Tuesday, 29 April 2014

What would they name it ?



Mahatma Gandhi named his autobiography ,


"  My  Experiments  with  Truth  "


If some of our politicians were to author their own biography ( - even if actually written by ghost writers ) , what would they name it  ?


Here is my guess  :


>  Man Mohan Singh...............     In Search of Silence


>  Sonia Gandhi....................     The Guns are Booming


>  Robert Vadra ( Kin-politico )..  From landless to landlord in 40 days


>  Suresh Kalmadi...................  The Game Theory


>  Pawan Bansal  ....................  Toofaan  Mail


>  Shriprakash Jaiswal.............   The Dark Matter Underground


>  Ashwini Kumar....................  Superior to Supreme


>  Kapil Sibal..........................  Two-timing Lawyer


>  P Chidambaram..................   Re-Count  to  Re-Instate


>  Kamal Nath ......................    A Road Less Travelled


>  Prafulla Patel.....................    Gone with the Wind


>  A Raja.............................     Last Come , First Served


>  Dayanidhi Maran.................  Quid- pro- Quo


>  Kanimozi...........................   Father Knows Best


>  Jayalalithaa........................  Heaven - for those who touch my feet


>  Mamta Banerjee................    The Triumph of the Lawless


>  Narendra Modi..................... Gujarat - that is India

>  Arvind Kejriwal.................... AK-49 and lesser Weapons


>  Mayawati......................     Maya and Maya-Jaal



Feel free to add to the list



In case they decide to come out with their biographies , one thing is certain


Royalty percentage will need to be the same - or more - than the percentages that they are used to get so far  !


And , the branding rights will be sold separately  !


What with the way current Lok Sabha elections are going , most of these Netas will have plenty of time on hand to pen their travails  !


Don't miss the next year's Jaipur Literature Festival 



*  hemen  parekh  (  30 April 2014 / Mumbai )


Monday, 28 April 2014

Bribing The Voters



Retired Chief Election Commissioner , S Y Quraishi , is all set to release his book ,


"  The Undocumented Wonder : The Making of the Great Indian Election "


Talking to DNA ( 15 April 2014 ) he listed some 40 different ways in which , Political Parties try to bribe voters


Some of these are :


>   Cash

>   Depositing money in voter's bank account

>   Liquor Bottles

>  LPG Cylinders

>  Free Rice / Food Packets

>  Payments of Electricity / Water Bills

>  Mass Feasts

>  Screening of films

>  Laptops / Tablets

>  Bicycles

>  Mangal Sutras

>  Gold Coins

>  Buffalos

>  Colour TV

>  Mixer - Grinder

>  Unemployment Allowance

>  Waiver of loans

>  Free Houses ......etc



Political Parties are happy that Mr Quarishi , being an honest / straight forward person , could imagine only 10 % of  the ways of bribing voters  !


And who cares that the EC has managed to seize a meager Rs 300 crores worth of cash so far during the current season , when all of the Rs 40,000 Crores worth of black money ( @ Rs 5 crores per candidate * 8,000 candidates ) , has escaped un-noticed ( looking other way ? ) by ,


>  Income Tax Department

>  Enforcement Directorate

>  CAG / CVC

>  Election Commission.....etc



Even the almighty Supreme Court seemed helpless , when it held recently :


"  Although promises of distribution of freebies may not technically constitute  corrupt practice , under the Representation of People Act , they vitiate the electoral process by influencing voters and disturbing the level playing between contesting parties "



And since there is no difference of opinion between the political parties when it comes to exploiting the poverty of 400 million BPL ( Below the Poverty Line ) voters , I would not be surprised if the next government at the Centre , introduces a  ,


 "  Bribe ( given ) Politically ( is ) Legal ( BPL ) Bill "


 in the very first session of 16th Lok Sabha  !


Expect it to be passed unanimously - and without a debate  !


Political parties are firm believer of what Kaushik Basu ( onetime advisor to PM ) once said ( - although in a different context ) ,


"  Giving bribe must not be treated as crime


   Ordinary citizens are forced to give bribes when they are denied , service that is legitimately due to them


If they are held innocent , they will come forward and report all instances when they were forced to bribe bureaucrats



Only bribe-takers must be punished  "




*  hemen parekh  (  28 April 2014 / Mumbai  )


  





Saturday, 26 April 2014

As the Sun Rises




As the sun rises on 27th April , the epic battle of Lok Sabha elections will resume


In today's battle , what arrows will the mighty warriors shoot at each other ?


Here is my guess :


>  Narendra Modi will hurl the weapons of ,

    #   Corruption of UPA - 2
    #   Dubious land deals of Jijaji
    #   Declining  GDP .... etc


>   The  FAMILY  will retaliate with ,

     #   Snoop-gate
     #   Godhra riots
     #   Communal policies of BJP...  etc


>   Baba Ramdev

     #   Black Money


>   Sundry Netas

      #   Choicest Abuses ( Blunderer / Plunderer / Murderer ..etc )


By the time the Warriors retire to respective camps by sunset , in the PRECEEDING 24 HOURS , 4383 children ( below 5 years ) would have died due to starvation ( 1,600,000 per year )


But how can "  Reducible Deaths " be made , an Election Issue  ?


So , why talk about deaths due to malnutrition or for the following causes ?


>   Malaria.............................. 10,98,000

>   Cancer...............................   7,32,000

>   HIV..................................     6,83,200

>   Suicide .............................    4,88,000

>   Road Accidents  .................    3,66,000

>   Snake bites  ........................  7,32,000



Or  about millions of Indians dying  PREMATURE DEATH every year , due to :


>  Water and Air Pollution

>  Dowry ( Bride burning )

>  Child Labour

>  Occupational Hazards ( Chemical / Coal / Cement industries )

>  Miscarriage / Abortions / Pregnancy deaths

>  Smoking / Tobacco chewing

>  Junk Food / Adulterated Food

>  Daru ( liquor ) laced with ethyl alcohol

>  Fake Medicines............................etc


And how can you hold MPs / MLAs , responsible for keeping 28.7 Crores of Indians illiterate ( 37 % of World's illiterate ), 66 years after independence  ?


PEOPLE  OF  INDIA ,


What will kill you / me , is of no consequence to our politicians  !


They seem to be saying ,



"   What can we do  ?

   On the EVM of Yamaraaj , there is no NOTA button  !  "



*  hemen  parekh  (  27 April 2014 / Mumbai )


Thursday, 24 April 2014

A Software Powerhouse ?



A   Software  Powerhouse  ?

Yesterday , when I went to polling booth , there was a chaos , with a number of people complaining that their names were missing from the Electoral Rolls ( Voter Lists )

As per news-reports , in Mumbai alone , some 50,000 people returned home without casting their votes - including Deepak Parekh  ! Altogether , names of some 15 lakh voters ( out of a total of 98 lakh ) were missing  !


Then there are some 300 million people who will simply won't walk down to the nearest polling booths , and wait for 1 hour to cast their votes ( - assuming that some 40 % of the 814 million eligible voters do not exercise their right to vote )

WHY  ?

Going out to vote is becoming a big hassle

COULD  IT  BE  OTHERWISE  ?

Sure , if Central Government and the Election Commission care to implement my suggestion for developing a mobile App for voting .  I called it , VotesApp

 see .. hemenparekh.in/2013/08/votesapp.html  

Or , just type in Google , " VotesApp "

HOW  WILL  IT  HELP  ?

>  No need for 930,000 polling booths / EVMs / Ink / Papers etc
    Every voter's own mobile becomes a miniature EVM  !
    Any registered Voter can vote from anywhere in the World  !

>  Nor any need to deploy 1,100,000 people to conduct the polls

>  No need for millions of Police / Military personnel

>  No need for months of advance preparations, across entire country

>  Voting can be completed in just ONE day - instead of over 6 weeks -
    and results can be declared next day  !

>  Voting could be 95 % or more  !

>  No worry for booth-capture

>  No  bogus voting ( Bio-metric ID from built-in camera )

>  No duplicate voting ( Self-destruct after single usage )

>  No worry for any terrorist attacks

>  Enormous saving of time for Voters

>  No need to declare a public holiday - costing thousands of crores
     worth of production

>  Central Government will save, at least , Rs 2,000 Crores .

     If business-friendly BJP government comes to power , it would not
    hesitate to earn Rs 20,000 crores , by enabling 15 million Indian
    businesses to advertise to 814 million voters , thru this mobile VotesApp -
    sharply targeting by Gender / Age / Marital Status / City / Street /
    Education / Income Tax paid / Employed or Jobless ..etc

>  No need for Central Government to stop taking even routine decisions

If a tiny country like Estonia ( population 1.6 million ) can elect its Members of Parliament thru a VotesApp type mobile App , why can't we  ?

Already 900+ million Indians have mobiles - all of which , will soon become Smart Phones

And we call our country , a " Software Powerhouse "  !


*   hemen  parekh  ( 25 April 2014 / Mumbai ) 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Wrong Business ?



Talking about Narendra Modi's " Crony Capitalism " , Rahul Gandhi said ,


"  During 12 years of NaMo's rule in Gujarat , Gautam Adani's companies '
assets  ( or did he mean , Market Cap  ?  or Revenue  ?  it does not matter )
went up from Rs 3000 crores to Rs 40,000 crores  "


That is a CAGR ( Compounded Annual Growth Rate ) of 25 %


Now look at the assets declared by the Congress Candidates of the current Lok Sabha elections ( Let us not inquire re:  Undeclared Assets !  )


Within 5 years ( from 2009 to 2014 ) , the average assets of these Congressmen , went up from Rs 4.87 crores to Rs 54.38 crores  !


That is a CAGR of 62  %  !



So , which is a better business  ?


>  Building Nation by  building Ports , Power Stations , Infrastructure etc  ?



OR



>  Fooling Nation by robbing its precious natural resources , such
     Spectrum , Coal , Gas , Minerals , etc  ?


>   Not revealing the names of 50 individuals who have stashed away black
     money in German Banks - and whose names , German Government has
     provided 3 years back ?


>   Promoting " Crony Relative-ism " when it comes to buying government
      land for Rs 1 lakh / hectare and selling for Rs 100 lakhs / hectare  ?



Gautambhai ,



Obviously , you are in the wrong business  !


Switch over to sycophancy  !


Enjoy a CAGR of 200 %  !


Then , like late Babu Jagjivan Ram , don't file your Income Tax Return for next 10 years - and , if reminded , say , " I just forgot "  !



*   hemen  parekh  (  24  April  2014  /  Mumbai  )




Monday, 21 April 2014

What Could Arvind Do ?



After 49 days in office , Arvind Kejriwal resigned as CM of Delhi


Some people say , he is a " Bhagoda " ( an absconder ), who ran away from his responsibility to people of Delhi


Now , if you were AK , what would you have done , if you were faced with the following situation ?



>   You have promised to people of Delhi , to root-out corruption


>   To this end , you have promised to pass Jan Lok Pal Bill


>   Business Rules of Central Government say , Delhi Government CANNOT
     introduce any bill which has financial implication / burden , without first
     seeking OK from the Lieutenant Governor ( LG ) to introduce the bill


>   Business Rules are " Un-Constitutional " , as per eminent jurists


>   But Congress Government at Centre , was NOT willing to drop these
     rules , despite a written request from Delhi Government


>   LG had no power to give a go-bye to the rules . His only option was to
     reject the introduction of the bill , if it was referred to him


>   Knowing this too well , Congress / BJP ganged up and insisted that
     AK must , first refer the bill to LG and introduce it in Assembly , only if
     approved by LG



Did Arvind have any option other than to resign  ?


Now suppose , he throws up his hands and tells people of Delhi ,



"  What can I do  ? 


   I tried my best but BJP / Congress would not let me introduce the bill ,
   citing some un-constitutional rules


   Jan Lok Pal Bill must wait till ,


  *  AAP comes to power at the Centre and drops those Business Rules

     ( I admit , this is a most unlikely scenario ! )


   *  AAP government at Centre grants full Statehood to Delhi


   So , I have decided to forget the whole matter and continue as CM  "




Those very same people would have said ,


"  What business you have to continue as CM , if you cannot fulfill your   
   promises  ?


   You are no different than those power-hungry politicians of BJP / Congress


   If you have any shame left , you must resign immediately  "




DEAR  ARVIND ,



Kuchh to log Kahenge


Logo ka kaam hain kahena


Chhodo ye bekaar ki baante


Kahin bit naa jaye rainaa  (- I mean , Mat-Ganana  !  )




*   hemen  parekh  (  22 April 2014  /  Mumbai  )
    


   

Sunday, 20 April 2014

SCAMS ARE AVOIDABLE !



Early this week , Supreme Court held that , CAG ( Comptroller and Auditor General ) has the right - and obligation - to conduct an audit of telecoms



WHY  ?



>   Spectrum is a natural resource that belongs to the nation


>   Private telecom companies have a revenue-sharing agreement with the
      Central Government , for allowing them to " exploit " this natural
      - and national - resource



WHAT  ELSE  ?



>  This logic should also hold good for all private companies , who are
    allowed to exploit India's NATURAL / NATIONAL resources , to create
    materials / energy


    Here is a partial list :


    *  Fossil Fuels ( Oil / Gas / Coal )

    *  Minerals

    *  Sea-bed Nodules

    *  River Waters

    *  Wind

    *  Tides

    *  Sunlight

    *  Sea Water

    *  Jungles / Trees

    *  Earth's Magnetism

    *  Electromagnetic Waves

    *  Gravitational Force.....etc



HOW  ?



*  Tendering process must be public / transparent / equitable

*  Tender terms must be open for scrutiny/comment  by public

*  All resource-exploitation licenses must follow auction route

*  Eligibility Criteria must be pre-defined / publicized in advance

*  Licenses should be valid for pre-defined fixed period

*  Licenses cannot be renewed / extended

*  Concerned States must have a share in profit-sharing etc

*  Profit - sharing formula must be part of tenders

*  Any failure / delay on part of the Licensee Company to implement the
   Contract , will require return / surrender of the natural resource
   concerned , to the Central Government, with appropriate penalties

*  Natural Resource involved , cannot be hypothecated to banks / financial
    institutions to raise loans


*  Shares of the licensee companies
 cannot be traded in open market or
     pledged , without prior permission from Central Government

*   CAG Audit will be mandatory and reports must be published

*   Tendering / Auctioning / Licensing must not be handled by any Govt
     Department . A separate statutory authority should be created for this

*   To encourage early / fast implementations of Exploitation Licenses , there
     will be no Corporate Income Tax for the Licensee Companies

*   Each license will be given only to a SPV , created for this purpose

*   Cost-escalation leading to any Selling Price Escalations would be pre-
     defined



IN   HIND-SIGHT



*   Had we followed the above-mentioned process , perhaps , we could have
     avoided several scams of recent past and KG-D6 type  disputes


*   We could have also avoided ,

     #   Arbitrary price escalations

     #   Inflation

     #   Private profiteering

     #   Costly litigations

     #   Policy and Decision Paralysis



*   hemen  parekh  ( 21  April  2014  /  Mumbai  )