The order of disconnect…

Delhi has inaugurated a “world class” spunky new terminal at the Indira Gandhi International airport. It is now the sixth largest in the world, sprawling over 5 million square feet and boasts of 78 aero bridges, 63 elevators, exotic plants, multi level car parking, over 20,000 square meters of retail area amongst a myriad other things. Yes, we have a reason to smile and Manmohan Singh is beating his chest like King Kong and proclaiming how an airport is the first introduction to the country and first impressions are a lasting one. The multi billion dollar facility airport can handle 34 million air passengers a year and is ready for the commonwealth games which is scheduled for October, an event which we are struggling to put together.

 If only Manmohan Singh had the same vision of the commonwealth games, the preparation for the games would have been expedited. It has taken 37 months to build the international terminal at the IGI, in comparison for the commonwealth games, the caterers for this event are yet to be decided, the accommodation facilities for the athletes are far from complete and some facilities are due to be completed after the event has concluded. The commonwealth games are supposedly the largest multi sport event to be conducted in the city which hosted the Asian Games the last time in 1982. Until a few months back, the Government released reports indicated that the Games were behind schedule in 13 out of the 19 sporting venues. And one more question that can be raised, even if the facilities are ready for the games, are our athletes ready? I am glad that it is only the Queen’s baton that has arrived and not the Queen.

Suresh Kalmadi, President of the Indian Olympic Association in 2006 dished out crores of rupees to Bollywood stars to perform at the closing ceremony at the Melbourne Commonwealth games whilst at the same time Indian athletes in non cricket playing activities were traveling unreserved in trains and staying in third class facilities. Kalmadi is the same man who during the felicitation ceremony that had been arranged to honor the three Indian medalists at the 2008 Summer Olympics, reportedly walked out because he had not been offered a chair next to the Vice-President of India Hamid Ansari. What goes around, comes around, don’t you think? How dare he expects to be canonized when our athletes get third rate treatment from the IOA?

We can all proudly land at the Indira Gandhi International airport or take off from there and bask in its spunky new glory but reality hits us when we step into the capital city, far removed from the IGI. Chaos and confusion greets us all. There was a full page article today in the Bangalore edition of the Times of India glorifying the IGI airport achievement and its capacity to cater to 34 million air passengers. On the same page there was news about how India has 1 operation theatre per 1 lakh people. Glancing from left to right of the newspaper page, the significance of the new airport is lost completely. We continue to boast of our economic growth with GDP growth at 7.4% but with CPI over 10% and Food inflation at 12% there is little point in celebrating over having the world’s sixth largest airport. The nation wide bandh that has been called today in protest of rising prices is likely to fall on deaf ears.

The biggest problem in the country today is the order of disconnect. There are enough number of broken links and little correlation between demand, supply, economic growth, CPI, unemployment, per capita income and per capita facilities. We lack the ability to link and work on different pieces together both in an economic and non economic sense. The country struggles to put various pieces together in this jig saw puzzle. 37% of the country’s population lives below the poverty line and until rising prices are controlled the chasm will widen. The focus needs to be made in an unequivocal manner on both sides of the poverty line. Ignoring the rural sector or not paying enough heed to it is another reason for spiraling food prices. In the last one year, food prices alone have skyrocketed at the rate of 19%, the maximum in eleven years. With both growth and inflation surging ahead in the same direction, there has to be a decisive policy action on the part of the Government. The spiraling food prices are again indicative of the fact that food is not reaching the consumer directly and hoarding is not being curtailed. The Government cannot continue to behave like a thick skinned buffalo.

It will be interesting to watch the Government’s reaction to the nation wide bandh today. Yes, there is little point in calling for the bandh but the reasons for the bandh are valid. Most cannot afford current price levels, those who can are profiting from the rise. Do our Ministers and Parliamentarians even feel the pinch of rising prices? The day they are made to pay for petrol for their gigantic fleet from their own pockets, pay for rentals for their sprawling bungalows in the best of localities across the length and breadth of the country, pay for their own security a lot more will be done to control this mad price rise. So, the next time you land in the posh India Gandhi International Airport, remember it is but an optical illusion.

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118 Responses to “The order of disconnect…”

  1. The next time I land on IGI airport,definitely there would a sense of pride seeing my city and above all my country progress in such a way at the international level.But,as you say it may just be a mirage to bemuse us…..the reality would be waiting to hit the retina once I exit the classy airport.Inflation,poverty,unemployment are just a few to mention among the many problems faced today.I hope the govt. at least this time does something for the common man seeing the protests countrywide.

  2. Sharmila, building shiny cities with top class amenities would bring in the desired results only if there is inclusive growth. The Govt. should spare a thought for the common man and try and lighten his ever-increasing burden. Incidentally, Mr. Sharad Pawar of all people has requested the PM to reduce his burden first. He believes that the BCCI & ICCI are more important than the debt-ridden farmers and other affected people. I wish that the PM relieve him totally and hand over his portfolios to somebody who has his heart in the right place.

    • Melwyn – The common man has never been the cynosure for the UPA govt. Do read Nandy’s post which I have pasted below, he is quite spot on. Re – Pawar, he is a powerful man, booting him will open up a super can of worms.

  3. INTERESTING STATS THAT MATCH THE CURRENT TOPIC.THOUGHT OF SHARING IT WITH YOU ALL……..

    Salary & Govt. Concessions for a Member of Parliament (MP)

    Monthly Salary : Rs. 12,000/-

    Expense for Constitution per month : Rs. 10,000/-

    Office expenditure per month : Rs. 14,000/-

    Traveling concession (Rs. 8 per km) : Rs. 48,000/-
    (eg. For a visit from South India to Delhi & return : 6000 km)

    Daily DA TA during parliament meets : Rs. 500/day

    Charge for 1 class (A/C) in train : Free (For any number of times)
    (All over India )

    Charge for Business Class in flights : Free for 40 trips / year (With wife or P.A.)

    Rent for MP hostel at Delhi : Free.

    Electricity costs at home : Free up to 50,000 units.

    Local phone call charge : Free up to 1, 70,000 calls..

    TOTAL expense for an MP [having no qualification] per year : Rs.32, 00,000/-

    [i.e. 2.66 lakh/month]

    TOTAL expenses for 5 years : Rs. 1, 60, 00,000/-

    For 534 MPs, the expense for 5 years : Rs. 8,00,00,00,000/-(approx)

  4. Muraliraja Says:

    Salman, Thanks for the stats.
    Sharmila, You nailed it! As always.
    7.4 GDP has not brought -clean drinking water,better roads,good sanitation,quality education to poor or safety. All it brought is Swanky malls,airports,corruption,freebies,IPL and inflated prices. Thanks to the patient citizens.

  5. Sharmila,

    Hi… from Mudhumalai…

    Before I let you in on what I have been upto yesterday, a few words about the nationwide bandh.

    Early last morning we left for the Mudhumalai forest range for a detour of the animal planet. Around noon we had crossed from Tamilnadu into Karnataka through the Bandipur Tiger Reserve when my driver from Madurai became apprehensive about fuel. There was about 6 liters of diesel left and he began to scan the landscape for signs of a filling station.

    We stopped at a place called Gundelpeth… the handyman waved at us to pass on, “Bandh… Bandh!!”

    We drove in nevertheless.

    My driver stuck his neck out of the window and said, “Saar, patt liter venam… Ooty poyetware..”

    The station man seemed a bit pale and apologised saying, “Illa saar… not possible… the vandals are here.. they will destroy the place… saarry..”

    My driver turned back.. we started towards Musingudi back in Tamilnadu.

    Driver was smiling at himself and I asked if something was funny. We were in the middle of noweher, running out of fuel and the looming prospect of trekking back 30 Kms through a thick jungle, and this man was smiling as if he had just seen light…

    “Are you alright?” I asked, presuming that he had cracked under the circumstance.

    He looked at me and realizing my distress he said, “Oh yes saar, no problem… Musinagudi is in Tamilnadu state.. filliingg station will be open.. no worry.. when all India is on bandh, Tamilnadu is open..”

    And you bet he was right. It was business as usual from Mudhumalai to Coimbatore.

    But that episode is a political aside…

    I spent 6 hours in the Mudhumalai forest, had lunch in a tribal colony inside the jungle and learnt a thousand stories, myths, history and mysteries about Sandhakutta Veera, the local edition of Robinhood. This was his domain – the inhabitable jungles of sandalwood, teak and silver oak, the Mariam temple in Bokapur, the hydel power station at Maravankandy. After a brief tete-a-tete with a giant tusker in the elephant corridor I returned to the mystic blue Niligiris just as a veil of heavy showers fell on the landscape wrapping up everything in sight.

    There was no bandh in this area. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner as usual. Thats all most people do here anyway. So what was the bandh about?

    • Correction: Second last para: This was Veerappan’s domain – the “Un-inhabitable” jungles…

    • Fantastic narration here Reader or should I say Veera! Enjoyed this.Thank you and looking forward to more. Surely the DMK would have ensured that there was no bandh in TN.

      • Sharmila,

        Here is a very short reality byte from that haven in the forest..

        On my insistence and to the utter dismay of my driver, we barged into a cottage in the hamlet that is curiously called ‘Group House’.

        It was a mud house, plastered and painted in bright, luminiscent, green to scare animals at night. There was just one room about 9′ x 9′ and a small enclosure enough for one person to sit and bathe from a bucket.

        There was an old lady in the house and two younger ones who came in from behind us. If we applied the rule of measuring the age of trees, that of counting the rings on its stem, to this lady, she was at least a thousand years old. I was somehow reminded of Jagjit Singh’s ghazal:

        “Mohalle ki sabse puraani nishaani, woh budhiya jisse bachche kehte thhe naani

        Woh naani ki baaaton mein pariyon ka dera,
        woh chehre pe sadiyon ke jhuriyon ka phera

        Bhulaaye nahin bhuul sakta hai koi
        Woh chotisi raatein, woh lambi kahaani

        Yeh daulat bhi le lo, yeh shohrat bhi le lo…

        My driver spoke to them in Tamil. The lady agreed to cook us some food. The three women made some rice and rasam. And while eating, they got talking… she spoke in broken Kannada so I could fairly guess what they were saying…

        The driver translated most of it in more broken Kannada which became a jigsaw puzzle at times. But I enjoyed it on the whole.

        “The room/house/quarter was free, thanks to God” She said

        “The electricity was free, thanks to God” She said, again

        “The water and my children’s education is free, thanks to God” She went on

        “The monthly ration is free, thanks to God” She said

        And, frankly, I was tempted to ask her the name of her benevolent God, with the hope of finding him on Google as soon as I got back to base.

        “Who is this God who gives everything free?” I asked my driver.

        He smiled at me and said,”MGR Sir.. MG Ramchandran..”

        “Oh ok..” I saw the light… rather dim.. but I saw it alright..

        What I also saw, and perhaps their devotion took it for granted, was that their expectations from God were so simple that even a benevolent politician could meet them. How was MGR any different from God for them?

        Do we, the so-called elite and educated, have any sense of justice?

        Sorry, Sharmila, digressed completely from your blog… but had to share this with you before I rationalise it and go back to my city life in a weeks time…

      • Reader – Wow, a classic case of proving that MGR is still God. Which part of the forest is this?

      • Its between Ella Nelli and Bokapuram in Musinagudi

    • Sharmila,

      Please check your mailbox. I have sent you a truck load of photographs…

      🙂

  6. Sharmila, Just a few days back Tavleen Singh tweeted about how disgusting a sight it was to return from a clean Western city and see the ugly site on the streets and slums outside Mumbai Airport, littered with garbage. She followed this up by saying how the Indian Politician talks of India heading towards becoming an economic superpower. Many of the Twitterati responded to this mostly by bashing her up for her anti India sentiments…Ironical don’t you think?

    The town where I live lacks all the basic amenities and has bad roads, frequent power cuts, water shortage to name a few. While the common man struggles everyday for his existence amidst all these adversities, how appropriate is it to gloat over the grandeur and magnificence of the newly renovated IGI airport in the capital city! Why don’t we lay stress upon improving the basic infrastructure before embarking on to Mega development projects?

    Politicians like Suresh Kalmadi with their inflated egos never seem to have a conscience or the will to think of anything beyond themselves! The future of our nation looks dismal. Issues like this make me bitter and cynical.

    Shubha

    • Shubha – Thanks for your apt comment.Tavleen Singh is right and there is nothing racist in her remarks, She is sighting the obvious and we do not wish to accept reality. You are right when you say that we need to get our basics right and then worry about mega projects. Do you live in North or South of India? Even from state to state there is no planning in an equivocal manner!

      • Sharmila, I live in MP and my State is in a bad shape.There has been very bad governance for the past so many years. Corrupt politicians like elsewhere have been pursuing their own selfish interests.

    • Shubha – There is a reason to celebrate the new airport, but if had got everything else right, there would be more reason to celebrate!

  7. MonaLisa Says:

    Are such strikes allowed by Gov..!? What purpose does it serve anyway…!? Does it resove any of hose issues…!? or it creates more problems for commaners…!? is it not a huge waste of so many man hrs. in such hard time facing the entire world more or less..!? Does it not generate loss in millions or billions for the economy where half the population fall below poverty line and survive on day today earnings…!? So they have to fast for that day…!? Did any party who called The nationwide strike provided food to those labors…!? What if someone is seriously ill and have to rush to the Hospital..!? What if someone is in labor…!? would you tell that baby to stop…! that no delivery today…we are on strike nationally…! No Birth no Death for A Day…..! wow…! Amazing….! 🙂

    • MonaLisa – You sound like the leader of UPA today firing questions at the BJP. Hospitals were open, however, public transport to get to them were not hence causing chaos. Of course there is a loss generated in every state. I do not believe in this bandh, but I believe that the message has been sent out to the UPA that people are not taking inflation lightly.

      • MonaLisa Says:

        Sharmila,
        Its good if i sound like a leader. I wish i could lead the Gov.but fortunately or unfortunately i don’t or things could have been different.
        what worries me most is ppl don’t find any other way to protest for current problems.
        Shutting the country down for a day doesn’t resolve anything. What are the outcomes of the strike…!? other than all having feeling of satisfaction of doing something in their minds…!? Is Gov. shattered…!? Did they resign..!? Did they slash the prices..!? Did they take any concrete steps or promised to take steps in right direction to meet with ppl’s demands..!? i bet none of the above has happened…yet.
        For such matters one has to result oriented and act accordingly….not to be the puppet of any political party considers to be a wise decision. It did nothing but to help BJP cleaning up and building up its image a bit.
        At how many places did this strike create a Chaos…!? must be considerably large…i suppose.

  8. Aishwarya Says:

    A fancy airport terminal that opens into a country with a myriad issues…seems like a middleclass woman spending her entire monthly budget on a silk saree to look her best at the kitty party and choosing to forget about the school fees and the grocery list. Perhaps the $3 billion could have been split between a functional (and not necessarily swanky) terminal and the rest for the benefit of the public’s many needs…perhaps…

    • Aish – How are you? Actually, if money was spent elsewhere too, there would have been more than one reason to celebrate the opening of the new IGI.

      • Aishwarya Says:

        Sharmila – Wishing you a happy journey to HK. Tc & love.

        MonaLisa – Hidden is right…I never quite understand where our taxes disappear.

  9. MonaLisa Says:

    can not believe Ruling Party in India is racing to nowhere and getting suicidal allowing such inflation in food & commodity prices. Do they mean to put every one on diet mandatorily… 🙂
    wow…! that saves a lot….!

  10. MonaLisa Says:

    Shubha & Aish,
    I wonder if any of the decisions are ever made for benefits of commoners or keeping them in mind solely any where in the world. There are always some hidden or unhidden political agendas behind behind every decision made in the history. Today is no different than yesterday/years.

    • Monalisa, If only things could change for the better! Have all of us surrendered ourselves and lost all hope? Have we given up on the Politicians of today? Will things never improve for the common man?
      The optimist in me prompts me not to be dismal. What say?

      • MonaLisa Says:

        Shubha,
        One can always be optimist and hope for the best. unfortunately there is a lack of efficient crew to materialise and meet with those hopes of commoners, which are quite basic…..
        Corruption has sprawled from top to bottom and it has been accepted and adapted by the society by & large is an alarming situation for the dreamers like you & many others.
        Where there is a problem, solution is there, attached with it.But the million $$$ question is, Who is ready to be ‘Gandhi of Today’ to fight with the enemies within the system…!? Task had been little easier for him then as he had to fight Brits- the outsiders….
        The way entire nation united again price hike and made The nationwide Strike a success…they can unite against many other things and say no to corruption and corrupt leaders and bureaucrats too. A step in right direction is lot worth than anything else….

  11. From Pritish Nandy’s blog on the bandh –

    A bandh that worked

    Pritish Nandy, 06 July 2010, 10:21 AM IST

    Do bandhs work any more? Or have they lost their cutting edge through repeated misuse?

    I spent Monday morning trying to figure this out on Twitter where I am fortunate to have a varied universe of friends and followers. I set off the chat by saying that while I don’t usually support bandhs the persistent price rise over the past two years, and the recent fuel price increase at a time when food inflation has reached such an alarming state shows that the government has simply stopped listening to public opinion and a bandh may actually help this time to set that right. Some agreed. Others complained about the way bandhs are enforced. I asked if anyone had a better idea on how to protest against a government that refuses to listen to the people. Inflation has been our worst nightmare for a while. To make matters worse, the government now jacks up fuel prices by another 10% under the pretext of removing subsidies, knowing fully well that such an increase has a cascading effect on prices and is the surest way to stoke further inflation.

    Current economic wisdom argues against subsidies, true. But politics is not about economic theories. It’s also about people, real people with real problems. There’s a point beyond which people will not accept a callous, unfeeling bunch of rulers. Whatever may have been its other successes, there’s not the slightest doubt the UPA has failed miserably in keeping prices in check, particularly food prices. Dal, milk, foodgrains, vegetables, fruit, everything has gone through the roof. There has been a lot of buck passing but the question is not where the failure can be parked. The responsibility vests in the government, not Sharad Pawar, even though his ministry may be responsible for the failure. It’s exactly the same as in telecom. The government simply can’t walk away by blaming Raja for the spectrum scam. The entire UPA is tainted by it, and that taint will only go when action is taken against Raja. But Pawar’s clever. Sensing the anger stacking up against him, he has started urging the Prime Minister to lessen his responsibilities.

    Instead of fighting this scary scenario where food costs 20% more, and so does pretty much everything else, the government boasts of 9% growth. It proudly announces huge defence purchases, big investments in infrastructure. Yet it can’t provide the most basic necessity to the average Indian– food security. We see TV images of hundreds of tonnes of foodgrains rotting in state granaries and we read about rodents destroying 20% of our annual crop. We hear about vast wastages in transportation. At the same time, farmers are committing suicide because they can’t feed their families, tribals are joining hands with extremist political groups just to ensure that they get two square meals a day, and millions of people are migrating to our overcrowded cities in the hope that their children can escape the cycle of poverty and illiteracy they have grown up with. How do you reconcile this with vast stocks of foodgrains that the Government simply won’t release in the market just to keep the prices artificially high?

    But is the bandh an apt instrument of protest? Or is it just another weapon that lumpens and thugs have co-opted as their preferred political option? Well, a nationwide sms poll conducted on the bandh day showed that, for the first time, 60% Indians strongly came out in support of the bandh. (It was 72% in Maharashtra.) They believed the cause was right and thought this was the correct way to show their disapproval. Hopefully, this will break the resolve of the government to increase diesel prices too and, if we are lucky, bring about a roll back in the petrol, kerosene and cooking gas prices. Interestingly, the cost of the one day bandh was more than what the government annually incurs in sustaining what it describes as subsidized fuel prices.

    What is particularly annoying is that there are no clear disclosures by the state as to what is the actual price of fuel which needs to be recovered from the people to end the subsidy regime. The prices referred to are always inclusive of vast amounts of central and state taxes, excise, VAT and many other hidden recoveries already being made by the government as well as profit expectations of the PSU oil companies. If the state was to only realise the actual cost of the fuel from us, the price of all fuel would be less than half of what we pay for it today. So removing the so called subsidization of fuel is actually just another glib argument to enforce a price rise. Half the price we pay for fuel is already being taken away by the government under different taxes and the subsidy it gives today is but a tiny fraction of that money.

    Whether the BJP or the Sena or the Left parties gained from this bandh or not is not the issue. What matters is that, after a long time, people in general have come to agree that a bandh was sometimes required to tell a government where it gets off.

  12. MonaLisa Says:

    Whatever the natural resources are, belong to ppl of that particular country. its their asset and should not be some particular company’s right to mint money. company and Gov. can be the providers charging minimal to recover the cost and not to profit hugely out of it.
    The end product of crude oil ie. petroleum in usable form costs Rs.16 at the most. Central Gov. charge about Rs.14 on it in form of taxes. State Gov. charge about Rs 12 as taxes. so when it reaches to consumers its already tripled in price. Whatever is charged beyond that by gas station owner is pocketed by him as his profit inclusive of all expenses incurred at his premise. no wonder they mix some cheaper materials like kerosene and ethanol or play other dirty tricks to generate more profit out of such a low marginal business.

  13. MonaLisa Says:

    Above prices are per liter of gasoline, not per gallon.

    • MonaLisa,

      Back in ’80s the eldest son of the President of the Petrol Pump Owners Association was my college mate. He had chosen the Mechanical stream.

      His was a very humble family. Average daily sales was about 30,000 liters. They were governing council members of the elite Poona Club, and had just one imported car for each member of the house. The family went shopping only once in a year, mostly to Singapore, Kualalumpur or Hong Kong.

      They wore simple clothes. The father was mostly in Bermudas except when he had to attend an official meeting.

      They were very well organized and had good leadership qualities. They were steering commitee members of the Rotract and Lions Club who sponsored students every year to Cambridge. Both their children eventually won the raffle and went to Cambridge for their finishing school.

      The father lead a very big team of enterpreneurs and socialites. It was like an unregistered, nonprofit group for friends working like a professional organisation.

      This organisation chart had lot of designations and positions. For example, some key positions were, the local Municipal Corporators, the Asst Commissioner of Police, the District Collector, the chairpersons of leading NGOs affiliated to funds from PM Relief Fund, WHO and the WB, some Ministers of the State and Center, Some Garrison Engineers and top brass from the Army’s Southern Command and such like.

      I had the pleasure of attending my friend’s marriage at the sprawling sports club ground opposite General Vaidya’s residence. Gen Vaidya, if you remember, was the commander of the Op Blue Star at Amritsar and shot here by some confused misgudied youth of a separatist movement.

      So, you see, I do sympathise with the poverty and humble living of petrol station owners in India. They deserve a better life than this. I can’t think of anything better, but I am sure if we give them more margins per liter, they will find a way to improve upon their present lifestyle.

  14. MonaLisa Says:

    🙂 🙂 🙂
    yeh…! you are right…! they deserve much better priceline…!…lol

  15. Avinash Says:

    What busy mango people can do………WAIT TO GET DISCONNECTED ….! 🙂

  16. Return of the native… an expensive error…

    As I passed Mysore city today, the squatting coconut sellers of the forest, who had lined the roadside, were replaced by bicyclists carrying coconuts overhanging on either side of the cycle’s frame… these were shortly replaced by those carrying coconuts on mopeds and then by coconuts in small and large trucks… the city of Bangalore arrived… the traffic battling for space… the looming shadows of discolored buildings… the occassional traffic policeman reading a newspaper at the stall near his official spot… two days ago there was a ‘Bandh’ in this State… I was wondering if the policeman noticed any difference… here, I felt, governance lies in State…

    These one way lanes in Bangalore are a nuisance.. I was fined thrice in as many minutes…

    I started from Chamraj Peth to go to Richmond Road via MG Road.. I missed the appropriate turn once and after 20 minutes of avoiding auto-rickshaws and two wheelers, with deft zigs for their casual zags, I was surprised to see that I had come back to Chamraj Peth!

    Either the city has been shrinking in size or the popoulation is multiplying like romantic rabbits.

    And the cost of living is nothing short of criminal… cigarrette packets, inspite of all the taxes, are cheaper than a meal… majority of the people look under-nourished.. frail, hyperactive and aging rapidly…

    A scooter hit an auto-rickshaw at the Lalbaug turning. I expected a scene similar to something quite common in Pune – furious abuses or a fist fight – but nothing like that happened; both politely nodded at each other and went their way.

    Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful, non-violent, non-cooperation can also lead to the life of a vegetable…

    • Yes, th eone ways are a nightmare. You have to be a Pro at this else you tend to drive back to the point where you start from more times than one.

      • I didnt use the flash… I have a B setting on the cam that goves perfect night shots.. and the even the shutters dont make a sound…

        The most curious animal at night is the elephant. The deer and bison simply walk away from your car without even giving us a glance. The elephant however has a sense of territorial ownership. He/She stops on the road and raises its trunk like a boxer inviting an opponent.

        The rule is switch off the engine of the car, turn off the lights and lock all doors and windows. Do not offer food or make funny noises as we do for domestic animals in the house. It annoys them no end.

        The elephant walks up to the car and runs its trunk over the windshield as if trying to reach out to the driver and the navigator. After a brief eye to eye contest, it shrugs off any chances of some excitement and marches away in royal disdain.

        The troop of monkeys on the trees are a little more mischievous. The ride on the car roof for a few yard and jump off.

    • Sharmila,

      And I have just done that… returned with all my determination to where I started from … that is Ooty!

      I was determined not to stay in the city for more than a minute more than necessary. So, checked out early morning from The Residency and drove straight out of the city as soon as I was done with my assignments even though that meant risking a night journey through the Mudhumalai forest…

      I was very disappointed with Bengaluru. In less than two decades the garden city has turned into a garbage city. The all pervading greenery that welcomed tourists earlier is now relegated to remote corners where they serve as landmarks. Every square metre of industrial activity adds at least 10 migrant workers to the city where there is no space for one to stand…

      The journey through the forest was a revelation. How little we know of our blessings till we are on the verge of missing them. There was a cloud burst right above the forest and water poured down nudging all the air out of the way. visibility was barely 20 meters. And I realized how unprotected a human being is without his brains.. there was practically no safe spot in the forest for a human being… the earth was infested with insects and large snakes scurrying past the tracks.. the trees were occupied monkeys.. the bushes were taken by elephants and the cats slept on the rock ledges… no human could enter the terrain in this condition…

      Nevertheless, it was cool inside the station wagon and I was still in a position to smile at the creatures. My driver cautioned me against using the flash on the camera as it startles the poor things and some of them turn on the vehicle.

      Still, I managed to take a snap of a big signboard that said, “Photography prohibited.”

      And their, your honor, my case rests. I find the ambience of a fierce forest more homely than the dusty air of the metropolis…

      🙂

      • Hope you were not using the flash! I would be disappointed if you did. I have picked up lots of fights with the Chinese and Jap tourists who live by the flash.

      • This response should have been here. Typed it by mistake up there.

        Re-posting:

        I didnt use the flash… I have a B setting on the cam that goves perfect night shots.. and the even the shutters dont make a sound…

        The most curious animal at night is the elephant. The deer and bison simply walk away from your car without even giving us a glance. The elephant however has a sense of territorial ownership. He/She stops on the road and raises its trunk like a boxer inviting an opponent.

        The rule is switch off the engine of the car, turn off the lights and lock all doors and windows. Do not offer food or make funny noises as we do for domestic animals in the house. It annoys them no end.

        The elephant walks up to the car and runs its trunk over the windshield as if trying to reach out to the driver and the navigator. After a brief eye to eye contest, it shrugs off any chances of some excitement and marches away in royal disdain.

        The troop of monkeys on the trees are a little more mischievous. The ride on the car roof for a few yard and jump off.

      • Delightful!and thanks for the clarification too.

  17. I believe that the only way to get out of poverty is to create jobs through industrialization. A big project like the IGI would have created many jobs. It also aids in projecting a convincing image for investors who would be coming to India hoping to invest in our country. The investors usual problem is infrastructure, and that starts right from the moment they step into our country. It also doesn’t mean the government is not investing in other projects like power and water infrastructure, although not everything will come up in the sequence that it’s needed. I think a neat and classy airport is a right way forward.

    • I am not against this investment per say, I am pointing out to the imbalance in our investments which has led to current price levels.

      • I didn’t understand what you mean by imbalances. I don’t understand the topic of inflation a great deal either 🙂

  18. Nice to see that you are doing your bit to bring imporatant issues in front of all of us. You are one among existing pressure groups.

  19. Sharmila,

    In my pre-occupation with the travelogues, I missed responding to the main content of your blog post. Is it too late? Perhaps you are already drafting your next post.

    Nonetheless, permit me to say a few words.

    The conflict in the appplication of funds and creation of wealth, which in this case is demonstrated by the construction of the IGI Airport, has its roots in the divergent economic theories of Adam Smith and Keynes.

    Adam Smith’s economic models were based on the freedom of the producers to decide the goods and their quantities. Keynes turned that around and empowered the trader by printing currency and circulating it through a banking system controlled by whimsical rulers.

    The result has been evident for a long time.

    For example,

    When Gandhi returned from South Africa around the time of Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s death, he was sponsored by Gopal Krishna Gokhale to tour the entire nation to witness the conditions of the people. A small group of farmers took him to a place called Champaran in UP/Bihar.

    Here the british settlers had forced all the farmers to plant Indigo which provided key ingredients for the coloring pigments in dyes that were required in Manchestor by the textile mills. As a result 20,000 acres of agricultureal land was devoted to one single toxic plant that ruined the soil. The farmers were given cash currency to buy their needs from other villages.

    Eventually the farmer was left with neither a good land to till nor the money to buy goods from outside. For such situations Keynes’s devious model asks the the rulers to print currency and distribute it among the needy through the banking system.

    Another example is that of the British pound. Britain abandoned Adam Smith’s models and adopted Keynes’ theories, primarily as it serves its imperialist strategies. The pound remains a strong currency despite UK having little or no in-house production to show for it.

    This is also the cause of the long famines and cyclic recessions. Applying the business plans and regulations of the 9 to 6 industrial worker to agricultural farmers, the farmer is reduced to penury.

    Ideally, the trader must buy whatever surplus the producers are willing to sell and make a living by selling them for goods in other places. However, the trader today dictates what is to be produced and how much at what cost by whom. The trader runs the government and is protected by the law and the military.

    In the unlikely event that a producer decides to produce his needs and live within his means the trader will get the ruler to order his property to be confiscated and run by an industrialist who will bring immigrants (mohajirs) from outside and ensure economic subservience… and if the situation gets out of hand.. we still have the likes of Schindler who will provide fodder labor at little or no cost..

    And to keep the financial wizards quiet and towing the line, there is the Basil II convention and the occasional Noble prize to believers Prof Amartya Sen.

    Mahatma Gandhi’s son himself was lured into the network when Gandhi triggered the weave-your-own-cloth khadi movement.. Gandhi’s son got a lucrative deal on imported cloth from Manchestor and was never too ungrateful to the british businessman.

    But before i give the wrong impression, let clarify that the communist model is ‘worse’ than this.

    The American system is apparantly the best in the current scenario at least on paper.. “from each according to his ability to each according to his work’… i.e. work accroding to ones ability and get paid/returns according to the value of the work.

    The communist system is, “From each according to his ability to each according to his needs”.. i.e. work according to ones ability and get according to his needs… so a bachelor surgeon will live in a shanty hut and a office boy with 12 children gets a 6 bedroom government quarter.. the slogan is not mine.. it was written and publicised from roof tops by Karl Marx after the French revolution. An entire continent supported that without a single voice of dissent! And the result was seen by the world when it was strictly enforced by Lenin, Stalin and the successors in USSR.

    We, the current generation of Indians, have a responsibility. Our fathers got us this freedom after 50 years of struggle. They were not wizards in the economics and political acumen but they loved their people, their nation and their cultures. That love was the only thing that drove them in herds to follow a short, black, frail, bony, half naked man called Gandhi.. they even called him Mahatma, the divine soul.

    We have a task cut out for us. We know our history and we know our present. We can avoid those pitfalls and refuse to accept models dictated by IMF, WB etc and work out our own. The first step is to dislodge the stooges of imperial economics hiding in the dark alleys of the power.. like the Planning commission chairman Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalliah and the likes of him who are a dreadful infection hiding in our bladders. Dr, manmohan Singh is the ring leader obviously. He has served on the board of the WB.

    To put all of this in a nutshell:

    Money is ‘not’ what money buys.. money is what money produces..

    • Reader – Food for thought indeed.Thanks. Albeit I disagree partialy on your views on ManmohanSingh. If not for ManmohanSinghin 91 we would have remained a socialist economy.

    • Sharmila,

      Dr. Manmohan Singh merely signed on the diktats of the World Bank and IMF. I wouldnt go to the extent of calling him an architect of the new economy. It was started by Narsimha Rao, the greatest middle-man, broker and spin-doctor that the Congress has ever had.

      Allow me to state one more thing. The models that was mooted by the G7 through WB & IMF were to enrich the central government, which is required for building infrastructure… this gave large scale access to the markets for banks like ADB and ICICI.

      The exports of wealth like Iron & Managanese ores, minerals, precious metals, food etc was consolidated not de-centralized. For example, India is the largest exporter Grade I Cane Sugar and the licenses are still held by a limited few in Maharashtra, UP and Punjab. Punjab CMs son-in-law is the single largest exporter of sugar to Pakistan. To replace the large-crystal Cane Sugar that we export we import white powdered beet root sugar from Brazil and Cuba which distributed through the PDS.

      Economic liberalisation in India is for increasing the revenue of the government and its sponsored businessmen not for releasing the small enterpreneurs who are caught in debt traps.

      I agree that the socialist economy is worse. But what we have as an alternative is long term exploitation as designed by the British regime during the days of the empire.

      We are not very indigenous at the top.

  20. Aishwarya, MonaLisa, Sharmila,

    The innocent, harmonious and loving lives of our villagers are only seen and lived to be believed. I live in a village in the hills surrounding Ooty and I can vouch for this.

    Here is a classic example of the raw simplicity of relationships in the villages that no economic conspirator can take away from us…

    (BTW Mithun lives in my neighbourhood.)

      • MonaLisa Says:

        Reader,
        Hills and valleys have their own divine natural beauty like oceans and beaches have…if humans don’t intervene and ruin it big time….
        Mountains and wilderness, oceans a beaches are always very appealing…..may be we have to visit your place once……what say..!?
        Vacationing there is a diff. thing and living there is another…however i am unable to decide whether i shall consider native lucky or not…!? perhaps such kind of life ,away from all is good when one retires…..But no exposure to outer world in this life time is not a very admirable situation in my opinion…..

      • MonaLisa,

        I was blessed to have parents who were crazy about touring. In the first 15 years of my childhood I had already visited Srinagar, Simla, Kulu, manali, Rohtang, Ladakh, Dharmshala, Gulmarg, Mussouri, Darjeeling, Gangtok, Shillong and Kathmandu.

        All heavenly places and far more beautiful than Ooty. I picked Ooty as my place of last residence on this planet because thats all I could afford given my low budget.

        And I dont want my body to be disposed off in the middle east. I have chosen Ooty and ensured that my body is properly cremated by responsible people.

        For me, Ooty doesn’t mean anything more than that.

        I am planning to retire in another 2-3 years. I am 46 now.

        The cost of living is about Rs 10,000 per month with home grown foodstuff. At that, I should be able to survive on my saving for the next 30 years without the help of banks and interests. After all, I have spent my last 20 years in the desert!

        My visit to this planet is done in all respects. Discovering things is not my forte. I am sure whoever has created this universe knows what is where. He should do His housekeeping. Its not my job.

        🙂

    • Aishwarya Says:

      Dear Reader,

      Ooty is truly a paradise on Earth…her beauty as unmatched and unblemished as the innocence and simplicity of her people.

      Thank you for sharing the song and the beautiful poetry by Amir Khusro – much loved and much appreciated.

      Love,

      Aish.

  21. <Sorry.. somehow the embed code is not working.. tough luck…

    Here is a link..

  22. MonaLisa Says:

    Are we nt like those children looking for a miracle worker in our Dream world…!?

    • Thank you for the link MonaLisa. May I differ please.

      Children dont look for miracles.. adults do…

      When things ‘defy imagination’ children laugh.. adults search for a witch doctors, an octopus or parrots!

      Nice lyrics..

      🙂

    • Thanks much for link.

  23. Aiswarya, MonaLisa, Sharmila,

    This is what happens to me when I get into a morbid, psychologically disturbed mindset.

    Had a series of nightmares last night. I was not sure I was awake or asleep. I saw my own body lying dead and spread on the bed… heard something moving around in the dark room… “Stupid,” I muttered to myself, “there is nothing that can move by itself”

    I think this chilling cold and gastritis associated with that triggers my extra-sensory perceptions – loosens the screws if you know what I mean. I have lived in the burning heat of deserts, freezing cold, choking sandstorms, tropical hurricanes, incessant rains and practically every weather between -10 deg to +60 deg.

    However, these hallucinations are the first of a kind. Should see a shrink or visit Dalai Lama in Dharmshala. I am running out of time. Have to return to my workstation on Thursday.

    Or perhaps I am just missing my job… the vacation is getting too long… unable to sleep comfortably in a proper bed… I am used to sleeping in the office you know… in the chair with my eyes wide open…

    • Reader – ha ha, well , the desk at work must be waiting for you with great anticipation. DId you have a out of body experience like the one that AB once said he did?

      • Sharmila,

        I dont know if it is called an out-of-body experience… and I dont think mine was like AB’s… At 6′ 2″ he has a lot of body to come out of… I am bonsai version in comparison… and can slip in and out of the cage rather quickly

        🙂

    • Aishwarya Says:

      Reader,

      It does sound like an out-of-Oman experience. Chuhe hue honge, pet mein aur kamre mein…nothing you cannot tackle I’m sure…

      Jokes apart, I am sincerely happy and relieved you are back to your normal jovial self today.

      Tc,

      Aish.

      • Aishwarya,

        Thank you too.

        Pain of any sort does that to me. It reminds me of how little time is left to be happy!

        I kept a light diet yesterday to discipline my wayward tummy and it got back at me by sneaking into the hypothallamus and stirring up dormant memories in the process…

        Quote (This is a dialogue)

        Atha prama jnana hetv atirikta hetu janyaa janya janatvat a pramavad iti cet na |
        Pramaya janatva tad hetu janyataya sadhye badhat, jnana jnakatve virodhat
        A pramyam tad-a-siddheh, vyartha visesantvat vyaavartha prasiddheh |
        Kim ca yatkinchit jnan hetv apekshaya sarva tad hetv apekshaya va atitriktatve indiryadhibhih sidha saadhaanat |

        Translit:

        Objection (by a rationalist putting forth an inference): A verifiable cognition is produced by a cause over and above the cause of teh cognition since it is generated by a non verifiable cognition

        PurvaPakshin: No. Your inference leads to a patent falsehood (baadha) given that cognition is produced by the causes of cognition and nothing else. The incompatibility is that verifiable cognition is produced by something other than the cause of teh cognition and that is not established. That qualification is nonsense because what is to be excluded is not agreed to. This is virodha.

        Unquote

        In ‘Tattvacintamani’ by Gangesa in c 1350

        🙂

      • Aishwarya Says:

        What produces verifiable cognition if not the cause? Hoping to read further in your version…and also about the stirred-up dormant memories…:)

      • Aishwarya,

        Thats what the conversation is about. If God is volitional i.e. he feels and decides then his cognition becomes a cause which is not understood. Or should we base our awareness on the basis of what we know? We can be proved wrong.

        For example, Neils Bohr drew a small circle and called it a nucleus, a larger circle around it and called it the electron cloud and told the world that this is the structure of an atom. The world believed in it till Heisenberg came up with his Uncertainty Principle which neils Bohr himself supported and changed his own ideas.

        So, what is Cognition? When can one say I know?

        ‘I know’ can be applied to identities that we have ourselves given. Such as, I know my name is XYZ, I know I am a male, I know this is a tree, I know this Lata Mangeshlar’s voice, I know etc…

        Where cognition is the basis of knowledge this process gets disoriented and leans towards faith. Like, my experiments show that perceptual information can selectively filtered to create the effect of a concept. It will be obviously untrue but i can sell it for 10 years and make enough money to retire peacefully… who cares. According to the discussion above those concepts where this sort of filtering is done is not cognition. One must know what is to be excluded and why.

      • Aishwarya Says:

        Reader,

        A little out of context, but IMHO, our pandits and scholars then were so selfless in sharing the knowledge they acquired. Their teachings were meticulously penned down and handed over to future generations purely for the joy of learning with no monetary benefits in mind.

        Thank you for taking the time to simplify and explain it so well. I must say that your words are far easier for me to understand than Muni Gangesa’s, and my apparent lack of knowledge in Sanskrit isnt the only reason.:P

        Aish.

      • Aishwarya,

        What is IMHO?

        Did you think my quote is out of context?

        In my opinion, there is no such thing as a rational hallucination. Cognition of a hallucination is impossible without an irrational, unscientific reference.

        Therefore I excluded the possibility of an out-of-body experience.

        I dont think I quoted Gangesa out of context. Hope I am not too vague. Some of the sanskrit texts are very difficult to untangle. And I am always afraid of going tangent.

      • Aishwarya Says:

        Sorry, Reader. I meant I was being out of context, not you. Your quote was apt. I apologize for the confusion.

      • No sorry and apology.. please… We are simply sharing and discussing a subject. Sometimes I learn from my own voice when I say something. And I even wonder how and where the words come from! There are round pegs and there are square ones.. the fun is in fitting them without changing their shapes.

        So, please tell me what is IMHO.. duh duh me..

        🙂

      • In my humble opinion Reader.

      • Aishwarya Says:

        Gosh dearer, I mean Reader…that acronym doesnt ring a bell now…could it be ‘In My Hallucination at Ooty’…nah…I think Sharmila is right.:)

      • Thanks Sharmila

      • Aishwarya,

        I would never have known. I am never humble about my opinions!

        Aaaaaaaaarrrrrggggggggghhhhh!!!!

        Shall remember that. Learn it by rote if required. I..M..H..O.. In… My.. Humble… Opinion… I… H… M..O.. In.. Humble.. My.. Opinion… I.. M.. O.. H.. In.. My… Opinion.. Humble.. I…H…O…M… In…Humble…Opinion…My.. My

        This is the problem with learning by rote… gets mixed up in no time…

      • Aishwarya Says:

        Lol…Reader.:)

  24. MonaLisa Says:

    Reader,
    wow….! An…Astral projection…! Out Of Body Experience…!? In that case You can be an OBE specimen for further research & studies…! Hmm…are you on any psychedelic meds lately….!?
    You can see DalaiLama if you wish… probably You are ‘The One’ after him….who knows…!? 🙂

    • MonaLisa – Is Reader the one after Dalai Lama from the Chinese side of things?

      • Sharmila,

        Not at all. I respect him for his outstanding research and achievements. I have at least 30 books written by HH dalai Lama and consider him a scholar in yogic sciences. He draws a firm line between yoga and the occult.

        Buddhism and jainism have one thing in common. Both are aetheistic. That is they do not believe in a volitional creator called God. And incidently, 60% of the world’s population is Buddhist.

        Where HH Dalai Lama scores is that aethism does not make him believe in mindless killing and Mao, Stalin and Ghenghis Khan did. Between these three they have killed over 200 million human beings.

        HH Dalai Lama forbids violence. I like that aspect.

      • MonaLisa Says:

        Sharmila,
        Probability and possibilities could be endless….!
        Anyone who possess those qualities could be ‘The One’….need not be a Chinese Guy…
        Though Dalai Lama is so spiritual and of course a leader too…look at his condition and situation…poor guy(sorry! not to demean him) had to run away to save his life and can’t convince China to return his country back or allow him to come back unconditionally.
        Respect a person or a well known figure sometimes is not just enough….

      • MonaLisa – I meant Chinese appointed Lama. Yes, respect sometimes is not enough. I wish India did more for him, but as usual China has our arms twisted.

    • MonaLisa,

      HH Dalai Lama will probably tell me that I have experience the first of the five stages on the mind at the time of death… Buddha and HH dalai Lama have both written volumes on the different stages of Nirvana… at the time of actual death, just before kicking the empty bucket, a persons mind goes through five phases of illusions and delusions…

      It all ends with flash of white light followed by complete darkness..

      In my case, since the experience happened at night, I think it happened in the reverse order.. first darkness and then sunrise… 🙂

      • Reader – His holiness is somebody I most admire too. That smile of his is most radiant and uplifting one. Would love to meet him one day.

      • MonaLisa Says:

        Reader,
        If that happened in reverse order is the sign of what….!? marching from Darkness to Awareness…! That shows the possibility of being ‘The One’ someday…sometime….
        What color,race,caste and creed has to do with it…!?

      • MonaLisa,

        To me, the reverse order means that its only a bit of indigestion and I should stop eating spicy food which cracks my nervous system.

        I am not ‘The One’.. I hope there is no such thing… I hope there is no afterlife.. or a re-birth… I am sick of the universe and life as it is… Once dead I hope I dont have to see life again in any form…

        But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying what I have at this moment… I love my foolishness.. and this type of it is not limited to a caste, creed or race..!

        When I mentioned Buddhism & Jainism I was referring to the doctrines that a set of people on earth follow… nothing specific to their beliefs… and surely not divisionist… I study all of them for their practice… but I don’t indulge in politics.. I am more a social scientist in a way, not a social activist…

  25. Sharmila,

    In the third para of this post you note the idiosynchracieis of Suresh Kalmadi.

    Let me add a bit of his history to it.

    Suresh Kalmadi started of as a coffee shop and beer bar owner in Deccan Gymkhana, Pune. His father ran a school called Karnataka High School in the Kothrud area nearby. He was president of the Kannada Sangh of Pune.

    He later joined Mr Sharad Pawar in a massive land grab campaign west of Pune starting from Mulshi right up to Ratnagiri. The district collector Srinivas Patil was very coooperative and the Urban Land ceiling Minister was Abhay Bafna son of Madan Bafna. The nexus worked like magic. Everyone made money except a few unfortunate ones like Binda Thackerey, Balasaheb’s son lost his life in a car accident. If Binda had been alive neither Raj nor Udhav would have been in their positions today.

    Suresh Kalmadi got elected as the MP from Pune in due course. To increase his visibility he took to organising short distance marathons in Pune. This moved to Mumbai where actors and models got the hang of its publicity potential.

    This was noticed in Delhi and the next year Suresh Kalmadi was standing next to Rajiv Gandhi flagging off a marathin in Delhi.

    In ’89-90 the commonwealth games were announced in Pune. Suresh Kalmadi headed the organising committee for the first time. Stadiums were built along the Mumbai-B’lore NH4 by-pass on the land that they had already taken. Private hotels were built. Private bus services started. Everyone associated with Suresh Kalmadi raked in the moolah. Some even started their own cooperative banks.

    He fell out of favor with Sharad Pawar after moving his camp to Sonia Gandhi. Sharad Pawar was the defense minister on the day of Rajiv’s assassination. He had every chance of becoming the PM if he had garnered the required numbers. However, Suresh Kalmadi among others supported Sonia Gandhi.

    Suresh Kalmadi is a political carpetbagger. He doesnt have a constituency and no public support to show for himself. The only way he survives in politics is by managing scams for the high and mighty. If Narsimha Rao, Natwarlal and Bhagat were around I believe Suresh Kalmadi might have become an arms dealer.

    • This is the result of whimsical management. The Chairman wants results anyhow. The architect delivers a drawing somehow. The Engineer designs the structures instinctively. The construction manager imagines it growing like a tree. The worker cannot relate yesterday’s task with tomorrows.

      Philosophy, metaphysics, ethics, virtues and values are for idle dummies. Thinkers are such selfish, self-centered morons.

  26. MonaLisa Says:

    Sharmila,
    Read the article. I wonder how successfully they are going to handle the entire event – the CW Games..!?
    What exactly the Architects,engineers,contractors and Quality control guys are doing..!? Its a shame on shame the way entire system is being handled . All the Best for new International Airport…see how long does that last…!

    • Maybe we should start with the closing ceremony as the first event ath the games?

      • MonaLisa Says:

        🙂 Sharmila,
        Would that be an awesome idea or what….!? However holding any ceremonial event- opening or closing, might be, possibly result into another disaster. Any ceremonial event is possible only and if, the work is completed in time….which seems impossible looking to the pics.

  27. And the Queen’s baton was lost for a couple of hours yesterday in Sikkim. This one had me in splits.

  28. MonaLisa Says:

    Sharmila,
    Thanx for the link. Read that Khamba chap’s take on CW Games…Good right up..very edgy…! but the downside is, he uses ‘F’ word so frequently proved to be a turn off….. atleast for me…!

  29. Ah, yes, he does use the f word often. I ignored those with the exception of certain killer phrases which may not be politically correct, but enough to have me in splits.

  30. Breaking News: 27/07/10

    Diver Priyanka was practising at the new swimming pool in CWG and was seriously injured.

    The drain cover of the pool was open which she noticed only after jumping off the board and was already on her way down – by then it was too late for her to turn back…

  31. Reader – read about this. Very very unfortunate. Disaster after disaster.

    • This CWG scandal is becoming bigger than IPL… Mani Shankar Iyer is gunning for Kalmadi… the CVC has started an in-house enquiry at the behest of Sheila Dixit. The figures are anywhere between Rs 30,000 Cr to Rs 35,000 Cr… embezzlement, corruption, paybacks et al… Kalmadi has hit a jackpot!

      This is probably his swan song in the business of high profile scams… he should retire happily to his native village in Bengaluru after this is all over…

  32. Quite surprised with Mani Shankar’s madness. He sounds like a witch performing black magic on the games. And if you say these amounts like this, it is nothing short of staggering! But, not surprised.

    • MonaLisa Says:

      I think that guy Mr.Aiyar is quite reasonable and he got a point there, apart from their internal politics.
      First you provode the facilities to the childeren and train them properly instead wasting such an amount on such events and you will see all kinds of medals coming in…

  33. Mani Shankar Iyer has an old score to settle. He was the sports minister when Kalmadi as chief of the IOC proposed to host the CWG and Asian Games. Mani Shankar Iyer had strongly objected to both saying the the money should be given to states for development centers instead. He succeeded in getting the Asian games diverted but the top brass in teh Congress could not resist the temptations that Kalmadi offered.

    The Congress high command summarily forced Mani Shankar Iyer to resign.

    Mani Shankar Iyer’s mathematics is clear. The governments has deficits of INR 1.2 billions in fuel subsidies alone while affording INR 4 billions for a worthless showcase event that is a British colonial tradition.

    A PIL is already filed in the Supreme court to investigate the expenditure. But I suppose by the time it comes to any hearing, Kalmadi’s great-grand-child would have declared bankruptcy.

  34. And it is not the first time we see saas bahu being played out by Congress,

  35. Sharmila,

    Is something happening to the Tiger on the mast-head up there?

    A few days ago it was so close that I could see some vacant space behind the eyes… then for some time it went back on all fours and now it is closing in again…

    Are you doing this… or does it happen with the phase of the moon?

    🙂

    PS: The theme line: ‘Thinking the Indian Way’ can be universalized if you wish.

  36. Sharad Maheshwari Says:

    Sorry Sharmila,

    For late reply, though this is a amid issue, you put a very insightful thoughts, but i say its not only Government responsibility but also our so called learned citizens to take tiny steps to get the rotten issues out of castle, a lot can be done with the determination and passion, just it requires a tactful and vivid look onto the issues. And i compliment you that you pick good issues over this platform to enlighten the citizens. KUDOS

  37. The first sound bytes about corruption charges are coming on air as the Central Vigilance Commitee starts leaking information.

    Kalmadi denies any knowledge. The congress high command has not chosen him at the helm for no reason. He has a solid track record of steering such scams since 1986 in Pune.

  38. MonaLisa Says:

    Reader,
    So…. Are you suggesting that not Kalmadi but Congress High Command is behind this scam…!? Kalmadi is merely a Pawn in this game…..!?

    • There are no pawns in steering commitees of political parties. The CWG projects took off just before the last parliamentary elections. And there are enough funds left at least for the next assembly polls.

      Kalmadi will go down in congress history as one of the best fund raisers for the party. At 20% of the 4 billions, its far better than what Aiyer can manage with his Gandhian ideas of building a nation.

      Kalmadi has already declared that Aiyer’s objection to global ambitions the privileged classes is an anti-national sentiment.

      Kalmadi is playing the bully… heads-I-win tails-you-lose, Mr. Aiyer!!!

      • Correction:

        Global ambitions ‘of’ the privileged classes…

        What is a comment without a correction?

  39. MonaLisa Says:

    🙂 Heads I win, Tails you lose…….sounds very familiar…!

  40. MonaLisa Says:

    familiar it sounds many many ways as this bullying business is rooted very deeply in the society in different guise in different areas. Almost all has felt its presence right from their childhood.
    Wow…! How helpful is that Bad, sinful trait to build up the fortune….! Now who would like to be and keep that Goody..Goody image…!?

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