Monday, September 20, 2010

A Pakistan Salam to Bhagatsingh

A movement has begun in Pakistan to rejuvinate the Bradlow Hall School, Lahor, the alma mater of Bhagatsingh . It will be named after him when it restarts.

The school was at one time the main educational institution in Lahore but has fallen on evil days what with madarsas sprouting all over. Some ex-students did noit like it and took initiative in rejuvenating the institution again. Miss Saida Deep, Head of the Institute of Secular Studies is among them. It is also proposed to have a meseum of things devoted to the Indian Freedom Struggle, which shows that the young Pakistan considers the Indian Freedom Struggle as part of their own struggle also. Bhagatsing will be at the center of this rejuvenation. There is a proposal also of renaming the Shadman Chowk where Bhagatsing was hoisted on the gallows as Bhagatsing Chowk.

Bhagatsing and his colleagues had shot down Deputy Superintendent of Police as a revenge for his manhandling of Lala Lajpat Rai and others by the Police then.

Saida has been proud of Bhagatsing from her school days. She has approached the Pakistan Court for restarting the school and change in the name of the Chowk.

Other martyrs who had participated in the Freedom Struggle are also proudly presented gratefully in Pakistan School Books irrespective of their caste, colour or creed. These are welcome signs of slow but sure reassertion of the joint struggle of even this part which was once a part of India in breaking of the shackles of slavery.

Earlier during the reign of President Ayyub Khan and others there have been attempts at interpreting the Partition movement as a part of historic struggle of that part of India for retaining its separate identity eulogizing the role of the invaders in the process. In fact, there was a palpable attempt to take this part of India to the Middle East.

But the panIndian identity is slowly but surely establishing itself. It may not be long before pictures of Bhagatsing and other revolutionaries will adorn the Pakistan Parliament walls!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Drunk Car

It is an offence to drive a car after a drink but what if it is the car, which has had a glass! In medieval Europe the car would have been sentenced with imprisonment. They did jail a pet dog if it bit anybody.

However, we consider ourselves civilized and do not penalize the dumb animal as its action is a reflex action and not a deliberate act. But such a plea would not be admissible with a human driver even if it turned out that the drink was forced down his throat. Such a plea would, however, be tenable in a drunken car since others have forced the drink down in its tank. Nor would be the men whom did this would be held responsible of any misdemeanor since the liquid was fed into the car as a substitute combustible material to drive the vehicle. Even if the car were to be the latest self-driving car it would not be held culpable for the simple fact that it purred on smoothly and did not commit any misdemeanor.

Mr.Martin Tamney who heads a team, which has developed this substitute material from alcohol and appropriately named it Beautamol says that this material has as much energy as petrol. He confidently asserts that in another couple of years cars running on beautamol would hit the market and they would hit it quite hard. What is more the employment of this substitute would not need any elaborate changes or additions to the tank for the switchover.

The team from the Napier University of Edimborough developing this biofuel has already applied for a patent for it. It claims that it is more efficient by almost 30% the ethanol. The team was working on it for the last two years. And the beauty of this is that this technique of conversion of liquor into beautamol has been in use over a century.

I remember an incident of some fifty years ago. When our car in which we friends were out for a Eat, drink and be merry suddenly stopped and to our chagrin we found that the tank was empty. Nobody had bothered to check up it it was full when we started and now the pump was nowhere miles around. But we had enough and to spare drinks. One of us frustratingly suggested that we should feed it to the car, which would make her forget that the tank is empty and make it move. But even in our desperation we had not lost our heads that much.

If only we had listened to the suggestion we would have been the pioneers in the matter of development of beautamol fifty years ago.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Doctors prescribing patients for their own health.

Everybody of us knows that when we go to a doctor very few of them have dispensing arrangements in their dispensary. They normally write down the names of the medicines, which we should take as per frequency noted against them. In some cases by way of friendly caution they also ask us to obtain the provisions from a particular chemist suggestively throwing the shoulder suggesting that you do that at your own risk. Who can dare to defy the doctor’s advice? I do not know whether you have seen the Chemist noting down the name of the doctor in a long notebook. Even if you had you might not have thought anything much about it.

I cannot vouchsafe for it but there is buzz among patients that this is meant for keeping an account of the doctor wise prescriptions subsequently to finalize an account of commission to be paid to the concerned doctor. Had you cared to devote a little thought to this you would have understood the throwing up of shoulders by your doctor when you mentioned name of a chemist other than the one recommended by him. The recent reports are that the doctor leaves it entirely to our discretion the shop from where we desire to purchase the prescriptions indicating that there is an implicit understanding between the doctors and the chemists at large on the cuts.

However, you will find that this is nothing if you learn that despite specific legal provisions prohibiting doctors recommending the products of any specific medicine company the doctors are doing it brazenly and openly. In fact, the records show that at least 159 doctors who knew of this prohibition have endorsed products of medicine companies. This list includes the names like Dr. Ketan Desai,former president of the Medical Council of India who had taken initiative in brining this prohibition by the MCI. It also lists Mr.G.Samaram its current national president as also the present national secretary Dr/.Dharam Prakash.

In fact in 2008 the Central Working Committee of the IMA signed with Pepsi to endorse Quaker Oats and Tropicana juices and the another MOU with the Dabur to endorse its Odojmos gel and lotions.This endorsement will be in operation till March 2011 and it has brought in Rs. 2.25 crores revenue for the IMA. This works out to about one lac per each member. This amount is supposed to cover the frequent foreign trips the doctors have to undertake. This despite the fact that the MCI regulations specifically prohibit the members to claim any travel allowances from the companies for their travel expences.The quantum of punishment for breach of its rules has been put at penal esasure from the registry for one year . However, no action has been taken against anybody so far. When MCI was confronted with this fact it brazenly responded by saying that IMA is outside the purview of MCI. It reassured that, despite this MCI would initiate action provided a list of such recipients. However, in spite of furnishing a detailed list with names, addressed etc. of the 159 doctors, as aforesaid no action has as yet been initiated.

This is an open case of defiance of prohibitory regulations of which there is a specific record available.

What can you expect from doctors who are not so officially listed and where the exchange is under the table.

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If you are unfortunate to fall ill, you have to depend more on your inherent resistence and god’s grace for you cannot but be sure that the medicines prescribed have only your indisposition as the frame of reference or the commission received.

The East India Company lives again in India

We read in our history books in schools that Queen Victoria took away the reign and rains of India from the East India Company and we thought that that was that. Of course we never looked into what happened to the company thereafter thinking that it must have rolled up its activities and that was that.

We should have known better. We did not do so when the Company entered India. We were lost in establishing new kingdoms and conquering more territories and looked almost pityingly at these people with the scales in their hands and asked only for permission to open shops in India. We did not appreciate or even care that in fact they were weighing us in their scales and then artificially tilting the scale this or that way like the monkey in the Aesop’s fables they ate away most of the butter and claimed whatever remained at the end as their commission.

They did leave India being forced by their own people to quit (not us forcing them out) However, they left a legacy of weighing everything in terms of profit and loss. We forgot the legacy of Damaji Pant of Mangalwedha who at the risk of brining upon himself the wrath of the Sultan opened the godowns of corn collected as taxes and allowed the starving people to help himself or herself. The godowns in Kolkata overflowing with rice were kept locked up despite the fact that the poor starved to death before the closed doors. Mind well, these godowns were not of the East India Company or even of the Britishers but of Indian like you or me. Yet the profit motive, which drove the East India Company to force the farmers to cultivate opium and indigo plants in the 19the century to meet the growing demands for it in China, was our models. Even now with all our tall talks of altruism wheat is rotting in the godowns or for lack of them stores in the open in leaked or directly falling rain water we cannot see our way to rather distribute it before it rots away completely to the starving millions. We rather tend to boast our capacity of exporting food grains where at one time we depended entirely upon imported grains. As they say every forth roti of our meals came from American wheat and we were ridiculed as living from American what to mouth.

We have reversed completely our once dearly held values-Best Farming, Medium Trade and Lowest Service. Now almost everybody is after getting qualifications to catch a well-paying post preferably in a MNC, never mind if it is engaged in exploiting India. Trade, not licit trading but one entirely motivated by profit is our high priority. Agriculture comes last. There also the emphasis is on cash crops never mind if we will have to revert to the days of eagerly waiting for foreign ships bringing food grains.

And that East India Company is staging a comeback here. It is small satisfaction that this East India Company is now owned by an Indian financier Mr.Sanjay Mehta.In his introductory speech he even lauds the East India Company saying that ‘the world would have been a different place if East India Company was not there. ‘The East India Company,’He goes on,’ was the Google of its time. It controlled the world’s navigation routes it way the online giant controls many information routes today. The East India Company’s input in the world was massive.’ If he was to believed the East India Company is one of the most recognized brands in the world with over two billion people aware of its history. If this is so Indians like me are indeed ignoramus who had consigned it to the dunghill of history. He further adds that he hopes to capitalize on and retain the East India Company’s brand ‘which he describes as of impeccable pedigree and enviable heritage.’

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Be on your guard! The East India Company is staging a comeback. If I were Mr.Mehta I would have at least changed the name of the Company to dissociate it from all the unhappy memories (for India) of the past.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Is not Leh part of India?

Is not Leh part of India?

We proudly declare that Kashmir is part of India. We have special affinity to Ladakh part of Kashmir since Buddhist mostly populates it. And Buddhism is akin to Hinduism. In fact, we have been insisting that Ladakh should get internal autonomy in Kashmir so that each and every measure initiated by Srinagar need not automatically cover Ladakh but it would be able to refuse to apply it or agree to apply it only in such modified form as it would not militate against it predominantly Buddhist culture. However, this has not been accepted and consequently has always been a point of contention between the region and the rest of Kashmir.

This consideration for the region is understandable. It is not necessarily against Srinagar but only a desirable measure for reassuring the local people that all the laws passed there would not automatically apply to it and if any part or the whole law was felt to be detrimental to the cultural set of the region it would have the power to qualify its application to the extent found necessary. This is purely a demoicratic measure and does not even remotely suggest any secessionist tendency.

The recent devastating cloudburst not only caused an unimaginable human tragedy, but a massive economic disaster in this tourist paradise, where re-building the damaged infrastructure may take a minimum of two years. There had been a huge loss of men and materials.

It reminds us of the earthquake in Bhuj. According to press reports of the time and especially of Mr.Deshmukh of the RSS, Sangh volunteers, swayamsevaks, already highly organized into local chapters, reached the affected region even before any official program was set in motion by the RSS. They were instrumental in assisting the emergency hospital set up in the Jubilee Grounds in Bhuj, which treated so many of the injured. "The biggest job our workers have done," said Deshmukh, "is the extraction and cremation of over 3,500 bodies from the rubble." Even on the 50th day after the quake, they were still doing this, extracting rotting bodies. They also distributed 2,000 truckloads of relief material. At its peak, 25,000 RSS workers were engaged in rescue and relief operations

However, we have not had any such reports in relation to the Leh cloudburst. Except for the recent appeal by Mr. Advani advising BJP MPs/MLAs contribute Rs. 10,000/- each out of their salaries we have not come across any information of any such assistance extended by RSS per se . We have heard of volunteers who frequently went on tour to these areas and some of whose friends have been caught in the calamity proposing a visit to the affected area for rendering such help as they could to the affected people and especially their friends who had gone on tour and are stranded there. There was also a general appeal in Mumbai to working people to contribute one month’s salary for the relief funds. It is clear that the economic cost of the disaster may run into several hundred crores if one takes into account the damage to both public and personal property.

Thus the appeals made so far are for financial contribution except those of the friends of the tourists. There are no initiatives, not even proposals for running to the rescue of our affected brothers in Leh. This absence of any warm response to the affected people there in Leh, appears very strange to say the least compared to the warm response to the Bhuj tragedy. In fact, the mere fact that the accession of Kashmir of which Leh (Ladakh) is a part, to India is in dispute should not stand in our way to help them. If anything, such apathy would only spoil our claim over Kashmir. Then again as already stated the majority of people affected are Buddhist even if that is immaterial. Even if they were to be Muslims as some of the affected people certainly are they were part of an area which has acceded to India ,maybe the accession is in dispute-one sided dispute. Nor can it be the case that RSS does not advertise its efforts. It also did not proclaim its relief operations undertaken by it in Bhuj from their rooftops but they were nonetheless concrete and palpable. If indeed such proposals were under preparation they would not have failed to come out in the press.

All this looks very strange. As against this the news from Pakistan indicates that Muslim volunteers entered the areas devastated by rains with help before the governments nominees reached there. Of course, these volunteers were not in a position to offer much on account of the limited resources at their credit but the affected people appreciated their initiative. In fact, Pakistani papers report that the Government’s response towards relief work is rather inadequate. Perhaps the volume of the tragedy is indeed beyond its resources though a number of philanthropic organizations the world over had shown readiness to join the relief operations with men and materials.

We have also received similar offers and while these are welcome the main burden would have to be borne by us. Shri Krishna reminds me of the holding the Govardhan Mountain up balancing it on his little finger. He did not expect any help from the cowherd friends of his but nevertheless they also supported it with their sticks. I do not see any such sticks raised in Leh whereas there many of them in Bhuj!

Is Leh not a part of India?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

lenovo Y330 worst laptop

I have bought lenovo Y330 ideapad laptop in September 2009. Previously I have used Dell inspiron 6000 for 5 years and old compaq.

I changed my laptop to get something new on board although my dell is working nice even today. But the lenovo (chinese made) was just scrap product

1) Wireless was not working at many places .. I had done many trips to the dealer... Trial and error and it was quite frustrating to consume time on such issue.
After a lot of efforts and time I got it working after some tweaks.

2) The Battery backup is very low just 1 hr. After complaining a lot .. they gave me new but scrap battery. Which gave 40-50 mins backup.

now I am again stuck with these people to get good battery. They have replaced battery 2 times but still its giving backup of 40-50 mins. The officials have confirmed the same and are going to give me new battery again.. (God knows whether this fourth battery which lenovo shall give will be proper or not)

3) Meanwhile the CD / DVD writer was not working .. after bugging a lot in softwares ..going back to dealer only to find that this optical drive is faulty and which was replaced later. Thanks for the dealer who had given me replacement drive for time being.

I would strongly suggest dont buy lenovo ANYMORE.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Common Wealth Games and Corruption

The meaning of "Common Wealth Games" : The "Game" played by Congress Politicans to steal the "Wealth" of "Common" man in order to show their loyalty to the Queen (i.e. Madam)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Aesop Tale

There is a tale in Aesop’s fables.

A son who had a criminal career throughout was being hanged. He was the only son of his mother. She was there wailing and supplicating. The son expressed a desire to meet her for the last time which request was readily granted. He went near herr and made as if he wanted to tale some secret to her. However, instead of whispering to her he bit her ear viciously making her cry out,’ See, see this ungrateful brat what he did to his mother? This ungrateful wretch!!’

The other peoples who were assembled there to witness this tamasha were also flabbergasted and looked askance at the ungrateful son.

“I did the right thing!’ Blurted the son,’ If only she had dissuaded me and even punished me when I did the wrong thing my first crime I might have, might have eschewed this path which brought me here.! But no, she encouragd me and egged me on!’

The same story has recently repeated in America.

One Cotton Harris-Moore 19 who was long suspected of stealing cookies and frozen pizza from the Kostelyk family living near on a few gravel road from the squalor that was his home.The Kostelyks had a waterfront property and a freeze full of food. He came back over and over again-frozen pizza, cookies and icecream.

By the time he was caught with a stolen motorboatihe had become a sensation. He escaped from a Remand Home two years ago , lived in makeshift homes in empty houses for days or even weeks and somehow taught himself to fly, master the art of crash-landing and quietly walking away.

For much of his life he was as alone and as hungry as he was when he was a child who stole pizzas from his neighbourers.

When he was caught and produced in Court the only defence his lawyer could give was,’I think if he had proper direction he would not have done all that he did.!’

Harris –Moore was always in conflict with his mother ,Pal Kohler. According to public documents his case has been reported to the Remand Homes a dozen times by the time he was 15. He had been arrested at 12. The boy had earnestly requested the Social Worker to make his mother stop drinking and smoking., get a job and food in the house. Mom would not listen.

His neighbourers recalled a hand-painted sign at his house’ If you gopast this sign you would be shot.’ Theu had biter experience that this was not an empty threat

Harris-Moore had taken at least five planes, including one during the Olympics and crash-landed all of them.

He walked away each time.

He was nicknamed the Barefoot Bandit from the real footprints found at some crime scenes last year and drawings of the police who believe he left similar marks at other scenes of crime.Neighbourers recall seeing the child going about barefoot a number of time.

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He was apparently in search of a mother plaintively asking people to give him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

After all Aesop’s stories were not mere fables..The passage of time since Aesop lives has not made any difference. The Sanskrit subhashitam ‘Quachkiapi kumata na bhavati.(Hardly a bad mother exists) is just a pious wish.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Symbol of Rupee

The newspapers are full of reports that there is move from government to prescribe an official symbol for our rupee. In fact, it had held a countrywide contest recently and has shortlisted the following five symbols one of which will be chosen finally


India Rupee Symbol

Many of us are rather intrigued by this news item. We wonder that when the denotation of our ‘rupee’ as ‘Rs….” is quite unambiguous why it is considered necessary to go in for this. For one thing a country’s currency is a sine qua non of the country. While the name rupee has been associated with our coin for quite some time and is moiré or less a defining sign of our currency it will be remembered that currencies of many countries also bear the same name. The Pakistan currency is also known as rupee currency since it has continued with the same name in use in undivided India even after partition. In the SE Asia also the coin is known by more or less similar names e.g. rupiah etc. However, the similarity of name does not necessary signify identical monetary value. We may remember that until around the middle of the last century the State of Hyderabad had a similarly named currency rupee and lower denominational value coins also. The State of Gwalior had Shindeshahee coins. These State issues had distinctly different designs to emphasise and bring out their individuality. The actual monetary value of the rupee differed. Thus a hundred rupees of Govt. of India fetched nearly 115 Hyderabadi rupees.These State coinage systems were a left over of the once independent status of the regions from Central rules .From the middle of the last century these subsidiary coinage systems were abolished and replaced with the uniform Indian rupee,.

However, while the promise on currency notes that the government guarantees to exchange it for coins/smaller evaluation notes of equal value (This did not obtain on small notes of Re.l) it was for internal exchange. In international transactions the monetary value differed, sometimes fluctuating widely depending on the exchange value .As a sideshow it may be mentioned that around 30s there was a keen debate as to whether the value of one Indian rupee should be equal to 16 pence or 17 pence which to an ordinary man appeared rather intriguing. wondering whether the matter could not be settled by a little give and take. It was a standard joke of the times. In the pre-WWII period the exchange rates of Indian rupee vis-a-vis British Pound (Rs. 15/-),American Dollar(Rs.Three and a half) etc were moiré or less steady .However, in the context of the post=war World Reconstruction ,the growing international trade and commerce they began to fluctuate depending on exchange of goods and services.

Deliberate attempts of keeping the exchange rates artificially high for boosting trade and commerce were and are also there. Earlier Japan had indulged in this. The Japanese goods were costlier in Japan than outside offering stiff competition to other goods. It is the turn of China now.Keeping its Yuan exchange rate artificially lower tomake its exports cheaper it is flooding world markets ,predominantlyEurope,US and India with Chinese goods However artificially maintaining a lower exchange rate would cause inflation in that country since being able to export in bulk would mean easy availability of local currency which would cause price rise. More money = more purchase = increased demand = price rise = inflation! And China is already experiencing this effect and is getting prepared to loosen its grip on its currency. Even the international community is demanding that China allow its currency to appreciate because no country can tolerate its markets being flooded from outside by cheap goods.

Indian Economy today is the fourth largest economy in the world and is expected to overtake Japan by 2012 to become the third largest. The second largest economy, China is in that position artificially by keeping its Yuan exchange rate artificially lower to make its exports cheaper and hence is flooding the world markets predominantly Europe, US and India.If China relaxes its currency Indian currency which is not controlled like the Chinese currency can continue to surge ahead and so would Indian GDP because the Chinese exports would then go down since their exports would no longer be cheaper with an appreciated Yuan, and this gives India a good chance to move on to the second largest GDPin the world only after United States, and this is predicted to happen sometime around 2020.

Given all this information, the government of India has finally realized that the Indian Currency Rupee needs a brand symbol too, just like dollar, pound, euro, yen etc. As of now Rupee is denoted by Rs and does not have a symbol of its own. A currency symbol represents the entire health of the country’s economy and if the country’s economy clicks, then it would become the monetary brand of the country worldwide, just like how $ represents the economic strength of United States . More than a billion people ie 1/6 of humanity are using this currency.

The currency symbols often become shorthand for the country. The fact that this symbol for rupees has been found through open competition is symbolic of India’s growing confidence in itself.

The different system of coinage obtaining in India in the past has already been mentioned above. However, these were mere leftover from history and in any case have been abolished over half a century ago. We did not have a problem like Europe where different currencies were current and had to be abandoned for the emerging Euro. Local populations across Europe complained that in this switchover retailers cleverly included a price hike.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Takeout Restaurant

Pittsburgh(America) has a restaurant with a bright blue stirefront sunny, yellow lettering among a city block of white brick building.; However, if you intend to go there alone or with friends ,sit around a table ,relish political or office discussions with the delicacies offered you will be disappointed.There are no tables and chairs. And if you think that it is packed food restaurant and approach the counter you will find that they have only one item to —a wrap sandwich from Iran called kubideh.

You may walk out rather dismayed but then you do not know what innovations the restauranters will adopt to establish their unique identities. But if you liked that Iranian sandwich and again call at the restaurant you will find that this Iranian dish is not available. Wondering if they have some other Iranian delicacy when you enquire you are dumbfound to know that it has now shifted to Afghanistan, then North Korea or Venezuela. It calls itself Conflict Kitchen. ,a takeout café designed and run byu artists hoping to start conversation with you customers and among you customers about countries which are at present in conflict with America.

They disarmingly admit that they are not expert cooks in foreign dishes.It is just taking a chance for the public to set thinking. May be their interest is culinary and they would like to have a formula for the dish. But there are also others who ask questions about the unusual restaurang and its ever changing menu. May be in some cases the conversation will lead to matters about Iran,North Korea of Venezuela or any other country whose dish they are marketing that day These talks then may turn to topics about these countries On weekdays the restaurant mayu host a live online discussion and meal with a group of people say from Iran, North Kiorea of Venezuela or any other country which is at cross purposes with America.

This was initially the brainchild of Robin who developed it with other artists and theConflict Kitchen thus evolved from friendly competetion with a neighbourhood hot doz stand

The artists wanted to offer something moiré than food. The food for thought. They found that moist people only know about certain countries through what they read of hear in the news. So they decided to use food from different countries as a medium to get people thinking

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Will it be a good idea of Shiv Sainik opening similar restaurants in Bihar offering only Marathi dishes. Or vice versa. May be the Biharees would relish the Marathi purunpoli and fall into discussion about its method of preparation .

Together with a better appreciation of the method of preparing purun poli the Biharees will find that the Marathas are after all not as bad as they thought when they were in Mumbai

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cow is our Mother : Authority USA and China.

Recently I was glad to read in the papers that the Governments of both USA and also China have granted patents of cow urine as a drug. We knew it all along over generations but such confirmation, especially by countries who value cow basically for her food value makes us all the more happy.. It appears that it has also received two similar patents earlier.’ --one conforming its drug availability enhancing property and theother for its anti-cancer and anti-infective properties. China has also recognized its anti-oxidant and cell permeability enhancing properties.

Thus the efforts of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) joint experiment onGomutra Ark formulation have now been validated. The Chinese patent (100475221) and the US Patent(7718360) was received on May 18,2010. Both the patents have certified that the composition is useful for protection of and/or repairing DNA from oxidative damages. DNA oxidation is known to be the cause cancer.

Mr. Tapan Chakrawartri, acting Director of told media persons at the press conference at Nagpur ‘Many patients, some of them terminally ill with diseases like cancer, have come to the Go vigyan Kendra for treatment and have claimed to have benefited from the Gomutra Ark .Earlier Mr.Raghunath Mashelkar Director General of CISR was impressed by the work of the Kendra and offered partnership of CSIR with it.

All this is indeed quite creditable. The RSS is actively associated with this project and in fact is a partner in it. In fact this is a pet project of RSS .While as Indian we have been aware of the drug potentialities of gomutra we had not taken an initiative to obtain a patent for it after following due procedure. Had it not done this some American company would have applied for the patent. This has happened in many cases and India (and even Pakistan) had to lodge strong protests and guard our interests. Had this not happened we would have to take the drug as a medicine by purchasing it from America.

The RSS whose popular image in the society is one of holding Shakhas only and even the shakhas are nowadays are very well attended. However, it has shown examplry initiative

Friday, June 18, 2010

Money Orders

Transfers of money otherwise than through post offices or banks is not new to India. In fact, it predates them. But more than that this parallel facility of transferring money not only nationally but also internationally still obtains and is going strong. In fact, it is resorted to more than these official venues especially where the money that is changing hands is Black Money.. So implicit is the faith among this fraternity that inspite of the fact there is no record of either receipt or transfer or receipt at the other end of the money being transferred and consequently no remedy available in case of accidental or deliberate default there is no remedy available except through the ‘Dadas’.The private mail carriers, an institution which has come up recently, is also a good medium for the purpose. However, there are specific indications on the acceptance of a mail for carrying that the maximum liability of the carrier is restricted to a mere hundred rupees in case of delay or failure in delivery or even loss in transit. Consequently resort to these services for transfer of money is subdued. Moreover even the legal validity of the mail carrier service is also problematic as sometime ago the Department of Post Offices was thinking of these services as an encroachment on their monopoly of the carrier business. Besides this the charges for the mail carrier services are also quite high vis-à-vis the proverbial penny postage also acts as a deterrent to its use. The availing of these services is restricted more of less to business houses.

For money transfers banks, which are spread all over come in very handy. With their efficient internal mechanism they are in a position to effect transfer of money from one end of the country to another quite efficient and quick.

However, with the introduction of Mobiles and its quick spread all over was destined to help the talkers not only in having a heart-full of talks(if that is humanly possible) but also come in actually handy(which it certainly is) in helping the jaw-jaw with also not only making oral promises but also actual transfers of money.

Of all countries it is Kenya from the so called Dark Continent of Africa, has pioneered this movement. It is almost like magic. By clicking a few keys on your mobile phone ,money can be rapped from one part of Kenya to another in seconds. For city workers wanted to send money home to their villages formerly they had to queue up before banks for hours. Similarly town-dwellers even where the municipal dues and school fees could be paid through bank had to similarly queue up. No wonder this service is used by 95 lakh people or almost a quarter of Kenya’s GDP each year. The service is run by Safaricom.

However, this apparently frictionless transfer of money through air needs a good deal of backstage effort. The basic idea of his scheme known as M-PESA is that one lakh small retailers who sell mobile phone airtime (Scratch cards) can also register themselves to be mobile-money agents. taking in and paying out cash. Approximately twenty thousand retailed have signed dup as M-PESA agents.When a registered customer he has to exchange physical money for the virtual sort called ‘e-float’.The money is credited to his mobile-money account He can then transfer the money by his mobile.It can then be exchanged for cash by the recipient by visiting other agent.

It is quite simple enough for the customer but the agents, especially in cities where most transactions are deposits accumulate cash and risk running out of e-float. At that point they cannot take in any more deposits. On the other hand the agents in rural areas where most of the transactrions are withdrawals accumulate e-float and risk running out of cash. This necessitates the agents to manage their liquidity .by regularly swapping cash for e-floatd or vice versa. This involves visits to banks affiliated with Safaricom.. In fact the whole point of the system or systems like it is to reach where banks cannot. For this purpose the organization relies on intermediaries between agents and banks. Through their own networs these intermediaries take onmuch of the work of ferrying cash around the country.On an average each M-PESA agent now handles almost one hundred transactions every day.

Organisations like Safaricom have sprung up elsewhere.The biggest among them is MTN. It is rolling out such scheme in severalAfrican countries. In Uganda they have signed up almost 10 lakh users within almost a year. And the number may reach 20 lakhs by the end of this year.

The use of mobile phones in increasing by leaps and bound in India. Can we make a better use of it than just jaw-jaw as above?

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Indinan Rice but Foreign Dal

Can you relish such a recipe?

But is recipe you are destined to have in future if the recommendations of the Group of Ministers(GOP) are accepted. We will have rice with dal from Canada, Mynamar ,Australia and Argentina.. Of course you can take relief in the knowledge that these pulses are grown on land there taken on lease by and perhaps also tilled and cultivated by Indians. And believe me what is going to happen is that the ‘apne gharme banlo mal’ dal will go to the rich houses and you and me would have to do with the imported stuff and while gulping it down with water try to remain contented with this realisation .Perhaps even the GOP was feeling rather guilty making this recommendation and so have added that ‘Don’t we get oil from foreign wells for our cars.?” Conveniently overlooking that we do this for we do not have enough oil wells.
But we certainly have enough land and to spare! Even under pulses and not too long ago we have been exporting pulses. I remember around 1983 when tur dal was available at Rs. 3/- a kg. It was fetching Rs. 12/- a kg. in the Gulf and was being exported to it on a large scale. It did lead to an increase in domestic prices to Rs. 7/- a kg. which was rather high but , as they say, we ‘stomached it.’ Besides the Gulf countries the country also exported pulses to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan UAE and Nepal. In the year 2005-06 India's total exports stood 447.440 thousand tones.. However, subsequently exports were banned,
One of the major supply constraints in pulses is its stagnant acreage over the years. Limited availability of cultivable land, stagnation in cropping intensity due to no growth in irrigation facilities and depleting water resources, have relegated pulses to poor returns/yields. Thus, pulses have gained the status of residual crop during kharif sowing season.

Sluggish growth in yield of pulses over the years is another major reason behind the sluggish growth/stagnation in their production. Even during the green revolution period, the yield growth in pulses remained subdued as the focus was on the major crops like wheat, rice and oilseeds.

Consequently pulses acreage is restricted to relatively poor and rainfed land, which further inhibits yield growth. Thus pulses sowing takes place as a last resort due to lack of ideal conditions for other major crops like grains and oilseeds. The pulses are not an important crop for human consumption in the other major developed and some of the developing economies and are mainly used for animal feed purpose(You may remember that Yellow Mello Jowar(The Red Jowar) imported from Argentina in the Rationing Days was actually animal fodder there). The exports to overseas markets are limited. Thus, if the production of pulses in the largest producing nation dips, it becomes difficult for the global markets to fill up the gap.

Further, in the scenario of depleting water resources in the country, pulses hold a great promise, as they require relatively less water than other major crops. With growing competition among various crops for the available land, the farmers are ignoring the pulses due to their poor returns on lower. Following is the production of pulses in India.

The Normal area under pulses is 224.60 lakh ha including Kharif, Rabi and Summer. The area under pulses during Kharif season of 2008-09 is estimated at 88.44 lakh hectare which is 81.42% of normal Kharif area. However, prolonged rainy season in Kharif has brightened prospects of increased production of Rabi pulses. The contribution of Kharif and Rabi/Summer seasons to the normal production of pulses is 37% and 63% respectively.

The production of pulses has increased from 83.50 lakh tonnes in 1966-67 to 151.12 lakh tonnes in 2007-08.

Among the cultivation promotion schemes of the government include-
1. Integrated Scheme of Oileeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize (ISOPOM) in 14 major pulses growing State.

2. National Food Security Mission-Pulses launched in 2007-08 being implemented in 171 identified district of 14 major pulses growing States with objective to enhance production of pulses by 20.00 lakh tonnes by the 11th Five Year Plan.

3. Macro Management of Agriculture (MMA) Scheme which provides assistance to the States not covered under ISOPOM.

4. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) under which States can undertake Pulses Development Programme.

It will be seen from the above that :Pulses production , even if it does not need highly fertile soil and lots of water has been neglected in the ‘Grow More Food Campaigns. From depending on every fourth roti we ate at the time on American wheat we have attained the status of exporters of wheat. Since many an Indian are vegetarians, pulses provide a necessary food ingredient of their diet they cannot be deprived of access to pulses at affordable rates . This factor should be taken into account and a determined efforts need to be launched to increase indigenous production of pulses and make up for the lost time since the Green Revolution As I said our abject dependence on foreign imports of foodgrains had at one time created the impression that India will be permanently begging at other’s door for ‘roti’ but with determined efforts we not only overcame it but because positive exporters. It should not be difficult for us to repeat the feat in pulses depending entirely on our land and resources. If we could spend the Thirty Thousand Crores that we are annually incurring for imports of pulses not only would this sum remain within our own borders but also used for the welfare of our own people.

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The GOP recommendations are defeatist in nature and should be fought back.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tobacco as a Cosmetic!

Tobacco as a Cosmetic!

The name tobacco has become almost an anathema now-a-days. The cigarette, smoking of which had almost assumed a status symbol has now to be indulged in when nobody is looking on and that too pull up a few, quick smokes and ward of the evil smoke. This was also so initially for it was bad manners to smoke in the presence of the seniors. I remember my visit to a village head, a senor man who had fallen on evil days. His two junior brothers were sitting by. Suddenly one junior brother asked the elder to look the other way. Thinking that he was pointing out to something interesting I also turned my eyes in the same direction but did not find anything noteworthy. When I brought my eyes to the original position I found the two juniors having a smoke and the senior’s eyes still turned away. It was apparently an attempt to keep up appearances of honouring the elders.

I was associated with tobacco in my career not as a smoker but as a revenue officer collecting taxes on the produce. The proposal for levy of tax on tobacco was first mooted in 1924 but each succeeding Finance Minister has tried to avoid going in for it. The popular phrase going round the finance ministries at the time was NIMTOL(Not in my time, O Lord). The imposition and collection of a tax on tobaccowhich was the first unmanufactured product to be taxcd was a challenge and no finance minister dared to risk his reputation by resorting to the levy. However, will-nilly the government was forced to it during 1942 , in the middle of the WWII years. The fears of the finance ministers were not misplaced. To build up a record of tobacco grown and ensuring that it reaches the market and pays the tax before it goes into consumption was indeed a difficult job. As a field officer I was never sure that I have registered all tobacco growers spread over the villages and that the produce had reached the market from where it went into consumption after payment of the duty due.We were strictly advised that our interest in registering the crops was only statistical in nature but as usually happens this statistical interest deteriorated into an instrument of harassment of the farmers. The inevitable effect was that cultivation of tobacco went down. I remember that in the Marathwada the banks of the river in the Gangakhed Taluka were always green with tobacco cultivation but soon they disappeared and replaced by other crops having no tax implications. The abrupt abolition of this tax by Mr..Charansingh ,the then Prime Minister for ‘Aut Ghataka’ did free the farmer from the ‘statistical interest’ of government but in any case the consumption of tobacco has progressively tended to come down what with the adverse health effect, the looking down upon chewing of tobacco(and spitting all over) and the smoking of the deshi biris Cigarette smoking remained in the upper echelons of the society as it always was and its smoking taken up largely by some under the fond impression that they looked like members of that society had also tended to come down. The prohibition of cigarette advertisements and looking down upon showing smoking scenes in pictures has further helped to wean away the smokers. The smoking of cigarette ,especially by girls was at one time taken as a sign of social liberation but even this has tended to come down. Even a matinee idol like SRK has been openly criticised for stubbornly pulling at it. There are also suggestions of making the No Smoking messages on the cigarette packets more aggressive than just tame suggestion ‘Smoking in injurious to health’ are also in the air(Hope they do not end into to make)

While this is happening for the greatest good of the greatest numbers a better way is to find alternative uses of tobacco for tobacco is still a significant produce of India. As the smoking ban is there almost the world over the prospect of finding out export market for tobacco are not very encouraging. However, alternatives and more constructive uses for tobacco could be found. Scientists have made a beginning in this direction from Israel. They have developed a substance from the plant that they claim could be used for, of all things, beauty enhancement. So far smoking of cigarettes the way Rajnikant does was considered an inimitable way to attract attention but no, the scientists have found out a way to use it as a beauty product as it is. Prof. Oded Shoseyov of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem has succeeded in producing from tobacco plants a replica of human collagen—the main protein in skin,tendons,bone,cartilage and connective tissues. As we grow old this protein declines ,showing the effect in wrinkles that set in. Of course there are a number of beauty products which claim to help us to hide them but the new synthetic collagen which is currently being marketed for medical purposes such as bone and heart repairs may someday be used cosmetically.Then perhaps the use of tobacco by women will not be looked down upon.

Hope we are also undertaking such research in our universities. It will help protect the undulating tobacco fields. In any case initially tobacco cultivation had been undertaken in India (coming from America via Britain) was essentially for improving the quality of the soil. It had little, if any, commercial aspect. Fields used to be alternated between tobacco and grain crops, which ensured high yields. The cultivation of tobacco by itself had no marketing implications. With the demand for tobacco going down on account of the sustained campaign against smoking and other forms of tobacco consumption the discovery of an alternative and constructive use for tobacco may help the sagging tobacco plants in the fields.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Record Breakers

We frequently hear about somebody bringing this record or that record and that his name has been recorded in that years Guinness Book of World Records. Last year a 15 year boy has climbed the highest mountain peak –The Everest but this year two years’ his junior has achieved this feat.One wonder that a peak which was considered as unscalable by human till as late as 1953 has not only been captured but captured a number of times and not the peak or the bottom of it is this news as a child who has just touched the border of teenage has conquered it. The Everest must have bowed down not as an insult but with his head heavy with the pride of mankind which not only preserved this dream but also realized it again and again and again.

There are a few such records which remind us of the words of Hamlet,’ "What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals! " Hamlet quote (Act II, Sc. II).

The minimum thermometer reading of an woman Mary Davis of Wisconsin(America) was 60 degree Farenheit.

A British hospital recorded the temperature of a patient as 114. The patient was Christopher. And the recording was on 9.2.1924.

The weight of the brain of the famous Russian writer Evon Turgnevh was 4 Lbs.6.7 ozs.The average weight of human brain is 2 Lbs.13 oxs.

In 1854 Dr. W.Dirge refers to man with four eyes. The additional two eyes were located on his forehead(like the Third of Lord Shankar). He used to see things with all his four eyes.

Giants are there but giantesses are almost unheard of even in mythology.Even the wife of the 10 heaeded monster Ravan was an ordinary one headed woman of normal build.But there was one Flora Jex who weighed 840 the time of her death.

The the two ideal twins in the world were Bill and Brain.of Carolines(Caliphornia, America) One weighed 660 and another 640n pounds.

We say only Time is Two Faced-one in front and another at the back,looking to the future but also not losing sight of the past. One Englishman Edward had two faces similarly situated. But even though the face at the back was complete with eyes,nose and mouth . But while those eyes did have some vision the moutn could at most produce a sound of whistle. Good thing ,we may say, it saved him from double talk.

You may have come across people who are almost always yawning and yawning loudly. It need not necessarily mean they are tired or bored but is a malady.In 1888 there was a girl aged 15 which always yawned.. One such yawn actually lasted for five weeks.

The bonniest child ever born was Ellis How ,born on Ocvtober 12,1969.When he was just two years old he weighed 50 pounds and was 35.75 inches in circumference.

Dr.White says that one man had 13 fingers in each hand and 12 in each foot.

On 10th March 1967 a woman Maria Tery gave birth to eight babies in one birth. Their combined weight was nine and a half pounds. This is the only instance whtn so many children were delivered in one delivery.

Norway’s Heiss Langth has the longest beard—17-odd feet long.There was a competetor Rochard Litter whose beard
was six inches longer.But it is not as much thick.

A slim waist is a sign of beauty.The French actress Mali Polari. She has just a suggestion of waist—hardly13 inches.She was related to the French Court.

Luria Jebart of Mexico was the lightest living individual.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ganga will follow Saraswati

There was perhaps a time in ancient past when Ganga was not there. Whether the legend of King Bhagirath who is credited with having brought the Ganga on the earth from the heavens is just myth is not sure. One version depends on the fact that Ganga appears very late in the Vedas. It is quite possible that until the Aryas reached in its precincts they were ignorant about its existence. When their eyes first fell on the it and its sweep they thought that it was a blessing from the Heaven. Perhaps the Bhagirath branch of the Aryas was the first to cast its eyes on Ganga and he was given due credit for it by crediting him with having brought it from the Heavens in the story of Descent of Ganga.A yet another none the less romantic possibility the plains of North India were initially dull and dry as there was no water source to wet them. King Bhagirath diverted the flow of Ganga from its Northwards direction(into Tibet) to Southward into India.
The myth that Ganga was the daughter of Bhagirath (Hence the name Bharathi) suggests that.The invocation of celestial help in absorbing the initial force of the torrent was an oblique compliment to the tremendousness of the effort . The well chiseled look of the georges through which Ganga comes down the Himalayas may pardon the conjecture that it was human effort which brought the Gange flowing into the North to the South. The sole credit given to the Bhagirath for the descendance of Ganga on the earth would therefore, an appropriate . However, a closer look at the gorges would show that their smoothness is perhaps the result of water flowing through them through ages mellowing the rocks. Leaving aside the fact that engineering might not have attained those heights in those days it has to be conceded that is a distinct possibility within the reach of human efforts when we hear the present tales of diversion of the Brahmputra and even Ganges by China to water their fields.
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However, whether Ganga was a godsend or an outcome of human efforts one thing appears to be clear that it is human negligence and misuse or overexploitation that will make Ganga, at least in the present life-giving form, disappear.’ Even before China lifts its hands on stemming its Southward flow and make it Uttarwahini.This distinct possibility has been predicted in the Puranas in an oblique way. It is said that in the Kali Yug the Ganges would lose its sin-destroying (Aghnashan) property. The waters which at one time were considered so powerful that just taking one dip in it destroyed all our sins is progressively(or rather regressively) ‘dis’credited with the distinct possibility that the dip may earn skin or even more infections . Quite apart from its much-extolled name ‘aghanashini’(destroyer of sins) it did and does have distinct possibility of remaining pure over a long time. In earlier times world sea farers who had to remain on the seas for long stretches gratefully acknowledged the property of the Ganga waters to remain pure almost indefinitely. The waters could be straightway drunk even after long storage on the ships ,without the need of boiling them first, a property no other river water had.

While Bhagirath brought it for us all the way—may be from Heaven or the Himalayas- we have proved ourselves unworthy of being called his successors. The purification property of the waters have been stretched far, too far. While it was quite reasonable to expect it to clean our bodies to stretch it to washing our sins which though actually committed through the agency of the body were essentially the dictates of a diseased mind. The concept was conveniently stretched to cleaning our sins and not only crmations of bodies occurred on its banks but the idea was further extended ludicrously to purity ourselves of all sins by actually being drowned it it.(Jal Samadhi). No just common men but even kings and sadhus considered drowning oneself in the waters as seeking exemption from all the bodily sins. This further deteriorated to cremating the bodies only perfunctorily on the banks and throwing the half-burnt bodies in the running waters and believing that it would take care of burning out all the sins committed by the bodies. The sight of half-burnt human bodies coming down with the current presents such a disgusting spectacle and throws poor light on our consideration on our departed dear ones, we who did not arrange a decent cremation or burial of the departed ones.The pollution of the water was a side effect of our callousness. Is it that we ourselves are working overtime to bring to fruition the ancient curse that sooner or later, sooner rather than latter, the Ganga will lose its unique property of obtaining absolution from sins for us?

Not only but many other rivers which also were commonly called Ganga are regressively losing their purification properties. During the last half a century there has been a fall of 20 percent in the Ganga flow.There is every indication that this rate is going to increase in the coming years. At this rate Ganga will dry up completely in the next fifty years.If China goes on with its efforts for diversion of the Ganga at source this may come about much earlier. Ganga which came all the way from the Heavens on account of solicitation for us will willy-nilly not be any more able to oblige us because where in its first fall from the heaven it got entangled in the flowing hairs of Lord Shankar this time it may be stemmed by the Chinese. In any case, why should it take to descend again looking to the insult we have heaped upon her so far? Never mind if our sins are not washed away her drying up will the Ganga holding back itself will devastate the over 300 millions human population living on its banks not to count the unaccountable countless fish, tortoises,crocodiles and other water animals and dry up the green forests on its banks.

Bhagirath has done his job may be not for us but for the emancipation of his ancestors from the curse of the sage . We are the incidental beneficiaries of this bounty. Perhaps if the descent of Ganga was actually brought about by the king employing labour to chsel a way for Ganga through the Himalayas it is all the moiré necessary for us to save Ganga if the labours of the countless labourers which might have been employed and worked on the job.The saving of Ganga will be our silent tribute to those generations of labourers who had worked on the Herculean job.

Are we really descendents of those indefatigable generations of labourers?
If we are not Ganga will one day hide herself like Saraswati and we would be looking for us for generations. In fact, as people have increasingly lost hope of finding Saraswati and have almost given it up putting it down as just a dream we may find ‘learned’ people among us arguing that Ganga never existed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. Without it, your business will wither and die regardless of how many sales you've made or how much money is owed to you.
Cash flow represents the amount of money coming in to your business through services rendered and products sold, and money going out to cover expenses and production costs.
Your primary responsibility as a business owner is to ensure the flow is consistent with more money coming in than going out so a pool starts to form to hold the overflow. This overflow is what allows you to make early payments so you can benefit from vendor discounts, to take advantage of special deals, capitalize on newfound opportunities, and easily cover unexpected emergencies. As soon as cash flow fails to produce the surplus funds you need, challenges arise and stress and overwhelm quickly follow.
Integrate these seven simple rules to your operating strategies and enjoy the benefits of a steadily growing cash pool.
1. Request payment prior to delivering your product or service.
If your service is delivered over an extended period of time and asking for a one-time payment in advance isn't realistic, divide the payment into segments and request payment in advance of each new time frame.
For example, if you provide weekly house cleaning, consider requesting payment at the beginning of each month in advance of providing your services - or suggest three or six months payment in advance and offer a discount as an incentive. A mere 10 percent discount over a three-month period could put an extra $100 or more into your client's pocket. Many will jump at that deal.
2. Pay every bill on time to avoid late payment charges and earlier only if special payment discounts apply.
As a hair stylist working primarily with cancer patients, imagine spending one thousand dollars a month on wigs. If the supplier offers 2/10, net 30 as payment terms, you will save two percent by paying your invoice within ten days. That might only be $20, but over a year, it adds up to $240.
Take advantage of this incentive with every supplier that offers it and you could keep thousands of dollars in your business that you would otherwise have spent.
3. Deposit payments as soon as you receive them.
Instead of making one or two trips to the bank each month, make them daily or weekly. Letting checks lie around increases the risk of loss. Also, go to a teller when making your deposit. Using an ATM machine removes any evidence you deposited real cash or checks. An employee or technical error or internal theft could create problems you simply don't need.
4. Use a business credit card whenever possible for travel, meals, and minor expenses.
This leaves more cash in your hands and defers payment. Using a card that awards travel miles also helps you cut future travel costs. I've enjoyed cruises and free flights to business conferences thanks to air miles.
5. Create continuity sales.
Build a product or service into your business that your client could use on a continual basis. For example, if you run a bookkeeping business and your clients struggle with cash flow, recommend bank reconciliation services every month.
Many clients hand a box of receipts to their bookkeeper at the end of each year and cross their fingers hoping they did well. Helping your clients understand exactly where they are each and every month is an exceptional service that many will jump at. One client at $30 a month would give you $360. Ten clients at the same amount, paid in advance would give you $3,600 cash at the start of the year.
6. Create something that allows you to do the work once, but profit from over and over again.
For example, many of today's business owners are creating e-books (electronic books) and audio recordings sharing valuable tips, information and knowledge that improve the health, happiness and prosperity of others.
Selling electronic products online removes production costs and provides a steady flow of funds into your business.
7. Invest your overflow.
Once you have built a comfortable overflow, consider investing some of it to make it grow even faster for you. Letting a large sum of money sit in your bank account does nothing to accelerate growth. Talk to an investment professional and find out how you can make that money work for you.

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Start with these seven simple rules and get creative. Brainstorm ideas for special offers, continuity programs, passive revenue streams and investment possibilities.
Get input from professionals, mastermind members and your coach.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Lion Roars again

Gujrath has left the adverse past of the comunal riots far behind and has forged ahread. Even if the some dismal tones of the dirge do linger these are increasingly getting faint and fainter. It is emerging as a premier state in India Its per capita income was the highest of all states in the last year.However, its most remarkable recent achievment is the devoted attention it has bestowed on the preservation of its forest legacy—the lion.

India is the only country in Asia which has given refuge and rehabilitation to the lion—The Asiatic Lion. The Asiatic Lions once ranged from the Mediterranean to the north-east India but excessive hunting, water pollution and decline in natural prey reduced its habitat. Historically, Asiatic lions were classified into three kinds – Bengal, Arabian and Persian lions. Asiatic lion are smaller and lighter than their African counterparts, but are equally aggressive.. This Lion (Panthera leo persica) now survives only in India in the Gir Forest ofGujarat,

The Tiger has been now assigned the status of the national animal of India. But in the past people had proudly associated themselves with lion . A brave man was called “brave as lion’ . Many communitie4s e.g. Sikhs proudly bore called themselves Lions affixing ‘Sing’(Simha) after their invididual names.The Gir Forest which is the abode of the Asiatic lion fell within the erstwhile Junagadh State. The Nawab had maintained a large Lion House(Sinha Griha) in the capital . It was a great puller of foreign tourists to the State. After Partition Junagarh which was coveed by the terrotories of India on all sides was reaonably speaking required to merge with India. But the Nawab who was a Muslim took advantage of the freedom available to rules of the Indian States to merge with any of the two parts in which India was partititioned. He signed an Instrument of Accession to Pakistan and so within the terms of the orders Junagadh would have become a part of Pakistan surrounded on all sides by Indian Territory. This would have created an impossible situztion Pakistan in time demand an access route for itself through the Indian territory to Junagadh. However, the subjects of the state who were mostly Hindus conducted big demonstrrations against the Nawab. Seeing the vile mood of the prople the Nawab quite ran to Pakistan and dies there. For a long time Junagadh continued to be shown as part of Pakistan and Pakistan every now and then raising this issue in mutual discussions and international forums. That way Mr Bhutto who was then P.M. of Pakistan had also laid a claim toi the Portuguese Colonies in India which subsequently merged with India after the Portuguese were driven out. For some time these places were referred to as Portuguese Pakistan and shown as such in Pakistani maps but all these legal fictions quitely died their own deaths in time.

A very interesting episode of the time when Junagadh was captured by its subjects for India relates to the Sinha Griha. The subjects were prodominantly Jains who believed in non-violence.When the question of feeding the lions cropped upsome strongly religious persons suggested that they should consider steps to feed them on vegetarian dietrs. The outcome need hardly be told. The lions literally took the Sinha Griha on their heads roaring for food.

However, better sense prevailed in due course.and the Lion Houses and also the Gir Forests were well looked after.with the result that the number of lions increased, their sex ration got better, the beasts became healthy and prospered in Gujrath. Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Mody recently declared the latest census of the beasts there which strands at 411, an increase of half a century over the last count taken four years ago in 2005.

A still more encouraging sign is that the lion refuses to stay in the sanctuary. Contrary to the original thinking it has been observed that it has slowly but surely extened its claim to more territory.As many as 33 big cats were observed 250 kms away .in the semi forest areas of Palitana and Bhavnagar. More than 74 lions are now roaming outside the sancuary and near human habitation areas. These areas are fast becoming the new habitats of the big cat. Cioastal areas of Rajula and Jafrabad in Amreli have also recorded sizeable population of the big cats

The sexual ration of the lion population is also quite enoouraging There are 97 males for 162 females. A lion is propervially considered to be a non-believer in monogamy as the Sanskrit appellation ‘bahubharya kesari’ for a lkon suggests. The population has also a high proportion of the young cubs(77 ages less than a year)There are other 75 or more fakkubg ub syv-adykt categirty ( 1 –3 years)The maximum number of lions—297—were found in the Gir National Park and it’s adjoining areas.

Mention has already made of the increasingly favourable sex ration.the proportion this year has gone up to l.67 females for one male which is an improvement over the previous ratioo of l.2:l. . Mr. Mody made a pithy observation that we should draw a lesson from them to ensure a fair male to female ration among humans which seems to have become rather askewed of late.Gujrath has established a new abaode in 2007 at Girnar and the lions seem to like it as already 24 beasts have made it their home.

What is more satisfying to note that the local people have also become used and grown fond of the lions. Despite the fact that the roaming beasts kill their cattle the locals donot mind it .They now consider the lions as part of their own families.They defiantly rejected any proposal to give some of these lions to the neighbouring Madhy Pradesh for its forests. There has been an unfortunate poaching incident in the Gir in 2007.The locals blame themselves for this ascribing it to their own failure to take good care of their family members.

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May be it is too early to persuade the locals to let the Sinha Raja to roam and reclaim his Asiatic title reclaiming the Meditarenean area and the North East India. .

Masterpieces before empty theatres

The story of Yama and his sister Yami in the Vedas shows that the earth was then flat and moreover there was no division of time between night and day. The gods must indeed have been happy then. They could switch it on the TV and watch the Tests between Gods XI vs Rakshas XI. and cheer or boo suitably. Don’t know what drove them to make the earth round leading to the division of time between day and night. But it does appear that, at least in the immediate aftermath of this switchover the days stretched long ,even for six months continuously and then followed by night .

The omniscient gods did not know or foresee what they were doing. For some temporary exigency they disturbed the entire time-schedule and the face of the earth.

Look to the time schedule of the T-20 world cup cricket matches just started.

India and Shri Lanka Opening Match --- --- 10-30 p.m.

Second Match… … … … … 02-30 a.m.

Other matches

First match… … 7-00 p..m.

Second match…. 11-00 p.m.

Afghanistan Opening Match… … 9.30 p.m.

Second Match… …. 1.30 a,m

So on and so on. The schedule in depressing. Of the 12 countries participating the times of 7 of them do not tally with those of West Indies. It includes India. Besides Afghanistan the broadcasting time of India, Pakistan, Shri Lanka, Bangladesh,Afghanistan,besides New Zeland and Australia is so odd that in most of them the tv audience would be conspicuous by its absence. As regards the opening matches while people of one of the playing team would be preparing to retire for the night while in other they would have just got up and rubbing their eyes.

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While it is all right to say that no matter whether they is cheering crowd(in the stadium or before tvs the world over) is there or not the players must put for the their best performance. So they would. But it would be like the lifeless recitations of eminent actors playing before empty theatres. Of course perhaps the cricket grounds of the respective countries where the matches are being played would be crowded they are just an infinitesimal part of the world audience crowing before their respective tv sets.

Even god after creating the universe working overtime for a week had to have Adam and Eve to appreciate his workmanship.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sandhaan or Sandan dari

Hey Friends,

Recently we had been to Sandhaan or Saandan Dari. Saandhan is a natural valley formed which is 3 ft to 20 ft in width, 50 -70 ft in height and 1-1.5 Kms long.

Its just next to Ratanwadi, the famous village which hoasts fort Ratangad, near Bhandardara.

To reach more do read this ..

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Racial Attack Down Under

“The hysteria in the Indian Press last year about racial attacks on Indians there has almost subsided now. Now a little more balanced reaction is seen. Perhaps one reason for this is that some of these attacks were found to have been by their own compatriots. These were the outcome of ulterior motives or as observed in one case due to a sudden brainwave.

Besides this similar attack on other nationalities has challenged the presumption that all Australians are racial. Recently handicapped Canadian and Scottish travelers were attacked. Thus, if Whites are also at the receiving end it seems that the Australian stree gangs believe in equal treatment to all even in violence. It is also clear that no specific, racial reason was found in the attacks on Indians. These were just criminal acts. There were many different social factors behind the attacks on the Indian students. However, we did not miss any opportunity of branding the Australian Authorities as accused as it created an impression that we were innocent lambs. In fact, we earnestly desired that the attacks should prove racial as it provides an opportunity of presenting them as strife between Good and Evil.

Of course this does not repeat not mean that Indians living overseas do not have to face racial prejudices. But we tend to present these attacks as an attack on India as such.. However, we prefer to observe diplomatic silence on partialities on the ground of religion, caste, language.

.One unfortunate aspect of such imaginary tales of racial attacks is that it deadens our sensitivities towards other aspects of prejudices which our compatriots have to suffer overseas. Just a fortnight ago an Indian lady Miss Rashmika Patel, 44 won a civil case of sexual harassment against her employer. However, there was not the slightest mention about this victory of hers anywhere in the Indian Press. A similar other instance of just last fortnight relates to an Indian settled in Hongkong. This Indian Mr. Baldev Singh was at the receiving end of physical torture last year at the hands of the Police there. He was charged with drinking and also fighting with officers. However, he was finally absolved of all the charges and he has filed a counter case of harassment against the officers.

This only goes to prove that the harassed overseas Indians also receive better legal relief that he may perhaps not get here in India. In spite of such adverse experiences many an Indian prefer to settle down overseas for a better life. “

Honestly, when I read about the ‘racial’ attacks on Indian in Australia I was also prejudiced. The assurances by the Prime Minister there really did not convince me. I had advised some of my Indian friends and relatives studying and working there to come back to Home, Sweet Home. The assured me that there was no cause for panic. Even if Australia did follow a White Australia policy before WWII after that it is slowly moving towards Asia and is taking more interest in Asian Affairs.
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