Thursday, December 01, 2016

Childish Interventions By The Justices

The ruling (pasted below) by the court makes one wonder why the justices don't just stick to doing an honest day's work, which in their case would involve upholding the constititution. May be this is all that is needed. Many I know, on whose fulfilling their commitments to me I depend on, do exactly this.

Do we really need to fake respect or force others to show their respect via childish interventions that can only instill disgust in one? How can playing the anthem increase love or respect? It is like saying that playing the song "Jab tak hain aakash mein chand aur sitare, salamat rahe maa baap hamre" will increase love and respect for parents. Worse, it will increase the longevity of parents. In light of their ruling, may be the justices should review their play list.

Finally, will the justices face the law if their judgement leads to ordinary folks being harassed by the self-proclaimed protectors of patriotism and nationalism that will result from this ruling (as has resulted earlier from such requirements)? Or may be the real gain in fake patriotism is worth the real pain and a more fractured and a less trusting society?

Over to the justices:
TO INSTILL “committed patriotism and nationalism”, the Supreme Court Wednesday ordered that “all the cinema halls in India shall play the national anthem before the feature film starts and all present in the hall are obliged to stand up to show respect to the national anthem” as a part of their “sacred obligation”. Discarding notions of “any different notion or the perception of individual rights”, a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy added that the movie screen shall have the image of the national flag when the anthem is being played and that doors of the halls will remain shut during the anthem so that no disturbance is caused.
“The directions are issued, for love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the National Anthem as well as to the National Flag. That apart, it would instil the feeling within one, a sense committed patriotism and nationalism,” said the bench, giving 10 days for compliance with its direction.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Now the Supreme Court Takes On the Burden of Changing Behavior

Now that the courts have set their house in order, they have voluntarily taken up the burden of making the sheep live the right life.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Play-national-anthem-in-all-cinemas-before-film-screening-Supreme-Court/articleshow/55701366.cms

"People now-a-days don't know how to sing national anthem and people must be taught. We must respect national anthem," says the court.  

We the sheep need to be taught how to live the good life by the Modis, the Kejris, and now the courts.


Also, I suggest, that we play the names of all the great men that infest our legislature, judiciary, and the executive. Oh and do play the constitution, party manifestos, and such like. All things sacrosanct.

BTW, they must play all the above in restrooms too. That is where I spend a lot of my time.

Also, for all those in one of the three pillars of the Govt. the only song that must play 24x7 is the national anthem. Only then can we ensure that they will serve the nation and take pride in the same.

Keep reminding me of how I am the problem, lest I be reminded of how really inept you are!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Blessed are we to have Narendra Modi as our prime minister

How lucky we are to have Mr. Naidu to help us billion see our blessings.

Read him at http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/demonetisation-effect-rbi-economy-gdp-4400464/.

The grand reasons for demonetization, unbeknownst to me up to now, leave me in great awe of my leader. I, sheep, have now found my shepherd.

Venkaiah Naidu and the outrageous hubris of our democratically elected:

But the long-term consequences and gains include ushering in a behavioural change at all levels of society. It is a part of the grand “cultural revolution” that the PM is working on. The entrenched old order needs to make way for a new normal. This cultural revolution, impinging on all walks of public and private life amounts to shaking up the system. It ranges from attending office on time, keeping working and living environments clean, accountability, transparency, technology adoption, innovation, etc.

I wonder what grand accomplishments of Naidu and his leader give them the nerve to even dream of orchestrating the said revolution. The first step of the so called revolution being an unprecedented heist of legit private property by the Govt.

So now the Modis and Kejris (odd-even) want to orchestrate behavioral change. Roads, water, electricity, and garibi hatao are passe.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Demonetization

Forget the hubris of Narendra Modi, and his coterie, who came up with the plan to make a majority of cash held by the citizens of this country worthless. Forget the vicious insinuations that followed from the sacrificer-in-chief who declared, and continues to do so in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that everyone who voiced disapproval was naturally one who had lots of wealth that was earned in a wrong manner (not having given it to the corrupt governments and bureaucracies that have kept many of us in misery and poverty for way too long; The finance minister in fact said, and I am paraphrasing, that people have gotten crazy rich as a result. I can't see how not paying taxes can give one riches not in accordance with the value the person was adding. May be the minister was talking about the ministries and the bureaucracies that routinely harass the common man. May be he thinks that the only way to get rich is by conning people.)

Forget the vacillating leader and his ministers who gave reasons (none that point to impending doom) including national security, black money, and to top them all, the need to push a billion to a cashless world. Forget the indignity of being forced to stand in queues to deposit and withdraw one's own monies. Forget the ensuing vigilantism, of citizens reporting other citizens carrying bags of their own cash. Forget the fact that one of the most corrupt departments in this country is now going to track our deposits and decide how much of our wealth is legal.

Forget the disruptions in the lives of millions of ordinary people minding their own honest business, making ends meet, taking care of themselves and their families. Forget the baptists who see in the leader the god who will show them the shortcut to heaven. Forget the shameless bootleggers (the dude at PayTm keeps coming to mind who sees the urgent national need to move to a cashless economy) who will benefit greatly from the misery of most and can barely hide their joy behind the veil of nationalism.

Do we also forget those who died because of the criminal negligence of those who forced this upon us? How many deaths that can be directly attributed to the negligence of the democratically elected before they serve some time? How long before we keep them in check? How long before the law applies to them as it must?

Btw, if you want to go cashless do so. Do so voluntarily. That would be the bottom up way. The way anyone who believes in good governance and small government will see as the only way. If all are okay with demonetization of such scale, then our great leader could have simply used his oratory to convince people to put their cash in the banks. He could have extolled to them the merits of doing so. Note that none of this would have needed facts in support. Having done so, he could have allowed them to make their choice. Instead, he shocks the masses and declares that those not okay with it are the crooks who did not get enough notice to use their notes.

That leaves us with the problem of black money. For one, not much is in cash form. Also, for once, can the state give me a good reason to part with my income? All evidence points to the contrary. Can we have a smaller state as our rather emotional leader had promised when begging for votes?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Odd Even Rule

It has been quite a few days since the first announcement of the odd-even rule to rid Delhi of the scourge of pollution. I have been trying to turn a blind eye to the proposal. However, the idea exchange published by The Indian Express has left me no option.

It has been realized by our ministers that drastic measures are needed to fight pollution. In fact, now that our ministers-in-charge are inspired by the Stockholm model, that day is not far when we Delhiites will cycle to work, see clear skies, and breathe clean air, and in the process bond with the fellow denizen who is now unseen as we are trapped by our cars, stuck in unending traffic snarls, only to reinforce to this fellow denizen our social status. Of course, all this good will happen only if we listen to our good hearted do-no-harm visionary armed-with-data ministers. And yes, a death or two of a rich fat myopic selfish car owning denizen, when he/she bikes to work alongside with the less privileged who have been riding the bike for lack of alternatives, roll of a die at birth that returned even when they had bet on odd, will take us to Stockholm heaven sooner.

While I am not surprised by what the ministers are up to, I am a bit saddened by the reaction to the policy. Of course, I have only a very small sample of reactions. The one reaction that is most common and that I find the most disheartening is that at least they are trying to do something. As if it is no longer important what is being tried as long as something is being tried. The intervention by the Govt. is arbitrary at best, and one that is backed by no support in data, and banks on force for it to have any chance of success at all. The only data that I have heard of is one which states that vehicles are hardly the big problem. In fact, the big problems are already covered under violations of the law, for example, burning of garbage.

In fact, based on the ideas shared in the idea exchange, it seems that our ministers are less interested in performing the less glamorous job of building pedestrian pathways, painting lanes, providing well lit streets, building cycle tracks that are safe, making sure that the lights at crossings work and are in sync with the other lights, garbage collection occurs so that none needs to be burnt, that the denizens have comfortable choices of public transport, and last but not the least, ensuring that flagrant abuse of law is stopped. They seem to be convinced that there is no point in doing much of it before they discipline us. They must shock us into action.

To me our dear ministers are most interested in the glamorous job of social engineering, rather than solving the problems on the ground. And they are certain that they will get away by simply stating that the situation is drastic and drastic situations call for drastic measures. To support their ideas they say that they have been told by competent sources that even small interventions like car free days have reduced the pollution by 50%! Dear ministers, if the situation is so dire why not make all government employees go on forced leave for a week or two. Let us poor and hapless denizens breathe.

Of course, all the grand plans must be cloaked in the veil of public action. So do hand us the app to tell you where the garbage is in this filthy city of ours. The filth only we can see and not your holiness. Oh of course, we shall also snap the crook who drives with an odd number on an even day and vice versa.

Dear ministers, your idea of bottom up seems to be one that believes in making an example, shaming, harassing us poor denizens into action to make your grand plan, which of course is for our own good, see great success. May I suggest, dear ministers, that bottom up change is achieved by setting examples at personal cost and not by making examples of others at any cost to achieve a grand vision of one's own. So please stop using words like public action and bottom up change.

Dear minister, may I dare suggest, that people, rich and poor, make tradeoffs and that those who go to work in their cars do not necessarily do so to uphold their status in the society. Same is true for those who burn garbage. While none of them are saints, and all of us are self-centered, maybe we ought to start with a position that these people are reasonable people and do not make their choices with the goal of harming the rest. So they do not pollute for the heck of it. They don't enjoy getting stuck in traffic snarls. They do not relish the stresses of commuting in Delhi. In fact, they would love more comfortable choices and have, without the need of force, embraced what is best for themselves and often also for the rest. The metro swelling at peak hours, the buses that are bursting at their seams are in contrast to your seeming supposition that Delhiites are unwilling to give up their car or their personal mode of transport. In fact, your diagnosis is way off the mark. It is more than likely that you have confused the symptom (of too many vehicles) for the disease. Maybe you want to give rest to your grand ambitions and get to work to solve the problems on the ground.

Why not take small and steady steps? If the metro can handle more, why wait till Jan 1? If more buses can be introduced and you are sure you can get bus lanes to work (let's make them bus and carpool lanes), then where is the need for another monstrosity of a law? How about removing at least some of the road bottlenecks? The average commute in distance is not that long in Delhi. It is the ridiculous amount of time it can take by road that exacerbates pollution. Often, this is because of a mix of bad engineering, lack of lanes, slow traffic occupying fast lanes, vehicle breakdowns, road work at the wrong hours, lack of organized parking (let's start with marking the parking spaces clearly), and  traffic law violations by a few. In fact, you may have observed that on some of the arterial roads many keep moving in a straight line. So, yes, not all people are a problem. Simpler measures that do not harass must suffice.

Oh, by the way, I am not saying that pollution is not a problem. I am also not saying that *we* should not do anything about it. I am also eager for new solutions. However, this idea of yours is at best a terrible one-size-fits-all that banks on no evidence and too much force. It is as if you are more interested in your whims see the light of day than working toward a less polluted Delhi.

Also, in case you didn't not already figure, if the policy is given a long run, the one to be hurt most is the not-so-rich car owner. Especially if he is law abiding. He will likely switch to a two wheeler to ferry his family or will be forced to sweat his way through overburdened public transport and fickle minded auto rickshaws to do his daily chores. The rich ones may already have more than one car or may simply buy another cheap one or the needed number plate.

Of course, dear minister, I know that your magical wand of whims will take care of any problems caused by your current whims. And please do make sure that I have the sweet reassuring voice of the chief minister ring in my ears to remind me that all this is after all for my very own good.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Education bill faces opposition from school authorities

Education bill faces opposition from school authorities: "Apart from these, 25 per cent seats in private schools will be given free."

This is fcking crazy! Why do they want private schools to wind up?

The government is ready to make up for the fee shortfall caused by reservation. But schools say it may not be enough.

"Schools have no other source of income. So we will be forced to raise the fees by 40 per cent," said Sumer Singh, principal, Daley College.

The Govt. has a mint or what?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Azad proposes 'late marriages' to curb population

Azad proposes 'late marriages' to curb population: "Azad proposes 'late marriages' to curb population"

Our rulers are still trying to curb population! What a pity.

Mallya calls prohibition 'farce', Modi govt snubs him

Mallya calls prohibition 'farce', Modi govt snubs him: "Mallya calls prohibition 'farce', Modi govt snubs him"

Very very well said by Mallya. In retort all the Govt. says is that Mallya should mind his own business. What jerks we have in the Govt! Can Mr. Jaynarayan Vyas (the Govt. spokesperson) give a better retort? He needs to remember that he lives on and spends tax payer money and is accountable for failed policies.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hinduism

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/26/books/review/Mishra-t.html

It is a book review. I haven't read the book, nevertheless it reaffirms my faith (as it is not founded on any research of mine) that there is no single defining thing called Hinduism, a thought that excites me greatly and lessens my frustration at the narrow mindedness of the current self-proclaimed saviors and knowledge bearers of Hinduism.

When will I get my next Amazon coupon!!?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Parties of the poor, for the poor?

What a fucking farce![link]

The Congress party Elections Manifesto 2009, in writing, promises to increase the number of days for which work will be offered under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme as also the daily wage rate. As if this is not enough the party goes ahead to offer literally "free lunches" in community kitchens for a certain class of people. And it then promises to make available 25 kg of foodgrains at Rs 3 per kilogram!

Apart from being an inducement to influence the voters, this promise contains a threat to the foodgrains producers that their produce will be procured at artificially depressed prices. Artificially depressed prices over decades have resulted in mass suicides by farmers. This offer was repeated by no less a person than Ms Sonia Gandhi herself in an electoral speech in Karnataka.

In a meeting that he addressed in Wardha, in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, Rahul Gandhi maintained that his party was essentially for the poor and that as long as one poor man remains in the country, he himself, Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh would be there to address his concerns.

Indian politicians have no incentive to see the poor come out of poverty, no incentive, absolutely none!

There is an old adage that goes against giving alms to the beggars; "Give him rather the implements with which to work and earn his bread."

The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme condemns millions of people to a life of manual labour, digging pits and filling them, rather than starting an enterprise. Such mindless labour can actually be poverty creating rather than poverty eradicating.

[Via]

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hi-tech Talaq

Fiza gets rude call, hubby says talaq over phone: "Fiza gets rude call, hubby says talaq over phone"

Otis wants Gandhi articles back, immediately

Otis wants Gandhi articles back, immediately: "Otis said he would negotiate with India on the 'two proposals he had submitted – increase in the spending on the poor and fully paid exhibition of Gandhi's items in 78 countries to spread the apostle of peace's message of non violence.'"

The man and his proposals!

Master Madoff!

Master Madoff by Don Cooper:
"One disgruntled former student, Boston money manager Harry Markopolos, appeared on 20/20 four years ago commenting on the simple investigation he had undertaken regarding master Madoff’s activities and the facts unequivocally indicated fraud: Madoff didn’t make buys or sells, he was making consistently above average returns for his clients, etc.. . He implied that the SEC should have caught those simple, basic aspects of trading in securities. He even had the audacity to suggest that they didn’t because either the SEC was an over-bloated, inefficient bureaucracy and/or so incompetent they couldn’t do the simplest things and therefore a waste of taxpayer’s money and/or – and this is just mean-spirited and obviously a product of Mr. Markopolos’ resentment – the SEC was bought off by a billionaire. Oh right. Please, like that can happen. What would Mr. Markopolos suggest? We get the SEC out of the securities markets so there’s no moral hazard and people will take responsibility for doing the necessary due diligence themselves before investing? Hah! Then what would the master’s like master Madoff do? Freak."
Who will regulate the regulator? Sigh!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Man Who Rumbled Madoff

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan (March 11, 2009) - The Man Who Rumbled Madoff: "Markopolos took the team's findings to the SEC in 2000, but federal regulators refused to pursue the case—that is, until the financial meltdown laid bare the fraud on its own and forced them to act."

Wonder why people trust regulators any more than the selfish capitalists....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ramadoss turns health messiah again, no hookahs

Ramadoss turns health messiah again, no hookahs: "After the ban on smoking in public places, health minister Anbumani Ramadoss is now taking on the hookah parlours."

This man needs to go! Why can't he worry about his and his family's health? Maybe we should get the essential stats of all of them and vote on a diet plan that he and his family should follow! All the best Ramadoss if that were to happen.

There is a lot of shit that is very dangerous. The smoke that comes out of public transport is a good example. What say Ramadoss, do we ban transport too?

Meanwhile, the Mumbai Municipal Corporation has already brought hookah parlours under the purview of the Cigarettes and Tobacco Act.

The corporation has been conducting raids at various hookah parlours in the city and revoking the licenses of parlours that do not have proper documentation.

And of course earning a lot of money from all those parlors whose license is not revoked or will be reissued in the near future.

This world does not need dictators, however noble their intents be.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Building walls with US trading partners - The Boston Globe

Building walls with US trading partners - The Boston Globe: "Democracy is bolstered by prosperity and damaged by downturns. Since the pioneering work of Martin Lipset 50 years ago, social scientists have tried to understand why democracies and wealth go together. My colleague Robert Barro found that this link exists not because democracies increase prosperity, but because prosperity supports democracy. The appeal of democracy's enemies increases when democracies, like the Weimar Republic, are unable to deliver economic success." [Via]