Posted in Political

Time To Call It A Day: TASMAC & PDS In Tamil Nadu/India

No one died of non consumption of alcohol in Tamil Nadu since this March 25th. Not many make effective use of the rice rations in Tamil Nadu either. The subsidized/free provisions meant for the BPL families, distributed through our nationwide network of PDS (Public Distribution system) outlets are invariably sold in the black market to make a fast buck. Last heard, rural Tamil women use the 20 kg rice issue for cattle fodder.

India Lockdown 1 started by the midnight of March 25th for a period of 21 days. Lockdown 2 followed from/after April 14th. Lockdown 3 commenced on/after May 3rd and currently we are in Lockdown 4 that began on/after May 17th.

After every enforcement and release of a lockdown, certain restrictions have been lifted. This was to ensure that the return to normalcy could be seamless and smooth. In any case, Section 144 was imposed absolutely in the first phase that still saw the essential services such as food and health, banking etc., functioning. Public transport ceased in totality. Malls, restaurants, cinemas, educational institutions and places of worship remained closed. Farming, food deliveries, milk and grocery supplies and other crucial economic activities were permitted during lockdown 2. Lockdown 2 also eased restrictions on street hawkers who brought fruits and vegetables to doorsteps, as the general public continued to stay home. Lockdown 3 was a bit more relaxed with more services including those non essential resuming. Proprietors of small business were allowed to reopen. Air-conditioning to be switched off. Lockdown 3 also marked the country into 3 zones: Green, Orange and Red. Green zones were those that recorded no fresh Covid positive cases. Barring entry of outsiders, the zones were opened up completely. For instance, the Coimbatore district in Tamil Nadu fell under green zone. Even in the green zones, economic activities have been permitted with certain conditions strictly: Social distancing and donning a mask have been made mandatory.

Orange zones are moderate centers with minimal recorded corona virus cases. Risk factor here for covid 19 infection to become community spread is perceived to be very low. Selective economic activities have been reinstated in the zone, with total covid containment viewed as a near possible reality. The next move will be progression to green zone with all loopholes plugged. Kerala and Bangalore (where liquor bars have been doing booming or perhaps record business since day 1 of reopening) may fall under Orange zone. Even BBC and CNN got stumped with the mind boggling sales statistics in our third world nation liquor bars. Bangalore is not only the Silicon valley of India being the backoffice for the entire world, it also boasts of Asia’s largest pub and brewery. Bangalore’s pub culture is legendary.

Red zones are those that sustain yet virulent hotspots where areas are cordoned off to contain covid spread by the super-spreaders. Chennai is unfortunately still the red zone. In red zones, except for the barricaded localities, limited economic activity is permitted in other non-infected areas. Freelance semi-skilled blue collar workers such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, masons etc., have since resumed working, adopting social distancing and mask wearing safety procedures.

However, downed shutters it is for liquor bars in red zones in lockdown 4. TASMAC outlets run by the Tamil Nadu state government , were about to be opened for want of funds. New kid in the block Kamal Hasan, the actor turned politician, obtained an injunction order from court that stayed the reopening of TASMAC in the state, much to the chagrin of a disgruntled state government. It is open secret that TASMAC is gold mine for our treasuries to dip into at their convenience. Along with Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Board that governs Hindu temple managements alone syphoning off collections that can put the entire SAARC block to shame with their immense volumes. Interestingly, ‘the dry spell’ that has lasted for almost 60 days in the state (and mostly in entire India except for those  metros like Mumbai and Bangalore) with the closure of TASMAC did not kill anyone – not even the so-called hardcore addicts. No expensive detox routines and spas. Nobody speaks of splitting headaches and withdrawal symptoms. House maids and such women workers in menial jobs married to wife-beating alcoholics wasting their entire day’s earning in TASMAC now gossip of husbands chopping vegetables and cooking rice and roti sharing domestic responsibilities. There has been a whole loss of one major earning in the family – the head of the family is at home. Anyways, corona or not, Tamil Nadu govt gives everything free: from rice to cash subsidies. If your kids attend corporation schools, mid day meal is free (with egg served thrice a week and banana too) for them, and also a laptop and a bicycle to go to school. Diwali and Pongal means freebies such as new clothes (sari and dhoti). Pregnant women, widows, the issueless poor – you name the destitute, they all get subsidies ranging from 1k to 1.5k every single month! Why should anyone work for an honest living.

(The last but not the least spoiler is the MNREGA, the minimum employment guarantee scheme introduced by Sonia Gandhi’s Congress govt that assures a daily average wage of Rs.90/- for minimum 100 days an year, whether or not you work or laze around. All you have to do is, fix your thumb impression. Agriculture is in doldrums in the state as the marginal and small farmers do not have it in them anymore to engage in productive farm activity. Why should they. And then the shameless Tamils have the audacity to complain that the Bihari and Bengali are stealing their jobs! The north Indian labourers from Jharkhand, Bihar, Chattisgarh, the north easterners from the 7 sister states such as Assamese etc., and the Nepali are our lifeline really. But for them, the south India and especially Tamil Nadu and more particularly Chennai will come to a grinding halt overnight. It is easy to dismiss the migrant labourers as ‘panipuri wale’ as we would like to. But no, they are here to stay. They work our restaurants to our rice mills and our textile units and factories to small scale industries. They are our technicians and our pizza delivery men. Boy, don’t they learn Tamil quick! So where is the Tamil worker? At TASMAC 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 4 weeks a month, 12 months an year. No wonder our government is dying to open up the state run liquor outlets (what a state business to have. have you come across any government running liquor chain) to fill the emptied coffers overnight.

Who says India is a third world nation.

Is MNREGA a curse or a blessing? In case of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, etc., at least, there seems no justification for the scheme to continue.

PDS ration shops have to go in the metros for the starters. The worst fallout from PDS to me is, the making of a lazy society who have no shame living on welfare. Pointless queues are the only spot where the blue collar population of Tamil Nadu may appear brusque. The rations are up for the grabs of black marketeers. Why not an equivalent subsidy in the place of PDS rations, as with the case of LPG refills. Govt can rethink on the issue. It is true, in times of emergencies such as even the present Novel coronavirus pandemic, the PDS proves to be an effective way of transferring rations/utilities. If PDS has to go, government has to devise a secondary means of functional mass/public distribution of provisions should situation present itself.

TASMAC however has no such strings attached like the PDS or MNREGA. TASMAC closure can be made permanent. When some state governments such as Gujarat have had prohibitions for decades with a roaring success, why cannot Tamil Nadu follow suit. Kerala government too as such is raring to open the liquor outlets vying with Tamil Nadu.

Coronavirus is bad news to rest of the world. To some communities however, it is a blessing in disguise. Husbands and wives and the children and the helpless aged parents are for a very first time in our living memory, finally happy. With very minimum or almost nil income, there is still so much to smile and hope for in the BPL rungs of our society. No drunken brawls in the bars and in the streets, no wife beating, no abusing the kids…. we have precious harmony in families that used to be torn apart by ugly spats every single day of their lives. And what it did take for such a peaceful heaven to descend on us is the Novel coronavirus pandemic – the Covid 19 scare, and the ensuing back-to-back lockdowns. But more than anything, it is the closure of TASMAC that is working wonders for our lower middle classes who have been through hell, with hopeless alcoholics for head of the family. Or, it can be like this. Let TASMAC sell liquor on Aadhar basis. Those of the denizens who can afford TASMAC must not be entitled to any government sops. No more PDS rations either. Does our government have the nerve and honesty to go about this exercise free and fair. Because, none of us tax paying citizens would want to foot the bill for state subsidies and rations to families who can afford TASMAC.

TASMAC online! Now what is this!  Such a creepy thing, is all I can say.

Undeniably, Indian economy is having it rough. There is massive unemployment surge, cash crunch, revenues strapped treasury in the case of state-central governments, crimes happening, migrant matters, natural woes and calamities, defence issues, etc., etc. This is on top of Covid 19 scare. Is TASMAC panacea to all that has gone wrong.

Thank you guys for going nicotine-free during the lockdowns, maintain status quo. Cigarette smoke is reportedly a very potent corona carrier.

Finally, free our temples from the clutches of state governments that rob us of our legitimate collections that must benefit the Hindu community. When the church and the masjid that are on conversion spree flush with NGO and hawala fundings from overseas remain autonomous, why are Hindu temple revenues channeled to government treasury.

A small beginning is made:

Kerala HC To Hear Petition On Temple “Donating” Money To CM’s Relief Fund

Posted in Political


What is Hydroxychloroquine??? HCQ is nothing but our local improved quinine, the very common Malarial prescription drug in India, mass-produced by BPCW (Bengal Pharmaceutical & Chemical Works Ltd., founded by Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray in the year 1892), a loss-making government undertaking on the verge of collapse. The supposed wonder-drug for Covid-19 shot to fame when the US President Donald Trump dubbed it ‘the game changer.’ India previously had ordered a ban on export of the drug, as the covid-19 cases shot up in the country. Trump threatened with retaliation against India if the drug would not be shipped to America.

Whether India gave in to US pressure or stood to bargain in the process is a billion dollar question. India is the world’s 9th largest pharmaceutical exporting country. India has been a major exporter of life-saving pharma drugs to poorer SAARC countries in the neighbourhood like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives and Pakistan whose interests come first too. India on April 7th, partially lifted the ban on export of HCQ that has brought relief to a galaxy of nations looking to India for urgent supply.

Over 30 world nations including Middle Eastern countries and European, have requested India for HCQ for fighting the Novel Coronavirus. How to keep up the supply in critical times like these?


How much of this tweet is true is worth debating but knowing what a hard bargainer Modi is, India won’t be the sore loser.

In any case, humanitarian considerations come first. At the same time, there is also a strong case for self-interest which is entirely justifiable. The balancing act of holding stock for the 1.3 billion heads in India and still exporting the vital prescription drug world over can be nerve wracking. To be handled with tactful diplomacy. HCQ export to SAARC nations by India is by way of aid pledged by India to the neighbourhood. India pledged US$10 million to SAARC to fight the coronavirus in Indian subcontinent comprising the seven SAARC nations.

India pledges $10 million as SAARC leaders join hands to fight coronavirus

Shipment to Sri Lanka:

India sends Sri Lanka life-saving medicines, Rajapaksa thanks Modi for ‘warm gesture’

Following the footsteps of the USA, many more like the Brazil, Israel and Malaysia have requested India for supply of HCQ. Brazil belongs with India in BRICK block of nations. Brazil, while seeking life-saving HCQ from India, went to the extent of quoting from Ramayana, Hanuman, the Hindu Monkey God, who uprooted the medicinal Sanjeevani hill from the Himalaya and flew it down to Sri Lanka for curing Lakshmana, breathing fresh life onto him!

Malaysia, once a friendly nation, turned hostile after inclining to pro islamic-terrorist ideals, shielding Zakir Naik who is wanted in India and siding with Pakistan on Kashmir and other sensitive issues. Bilateral relations between India and Malaysia are at an all time low, thanks to their arrogant and dimwit (ex) PM Mahathir Mohammad. India tackled Malaysia with Palm oil diplomacy already. Now Malaysia has requested India for HCQ for fighting the coronavirus.

Israel thanked India for shipping HCQ last thursday. Until now, HCQ is viewed as the best possible cure for Covid-19.

India will supply HCQ to even Pakistan if there is a request. Five Indian Army special officers were martyred in cross-border terror attack by Pakistan in Kupwara only yesterday. Right in the times of coronavirus lockdown worldwide. There is no data on HCQ shipment to Pakistan as quoted by media sources. India exports paracetamol and HCQ to all SAARC countries including Pakistan which also imports lifesaving drugs from India. (However Pak welcome to procure adulterated HCQ and fake and contaminated corona Testing kits from their only ally China. That shall save India some valuable resources).

No need to thank India, President Trump. We are doing our duty. There is unprecedented demand for HCQ. India has to take care of our 1.3 billion as well which explains the regulation on export of HCQ. UK joined the US, Brazil and Sri Lanka thanking India for the timely export of HCQ for covid-19 cure.

HCQ still has to be administered with care as it exhibits proven side-effects. It is mostly meant for health care workers who are constantly exposed to coronavirus infection when treating the Covid-19 patients. Until vaccines may arrive, the HCQ is here to stay.

Hopefully, like Hanuman brought the Sanjeevani in Ramayana breathing fresh life into Lakshmana, India can save millions of lives around the world with the export of HCQ. Many pranaams to our Sanathana Dharma that enables us to come to the aid of world humanity faced with existential crisis like now. Take care, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji! India loves you and needs you.

Posted in Political

Crisis Management.

Crises test the mettle of a man like none other. How one handles pressure, stress, crisis defines him/her. Crisis management underscores the maturity levels in both individuals and nations. Covid-19 is the ultimate reality check for nations. For once, our list of priorities is subject to change. Material aspirations are going for a toss.

So much of gyaan over the Novel Coronavirus.

I can make a gist from what i have read so far in social media and I can add here a few of my own.

  • The power center of the world has shifted from the US to China.
  • China will not care whatever happens to the world. Neither will the chinese feel guilty. And they will do it again without remorse!
  • The healthiest among us are the poorest who can survive against all odds.
  • The wealthiest are the most vulnerable.
  • The last two points apply for nations as well. Poorest nations are more resistant to the coronavirus over overtly sterile and wealthier first world nations.
  • One cannot eat and drink oil and gas. Tight slap to the rich and arrogant Arabs. With not an ounce of any proficiency or sweat, their sense of entitlement to wealth and luxury is appalling. Twisted ideology. The Arab highhandedness directly fans bloody terrorism around the world. This is why it is important to quell the Arab dominance that is made possible only with oil and gas. How long can this status quo exist. Until the fossil fuel runs out within another 20-30 years maximum. Equations are bound to change forever after that, but then Covid 19 is like a teaser already for these badly scared middle eastern nations.
  • Neither can one buy health with the greenbacks. Tight slap to the economically dominant and exploiting first world nations. World can do without your unimportant inventions and discoveries. Laidback lifestyle like in the present lockdown period is better.
  • The volatility and vulnerability of the stock markets and banking institutions and the very basic medical infrastructure in most advanced nations implies that NONE IS INVINCIBLE. Everyone is replaceable. Everybody will be substituted. Collapse of entire health care system in a few European countries like Italy exposes the underbelly of their much touted economic model.
  • Hopefully the warmongering nations have learned their lessons. If only you can make more of Hydroxychloroquine than F16s, world would have been a far better place to live in. Less war and more peace please. Today’s Islamic terrorism had a precedent in yesterday’s Christian wars of crusades. Today’s terrorists are doing nothing that Hitler did not do to Jews or America did not do to Japan.
  • Advanced first world nations that boast of state of art medical research laboratories and five star medical institutions may still not have a supporting/matching system of emotionally tougher or balanced medical fraternity. That precocious gift is reserved for physicians who attend medical schools in third world countries where OPs alone may register at least 500-1000 patients in every single government medical college-hospital forenoon and afternoon. This is why Indian medicos are a global success story. You have to get down on your hands and knees to treat and cure patients if you are a good physician. You have to check the pulse to diagnose without machine help. This is human expertise that comes with practice alone. This is as important as inventing vaccines and new pharmaceutical formula in sophisticated labs in western countries.
  • Government medical hospitals are our lifeline. A big lesson here even for India. I have written a lot about why I am principally against NEET for PG medical admissions. Why service quota is a must for PG seats/superspeciality admissions in our medical colleges. If Ambani and Adani are to take over our rural health care (which can one day happen), then that will see the collapse of India. Increased chance for this scenario when service quota is not favoured for PG medical admissions. Service based reservation for PG seats to atleast 50% is a must. Hopefully, the Indian government will stop following the American model in everything and do an analysis on this. PG seats to reserved category in far flung areas ensured that the medicos went back servicing to their hometowns in the past. One area where reservation has proved to be of maximum benefit to the society at large.
  • Meat does not make one necessarily stronger. Immunity can from curry food and vegetarian cuisine loaded exotic spices and natural minerals and vitamins.
  • Prevention is definitely better than cure. In case you miss the bus, still better late than never.
  • Strong and able leadership can work wonders for a nation. India is fortunate to have Modi leading us at this time of crisis. Decisive leadership can make a huge difference and can impact on the destiny of a nation. War time or peace time, statesmanship can go a long way in nation building. In India’s case, whether it is dealing with Balakot or with China on Bhutan border or on removal of article 370 on Kashmir or now when it comes to handing the coronavirus crisis, we Indians are grateful that our PM Modi is in charge. I wouldn’t trust the nation in any other hands. Vote wisely.
  • The poorest always have the biggest heart. Be it individuals or nations. India still helps its neighbourhood and poorest nations with free medical supplies. We bill only America and Europe! My maid, my autowallah, my temple priest – everyone I approached to help refused help. In fact, they in turn help others who they can.
  • Being the big bro, comes with responsibilities. Respects for the way India took control and initiative with SAARC. Leadership in peacetime crisis demands more maturity and statesmanship and diplomacy in my half-baked opinion (!)
  • Never be ashamed of learning from the experienced, even if it is your worst adversary. Never be ashamed to seek help if it is life saving. You have to live first to sustain your big ego.
  • Civic administration and government departments are like the nervous systems of nations. In India, provisions and monetary help were distributed at lightening speed before the masses could get restless.
  • Farmers are life givers like healthcare workers. How many farmer suicides does India record every year. Not a single farmer suicide must be allowed to happen in future. Without agriculture and our marginal and small farmers, where will we be. My heart bleeds at the senseless spate of farmer suicide that is taking a big toll in rural India.
  • MNCs directly responsible for ruining rural India and Indian agriculture and even our health care system. No more privatization please. Our railways and national carriers and rural health facilities must belong with government.
  • Healthcare workers and sanitation workers and farmers and our police force are the real life heroes who we ignore in everyday life. Sanitation workers do not even command dignity of labour in our mindset sadly.
  • Filmy heroes are big ZEROES. So are the sports persons and other page 3 celebrities. None of these count in the times of crisis.
  • Covid 19 is one great universal equalizer – we have to give it to virus.
  • Medical insurance is necessary.
  • Government medicare in India is by far the best. No waiting queue in India even for open heart surgery or kidney transplant or knee replacement and the costs are a fraction compared to that in America or Europe. Most Indians do not realize how gifted and better placed we are.
  • Our wealth can dwindle in matter of minutes and we can do nothing about it. I saw my stucks crumble in matter of days. Nothing is safe that way. Bank deposits or stocks or gold or immovable assets … nothing matters when your very life is at stake. Liquidity is anyday the most prudent financial option. Cash is cash and no card or ATM can replace hard cash ever.
  • Kirana stores are our lifeline again. Yeah, that corner shop in our street. I buy my daily needs there. I am now ordering online because my kirana store owner has finally downed his shutters and i am left with no supply.
  • We can survive without fast foods. Burger and chips are what they are: trash. If eat it , then don’t blame your health care system.
  • In India, there is a dire necessity to check the growth of the Biriyani joints. Unhealthy spread of nonvegetarian food habits in a predominantly vegetarian nation.
  • Homefood can be nutritional and tasty at the same time. Homefood grows on you. You have to habituate yourself with homefood and once you get addicted, you can’t ever appreciate restaurant food. I have restaurant food not because I love it but because I want to take a break from my kitchen sometimes. There is simply no comparison between homefood and restaurant food.
  • What is this processed food. We in India do not have that much. We cannot live from packet to packet. I don’t even buy ginger-garlic paste. Everytime I grind it fresh for instance. Forced to buy packed groceries now because of demand situation and unavailability of certain groceries. Only until the lockdown period.
  • Most of us can work from home.
  • Women transform homes into heavens. Family is family. No replacement or substitute for that. Sometimes now in the lockdown I am reminded of the sweet old ’80s when we had no computer or terrorism or even satellite tv.
  • Wildlife is on freerun. After all, we humankind have been the virus all along! Heartening to listen to bird chirps and watch in the media, clippings of wildlife straying into thoroughfare emptied of human presence. How long can this tranquility last. Let our wildlife enjoy this brief respite to their hilt.
  • Nature has a way of restoring balance always. Please let some of us stop reproducing like rats and rabbits, consuming more of the natural resources in the process. A family with 2 kids has the same and equal rights to resources as a family with a dozen kids. 10 buckets of water for instance for both families for a day. Rationing must be on this principle.
  • Sky is clearer and brighter. No polluting vehicular smoke. Pin drop silence.
Posted in Political

Corona Memes

Let’s not linger too much on negativity. Now some good humour to pep up our day!