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.

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