Archive for September, 2009

High handedness of the trade unions

Trade unions in India, especially those attached to the leftist parties, are getting more and more militant. Gone are the days when they resorted to indefinite strikes at the drop of a hat. Now, it is “direct action” under the cover of strike. For an outsider, it is the usual stuff. Slogan shouting employees holding their flags could be seen in front of the factory gate. From their placards, you can see what their demands are but the real show takes place some where else. They have their own henchmen who would “deal” with those concerned.

The political parties who support these trade unions are not in the least worried about the fate of the poor, especially of the students who are forced to visit the government offices several times to get a caste or an income certificate. But, at the same time those with money and muscle power get a royal treatment from the very same government employees.

By being militant in their approach, the trade unions are undermining the job opportunities created by private companies.

Chandrayan and the moon

Oh Moon, you are bright and cool

For a day or two

Then you become smaller by the day

But you take it lightly and smile

Before plunging the earth in darkness

Only to resurrect yourself

And in a day or two you appear

With a baby smile and you become bigger

Bigger and brighter till we on earth say

“Its full moon bright and cool!”

It has been so for centuries

And it will be so forever

Your life itself is a lesson

Or an example of ups and downs

How come you are always clean

I used to wonder

How on earth do you wash yourself

When it is bone dry over there?

But now the puzzle is over

Chandrayan-I has solved it

Now that it has detected water on your surface.

NO JOKES PLEASE!

In India, you have to be very careful about your words and phrases; more so, when you crack an innocent joke. If you happen to be a minister or an MP, make sure that you don’t deviate from your subject, especially when you are addressing a press conference. “So, you traveled in cattle class?”, a reporter may ask you and without any ill-feeling you might say ‘Yeah, in a cattle class… I was among the holy cows”, An innocent joke, no doubt. But you are doomed. Very soon the joke is depicted as an insult to the poor and your rivals take full advantage of the confusion. If you are smart enough, you will apologise and save your skin. If you try to explain, the air will be thick with demands for your resignation.

The crux of the matter is that you have to be matter-of-fact when you are talking about certain castes or the poor. At the same time, you have nothing to fear when you are talking about the so-called upper castes. You can crack any jokes or even insult them. No one will raise any noise, not even the affected person.

Rahul – on a healthy mission

Though it appeared that the impact of the global economic slump was negligible in India, there is enough indication that things are not all that rosy. To begin with, the country’s export front suffered a setback and this was followed by food shortage resulting from monsoon failure. The prices of essential commodities also began to shoot up. Right now, there seems to be no worthwhile plan to over come the situation, but the congress-led government has imposed some austerity measures on its members to cut down expenditure. All MPs and ministers have been advised to travel in economy class or by train. Of course, the opposition leaders have been making some sarcastic comments about this idea, not realizing that these MPs and Ministers were setting an example. Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the youth wing of the congress party has become the target of certain leading Newspapers in India. Of late, he has been visiting places and contacting thousands of youngsters in order to enlist their active participation so as to make the party vibrant and strong. These Newspapers were especially critical of the exorbitant travel expenditure incurred by the youth congress in connection with his flying visit to a southern state recently. Of course, it may appear to be a bit too much in view of the austerity measures announced by the party. But if we are to take into account the purpose of his visit and its likely effect on thousands of youngsters, it will far outweigh the seemingly huge expenditure. The country can not afford to have umpteen parties and the uncertainties of the coalition set up. As such, Rahul, Sonia or Advani cannot sit at home to avoid “Unnecessary” expenditure. It will be ideal if we have just two or three parties and towards this end, people like Rahul have a great role to play.

The plight of Indian students in Australia

India and Australia are friendly countries and quite a few Indians, mostly university students are there in Australia. It was cricket, in spite of occasional sledging by Aussie players, which brought the two countries together. But now it is Indian students, in pursuit of higher studies who are making their presence felt.

But things took a dangerous turn when there was a series of brutal attacks on Indian students by some unsocial elements (some say the attackers are racists-may be because they used to make some racist comments after every attack). If by any chance they are racists let them realize the fact that it is not the color of one’s skin which makes one superior or inferior but one’s culture. What prompts a person to attack someone without any provocation is the animal instinct in that person. So friends, you will be judged not by the color of your skin but by the purity of your heart or your culture.

Climate change

What’s climate change Dad?

The son asked when it looked bad

Ask your Mom I am busy

He is not busy but very lazy

Said the Mom and hugged the Son

I will tell you if you promise not to run

I won’t run but I must have some fun

No fun when I talk about moon and sun

Ok, your time starts now

The son ordered. Here and now

The Mom began..you want rain

But it won’t rain and you wait in vain

I don’t get you complained the son

Now listen and don’t jump the gun

It is like this…there will be summer

And the winter too, but it will come when it should be summer

That means if winter comes…..the son ran off saying….

If grandma is mad

Can Mom be wise?

In India, almost all the political parties are of the view that the country should accord top priority to end the terrorist menace caused by religious and political extremists. They have indeed coordinated the services of all concerned towards this purpose, but the trouble arises when they implement their plans. When a trap is laid to hook the culprit, someone at the top applies a break saying that it will affect our secular image. Sometimes it looks like a football match. The players smartly pass on the ball from one to the other overcoming all sorts of obstacles and just when one of them is all set to score the goal the referee blows the long whistle to indicate a foul (the replay would show that there was no foul). The name of the game is political rivalry which eclipses everything else. If the state concerned is Gujarat you would hear the long whistle of the referee off and on.

Mr. Obama’s hero

I was on cloud nine when Mr. Obama said that the Mahatma was his hero. Of course, Gandhi happens to be the hero of millions in India and of many outside India as well. But when it comes from Obama who is himself a hero the effect is manifold.

In fact, Mr. Obama said this when he was chatting with some school children. One of them asked Mr.Obama if he could have dinner anyone dead or alive whom it would be. Many names seems to have flashed across his mind but in a jiffy he chose the best among them and it was none other than Gandhi, “who is a real hero of mine”.

It is a far cry from being an admirer of Gandhi and to be a Gandhian because you have to walk a long distance without deviating from his tough principles like truth and non-violence. But when someone like Mr.Obama says his real hero is Gandhi it could mean that he is envisaging a world free from violence and hatred. Anyway let us hope that here is a Gandhi or an Abraham Lincoln in the making.

An answer to Jaswant Singh’s gimmicks

Jaswant Singh’s controversial book on Jinnah continues to make noise in India. Now the noise is not so much on whether or not Jinnah was responsible for India’s partition but on the decision of the Gujarat Government to ban this book. Of course, the ban order was struck down by the court. The banning of a book in a state would not have served any purpose because it is available elsewhere in India. Apart from that it will tempt even ordinary people to read it out of curiosity. Those who write and publish such books know very well that their books will be an immediate hit if the facts are twisted. Anyway, here is a piece from another book to call Jaswant’s bluff. The title of this book is “The shadow of the great game: The untold story of India’s partition” written by Narendra Singh Sarila. “….Col. Elahi Bakshi, Jinnah’s doctor heard a sick quid-E-Azam [Jinnah] mumble in August-September 1948, ‘I have made it [Pakistan] but I am convinced that I have committed the greatest blunder of my life’ ”

Off they go, bag and baggage

They know not where

It’s bye-bye to the lands they loved

And the houses they lived.

They make a beeline at the Bus stands.

Or at the Railway stations

Most likely to unknown destinations

And surely not to toil in Paddy fields

But to carry bricks and mortar in urban lands

Back home they were tormented……

By monsoon failure, crop failure and loan repayments

Something will be done

Something will be done

Assured the politicians and officials…..

To hell with your promises

The villagers shouted and off they go

In search of greener pastures.