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Unequal whistles

NHAI engineer Satyendra Dubey had blown the whistle on irregularities in the Golden Quadrilateral Project in Bihar. He was murdered. Yesterday 3 persons were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for this. Dubey's family says the real culprits are free and these are small fry taking the rap.

Roads that benefit the public don't bequeath power. Someone else's downfall does.

But sometimes the whistles blown, are special.

To those in the ruling party, , Satyendranath Dubey wasn't someone who affected power equations. And so Anuj Gupta , police officer, on duty with L. K. Advani on Dec 6 1992, who deposed against her former boss, in the Babri case, will be given a posting at the Indian Embassy in Washington, along with her husband, who is at DIG level in RAW.

One, a travesty of justice. The other, a deal.

Anita and the Honeybees

No, these bees are not from Uttar Pradesh! These are honeybees from Patiasa village in Mujaffarpur Dist., Bihar. Here, twenty two year old Anita Kumari runs a successful bee-keeping business.

She started this business eight years ago, with just two boxes. She now tends to honeybees in around 250 boxes- one box has 30,000- 35,000 bees- and supplies honey to several firms. She obtained formal training at Pus Agricultural Institute in methods to produce quality honey.

Her life and the profile of the village changed after her success story was picked by Unicef. She later encouraged more villagers, especially jobless illiterate women, to join her. Now almost the entire 500-house village is engaged in honey production.

Anita has become an example of women empowerment in backward Bihar, entering an NCERT textbook of environmental studies in a Class IV chapter titled “Anita and the honeybees”.

This sizzling hottie is a bomb!

About six months back, I had posted a tweet about 'bhut jolokia', the hottest chilli in the world, to which some Americans have taken fancy.

Then I had mentioned that it would not be long before the CIA realised that “administering” it the wrong way would get even the most hardened criminals to 'sing'!

Well, for once, Indian defence scientists have beaten the Americans, a bit differently though. They have developed a grenade filled with bhut jolokia. Its smell is so pungent that it will numb and immobilise terrorists and enemy troops. Work is also on to use it in teargas shells and as a powder that can be used by women to protect themselves.

Hope Haldirams and others take note that there might be significant cost savings if they use it as a food ingredient!

The ultimate weapon

Soon the women in India shall have the ultimate weapon! Beware!

But without "gender based reservation" how shall this weapon be exclusive to women.. me wonders...

The Indian military has developed a grenade with the hottest chilli known to earth – the bhut jolokia. It has more than 1,000,000 Scoville units, the scientific measurement of a chili's spiciness. (An earlier tweet has some more details). Since this is non-toxic grenade, it's uses are plenty.

"Srivastava, who led a defense research laboratory in Assam, said trials are also on to produce bhut jolokia-based aerosol sprays to be used by women against attackers and for the police to control and disperse mobs."

Does it also means that one has given up on the rapists? Instead of punishing them would our "guardians of law" start distributing these grenades to the victims?

Guess it is better to leave the grenade in the hands of the Indian Military...


Naga leaders say they won’t discuss within Indian constitution.

Kashmir separatists are talking to China for intervention in Kashmir.

Maoists are creating hell for innocent.

China has encircled India geographically.

Americans want Nuke deal with Pak.

America is funding Pak.

Out of Chinese fear, we stop building roads on our side of border.

We have a porous border with Nepal for free movement of ISI agents.

We have a porous border with Bangladesh.

Post 26/11, we had decided not to talk to Pak.

Americans can question Kasab, India can’t question Headly.

Under pressure from Americans we start talks with Pak—no result.

Do we in India have a foreign policy and a country specific policy?

Why are we always junior partners?
It is time we stop playing politics at country’s expense.
Action time.
Wake up call.

A Different Kind of Diktat

Fifteen years ago, in Doogaron Ka Tala village in Rajasthan’s Barmer district, for every ten boys, only one girl went to school.

In 1995, former sarpanch Kistura Ram called a meeting of village elders to discuss how to persuade the villagers to educate their daughters. They decided to issue a diktat making it compulsory for families to send their daughters to school.

Those who don’t fall in line risk not just a fine of Rs 1,000, but also excommunication from the village. Now, 15 years later, all girls in the village go to school.

Some girls have gone on to study in Barmer city and have completed their under-graduate courses.

Several girls have excelled at sports, too, and participated in national-level kabaddi and kho kho championships.

Goes to show how beneficial decisions taken and implemented at local levels can make a great impact.

Saaley today, Kaminey tomorrow

When we had Parliamentarians who were orators,administrators,and statesmen, we had no real time transmission of legislative activities.  Now that television catches the most minute change in your actions and attitude, we have legislators ,  who sound like part time goondas.

Wednesday saw a  Rajasthan BJP MLA Hanuman Beniwal accuse the Home Minister of corruption.  The records show that the minister, Shanti Dhariwal, responded by saying, 'Saaley, I'll fix you in two minutes."  Beniwal was suspended for rowdy behaviour. Shortly the BJP Chief Whip RS Rathore was declared suspended for a year.  The MLA's protested, lay down, and stood 75 strong to protect their chief. Marshalls were called in, several were hurt, breathless, and hospitalized.  A sleep-in was in progress.

Is this a Hindi movie ? When do we hear Kutte, Kaminey etc?  And did we really elect these guys?

No Drinks Please, We're Indian

Yes, there have been many studies suggesting that a drink a day is good for your heart and a lot else. Unfortunately, these have been carried out in the West. But faithfully, like everything else, we have copy-pasted it for Indians too.

A new study carried out at AIIMS to investigate the link between alcohol consumption and heart disease has discovered that Indians are different: alcohol harms them. And it is not just heavy drinkers who are affected. Even light drinkers, the ones who consume 30 ml of spirited drinks, a chhota if you like, have a 40% higher risk of coronary heart disease.

So, the next time someone offers you a drink, you can say, without a trace of embarrassment, “No drinks please, we're Indian”

Illegal Immigration

According to Home Ministry figures, the number of foreigners overstaying in India in 2008 was more than 65,000. The related figures for 2009 are not yet available.

Minister of state for home affairs Mullappally Ramachandran told the Lok Sabha Tuesday that foreign nationals found overstaying in India had "entered into the country on valid travel documents".

These 65,000 foreign nationals include 31,200 from Bangladesh, 14,500 from Afghanistan and 7,500 from Pakistan.

Out of these, only 13,995 were found and deported. The rest are presumably still at large somewhere in India.

"Certain instances of some illegal immigrants having obtained voter identity cards, ration cards and driving licences through fraudulent means have been reported," Ramachandran said.

One wonders why we bother to guard our borders at all!

Cops Ya Robbers ?

Haryana's special task force (STF) think they are very special. So much so that they forget they are basically cops. And have actually advanced to being "robbers".

Seven STF men, dressed in plainclothes, struck twice on March 11. They first allegedly looted Rs 6 lakh from a stockbroker after tying him up. They then tried to extort Rs 10 lakh from jeweller V K Malhotra, claiming to be members of the Haryana vigilance department. When Malhotra called the police and told the STF that he would pay in the presence of police only, they vamoosed under the guise of calling their team.

These STF , deputed in 2007, were specially meant for fighting terrorism, naxalites , and other serious crimes.

Senior Superintendents of Police (SSP) in the state have been instructed to impound arms and vehicles issued to STF officials.

Attitudes Are Hard to Change

We have taken some steps down a path and that seems to have raised temperatures around significantly. The passing of the Women's Reservation the Rajya Sabha.

There are many on one side applauding the event with major political formations having come together to make a new law. Equally strong is an opposing voice and that seems to be spreading fast.

This also highlights a basic fact. Any law to influence or prevent any action  can achieve a high rate of compliance, but,

When it comes to attitudes, it is a different ballgame. It is difficult to change attitudes by compulsion or enactment of a law. This is only possible if there is a genuine change from within and that is a process of evolution.

A step in the right direction but a path strewn with many sharp stones.

UP discovers dangerous children

The UP Police have arrested children , on charges of damaging "public property (throwing color on posters of Mayawati during Holi), and a case had been lodged against them under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. They were later sent to a reformatory home for juveniles, according to official sources.

It is attributed to Holi customs when a woman/girl, is, in reality ,manhandled under the effect of bhangful lust on the same day.

In the meanwhile, officegoers and students in Mumbai brave balloons filled with colored water, dirt and dangerous colors, thrown at them , travelling in public vehicles, and no one is arrested.

The students are reported to have appeared for their board exams under police custody.

Mayawati has magnanimously ordered the release of the students, saying they were children and the punishment was too harsh.

Pehle Aap, pehle Aap

Is West Bengal some kind of disputed territory ? Everyday there is news of Maoists burning schools, abducting teachers, forcing villagers to poison dogs, and announcements from their so called Head Maoist.

Now Karnataka reports that Maoists is that state are demanding higher pay for cops, their erstwhile enemy.

And the Union Government does nothing, even after exposing that the Maoists plan an armed takeover of the country by 2050.

Why is a situation being encouraged where there is no all out attack on these enemies of the state , who are taking law into their own hands ? Their leaders give statements like heads of state, our Home Minister, on TV, gives them a phone number to call him.

Women's Bill is fought for.

But Women in far off states, suffer, as the government treats Maoists with kid gloves.

Renouncing Liquor for Telangana

On Feb. 28, a hundred villagers of Khilashapur in Raghunathapally mandal took an oath not to consume liquor until their dream of a separate state of Telangana is realised.

The rationale behind this move was that the self-imposed ban on alcohol would cause revenue loss for the Andhra Pradesh government and for arrack contractors.

It all started when a Hyderabad-based software engineer K Narasimha Raju, who hails from the village, convinced the people that it was "ethically wrong" on their part to consume liquor and contribute to the state exchequer when young students were fighting and even committing suicide for the T-cause.

Though Raju says that freeing the village from the ill-effects of alchohol was not his goal, it certainly is one positive result of this movement! Telangana activists say that more villages are likely to follow suit.

Me and my power, right or wrong...

A fire safety audit, done at Mantralaya , Mumbai, on September 29,2008, indicated 32 objections , with blatant violation of norms, thanks to ministerial alterations, and encroachments into free space.

Two months later, 26/11 happened at the Taj, , and the CM went on a disaster tourism visit there. Did he learn anything.?

Today more than a year later, the Taj returns, safeguards enhanced, the CM has changed, more alterations cater to the ego of the new rulers and associates, and the 32 objections remain unaddressed.

We taxpayers pay for these buildings, the security and the so called governance. We also pay for stuff when some calamity happens. New multistoreyed premises are being planned for a modern Mantralaya, again , thanks to the tax payers.

Someone will surely use the building when Mantralaya shifts elsewhere. But who cares ?

Super Power in Bangalore!

Power has always been Bangalore’s bugbear (should I correct it to: Karnataka’s, India’s?). This winter, Bangaloreans were exposed to three-to-four hours of scheduled power cut, whereas previous winters saw almost none (unscheduled power cuts do not appear in the purview of this statement). When summer hit the streets a trifle ahead of schedule, common folk raised their eyes to Heaven and wondered, how many hours of black out do we have to face in the coming months? So it comes as a delightful surprise, though coated with disbelief, when the Hon’ble Chief Minister promises us 23 hours of – believe it or not – uninterrupted power!
Click here to read the TOI news.

Towards Informed Voting!

We may have been stirred from their deep slumber with the Jaagore Campaign which urged us to vote!

But without the Bhaago Re exercise, it is unlikely we would have their Voter’s ID.

Just in case we do have our Voters ID, our dilemma would be where to find enough information about the candidates so to make an informed choice?

Mumbai Votes attempts to address this information need here.

Do read this interview with the founder of Mumbai Votes here which provides information about governance of Brihanmumbai Municipal corporation

At Bangalore Koramangala has one for themselves.

If you come across any more links, do post them in the comments section!
No more excuses for not voting!


The budget is over on expected lines.

This budget again proves that the common man is the last, or no , priority of any govt.
Without going into the details of the budget, one thing is for sure that Petrol prices have brought the opposition together.

What is, NOT SHOCKING, is when a Congress minister made a statement on national TV that the final decision on petrol prices will that of Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

The buck stops here.

How predictable.

Who said Democracy?

Who forgot Sycophancy?

Who is the Boss?


Electrifying Darkness

Villagers of Kanugaon in eastern Assam recently celebrated 25 years of darkness. The State has adopted the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Programme, which gave this village twenty two electric poles in all these years (1985).

Nothing happens, because on paper, this village is already electrified. Village students Saurabh Handique and Lakhimi Sarma, were awarded two computers for academic excellence, which are currently useless show pieces.

So the Committee to Mark the Silver Jubilee of Erection of Electric Posts has invited the ASEB officials for a satirical cultural show.

The adjoining tea estate is electrified, but they are checking whether Kanugaon is a "revenue village" before agreeing to electrification.

How it appears electrified on paper nobody knows.

Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi says " Execution of the scheme has been praiseworthy".

Maybe changing his name from Pradyut to Vidyut would help ?

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