Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

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  )