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B k chowla 30/11/09

26/11: Not just tokenism for aam admi from Maha

As almost always, it is the neglected, away-from-the-limelight aam admi from Bharat who has, without being asked by anyone, gone beyond tokenism after 26/11.

While well-heeled, media-conscious Indians have limited the show of their solidarity with those who died by lighting candles and holding peace marches, prayer meetings and TV studio debates, immediately after the attack and to mark its first anniversary, the aam admi of Maharashtra has come forward to take the bullets on his chest, if necessary.

The number of persons volunteering to serve in the military has doubled in Maharashtra. In 2007, there were around 2000 recruits. This year over 5000 have already been recruited, the second largest among states. Volunteers have been lining up selection centres across the state.

Any surprise that this jump in recruitments is for jawans, not officers?

Whose Cost, whose benefit ? The Education business

The ministry of HRD, needs to decide which Human Resources it is supposed to develop.

Primary education for rural children is in the doldrums. Absentee-teachers account for about 15 per cent in Gujarat , 39 per cent in Bihar. In villages, one single room accomodates several classes, there are no benches to sit, and blackboards are often missing.

Maharashtra alone had such 8.1 lakh illiterate students in 2004-05; Mumbai had some 48,000 such cases. In Mumbai, most of the girls drop out from school at puberty, since they have no privacy because the toilets are just not there .

Today, the HRD Ministry announced setting up of one more IIT in, of all places, Qatar.

The Indian child’s right to Education , or the country in the Business of Education abroad.

What’s more important ?

You decide.

A Bank For Underprivileged Working Children

In 2004, two NGOs helped two dozen children in Chaturbhuj Sthan, a red-light area in Muzaffarpur, in Bihar, set up their own bank-the Bal Vikas Khajana.

The children holding accounts at this bank are rag-pickers, helpers at tea-stalls, or those who sell their ware at traffic intersections. They deposit anything between Rs. 5 and Rs. 50 to earn simple interest every three months. They can also get loans.

'Today, the bank has branches in two other districts—Sitamarhi and Bettiah—and these banks have over 1,200 accounts and over Rs 25 lakh in deposits.'

Mahila Vikas Kendra's Programme Manager, Abdul Rahim says- "The government may have laws to stop child labour, but in reality a lot of children have to work to support their families."

This bank encourages such children to save.

The other cheek please!

This week was spent glued to news channels featuring stories of those affected by the terror attack in Mumbai on 26/11.

Barkha Dutt interviewed Home Minister Chidambaram who emphasised that violence of any form must not be tolerated. But when someone asked him why he was not taking action against the Naxals who had attacked policemen, he calmly explained that they were Indians too, and India being the land of Mahatma Gandhi, it was not right to attack Naxals. Barkha quickly pointed out that Gandhiji would have been at the spot speaking to both factions and demanding peace! Chidambaram, of course, did not offer his other cheek; he simply said: "I am not Mahatma Gandhi".

It is at such moments we realise how much we miss a Gandhi who can get warring factions to talk and avoid meaningless violence.

She dumped son for love, only to lose both

Sometimes love can make a person strangely selfish, cruel and heartless too.

Seema, a bar girl, fell in love with Avdhoot Ghule a couple of years back. When he proposed to her, against his family's wishes, she said 'yes'. But there was a big problem: a nine year-old son, Rahul, about whom she had not told him. .

So, she tried to strangulate Rahul, but lost nerve. After a few days, she took him for a treat and, while he was eating pani puri, deserted him. Within a few hours, she married Ghule.

The police picked up Rahul, who did not know where he lived, worked painstakingly and finally traced his mother.

Ghule refuses to see Seema and Rahul has been sent to a children's home. She chose to lose son to get love, but now has lost both.

Mumbai Railway Commuters' Initiative Against Terror

A group of 250 or so Mumbai citizens- regular Central Railway Commuters- have come together to form the 'My Mumbai Brigade'. They intend to act as informers for the Government Railway Police, if they see anything suspicious while travelling on the trains.

After the attack we were angry and wanted to contribute in some way. Since we commute daily, we thought of offering the police and the railways our help in security,” says Shashikant Deshmukh who works at Mazgaon dock and lives in Panvel.

Retired serviceman Bajirao Thokal, one of the founders of the group says, " A man like Kasab should ideally have been stopped right at Macchimar Colony, but he walked into our city and killed people."

Mumbai, and other cities in India could do with more citizens like these- ready to help actively in the fight against terror.

26/11 martyr's family shames the corrupt, does India proud

As India remembers those who lost their lives during 26/11, the family of a cop who was martyred has done something which should make India proud.

Vaishali Ombale, daughter of ASI Tukaram Ombale, has declined aid of Rs 8 lakh, on the advise of her mother that her father's soul will not be in peace if she accepted it.

Earlier too, the Ombales had refused to accept donations collected by students of Rayat Sikshan Sanstha in Solapur. Instead, Mrs Ombale added her own contribution and donated it back to the school.

Says Vaishali, “Had the money being donated to us...been used to purchase arms and ammunition, lives of a few policemen could have been saved.”

Will these words shame the corrupt who can't see beyond their pockets, including those who bought the missing bullet-proof vests that let bullets through?










Sex in sanctum sanctorum of Kancheepuram temple

A 36-year old priest of the Machaesa Perumal Temple in the pilgrim town of Kancheepuram has been arrested for having sex with women inside the sanctum sanctorum.

The shocking behaviour of the priest came to light when he gave his mobile, in which he had recorded his escapades in MMS format in 19 files running into 90 minutes, for repairs. These have become a rage among some people and are even available on the net.

Devanathan, a father of two, used to entice women who came alone to enter the sanctum and then seduce them. Those who fell for his charms got preference over others for puja.

In an unrelated nation wide study, NGO Gram Niyojana Kendra has found that pilgrim centres are becoming a growing hub for sex tourism, after major cities and places for sightseeing.

The five pillars that MM Singh will uphold

While searching the net to know the significance of MM Singh’s US visit, I landed on this page and the supposed five-pillars.

1.Strategic cooperation that includes arms sales, joint military exercises and cooperation in combating maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia. (American companies are competing for contracts worth up to $18bn)

2. Energy and climate change(India currently emits about 4% of the world’s greenhouse gases)

3.Economics, trade and agriculture.(Two-way trade with India was about $5 bn -1990, rose to $14 bn-200,nearly $50 bn-2008, according to U.S. trade statistics.)
4.Cooperation in education (higher education sector will open up to greater foreign investment)

5.Cooperation in science and technology($30 million science and technology endowment to be used for joint r&d, innovation, and commercialization.)

Hopefully we shall also hear MM Singh say that Pakistan needs to stop exporting terror etc..

Chor chor zindabad

If you are into kidnapping, extortion, attempting to murder, or even "pure" murder, all is not lost. You have a very "productive" career ahead of you as a candidate for elections in Jharkhand, supposed to take place on 25th.

Out of a total of 470 candidates, 370 have been checked out by the National Election Watch, and 108 candidates have criminal backgrounds.

27 candidates have declared assets of more than 1 crore. 168 candidates have not provided PAN card details, and by logic, their tax payment details .

Why were they allowed to contest ?

A retired peon I know was refused the facility of a bank account because he didn't have a PAN card. (The bank did not inform him about the form 60 alternative)

Is being a criminal a necessary electoral qualification ?

India's pyrotechnics capital adds an 'a' to improve safety!

Sivakasi, the pyrotechnics capital of India, will soon become Sivakaasi.

Several firecracker units in this town have been suffering accidents, prompting soothsayers to suggest that the adding of an 'a' to its name – remember how Jayalalitha became Jayalalithaa? - will ward off “the evil eye.”

Municipal vice-chairman AMSG Ashokan of the Congress is convinced and the 33-member municipal council has also unanimously passed a resolution accordingly.

As per Chaldean numerology, the present name adds up to 18, a fiery number of Mars. The change will make it 19, a powerful number.

One would have thought that with 90% of India's firecrackers and 80% of its safety matches being produced here in over 8000 factories, more attention would have been paid to improving safety standards.

But, what the hell, a change of name doesn't cost a paisa!

Buying of innocence

The Congress wants the BCCI to lift the ban imposed on past Indian Cricket Captain, and match-fixing accused (in 2000) Mohammed Azaruddin. His becoming an MP from Moradabad has suddenly made him whiter than white. The membership of Parliament confers lots of benefits, often misused, but it is not clear if absolving someone of guilt, even when cases against him are on in courts , is one of them.

In the meanwhile The National Election Watch has declared that 28.60 % of our MP's have a criminal background, and this percentage is up 19.5% from the last Lok Sabha constituted in 2004.

Will this cause a rush of criminal MP's on their way to sainthood ? Only time and Someone in Delhi can tell .

Don't watch this space.

One id, many tricks.....

A Collector in Andhra Pradesh,has ordered an enquiry into the issuing of a ration Card in the name of Mahatma Gandhi, with his picture, age 65, and listing the father’s name as Godsay. And a fictitious address. Bogus ration cards earlier have been routinely issued there in the names of filmstars, politicians, sportsstars, with a woman Laxmi acquiring one with a photo of Sania Mirza.

Kripashankar Singh, Maharashtra ex Minister connected to Madhu Koda scam (his name appears in the confiscatedaccount books) , has two PAN cards, which is illegal.

Nandan Nilekani says 600 million citizens will get UID cards by 2014.

The objectives are excellent. Problem is the supervision, and morals of some.

Machines may have integrity.How to ensure that people do ?

The mind boggles at the possibilities of scams and bogus happenings…..

Ponds help Odisha farmers get bumper crop

A group of farmers in Odisha have turned an arid drought-prone area into one of plenty. Not due to any steps taken by the government but thanks to a training program being conducted by an NGO, Manav Adhikar Seva Samiti, where farmers are taught to conserve water and minimise impact on groundwater by harvesting rainwater in small man-made ponds.

22 ponds have already been made by farmers and these have proved to be very cost-effective. Despite deficient and erratic rainfall, the results are encouraging.

Sitaram Majhi used to migrate to Hyderabad to work. Now he grows vegetables in his 8-acre farm. For Tulsi Amar, another migrant labourer, who has taken to organic farming because he could not afford fertilisers, the results have been dramatic. He grows 20 types of vegetables.

More such self-help efforts need to be encouraged.


Koda is being called the biggest scam master of our times.

As per reports, Rs 640 crores were deposited in cash with the UBI, Zaveri bazaar, over a period of less than two years.This works out to an average of more than Rs 1.20 crores per day.

Any amount above Rs 50,000 deposited in cash has to be supported by the PAN number. Did the bank ask for PAN?

If not, how did the bank accept such huge amount? Why did the bank not inform the department.? If the bank did inform, then why did the department not take action?

Investigating agencies must first haul up the bankers,the I.T dept, and others who were a party to this game
Are the laws made to beat the law?

Are the laws only to trouble the common man?

Will we ever get answers?

Jawans meant to protect Taj booted onto sidewalk

Remember how India's elite were visibly shaken when terrorists struck Mumbai's 5-star hotels, “where we sit down for dinner”, on 26/11?

For two months, 30 policemen have been staying under the dome of the Gateway of India, to ensure that those dining in the Taj are not rudely disturbed by terrorists again. They had no other shelter.

But most of those for whom they are expected to die, as well as conservationists, are upset about the fact that they have driven nails into the walls of the heritage monument and covered its arches with plastic sheets.

Net result of their cacophony? Last night, these SRPF jawans were thrown out with their belongings onto the sidewalk and asked to stay there till alternative arrangements were made.

How and where these sub-human 'guard dogs' live doesn't concern India's bubbled elite.

National Geographic makes Kerala smile

Kerala's claim of being 'God's Own Country' has got some heavyweight backing. National Geographic Society's Centre for Sustainable Destinations has rated its backwaters as the world's 23rd best destination.

This certification, after the Thekkady boat tragedy due to which the tourism season dried up, has come as a shot in the arm of the industry. The government which has already completed a series of road shows in Europe, plans to make it its USP.

Tom Pulikattil, who owns a fleet of houseboats, wants the government launch a series of promotional activities. Jose Dominic, who heads CGH Earth, one of the biggest players in the industry, hopes his business will get a boost.

So, head for Kerala before the expected rush makes all attractive discounts disappear.


May be some one can clear the doubt

Cigarette packets carry a statutory warning "Smoking is injurious to health"
Bidi packets do not carry such warning.


Is it that only rich need to be kept informed of the dangers to health?
Is it because Govt still wants the excise revenue from cigarette sale?
Is it because the health of the poor is of least importance?


Has it got some thing to do with the fact that most of the BIDI rolling busness is controlled by the Maharashtra politicians?

Has it got some thing to do with the fact that most of the BIDI tobacco processing is under the control of the Politicians from Maharashtra?

If cigarette kills,so does the BIDI.

Corrupt verification

India , ranks 84th on a list of 180 countries in terms of public-sector corruption, with a corruption index of 3.4, much lower that Bhutan, at 5. The least corrupt countries , have a corruption index around 10. (Transparency International(TI)).

Not surprisingly,the arrest in Delhi, of ISI agent Syed Amir Ali, has pointed fingers to Mohd Arshad and Mohd Chand, two agents from Lucknow, who provided him with a real passport in July 2005, for 14,000 Rs.

Passport Office does 2 separate verifications for address. Syed , gave and received his passport at the fake address by registered post .

Syed filed I-T returns between 2004 and 2007, though he landed in Lucknow only in May 2005. He acquired a fake driving licence, a mark-sheet from a local college and also held a bank account.

Whither verification ?

Solar Connectivity

The tiny village of Wagharwadi, in Thane District, Maharashtra, has yet to get electricity. Until recently, the villagers had to use candles, kerosene lamps and torches fashioned out of sticks, after dusk.

Till a year ago, they thought that Rs, 1,600/- was too steep an amount to pay for a solar lamp.

Electronics entrepreneur Kumaar Thakkar made just one modification- the addition of a tiny plug to charge mobile phones- and suddenly the lamps were in great demand!

Solar lamp sales increased, and so did those of cellphones too.

Accidental fires, respiratory ailments, and other problems are becoming things of the past with the increased use of these lamps.

The villagers have recently discovered another use for the lamp- it is possible to plug a tiny six-volt television into the solar socket and view cricket matches!



Untill now,the political class was ruling by dividing people on the basis of region,caste and religion.

Mr Chavan,the CM of Maharashtra has gone one step further.

He has announced a reward of Rs 5 Lakhs each to three villages in Maharshatra who voted him to power.

Next may be the locality and then the GALLI who vote for a particular candidate

Incidentally,who will foot the bill for the reward money??

As a helpless man all I could do was to stand in silence for two minutes.


posted b k chowla 17/11/09

Price of life ?

Two women, Meera and Gita and their newborns, at The District Women's Hospital, Sitapur, UP, were alloted a single bed, and they slept head-to-feet to maximise the available space. Meera, turned, caused the newborn of Geeta to fall down, and the child lay there, hurt and crying for an hour and a half, despite calls from Gita. It was later declared dead, hours after its birth.

Rural children in the state face an 80 per cent higher risk of dying before their fifth birthday compared with urban children, with overcrowding and lack of care at hospitals a major reason.

Madhu Koda, erstwhile CM, Jharkhand, hiding in the ICU of a hospital due to “abdominal pain and nausea”, emerged shamelessly, saying he had no time to meet the Income tax authorities who accuse him of a Rs 2000 crore scam.


Man marries bitch to undo curse

Remember how King Pandu was cursed when he mistook Rishi Kindama and his wife for deer and shot an arrow, killing them when they were making love?

Selva Kumar, a 34-year old farmer from Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu, did something similar when he was 18. He stoned to death mating dogs and hung their carcasses from a tree.

A few days later, his hands and legs got paralysed and he lost hearing in one ear. Doctors were clueless.

Finally, an astrologer told him that he was cursed by the spirit of the dogs he had killed and the only way to undo it was to marry a bitch and live with her.

He did that with 10-year old Selvi who was dressed in an orange sari, in a ceremony befitting a beautiful Hindu bride.

No word yet on the honeymoon.
Also read: Man rapes bitch, to be tried

Whose Day ?

Madhabi Khatoon, 7, of Murshidabad district , rolling beedis since she was five, now rolls 400 a day, working 14 hours a day.

She is at risk for tuberculosis, postural and eye problems, anaemia, lung and skin diseases. Continuous beedi rolling and exposure to tobacco, makes fingertip skin thin, and they are unable to roll beedis by the age of 45. They have to resort to begging as they know no other trade or occupation

1 out of every 6 girls dies before her 15th birthday.

1 out of 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 4.

Death rate among girls below the age of 4 years is higher than that of boys and 53% of girls in the age group of 5 to 9 years are illiterate.

You think she knows what Nov 14 is ?

Politics of the States or The State of Politics

This is a Quiz. Be prepared to give your Brain a thorough work-out.

Name one State Government that is not the laughing stock of the public - the very public that voted them to power with hopes as high as Mt Everest and is now squirming when they tire of laughing?
A State Govt that is not rolling in mud and slinging it at everyone who passes by?
A State Govt that does not let Goondas run over it (and justify its action)?
A State Govt that puts its people before itself?

Need any clues? Read the posts below this. (Exciting news from Karnataka is not even posted by anyone, yet.)

I may be wrong. I have long ago stopped reading Politics - I may throw up in public.
I will be happy to stand corrected.

Education Or Politics?

The newly elected State Government of Maharashtra, headed by Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, was sworn in on November 7th.

On the very same day, permission for 76 new senior colleges or a new section to existing colleges, was given by the State Higher and Technical Education Department. Senior NCP leader, Rajesh Tope, has charge of this Ministry.

'Interestingly, most of the educational institutions on the list, are directly or indirectly controlled by leading politicians belonging to the Congress and the NCP.'

'“It’s mere coincidence that permission for the colleges was granted on November 7, the day the Ashok Chavan government was sworn in,’’ a senior education department official said.'

60% jump parole and no one gives a damn

Close on the heels of the shocking manner in which Jessica Lall's murderer Manu Sharma was granted parole comes another damning revelation.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has found in a recent audit that over 60% of those granted parole jump it, never to return to jail. And those who do return, do so after overstaying, sometimes for years.

What is even more shocking is that no one gives a damn. Not only is reporting of such cases delayed, inaction on part of the SPs, SHOs and DMs ensures that no one is apprehended.

Although this has been discovered in a review of two districts of Punjab, things are not expected to any better elsewhere.

It need little intelligence to deduce that the whole system is completely corrupt; dangerous criminals who can pay are roaming free.



Shiela Dixit flags off Delhi metro to Noida

Shiela Dixit flags off Manu Sharma to parole.

Shiela Dixit is the CM of Delhi.

Manu Sharma's father is a congressman from Haryana.

Manu Sharma's parole date coincided with Haryana Elections.(WHAT LUCK)

Haryana is ruled by Congress

Delhi is ruled(I wish they governed) by Congress.


posted by bk chowla on 13/1/09

Maybe a name change is required....

Experience says that our Meteorological department simply cannot predict things. They give scientific reasons once the event is over. In other countries, the cyclone makes a landfall where they say it will, and in time, as predicted.

That Cyclone Phyan was supposed to make landfall Thursday (today) early morning was announced. Folks in Mumbai were also advised to stay indoors , offices and schools were let off. After landfall, a good 48 hours of heavy gusty rain was predicted for Mumbai on Thursday.

Maybe the cyclone knew this. It simply whizzed past Mumbai on Wednesday, at 2 pm , more than 12 hours early. Then it even hoodwinked Gujarat , and spoiled predictions by reaching Rajasthan, all weakened.

Thursday, scheduled for heavy rain, is shining with bright sunlight in Mumbai.

Maybe it didn't like the name. Cyclone Rahul, anybody ?

Stagnant Bihar

Most statistics coming out of Bihar continue to confirm that this state has been laid waste by the corrupt and powerful who continue to get richer while the state stagnates.

A couple of months back, there was a report that the money deposited in Patna banks, Rs 23,169 crores, – the highest in any Indian city - exceeded the annual expenditure of the state.

A recent youth survey has revealed some more startling facts:

  • Internet accessed by only 6% men and 3% women. In urban Bihar, only 18% and 9%

  • 17% men and 50% women have never attended school

  • 40% men and 60% women justify wife-beating

  • 75% men and 50% women have engaged in paid/unpaid work

No wonder poor Biharis migrating in large numbers are creating social problems elsewhere. Soon they may not be welcome anywhere.


It is almost one year since 26/11.
We needed one FBI to tell us about David Headley.
Now we all have become wise and suddenly discovered the hotels he stayed at,his tel numbers,his travel destinations during last about one year.
Is it time to clean up our intelligence machinery??


posted on11/11/09 b k chowla

By any other name...

Is it Bangalore, Bengaluru, Bengalooru, Bangaluru or Bangalooru?

Agreed, Bangalore is out - it was the old English name given by British Babus who could not pronounce the original Kannada name - and the city was recently rechristened to "Bengaluru".

Almost every Indian city has a local and an English version of its name. And each one of them, after fifty years of Independence, started slowly reverting back to the name that locals know it by. Which is all very good, as long as there is no ambiguity involved in the way one spells it. Because there is only one way to write each name in the regional language - whereas there are a myriad ways to write it in English!

A city by any name, one would say, would still have its share of traffic, pollution, and water woes...

Funded Goondagiri

Misuse of legislative privilege is endemic in our country.

Shouting down , abusing, walking out, and finally, physically hitting fellow legislators , and throwing and destroying the nations property, which we all pay for. Snatching the chairman’s papers, tearing the Governer’s address, and throwing it on his face.

Each parliamentary/legislative minute costs Rs 20,000.

Our shameful expenditure:

In the 11th Lok Sabha (1996 to 1998) 5.28 % of the total Parliament time was lost in pandemonium.

The above figure increased to 10.66% in the 12th Lok Sabha.

The figure became more than double i.e. 22.4 % between 1999 and 2004.

The 14th Lok Sabha recorded 38 per cent time lost in the first two sessions,

The Rajya Sabha, reacting similarly to these issues, lost a whopping 46 per cent time in the corresponding 201st and 202nd sessions.

Next ?

Travelling binge: 30 ministers, Rs 300 crores, 3 years

30 Union Cabinet ministers spent Rs 300 crores in three years on travelling, between 2006-09, out of which their domestic travels alone cost Rs 163 crores.

In fact the highest amount of Rs 115 crores was spent in 2007-08, when the country was sliding into an economic slowdown. These staggering igures have been revealed in response to an RTI application filed by activist Subhash Chetan Agarwal.

Perhaps this was part of an unwritten “stimulus package” to help out the ailing aviation industry. One can only imagine what might have happened to the robbed and plundered Air India otherwise. Or did they help private operators out?

I can hear some ministers saying that the duo of Sonia and Rahul have spent more on travelling than all of them put together. Rahul's day out costs Rs 1 crore.

Woman Power

Tobacco use drains around 350bn rupees from the Indian economy , kills more than 900,000 people each year in India .

The Indian government delayed implementation of graphic pictures on cigarette packs, due to elections.

54-year-old Raj Kumari Devi , of Anandpur, Bihar , wife of an unemployed farmer,who took to the fields despite opposition from her father-in-law has been honoured with the Kisan Shree award.

The feat?

In a region famed for growing cannabis and tobacco since the 1970s, she has persuaded farmers to switch to mango, banana, litchi, papaya and vegetables.

“When I was younger, I was an active health services volunteer. When I learnt that chewing tobacco leads to cancer, I vowed to stop farmers from growing it".

And yes. She wasn't standing for elections then.

Vote for a Tilted Bottle!

Women in two villages in Pune district, are preparing to hold a different type of elections this month.

Sarpanch Alka Bhokse of Pait village, says, "We have given a memorandum. We want to shut down one country liquor shop and two beer shops in our village.''

The women are tired of their husbands' drinking- "They drink and then come home and hit us.''

The law says that the excise department is obliged to close down liquor shops if 25% women in a village put down their names on an application asking for a ban.

In a mandatory subsequent election, if more than 50% women vote for closure of the shops, the Collector closes them permanently.

There are just two election symbols in these elections- a standing bottle and a tilted bottle!

Snake dies of man-bite

Everyone has heard of or witnessed a snake-mongoose fight as each tries to sting/bite the other to death. But man and snake fighting like this?

This is what happened between a 25-year old gardener and a snake on Saturday in a park just outside Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Furious at being bitten by a snake, Ramesh Kumar Jamda grabbed it, tore it apart, chewed parts of its body and, hold your breath, even swallowed the flesh.

After the 'fight', Jamda fell unconscious and the snake died on the spot. The former was taken to the local hospital and regained consciousness after treatment. “I was very angry after the snake bit me on my finger”, says the survivor, “I chewed parts of its body to take revenge”!

It is not clear whether the snake was poisonous. Jamda certainly was!

Winter in Bangalore

Winter arrived in Bangalore, true to its word, in the week following Diwali. The first warning of its silent arrival was given out by my skin which began to parch and show white patches, reminding me to keep tons of lotion handy for the whole family, and to air the blankets and sweaters for use.

Bangalore normally enjoys a moderate climate unlike Delhi where the temperature hovers very close to the extremes during Summer and Winter. However, the ill effects of the Bangalorean Winter are breathing difficulties, continuous cycles of cough & cold, freezing water flowing from the overhead tank, my son absolutely refusing to wear woollen, freezing feet if I forget my sandals for a moment indoors, dry skin scraping against anything I touch, chilly wind that pierces our ears.

And yet, I love Bangalore in Winter! Do you?
Tweet submitted by Jeena R Papaadi

Discovery of talent

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Congress spokesperson, commenting on the emergence of the Madhu Koda scam, discovery of books with political names, and possible prior knowledge of that, in his Party, on CNN-IBN recently : “There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that anybody who mattered in the Congress knew about it...that the Congress connived or knew about it and you know it and the country knows it.”

Does this mean congressmen-who-don't-matter knew about it and kept quiet?
Who matters in Congress is an open secret. That’s why, regardless of democratic election processes, just one person in New Delhi has the amazing qualification to decide; others just obey.

Should IIMs be asked to research this amazing decision making ability? Can the results be translated into rules for the aam junta and smaller organizations to follow?

Is Kapil Sibal listening?


The controversial news of a minority organisation issuing a fatwa against singing the national song 'Vandemataram' is one more litmus test of the much touted Indian 'secularism'. Is singing 'Vandemataram' a parameter to measure the patriotism ? Don't we have more burning issues in India to tackle ? Are mere nationalistic rituals enough to prove our commitment towards national integrity ? Doesn't true patriotism lie in obeying the social responsibilities and obligations ? Why do everyone talk about 'Constitutional Rights' when they least bother about their 'Constitutional Duties' ? Besides, how many countries have banned their national songs just because of objections from minorities ? 'Vandemataram' is known and respected for its patriotic fervour and flavour, rather than religious colours. Isn't it rational to sing the song to commemorate the sacrifices of our martyrs of Independence ? Does our 'religious obsession' stand ahead of 'national identity' ?

Twitter and tweets becoming popular in India

“What are you doing?” The 140-character 'tweet' to this Twitter question that has got the microblogging website over five billion users worldwide, is becoming increasingly popular in India too. But a majority of Indians use it to get news updates.

Twitter's popularity surged in India after Shashi Tharoor's controversial 'cattle class' tweet, and now it has the third largest number of users after the US and Germany. Tharoor is the most popular Twitter user with over four lakh followers already.

The key to its success lies in its simplicity and ability to send and receive short message updates.

With Airtel planning to tie up with Twitter, its over 100 million subscribers will be able to tweet from their mobiles without having to pay for an international SMS. Its popularity is set to increase manifold.

Not on Twitter yet?

Punjab goes bananas

Trust Punjab to keep coming up with surprises, of all hues.

Punjab consumes about Rs 600 crores of bananas each year and most of them come from Gujarat and Maharashtra. But all that is set to change. The state is starting to go bananas in big way.

A banana trial on a 10-acre plot by Mewa Singh in Ludhiana gave him a net profit of Rs 1,50,000 per acre. Compare this to the Rs 30,000 that wheat and rice yield and you will understand the mad rush on now to grow the king-size G9 banana.

Around 1,96,000 tissue culture plants were sold in the August-September season. Land under the crop is set to touch 500 acres. Big companies like Godrej, FieldFresh and Bharti Walmart have also got interested as the Punjab banana tastes better. Any surprise?


Govt in Maharashtra is now going to be in place, 16 days after the results were announced. The delay was mainly due to portfolio allotment.


In junior school, they used to recite a story, something on these lines.

A dacoit from Chambal used to be very popular amongst his gang members. So he was called chief.

After every decoity, he used to keep a major part of the loot and the rest was equally divided amongst his gang members.

Chief bhi khush-- toli bhi khush....Gaon wale dukhi.

Also at times, two gangs would get together if the expected loot was big.

I am not suggesting anything, except that let us start reading school days stories again.

When will we have someone to govern rather than rule this country?


B k chowla

Different children, different rules

Kashmiri brave girl Rukhsana, who with the help of her younger brother Ajaz Ahmed led the attack and killed a LeT militant in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir this September says, “There was a reward of Rs.8.5 lakh on the militant my brother and I killed. We have not received even a penny of it.”

She is seeking a Central Government job in Jammu or another State, for her family's safety. She has refused a job in the J an K police, fearing for her family's safety, after a grenade attack on her house.

In the meanwhile, Raosaheb Shekhawat,(son of the President), and Amit Deshmukh,,Praniti Shinde, Pankaj Bhujbal , all Maharshtra politicians' children who won state elections thanks to their parents names only, are additionally contributing to the delay in the Maharashtra government formation, due to Congress-NCP disagreements, by applying pressure for inclusion in the Ministries.

India, I cry: Remo Fernandes

Remo Fernandes, one of India's most gifted musicians, released a single, “India, I cry”, on Facebook on October 3, for free. All Remo asked for in return from those who liked it was that they should it post on their Walls and ask their friends to do the same.

It is now available on You Tube. It is a touching song. Do listen to it.


India, I cry
I cry, India
You were the world’s spiritual flower,
Now you’re just a starving nuclear power.
We’ve built the tall, ivory tower
While the slums outside, grow by the hour.
Your ministers rape you,
Your neighbours love to hate you
You people forsake you
Your movies stagnate you
You gods divide you
Your godmen misguide you.
Your devils in disguise,
are on the rise!
India, I cry
I cry, India...

Wohi Dhanush Wohi Baan

"Manushya kadi balwaan nahi
Samaya sub se balwaan
Kaabe Arjuna lutiyo
Wahi dhanush wahi baan"

"Men (people or nations) are not dominant. Time is. A time will come when the invincible Arjun will be robbed by a common robber, despite the unbreakable Gandiva and the inexhaustible quiver."

A bankrupt India had to ship planeloads of its gold reserves to London to get emergency IMF loans in 1991, because of the economic policies followed by Nehru and Indira Gandhi. It was after this that India started opening up its economy. Although the process is not complete, look where it has brought us.

India recently purchased 200 tonnes of gold from the IMF at a record average price of $1045 per ounce, spending USD 6.7 billions of its forex reserves and sending gold to its highest ever price recorded in open markets.

MD of a Rs 1300 crore company steals Blackberry

What does one say when the Managing Director of a company with an annual turnover of over Rs 1300 crores steals something as lowly as a Blackberry?

That is what Sanjay Somany, MD Hindustan National Glass & Industries allegedly did at Delhi airport while taking a flight to Chennai. He picked up the phone belonging to co-passenger NK Puri at the security check point and carried it with him to Chennai.

He act was caught by the CISF using CCTV footage after Puri lodged a complaint. The accused, who took a return flight to Delhi the same evening, sensed that he was being watched and dumped the Blackberry in the aircraft's toilet just before the aircraft landed in Delhi.

He admitted to the crime only after being confronted with the CCTV footage, and was arrested and released on bail.


SMS and win or SMS and make another win.....

For the mobile providers and their partners in business the above was a very brilliant idea which continues to reap harvest after harvest.

Whether it is out of selfish interest or selfless interest, it has been proved beyond doubt that enough and more money can be amassed for a cause through SMS.

please read further

Pay Your Electricity Bill Or Lose Your Gun

The Gwalior District administration ( in Madhya Pradesh) has hit upon a novel way to force people to pay their electricity bills. According to this new plan, anyone who doesn't pay their power bills will lose their gun licence.

'Guns have traditionally been the ultimate status symbol in the ravines of the Chambal, and men frequently go to ridiculous lengths to acquire an arms licence.'

Gwalior Collector Akash Tripathi has provided the details of the arms licence holders to the power company. And 'it will get back to us with the names of the defaulters'.

The administration feels that the fear of losing their gun licences will make people pay their bills.

An ingenious idea for sure- time will only tell if it works!

On a mission to plant 100,000 trees

Planting 100,000 trees is the sole life mission of Chandra Bhushan Tiwari.

It all started in 1992, when he started planting a few trees outside his locality. That soon became such a pleasurable daily routine that Tiwari even left his job as a teacher to devote himself to it, prompting his friends and relatives to call him insane.

Initially, Tiwari used to buy the saplings. Now locals contribute. His wife Sushila, a teacher in a government school, takes care of the family's financial requirements.

When not planting saplings, Tiwari teaches poor students. His fee? Each student has to plant at least one tree.

Tiwari claims he has already planted 50,000 saplings till now. Let us hope that he not only accomplishes his mission but also inspires some of us to do our bit to contribute to society.


A new P. Chidambaram has emerged.

Yesterday at Madurai, Chidambaram, at a public meeting warned Pak of any further adventures and said that Mumbai 26/11 should be the last and if there is another 6/11,we will give fitting reply,A crushing

BRAVO....Chidambaram we love you and your guts.

After ages, India is seeing a Home Minister who is serious about his portfolio and knows his job.

Only if we have elected representatives like Chidambaram, this country can go a long way. Such ministers give the citizens a sense of security, sense of belonging, sense of involvement.

Let us wish Chidambaram good luck with a hope that we will see more of him and also other ministers also take their jobs more seriously.

Good luck Chidambaram.


Jagan Reddy's wealth grows exponentially

The wealth of former Andhra Pradesh CM YSR Reddy’s son Jagan Mohan Reddy is growing exponentially.

A contender for chief ministership, Jagan had paid no tax in H1 last year, but has paid Rs 6.6 crore in the first half this year. In H2 last year, he had paid just Rs 2.92 lakh tax for the entire financial year 2008-09, but is now projecting a tax outgo of at least Rs 22 crore, with his personal income expected to cross Rs 70 crore in 2009-10.

He is the only recognised politician in the top 100 taxpayers, according to sources.
Could he have amassed so much of declared, and manifestly many times more hidden, wealth by hard work and honesty?

Is India now going to pass into the hands of such utterly dishonest men and women who so blatantly abuse power?
Must Read: Covering up the mother of all corruption scandals

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