official communication. When I looked at their impeccable presentation, I was reminded of the pages and pages of soiled title deeds punctured with staples and holed for tying with thick legal ropes, covered with smudged seals from indelible rubber stamps with no space to spare. Indian title deeds to properties are a riot of colours. Hardly there remains a margin for any notation or observation or comment. We register deeds invariably in local (state) languages and rarely is a documentation done in universally understood English. Which means, the mother or parent documents in a title deed may make no sense to someone from Delhi buying a flat in Chennai for instance. Stamp papers are the way we Indians pay court fees for registration of properties. The top one fourth of every document sheet is therefore reserved for the stamp value affixation. Small mercies: we switched over to A4 size finally with the turn of the century. You just can’t fit the old sepia-tinted papers of another age and time, neatly into a present day folder designed for the A4 culture. To me the documentation in foreign countries underscored the discipline that you found in these places that is lacking in India. Just like us Indians, our title deeds are chaotic and messy making no sense to third parties. There may not be relevance, but documents must be legible and comprehensible to whoever. I guess the title deeds you may find in other parts of the world may be decipherable to a great degree unlike our complicated Indian title deeds that come as a loose bunch mostly: of tattered papers with ends frayed and haphazardly tied up, ink or print blotched. Things are changing in India as well but India being India, do we even have an idea on ‘standardization’ ?! Years before, there was not even the need for the seller to present himself/herself to the registrar when someone sold/bought a property. We have come a long way since then. Now apart from solid admissible ID proof and third party witnesses, there are conscious efforts to adhere to legal parlance in entire documentation leaving no grounds for ambiguity. Loopholes are plugged in documentation process at every stage as much as possible. While bribes have not been completely abolished from registrar offices, there is the saving grace that the data are saved by the government and a lot of the registration process is well streamlined. The statistics garnered must help in future planning. Lot less hassles compared to what it used to be just a decade ago. So can we at all have a neat and presentable documentation of our title deeds?
There are a couple of interesting discrepancies or differences between how we Indians document and register our title deeds and how the rest of the world may be going about it.
Unlike some newborn nations, India has the longest history and living memory which adds to our backlog of attached documents. This is called the chain of title deeds that cannot be broken. We have reams of papers connecting the dots! Government mooted development projects or settlements are not as common in India as in the newly formed republics. In the latter’s case, there is very short history to be recorded formally which means least documentation.
Well for one thing, India seems to be one or one of the rarest nations on earth to have nonjudicial stamp papers for registration. Look at others. They are way too simple. That header is a huge space consumer for us. The stamp duty is calculated at about 7% of guided value of property in question approximately. Further registration charges apply. To that effect, the stamp papers are made in India wherein the title deed may be executed in front of the concerned registrar. This is the legacy from the British Raj understandably. But is it not time we do away with this cumbersome practice. Why cannot the stamp duties and registration charges levied be printed in the annexure to the documents. Or perhaps in the place of the wide header, a small and simple square stamp will do. When did world nations grow out of the stamp paper practice that India is still keeping up.
India has adopted a whole range of economic reforms in last few years. One more in the mode of documentation of our title deeds is the need of the hour. Sleek title deeds crystal clear and to the point can be possible. If I were the prime minister, I would constitute a legal panel to look into this matter. Simplification of procedures and uniformity of terms and conditions and styles of registration are a must. As nothing in India is standardized from our garment sizes to school bus colours, we are at a fix when it comes to grave issues like title deed uniformity and standardization. How would you go about the chain of links or the history of documentation.
The watermark authentication seal must be the only way a title deed can be verified. This will leave room for observations and foot notes if any, at the time of registration. The deeds in any case must not run over a couple of pages. We are not writing volumes here.
Postal addresses in India need to be contracted and regularized as having a distinguishable PINcode has hardly helped matters. Along with postcode, the residential/commercial addresses must not run over four lines. This is how addresses are printed in America.
Paying detailed attention to every entry in the title deed and rectifications and regularizations can make way for sleekest and slimmest document folders in future.
World is growing out of physical monetary system, physical ID proofs, physical certifications etc., and even physical board meetings, as we slowly transcend to the digital age. Soft copies cannot summarily replace hard copies and the original title deed documentation is one such an area where transit from physical form to digital can be slowest and unreliable. May be in future, there is the possibility when we can entirely shift to electronic documentation. One of the hurdles that prevents such a total transformation is the age old parent documents that have to exist to maintain the chain link and authenticity of title deeds. The clue lies in how we process these old papers and bring in a revolution in the documentation process. Is Pradhan Mantri ji listening. Have you given a thought to this ji. Further, will this be foolproof. Can the digital title deed lead to scams and forgeries. Or is this the way forward.
Just a thought. With this I set the ball rolling. Why not. When Aadhar is here, PAN is here, Rupay is here, PayTm is here, Smart family card is here, Smart driving licence is here, when futures trading can be done from the cool comforts of your home, when there is the cryptocurrency, why should not be there an electronic title deed at all. How do we assemble the jigsaw puzzle.
I am limiting the scope of this post to mere appearance and/or shape and physical volume of title deeds with no input for substance.
When our Indian politicians and bureaucrats decide to shoot their big mouths off target, nobody can shut their nonsense and filth up. So damaging were the recent off-the-mark remarks that have sparked a fury in the Middle-east undermining India-GCC bonhomie that took years or perhaps decades to foster. So much so that our late external minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj could quote from Sanskrit at the OPEC meet where Pakistan was kept at bay. Foundation stone for Hindu temples in the Emirates were laid by ruling Arabs. Just imagine the clout India has been enjoying in the epicenter of Islamic fraternity. Millions of Indian citizens are gainfully employed in the gulf nations repatriating valuable foreign exchange over years. Indians own business enterprises, Indians run hospitals to supermarkets. Indians are successful entrepreneurs. Indians are doctors and engineers to shopkeepers and teachers. Indians are SAP professionals. Indians are bankers. Indian community is far better placed among the whole lot of expats – some 100+ nationalities, who constitute the workforce in various capacities in GCC countries. Indians enjoy unparalleled prestige and respect in the Arab world that took years and Himalayan efforts to earn. And a majority of Indians making a living in Islamic nations are HINDUS. India’s traumatic history has left some scars no doubt but we are now invested in mutually beneficial economic and productive activities in the Middle East, that has offset many a bad memory kept alive only thanks to our textbooks. In today’s context especially when world economy is sluggish and employers are cutting corners giving pink slip to long serving staff without batting their eyelids, GCC nations are doing a great job employing not just Indians but blue and white collar workers of every race, hue and faith without a discrimination.
We expat Indian Hindus feel safest and securest living in Arab countries over living in crime-ridden India. We are respected, treated fair and well provided with. We enjoy world class medical and other amenities for FREE. The Arab governments take good care of us. For most of us NRIs, it is the inevitability of returning to India for good someday that seems like a nightmare.
Exactly what is the contribution to Indian economy from the Silicon valley NRIs in the US. From the Patels of hotel chains. It is always the expats employed in Arab countries who fill India’s coffers with foreign currencies and gold bullion. It is the NRIs from middle east who drive the stock markets and real estates up with their substantial investments. Who is buying the gold bonds, debentures, retirement plans and insurances the way the expats from gulf nations do. Suppose the NRIs in the gulf nations are to be displaced, can India find suitable placement for every single one of them returning home. Its not just economics, employment in gulf also guarantees India longtime peace and spares India from civil-war like grave economic situations. The harsh truth is that, the core industry of India still cannot absorb the quantum of fresh graduates Indian universities are churning out year after year. Where will all these young men and women fit in. Partly Indian government’s headache finds a panacea in job markets open for Indian citizens in gulf countries. Unlike the US, UK, Australia and Canada who want only the creamiest Indians leading to braindrain in India, the gulf countries provide scope of better and fruitful engagement for our middle level grads and even factory and site workers. To absorb and train a healthy chunk of the core industry workers produced by India is the greatest service the GCC countries render to India. Once upon a time, it were the Keralites who comprised the maximum percentage of Indian expat community in the gulf countries. Now, there is representation from every corner of India in gulf nations. Representation found a new meaning, I mused, when I struck up a conversation with Bhutan women in a shopping mall in Qatar. There are the blue collar workers employed as site workers, chauffeurs, cooks, shop assistants, nursing staff etc., who may be otherwise jobless in India plunging the nation into misery and chaos.
Will Nupur Sharma or whichever loudmouth find jobs for millions of Indians gainfully employed in GCC countries, in India. What is the need to upset the applecart? Highly irresponsible. Years of diplomacy and political correctness and goodwill have finally come to a naught thanks to such an insensitive ignoramus. The cost of this hostility will be borne by the labour class and working class Indians working in GCC countries. Every single loose canon shot by careless Indian politicians damages the political goodwill hard-earned by the Indian diaspora over years. It only takes a moment of sheer callousness and thoughtlessness to destroy such a precious relationship that India has been traditionally enjoying with Arab countries. Our media guys are bastards. Jealous outright. They would rather see the NRIs suffer because these guys are now sweating it out in our tv studios. They will do anything to inflict damages. Then there are the TRP ratings for sensationalizing non-issues. India never took sides when the GCC countries were divided over Qatar. Top brass in India as well as GCC nations are aware of the significance of the strong ties enjoyed by both sides. It is time for Modi government to shut some loudmouths tight. India has been a great ally to Arab countries walking the tightrope, never missing a foot. Hopefully this matter dies quietly the soonest. India can do without these debilitating controversies. This is no good.
Is this a local Indian issue: May be. Media still has to play a responsible role. Sometimes the architects of riots are none but the Indian media. The ones who must be booked are the anchors who did the lead and the producers behind the stories.
The raging debate in the US right now is on women’s rights on abortion. Its a very sensitive issue there where teenage pregnancies are not rare. And equally common are broken families, adoption, foster homes. The legislation expected could have political, social, economic ramifications. I never expected any nation to be so much alive and politically-socially conscious as the US, although I have been increasingly aware how mature and literate the American population generally is. And I am also surprised how the country is divided on opinion. Well balanced. I guess America has come of age. I respect the way they dissect a bill before it becomes a legal statute. The pro-life – pro-choice arguments are heated, and for reasons justifiable. How the population engages in healthy discussions and present counter arguments is interesting. There are campaigns, rallies educating masses and gathering support. Before the motion is brought to the floor of the house, the finer aspects are contemplated and analyzed logically in great detail leaving no room for misgivings. Witnessing the democratic way the entire construct is executed building momentum showed me how every voter’s or citizen’s right counts in democracy. I wish India is as mature, and not just the world’s largest democracy. We have to move things from grassroots level and our masses need to be well informed and opinionated. In coming months we shall come to know what will be the law of the land, but as of now the pros and cons are doing the rounds in the States.
I may be an outsider, but my family is American so it concerns me as much. I was not vocal on the matter during my recent visit to the US because, women there are extremely sensitive when it comes to women’s rights and issues especially when it comes to something as personal as women’s body. Precisely this is why I am Pro-Choice.
As a grandmother, as a mother, there is a lot I have seen in my life than the younger women of today who are raising banners for Pro-Life. They in all probability have no clue what they are talking about. How many of these women in twenties or thirties or still in teens will have the patience or mental strength to raise a spastic child or a Down’s syndrome baby whose birth could have been prevented. Leave alone the medical bills to foot. India has such Draconian laws that do not allow women to go in for Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) when the foetus is twenty weeks. I have known a case when the ultrasound scan and other medical test reports showed anomalies in the second semester when the pregnant mother was forced to carry on with her term against her wishes, expecting the birth of an abnormal child. The couple have been raising a boy physically and mentally handicapped since his birth and now he is eight years strapped to his baby cot, fed through tubes. How many women who shout slogans arguing for pro-life will have the devotion, courage, financial backbone and/or strong heart and mind to go through what these young parents are undergoing. Their happy life as they knew it long since vanished with one scan report years back. A simple MTP could have done everyone good. Only, the detection came a couple of weeks later. Laws that are outdated need repealing. In this scenario, I do wonder how mature societies like the US can actually go on and frame constricting laws that can do more damage than bring in welfare to the society.
The religious perspective adds fuel to the fire as we can see. The Catholic church is not for termination of pregnancies.
What about teen pregnancies. Illegal pregnancies appear to be rampant in the US in underage women which can be constituted as ‘rape’ (as in any other country). How can any legal statute try to legitimize the birth of a baby born out of such unholy nexus. How can any law enforcement agency reserve the right to deny these victims their fundamental right to abort what they do not want or deserve. How many babies are abandoned in the trash can every year? How many end up in foster care? Is this what the state wants for our unfortunate unborn children and their poor unlucky mothers.
It is not just the US, it is high time even India revisits the law governing MTPs. If abortions cannot happen for valid medical reasons on completion of twenty weeks of pregnancy, then the screenings for anomalies at any stage is pointless. Quality of life is worth considering than quantity of life. These were media reports stating that government was considering allowing legal abortions until 24 weeks although there is no update on the issue. There is always misuse in some quarters but this is a small collateral considering the larger benefit on anvil. Govt of India can weigh allowing MTP upto 24 weeks consulting a medical bench when the mother’s life may not be endangered. Asking for sex of the foetus is illegal in India punishable with a sentence. This is to prevent gender-based crimes in the garb of MTPs. It seems to be serving the purpose.
If India gets rid of Amazon, I will be the first happiest. Only I don’t want it to be replaced by the Reliance of Ambanis. In which case I would rather Amazon stays put. The foreign players are far better in service. With them we have fair dealings. Staff quality is exceptional or best across the board. If Amazon must close in India, then Reliance and Tata also must exit the retailing business. I as a principle NEVER SHOP FROM RELIANCE RETAIL. I have bought from the Westside of Tata, and harbour some guilt feelings about it. Tell me one area that these two huge business houses have not disturbed or have spared. Titan sent home all small time watch repairers and downed the shutters of dozens of watch-clock shops. What happened to HMT? Is Titan all one hundred percent Indian. What about Timex and foreign brands on display. Titan Eye Plus has taken over all the businesses of practising opthalmologists in my city Chennai and across entire India, that even I prefer changing my glasses here rather than our family optics we used to go to for decades. They employ a round-the-clock opthalmologist that you don’t even have to seek anyone for consultation. Its all under their one roof. Now we Indians wear Ray-ban and Essilor even for Varilux lenses., i mean the progressive lenses. See, even varilux is imported brand. Never stepped into Reliance Trends once that sent so many, many, retailers and small boutique owners packing. NEVER GOT A RELIANCE 4G PHONE. As much as possible avoid Uber or Ola. I prefer to use the services of a loyal automan who used to ply my son to school. Unlike the foreign app cabs and cabbies, the auto wallah used to get my son veg puff if he ever would pick him up late from school in the evenings. That is the humanitarian touch we all enjoyed in businesses and trade dealings in India until the thoughtless industrialists collaborated with foreign investors to bring it all down. Traditional market is long since gone in India. First of all how many can talk about Futures trading in our markets. Have you ever seen a tweet on what damage is being done to small farmers. Who are these bigshots doing the talking? What has F1 got to do with India. This is obscene that one must even think on these lines. India is not merely Delhi and Mumbai. India is also Chennai and Madurai and Kochi and Mangalore and Viayawada. Whether you like it or not, you have to accept the fact that I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO DELHI ALTHOUGH I HAVE TOURED A DOZEN WORLD COUNTRIES. I don’t even have the urge to see my capital city. YET I AM INDIAN AND NO LESS. And I admire Arvind Kejriwal even if I cannot belong with his political party. People down south, at least vast majority Tamils, cannot speak Hindi and are not even aware that an SRK or Amitabh Bachchan exists. The bestest Indian restaurants to my knowledge across the world may be Saravana Bhavan and Annapurna and Udipi, definitely not five star. These are from south. Bombay Chowpathy, Tandoor and the Kailash Parbath and of course now Zaffron are leading north Indian restaurants to my practical knowledge. We are NRIs for over 25 years now. The Saravana Bhavan chain caters to middle class NRIs or PIOs not the diamond trading Gujjus (who have reputation for fleeing the country bankrupt). India must become self-reliant totally, but improving human resources quality and potential is a must in this case. Our infamous ‘chaltha hai’ attitude must be dealt with first. Extremely proud of Indigo flight landing on India made gear (navigational system Gagan). Now that is truly desi and patriotic. I hope these bureaucrats stop suggesting to masses what is right and what is wrong and what we must do. We all have our eyes open and we can see what’s going on. I would any day prefer to get back to pre-Amazon times but then I am asking this one question: why should the Flipkart guys sell out. What happened to Jabong. Our selfish Indian bros exit making quick bucks the moment an opportunity presents itself. At least the Amazon are doing a wonderful job. Amazonless days are welcome, but don’t fill that with Reliance, is what I would like to tell Modi government. So whatever happened to Reliance oil in Krishna Godavari basin. Why should we ever trust an Indian business/industrialist.
PS: Amazon earned its rightful place in India during the emergency imposed upon us by back-to-back lockdowns when the pandemic reached us, even as nations including ours were grappling with the sudden influx of Covid. Everyone else failed our masses but Amazon did not. What were Big Basket etc., doing. Theirs and even the Dunzo app were down and ill equipped. Those who managed to get through and place orders were still left in lurch without delivery. The capacity of Amazon – is something I realized in this crisis situation. Lived upto its name literally. If not for Amazon, I am not sure what would have happened to us. The supplies were prompt, the website did not crash and no mix-ups either. And no inflated price over the markup.
Until the Antarctic Bill was passed in our parliament very recently, I wasn’t aware that India hadn’t even bothered to table it all these decades. India’s interests in the south polar region were until now circumscribed by international laws, not desi. Kudos to Modi government for keeping matters official, documenting and filing for reference, record and history. After all, this is some legacy we may be leaving for our future generations. The bill renders legal validity to India’s claims in the Antarctic. This streamlining discipline is something India has lacked culturally in my opinion.
Dakshin Gangotri and Maitri are India’s permanent stations in the Antarctic. Established in the Indira Gandhi era, the last troubling news from the Indian base in the Antarctic was that, the ice shelves had begun melting-disappearing with global warming at an alarming pace. Antarctica is nothing but glaciers galore.
Various Indian expeditions have made it successful to the south Pole over years keeping the tricolour flying high on the continent of penguins.
We have an impressive read here: This is very informative.
With the Bharti Research Station in the Antarctic, India belongs in the elite club of nations with research facilities in the south pole. The lab houses Indian scientists, botanists, geologists and others who carry on essential studies on environment, climate etc., for India making the nation proud.