Friday, September 9, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Breaking now on Times Now

In a stunning move, Times Now has decided to hold its usual broadcast of hyperbolic, over the top reports of unqualified excuse of journalists, and take up what it calls a blasphemous act by the US for which it will be held culpable in the court of the public.

Times Now has learnt that a search for "Arnab" did not return any results in the wikileaks cablegate website while "Rajdeep" returned two results.

Times Now calls this a slap to hard edged investigative journalism and sought views from eminent members of the public like Rakhi Sawant, Bobby Darling and Chinna Ponnu. Apparently when few were asked to take opinion from Ram Jethmalani, they all applied for sick leave ( Interview ).

As expected, Arnab Goswami will conduct 24x7 interrogation in public domain, interviewing (blurting questions while not letting them answer). When asked by an enthusiastic reporter, he said, "Oh yes!!! this is gross injustice and the good powers there is will go out to make it straight. You will see gross misrepresentation of facts, absurd diction for dramatic effect, idiotic rhetoric postures the whole shebang". Times Now has announced that today's Question Hour will focus completely on this slap to hard edged journalism.

When asked by this reporter what in his opinion made US ambassadors quote Rajdeep Sardesai, Mr.Goswami refrained from commenting, only saying, "Seems even US ambassadors seem to like fast food journalism and not the gut busting, guest frowning, host whining kind I give the public". Before leaving Mr.Goswami said these words. "Well they think they can get away with this. But look, they are answerable to God and His Son's 9 PM show tonight. Jai Hind.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Miracles of democracy

I intend to write real stories on the downside of a badly run democracy. India, being India, is the place I want to start with. My intention is not to take a stand against any political party. It is to stand against corrupt scum that took over my beloved institutions. This is just a beginning of a long and unending voyage. May be I could even see the flying Dutchmen during my journey.

Do you believe in magic? I don’t. But after a shallow dig into BSNL statements, I have my doubts. Who else can run a public sector behemoth which posted a pre tax profit of Rs 815381 crores (2007) into a loss making enterprise (BSNL recorded loss of 219740 crores in 2011) than our beloved netas and babus. Being a loyal customer of BSNL Services, it hurts even more. One popular reason I often hear is the entry and growth of private sector. It is a weak argument to begin with considering the growth BSNL had post liberalization of telecom sector. I can think of only one reason. It may be true, may be not. But I strongly believe it. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, Andimuthu Raja. Its not coincidence that he became telecom minister in 2007 the year BSNL made record profits.

Much ado is made about 2G spectrum and his assness’ role in doling out licences. Nothing much can be salvaged in the 2G case, asuming law takes the honest and just road which is highly unlikely. But the situation at BSNL is much worse and of more importance. BSNL is much more than yet-another-obese-public-sector-enterprise. It’s a standing example for enterprise-for-public-service-can-still-be-profit-maker. BSNL also caters to the North-East sector, widely neglected for profit enterprises (all players other than BSNL).

Not much is in the public domain about Raja’s collusion with these private sector crocodiles, but the Radia tapes give us a sneak peak. It is well known now that Raja is the first choice for heading the telecom ministry. First choice of the private enterprises, that is. His discussions with Radia and the pimp queen's calls with other heads of Telecom Inc is a clear case in point.

This is not an obituary. I don’t want one for my favourite company. Looking back, BSNL was part of my life in the last 5 years. It was there when I told my parents about my first compensation, informed them about my promotion in Mumbai. It was very much a member of my family when we organized my wedding ceremony. I want my children and there children to use free and fair telephone service. The wolf has brought the rose for BSNL. It is at its doorstep and breaking in slowly. its our responsibility and our duty to stop it.

We are public and public sector companies are ours. We can make a stand together. Make the government realize what it means to screw the public and be part of daylight robbery. I am going to do it. As a start, section 49O, here I come.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Screw up, The Cover up and the Suck up or Yet another post on Bhopal Tragedy

Enough is said already on the Bhopal Tragedy a.k.a The Union Carbide disaster a.k.a The Greatest Industrial Disaster Ever. Another long winding analyzing to death article is not in my mind. This is something that should've been avoided. Even worse, those responsible have escaped but the generations of those affected still endure the physical and emotional scars of the disaster. At least a million posts must've been done on this topic and mine is not meant to start even a semblance of discussion. There is just no use in it. I just want to get it out of my system. Been eating my brain for few weeks, this topic. I am not feeling all too well, but what the hell...never a better time to complete the post. Following is my inference of what I read so far.

The Screw up
  • It was initially proposed to build a 2000 tonne/year plant. But the board room geniuses in USA decided to build a behemoth of 5000 tonnes/year capacity. The plant never reached its full production capacity meaning, they always had unused stock of MIC used as raw material for the pesticide, Sevin. The MIC that started it all.

  • Safety and maintenance was never a factor during the plant's cost cutting spree months before the disaster. Faulty equipments, extended windows of scheduled maintenance added to the cause

  • The Company never shared the facts of MIC expose impact with its company doctors. The grave impact of MIC was studied in detail and locked away in some office in USA. When the local doctors called upon the company doctors for emergency treatment of MIC there was no answer whatsoever. Thousands of people died in the hospital for lack of proper medication . Worst is, until hours after the exposure, company doctors maintained that MIC exposure was non-lethal

The Cover Up

  • Bhopal Police's first response was to provide security to Union Carbide Executives.

  • Son of the soil, Shree. Arjun Singh Ji who happened to be the Chief Minister of MP then, also who happens to have a permanent Suite in Union Carbide's Executive Villa, ordered an immediate arrest warrant to Warren Anderson, then CEO of UC Worldwide. He was essentially picked up at the air port, escorted to magistrate office and released on bail for a personal bond of 25000/-. He was taken to Delhi straight and then to USA. That was the last of Anderson India will ever see. Till date, India has an arrest warrant pending for Warren Anderson.

  • Adding insult to injury, UC officials proposed that the only way to safely clear the remaining MIC is to use them to produce Sevin. The factory was fixed in record time. This was dressed up well and Arjun Singh, ever the fighter trumpeted that he will personally witness the disposal of remaining MIC. Political Machinery created enough hoopla and people even started leaving the city out of fear. Shree. Arjun Singh Ji and his Patni witnessed Sevin production at a very safe distance.

  • Indian Government appointed itself as the representative of the affected and closed the case with UC for a one time settlement of $470 million without admission of guilt. It came down to 63,000/- per family and 25,000/- per injured person.

  • Until today, every state government regardless of affiliation, tries its best to cover-up the issue. Numerous surveys were conducted but the results were never published. At one point, MP Pollution Control Board gave such a clean chit to UC, that Arthur D. Little, UC's consultant found it too lenient. The state government has tried to discourage/hinder every single private investigation into soil contamination post exposure.

The Suck Up

  • Startled by the impact of the exposure, and in need to maintain 'PROPER INVESTMENT CLIMATE' Central Government of India made every possible concession to Union Carbide. Till date, not one UC official was charged for the catastrophe.

  • Warren Anderson was given special protection by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. He even accepted a meeting with him which was only canceled to rush Anderson home.
  • Dow Chemicals, the new owner of Union Carbide, is given special treatment and preference even now. Despite the chequered history, Dow is opening plants in India even now. It is allowed to sell products even banned in USA.

  • In 2008, Dow Chemicals was named as one of the respondents to a PIL related to the clean-up of polluted land. Dow Chemicals choose Abhishek Manu Singhvi, the buck toothed loud mouth lawyer from Congress Party. MP Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry officials suggested Dow pay a token amount of 100 crore to start the clean up operations which started Dow. Days before the Indo-US Business Forum, Ratan Tata (the self appointed Corporate Mahatma) wrote to then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram about the possible fall out of having Dow bear the clean-up costs legally. He proposed quite magnanimously, that the government own the clean-up operations and the Tata Sons Trust along with several kind hearted corporate entities along with Dow Chemicals will voluntarily contribute to the fund. Worst thing was the finance minister and the commerce minister lapped up the offer. Tata backed off only after activists started ripping the mask off in national television.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

One Man Army

How often have we ridiculed Vijayakanth ? How often has he been the butt of all our jokes ? Here he is, again!!Doing what he does best, DELIVER!! and deliver he does with panache. Be it the bullet speed dialogues or fresh ideas for the next generation, Vijayakanth captivates us all. Being a Vijayakanth movie, you are never too far away from veiled political references and earth shattering fights. Here he does it all and gives us some more. Only that he enjoys his on screen role and so do we.

The first half is very Vijayakanth and very special. Lots and lots of direct, not so direct references to present politicians and his detractors. Though they affect the movie, we take it with a pinch of salt.

 Second half, which is not a secret anymore, is a very responsible and awesome homage to TAKEN. This is where he does a delightful volte face. Vijayakanth the director exorcised the politician who hogged the first half and gives full space to Vijayakanth, the Hero. This is where he is commendable as a director. This success is very much evident in the way the hall was wrapped up in attention, waiting for the on screen events to unfold. In fact he is so good, I think Liam Neeson gives our man a bad name. Go to the theaters for 2 hours of unadulterated fun.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Long back I read about the term remanence in Physics. It essentially says that whatever be the present state of a matter, it always saves its most inherent feature or quality.

Today, I saw a religious rally on my way to office. A reasonably large group of people, moving along pulling a chariot of Mother Mary.

The group was mostly if not all Christian, but it could very easily be a group part of Margazhi Pooja.

All of a sudden, this word REMANENCE hit me like a bolt.

Regardless of faith and practices, there is something that unites us all. Something that is very Indian. Something that cannot be taken away whatsoever.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010